It was a gorgeous day in NY to take the VIP ferry out to Governor's Island for my first official polo match/picnic. Granted this was no ordinary day in the park ~ since there was much buzz with Prince Harry playing, Marc Jacobs and Madonna wandering around, and never ending Veuve Clicquot flowing at the second annual Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic. The views were absolutely stunning ~ the manhattan skyline peeking out from behind the game, endless smatterings Pantone 137c between the lush green grass and perfectly clouded blue skies, and amusing people watching with lots of "daring hats" as requested. Take a peek at the experience on the next page...
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I have so much to show you its hard to know where to start ~ especially when all i want to do is curl up in bed, stare at the view, and pass out! Sad to be leaving NY tomorrow already, but will definitely be back soon! SO, for starters, it only made sense to run a hot bubble bath to figure out what to write, and that lead to taking pics in the bath, and then of course i had to give you a peek into my favorite part of The Standard New York... while i did tour the facility (both open, and not - the roof is so awesome!) with Andre Balazs the other day, that will have to wait. Prioritizing, what you really need to see first is the TUB! You can literally open up the slats so from the tub you can watch the skyline ~ which is stunning whether its day, sunset, night, etc... or i guess you could watch tv too... or chat with whoever you have in the room with you. It's also such a deep massive tub you could easily sink into it, or fit a bunch of people in, whatever suits you.
So take a peek of the view from the tub ~ and around the room and various details that have caught my eye. While there are 16 different room layouts/color schemes in the hotel ~ of the ones i toured, this one is definitely my favorite! Take a peek on the next page, and view shots to come...
I suppose the real question is... How can you pass up seeing DJ Kreemy (Karim) spin and dance all decked out in one of his all pink outfits (down to the watch even!)? There was quite a line for the Artemide party once Karim was spinning, and it was really quite odd trying to explain to this older french couple that may have just happened to wander through Soho at the right moment what it was exactly that people were lined up for... Also hilarious to see more beefy guys in super tight tees, this time green with I <3 LED on them and serving appletinis... The Cadmo lights by Karim were quite beautiful as well, honestly i liked them far better in person than i had in photos that had been circulating. Take a peek at the grassy window display, Karim in action, the lighting, and the I <3 LED bartenders on the next page!
Sinking into my bed barely conscious, debating what to show you before i give in and pass out... been quite the night of wandering, but the most bizarre and not so design week related event this evening brought me back to those awesome Artek Shigeru Ban chairs i showed you... only instead of being on a tour... this was the The Standard SPiN New York Classic - for those (like me) who know little about the ping pong world - here is the SPiN bio: "SPiN New York is a 13,000 square foot ping pong social club on Park Avenue in Manhattan's Flatiron District. The club offers unparalleled table tennis courts with Olympic quality cushioned flooring and 17 individual tables, including a stadium-like center court. In addition, SPIN New York houses a pro shop, lounge, bar, private room sponsored by Fred Perry and over a dozen internationally known professional coaches and players who are available for private and group instruction." Intense, right? Did you know Susan Sarandon is a huge ping pong lover?
Anyhow, in addition to this party of a ping pong classic (don't get me wrong, there were some there extremely serious about the sport, and alongside were many party goers and an open bar) - the sunset out on the deck and in the background was absolutely stunning. Jaw dropping to say the least... so check out the many pics of this scene on the next page!
There are some things you can read about and only when you play with it and get to take it apart in person do you fully understand how awesome it is. It also doesn't hurt to first see it in an awesomely large grouping arranged like a sculpture on the 3rd floor deck of the The Standard, New York with all of NYC as the backdrop... and then again back down on the ground in a shipping container both intact and taken apart...
Of course i'm talking about Artek's 10 Unit System by Shigeru Ban! Both Artek and Shigeru Ban are known for their love of beautiful simplicity, functionality, and sustainability ~ so it's no surprise that this 10 Unit System emobodies all of those qualities wonderfully. "Systematizing, Standardizing, Making It Accessible." This is the chair who's motto is boldly "One chair is enough"... and being constructed of 10 identical L shaped pieces, one can create chairs of varying designs, stools, coffee tables, and even combine them for benches and more. When feel like a quick change, simply rearrange the pieces! These are made from ProFi, an environmentally friendly wood-plastic composite - non-toxic, sustainable, and recyclable, it utilizes the surplus materials from the label stock production of UPM. (Artek also used this material for the Artek Pavillion that was sold by Sotheby's as well as floor tiles.)
Take a look on the next page for images from the The Standard, New York deck ~ in the Playful New Finnish Design 09 shipping container ~ up close ~ press photos ~ and even the really fun propoganda cut/paste/photocopy zine looking booklet!
Ørgreen Optics and Artsee's "Playground: Where Danish Design Meets Japanese Perfection" ~ was an unexpected surprise as i turned the corner near the Standard NY while wandering the meatpacking district... you know i can't turn away from a room of balls... especially a room of pink, silver, and black balls! Unfortunately it was a bit of a tease, since they were only about ankle/shin deep ~ so no ball pit diving! Oh, and how can you ignore the huge hot pink glasses outside too...? Unfortunately they were closing the doors as i wandered past, but it is Ørgreen handcrafted Danish architectural eyewear Solo Exhibition at Artsee Gallery - See more pics on the next page!
Firstly, oh yes, i will probably be that girl at the supermarket rocking the metallic bronzey Tom Dixon tote in line... with my random magazines staying dry from wet goods and showing off the title perfectly in its exterior pocket ~ clearly made FOR that reason! You will suddenly know exactly what mood i'm in... artsy, businessy, car-y, fashiony?
But seriously ~ how can anyone resist these parties in empty Soho condos on GORGEOUS days with never ending Veuve Clicquot flowing ~ Tom Dixon lighting and furnishings surrounding you ~ and nearly 360 skyline views to stare out at? Dwell hosted a great party! Met some really cool folks ~ and yes... i'm impressed with their very trendy tote. Also see the sweet grassy kid friendly rooftop i spotted as well as many water towers... and all the Tom Dixon goodies on the next page!
Landed in NYC at the equivalent time earlier than i normally go to sleep in LA... huge points for the sweet Ace Hotel NYC guys for giving me a room at 7am and letting me curl up in bed with wifi and post to you now... yes, i'm a little deliriously giddy and going to crash in a few, but far too excited not to show you these pics first...
I think i'm *home* ~ but i must admit i was nervous ~ kind of like meeting someone you've talked to online for ever, and you know you like a lot of the same stuff, but when you finally meet in the flesh ~ well its nerve racking. And you hit your kinks and panic attacks along the way (they JUST soft opened yesterday after delays) ~ but then its love at first sight?
So we're going to do this the inside out way ~ starting with the room itself, its amazingly awesome details (my house so needs a black smeg, i wish i could just stick it in my suitcase and bring it home!) ~ adorably cozy vintage designy furnishings ~ glossy black outlets and faceplates! ~ big metal door ~ gorgeous lights ~ yummy treats ~ anyhow, see for yourself... pics of the room on the next page...
saw sunset in LA and sunrise in NYC ~ and in between it was incredibly clear out tonight ~ really bright moon and stars and darkness with patches of towns/cities in the middle... so also a few pics of the crazy view.
On incredible openings ~ today the Annenberg Community Beach House opened in Santa Monica. "A public place henceforth: The story of the Beach House is one of evolution from private to public. the facility is open to all, no membership required." It is the only one of it's kind on the california coast!
Originally built by William Randolph Hearst for silent film star, Marion Davies, in the late 20's ~ it later became a hote; ~ then a private beach club, and was even on of the settings of Beverly Hills 90210 ~ then shut down after the '94 quake. After 10+ years of planning (and i've been driving past this spot since i was a kid almost daily!) ~ it's amazing to see what it has evolved into. Set right on the beach in Santa Monica ~ the house has been restored for events, there is a beautiful pool (with stunning restored tiles), cafe, pool house, volleyball/tennis courts and more... and there is even a bicycle valet! And its a green facility! Silver LEED Rating and all...
For its big launch this morning ~ there were events for everyone ~ from Cirque Du Soleil performers to synchronized swimmers and sand castles.... kite flying and power volleyball exhibitions... and so much more. While i wasn't able to make it, Sanna Björn, biked over with camera in tow, and took SO many incredible pictures of the event to share with us! Take a look at her experience on the next page! (Thank you, Sanna!)
Ooooooh car lust. Was giddily surprised when i was picked up by one of the 2010 Prius Prototypes tonight to go check out the Scion/GR Papershapers show tonight ~ more on that later ~ but the car... in person... SO cute. SO quiet. And so many little details to gush over ~ but really, maybe part of me just really wants a car with a solar roof?!?!?! The displays and iconography are beautifully mesmerizing... The shifter is strangely small and toy like... almost like a travel mouse? (really thin and easily to wrap your fingers right over) It's also tauntingly placed where even as a passenger i was so tempted to shift it (but i didn't!). The toyota logo has a blue outline to it (it was a coincidence that this car was blue, the logo colors do not always match the paint colors) ~ apparently these will be on all of the upcoming hybrids (and the Lexus ones in red). And the angularity of the rear and sharper lines on the sides made me far more drawn to this latest design... so tempting! For more real info on the new Prius, take a peek at their site and for more real world pics, see the next page!
Ok i'm a bit deliriously tired at the moment ~ but wanted to get something up to show you! And for a sneak peek at the truly epic Scion/GR Papershapers show, see the images here ~ i'll make more logical posts out of those tomorrow!
Mmmmm chocolate. Beautifully packaged chocolate. Dare i say the packaging is even nicer than the contents? SO, pictures of some of the Singapore Chocolat Factory stores have been circulating the web quite a bit ~ and when i ran into the one at Changi Airport, how could i not grab some for the 18 hour flight? Ok, well the chocolate rain (cocoa powder with the watering can spout) isn't easy for immediate consumption, its packaging was too fun not to show you... and of course they got all uppity and wouldn't let me take any pics in the store, so i guess it worked, i had to BUY the stuff instead!
Tiny bit of background? Read up more about this Spanish Chocalatier, Chocolat Factory on their site. But for the REALLY fun stuff? Check out the poster, packaging close ups, looks at the chocolate and more on the next page!
So last night i finally got to meet Tyler Brule!!! Pretty sure he has no clue who i am, but he was totally on my list of people i looked up to (as far as fun lives and awesome careers...) Unfortunately people are seldom as amazing as you build them up to be in your head, right? (Perhaps this is why i freak out about meeting readers!) I was slightly saddened, although not all that surprised, that Brule said LA was casual to a fault... (more juicy details coming up in the LAist interview Kemp did while there)... and can you believe it's all run on only 35 people? Tyler and his super nice PR folks popped in from Tokyo and London, and many were popping off the next day already...
ANYHOW, the most exciting thing of all? The second international Monocle store has opened! And right in one of my childhood hangouts, the Brentwood Country Mart! In fact, i still hang out there, the food and shopping is so delicious and chill (mmm mrs beasleys, burritos, james perse, and that awesome apothecary). But i digress... adorably cute shop, set up like a little living room you can settle in to, read some Monocle, browse the website, and the best part? Finally we have a local shop to check out those gorgeous Porter bags, notebooks, candles and more! Personally i may need to go back and grab some of the adorable posters! They wouldn't let me take pics inside the shop, but you can however see just about everything from outside the super cute space! Take a look at more pics on the next page!
I was surprised how incredibly low key and what a mixed crowd this event was! It felt more like a picnic than a launch party...
I'm back to real life now ~ 18 hour direct flight was surprisingly less painful than expected... also the all business class flight with lay flat beds certainly didn't hurt... 4-5 movies and like a 10 hour nap... and i am home! (You can take a peek at some of the pics on the LAX-Singapore flight here) Took off at 4:15pm landed in LA at 5:00...
It was a good trip, putting in some family time to pay my respects to my grandmother and help with family affairs... nice chance to step out of my NOTCOT life for a few days... but of course i couldn't help myself and i have a little pile that just jumped out of my suitcase waiting to be photographed and shared! With the perfect timing on the flights this trip back the views were so gorgeous i couldn't help taking a few snapshots and mini videos with the point and shoot... so check it out on the next page! Also some fun details of Changi airport... i love the backlit walls of hanging plants and the giant robotic flower fan!
(ok videos are taking forever on Vimeo ~ will add those when they are up!)
Singapore's landscape is this crazy juxtaposition of incredibly lush green rain forest with a fascinatingly modern/urban shopaholics dream mixed throughout... for some reason, this latest trip i've been completely drawn in by the beautiful color palettes - staring upwards out of the car windows into the trees on every drive... and while taking a breather between things, i started noticing the tiny details like the incredible textures and colors of the MANY types of moss found in just one part of the yard... so here are some close up looks at some of my favorite mossy details (and my grandmother's tiny orchids) on the next page!
I've been racking my brain as i photoshopped these pics and realized i didn't take pics of the magical door between/behind the booths you enter through.... or the crazy neon signs i love so much outside Cole's... i thought about telling you how you had to find your way in yourself, but here's a peek at the inside, but let's be honest ~ i was having too much fun, and really just took a few snapshots while inside!
For those who don't know ~ Cole's is an LA institution ~ (there's an age old rivalry as to whether Cole's or Philippe's invented the French Dip) ~ and it's adorable! And has an adorable bar in the front already, and old school booths and walls with pics of days past... and now, when you go through the door in the back with the little martini glass on it, you step into one of LA's latest speakesy-esque spots, The Varnish. Complete with old school cash register, industrial lighting, wood paneled booths, retro phones and more... my favorite detail is probably the flasks... and the giant ice... and the metal straws (which you can apparently purchase)... "The venture is a partnership between Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey in New York; mixologist Eric Alperin of Mozza and the Doheny; and Cedd Moses, owner of the newly remodeled Cole's" according to Angelenic... So take a peek at the pics on the next page ~
Just RFID mini-golfed behind the scenes of MOCA... and ate donuts. Rumor has it that for every ball that went into a hole a donut hole was made... and when your RFID foamy golf ball went into a hole you also got a call on your cell with audio rambling and randomness... quickly got the feeling that far more people showed up than anticipated, or this was a project that wasn't set up to scale well, although there were a LOT of security throughout... and mix crazy mini golf course + alcohol + quite a few pushy/competitive hipsters + a sneak peek at a side of MOCA you never see + not nearly enough space for all these people to be wandering through, let alone trying to golf through... and yea. Wow. It was pretty crazy... It's hard to explain with words really, but i took a bunch of pics for you to take a peek at the world behind MOCA! (And unfortunately there's one pic plain clothes security made me delete... it was a fun look at all the security screens of the museum though!)
This was part of First Thursdays at MOCA ~ "KNIFEANDFORK, founded by Brian House and Sue Huang, presents three new works for ENGAGEMENT PARTY, MOCA's series of interventions by local artist collectives" ~ and this was the first! Emptiness is Form (Golf and Donuts) - Voice interventions by Nathan Phillips, Donuts by Deanna Moody of Dee's Bakery and Donuts, DJ set by Wendy Yao, Blogging by Guthrie Lonergan...
See the pics on the next page for the full effect!
It's just not possible to get mail with retro/official booklets from the Dept. of Cultural Engineering with the Technical Specifications for Ace Hotel Properties... pop them open and see pages with figures that remind me of grade school readers... and not post about it! Two booklets just showed up showing off and explaining the latest additions to the Ace Hotel line up ~ first was Seattle, then Portland, Palm Springs opens this weekend, and New York City in March! While i've yet to see any of them in person STILL ~ i've been wanting to get to Seattle and Portland and stay at them since... 2006? SO, on exciting news ~ we will be staying at the Ace Hotel NYC in May for ICFF and Design Week!!! (Also, if you're doing the ICFF thing and don't have a place to stay yet, check them out ~ they are doing promotional $99+ promotional rates)
Anyhow, i digress, the booklet! It's so cute, you have to take a peek at the cover and insides on the next page! And ok, i'll admit ~ the Smeg fridges, customized Gibson guitars, record players, and free wifi are huge draws to me... all of their hotels are so different down to every room, yet seemingly homey for design/detail junkies ~ they support passionate incredible independent businesses like Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Ken and April of The Spotted Pig which will both be in the NYC hotel! And they have one of the most adorable/tempting looking minibars and Smeg fridges filled with everything from vitamin water to mini kegs to coke in classic bottles... not to over-gush, but i love the concept ~ and these quotes seem to sum it up so nicely... so before i send you off to the pics on the next page: Re:Up Magazine said "... a highly developed sense of how culture functions best when left unmolested by over-production", and Best Designed Hotels in North and South America said "... the Ace clientele - hip urbanites in for a visit who like a lick of luxury, but don't necessarily need all the indulgences of a typical high-class hotels"... basically these feel chock full of character, but with a designer's eye, without sacrificing functionality...
But, back to the booklets! So cute! Check out the details and cover on the next page... and maybe we'll see you in NY!
On adventures in the snowy NYC this week, Proximo Spirits has out done themselves once again... they were kind enough to invite us out to NYC to experience the launch of their latest: Gran Centenario's Rosangel hibiscus-infused tequila! I already knew the bottle was a beauty, and the branding... *swoon* i LOVE the graphics they've used everywhere from backgrounds to bags to glass etchings... how beautiful does that look? But they really carried that rose colored (or should i say hibiscus colored?) world into the full day of bartender immersion and launch party... unfortunately, i wasn't able to make it out myself, but luckily our favorite Liqurious expert, Anita Crotty, was able to rearrange her life ever so slightly and pop out to NY for a few days to check things out! It also doesn't hurt that she took so many breath taking pictures so we don't feel left out! So on the next page you can check out her adventures ~ from the gorgeous gift bag on the bed at the new Thompson LES ~ to the camera crews filming them at the Clover Club ~ to the launch party with live music from Vanessa Trouble at the exquisite Ella Lounge... You've got to see the pictures to take it all in!
Not to name drop, but Anita's link laden story on the next page reads like a who's who of must see bars across the country... makes me want to roadtrip to experience all the places linked! Enjoy!
Back in LA! I must say it was nice to step outside of my world a bit and experience seeing/being amongst millions descending upon DC for such a historic event (and explore DC for the first time) this last week. I'm sure everyone walked away with something different from the experience, for me, a big one is that it was a nice and much needed head clearer! Anyhow, back in LA again, and wanted an excuse to post this random picture from the flight home.
Wow. Well, today was quite a day. We are now in the era of President Barack Obama ~ and we're quite anxious to see what happens in this first 100 days... Currently curled up in a hotel room watching CNN, getting a peek at the many balls taking place throughout DC and the country tonight... and i'm exhausted! I can't even imagine how the Obamas must feel! Beyond the info you can get just about anywhere ~ on the next page you can get a peek at what our experience here was like today ~ from the 4am vendors setting up shop ~ to the humvee outside the window by 7am ~ to the masses of people traversing the city streets to and from the ceremony ~ to an inflated spiderman! One thing that definitely stands out today ~ i do not think i've ever been in a crowd of so many people in my life ~ and there was something incredibly moving about the energy of it ~ everyone so excited and literally from everywhere! Seeing them all come together, being in the midst of the cold for hours, and having millions sing taunting good-byes to Bush and come together with hopeful screams for what the future holds... it was quite an unforgettable day.
... and we're headed back to LA tomorrow ~ so back to regular random postings in no time!
Curiosity meant i couldn't resist seeing what the scene was like at today's concert at Lincoln Memorial ~ We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration. NPR had exclusive live broadcasting of the concert ~ and they have a great photo gallery (of things close up that i wasn't able to see in person!) ~ with a star studded line up and the national mall filled with jumbotrons ~ we wandered over towards the end and caught barack obama's speech from a nice spot near the washington monument ~ the real spectacle was the sheer number of people as we looked out from the massive obelisk down toward the teeny tiny lincoln memorial (live view 10x helped me see what was actually going on down there through the 5D!). It was pretty incredible how tens of thousands of people became dead quiet as he spoke. Silly as it sounds, just being a part of the masses was a fascinating experience ~ even the national park rangers were giddy about how many people were there! So here are some pics from our perspective to give you a feel of the (incredibly civilized!) crowds ~ and some fun tech amusements ~ from the awesome star wars feeling "ICx Tactical Platforms" police cherry-picker like high tech viewing towers, to the masses climbing on the jumbotron generators, to the people in trees... it was a pretty insane number of bodies out there! I can't even image what Tuesday is going to be like...
"It's Real Change" ~ really! At the "real change exchange" - aka the US Mint! This truck cracked me up when we were wandering around the national mall today... wasn't sure what to call this post ~ but basically on the next page you can see a range of pictures from our adventures in the cold on foot today ~ some fun ones of the Capitol with tons of chairs and jumbotrons set up out front ~ plastic bags frozen into a the reflecting pool ~ carousels ~ people freezing and jumping up and down behind Spike Lee and the MSNBC team that basically lit the WHOLE of the national mall with blinding lights ~ the washington monument and its circle of flags ~ and more!
UPDATE! Just found out that the "It's Real Change" Truck was part of - "United States Mint Introduces Native American $1 Coin to Open National Museum of the American Indian Multicultural Festival" ~ where you could switch 1$ bills for the new 1$ coin! Unfortunately when we wandered past they were parked and closed up!
Manifest Hope: DC ~ as you already know, i was at the opening tonight (and luckily got to sneak in a little early and get some nice people free pics before it turned mob scene!)... so i've already shown you the overview - with looks at some pieces of art, the spaces, the goodies, and more... and as promised here's a post filled with *most* of my favorites complete with closeups! That means another 30 pics or so on the next page! Unfortunately no names/titles, because 1) its 3am 2) sooooo many works of art 3) had trouble keep track of everything, but no worries, Yosi said it will all be up on the Manifest Hope: DC site! So enjoy the art, in this post you can see it from my perspective! ~ and if this at&t usb internet card we're trying out allows, gallery of everything i've got (unedited) will be up soon for those who want to see it all and in more detail!
Wow. Yosi Sergant (along with his whole team at the awesome Evolutionary Media Group) and Shepard Fairey sure know how to put on a hell of an art show, raise spirits, and pull off this ridiculously nonchalant, humble adorableness. To both of them, CONGRATS!!! It's been an absolute honor to be able to watch such influential folks put their powers to use for good in the election of Obama from such a close distance, and personally, their ability to bring the creative community together so strongly and visually has been mind numbing. Tonight was no different, as i come back to the hotel, mind spinning, and CF card loaded with over 150 amazing pictures i want to share with you from Manifest Hope: DC! So i've been sitting here trying to make sense of what to show you and how, without completely overwhelming you! So for starters this post gives you an overview of the space, the art, and the pins/stickers/posters... and more to come soon.
Manifest Hope: DC is absolutely incredible, regardless of how you may feel about Obama, or the visual idolization of our new icon ~ the quality of art in this show, and the amount of art in this show is absolutely stunning. The focus of Manifest Hope: DC is three themes... Manifest Change - Health Care Reform, Manifest Unity - Workers' Rights, and Manifest Opportunity - The Green Economy ~ in fact 15 of these works were picked from over a thousand submitted in the online contest! So here we go... see the first 25 pics on the next page... and closeups of my favorites and a gallery of all of it coming up soon ~ baby steps, people!
Firstly, omg its so cold... so when we headed over to Old Ebbitt's Grill for dinner we couldn't resist wandering by on the walk back to the hotel. (Ebbitts was established in 1856, and has a Beaux-Arts facade, mahogany and velvet booths and bars set in marble, brass and beveled glass.)... when we wandered across the street seating and portopotties were all set up, and it looks like they just got the huge booth for the Obamas to view the parade from up! The cop/guards were telling us that they even take the whole thing down the day of! So here are some quick pics we snapped with the little point and shoot, where we were sooooo cold we didn't even want to take our gloves off... Although this is a few blocks from the hotel, unlikely we'll get this close again on inauguration day, but pretty interesting to take a look at up close! Also see some pics of the white house behind it as well all on the next page...
I'm also taking this week in DC off from most work/email ~ so posts from me might be lighter, but i'm still editing posts on the other sites like usual...