It’s fun to step back from the design madness here in Milan during the design week ~ and really just appreciate how AMAZING details in and around the city are too… so in the evening we popped up to the roof of the Hotel Dei Cavallieri at sunset and the views are truly awe inspiring. Then a late night wander lead us through the Duomo and Galleria ~ and with big camera in tow, naturally couldn’t help snapping away… it’s just breath taking ~ even after seeing it so so many times on a daily basis for over a year… But the best details? Bizarre mylar ballons that escaped some poor child’s reach, only to create a silly juxtaposition in all my pics of the Galleria grandeur… there’s a tiny hot pink unicorn/pegasus up there… and in the hallway the next day… a tank. See it all on the next page!
Entries tagged with: travel
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About to run out to try and actually check out the insane fiera filled with design goodness ~ but wanted to leave you with some of the many stickers and street art bits that keep grabbing my attention as i wander through the city! Some fun silly craziness on the next page! Enjoy!
As we warm up to Milan Design Week, it’s been awesome having a few days to just catch up with the city! On todays few hours of walking/shopping ~ here’s more randomness that caught my eye besides the Hermés Paper Sculptures! From slightly evil wooly sheep ~ to the milan marathon i ran into by the castle and throughout the city ~ to the giant camera lens screens at Tod’s ~ to rekindling my door knocker and gargoyle obsessions ~ tv sunglasses! ~ the blue cubes popping up around sculptures being restored ~ awesome signage ~ and these beautiful linen lamp like structures that fill Monte Napoleone, some designed by fashion designers!… and so so much more! See it all on the next page!
The Mercedes-Benz Museum ~ you’ve seen the elevators and tornado and while the cars and exhibitions are amazing, there are so many parts of the architecture that were surreal and beautiful! From the way they play with the constant combination of sun and artificial lighting, to the way the building is constantly leading you to swirl downwards from past to present, to the engraved concrete markings to denote what section you’re in, to the horse ~ the first… pre-automobile? It’s much like a car museum meets history museum meets sweeping art gallery filled with surprising textural juxtapositions at every turn… so take a peek at the next page for a full gallery of images ~ it’s less about the cars and more about the amazing images the space creates for you.
As you’ve noticed by now, i have been recently fascinated by the world from above ~ and not in just a google satellite view ~ but amazing views of cities and the in betweens as dramatic sunsets and sunrises hit them… So thanks to Mercedes who was incredibly kind to bring me to Stuttgart to learn more about their world (even when i needed to come from Singapore and leave to Milan)… here’s another installment of what my friend and i have been calling Operation Window Seat! Doing it backwards, on the next page you can see pics as i come in to Milan from Stuttgart… then Stuttgart on my way from Singapore… amazing how the terrain changes ~ and the lighting!
Just finished my last dive of the trip ~ and this whole trip has definitely reinvigorated my childhood love of nudibranchs and frogfish! Frogfish have the coolest elbows ~ and the way they walk… and eat (with their signature anglerfish family style lure!)… and the variations they come in! (So fascinating, saw about a half dozen color variations this week! And soooo many nudibranchs i haven’t seen before too. So in this last installment of fun creatures from the Lebeh Strait ~ check out frogfish, nudibranchs, and more (including a super tiny baby lion fish!) on the next page!
Octopus obsession is only growing more with each one i encounter! Two today so far! One good sized amazing Wonderpus octopus (Wunderpus photogenicus) on a dive (they are pretty rare and only found here in bali/sulawesi! Only recently named/officially discovered)… and then during lunch we spotted another octopus hiding a few feet from us in the low tide! So waded out to it with a camera and it was so tame and incredibly docile… i even pet it! So lots of fun pics of both the octopus and wonderpus on the next page!
UPDATE: We’re now pretty certain that the other octopus is a Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus ~ which was only officially discovered in 1998 in sulawesi. It is the one that the Wonderpus is commonly mistaken for… and it mimics everything from flounders and eels to lion fish and sea snakes… and ours impressively becomes one with the rock as well as the sand… see an amazing video i found about them on the next page!
On visual inspiration, there is something about the overwhelming sense of calm serenity with nothing but the sound of your own bubbles and the occasional boats overhead… as you just swim about watching the most incredible and mind blowing creatures going about their daily lives all around you… so, on “vacation pictures” ~ here are some of the many (there are hundreds of photos, here’s just a selection of fun ones!) creatures i’ve been encountering diving the Lembeh Strait of Indonesia this week (hiding out at Kungkungan Bay Resort)… and besides the diving creatures, you also get a peek at the large crab i ran into, and the impressive Tuna statue in the center of Bitung (tuna capital of indonesia?)… see it all on the next page!
p.s. and on design inspiration ~ it sounds silly, but i’ve totally been dreaming up redesigns, proposal ideas, and more while watching the creatures under the sea… also photo credits go to my dad who’s the photographer (i’ve been tasked more with helping find things in our team!)
I’m having one of those, sensory overload, exhausted yet giddy moments… sometimes we all need to step pretty far out of our daily lives to simultaneously reset, reflect, and find inspiration in the unexpected. For the next 5 days, i’m hiding out in the Lembeh Strait of Sulawesi, Indonesia… and they have awesome wifi, so when i’m not drop dead tired or diving exploring all the creatures around… the regularly scheduled content may be coming on vacation with me! So today was a morning flight to Manado from Singapore, followed by a 1.5 hour van ride through Bitung out to the dive spot, and now i’m curled up in my adorable cottage at Kungkungan Bay Resort. Certainly quite the contrast to the design overload i’m looking forward to in Milan in a few weeks! Although i thought about crashing after the day of travel, when i stared out at the possibly full moon with the intense clouds over the ocean… i couldn’t help taking a few pics, and i’m so in love with the view, i had to share them with you before i got some sleep! Isn’t it amazing how the palm trees and clouds look in the moonlight? See a few more pics of the night… some of the view on the flight in… and another random pic or too…
Heading off to Milan tomorrow… well… via a few weeks in asia and a quick stop in Stuttgart… but i’ll be in Milan April 8-19!!! And i can’t be giddier. It’s hard to believe the last time i was in Milan was when i was living there for a little over a year doing grad school… all pre-NOTCOT (the sites, the name was used on lots of random stuff for years before!)… so FINALLY, making it back for the salone, and to go see some of the old spots… but, that being said, its been 5 years!
SO! If you’re in Milan, or have some awesome recommendations, i’d love any ideas on what not to miss ~ people to meet up with ~ events at the Salone to check out ~ and more!
p.s. that image above? i found my old huge map of Italy… i totally forgot i used to highlight all the cities and towns i’d visited… so many left to see! Maybe if there’s time i ought to pop out and explore a bit more too!
After a long week, sometimes you just need something totally random and silly to reset you… tonight that ended up being…. grabbing a friend to get food, suddenly fog rolls in, and as we drive by the little santa monica airport… we vow to go wander around it if its still foggy on our way back (she was hungry, so food naturally had to come first). Well it only got foggier in the interim, so it was on! And here are the pictures that came from that exploration… driving around the parking lots, tiptoeing through bushes, and trying to find that perfect light that made the fog covered planes glow so awesomely. And suddenly we heard shouting and laughter… and as we got pretty close to the insanely foggy brightly lit soccer fields… we saw there were people playing! (Yes, it was foggy enough you had to get rather close to be certain!)… There’s something so other worldly about the way things felt in the ominous fog… see it all on the next page!
On travel obsessions, someone just reminded me one of the few items that has made my MUST PACK list ~ i’ve been so busy using, i have yet to write about it. humangear’s GoToobs have been indispensable. Sure they are similar to Paul Koh’s Bubble Bottles ~ but they are much better. A more airport security 1 quart ziploc bag friendly shape for packing… the ring allows you to select Soap, Shamp., Cond., Lotion, Sun, … so no sniffing to figure out what’s in there, and no need for labels… wide mouth opening for cleaning/filling… the one thing i never thought i’d use, yet have many a time ~ SUCTION CUP! So far they come in green, blue, clear, pink, and a newly added orange! See more pics on the next page…
Good morning 3am London ~ it’s been quite the evening with Nike Football/Soccer, running around and ending up on buses with ~400 international press folks ~ ending up at Battersea Power Station in the rain with its huge purple projections, only to delve deeper into what some felt was like a bat cave or villainous lair of lights and steps and shiny new products to tempt us with. But the main attraction announced tonight (with the help of Cristiano Ronaldo) ~ was what all this purple was about! And my favorite part of course is not only the new shoe, the Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II… but the magical glowingly purple glass/cement box that looked like an apple store in a shipping container. The purple dots on the glass became smaller and smaller until you could see the wall of shoes hung upon them… On the next page see pictures of the installation, the new Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II, the new Nike Football+ iphone app (with twitter/facebook integrations), design sketches… and the full press release!
On unexpected surprises… did you know the Soho Grand Hotel will provide you with a roommate? An adorable little black goldfish? Strangely though, no food… i guess i will have to trust that housekeeping comes by and feeds the little guy? Their cheeky website says “If travelers cannot bring their pets, the Soho Grand offers surrogate animal companionship in the form of a goldfish in your guestroom.”
For those that asked on twitter ~ no i haven’t named it. No need to get attached, i don’t think i get to bring him with me to london… But i do wonder if there’s a mysterious room in the hotel somewhere with wall to wall goldfish bowls… do they really have enough for EVERY room? Or if you have two kids, can you request two? Or can you ask for two in the same bowl just so they dont get lonely while you’re out? Cute idea though ~ providing a bit more life to often sterile feeling hotel spaces! See more pics on the next page…
Laguna Beach ~ so many surf brands have their home base in the OC ~ and recently so many hotels with special designer suites ~ but somehow i never heard about the Casa Surf Project over at La Casa del Camino until now! The hotel is perched less than a block from the beach, has an old spanish styled look and feel… and somehow the smell and hallways remind me of college… something frat house-y about it? Or maybe that was the crowd too… fascinating thing about the Casa Surf Project is that they gave 10 brands and their designers 10 suites, and let them have their way with it - “Action sports icons like Billabong Men’s and Billabong Women’s, Rip Curl, etnies, Roxy, Quiksilver, L* Space, Lost International along with Riviera Magazine and Glaceau have teamed with Southern California’s finest designers to create the Casa Surf Suites with a portion of the proceeds from each room donated to key charities for the first year.” I love the moroccan inspired Lost room… how far they took the decor, and the furniture choices… you have to see how fun the lights looked at night! And the way they really customized the walls… so beautiful! Billabong and Quicksilver are my other favorites ~ see more pics on the next page, and see full information on each suite here!
During the #time4wine tweetfest up in Napa this weekend ~ Julie and Jonathan brought me to their Nickel and Nickel Single Vineyard Wines open house… at first i questioned whether i wanted to be up at 9 after a full day of travel and tastings to go to another tasting… essentially, for breakfast! But those two know their stuff… and thus begins my new fascination with wooden wine boxes! Of all of the ones i’ve seen (and the wines i tasted this weekend) ~ Nickel and Nickel’s are my favorite. Also their stunning barn gone mod is beautiful! I couldn’t stop staring up at the beams ~ and the way they’ve carved out a lab within the space. The juxtaposition of sterile meets rustic is stunning. So take a peek at their attention to detail through every visual element of their brand on the next page…
(quick aside: Truffle Tremor. Awesome name, delicious cheese.)
So after a bit of hotel horrors ~ and bouncing in and out of the vitale over the last week ~ with sf gift fair and macworld happening, SF hotels seem a bit packed… just decided to check out the Clift Hotel in San Francisco which is part of the Morgans Hotel Group (with those awesome “The world needs to discuss it over drinks. The world needs more interesting.” ads i adore.)… they were nice enough to upgrade me to experience one of their suites, and i’m currently working at that “through the… orange… looking glass” feeling table above… and really, between the bizarre world within it and the stunning city views here, it’s hard to focus! It’s also incredibly calming and relaxing with it’s lavender entry way, light grey carpeting, and light wood furnishings… exactly what i needed after quite the crazy last few days! Go take a peek into their fun, spacious, suite i’m living in for the next few days on the next page!
Looking down out this huge concave window in my Hotel Vitale room, has been strangely mesmerizing and inspiring to stare out of… from the spiderweb mess of bus cables to the curved arcs of the road and diamond of the cross walk and just watching the traffic/people flow through it… it kind of looks like a math or physics diagram…
Anyhow, Hotel Vitale has been one of my favorite spots to hide out in San Francisco since i moved out of this city… and while i’ve been in quite a few different rooms, this is definitely one of the most unique. I sleep better than usual in their beds… this room has a nice tub with a view… and this ridiculously large window! As well as the usual nice huge desk space to work at… and chaise to lounge on. Take a peek at a few pictures of the view in both day and night, as well as a peek at the room!
I passed out as soon as i sat down on the plane from SLC to LAX ~ i barely remember take off ~ and then suddenly when turbulence jolted me awake somewhere in between, all i saw out the window were surreal and stunningly dramatic shadows on snowy mountains… and i was so mesmerized, then something kicked in, and i half awakenly grabbed my camera, and felt like i was dream shooting all the way back to LA. So fun to see the world from that view ~ such a nice perspective shift from what’s felt like a very conceptually nazel gazing last few days. I love the way the snow transitioned into dessert… and into cities… and the way roads are carved into the snowy tree filled mountainside… the way the city glowed with the hollywood sign and downtown popping out as we landed… Take a look on the next page!
So i’ve been getting a little double, triple booked lately ~ trips overlapping ~ but all so tempting i try to do them all. Until i can’t. So i’m trying to find some help! Thank goodness, NOTCOT’s new features editor + giveaway coordinator + writer + friend + inevitably more to be added to this list shortly, Marcia Simmons, was able (and willing) to pop over for two nights in Paris with a mere few days notice. While we’re still working on finding a nice pretty new way to show you posts my friends share with us on NOTCOT, for the moment, we’ll first get you the great content ~ and time + energy permitting, we’ll transition in to some new way to denote it. For now you will have to just bear with silly introduction notes from me! So on the next page, we have a bunch of pics and stories from Marcia of her whirlwind adventures in Paris for the first Maison Martin Margiela Perfume launch! And i’m already envious of the amazingly packaged press kit (with flowers!!! and feather pens!!! and books!) ~ and the stunning presentation of the new perfume. I’ll have to sniff the goods myself next time i see her in person!
p.s. i adore that they went all dot matrix ascii art print out on the press kit. TOO FUN.
Mmmmm. Doing that bicoastal commmute again, this time thanks to the Macallan folks who have brought me out to NY for an event tomorrow night, more to come on that later though. Long day of travel ~ popped over on JetBlue (i miss Virgin America, they spoil me with wifi. I thought i might be happier without it when flying, but i was wrong) ~ luckily i feel like i’m at home away from home as i slipped in to The Mercer Hotel ~ another Andre Balazs property, this one in the heart of Soho… and i absolutely adore it. Got in, got room service, and got to work! Well, after taking a bunch of pics of all the little design details that grabbed my eye. Also bonus points to them for super fast room service and bringing me some benadryl at midnight. They’ve been so kind and taking such good care of me here already! And so many details of this room make me want to go home and remodel already… Ready to take a peek?
I think i now feel for any ant that gets stuck in a kaleidoscope. While often CES has a slew of ginormous booths with pyramids of TVs… Samsung got a little more creative this time… and… WOW. That picture above is just one view as it kept changing colors… i literally couldn’t help standing inside the huge booth spinning around in awe of the experience. I would have made a video for you, but i think i may have fallen over as people kept bumping into me (it was a sheep feeling kind of day at CES… if you stand still for too long the crowd just moves you)… also their rainbow wavey stripes for the netbook/laptop displays (the GOs looked so adorable mounted!) are fun to take a peek at too! See more pics on the next page…
CES is always madness, but in recent years when there have been more and more people i get excited to meet up with there, you’ll notice that my posts about the technology become more discriminating (and there’s less awesome to share, sadly) ~ and i actually end up finding more inspiration in the unexpected and beauty in the chaos. The other night patterns seemed to be my thing… large crazy vegas patterns that were popping up and screaming to be photographed… Or maybe me + drinks that night = pattern obsessed, but really i blame the mandarin oriental bar. It started with dinner hosted by HTC (where i might have gone unexpectedly fangirl when next to me was PCMag’s Sascha Segan mentioned his wife is the awesome artist Leontine Greenberg)…. great conversations with some fun journalists, the HTC marketing and design folks (SO fun and sweet)… followed by “O”… then regrouping for drinks at the Aria with the boys of Cool Hunting… then drinks at the Mandarin Oriental… and as the group dwindled down, and the drinks and inspiration kept flowing… you can take a peek on the next page of the visuals that captivated me!
I’m a bit obsessed with print recently. I mean, i always love/d print, but extra aware of it and all its design nuances at the moment. Beyond that, i can’t seem to help fixating on the way digital/online medias can translate back out to print in the real world well ~ and how integrated ads can be beautiful and/or enhance the content. Ran into this little booklet for the first time at a hotel and love not only the concept and execution, but also the design!
Daily Candy has a beautiful Los Angeles pocket sized city guide that is perhaps one of the most thorough (SO many of my favorites and many more are included!) guides to places to eat, sleep, shop, and more in LA! Design is fun and readable, adorable little icons and extra notes and illustrations tucked away in each page. It’s also light on the branding/advertisements Only a few Jet Blue ads inside with fun creative and copy of course! On the front it mentions it is in partnership with the Viceroy Group and Urban Retreats. As far as positioning, seems like great positioning to get Daily Candy in front of boutique hotel guests ~ particularly those who may not know the mailing list yet. Lovely idea, beautifully executed, i’d rather grab one of these than a Wallpaper guide, etc. if i’m sending a friend off to explore LA ~ now i’m curious what other cities exist! And how to find them! Take a peek inside this LA guide on the next page…
UPDATE: Just in from Daily Candy - there are NYC and LA guides. the NYC guides were made last year and can be found at the 5 W hotels in NYC. The LA ones just arrived in the Viceroy and Urban Retreat hotels last month! “They were penned by the NYC and LA editors respectively. It’s the first time we’ve printed our favorites in such a fashion and they are being well-received in both markets. The great thing is it’s everything we love — Not just the “latest and greatest” but they also include mention our tried and true favorites.”
Ready to take off for the holidays? Well wejetset wants to hook you up.
What can you win? + 1 Hideo Bean 19 (Green) Luggage + 6 Wallpaper City Guides + 1 Arkitip x Incase Curated Laptop Sleeve for (15” Macbook Pro) Steven Harrington + 1 WeSC Bongo Blue Headphones + 1 pair of Sunglasses by Super See pics of it all in the feature as well as details on what to do for your chance to win!