Entries tagged with: travel

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*notcot in tech - 3 Notes

KNIFEANDFORK MOCA - Golf + Donuts

golfmain.jpg 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!

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*notcot in travel - 5 Notes

Ace Hotels : NYC

aceny0.jpg 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!

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*notcot in food+drink - 3 Notes

Gran Centenario's Rosangel Launch NYC

rosangel0.jpg 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!

p.s.
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!

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*notcot in me - 0 Notes

Back from vacation...

back.jpg 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.

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*notcot in travel - 15 Notes

The 56th US Presidential Inauguration

inaug1.jpgWow. 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!

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*notcot in travel - 2 Notes

We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration

crowd0.jpg 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...

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*notcot in travel - 2 Notes

It's Real Change in DC

change1.jpg "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!

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*notcot in design - 9 Notes

Manifest Hope: DC ~ The Art!

mh0.jpgManifest 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!

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*notcot in design - 22 Notes

Manifest Hope: DC First Look

manifesthope00.jpg 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!

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*notcot in travel - 5 Notes

Obama's Inauguration Parade Booth

pres.jpg 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...

p.s.
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...

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*notcot in food+drink - 4 Notes

The Griffin - Las Vegas

griffin1.jpg On more gorgeous neon signage ~ somehow ended up at The Griffin in downtown vegas ~ although we later realized there is The Griffin in Los Feliz too, pictures made it look like this vegas one has the prettier neon/fonts for sure! And they even have Griffin tiles in the bathrooms! Take a peek at their adorable branding and beautifully simple brick arched ceilings and interiors, lush red leather booths to sink into, awesome 360 fire... its like walking into that classic den... only slightly more hipster than retro... lots of pics on the next page!

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*notcot in food+drink - 4 Notes

Alien Fresh Jerky

alien1.jpg This has been a strange strange trip ~ in a nutshell, its been the least CES-y ces trip ever ~ and to be honest, we never made it to the main show floor (just ran around the sands part for an hour or two) ~ but with the extensive coverage just about EVERYWHERE online right now (yes, we too are lusting after the Palm Pre), i feel like we've been seeing the best of's all over! Instead we ended up indulging in some exploring of vegas, meetings/dinners/etc... so to everyone i never got a chance to meet back up with at the main show floor ~ apologies! Next time, perhaps?

So back to the random adventures around Vegas ~ i've seen the highway signs for Alien Fresh Jerky for years... so we went on the way back to LA! It is like a highway stop Alien 7-11 filled with jerky, alien paraphernalia, honey, nuts, hot sauce, you name it... there was a ufo crashing into it, and a family of aliens parked in the parking lot... and clearly they've been having a LOT of fun with their packaging/branding! So see the pics on the next page... and you can even order online for the next time you need some Alien stocking stuffers...

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*notcot in tech - 8 Notes

ioSafe Solo ~ flaming HDs at CES

iosafe0.jpg Here's what i love about vegas ~ you just never know what or where you'll end up ~ tonight led us on an adventure into the vegas off-strip suburbs where we ended up tossing the latest ioSafe Solo external hard drive into the color changing rock fountain pool... pulled it out by a cord... then set it on fire! Only to cool it (with clouds of steam) with a hose... and take it all apart to show off the pristine hard drive contained with in... and of course we also cooked a standard hard drive as well, which didn't fare quite as nicely...

Beyond the obvious fascination and amusement from the demo itself ~ it all lent it self perfectly for some fun photographing and video too! Luckily dan came with ~ so we have full video of all the excitement for you to see on the next page, and i've summarized the whole scene in a gallery of pics as usual! Fire in the dark is SO fun with the my new 5D ~ and as for the ioSafe Solo external hard drive, i think i'm sold. In this line of "work" i can't imagine losing all my files... lifetime of photos... design work... the websites!... you name it! Granted its one of those problems you hope you never have to worry about, but if there *were* to be a flood or fire, i'd certainly feel better knowing my data would most likely survive it! While ioSafe is primarily known for their enterprise level products (massive, hefty "disaster proof hardware") ~ this is their first introduction into the consumer space, and the pricing is impressive ~ the 500GB ioSafe Solo external hard drive is only $149, and the 1TB is $199 and 1.5TB is $299!

Go see the pics and videos as well as more details on how they work on the next page! (The first video shows the destruction of it... the second one shows you how to get the hard drive out of it after!)

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

Shag's Vice Tester

vices0.jpg So for some background ~ i've been in love with the work of Shag since i was a kid (early high school perhaps?) ~ and to stumble into Frankie's Tiki Room upon the suggestion of Hugh at Unica Home, and then to see not only all the amazing art/interiors, and the exclusive mugs... and in the corner there is this playful "VICE TESTER" machine calling out to me... and as i get closer, the whole thing is covered in Shag's illustrations! Every single side of it and all the options too! It's only getting in to the hotel and hooked up to some wonky internet that i got caught up on all things Frankie's Tiki Room, including the little snippet on their site that says "And the 'Vice Tester' carnival game, designed and built by Shag, must be seen to be believed." It's no joke, you really must see it... and since i can't show it to you in person, on the next page you will see a bunch of pictures of every side of it as well as a little *sideways* video (sorry, we did what we could between the very dark bar and the very strong drinks)...

I popped a quarter in, grabbed the handle as instructed, and apparently my vice at that moment was "drugs"... and i love that lincoln quote on the side "It has been my experience that those who have no vices have very few virtues"... so anyhow, go see the pics and vid on the next page!!!

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*notcot in food+drink - 4 Notes

Frankie's Tiki Room Las Vegas

frankies1.jpg From Unica Home we made our way to Frankie's Tiki Room... and WOW. Seriously. While in Vegas, wtf are you doing on the strip? Go to Frankie's! It is dripping with tiki bar lore, and art works from many of our favorite contemporary tiki loving artists (so much SHAG-aliciousness!)... and even an exclusive set of custom Tiki Souvenir Mugs! Not to mention the awesome old school neon signage on the front of this 24 hour joint that just opened last month! Soooooo, there will be three posts on Frankie's since there was too much to show you in just one!

First up ~ photographic look at Frankie's and my very strong drinks and giddy view of the tiki wonders... so go see the pics on the next page, and i'll slip more info in there, but you really need to see more first!

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*notcot in design - 18 Notes

Unica Home, Las Vegas

unicamain.jpg First stop into vegas... UNICA HOME! The showroom/shop! Stepping into their new 3 month old 12,000 sq ft space felt like going to design heaven ~ so many things i've written about... beautifully laid out for hours of oooooohs and ahhhhhhs followed by debating and purchasing... i'm currently debating the Artimide Melampo Lamps! Unica Home in person manages to strike a delicate balance between being incredibly accessible and touchable, while still feeling as if you're in the presence of a museum like space versus a store, as silly as it sounds, you can feel the care that is taken in showcasing the products with the utmost respect. When you meet founders Bonnie & Hugh, you'll quickly grasp their passion for each and every object in the store, and their excitement over what is yet to come is infectious! And really, 12,000 sq feet is HUGE! They have one of their two warehouses in the back of the store, so don't hesitate to ask if there's something you've been eying online that you're curious to see in person... The Detroit natives have been running Unica Home for 10 years, and have surprising backgrounds ranging from molecular biology, advertising/marketing, and antique sales as well as serving on the board of the legendary Neon Museum... and Hugh pointed us towards some off the Strip spots to check out... you'll see more about Frankie's Tiki Room when i get the next post ready... but first ~ click on to the next page to see a tour of the incredible Unica Home, there are over 30 pictures!!! There was just far too much to show you! This is definitely a MUST SEE when you're in vegas!

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*notcot in me - 4 Notes

Welcome to 2009!

newyearMAIN.jpgHappy 2009!!! I must say i'm extra giddy about this year starting ~ it feels like a good one! To kick it off we decided to do some of the things we're hoping to do more of this year! So Dan, Linhchi and i started it off by sleeping in... waaaaaay in... then cooking fluffy delicious waffles, eggs, and veggie sausages that we enjoyed out on the deck... and then off to an adventure wandering on a trail in Topanga for a few hours... with our cameras, random ideas, and not much else... So now as we relax (they are playing Little Big World + i'm posting this!) ~ i think we're ready to do 2009 right! Basically my resolution is to do more of what i love, and less of what i don't. What are yours?

And as for adventures ~ check out the massive number of pics to see what we found on our wander ~ amazing sunset and fun crazy darkness pictures playing with our led flashlights... as well as closeups of teeny tiny flowers and moss... and more!

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*notcot in gratis -

NOTCOT Giveaway 27: wejetset

wejetset1.jpg TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ with where you would go if you could jet set anywhere! ENTER BY 12/15. WINNER: Rabbit in NC!

NOTCOT Holiday Giveaway #27 ~ and it's a big one! Wejetset is ready to hook one reader up with the ultimate travel upgrade, and their founder Taj knows my tastes far too well, since he picked so many NOTCOT faves in this bundle... From the incredibly sleek, can't be missed, minimal Hideo Wakamatsu Wave (Red) Carry-on, to one of my favorite laptop sleeves, Incase Krink 15" Laptop Sleeve, to the Baxter Travel Kit from our favorite men's line, to the adorably understated Field Notes to doodle during your trip, and even STPL Socks, so that during the security line, even your socks are looking good! Clearly Wejetset does not mess around when outfitting you for your next jetsetting adventure... here's one way to go home for the holidays in style (and pampered comfort!)

So here's what you can win in this instant travel makeover of a bundle (over $500 of goods!)
+ Hideo Wave (Red)
+ Baxter Travel Kit
+ Incase Krink 15" Laptop Sleeve
+ Field Notes (3 pack)
+ STPL Socks (Grey & White - 2 pairs)

So are you ready? For a chance to win this, leave a comment about where you would go if you could jet set anywhere tomorrow! I know we could all use a vacation right about now!!!

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*notcot in tech - 8 Notes

007: Quantum of Solace

bollinger1.jpgJust got back from the midnight showing of Quantum of Solace... and as a total bond junkie... i still stand by my opinion that the last one was one of the worst... and this one... well, it was off to a good start! Decent intro graphics ~ like the color palette and sandy look ~ awesome techy glass wall and table touch UIs (details like having him spell out "G R Double E N" over the phone, and as he says "double" a W shows up and changes to EE) ~ the aston martin DBS chase scene in the intro ~ tom ford did an incredible job dressing him... The prada dress she wears through the desert is awesome... but seriously, no gadgets? at all? Painfully annoying semi background integrated text telling us when we were in russia, etc? (wtf was up with some of those fonts?) Range Rover was one thing, but Ford? The fight scenes were so badly chopped up, you couldn't follow what was going on... And could sony's product placement have been more blatant? I think the sony phones and terrible microPC must have been his only "gadgets"... and the villains weren't nearly amusingly villainous enough either! Ok ok, anyhow, i think i just needed to vent! BUT... seeing it was a nice excuse for me to post more of Justine's pictures (she seriously sent me TONS from her National Geographic night out in London).

Here are some quick snap shots of the fun Harrod's Brompton store windows as they closed up the Bollinger champagne bar... as well as the Aston Martin DBS, the Sunseeker speedboat, Tom Ford suit and black Prada dress worn by Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko and the latest Omega. Front and center of the bar you can also see the limited-edition Champagne cooler in the shape of a Walther PPK bullet that was featured on Liqurious. Perhaps better than the gadgetry in the film is the motion activated display at Harrods, where upon walking by you trigger clips from the film to play... Anyhow, check out more pics and info on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 8 Notes

First National Geographic Retail Store

natgeomain.jpgOk, i need a teleportation device. Please! Today, National Geographic opens their first retail space and it is a 3 story 1,800 square metre world of its own on London's Regent Street. We were lucky enough to get an invite to the launch party, but i was unlucky enough not to be able to teleport over for this stunning event! However, my sister, Justine (Rugenius) and her boyfriend, were kind enough to take a break from her PhD thesis writing to pop over and give us her take of it... and i think her animal loving, scientifically minded side really came out and fell in love with the space! She even has me excited about the upcoming talks, as well as dying to go shop the store in person...

So here's the deal, she's done a very thorough, visual walkthrough of the store for you on the next page, and she sent me SO many pictures that i've pulled out a few for the post, but you can view them all in Gallery NOTCOT. A few standout things to take note of? The layouts! Incredibly fun use of crates, industrial feeling containers, gorgeous gallery spaces... no one will be able to resist going into the magical red chamber with the GIANT block of ice to try on cold weather gear, and see where their heat is escaping on the screen... it looks like whether you're planning a trip, looking for an adventure, or just escaping for a quick snack, this museum-esque store is going to be a hit. So, check out our first look on the next page!

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*Sub-Studio in travel - 2 Notes

Chicago: Volkswagen Style

1023vw01.jpgNOTCOT Note: Lucky! Sub-Studio was invited to go see Chicago through the eyes of Volkswagen, specifically while cruising around in their new 2009 CC, while dining on molecular gastronomy goodness, and checking out the humble abode of Frank Lloyd Wright ... and all we got is a post filled with pictures of Anna's adventures! I'm so fascinated by the studio and foodie pics on the next page!

A few weeks ago, I made a trip out to Chicago to review and test drive the new Volkswagen 2009 CC. Along the way, we got to see Chicago, have a 20-course dinner at molecular gastronomy restaurant Moto, and visit Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in the Oak Park suburbs of the city. Check out my adventures through pictures on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 6 Notes

Desert View Tower and Boulder Park

driving0.jpgOk, this one is going to sound a bit weird, i probably should have looked things up on the internet before i scared myself at the Desert View Tower & Boulder Park... b/c now that i've had the time to sit and search i totally wish it hadn't been super windy and SUPER creepy when i stopped by... to be fair, we're cruising along the 8 in the middle of the desert, suddenly from sand dunes it turns to crazy mountains of boulders, and then i see a little castle tower, and we decide to pull off and go see what's up... pulling off, we head up what we're warned is a dead end (really early on!) but keep going to see what's up there, pass a creepy abandonedish feeling rusty trailer park, with an underpass with giant scarecrow like branches (think giant blair witch twigs) with hoodies and clothes on them blocking the way... then we see a very desolate tower with a few pretty old cars in the lot. Really it all looked super spooky! But according to the internet its a fun place where kids run around on boulders.... Anyhow, now that i've done my research i kind of want to go back... but with a large group of friends, since the place really gave me the chills! Check out the pics from the place and a few other random roadtripping pictures from Tuscon to San Diego on the 8 yesterday!

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*ShadeElaine in nature - 5 Notes

California Academy of Sciences at Night

NOTCOT Note: SO, jealous that linhchi (shade elaine) had a chance to get into the California Academy of Sciences! But luckily she took some gorgeous pics to share her experience with us!

I'd been waiting for the new California Academy of Sciences to open in Golden Gate Park for over a year, and when opening weekend finally rolled around late in September, I wasn't willing to combat the crowds. Luckily the company I work for was invited to a party there (hosted by AOL) this past Monday evening, and though we didn't get to check out the entire place, it was awesome being able to wander around the rain forest dome (I missed the planetarium show!) and get a glimpse of the other parts without enormous amounts of people, and to get a unique view of the place at night! My favorite pic (you'll see it after the jump) is from inside the rain forest dome looking up at the ceiling & lights. I'll definitely have to go back and check out the entire place for real. See a lot more pics after the jump!

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*notcot in nature - 2 Notes

Manado, Nudibranchs, and Doubilet

manado.jpg Remember those amazing photographs of nudibranchs David Doubilet shot for National Geographic where i couldn't stop gushing about how amazing they were on pure white, like a model or product? Well in our ever shrinking world, i get an email from my globetrotting explorer of a dad, who happened to be in Manado at the Lembeh Strait on North Sulawesi, Indonesia at the Kungkungan Bay Resort scuba diving ~ with pictures of him holding the mini underwater studio setups David Doubilet used for those shoots! He even said that the resort folks were encouraging him to use them, but he decided they were too much of a hassle, but thankfully he took some pics to indulge my curiosity about the set up.

On the next page you can see more pics of the mini studio, as well as some of his scuba diving discoveries i loved ~ i've picked out my favorites of my dad's nudibranchs and frog fish pics!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

Veuve Clicquot Country House Inspirations

country1.jpgWhile recollecting my thoughts and trying to take a bit of a break ~ i've also found myself cleaning up my computer, and while doing so, discovered a lot of posts in the making... that never quite made it! So here's some more catch up. I spent most of yesterday running around LA (and the outskirts) hunting and researching for the house i'm working on (under construction! i get to move in soon!) ~ and in doing so, finding myself thinking about so many details i hadn't paid such careful attention to before, and things that reminded me about the Manoir de Verzy ~ the Country House of Madame Veuve Clicquot that we visited, and i'm ashamed that i hadn't gotten these pictures up for you sooner!

There were so many fascinating details to this house and its gardens and being able to visit the actual vineyards ~ consider this a photo essay of sorts taking you through some of my most memorable images while there. This house is where we learned about vintages (even tasting our birth years! mine was a delicious vintage in '82) and Dégorgement à la volée in the Vieux Pressoir with Cyril Brun, the wine communications head and wine maker ~ followed by aperitif and specially crafted, perfectly paired lunch with Stéphane Gerschel - International Communications Director, Andrea Crippa - International Marketing Director, Cyril Brun, Felix Bocquet - Quality and Environment Director, followed by a walk through the vineyards with the Veuve Clicquot Vineyards director, Christian Renard. (All before taking off to our surprise helicopter ride!). It was at this lunch that Andrea gave us that sneak peek of the Ice Cube and i showed you some of the tile i loved. Anyhow, so on house shopping, and all the little details that make a house a home, take a peek at some of the quarters where VIPs stay with Veuve Clicquot, and the beautifully inspiring views across the vineyard on the next page!

TO PAGE 2 of "Veuve Clicquot Country House Inspirations"! ----->

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