Passport Cards ~ primarily for "border resident communities" since you can use it only for travel by land and sea between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda, according to the State Department. I guess this will be the new must-have for all the socal kids hopping down to TJ now. Applications for these cards start Feb 1 (tomorrow!). "The card will have the same validity period as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. For adults who already have a passport book, they may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children. To facilitate the frequent travel of U.S. citizens living in border communities and to meet DHS’s operational needs at land borders, the passport card will contain a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. This chip will link the card to a stored record in secure government databases. There will be no personal information written to the RFID chip itself." I'm not sure how i feel about this... also note that the back of the card says "Your passport card should be kept in its protective sleeve when not in use." So it doesn't just go in your wallet? It has a special sleeve?
Entries tagged with: travel
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Louis Vuitton puts out an annual set of City Guides, this year it is saffron yellow - a rigid box set containing 9 soft back booklets printed on bible paper... they have been doing it since 1998, and somehow i have yet to actually flip through some! So after much unfruitful internet hunting, i'm turning to you, readers, to see if anyone has a set, and what you think of them... are they better than wallpaper guides? Are the illustrations by Ruber Toledo enough to justify the near 100$ price tag for the set? Closest i've found to images of the interior is a tiny picture on a japanese website (see after the jump!)... Thanks! [To find it on the Louis Vuitton site, just search for city guide when in the store.]
It's that time of year again. What other way to kick off a new year than the annual CES Vegas madness? I'm sure you feel the buzz of all the tech launches every 5 seconds burning up your RSS readers... Well i'm off at the crack of dawn for two days to wander through the mayhem, and this year dan is coming along as well! Seeing as you have all the tech sites live blogging the latest announcements, just like last year, i'll be showing you what is actually worthwhile in person, who has the most innovative and well designed booths and displays (the big companies don't hold back for this one, and last year Belkin blew me away), and which products we're dying to BUY. So please be patient if my blogging and editing is a bit slow while i'm caught up in the whirlwind for two days, you know i'll catch you up when i have time to process it all and clean up the pics!
*fingers crossed* its a good show this year ~ hopefully the front page of the CES page saying "Experience the Art of Technology" with their super colorful gadget paintings are a good sign!
Oh, and if you're there and/or have something we can't afford to miss, leave us a note!
On bizarre 4am spontaneous research projects... we just got inspired to learn far too much about Cup Noodle (or Cup O' Noodles). Best thing we found? Ok well there's a tie, but we'll show you the other part in the next post... there is a Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum! And in that museum that is in the factory in Osaka ~ you can make CUSTOM Cup Noodles, where you draw on the cup, fill it with your noodles, choose your toppings and flavors (including cheese, curry, corn, the usuals), seal it up, plastic wrap it... and then even put it in a crazy inflatable bag! Anyhow, watch the videos below to see the custom Cup Noodle Bar, as well as how those noodles came to be as kids work with the factory workers (think crazy happy ikea meets wonka factory look) to make the noodles from scratch!
On random holiday gifts ~ my father and sister just got back from the Amazon ~ and brought me a pile of amazonian craftiness. It's pretty incredible what they can carve into a brazil nut! (the snake, octopus, and ant)... and although these certainly aren't the same as getting to have their incredible adventures living on a boat ~ fishing and exploring the Amazon ~ wrestling caymans ~ capsizing dingies ~ following monkeys ~ playing football barefoot on the beach ~ and watching a million and one species of insects smack into the boats lights nightly... these are still pretty fascinating! Also check out the spear below that you tie a string to, mount on a bamboo stick, and use to fish the old fashioned way...
Gift Guide Day 7 is all about your SNOW DAYS! Being in socal, its currently *freezing* (for a socal girl anyhow) but no snow... i kind of feel like if its going to be this cold, we might as well have the pleasure of the excuse to use a snowball chuck... anyhow, for those lucky enough, here are some toys and gadgets to have some fun with that frosty weather.
p.s. and if you don't like it one page at a time ~ see my favorite view with all the guides so far on one page.
"The 24th Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow will take place from 24 to 27 January 2008. Year after year, the organizers manage to tempt the world's very best polo players to St. Moritz. The Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow is part of the Polo World Tour, which includes the roughly thirty top tournaments that take place annually worldwide. This makes it the world's most prestigious polo tournament on snow." I just noticed this on Area Daily, and had to share it... and add it to the "things to see one day" list.
Gift Guide Day 18 is sponsored by WEJETSET ~ which I told you about earlier when they gave away a mercedes pre-launch... and now they have finally launched! Ready to take on the designer/luxury travel niche... regardless of whether you are continent hopping or just commuting to work ~ WEJETSET is just starting to build up their store to meet all your needs, and for all you east coasters keep an eye out for the brick and mortar store coming soon.
p.s. i just noticed that the links to the previous day's gift guides at the bottom were broken, but now they are fixed!
NOTCOT Note: Here is the first post from guest contributor Dara Lang who is currently exploring London while studying fashion promotion! A fellow globetrotter, she has lived in Brussels and Paris, is half egyptian and half english, and is just as crazy as we are when it comes to finding new things... i love that she will take a bus and get off on every stop to find the coolest unknown spots in London. Anyhow, more on her later...
Behold London’s newest concept store, Wonder Room which has just opened in Selfridges department store in the heart of Oxford Street. Spontaneous, unique and entertaining this 19,000 square foot space is dedicated to luxury items. From designer AreaWare ashtrays, Bedside Gun Lamp by Philippe Starck and18 carat gold Ipods, The Wonder Room brings together exquisite products! From fine jewelery brands such as Tiffany & Co, finely crafted watches by Breitling, high fashion brands sunglasses and handbags including Chanel and Bvlgari, the rooms has a beautiful mix of high end items. Everything in this room has value, whether it being a quirky toy or an unusual book on flowers, its wide selection of products is perfect for precious gifts. And for those of you who can't make it over yet, see more pics below! Also take a look at the podcasts section where Wanda of the Wonder Room hunts for dragons, magic beans, cats that turn into unicorns... and other Wonder Room requests of that nature.
By now i'm sure you've heard about and seen the flashy Virgin America website and all the sweet goodies they've packed on to their flights - from the plugs at every seat, the neon purple/blue mood lighting, ordering drinks, movies, and tvshows with the swipe of a credit card, seat to seat chat (yes. imagine the possibilities... close quarters stalker possibilities on a long flight?!?!), google maps to track where you are, and even the cutest animated saftey video (youtube below). Anyhow, i got a chance to fly Virgin America for the super quick flight up to SFO from LAX for the Oakley event... and since my hour long flight was delayed another hour (sf fog!) i took some pics of the plane, my empty row, and the RED Entertainment UI while i was sitting in there. (I also found a nice little video of the UI in action on Youtube).
On bizarre ways to kick off Thanksgiving week ~ i'm trying that whole "live blogging" thing from the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay today where Oakley is holding their Oakley Norcal Shootout, and there are some serious golfers out here! But i'm hiding out in the library/high tea room at the moment... the parts you'll probably most interested in are their road crew of two large trailers that roam the states from event to event - fondly known as the Rolling O Lab... consider it a mini of the intense testing and research lab in their Foothill Ranch HQ! Anyhow, more on the research one soon... but first things first, take a look at this HUGE slick black Oakley'd out Freightliner they have hauling the lounge around? And take a look at the interior of the lounge ~ huge flat screens inside and out, comfy couches, surfboard, skateboard, kitchen, and even Oakley Tap for the kegerator. Not a bad way to travel around the states? (These guys are on the road 300+ days a year.) Anyhow, more pics below to give you a feel... check their schedule to see where you can run into them next (next stop Tahoe tomorrow, then salt lake, then the UCLA/USC game!)... Oh, and being a golf tournament... naturally Caddy Shack is playing.
It's not exactly easy to find luggage that shows your character while still being not only subtle and gorgeously designed but also functional... particularly when it comes to slick leather travel gear. Just stumbled upon (ok, well got an invite to their Melrose grand opening party, and naturally got distracted browsing the site) Dussault's fall collection ~ and although you may be more familiar with their hoodies, jeans, and tees and their Gene Simmon's Moneybag collection... it was really their leather carry-ons and messenger bags that grabbed me. From afar, these bags look like rugged leather duffle rollers, which i'm sure will age nicely with everything it could possibly bump into, and upon closer inspection you will notice that they have skull and money bag patterns pressed into sections of them as well as the calligraphic Dussault D's for zipper pulls. The classic leather wallet with moneybags imprinted also just makes me smile ~ can't you imagine a banker on wall street pulling one of these out of his bespoke suit pocket? It's all about the subtle details that make you look twice. Close ups below...
My blackberry pearl just had a hardware failure last night. The volume increase button is broken... and i lasted a few hours before i had to go into the store and have it dealt with (don't even talk to me about calling in... ugh. i tried.)... so a replacement is on its way... in a few DAYS. While further phone hunting (naturally in my frustration i turn to distracting myself with new options) ~ i discovered that you get a free personal ISLAND with the Blackberry 8830 over at Sprint.
Ok ok, so after you delve into all the small print, its just a crazy over exaggerated campaign microsite (privateislandoffer.com) ~ that reminds me quite a bit of the Nokia ones (Remember Great Pockets that was on .org?). So it turns out if you want to buy the $10.5 million phone with free island, you are actually paying the $199.99 and then $10,500,000.00 for the "exotic island with amenities" according to the fake checkout... since as soon as i tried to buy it ~ it pops up "Are you sure you're a billionaire? There is no way we would sell a commodity as precious as an island on a site that just anyone could access. If you are in fact a billionaire and you're still interested in purchasing an island, our broker would be happy to help you find one..."
Anyhow, the intro clip is cute ~ and their spammy sounding domain is amusing... privateislandoffer.com. Screenshots below as well.
As you all know by now i find inspiration and amusement in some of the randomest of things. Tonight it was the North Bowl's NEON SIGN. I even made an 8 second video of it in action so you can fall for it too. And no. I didn't even get to step foot into this barely a year old swanky loungey bowling joint. I was at the Conspiracy Showroom across the way meeting all the lovely designer ladies though. But back to the sign. How cool is it? (Watch video below before responding.)
I forgot to mention why i'm in philly for the weekend ~ i was invited by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (what a mouthful) for a weekend of Philadelphia Architecture, Fashion, & Design. And to be honest i haven't spent much time at all here, so should be an interesting exploration of the city. Since i'm quite spent, and don't have energy to share the itinerary at the moment, how about i give you all a peek at the goodies in the welcome bag, and some of the great packaging the designers used? My usual quick hotel bed photoshoot style pics below!
View At... is an incredible collection of panaoramic/google map mashups that JuanK just shared over at NOTCOT.org. And they are breathtaking... suddenly feeling the travel bug again, and just clicking through these (with their great ability to navigate and float through these worlds), i almost feel like i'm an arm chair traveler bouncing across the globe. As you can see, you can even embed them... so click and drag to explore Collioure - Chapelle St Vincent: "Famous as one of the most beautiful village in France, Collioure welcomed Van Gogh and Matisse who enjoyed the light and the colors of this place." A few more random screenshots and panoramas i love below, but for the full experience, you must go see View At.org. Also try clicking the full screen icon on any of these panoramas, they will be a nice little escape between all the working... also don't forget to tilt up and down, not just left and right... (i.e. you can see the feet and the tip of the eiffel tower below!)
I know it is a bit of a Chanel OD at this point, but there was just so much that they showed us that really kind of blew my mind... but this should be the last post ~ big news that this whole trip was about, the Keira Knightly Coco Mademoiselle film is finally online (go watch it now)... cool thing to look out for, that last scene, she runs into place vendome (yes the No. 5 bottle shaped plaza), and basically runs right past the hotel they put us up at! I wonder if that was intentional.
Things i've been dying to show you, but they asked me to wait till today... We got to go inside Coco Mademoiselle's Apartment ~ which has been frozen in time, filled with tons of pieces filled with stories... from books, to chinese screens she split and used like wallpaper (with her favorite symbol the Camellia on them - which was traditionally for courtesans), and loads of superstitious pieces i was smitten with... my favorite being this crystal ball with the lions holding it up (she was a leo and collection lions)... and there is even a chandelier with 5's, G's and C's worked into the framework of it... So pictures below, but the majority of them are for your browsing in the Gallery.
I also have a map and walkthrough to show you her secret path/shortcut to Rue Cambon through the Ritz which we took ~ and i envy her set up. She lived in the Ritz... and then at 31 Rue Cambon on the first floor was the Chanel Store, second floor is the Haute Couture dressing rooms, third floor is her apartment for entertaining, and forth floor is the workshop... with a rooftop that allegedly has some of the best views in paris (i tried, but they wouldn't let me go past the third floor... apparently karl lagerfeld and his team were busy preparing for fall fashion week). OH and they are all linked with the most incredible faceted mirrored staircase, that she built so that she could stand in one spot and basically see what was happening on every floor.
Being the packaging/product junkie that i am ~ as cool as traditional Chanel products may be, i found great pleasure in the attention to detail they took to every aspect of our adventure. The name tags... super thick rubbery tags with our names embedded in them with the Chanel logo (see the side view pic below to fully understand)... i have had an obsession with black on black pencils since high school (they were somehow my good luck pencils for SATs and all scantron tests ~ wow did i just date myself?), and the Chanel black pencils with silver logo were so classic, with matching note pads with tiny logo and black backing... the gloss on matte folders for press kits... and the headshots were just to funny not to share, i'm quite sad we didn't get them first so we could play full on starstruck fan kids and get them autographed. See it all below...
Of the many stories, myths, and just all around Chanel lore that i can't seem to get out of my head yet (expect a few more posts just so i can clear my head)... the one i woke up with that was driving me crazy was that Coco Chanel designed her first Chanel No.5 bottle to perfectly match the shape of Place Vendome (where the Ritz is, and where she basically lived... although her apartment for inspiration and taking guests was just behind it on Rue Cambon... but more on that in a few days). They also claim that it is unknown whether this matching shape was intentional... and its not like THEY had google maps back in 1921. So i HAD to check. The designer in me had to know for sure, while the rational part of me assumed the Chanel folks wouldn't just make something like this up. And as you see, they weren't kidding. Below, more images... and also some quick pics from the Assouline set of Chanel books they left on my bed... its really fun to see the old sketches of the bottles, and even how they have evolved over the years... but still fit the Place Vendome proportions.
Remember i mentioned Chanel was bringing bloggers to Paris? Well i'm there now (hence the lack of posting) and as you will see if you peek at my quick random snapshots, i'm actually getting some of that much needed relaxing in the big cushy bed right now - although i should be sleeping, not acting like the internet junkie i am paying for my few hours of hotel connection to check the 100+ emails today, check in on the sites (the editors and submitters are too good at what they do, thrilled to see so many great posts up!) and upload a few pics... Real posts coming sometime after Saturday night when i'm back in LA probably...
Puma's Urban Mobility line... there's been much talk of the Urban Mobility Bike (folds up... i've included the collaborative short NSFW film PUMA and Ryan McGinley teamed up with the Serpentine Gallery on at the end of the post) as well as the limited edition Urban Mobility Bag (top left, whit bag with the wood bottom)... but i've heard little about the whole collection, OR the incredible website they've made around it (which is SO awesome, i need a separate post for it, coming next). So here are the products i'm in awe of currently... more or less everything integrating wood into the products: The roller is just incredibly sleek and gorgeous! The totes with the contrast of the wood paneling are just breath taking... and that wallet! OH, and the belt? It's airport friendly! No metal parts, so you can keep your pants up while you go through security! And that black sleeve for laptop accessories was just too pretty not to share as well. Close ups below of products, as well as
On things to watch... WEJETSET (read: we jet set) is launching (and giving away a Mercedes C-Class Sports Sedan) September 18th , and i'm already excited to see what exactly it will be. So far it sounds right up our alley. What is it? Well, it claims to be "the store and voice of modern travel culture". It will have both online and physical stores as well as an online and print publication... "The inventory consists of design forward, functional items that represent a spectrum of premium goods ideal for the smart traveler." (sounds very NOTCOT)... and "[THE PUBLICATION] WEJETSET is the cultural reference for modern travel." (sounds intriguing).
They are also hunting for travel correspondents to report on their travel experiences, adventures and solutions for our online editorial. Oh, and about that C-Class, well you can sign up for their mailing list now, and a winner will be drawn on September 18th.
Lonely Planet and PSP teamed up last year to create this PSP Passport to... series of digital guides, and they were only released in Europe/Australia, and cover 6 European cities: Amsterdam, Prague, Rome, London, Paris, and Barcelona. Yes, i know i'm a year late on this one, but i only just stumbled upon them, and two things struck me: 1. Gorgeous covers (although strangely Katamari reminiscent... perhaps the crammed city highlights and the color/style of the illustrations) and 2. conceptually this is an interesting combination of gaming/digital entertainment handheld and lonely planet guide (both of which you are probably carrying while running around traveling), and far more navigable than an ipod guide... although this does make me wonder when the mini iPhone friendly pages will be popping up for travel guides, and for mapping, thanks to google maps on my phone, that part is now taken care of wherever i end up. Anyhow, check out the rest of the covers below, a youtube of the "game" in action, and some screenshots. Conclusion from what i read around the internets is that cool idea that fell short in execution. Also, although 39$ at Lonely Planet... these are all 7 pounds at Amazon UK.
Iceland Cometh - Icelandic Design Collective, Eve NYC Studio "Iceland Air presents a collective of Icelandic designers currently making their mark on the international landscape." Iceland is huge this year. Especially at ICFF with Reyka Vodka and Iceland Air really getting out there, and strongly supporting all the design goodness in the Meat Packing District. Gorgeous space ~ more images below! Love the way the Butterfly pieces make use of both reflections and shadows, and the stances and silhouettes of the fashion pieces are just intimidatingly stunning. And the shadows created by the multilayered precisely cut wood flowers in the chair are incredible.
6am flight to JFK ~ so not sure how much posting i'll be doing today, but hopefully Shade Elaine has some goodies for you... but before i try to catch an hour or two of shut eye... here's a fun roundup of some designer goodies, many of which i will hopefully be seeing in person, and other which would just be fun and or inspiring to have around. So, you know the drill... click those pics to find out more.