Tag Archives: travel

ARCHITORTURE: GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY, WHERE TOURISTS AND NERDS COLLIDE

One of Los Angeles’s great landmarks is the Griffith Observatory, an architectural gem that mixes art-deco and Mayan aesthetics. It’s perched on a ridge in Hollywood Hills above Los Felix and provides a stunning, wide view the L.A. basin. It naturally is a major tourist draw, with thousands upon thousands of people winding their way up the hills and canyons each day to visit this icon of La La Land. It’s a functioning observatory and as such there are working scientists, astronomers, educators, and space enthusiasts, et. al. — nerds! — congregated and fussing about amid the tourist hordes snapping selfies along the viewing terraces.

HIGH-FLYIN’: 800 VIEWS OF AIRPORT

We — and possibly you, too — are a big fan of large coffee-table art books by the likes of publishers Taschen, Phaidon and Rizzoli, to name but a few. Among our favorite stack of these large tomes is a book by a lesser-known German publisher. It’s a book of photographs by the artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss titled “800 Views of Airports.” And that’s exactly what you get, literally 800 photos taken in airports by the artists over several decades of international air travel. There’s no accompanying text, no explanations, no captions. Just photographs of airports, airplanes, tarmac vehicles, control towers and views looking out of windows from air-terminal boarding lounges around the globe. The book is a mesmerizing document of the airport’s cultural landscape. For those who have traveled widely and often by air, the images in this book may feel in their own way comforting.

POLITICAL FASHION: “OBA MAO” T-SHIRT IN CHINA

The graphic on this t-shirt is a cute mashup of one of modern China’s greatest political leaders Mao Zedong (sometimes written as “Tse-Dong”), a.k.a., “Chairman Mao,” and one of America’s most popular modern presidents, Barack Obama. Thus “Oba Mao.”

We imagine a lot of American tourists snap these shirts up. The shirt’s iconic and heroic visual treatment of Obama and inherent Maoist-Marxist symbolism are reminiscent of those t-shirts with Che Guevara’s face that were globally popular back in the early 2000s.

Our friend and contributor Richard took this quickly snapped pic a few days ago while traveling in China. Thanks, Richard!

Photo: Richard Haase. All rights reserved.

See Ya Later, Tokyo …

It’s always great fun being back in Tokyo. It’s really a home away from home for us, and we love having the opportunity to re-connect with our Tokyo posse in person and catch up on all the recent art and design developments going on in the Japanese capital. This trip recent trip was no exception. As we head back to GGHQ in New York, we say “See ya later, Tokyo.” We’ll back again in a few months.

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On the Scene … At the Beautifully Minimalist Nezu Cafe in Aoyama, Tokyo

The cafe in the garden of the Nezu Museum in Aoyama, in Tokyo, is a striking example of minimalist architectural design and contemporary Japanese aesthetics. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls on three sides of the rectangular space give a full view of the garden and spectacular autumn foliage. A Japanese washi paper design is part of the ceiling material and allows diffused light into the space. This is one of more contemplative spaces in Tokyo and a fine place to while away an hour in reflection, sipping a coffee or tea.

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Global Graphica in Tokyo …

We’re in Tokyo this week and as those of you who follow us on Twitter and Instagram  may have already seen, we’ve been posting some pix from the Japanese capital literally from the moment we stepped off the plane (see below). It’s good to be back in Tokyo, one of our favorite cities and a source of much inspiration in terms of great design, creativity, urban living and style. Plus there’s all the amazing food. We’ll be posting from Tokyo all this week as part of our “Tokyo 14 Project,” so look for pix and updates here, as well as on Instagram and Twitter.

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