The center of the dome of the Integratron, a rejuvenation machine that aeronautical engineer George Van Tassel built — with some of Howard Hughe’s funds — after aliens from Venus visited him and explained how this machine would help humanity. The Integratron was completed after 24 years of construction — and Van Tassel’s mysterious death…
I just got back from New York and Boston; here are some of my inspirations from my trip to the east coast…
Whenever I think I’ve figured out French interior designer Christian Liaigre‘s formula for the Mercer Hotel, I discover details like this skeleton keyhole, which must open the seasonal display next to the elevators. That little reveal is so much slicker than any hidden lock.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a few miles east of Monte Carlo and just west of Menton and its French-Italian border, which is where the cult of the Riviera began, but has now wound down into a middle-class beach town for retirees and summering families — the perfect palette cleanser after the half-a-billion-dollar boats and Brigitte Bardots of Saint Tropez.
Sitting on Cap-Martin’s coast is Hotel Victoria, a clean, charming hotel done in Bauhaus blue and white, with splashes of yellow and red, and black and white portraits of architects Le Corbusier and Eileen Gray, whose holiday homes are a 45-minute stroll from the hotel, when you walk along the super scenic Promenade Le Corbusier…
I’m sorry I went missing. I’m just back from cruising along the Côte d’Azur, which may be the only place in the Western world where the lighter your skin is, the more discrimination you face. Constant reapplication of 19% zinc oxide sunblock didn’t improve my situation in St. Trop, and still the fancy former fishing village was worth a visit.
I stayed at Hotel Sezz Saint Tropez, the sister to Hotel Sezz in Paris. It’s a beautiful blend of Provençal and modern: sun-faded tiled roofs, Mouille-esque sconces, birds’ songs the only music, with St. Tropez’s discos a 20-minute walk away…
I’ve been holed up in Honolulu for Christmas and New Year’s.
You’d be remiss if you thought Honolulu was empty except for meaningless miles of white beach, like some tropical version of the moon.
On top of those miles of white beach… lie blanched, beached moons.
But seriously, Honolulu has a natural beauty that can’t be duplicated: the island happens to be novel yet near enough for Japanese tourists, making Honolulu home to sushi master chefs and consignment stores pimping half-off Hermes.
Oh, and some interesting architecture, like the Vladimir Ossipoff-designed Liljestrand house, which House Beautiful dedicated a cover and 53 pages to in 1958…
I take it all back; Major and I could live here, “here” being not necessarily New York, but inches away from the lobby library of the Christian Liaigre-designed Mercer hotel…
After turning 25 for the third time — yes, I know I look young for 21 — I’m wise enough to realize I don’t know everything. But I do know more than the millions crammed into the isle of Manhattan, people who apparently don’t — or do? — appreciate that their city makes its own gravy. Mhmmm, I’ve become one of those Los Angelenos who loves visiting to New Yawk City, but wrinkles her nose at the idea of living here.
Arts, drive, and straight talk culture a certain quality of life — but not like 365 days of 72°F and sunny.
Life has a constant, casual joy, knowing that if I actually step out of the controlled climate of my Porsche that my bed-head, burgundy bobbed hair won’t poof into a poodle’s.
Years ago in a conversational stream of consciousness I wondered if humans who needed to be near the beach were like amoebas trying to return to the ocean. But now, it’s like, so totally clear what’s important in life? And that’s sunshine, blinding white smiles, and wearing five-inch Giuseppes all day and only walking in them five feet.
Forgive me if I’m grumpy. I think I need a matcha green tea, almond milk latte…
While I was in Paris, I saw Ralph Lauren’s car collection at the Louvre. Each car was so perfectly restored that a few featured confident, historically accurate imperfections. Ralph Lauren is a genius marketer because he’s tells you a story that he’s not one at all — just a storyteller.
Writes the Wall Street Journal about Ralph Lauren’s car collection at the Louvre:
“I ask him if this epic collection of automobiles might be seen as merely part of the larger Ralph Lauren brand’s image machine. Why? Well, because the exhibit’s catalogue (in French only) is on sale in Ralph Lauren boutiques, for one thing. Because I’d overheard a lot of rag-trade business being discussed at the gala, and not so much about cars. And because not infrequently Mr. Lauren’s great cars—notably the Atlantic and the ‘Count Trossi’ SSK—have appeared in advertisements with himself as a model, further blurring the line between man and brand.
‘It’s not a machine,’ he reproves me, in a beautiful, rich whisper. ‘Why is it a machine? You’re cynical… Everything I do and everything I love I put into this company and I have done it with integrity…. I didn’t buy the Bugatti because I thought it would be great for my ads. Now, I have used the cars in my ads because they’re part of the world I’m designing…’ “
Cannes was nice, Nice was nicer, but cruising the coast to Monaco was my favorite part of tripping through the Côte d’Azur, and was worth unpacking and packing for a few hours’ sleep at the Columbus Monte-Carlo Hotel before an early a.m. flight to Paris.
Probably the best value hotel in Monaco, the Columbus Monte-Carlo is really a hillside away from Monte Carlo, but balling-on-a-budget rates, crisp interiors, and lying in bed while seeing the sun rise and set the Mediterranean on pink fire before it cooled to a millions of pieces of broken blue mirror more than makes up for that…