On September 30th, 2013, the Glazed Conference
at San Francisco’s Mint focused on current trends around mobile and wearable technology and where the industry is heading. The dialogue provoked an interesting debate around everything from ethics and business models to style and design and how it will impact niche verticals such as healthcare and music. A weekend hackathon put on by Stained Glass Labs
preceded the event.
The event ended with a stylish and trendy Tech Fashion Show
and Glazed Conference
that featured wearable technology demos. The industry’s top tier investors, press, developers and entrepreneurs gathered to celebrate fashion, art, and technology
that showcased the latest innovations. Have a look:
Thinking about Aruba? On your bucket list or simply don’t know enough about the place? Join us on a visual meander through some of its beaches, which Aruba is so known for in the Caribbean. Below is a shot of Palm Beach.
The beaches along the windward coast are in more secluded and undeveloped areas. There are coves carved out of limestone, inlets formed by pounding waves, unique natural phenomena and craggy desert terrain. Because of strong undertow and crashing waves, swimming here is not recommended. Both coasts afford spectacular Caribbean views however and all beaches are open to the public.
BABY BEACH is nestled on the southeast end of the island, Baby Beach is a calm, sandy-bottom lagoon. With a bounty of fish, it’s one of Aruba’s perfect snorkeling spots.
EAGLE BEACH is one of Aruba’s most popular beaches. The calm, turquoise waters and picnic areas make it a perfect place to swim, snorkel and play for the day.
PALM BEACH is a spectacular two-mile stretch of pristine beach where the sand leads right up to hotels and resorts. The calm
is on the main strip as you’re heading into Lake Mývatn
in North Iceland
and is open for dinner everyday until 9 pm. The restaurant is part of Hotel Reynihlid
, one of the main hotels in the region. (see our Hotel Reynihlid write-up/review and other reviews on Iceland hotels
You typically don’t expect hotel restaurants to be the ones you’d write home about especially in a small town far away from an urban center.One of the fabulous things about Iceland however is its renowned reputation for serving delicious lamb dishes everywhere and they’re fabulous regardless of where you are in the country. No hormones, no additives and it tastes like it did when I was a child (before the food industry embarked on a road to tasteless processed food in the states).
The other thing they’re known for, particularly when you’re close to water, is Arctic Charr and of course there’s tons of salmon, sea bass and cod. We started with smoked charr with buttered rye bread from “Bjarnarflag”, rucola and dressing. You can also get smoked charr with cream cheese, red onion, peppers and herbs. This Geysir bread is common in Iceland and is baked in geothermal…
is a Calistoga California-based contemporary restaurant owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Matt and Sonjia Spector
, chef and pastry chef, respectively. JoLe
is the couple’s second restaurant venture after a successful stint at Matyson Restaurant in Philadelphia. I discovered them after doing a bit of digging on the web and their farm-to-table and organic approach to their menu jumped out, so much so that I called in advance for a reservation so I could taste and tell after the fact.
The wine list is eclectic and ever-evolving, consisting of many of the area’s boutique producers. Since I opted for the four course tasting menu, I didn’t choose the wine for each dish – let’s just say that the wine chose me all night long. Because I sat at the bar, I suddenly not only had neighbors to dine with, but neighbors who wanted to participate in my “taste and tell” experience, especially when they learned why I was taking so many photos. While I’m not showing the dishes in any particular order, the first dish shown below was my favorite of the evening: the Grilled Quail served with chicken livers, dates and almonds. The quail was paired with a
Not even a year old yet, the new Kempinski Hotel
in Vilnius Lithuania opened up this past September, making it their first property in the Baltic states. Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square offers neoclassical grandeur with a contemporary casual elegance and is centrally located in Vilnius’ Old Town, also considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. Closeby is the Presidential Palace, with a view over Vilnius Cathedral, the Bell tower, and Gediminas tower.
The hotel is housed in a listed building situated on the corner of Universiteto and L. Stuokos-Guceviciaus; a hundred years ago, this was a grand hotel, well-known throughout the Baltics; now, carefully restored, with an impressive lobby in white marble, and panoramic windows, the building is once again set to be at the heart of Vilnius society.
Lithuania once boasted a Grand Duchy that rivalled some of the greatest empires in Europe; now, once again an independent state, the country is experiencing an upswing in business and culture.
During the restoration of the building, the remains of the city’s 16th century defensive wall was uncovered; part of that old wall has been glassed-in, and can be seen at the entrance to the hotel restaurant.
It was on a flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco, a flight I had made countless times over the years, when I had a deja vu moment about aging. As I glanced over to the woman to my right, I suddenly remembered all the times I had watched the older women in my life as a child and felt as far removed from them then as I do now from a 15 year old male skateboarder from Detroit.
On that flight, a surreal feeling swept over me…as if I was her or could have been a dear friend of hers in a previous life. The moment was short lived but vibrant and incredibly real, and it made me incessantly aware of aging and this precious thing called human life.
She was probably 70 or so, the woman was a petit, short Asian woman with beautiful silver hair, strands of black scattered throughout as the only remnants left of her middle age life. Her skin was glowing despite her obvious fatigue and you could tell she was once a stunner in that way you can about some people; there’s a certainty, a quiet sauciness, and a knowing…
I just discovered a relatively new place on Kearney Street in the financial district of San Francisco called Hakkasan
. From the street’s exterior, it looks more like a bank than it does a restaurant, but through the door and up the elevator, you are then transformed after entering their very trendy, very chic circular bar area where you can also order entrees and appetizers from the menu should you choose not to sit at a table, seating areas surrounding the entire bar area which takes precedence in the center.
The menu is creative, expansive and incredibly unique. Offering a number of soups (chinese mushroom soup with wolfberry, shredded duck and fish maw soup, halibut broth scented with angelica root), pumpkin soup with scallop and crabmeat and others), Hakka steamed dim sum platters (you can have vegetarian or with meat — we tried both, the vegetarian was surprisingly delicious with morel crystal dumplings, bamboo dumplings, beancurd lotus roll and chive flower dumpling), there’s a salt and pepper squid, green salad with ginger and lemongrass dressing, s
tir-fry mushroom lettuce wrap
with pistachio and pine nut, crispy quail in Guilin chili sauce, Jasmine tea smoked beef short rib,…
In the Omni Los Angeles Hotel
at California Plaza’s newly updated 453 non-smoking guest rooms and suites, “an inviting palette of soft grays, ivories, midnight blues and rich chocolates captures the elegance of cosmopolitan living at its best.”
That’s their pitch, although if you look at the photo before, you might just get that impression. What it is IS cosmopolitan, set in a hip and convenient part of Los Angeles. It is also elegant in a simple modern kind of way. Bottom line: for the price, it’s a great deal in downtown LA and convenient to most things in the nearby area, including a ten minute drive to the Convention Centre if walking distance hotels are sold out or overpriced.
I stayed there for the LA Times Travel Show in late February and was full disclosure, was hosted in the end. No upgrade though, so truth be told, they wanted me to experience the hotel’s most inexpensive room, which is likely the room category many casual travelers would book and some business travelers.
They tout the hotel as one that is equipped…
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