Thursday, August 28, 2014

State of the Art

Executive summary by darmansjah

Consider the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, now in its tenth year, an atlas of artisanship. July 12-14, some 190 artists from 60 countries will convene on Museum Hill under open skies with creations including Cuban paintings, Tuareg jewelry, and Malian indigo wares. Amplifying  the New Mexico city’s year round status as a global arts nexus, more than 20,000 shoppers come not only for the gorgeous goods but also to meet the makers, such as an Afghan khamak collective that transformes embroidery traditions into sumptuous wall hangings.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Getting Horizontal

Executive summary by darmansjah

A CURTAIN IS ALWAYS RISING in Vienna, Austria, with vacant shops now playing new roles as stand along hotel rooms. A trio of architects launched Urbanauts (“city explores”), a network of street-level “lofts” that combine with the funky shops and galleries of Vienna’s fourth District to form “horizontal” hotels. “Our breakfast room is Café Goldegg around the corner; our spa is the Moroccan hammam next door,” says Theresia Kohlmayr, a hotelier’s daughter who helped conceive the project as a creative way to adapt the empty storefronts dotting the area. Since the opening two summers ago, about 400 guests have stayed in the original room (120 euros), a former tailor shop that has been retrofitted wit hlayered window panels that can be adjusted for privacy (or voyeurism). The team plans to roll out three more rooms this year and envisions ten total throughout the Fourth District. Guests check in with a secret code and get the inside track on the neighborhood, receiving bicycles to borrow and a map recommending local businesses that range from holistic pharmacy Saint Charles Apotheke to nightspot Xpedit Kiosk. “This hotel’s lobby,” says Urbanauts partner Christian Kanpp, “is the city.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SOCIAL CLIMBERS

executive summary by darmansjah

WHAT Churcill Downs is to horse racing and the Kentucky Derby, the Alpe d’Huez is to cycling and the Tour de France. East of Grenoble in the French alps, its 21 switchbacks climb 3,687 feet in just under nine miles, pretty much deciding Tour winners since 1952. For this summer’s centennial race (starting june 29 in Corsica), cyclists will tackle the fabled French summit twice in one punishing day, July 18- giving savvy fans a sneak peek at the possible outcome three days later at Paris’s champs Elysees evening finale.

Race day brings out a crush of raucous fans who line the incline along hairpins, each marked by plaques touting pas t winners of the stage. After the day’s mayhem, spectator gather at pubs up and down the mountains over cheesy tartiflette and Savoie Gamay red wine. May through September, the Alpse d’Huez perovides an unofficial stage (and a diploma) for amateur cyclists who conquer the climb, arms raise triumphantly