Posted in Design and style, Travel

Cinderella’s carriage at Galeries Lafayette

Cinderella carriage
Cinderella’s carriage at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris

Every year, the Paris department store, Galeries Lafayette puts on some of the most impressive Christmas displays in-store and on their shop windows. This is an artistic rendition of Cinderella’s coach. It’s so whimsical and festive.

Posted in Design and style

October 2012 desktop calendar: Halloween edition

I love Smashing Magazine’s monthly desktop wallpaper selection which features beautiful desktop calendars created by people from around the world. You can download the calendars to your computer; you can also download the wallpapers without the calendar. This month being October, I’m in a Halloween mood and the one I like most was created by Mohamad Khatib featuring a black cat silhouetted against a yellow harvest moon with ghosts and bats in the background. You can see the other October desktop calendar wallpapers on Smashing Magazine.


Posted in Design and style

Really bad package label: Acuvue

Can you see the problem with the labeling on this package of 1-day Acuvue contact lenses? The biggest letters say “1-Day”, then on the lower right side, it says “30”. To me that means 30 days. Unfortunately it does not and I found out the hard way when, on a 20-day trip, as I was rushing to pack my bags, I threw in only one box of these lenses. Halfway through my trip I realized the box label meant “30 lenses”, which translates to 15 days worth of lenses. Why doesn’t Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer, put “30 lenses” instead of just 30? One infers from the use of “1-Day Acuvue” that the number 30 refers to days, not lenses!

Posted in Design and style

Carla Bruni’s style: simple and elegant

Carla Bruni Bastille Day 2010
Carla Bruni Bastille Day 2010 (ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Welcomes African Presidents Wives at Elysee Palace
Carla Bruni welcoming African First Ladies (Photo by Trago/Getty Images)

We’re not used to seeing a famous woman appear at a major international event without any jewelry or makeup. But this is what Carla Bruni did on Bastille Day. She wore a simple, elegant black dress. No earrings, no necklaces, no giant bangles, no loud rings. No makeup (check out the top photo) No pantyhose either. Carla declared liberation from the tyranny of pantyhose, which many women feel they are obliged to wear.

If more women followed Carla’s example, cosmetics and jewelry companies would go bankrupt. In the meantime, we have to wince every time we have to gaze at another bubble-headed blond newscaster appear on TV with big hair, glossy lips, glaring eye makeup and thick swatches of blush. Female celebrities in the entertainment industry are just as gruesome. Why can’t one of them show up at the Oscars looking like this? Now that would really turn heads!


Posted in Design and style, Travel

Retro clock design: Evergreen Hotel in Taipei

Retro clock at Taipei airport transit hotel
Retro clock at Taipei airport transit hotel of Evergreen

On the way to Bali from San Francisco, we took EVA Air, a Taiwanese airline. We had a five-hour layover in Taipei international airport so we checked into the transit hotel to rest and freshen up. The transit hotel is clean, minimalist in a stylish 1960s sort of way, complete with retro clock. It cost only about $35 and we could take a nap, read and shower. It is also inside the security check-point. The airport food is also quite good. Our favorite is a restaurant that serves Taiwanese specialties. The noodles are delicious.