If the Gucci and Prada storefronts weren't enough to dispel any impression of Aspen as a humble mountain town, the Shigeru Ban-designed Aspen Art Museum should do the trick. The 35-year-old art institution recently debuted a new $45 million building created by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect and funded entirely by private donations from the city's wealthy patrons.
The new museum, dedicated to rotating exhibits of contemporary art, opened its glass doors to a surprising blend of acclaim and criticism. Many applauded the latticework cube for its nod to traditional Japanese craftsmanship, while others (including New York Magazine's architecture critic, Justin Davidson) dismissed the façade as cage-like and unattractive. But there's little argument that the museum strikes a dramatic silhouette against a backdrop of classic alpine brick buildings. From the rooftop sculpture garden, visitors have sweeping views of nearby Ajax Mountain.
Ban's first permanent museum in the United States is something of a departure for the architect, who is best known for his temporary, humanitarian-focused structures, including the Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the stackable shipping-container apartments he created after the Japanese tsunami and earthquake in 2011. But the museum reflects Ban's famous use of recyclable materials: he created the shell out of translucent coated paper and veneer wood planks. Inside is 33,000 square feet of minimalist, naturally lit exhibition space.
Inaugural exhibits include a retrospective of Ban’s disaster-relief buildings, as well as works by contemporary artists Yves Kein, David Hammons, Tomma Abts, and others. According to director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, the free museum is committed to showcasing international, contemporary work with a social edge.
Melanie Lieberman is theEditorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.
Photos courtesy of Michael Moran and Peter Feinzig
For the adventure traveler, extreme sports such as sky-diving, zip-lining, and base jumping may be the ultimate adrenaline kick. The thrill of hurtling through the air with nothing but a parachute and a thin windsuit is a bonus to the unique, birds-eye perspective jumpers get.
Yet even in these death-defying leaps, there is a moment of Zen that may appeal to even the mellowest sightseer.
Come fall, people around the world will be celebrating the season’s bounty with food festivals. Lots of them. While New Englanders gather to taste the best artisanal ciders, coastal communities feast on fresh seafood. In California, it's time to sip wine. Whether you're craving a foodie getaway or are simply in the right place at the right time, these are five of fall’s top food festivals.
CALIFORNIA: Flavor! Napa Valley This November, join the Culinary Institute of America and the region's top vineyards for a week of wine and food tastings. Culinary superstars Michael Chiarello, Todd English, and Andrea Robinson will be at the helm of vine-to-table signature dinners and hands-on demonstrations. Learn to make your own cheese, and to note a wine's distinct terroir while blindfolded. November 19-23.
Floral design superstar Michael Gaffney has cracked “the DaVinci Code of flower design,” and he’ll be the first one to say it. If you’ve have ever marveled at professional bouquets and wondered why your own arrangements look so disorderly, book a spot at the pop-up Floral Design Classes at Hyatt Union Square New York.
Most hotels discard leftover amenities, which is good for hygiene, but not so much for the environment. Today, an increasing number of properties worldwide donate their extra products for recycling and reuse, thanks to nonprofits such as Clean the World. Since 2009, the organization has collected and sterilized more than 17 million bars of soap and 325,000 gallons of shampoo and conditioner and distributed them to those in need—eliminating hundreds of tons of waste in the process.
Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.
Summer in the city can be stifling, with its sticky-hot subway cars and the odor of leftovers slowly broiling behind every restaurant. For those of us who don’t have a Hamptons-home perched on a sandy stretch of beachfront, it can be hard to slip away from the city for the ultimate, sink-your-toes-in-the-sand summer escape.
If dating at ground level has proved difficult, perhaps it’s time to set your relationship sights a bit higher. About 30,000 feet higher.
Like your mother, airlines and social entrepreneurs have taken an interest in your love life. But thanks to social media, a handful of tech tools, and a high-security environment with few exits, they may actually be able to help you.
Add Qatar Airways’ print-at-home luggage tags to the growing list of ways you can shorten your travel to-do list before even arriving at the airport, (flight check-in and security clearance included) and getting out of Doha is now as easy as finding your gate and browsing the duty-free emporium.
The official carrier for Qatar is now offering its unique service, called My Q-Tags, to passengers departing the new Hamad International Airport to 103 destinations. Unfortunately, there are no domestic stops on that list at this time due to TSA regulations.