With Hollywood, the Walk of Fame, and red carpet events galore, Los Angeles is an obvious mecca of all things celebrity—and as such, is without a doubt my favorite U.S. city (sorry New York!). You can hardly hit up a Starbucks in L.A. without tripping over someone who's had their 15 minutes or more. Suffice it to say, tracking down this handful of celebs—with a little help from my West Coast accomplice—was like a walk in the park.
10/2: During an event at Sonny McLean's—a Santa Monica Irish pub with an affinity for all Boston-based sports teams—a few patrons were lucky enough to be waited on by none other than Megan Fox. She was the surprise celebrity bartender. The celeb that was actually scheduled to be there? Brian Austin Green.
Ever find yourself daydreaming at work about booking a last-minute trip? Thanks to Jetsetter.com—the latest venture from Gilt Groupe, best known for their utterly addictive designer flash-sales—it’s easier and more tempting than ever to do just that.
Every day, the site sends registered members an email with a new batch of specially negotiated—and deeply discounted—hotel stays around the world (at press time, a City View Junior Suite at the Epic Hotel Miami was going for $169 per night—that’s $158, or nearly 50 percent, less than the hotel’s published rate!).
Mickey’s ears must be burning; Universal has unveiled new details about a brand new section inside its Islands of Adventure theme park. Working closely with gazillionaire author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros., the theme park giant will soon help the fantasy world of Harry Potter come to life.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, set to open in spring 2010, will make Hogwarts and the magical town of Hogsmeade a reality for countless fans around the world. So what can you expect when the park opens? Here are just a few of the many attractions to look forward to:
For years I wondered about the rusting, abandoned old hulk of a railroad bridge that spans New York’s Hudson River between Poughkeepsie on the east bank and Lloyd on the west, about 70 miles north of Manhattan. Like a stark stretch of fishnet stocking linking the two shores, the underdeck truss bridge, built in 1888, was devastated by fire in 1974. Left to deteriorate for more than 30 years, the bridge symbolized the decline of Poughkeepsie itself.
During these tough economic times, countless savvy fashion designers are reconciling the trickle-down-to-the-masses effect—and showing affordable offshoot lines. Joining the ranks of Anna Sui, Thakoon, and several other well-known designers, Laura and Kate Mulleavy, the sister act behind Rodarte, are designing a "GO International" collection for Target (hitting stores December 22).
While this sartorial collaboration is hotly anticipated by fashionistas and recessionistas alike, it's another store to which the Mulleavy sisters are lending their style that has me excited. While team Rodarte is loyal to their California roots and conduct their operation out of L.A., they are additionally broadening their fashion horizons in Paris.
The first documentary from King of New York director Abel Ferrara takes the Chelsea Hotel, that Manhattan landmark (and not in a T+L 500 way), as a subject. Since 1905, the place has been a haven for artists (Andy Warhol, R. Crumb), writers (Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams), and musicians (Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan), not to mention a fair share of drug addicts and prostitutes.
But as Bob would say, the times, they are a-changin’—two years ago, new management ousted owner Stanley Bard and several long-term residents in effort to clean up and bring in a different type of clientele, or, as Ferrara puts it in the movie, to turn the hotel “into a more expensive version of itself.”
Starting today, JetBlue will offer flights between New York’s JFK Airport and Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown, Barbados, in the lower Caribbean. To take advantage of the airline's introductory price of $99 each way, you must book before Oct. 8 for travel through December 19th, 2009 (with Thanksgiving blackout dates).
Barbados is the twelfth international destination on JetBlue’s growing route map (flights to Jamaica begin May 21, 2010).
The response was an unequivocal “no.” But, says Sun, it’s important for companies to communicate the value and authenticity behind the word. Companies like American Girl and The North Face have built premium products but have achieved success by creating a sense of value behind the products.
Samuelsson added that a new sense of luxury will come out of this downturn. People, he says, are getting back to the value of time—time spent together and the experiences they share.
And, says Blachford, that’s exactly what companies like his are trying to do—deliver value even if it comes with a high price tag.
JP also posed the following questions to the audience and asked them to indicate their answers by holding up either a green (“yes”) or red (“no”) index card:
- Do you believe in advertising in a recession? Green cards went up all around. - How about discounting in a recession? A mix of green and red. - Is the economy on a rebound? Lots of green, but a few reds. - And is Twitter here to stay? Most people said no.
And as he closed the presentation, he asked, “Did everyone have fun today?” A sea of green cards filled the air.