Destination. Culture.

No Country - Asian Artists Break Down Borders

The Asia Society Hong Kong Center is currently presenting No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia,from October 30, 2013, to February 16, 2014. This is an outstanding touring exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative,  featuring recent work by 13 artists from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. No Country presents some of the most interesting artists in South and Southeast Asia today. All works have been newly acquired for the Guggenheim’s collection under the auspices of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund.

Read more: No Country - Asian Artists Break Down Borders

Banksy Takes New York

Banksy hits the nail on the head with this piece. There is graffiti all over New York but you generally don't see crowds gathered around it snapping photos, or building owners slapping plexiglas over top to protect it from other taggers. When Banksy's name is attached, it becomes profound. Not because of his fame, or because of his Bruce Wayne style anonymity… but because it actually is profound.

During the month of October, the undercover artist is attempting to mount a city-wide New York show called "Better Out Than In", complete with museum style audio tours of the work, facilitated through toll-free phone numbers next to the pieces. The profundity comes from shifting the point of view folks have about stuff they normally ignore. And not getting caught.

Read more: Banksy Takes New York

Your Bedroom Retreat

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The Bedroom. A place to reflect after a hard day and to dream of what tomorrow holds. Your bedroom is your place of retreat, a sanctuary where you can escape the daily stress of your life and take a moment to surround yourself with luxurious fabrics and warm plush pillows.

If this does not sound like something you can do in your current bedroom, you may be in need of a makeover or maybe just a sprucing up. Don't panic, achieving that first class hotel experience in your own bedroom is easier than you might think. Here's how to start.

Remove the Clutter
Anything that does not contribute to your relaxation or resting needs to be removed from your bedroom. Laundry can be stored somewhere else and anything that reminds you of work or bills should be out of site. Keep relaxation in and work out.

Start with the Walls
The walls are an excellent place to add a little color to your space and are relatively inexpensive to do. Choose a color that calms your senses. Typically pastels, blues, or greens are restful colors. Researchers have found that colors of the night such as blues, indigos and violets can decrease blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates.

Add the Basics
Next, add your furniture. Remember that open space is ok and in fact adds a feeling of serenity. So don't be afraid to include just your favorite pieces in addition to your bed such as your grandmother's antique dresser or a favorite find of your own.

Embellish Your Space
Now that you have the basics in place and the tone is set with the colors on the walls you're ready to add some charm. SoftSurroundings.com is an excellent resource for finding the perfect accessories to soften your space. From flowing bed skirts and window draperies to soft and luxurious bedding, Soft Surroundings understands the idea of making your bedroom a retreat.

When adding texture to your bedroom remember to make it soft so it invites you to curl up and escape the day's pressures. Lastly, treat your bedroom like any other guest-visited areas of your home. Just because it's your private room doesn't mean that you shouldn't add finishing touches like a plant in the corner, fresh flowers to the side table, or peaceful artwork on the walls.

Accentuate Yourself
Now that you've turned your room into a five-star hotel retreat don't forget to lavish yourself with a luxurious robe, and soft plush towels to dry yourself after a good soak. Luckily SoftSurroundings.com has not forgotten about this either making it a convenient one-stop site for all your Bedroom Retreat creation needs.

Uno

Uno is a gyroscopically balanced electric cycle that grows a third wheel at high speeds. Of course it is. Actually a dicycle, with a pair of parallel wheels, the Uno III is small enough to fit in an elevator and keep in your apartment. At slow speeds, up to 15 MPH, one rides in Uno mode with incredible agility and tiny turning radius. Let's just call it Ocean Drive mode. At higher speeds a third wheel deploys, while moving, transforming the Uno III into a street bike. Speed wise it's more of a scooter, topping out at just 30 MPH and traveling about 35 miles on a single charge. Want one? BPG Motors will take your $250 deposit right now while you save up the remaining $5,000-7,500. Should be available Spring 2012. www.bpg-motors.com

The Morgan

Photography by Michel Denancé, courtesy The Morgan

If you’re fascinated by New York architecture and history, make time to visit The Morgan Library and Museum. Billionaire philanthropist J.P. “Jack” Morgan had a discerning eye for collectibles, and many wonderful rare collections have also been donated to The Morgan over the years. If you get a vicarious thrill out of seeing what catches a billionaire’s eye, then this is the place to indulge yourself.

The Morgan has a superb collection of music art and literary works, from medieval times to modern day. Many native New Yorkers have not yet discovered the treasures this museum has to offer. If you have an appreciation for literature, you’re sure to find your visit to the Morgan riveting. It houses three Gutenberg Bibles, fascinating in their own right due to the intricacy of the print style and rarity quotient. You’ll discover works by Lord Byron, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Thoreau and others. The Morgan is also home to some early classic children’s books, and a collection of such distinguished 20th century American authors as Sylvia Plath, Tennessee Williams, Gertrude Stein and Ted Hughes.

Musically, you’ll be delighted by the unique opportunity to view manuscripts by Mahler, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, and Shubert, among other iconic composers,.There’s also a large body of material about the lives and works of Gilbert & Sullivan. A couple of letters dashed off by the 13 year old Amadeus Mozart are most interesting. Step forward a few centuries to take a gander at some of Bob Dylan’s original scribblings for his ‘60s anti-war anthem, “Blowin’ In The Wind.”

There are over 12,000 drawings spanning the 14th through 21st century, from many cultures. The Morgan houses nearly 200 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and boasts the largest collection of Rembrandt etchings. Ancient Egyptian art forms, and an extensive near Eastern seals and tablets, date back as far as 3,000 years. 

Architecturally, The Morgan Library and Museum is most intriguing. Charles Follen McKim’s original palazzo design was created to house Morgan’s private library. Currently, The Morgan is a unique combination of varying styles and time periods, and takes up half a city block located at 225 Madison Avenue. The library and museum underwent an extensive restoration in 2010.

Conveniently close to popular destinations such as The Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and Macy’s, The Morgan takes a lot less time than some of the better known museums, and is equally satisfying. www.themorgan.org

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