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An Intro to Swedish Cool

There is no question about it. The Swedes are cool. Some might argue that they are too cool. The Danes, for example, are cool too and perhaps more fun loving.

But this post is about Swedish cool. You can find it in their men’s clothing purveyors – Like Asket.

They say this on their website.

The Pursuit Of Less

Fashion is broken. Garments, products of delicate labour and precious resources, have lost their value. We buy more and use them less than ever – packing our wardrobes, filling landfills and fueling incinerators.

ASKET exists to end this. We don’t design for seasons, but for forever. We’re building a single permanent collection of zero-compromise garments. Meaningful Essentials – designed to stand the test of time, both in craftsmanship and design. Our idea of progress is less waste, less clutter, less smoke and mirrors.

Dude! We gotta fix fashion!

And then there is Broadway & Sons in Gothenberg.

“Sourced from all over the world, David and his sons have cemented the family-owned store as some say a world-leader in vintage clothing and military surplus. By doing this, they’re nobly keeping our civilisation’s artefacts alive and breathing and reconnecting people to 20th century history. ”

Not just stuff. Keeping civilisation going!

That is part of Swedish cool. Dig it!


Wellness Craze Hits Lapland

Here is the story

Following the success of their Treehotel just south of the Arctic Circle, the developers behind that forest-set concept are heading to the water for their next spectacular, design-driven project. Located in the natural splendor of Sweden’s Lapland, in a prime Northern Lights-viewing spot along the Lule River, the Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa offers an array of experiences in one: a wellness retreat, a wilderness adventure, and unique rooms that either float on top of or are frozen into the river.

It looks very cool

Image result for Arctic Bath & Spa Hotel

A view from inside

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The details

Designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi to have zero impact on the environment, the hotel was inspired by the region’s timber industry heritage, during which trees felled in local forests were transported down the river to be processed. The six two-story land-based cabins and six detached floating cabins have been created in a wedge shape (in honor of a tool used by the loggers), and feature woods like pine and oak, walls of floor-to-ceiling windows, furnishings by Scandinavian makers and sophisticated interiors by designer AnnKathrin Lundqvist. You’ll also enjoy creature comforts like Wi-Fi, under-floor heating, high-end bedding, in-room tablets, Kerstin Florian bath products and mini-bars stocked with healthy options like smoothies made from local ingredients.

Opening February 2020 – that is next winter.

Does George Cluny Dream of Living at Lago di Como?

Lago di Como is an amazing place.  First, it sits right on Lake Como, now known as Cunyland. Ok. George’s place does too. So no big deal.

Second, it looks like this

Image result for Lago di Como

But George’s place is pretty nice too. So no big deal.

Third, recently it go an amazing upgrade from the Mandarin Oriental folks, who know what they are doing when it comes to luxury and spa treatments

… overall the interiors are now light, opening up the period architecture in the rooms, allowing the details in the coffered ceilings and inlaid wood floors to show through and bringing in the iconic, romantic lake view through floor to ceiling glass. In the 73 rooms and suites and two self contained villas, the furniture is now beige and contemporary allowing the scenery outside to provide the drama. But there are also Asian touches to reflect the company’s origins: reproductions of antique Chinese screens in the reception area and paintings on Japanese cotton by Milan-based Japanese artist Shuhei Matsuyama on the walls of the rooms. In the Sala Mandarin, meant to recreate the rooms in which European aristocrats would show off their collections from the East, design details include bespoke wallpaper with a vintage Chinese design of birds on branches and Asian artifacts and furniture.

Hmmm … this is pretty nice.

Fourth, it is more than just a pretty building

Set on a hill sloping down to the lake, the nine buildings that comprise the resort are surrounded by gardens containing 50 species of plants, flowers and trees. The 52 foot floating pool and sunbeds suspended on the lake is a holdover from the previous hotel and a favorite of guests. Tables are also spread out bordering the lake for guests to relax and gaze out at the lake and for those who want to go cruising up and down the lake, boats can be arranged and pulled up to the pier.

This is getting out of control!

Fifth, you have an excuse to go there – for your health

.. a blend of Asian inspired therapies and ones inspired by the lake. Among the Lake Como therapies: a full body exfoliation with sea salt and cedar tree oil. Among the signature Mandarin treatments: Oriental Essence, a combination of massage movements blended with Oriental oils as devised by Chinese medicine specialists.

Wow! George is getting on in years. He might need his stuff.

Sixth, you don’t need to cook. There is a restaurant called L’Aria and a bar called Co.Mo Bar and Bistrot

. Set in a glass pavilion with romantic views of the lake, L˜ARIA showcases complex, artistic creations. CO.MO Bar & Bistrot presents simpler presentations of classic recipes spanning Italy’s 20 regions such as a delectable spaghetti a la chitarra with ripe cherry tomatoes, basil and smoked ricotta and baby chicken served whole, juicy and full of herbs. There’s also an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining. Time it right and you can tuck into that spaghetti while watching the sun set behind the hills on the other side of the lake. It doesn’t get better than that.

Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Lake Como

This is a lot of really, really nice stuff. I don’t know if it would turn Geore’s head, but it sure turns my head!

How about you?

The Age of Micro Mobility is Here

The era of the private automobile had its ups and downs. Who can dispute that the car vastly expanded our lifestyle options? On the other hand, traffic and pollution are not in anyone’s dream of paradise.

So where are we headed? Most do not think that the era of private car ownership will soon be over. Many do think, however, that its dominance over other forms of local transport is ebbing.  Consider this

Just 26% of 16-year olds in the United States earned a driver’s license in 2017. Less than four decades ago, close to half of 16-year olds would have become licensed drivers. In the United Kingdom, the number of 17-year olds seeking driver’s licenses fell by 28% in the last ten years.

So where are we headed? We are going to see lots more micro.mobility options.

For example, micro mobility already provides solutions for some of the principal unbundled uses. Electric scooters are ideal for trips up 10km. Electric bikes are perfect for trips between 10km and 24km. Cars find their sweet spot above 24k, although ideally in a metro area autonomous vehicles (“robo taxis”) would be deployed for this use. Other services such as cargo hauling could be fulfilled with paid access to a shared truck (electric, and autonomous of course).

You already see folks praising the availability of bikes for NY short hops.

I honestly don’t think there is a better way to get around NYC for short distances on a lovely spring day. It is one of the things that makes living in NYC so enjoyable.

The above is from  VC Fred Wilson. He is raving about a 7 minute ride that took him one city mile where he burned 41 calories.

Very cool!

I would put in a word here as well about walking. Health experts have been shouting out for a while that walking is nearly as healthy in terms of aerobic exercise as running — and it puts far less stress on the legs. I have been on  walking regime for several months now, and have lost more than 25 pounds.  No gym memberships. No fancy clothing or equipment needed. Just a pair of sneakers. In addition to the weight loss, I am feeling a lot more fit than I was.

Not bad!