December 20, 2010

The Cresta Run, St. Moritz Tobogganing Club, Switzerland, December 20 “€“ February
If you”€™re jonesing for the Winter Olympics, or just have a taste for the extreme, this Swiss ice run will give you the jolt you”€™re looking for. The three-quarter of a mile ice run is built every year for daredevils who slide headfirst down the track on small toboggans. It’s scarier than bobsledding”€”those man-made tracks have high corners; this run is made of natural ice and trickier to navigate. Now in its 125th year, the Cresta Run kicks off this week with races continuing for nine weeks. Beginners can take lessons and then try out the track. The very faint of heart can merely sit on the sidelines or watch the dizzying live webcam.

Paris Fashion Week, January 24 “€“ 27
Well, we can guarantee the biggest topic of conversation on everyone’s lips at next month’s display of Spring/Summer 2011 collections. French Vogue‘s editor Carine Roitfeld announced her resignation late last week”€”and now the blogosphere’s in a tizzy about whether she was actually pushed out by unhappy higher ups at Conde Nast. It seems unlikely”€”she injected the title with style and flair (if not a lot of controversy), not to mention hundreds of ad pages over her 10-year reign”€”but that won”€™t stop the gossip at the front rows of haute couture by Christian Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar, Opening December 30
This one-of-a-kind museum will soon celebrate contemporary art from around the Arab world, Iran, and Turkey in a palatial schoolhouse turned museum re-designed by French architect Jean-François Bodin. The first exhibition, Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art, showcases the evolution of art over the last century by looking at categories of nature, individualism, family, and more. One of the most fascinating aspects of the new museum, which houses over 6,000 works, is the lack of censorship on nudity or politically charged art. The space will also be home to a research center for students and scholars.

Sofia Coppola’s made a career out of dreamy, immersive films. Who didn”€™t want to go to Tokyo after watching Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson try to find themselves amongst the skyscrapers in Lost in Translation? Now, Coppola turns her eye towards California, and more specifically, Chateau Marmont, the hotel that doubles as a hideaway for stars who want to disappear and be seen at once. Stephen Dorff, who should have slipped into dramatic roles long ago, plays an action star careering into a midlife crisis when his young daughter (Elle Fanning) reenters his life. The hotel becomes their playground and a place of reconnection. This is a breakout role for both, and a return to form for Coppola, whose last film, Marie Antoinette in 2006, overdosed on sugary confections. Somewhere does the near-impossible, and makes Los Angeles just plain sweet.

The Louvre in the Age of Enlightenment, Louvre, Paris, France, Now “€“ February 7, 2011
It doesn”€™t get more meta than this. A new series of paintings in the Louvre showcase its time during a small window throughout the late 18th century. It wasn”€™t a shining moment for the grand museum”€”during 1750 “€“ 1792 the Louvre’s physical space was in a state of ruin thanks to Louis XIV, but it also doubled as home to royalty and anyone passing through, from staff to nobility and artists. It was a hodgepodge collection and hardly recognizable from the current space that over eight million people visit a year. This exhibition is one of four at the Louvre scheduled through the New Year that looks at its influence on the 18th century.


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