Friday, February 28, 2014

Celestial Service

At Chicago Union Station, a recent event industry open house streamlined an unusual new form of customer service. Two otherworldly drones hovered overhead, serving chickpea meatballs to the guests. The 1.5 pound drone weaved in between the celestial green and purple lights for five continuous minutes at a time and then would disappear.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Balancing Barn Hotel

Need a little balance in your life? England has a new hotel that was designed to balance a heavy load. Travel to Suffolk and you shall find the mysterious Balancing Barn. The barn is perched atop a small mound of earth, well at least half of it is. The other half of the barn seems to be hanging in free space. The structure is balanced on a central core of concrete, with heavier materials strategically placed in the center.  This hotel offers 4 rooms with private bathrooms, a large shared kitchen and dining room. Not to mention a swing suspend from the free hanging end of the barn so that you may play beneath the building. The structure was built by Living Architecture, a group that has created a series of modern architecture structures throughout the United Kingdom. This particular house was designed by the Dutch firm MVRDV, whom already has a reputation for ingenuity, playfulness and comfort.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Construction workers can be seen working around the clock to put the “finishing touches” on the hotels and businesses around the Olympic Park. Many “opening soon” signs are posted on the stores and even a shopping mall. The conditions inside hotels are broadcast via twitter #sochiproblems with claims that the budget of $51 billion somehow did not include door knobs, light bulbs, or hot/clean water. Stacy St. Clair tweeted that her hotel doesn't even have running water available and the front desk agents warned her that even when water is made available “do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.” Once the water began to run she tweeted a picture of what looks like be stewed tea.

All these problems have occurred to the people whom actually were able to get a hotel room. CNN sport Producer Harry Reekie tweeted that out of the 11 rooms that CNN had booked only one was “ready.” Only to find the room unfinished and the curtain rod partially detached from the wall. Many journalists have been tweeting that their hotel lobbies do not have floors, or that the hotels do not have lobbies at all.

The neighborhoods around the park aren't much better, pictures are being tweeted with streets filled with trash, uncovered manholes, loose wires and other construction debris. Groups such as WorldWatch Institute and the World Wildlife Fund have voiced concerns about Russia’s disregard for the environmental damage during construction. Russia is being accused of illegal waste dumping, contaminating the drinking water, major greenhouse gas emissions, and massive dog poisoning all of which are sure to disrupt native animal populations and habitats. Not to mention a large amount of allegations of embezzlement and claims of a large group of construction workers from Serbia and Bosnia- Herzegovina were detained and deported without payment. Already a rocky start for the 2014 Winter Olympics- it will be interesting to see how the event unfolds.