Friday, June 26, 2020

Taliesin: The Landscape

Frank Lloyd Wright named it Taliesin in honor of the Welsh bard whose name means “Shining Brow”, that is built on and into the brow of a hill or ridge.

Listen to a recent podcast with Taliesin Preservation's Aron Meudt-Thering. Aron discusses the opportunities to visit, the recently announced summer camps and the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail.

Subscribe to amuz podcasts, here.

Explore Taliesin along with interesting destinations and experiences worldwide in amuz:




Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Big Screen Summer fun: Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre

The joys of drive-in theatres are evident in 2020. A clearing storm created gorgeous golden hour colors on a recent Saturday evening.

Worth a visit, and a few taps in amuz (aerial scenes, too).

Highway 18 Outdoor is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Website.

Explore interesting destinations and experiences with amuz:




Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Aviation in the Age of COVID-19

"I go to the airport every day and I never go anywhere, but that’s how I like it!"

The global pandemic dramatically reduced the amount of air travel over the past quarter. What can the public expect when they arrive at the airport? Listen to Jim’s conversation with Doug Yakel, Public Information Officer at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Doug is an industry veteran having spent his career at ten airports including LAX.

Doug discusses SFO's work to keep passengers and staff safe. Touchless transactions and an emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene are key strategies the airport is deploying. SFO has had to revise almost every aspect of the public’s interaction with the airport facility from arrival to the security footprint and gate configurations.

On a lighter note, Jim and Doug discuss the SFO museum program. Every terminal has it’s own gallery. The museum works with international lenders and organizations to “inform, educate, surprise and delight travelers.” Let us hope we all can safely embrace air travel again in the near future. - Nancy

Listen to this podcast, here. Subscribe to amuz podcasts

Explore interesting destinations and experiences with amuz:




Monday, June 8, 2020

The Unexpected: 2020 US Travel, Part 1

Traveling east recently on I-70, near Avon, CO, a curious notification appeared on my iPhone (I was a passenger at the time):

Curious, since:

  • I don’t live in Grand County.
  • I’ve not been since 2015, for a wedding.
  • Our drive through Colorado included I-70 and a few quick stops in Denver, before proceeding east on I-76. We did not visit Grand County.

I emailed Brene Belew, Grand County's Public Health Director:

Hi Brene:

I hope that you, your family and colleagues are well.

While driving (moving a daughter) last Saturday, 23 May 2020 on I-70, west of Beaver Creek, I received an iPhone notification (attached).

I write to see how this occurred, as:

A. I don’t live in Grand County - though that would be quite pleasant.

B. I’ve not been since 2015 (I think, for a wedding), and,

C. Our drive through Colorado included I-70 and a few quick stops in Denver, before proceeding east on I-76.

I did not receive an alert for Eagle County, CO (or others), for example, despite driving through and stopping for gasoline.

Do you know what rules AT&T, or Apple applied to the alert // recipients?

Best wishes,


I received an email response from Brett Schroetlin, the Grand County Sheriff:

Mr Zellmer-

Brene forwarded your email to me since the Grand County Communications Center and our alert warning systems fall under my Divisions at the Sheriff’s Office.

Previously, Grand County has been using CodeRed for our emergency notification. Recently a federal program through FEMA was released called IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert & Warning System) . IPAWS utilizes newer technology, which includes pulling data from cellular towers for Message distribution.

When we deployed the IPAWS message on Memorial weekend, we had several people let us know that they were outside the confines of our county and still received an alert.

We have looked in to this and determined that the phones receiving these messages were receiving cell service from our local towers during the window of time our message as active. So, it would appear that your phone just attached to our tower as you drove though and hadn’t transitioned to another tower before the message was sent.

My apologies for any inconvenience this caused. As with any deployment like this, there are lessons learned and we are working to minimize this in the future.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Brett Schroetlin
Grand County Sheriff

Thursday, June 4, 2020

An App for Explorers: Road Trip Edition

Driving into Taliesen's Visitor Center Monday (their first open day in 2020), we immediately saw a slick Jeep + Airstream road trip rig.

The family (architect parents) is in the beginning of a cross country summer long road trip. We discussed Taliesin, the SC Johnson Corporate Headquarters and their route.

I handed them an amuz card, equipped with QR codes to quickly install the app on their iPhone.

Taliesin, the SC Johnson Corporate Headquarters and much more are a tap away in amuz.

Explore interesting destinations and experiences with amuz:




Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Luxe Life

"Standout Stores
Putting provincial craftsmanship in the spotlight with an exquisite curation of vintage embroidery and textiles handmade by Miao artisans."

The first LUXE City Guide I encountered was Bangkok in 2007. My in the know expat friend Helene turned me on to LUXE. She promised that even if we didn’t hit the majority of the guide's recommendations, we would enjoy reading their sassy and sophisticated content. The LUXE Guide stood out to me in a sea of travel information because it was so literate and sharp. We have since used the guides for a number of their 30 plus cities.

Luxe offers a curated selection rather than an encyclopedic list. They achieve this by using resident writers/curators. Early promotion stated their writers were selected for “style, knowledge and expertise”, in that order. I actually enjoy the pocket sized guide because it is compact and can be lingered over while traveling.

LUXE is a hit for anyone interested in exceptional shopping, dining, spas, bars and service experiences. The guides have a distinct sense of humor which I dare say seems a bit droll and British. Perhaps Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes for them in her spare time?!

There are no references to chain stores or tourist traps. While this is not a budget guide, the recommendations offer insight into interesting places that you might suggest to a friend. The value of “can’t miss” suggestions is high, in my opinion.

We wondered into a Shanghai textile shop called Brocade Country. The store is unassuming from the outside: white with simple black signage amidst a number of chic fashion boutiques. We ended up buying two pillows from the Yun Nan Province crafted by the Miao people.

The shop is like a museum with exquisite handcrafted tapestries, clothing, ornaments and shoes. Brocade was a living museum with a friendly owner. She was floored to discover we ended up there because her shop was in the LUXE guide. It was a nice feeling that this was obviously not a paid for placement experience.

LUXE offers an app as well, where one can make itineraries and lists and keep it all sorted on your mobile phone.

Listen to a conversation with Luxe CEO Simon Westcott. Subscribe to amuz podcasts

Explore interesting destinations and experiences with amuz:



. - Nancy

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Museum the Cinquecento Built

If you have impeccable taste and sufficient assets to create a world class museum in your home town, it would be a dream to follow the model of Gianni and Marcella Agnelli.

They acquired an amazing art collection. The Agnelli’s were a stylish power couple who were cultured and had impeccable taste. With a dozen homes on three continents, they cultivated a life of glamour and success. They epitomized the urbane Italian style. Their art collection includes Picasso, Renoir, Caraletto, Manet, Matisse, Modigliani and Canova masterpieces.

Pritzker award winning architect Renzo Piano designed the Pinacoteca Giovanni and Marcella Angelli on the roof of Turin's Lingotto, a former Fiat Factory. Reminiscent of his work at the Pompidou in Paris, Piano created a modern, industrial homage befitting the Fiat empire. The lift offers fabulous views of the sleek building and palm courtyard.

The roof, in addition to a test track made famous by the 1969 film "The Italian Job", sparkles with Turin and the Alp views. Visitors may explore the track during the gallery's opening hours. The film's chase scenes were filmed in Turin. The Quincy Jones soundtrack is hip.

Perhaps the greatest element to the success of the Pinacoteca is the leadership of Marcella Pralormo. She is the astute and dedicated curator who has been with the museum since its founding in 2002. Marcella has successfully built on the Agnelli’s vision and established a world class reputation. She describes the importance of trust and cooperation with other galleries around the world.

Marcella shares her thoughts on how the museum world may evolve as a result of a the global pandemic. She is open minded enough to consider new interactions and promotion venues. Perhaps there is a way of creating a smaller, more intimate viewing of the Agnelli Collection. Her recognition of the role of art to heal a troubled world and foment human connection echoes the words of the founder, Gianni Agnelli.

“If I’m nervous or keyed up or excited or any of those emotions it’s always extremely calming and extremely balancing if you have the opportunity to look at something beautiful.” - Gianni Agnelli

We hope you enjoy listening to this podcast. It’s also great fun to hear Marcella list her top 5 museum suggestions. And, don’t miss her a day in Turin recommendations.

May thoughts of Turin and the wonderful Pinacoteca generate calm in your life.

Listen to this podcast, here. Subscribe to amuz podcasts

Explore interesting destinations and experiences with amuz: