Pack your alter ego – International travel tip

Admit it! Deep inside you, there is a wild child — or perhaps a sophisticate? — waiting to get out. Pack those outfits you’ve been too afraid to wear. Remember, on vacation you run the show! You can be whomever you want!

Since no one knows you, there are no preconceived notions … except your own. Express those hidden personality traits you’re usually too shy to reveal.

That green eyeshadow doesn’t have to continue gathering dust, neither does the purple feathered fedora. Vacation is about enjoying yourself. Have fun and show off!

[Photo: Flickr | dreamglow pumpkincat210]

Beijing’s Olympic-Caliber Parties

Hong Kong and Shanghai have long been the capitals of cool in the Sinosphere. But Beijing‘s trend-setters are trying to take advantage of the international attention brought by the Olympics to earn their own spot on Asia’s glamor map.

Apparently, they have been somewhat successful. Outrageously posh parties are taking place all over the capital of the Middle Kingdom.

The ironically named Commune, at the Great Wall, is a modernist luxury hotel complex. A recent event there was enough to make Chairman Mao do a 360-degree roll in his tomb. The venue’s developers were on hand, along with a host of scantily clad dancers, flashing lights and expensive cocktails, to party with the likes of Rupert “so rich ‘n powerful he doesn’t have to be cool” Murdoch and Quincey Jones.

Corporations are trying to get in on the scene as well. A party thrown by Adidas included an appearance by Jet Li and several other big-screen stars. The proceedings were accompanied by the sporadic popping of expensive champagne corks and the handing out of even more expensive sneakers.

Official Olympic timekeeper Omega tapped former supermodel (now just model?) Cindy Crawford to appear at their corporate pavilion wearing an impossibly expensive Omega watch. Even a noticeably casual George W. was hanging around during the first few days of the Games, looking very ex-presidential.

Beijing certainly has its share of new wealth, so don’t expect all the action and celebrity to depart once the Games end. A growing music scene, a film industry that is coming to resemble Hong Kong’s in its heyday, and an independent arts scene will help keep the hipness factor high.

Finding Grace Kelly in Paris

Those looking for a taste of the glamorous side of the 1950s can find it in Paris. The City of Lights and snobby waiters was a hot spot for the Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies of yesteryear.

Grace Kelly is probably the ultimate example of 50s fame. An exhibit at the Hotel de Ville showcases the life and times of the American movie star who the French embraced after she married Prince Rainier of Monaco and became Princess Grace.

The exhibit is no mere collection of black and white snapshots. Kelly’s Oscar is on display alongside ball gowns and other articles of clothing. Also of interest are a collection of Kelly’s letters. I suppose it might be interesting to learn that people actually wrote letters once upon a time, but Kelly’s letters where to the who’s who of the day. The collection includes correspondences with Alfred Hitchcock and Jackie Kennedy.

So this exhibit might be a bit over the top, but perhaps a bit refreshing. After all, Grace Kelly defined glamor before glamor became all silicone and botox. I doubt there will be a similar exhibit featuring any of today’s starlets in 50 years.