Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'll take it

Over the years I’ve noticed a fairly consistent criteria for the objects on display at Moss; a high-end household retail store on Greene Street in SoHo. There are items that are handsomely made and purely, exquisitely beautiful. Other pieces tend to be handsomely made and rather funny. But overall, they tend to be seemingly rare items I have never seen anywhere before.

The objects, furniture and jewelry in Murray Moss’s collection are as intricately curated as any museum show. For the most part, what you find in a museum store is only representative of the museum’s collection, sort of a brand extension and not a picture of what the museum exhibits in its galleries. But the objects at Moss’s gallery are for sale, making this the museum store that puts the museum back in the store.

One of the most breath-taking objects was a scaled down version of the Metropolitan Opera’s central descending chandelier, designed by Hans Harold Rath and manufactured by J&L Lobmeyer in 1960. For Moss, it was replicated and brought down to household size (at least if your household was on the scale of a minor Renaissance palace). Objects such as this are the stuff of dreams, utterly unattainable, but here it was, for sale at Moss.

(You can still buy it online. Go here: http://www.mossonline.com/product-exec/product_id/41765/category_id/455
and just click “I’ll TAKE IT” to put it in your basket. How remarkable, that you can “one-click” a $68,765.00 chandelier. Too much wine and an itchy finger could get you into lots of trouble.)

Moss also has some of the most beautiful collections of hand painted porcelain dishes such as the $2600 five-piece white place setting with gold trim by Wolfgang von Wirsen designed in 1944. Or my favorite, the Chinese oval platter for a mere $709 that is reminiscent of Hermes. A curatorial point well taken; one can find Hermes easily, one cannot find this 1730 plate by Johann Joachim Kaendler so readily.

But the items that delight the most are the ones that exhibit humor. A matte bisque 10” Jackdaw perched on a branch for $2350 or Cindy Sherman’s Madam Pompadour Limoges porcelain. A 1916 17” porcelain miniature Doberman pinscher for $4,000? Now that’s funny!

But not everything in the store is cost prohibitive. For my birthday one year, some friends bought me two Artecnica transSglass vases made from recycled wine bottles. One was a bottle that had been laser cut just below the shoulder. The top portion was then inverted and placed neck down into the bottom of the bottle. Sandblast and then viola, a flower vase for $62. Or there is the high-density polyethylene fiber Tvyek bag by designer Saskia Diez for $60.These items can be found on-line but the finding requires knowledge of their existence.

What heightens the museum experience is that all these pieces are behind glass, beyond reach. The couches and chairs all wear signs that say, “do not touch.” I tend to touch anyway but know that I dare not sit on anything unless I demonstrate a sincere desire to purchase. However with a charming gesture of self-parody, the store requires its employees to wear uniform t-shirts also printed with the words, “do not touch.”

Curation is not only the act of inclusion and subsequent omission; it also asks that the curator make choices that are of interest to the viewer. I find that Moss consistently shows me things that are not only interesting but are objects that I can rarely, if ever, find on my own.

(sadly i can't get pics of most of these items)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Give Stefan Sagmeister 10,000 bananas

"Give Stefan Sagmeister 10,000 bananas & some glue, and he give you a giant Banana Wall, part of an art installation on Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far exhibition. Titled Self-confidence Produces Fine Results, the Banana Wall is made of real bananas stacked up in a giant wall at Deitch Gallery."

from design yearbook via the daily what.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Well looky here...

(storyboarded and directed by banksy. thanks daily what)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Banksy strikes again

Can't believe I haven't posted in a month. Let's just say that school requires A LOT of attention. (must remember to breathe)

So here's a little eye candy:

From the wooster collective

Friday, September 10, 2010

Technology is pretty

I have a strong feeling there will be fewer and fewer lengthy posts over the next few years (did I mention I was starting grad school? oh yes, I did). Anyhoo there is no need to stop providing you with wonderful things to look at.

So here...

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Deitch Wall

Looks like it was done by one or two taggers but you see the names of many more historical street artists. Will find out more...


Here is the story.

Which brings me to another question. Aren't these some of the same guys who complain that Fairey and Banksy are sellouts? Is this wall commissioned art?


Also around the corner from the Deitch Wall on Houston and Bowery, I found these:

Now this space is usually reserved for commercial wild-postings. If this is a print tease for some new show, I can't wait to see what it is.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

You say lycopine, I say to-mah-to

I can’t believe summer is almost over. (summer, for me, ends when I have to start wearing socks). And with it, what I probably lament the most, is the end of those incredible fruits and vegetables. Oh and rose’. I think I will especially mourn the end of the fresh tomato. Oh and rose’.

Out here on the North Fork, where NK and I spend our weekends, we have had a crazy fabulous foodie summer. Starting with asparagus and kick-ass strawberries, then we move into other berries, tomatoes (New jersey? Where’s that?), zucchini, eggplant, lettuces, peaches and corn (again, New Jersey? Yeah whatever). Hoping to make it last till November, I have been putting up the tomatoes (olive,oil, salt, slow roast for 4 hours at 200, then pack in more olive oil and place in snap lid jars) and freezing the corn.

As readers in the New York area know, we have fanTAStic farms out here on the North Fork. Some are wholesale only such as Satur Farms in Cutchogue. How crazy is it that, off-season, I buy my lettuce from Whole Foods in the city and drive the one + hours out here to eat something that is grown 4 miles away from me? Whatevs. But many other farms have their classic roadside farm stands. The problem becomes: which one to buy from?

I asked fellow NoFo-er MM which ones he liked and he said that he favors what he calls “sincere farms”:

“My criteria for farm stands are the same as for wineries: sincerity. By that I mean it really feels like it's part of a farm, the people who run it are farm-friendly and everything they sell is local. One that meets all of these criteria best, I think, is also one of the smallest - on Mill Road behind the Home Depot (once I didn't have enough cash and he said to just give it to him next time). Reeves (Sound Ave) and the one on 25 next to the Calverton post office ("Farmer Dan") are pretty sincere as well. Windy Acres has a real farm feel to it but is a little too commercial. Fox Hollow (Sound Ave just east of Twomey) is good too but scores low on friendliness. Lewin (on Sound in Wading River) is the opposite of sincere, flunking on all counts.

I also have a soft spot for the egg table on Sound just west of Edwards with the honor payment system. Can't get more sincere than that!”

Ty Llywd (pronounced Tee Clewed, dummy. Duh!) is one of my favs. It is close to home and I have to say most sincere. It seems that few of the stands are near their farms. Ty Llwyd is all in one: farm, farm house and farm stand. I can see the chickens from the road (so I know for sure they are free range, not just let out of their cages for 15 minutes a day) and when I asked for lettuce, we went into the garden and cut it from the ground. Yum.

These are the foods we grew up with and oddly, for most people, they are the hardest to find. How sad is it that it has become a luxury to eat good fresh tomatoes that are not mealy, are tasteless and have the texture of cardboard?

But enough talk about food. It’s Labor Day weekend. Say, who’s thirsty?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Unnecessary desires

Maybe it's because September is nearly here that my inner geek gets so excited about school supplies. Maybe it's because school starts in a little over a week but I just love this sort of thing and think I need one.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm thirsty

It is true that you can determine something about a book by its cover. Now that we have so many different types of covers to choose from, the likelihood of the cover being reflective of its contents is very high.

That cover may be how you adorn yourself, the furniture you choose, which copy of Lolita you put in your Amazon shopping cart or it can be the label on a wine bottle.

NK and I are big fans of rose’ wines, as are about 95% of our friends. What most of us seem to have in common is that we love the more salmon colored rose’ rather than the darker cough syrup-y Tavel types (difference being the skins are kept on longer, making the wine darker and other things that wine-makers and enthusiasts know more about). These lighter types are closer to the wines made in Provence, which, as all of you know, is rose’ country.

One of our new favorite rose’ wines comes from Croteaux Vineyards on the North Fork. Rose’ is all Micheal and Paula produce. LO and RS introduced us to the wines and we became smitten. Then we visited the vineyard for a tasting and we fell in love. In his city life, Michael Croteau is a commercial art director, which is abundantly apparent when you look at the vineyard’s environment.

We felt as though we were in the south of France. Or what we imagined the south of France to look like. Besides designing the physical environment, he designed the wine labels as well; as an extension of the surroundings.

As it turns out, he also designed the label of another favorite wine of ours: a Channing Daughters rose'; which we chose to buy based on two criteria: the color of the wine and the design of the label. Coincidentally, of all their wines, the one we loved most was made with grapes from Michael’s vineyard. Fancy that.

And Michael also shared an opinion with us that we have held as well but never voiced. And that is…

There is rarely a good bottle of wine with an ugly label. Those who have the good taste to make a good wine usually have the good taste to make a good label.

So there!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More stop motion fun

I especially like the paint-resistant lettering at the end.

(daily what)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hmmmm, which one should we get?

3-D door covers. I'm thinking the escalator.

(thx NK for finding this)

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This is way cool.

(and again,thanks go to the daily what.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Class airfare

Pretty funny post from my friend, Laura Belgray.

Astute observations about moneyed (or not) hierarchies.

(and even sadder is that I have been in business class when a steward and passengers made fun of those in coach. flying business/first can turn you into a regular lindsay lohan)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Use all your stuff

I know I haven't posted in awhile but it isn't because I am spending all my awake time playing with my new iPad. Just most of my awake time.

Since we moved into the humble cottage a little over a year ago, I have developed an inclination to use up or cook and store all then perishable items we buy for the weekend. I don't know what precipitated the desire, it just seemed like a natural way to behave. (OK, a tanking economy and joblessness can invigorate more responsible behavior.) I feel very proud when we leave a relatively empty refrigerator at the of the weekend (and like this weekend, the end will be today which is Wednesday. Hee!).

Last night we had an heirloom tomato and eggplant gratin; the recipe from my favorite source: Food and Wine magazine. Fantastic! Probably the best to date, I have to say. Anyhoo, quite a bit left over but not enough as a stand alone. Mmmmmmm, it was amazing as the vegetable for this morning's frittata. I would have taken a pic but I was too hungry.

Sometimes it is a bit of a challenge to use everything well. I try to avoid having to make things like watermelon and peach pasta or lobster salad with blueberries and pickles.

Then I remembered the Whole Foods recipe app that I have on my iPhone. It's the recipe search app which is fab for the phone cuz not only does it make a shopping list of the ingredients, it let's you tick them off as you go.

But wait, there's more. It has an "on hand" function. Yep, you guessed it, no more cucumber pies.

And I really don't think I was all that wasteful before, I was just less mindful of my habits.

Today's lunch will be blueberry, cantaloupe, peach smoothies, salad with anchovy/garlic dressing, crumbled goat cheese on top and cucumber/mint water. Oh and hotdogs. Because the humble cottage is on the North Fork, with the exception of the hotdogs and salad dressing ingredients, absolutely everything was grown or made within a 9 mile radius. Yum.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shhhhhhh (oes)

LS, my shoe sculpture buddy sent me this link to Atalanta Weller. I am speechless. Yes I want. Urgh. Language gone.

We popped by the one store in New York that carries her stuff to see them in person but alas there was only one pair left. We will have to check it out when the new collection comes in.

What I really love is what she did for Barbie's 50th birthday. I should have had them for mine. Barbie is fierce! I want to be her.

Anyhoo, the blogger Style Bubble went to Atalanta's studio and got some nice pics of her process. And got to try on these cool shoes. (Thanks LS)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grrrrr again

Hmmmm. I wonder if the economy is starting to turn around. I remember a time in New York when you needed to either dress fashionably or be famous in order to be treated well by store clerks at the higher end stores; the downtown Barney’s excluded, they were always nice.

Then the faltering economy of the Bush 1 years forced shops to treat what few customers they had left a bit more politely. I do remember being spoken to at Bergdorf’s. Unheard of! Even though we had 8 years of peace and prosperity during the Clinton years, the nastiness did not return. Maybe peace and prosperity makes people happy. But the best treatment I had when shopping was during the Bush 2 years, with the economy flailing out of control. Too bad I couldn’t afford anything anymore. (and if there are readers who don't know me, please know that I am not shallow enough to judge a presidency on my ability to buy things I do not need.)

Yesterday I made visit number 3 to a new shop on Great Jones called The Future Perfect (I know, dumb name). And on visit number 3 the same shopkeeper/sales lady treated me with the same disdain as she did the other 2 times. Maybe it’s because I didn’t look hip enough, or because I have a few wrinkles (ok a lot) or because I picked up a number of objects and said “Oh I have that” or “I got these in Paris”

or “NK just found these on-line and bought a set”. The biggest insult had to have been saying that “I got these coffee mugs at the MoMa design store”.

I went in yesterday to see if they had a glass pitcher (ya know for cucumber water-ceramic isn’t working) or to see if there was anything new. Same shitty attitude.

Later that evening as I was recycling magazines, I ran across a New York mag on “Design Liberation” from May 11, 2009 that I hadn’t read yet (slipped through the cracks). Decided to flip through before discarding. Lo and behold there was a piece on The Future Perfect. Couldn’t wait to see what they said cuz now I am gunnin’ for ‘em.

I quote: “ David Alhadeff’s Williamsburg store The Future Perfect is one of the city’s design bellwethers, a cheerleader for innovation and craftsmanship, and the place where many New Yorkers first saw Scrapile by Carlos Salgado, or Jaime Hayon, or Jason Miller.”

Design bellwether? Really? Maybe for Williamsburg. 3 of the items that I have which they are also selling I found in museum design stores. Ok, one of the stores was in Paris but so what? Who cares?

Anything that can be purchased from a museum store won't be exactly unique. Many many many people probably own these things. (remember I am not the one trying to say that I am oh-so original here).

I believe NK found the Lovegrove&Repucci dishes on The Daily What.

Then the article takes us around the owner's apartment where I see he has the same Phillip Starck chair that you can get at Barney’s. Or a ton of other places.

And gee, we even have the same Modernica daybed.

We bought ours 13 years ago. Not to undermine my surroundings and objects but I am not in the business of trying to find what is the most innovative.

I am sure that Mr. Alhadeff is a very nice man. And I don't have the impression that, in his home, he is trying to be preciously one-of-a-kind. He just has a nasty shopkeeper on Great Jones who seems to think she is in a rarefied environment . Anyhoo, I guess the economy must be doing better if you can afford to be disdainful toward potential customers

Oh and trust me, if she had been nicer, I would have raved about the store and told everyone to go there. They do have some things you won’t see very often including this taxidermy rat lamp.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wearable art

More fanTAStic architecture that happens to be sculpture that also happens to be a pair of shoes. (from United Nude)

I am interested in the form of a functional item and wonder why so many items seem to be designed by people who have no interest in form.

But I suppose it all has to do with who is designing the object. The person who designed my weed whacker doesn't appear to have had much use for form but it does function fairly well. I would be happier, though, if it were more ergonomically designed to fit my body and to move with it. It would be much more fun to sashay all over the lawn than to look like I am searching for coins.

These shoes are designed by Rem D. Koolhaas (yes, a nephew of THE architect and an architect himself) and the ecologically minded Galahad Clark (of THE Clark shoe company) Please to enjoy them all.

Please note that the shoe on the left is called the "Eamz" as the heel is the same as an Eames chair leg.

And this one I love because it reminds me of Bizarro World from the Superman comics.


An update on the "Mobius" shoe. The staff at the Bond Street store said that the leather upper is much softer so the shoe should no longer tear the bloody hell out of your feet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Haha Zaha

I know that Zaha Hadid isn't loved by everyone but I do find this building thrilling. The small scale model looks like a book having been left out in the rain.


go to design boom for more.

And for those who missed her Chanel in Central Park building/installation go here to NY mag for the article.

also here for another article on the Chanel piece.