Sunday, May 29, 2011

NYC Day 8 Eve: Florent

Poster for the movie:
Owner Florent Morellet in fabulous Marie Antoinette garb on Bastille Day

The Marquee sign at Cinema Village

The sign outside florent during the last 5 weeks. Removing the L to make F ORENT = so clever.

Some great Florent graphics

The menu board during the last 5 weeks.
The restaurant celebrated the 5 stages of loss. Too smart/ adorable -no?
In the film David Rakof's "Anger" monologue was priceless. Love him.

On the eve of NYC Day 8 Scott + I went to see the documentary Florent: Queen of the Meat Market by David Sigal.
For 23 years this all night diner in the Meat Packing District was prime stomping ground for an electric mix of A list celebrities, everyday new yorkers, club kids + transvestities and played an important role in LGBT activism. The documentary chronicled the history + final days of this new york institution.

I came away from the film with a huge respect for the owner Florent Morellet who demonstrated an incredible combo of creativity, business saavy, courage, sense o' humour + HUGE joie de vivre. A definite role model!

I had long admired florent's gutsy + hilarious graphics so another highlight of the film was to learn that they were done by design giant Tibor Kalman + his company M + Co. (in exchange for a catered lunch delivered to the designers 4 days a week!) How great!

You can read an article by Jennifer Kabat on the design aspects of florent here.
Her essay + this doc are both are highly recommended.

ps. Right after the film I ran to the Strand to find any books I could on Tibor Kalman. I predict he will become my "new favourite thing" that I can't stop thinking about.

NYC Day 8: Visit with Lourdes Sanchez

Friday morning I was off on the R train to the Gowanus neighbourhood in Brooklyn to visit and interview textile designer Lourdes Sanchez .
I first discovered Lourdes' work through her collaboration with West Elm.

Here is one of her gorgeous duvet designs.

This is one of my current favourites: Her very colourful Bull's eye rug. So juicy!

Lourdes has been working for over 20 years in the industry and has amassed an impressive client list including Clinique, Kate Spade, Vera Wang Home, and Pottery Barn.

As suspected the minute I entered her fantastic apt my eyes were darting back + forth taking in all the juicy details!

Lourdes (aka Luli!) in her studio. Check out that turquoise wall!

Textile samples hung from the walls, art books were piled high in every room, and a cacophony of images + colour co-mingled on her inspiration board. It was a feast for the eyes.

A close up of her inspiration board

Beautiful Fabric inks

We had a fantastic visit and as is the case with most very talented people I've met - she was extremely modest + more interested in discussing her inspirations rather than her own work!

One of MANY stacks of books

From her huge collection of art books Lourdes pointed out some influential favourites which included Ad Reinhardt, Yayoi Kusama, Philip Taaffe, Morris Lewis, Vincent Van Gogh and Chris Johnson.

Here she is showing me a watercolour piece reminiscent of the one used for the Bull's Eye rug

A drawer full of fabric samples with her logo attached

Off to lunch with Moonpie: Lourdes' beloved Havanese doggie

Burritos - Yum!

Back home goofing around

Lourdes' studio, work and philosophies on art + life were all extremely inspirational. You'll be able to read my full interview with her in the August issue of uppercase magazine.
Thanks for the great visit Lourdes. xo

NYC Day 7

Great Brunch at Peels
325 Bowery


Highly recommended both for food and the interiors!

Visit to McNally Jackson bookstore on Prince at Mulberry
I bought Bruno Marni's Design as Art which I have been meaning to read for a while.

Veselka Cafe in the East Village (since 1954!)
144 2nd Avenue

NYC Day 6

A bit more NYC clothes shopping...

Found this top at Brooklyn Industries.
Nice unique details and thought the fabric looked like an abacus. :-)

At Uniqlo I found this dress in their J+ section: a new clothing line designed by Jil Sander. Lots of beautiful minimalist stuff.
The german woman shopping beside me said "It looks very dutch" and I said "In that case I'll take it! " (in black)

Later on met up with lovely Artscape neighbour Jen Tindall + friends at the New York Public library.

We went to the Celebrating 100 Years Exhibit which contained 250 interesting items from the NYPL’s huge collection including: the first Gutenberg Bible, a note from Groucho Marx to Harold Ross, and the set model to the original stage version of Sunday in the Park with George. See above. (My all time fave musical)

Quick trip to Bryant Park.
Free lending library in park = Civilization at it's finest. :-)

Perfect ending to day: a trip to the historic Algonquin Hotel at 59 West 44th Street for a cocktail.

Jen and Rick at the Algoniquin with their 19.oo martinis!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celebrity sighting: Gary Shteyngart

Walking up the Bowery early Tuesday evening was thrilled to see writer Gary Shteyngart coming out of a cab with his girlfriend. Told him that I really loved his book Super Sad True Love story and he said "There is hope for the world. Someone is reading". :-)
Couldn't stop smiling all the way home.

NYC Day 5: Meeting at Penguin Books

So today was the day I finally met Paul Buckley at Penguin Books.

When I met him my first instinct was to break into the song from Yentl "There are moments you wait for all your life"... but I refrained!

A quick review: Paul is Executive VP Creative Director of Penguin.
He recently edited + designed the book Penguin 75 below which I loved. It contains his hilarious introduction which made me know I'd really like him.

Paul has designed many fab books. You can see his greatest hits here.

Recently he has been working on this stunning Penguin Threads series with embroidery by Jillian Tamaki.
Fall down beautiful methinks. No?


Here is Paul holding up the print he chose. (The very 'off register' one!)

I also had the pleasure of meeting another of my fave designers: Roseanne Serra.
Here she is holding up my Lime slipper chair print.

Roseanne art directed the stunning series with Ruben Toledo above amongst many others.

I also very briefly met Helen Yentus: another absolute fave book designer.

Helen designed the now famous Eat Pray Love cover above amongst many other beauties.

For an extra treat Paul showed me the original embroideries by Jillian Tamaki.
Incredible to see. (!!)

He then hung up my print in the doorway of his office. Yay.
A perfect visit. Thanks so much Paul + co.

Monday, May 23, 2011

NYC Day 4

Good morning

Groovy mosaic

The Village is filled with great bikes

Maps in cabs - love that!

A visit to Lonny magazine in Midtown
(I had gotten lost so was bloody happy to find their name on the read out)
Their office was adorable!

Carey Mulligan is staring in a play down the street!

Fantastic dinner with Scott + Amet at their Bleeker St pad!

The Bike of choice in NYC appears to be a Schwinn

**The perfect way to end the evening**
Glass of wine + Martin Scorsese's doc on Fran Lebowitz. Love her.
(It's so good that I am doling it out slowly like precious bon bons - 15 mins a night!)
Highly recommended.