Listening To >> Classics >> Summertime

Late-summer heat has this song playing on repeat in my head.  Here, the classic jazz standard by George Gershwin performed by a few of the greats.  Amazing to hear how each of them interprets it, no?

A very spare, introspective version from Ella Fitzgerald.

Possibly on the other end of the spectrum from the one above by Ella, Big Mama Thornton, who I l-o-v-e, brings something totally different to this classic... Though not the classic arrangement, this might be my favorite.

A very lush recording from Ella with Louis Armstrong, and maybe the version that comes to mind when you think of this song.

The original recording by Billie Holliday.

Well Said >> First I Reconized That You Were...

Finnish born architect Eero Saarinen met Aline Bernstein in 1955 when she was working as an art editor and critic for the New York Times and she was assigned to write an article about him.  As the story goes, they fell in love instantly, and this list of things he loved about her was written shortly before they married.

Looking Back At >> Alexander Calder's Wire Sculptures

Le Cavelier, 1930

 Edgar Varese, 1930

 Hercules and Lion, 1928


Interiors >> Castello di Vicarello

An abandoned castle from 1100 transformed into the Tuscan destination of your romance-/Italy-/design-loving dreams.  Castello di Vicarello, restored by the Bacchareschi Berti family, opened in 2003.

 If you want to pick up some Italian cooking skills, you can help out Aurora in the kitchen, where she runs an informal cooking school.  That sounds like the best kind of cooking school to me.

[Vicarello website]

LustList >> Edible Greens

My green thumb project in the spring turned out rather poorly (as in, it turns out I don't have a green thumb), but this, I think I could handle...

A perfect solution for beginner apartment gardeners who want to grow their own salad greens!  This kit from Edible Greens comes with everything you need, and the greens grow right in these re-purposed wine boxes!

Available through Rare Device.


The Right Moment to take a Photograph

Favorite Cake Decorations Ever >> Bunting

Love these adorable cake buntings from Kiki La Ru.  Is that not the sweetest cake decoration you've ever seen? 

I'm not so much a perfectionist when it comes to icing things, so I love that the icing is done casually, and then the buntings give it a little flair.


A Simple Feat of Light

Sadly don't know where this is or who made it.  But I love it.  Amazing what simple votive candles can do.

Tastemakers >> Andre Balazs

Andre Balazs

Fall LustList >> This Jacket


(Still) Made By Hand >> Mr. Sign's Signs in Montreal

Window-shopping is getting even more appealing in Montreal these days Dave Arnold, or "Mr. Sign," is bringing back the art of hand-painted window signs.  Apparently, his work is catching on like wild-fire and store owners are eagerly seeking him out. 

Isn't that cool??  A resurgence of hand-made anything is pretty exciting.  If you missed the post with the video about the dying art of hand-painted billboards in New York, check it out back here.  It's a pretty touching homage.

[Dave Arnold/Mr. Sign]

Blog Love >> Tartelette

Loving the food blog Tartelette, by a French expat living in Charleston.  Yummy recipes and the photography and styling are pure eye candy.

Chocolate Hazelnut cake recipe here.



LOVE the public art by Spanish artist SpY.

Here's an excerpt of a review of his work:
His work involves the appropiation urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes. The bulk of his production stems from the observation of the city and an appreciation of its components, not as inert elements but as a palette of materials overflowing with possibilities. His ludic spirit, careful attention to the context of each piece, and a not invasive, constructive attitude, unmistakably characterize his interventions.

...SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urbanite. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for those who want to let themselves be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience.

(Based on the typical bike rack found in Madrid.)

A statement from SpY on his website about taking this photo...
 I was taking the pictures of this sign, placed in a very busy street in Madrid city center, when a policeman approached and said: "Did you put it there last night?" I said no, I'm a photographer taking pictures of the city. He insisted: "are you taking pictures of the flower?" I said yes, I've seen it and found it funny. Then the cop says: "I think I know your face, maybe we know each other?" I then thought: fuck, this cop knows me and has figured all out. Y said no, I don't seem to remember you. His face was partly hidden with a hat and a scarf. He went again: "I'm sure to remember you, didn't you hang out with Suso? I think we know each other from graffiti." Already more relaxed, I asked him what neighbourhood he was from. He was a member of Los Trece, a well-known graffiti crew from Móstoles. I recognized him and said that his looks had gotten me nervous. He laughed and said: "I saw it this morning, I thought it was probably put there last night, it's pretty cool, I hope it stays long." I then kept on with the pictures. When seeing me precariously try to do it from the middle of the street, he said: "Do you want me to stop the traffic so you can take the picture better?" I said, well, if you don't mind... He then walked to the middle of the street and started stopping the traffic. I quickly took the pictures, thanked him and said goodbye, he said goodbye and I left.


Listening To >> Dreams-Come-True-Girl

A song guaranteed to melt your heart.

If a mash-up of Ryan Adams and The Morning Benders with a little Roy Orbison thrown in there sounds like a good combo to you, check out Cass McCombs' latest album Catacombs.

(PS- To make it even more adorable, the song is about his wife.)

Stripes + Stripes =

photo by Rene Maltete

Judging By the Cover

Gorgeous Art Deco book covers by Coralie Bickford Smith.


What Would James Dean Do? >> In God We Trust's Customizable Lighter

If I were a smoker, I'd definitely need one of these cool customizable brass lighters from In God We Trust.  Just enough space to fit your initials.

Wonderment >> Aerial Photography >> Alex MacClean

Unmarked Tennis Courts, Manchester, NH

 I just don't get sick of aerial photography (see past posts here and here).  It's the wonder you felt as a kid looking out of a plane window, captured in a photograph, how awesome.  Ok, I still feel that way looking out of a plane window.

I am really digging the graphic quality of these images by Alex MacClean.  I'm fairly obsessed with that top image of unmarked tennis courts-- it's just so cool that you can't tell at all what it is until you know the title.

 Marias River Drainage and Pivot Irrigator, Loma Area, MT

I seem to like the images more the more they abstract what the subject actually is-- it's cool to see these views of very real, tangible things only for their graphic qualities.  If you visit his website you'll see he has tons of different subjects and style, but I'm most drawn to the bold, graphic, and pattern-suggestive images.

Floating Daisy Docks, Chicago, IL

B-52 Bone Yards, Tuscon, AZ

Apple Trees After Spring Snowstorm, Clinton, Mass

[Alex MacClean website]

American Bespoke >> Brooklyn Tailors

As I've mentioned (ad nauseum? are you sick of it yet?), I'm really enjoying men's fashion more than women's at the moment.  Menswear is just having this great back-to-basics, focus-on-quality-and-materials moment, and I really dig it.  Here, Brooklyn Tailors, who make custom and ready-to-wear shirting and suits for men (and one shirt for women!). 

Girls, keep your boyfriend/brother/whatever looking classy and get him one for his birthday.  Guys, one of those shirts above, a pair of jeans or khakis, and a pair of sneakers or dessert boots and you're set. 

They've been suiting up men in New York for a while, but now they are also available to those further afield through Etsy.


Summer Lovin >> LustList >> Airstream Trailers

My sister and I have a fascination (obsession?) with well-designed trailers, starting and ending with the Airstream.  They are the holy grail of trailers, with their brilliant trademark aluminum siding that makes them forever the coolest and most-recognizable trailer.

You can't get much more Americana.

We've discussed using them for everything from actual tours around the states to stand-alone hotel rooms clustered on a piece of land to inspiration for packaging for... well.. I can't actually tell you because you might like the idea so much you'd take it. 

Much to our delight, Airstream continues to turn out new models that have that retro appeal without getting too kitschy about it.  Through collaborations with everyone from Design Within Reach to Victorinox, I'm pretty sure there's an Airstream out there for everyone.   (The one above was retro-fitted by Ralph Lauren.)

Click through for the latest and greatest from Airstream...
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