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Fort Greene

I am having a love affair with Brownstones. This isn’t the first time inanimate objects have caught my eye.  The building materials used in such homes are a brown Triassic or Jurassic era sandstone which was once an extremely popular building material. The term. “brownstone”, is also used on the East Coast (particularly Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland) of the United States to refer to a terraced house or rowhouse clad in this material. The stone is extremely durable, it also carries with it years of history and the connotations of another, quainter time period.

Fort Green Brownstone

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An office filing cabinet plays double duty as an entry table.
Fort Green Brownstone

Natural light in spades.
Fort Green Brownstone
Fort Green Brownstone

Fort Green Brownstone

Fort Green Brownstone

The low, stainless steel industrial table allows the space to feel historic yet contemporary. The mantlepiece is filled with vases ala Italian artist Morandi.

Fort Green Brownstone

Tonight’s cultural activeities in the salon include a rendition of the Metropolitan Opera’s version of Elektra, Op. 58, a one-act opera by Richard Strauss.

Fort Green Brownstone

According to color theory, an alizarin crimson red room gives the room sophistication and warmth. Red raises a room’s energy level. It’s affect is usually stimulating – raising heart rate or stimulating conversation. Fort Green Brownstone

As the esteemed author, poet, philosopher and muse, Jorge Luis Borges, once quipped, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

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The Armory Show

Every March, like the migration of strange Monarch butterflies, artists, galleries, collectors, critics and curators from across the globe make New York their destination during Armory Arts Week. From March 7-10, 2013, stationed at the Chelsea Piers 92 & 94 overlooking the Hudson, a hangar’s worth of creativity bustles in the largest NYC art fair. The fair has changed locations since its inaugural 1913 debut – from the East Side to Chicago to the Cincinnati Art Museum to Amherst College – ultimately that its coming back to its roots. The piers at the Armory Show, now designated as Contemporary and Modern, are devoted to showcasing the most important, notorious, and emerging artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Erica and Max

My friends Max and Erica enjoy a Pain au chocolat, muffin, Diet Coke and Coffee in the VIP Lounge fitted by Roche Bobois.

The Armory Show 2013The Armory Show 2013

The Hudson River on the West Side of the island was once central to to the city’s trade and transportation infrastructure. With the success of the auto industry, American’s reliance on waterways diminished and all-but-halted. Businesses at the piers closed down and many structures were left to decay. The desolate, vacuous spaces could be dangerous territory but also offered temporary homes to various artist projects, the most illustrious, perhaps, being Gordon Matta-Clark’s iconic Day’s End on Pier 52 in 1974.

The Armory Show 2013

The Armory Show 2013

The Armory Show 2013

Samsøn Projects of Boston had a booth arrayed with bongs, Carl Sagan and retail price tag fastener, featuring the works of Todd Pavlisko. 

The Armory Show 2013

The Armory Show 2013

Peter Liversidge, Ingelby Gallery London.

Peter Liversidge’s presented by Ingelby Gallery, London. Etc, 2011, neon.  Remember the seen from The King and I? Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera!

The Armory Show 2013
The Armory Show 2013 Destined to be a new Penguin ClassicLove Kicked Me Down (Where I Belong) by Harland Miller. 

The Armory Show 2013

The “Day’s End” Champagne Bar at the Armory Show Contemporary section. Little did you know that this Pommery Champagne bar is steeped in art history. The special light-bulb sculpture Day’s End, 2013, is site-specific installation by Peter Liversidge that references an eponymous work by Gordon Matta-Clarke on pier 52 from 1974-75; and Marcel Duchamp & Ulf Linde – Posterity Will Have a Word to Say, a special tribute to the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show, curated by Jan Åman. Drink up.

Cary Leibowitz Cary Leibowitz Cary Leibowitz

Cary Leibowitz’s  installation from Invisible Exports was a little too on-the-nose with its pessimistic yet honest take on pie charts, cliches and children’s rhymes.

Kevin-Harman_ForeverKevin Harman, Forever, 2012, mirror, carved oak frames, padlock 137 x 88 x 26 cm. INGLEBY GALLERY.

James-Hugonin-Binary-Rhythm-III-2011James Hugging, Binary Rhythm (III), 2012, oil and wax on wood, 189.5 x 169 cm.  INGLEBY GALLERY.

The Armory Show 2013

Brian Calvin, Can With A Landscape (Robin), 2009.  The otherworldly, martian quality of the artist’s portraits is ominous. Alex Katz’s influence on Calvin seems obviously delightful.

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The Fat Radish

Situated in a location that’s a little off the beaten track in the Lower East Side, the restaurant is surrounded by shops that flip their sign to “closed” early in the day.  The hidden location doesn’t seem to deter any of the food aficionados and long-haired men in clever button downs and Sergeant Pepper blazers.

The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

“What do I know of man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.” – Samuel Beckett

Part of the “No Farm, No Food” – locavore movement, the Fat Radish describes itself as, “… a simple, elegant and airy room that still retains the industrial feel of London’s original Covent Garden marketplace. The cuisine does not fall into one particular category but rather returns to a way of eating before food was constantly classified. The menu is bound by one philosophy , simple, healthy, delicious dishes created with well-sourced, seasonal ingredients.” The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Nothing says ‘classy’ quite like a branded trucker hat. The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Fat Radish Silkstone

Silkstone, a creative agency in New York City, designed the restaurants slightly dilapidated but clever decor. When the owners began creating the restaurant in 2010 they were faced with a challenge – how do you a turn an old Lower East Side building (that was formally a sausage factory) into a light and airy dining space? Sourcing the right materials was of utmost importance. With 1970s Covent Garden as an inspiration, the team used old barn wood, unique light fixtures, and renovated the original brick floors, achieving the goal of making the space feel open and light. Along with the challenge of the dining space, there was also the challenge of the kitchen; with no kitchen space existing, a full build out of one was necessary. The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

The eponymous radish table plate, rather than the usual crusty bread offering.The Fat Radish The Fat Radish

Scotch Egg, cornichons, seeded mustard. The Fat Radish

Celery root pot pie, black garlic, gruyere cheese.

   The Fat Radish - Grilled Cheese

The Fat Radish

Kale Caesar Salad, Anchovy, Croutons, Bacon and Egg by candlelight.

The Fat Radish

The dessert menu…

The Fat Radish

Petite pot du creme.

The Fat Radish

My favorite aspect of the restaurant, as is with my entire life, a toss up between the food or the decor. Woody, rustic and comfortable with some Chinese graffiti (to pay tribute to its location) has me feeling as if I’m about to eat at an in-law’s quaint yet modern country home. The ambiance  is really lovely, and something I would like to replicate.

Sam Sifton from the New York Times puts it best, “The Fat Radish is a pleasant and pleasing restaurant for all this, however: a handsome young golden Labrador, camera-ready, hard not to like. To sit in its dining room as light plays off the huge mirror in back, candles flickering everywhere, eating rillettes and drinking wine, is to experience a small part of the New York that leads people here inexorably and always will.”

FatRadish Inspired Industrial Decor

1. Industrial Pendants – A run of larger 1940/50’s British industrial pendant lights by Maxlume, salvaged from a factory in the north of England. Cast aluminium with thick domed glass diffusers. We’ve left these lights in the original green paintwork, simply beeswaxing them to bring out the patina. Large runs of British industrial lighting like this a an increasing rarity.

2. Ayers Skull & Bones Decanter by Ralph Lauren Home. Feeling sinister? How about I mix you up some arsenic and old lace…

3. Candela Cube by Sonia Lartigue, 2010 from the Museum of Modern Art Design Store. This table lamp is made using traditional Mexican craft techniques. When lit, the mirrors create beautiful, geometric optical effects. Handmade. Requires one incandescent 25W bulb (bulb not included).

4. Sturdy and tough industrial table by Woodland Imports.

5.  Pewter Stoneware Large Covered Casserole Dish by Juliska.

6. Greengage Wall Clock – Quirky as the British industrial example that inspired it, this weathered wall clock will add good-natured gravitas to your kitchen or family room. Gracious green laminated face with metal hands. Quartz movement.

7. Bring home the elegance of French-inspired cutlery with this LeBrun Laguiole Ivory style set.

8. The silver, metallic stool is built of beautiful elm wood reclaimed from buildings and furniture pieces that graced the eclectic Qing dynasty. The piece is meticulously hand built and finished by time-honored craftsman utilizing over 120 different processes, by Madera Home Furniture.

What restaurant would you choose to live in?