Friday, September 30

Fun finds from an LA artist

I am so excited. I thought I lost the photos I took of an artist-friend's place in LA, but I found them! His place is pretty wonderful--odd objects, dried plants, spools of copper, bowls of metal pins, leaves, and wax. And funny little sculptures, as above. I need to track him down and get permish to post, so until I do, here are a few not-identifying close-ups. Actually, if you know this guy, these photos are incredibly identifying; you can't not see him everywhere, which speaks highly of any visual artist, I think. This guy is such a talent.

UPDATE: I can ID him now. This is the home of Kevin Ink

I'm beginning my weekend with the desire for a test-tube measured beaker thing, like below, and a terrarium. Are terrariums popular again? Oh, no. Look what I've done. Look at the "vintage terrarium" items on eBay. Happy Friday! Happy bidding.

Thursday, September 29

Bamboo shoots snafu

One time someone offered to cook for me at his friend's place. I said yes, of course; she, the friend, had great style, and I thought it would be fun for Homebodies. He made something Thai, I forgot what, but I have pics of all the bowls of ingredients: limes, hot peppers, bamboo shoots, garlic. A mortar and pestle sat on the counter. Something weird happened over the exchange of a dried shrimp he offered me, like he wanted to teach me what it was, but I knew what dried shrimp was. Awkward. But why? What's happening? I loved the white counters, and the red curtains. We ate, and it was good, and when I left he was dancing with his tall shadow on the floor.

Tuesday, September 27

Anthology magazine: Woodturning in the Hudson Valley

My reading weekend consumed me a bit, and there was little hanging out for Homebodies. But have you seen the summer issue of Anthology? In it, I have a story about the sculptural woodturner Joshua Vogel of Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading, who lives in Kingston, New York, with his girlfriend Kelly Zaneto. Check out their adorable home, with photos here by Seth Smoot. They get me thinking Country Mouse. 

You can subscribe to Anthology here.

Did you see that the New York Times' new architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, started yesterday? He began with a review of a housing project in the Bronx

Friday, September 23

A reading weekend

Happy Friday! What are you reading this weekend? I think I'll be finishing a few recent New Yorkers and beginning the latest New York Review of Books. Below, some links to stories that caught my eye this week:
Audio: My brilliant coworker Carolina Miranda talks to Studio 360 about the L.A. Chicano art collective Asco.

Patrick at Mondoblogo posted amazing photos of the Strandbeests, those zoomorphic wind-powered dune-saving creatures by artist Theo Jansen.

Everything on but does it float, one of my favorite sites, introduced to me by U of Kentucky architecture prof Liz Swanson

Hot pink and electric orange as accents in this Berlin apartment on Freunde von Freunden.

See you next week....

P.S. The photo above is by Sarah Natkins, from our Homebodies visit. She consistently takes beautiful photos!

Thursday, September 22

Tonight at the Glass House...

I should've mentioned this earlier: architect and critic and this Homebodies subject Philip Nobel will be hosting a conversation with Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects tonight at the Glass House. Sure to be an interesting night. Maybe he'll live-tweet.

Above, Philip and Thomas are reading Philip's journals from high school. My worst nightmare. Notice the cheeks pinched in smile as they read aloud about time, gravity, the universe. Basically everything Philip still talks about. Below, stuff and surroundings...

Wednesday, September 21

Tequila & turquoise--life of the party

For those of you who commented on how much you loved Philip & Nathalie's gorgeous wood floors or this adorable turquoise table, here's another photo. I personally loved the nearly empty bowl of peanut M&Ms pictured next to the table. There was a party the night before. Wine, tequila, and M&Ms, anyone? Ugh.

Below, the DJ; "my room," as I spent the night with a very large glass of water; de Monchaux's rock star boots; the kitchen, with leftover pretzel sticks. (Above, also: the black-and-white tub!)

The last photo is one of my favorites of Nathalie. The following day, while she was straightening up and I was in the bathroom taking a picture of Make Love--Not War, I looked into the dining room (with the turquoise table) and saw her casually hoist this Eames lounge chair over her shoulder and walk it back over to its place in the living room. Feldenkrais instructor. Former dancer. Freaky strong.

The crew: shoe models and bench warmers

I'm sort of warming the bench, too, in the sense that I haven't posted more pics of the apartment yet. In the meantime, meet Nathalie and Philip, sitting outside their Cold Spring apartment with architect and writer Thomas (that would be toe-MAS) de Monchaux. Whenever I visit the couple, Thomas is always coming or going or staying--staying, if we're lucky. Philip and Thomas have since started practicing architecture together as Nobel & de Monchaux. And I am getting off my bench soon...

Monday, September 19

An architectural tour in Cold Spring

As fans of architecture already know, Philip Nobel wrote in The New York Times this past weekend about the season ahead, pointing readers to scheduled and unscheduled projects from Vegas to Tel Aviv to Dresden. About a year and a half ago, when I went to visit the architect and critic at his home on Main Street in Cold Spring, where he lives with his girlfriend, Nathalie Jonas, he gave me just as thorough a tour, with gestures toward the sofa, the laundry room, a parking lot, and some glowy lighting fixture under a bird cage in the corner.

It's funny to look back on these photos, which pretty much sum up "before:" before the party they hosted that night, when all the furniture had been moved out of the way; before they'd finishing the dining room; before they'd opened up The Living Room, a health and wellness center in the retail space below. Until I can update with some afters, follow Philip to a time and place long ago, and I'll publish more from their charming apartment this week:

Friday, September 16

Inside the villa...last post from Italia

Happy Friday! I'm signing off for the weekend, and completing my Italy visit, with photos of the villa. The countess who lives here opens up her public spaces for events like this wedding reception. 

Have a great weekend, and check back on Monday, when an architect and critic will give us a tour of his home...

Inside Villa di Montruglio, a double staircase leading from the atrium converges on the second floor and leads to the main room, with a balcony at the far end. In 1714, Francesco Aviani decorated this space with elaborate frescoes of trophies, draperies, landscapes, medallions, urns, and other decorative objects. I think all guests left with portraits on the balcony captured on their cameras.
A few more photos after the jump:

Thursday, September 15

Reception at the villa...and other brilliant wedding ideas

The wedding reception was in the country at Villa Pigafetti Camerini, also known as Villa di Montruglio, home to one contessa, whom I didn't get to meet. Andrea, the groom, had told me that the villa would be open for us to tour, so I went straight up to the closed door and tried to open it. Locked. I tried again--he told me it was open!--but Contessa must not have been ready for us yet.

The villa welcomed us all later, so I'll post those interior pics separately, but here are some of my favorites from the reception (and more, after the jump). Since this may be the only wedding-themed post I'll write on Homebodies, I'm going all-out, search-engine-optimized servicey: 9 brilliant ideas for an Italian wedding reception!

1. Have it at a villa. 
2. At sunset.
3. Serve pitchers of spritz, the Venetian aperitivo of white wine, soda, and Campari.
4. Invite an elderly host, in a pinstripe suit with pocket square, to serve as master of ceremonies.
5. Prosecco and antipasto for days.
6. Blankets and pillows on the lawn: perfect for kids on the early side, cozy for adults after sundown.
7. Pots of fire (kerosene) along the driveway. (It seems Americans are cautious of open flame, but there's no substitute. See 9.)
8. Dessert--gelato, profiteroles, tarts--in addition to wedding cake.
9. Chinese floating lanterns! Dozens of them. Are these legal in the States? Guests can light the base, and the hot air will carry them off into the sky. Some will crash over the grape vines, but not so far away that a pitcher of water tossed over the stone wall can't extinguish the fire. All that Prosecco and spritz you've consumed will help calm the nerves when the flames leap higher than you ever thought they might. All best with a full moon.

Click below for more photos.....