I don’t even need a new grinder, but I really need this grinder.
Once, my friend Nancy—who is something of a seeker and had for years eschewed traditional medicine in favor of ever-more exotic holistic and Eastern options—got a headache. Somebody offered her a couple of aspirin, and because it was a rather bad headache, she took them. The headache went away. “And I was like, Wow,” she remembers, “Western medicine is awesome.” The story amuses me, but it also resonates: sometimes in life, the best option is the one that appears the most prosaic. And I know I’m about to embark on an imperfect analogy, but this is very much how I’m feeling lately about coffee. My new favorite stop on the morning walk is the Mudpark kiosk right off First Avenue in the East Village. You can choose from the usual array here—Cappuccinos, Cortados, Americanos, and so on—but I always order up a large cup of old-school house blend. It’s wicked strong, but in a mild way that doesn’t turn your stomach inside out.
Today, I bought some beans so I can make it myself. And—because I haven’t owned an actual coffee maker since the Nespresso machine revolutionized my life a while back, I made another old-school move and acquired a Chemex drip coffee maker, which is not only a fantastic deal, but a really nice little piece of design.
Because it has stars on it, so of course I do.
Stop me before I upholster a chair in this.
On New Year’s day my phone died—not just in a reboot-and restart kind of a way, but in a very for real and permanent stump-the-Genius Bar kind of a way. Which was a big drag but also not, because I had the perfect excuse to buy a new iPhone 6, with its fantastic camera and cool app that tells you how many steps you’ve taken each day. But—possibly even more exciting—it was an excuse to purchase a new case. Loud, just like I like them.
I love 20×200 for rendering the scary, intimidating art world accessible and fun with their reasonably-priced limited edition prints. And I’m an even bigger fan of 20×200 founder and CEO (and GOACA regular) Jen Bekman, who has—awesomely, and so in the spirit of the season—extended 15% off purchases of $60 or more exclusively to all of you. There is an enormous quantity of good stuff to choose from. So selfishly, because I think she has great taste and I only want to copy her, I asked Jen to pick some favorites.
Red Plastic Plates by Ann Toebbe (above) “I am absolutely crazy about Ann’s work. Her style is distinctive, intelligent, and accomplished, and her subject matter (home, memory, family and all the conflicted feelings related to those things) really resonates with me. Her original pieces are just incredible, and I’m still kicking myself for not purchasing one back when they were still affordable. I love all of her editions, but Red Plastic Plates is the very first one we released with her, so it’s a sentimental favorite.”
Eiffel Tower (vintage edition) “One of the dreamiest parts of my dream job? Attending Paris Photo every November. This year’s sojourn was particularly sublime, with lots of long walks to take in its gorgeous parks and monuments. I never once got this close to the Eiffel Tower, but this is still a great reminder of my second-favorite city.”
Arthur’s Seat by Laura Bell “Laura’s work is so romantic and mysterious, I can’t help but start making up stories every time I see one of her photos. The craggy coast of Arthur’s Seat is made that much more intriguing by its circular framing. Is it a portal into another place and time? Are you scouring the coastline for a mysterious figure that’s hidden by the cinematic mist? Your own tale will probably be different, which is exactly the point: to weave one’s own stories into the art you live with is to make it uniquely your own.”
This offer is good until the end of the month, but if you want your print by Christmas, you must order by midnight Wednesday.
Sometimes, a candle is just nice as an objet, but this one is Diptique, so of course it’s going to smell fabulous too.
Why, every home needs its own punk rock salt and pepper shakers.
A chevron-print frame is just good fun.
Such an inspired take on cappucino cups, from the bright design minds at Ferm Living.
A Commes de Garcons pouch is an almost surefire winner in the gift department, and it’s kind of a kick in polka dots.
This graphic ethnic hat is interesting enough to stand out, but straightforward enough to go with most anything.
A nifty charger to attach right to one’s key chain.
Gift Guide Part 1: 25 Rather Cute Gifts Under $50
Gift Guide Part 2: Cyber Monday Deals
I found the first four items here over at Need Supply, where everything’s 20% off both today and tomorrow. Is this necklace not the dearest little token for your favorite sister or (in my case) sister-in-law ever?
Baggu’s take on the bucket bag is both super-cool and classic as it comes.
This watch rings in just over $100 but looks so much fancier.
You’re never too old to have fun with a metallic temporary tattoo set.
Over at the commerce site for home boutique Furbish, all orders over $75 are 20% off with the checkout code HOLLADAY. I do love a Waylande Gregory plate—this one is rather tiny and would be perfect for a bedside table.
Also at Furbish: this metallic zebra dish is the type of gift of which I should buy a few just to have on hand for gift emergencies—it so totally couldn’t be cuter.
The sale over at Piperlime is stellar, with 30% off sitewide, and 40% off markdowns (Code: CYBERSALE). We are in the middle of a chain link bag moment and this is an especially good one because it’s not too small and prissy.
Also from Piperlime: a classic Giles & Brother railroad spike cuff, for your favorite stacker-of-bracelets.
Gift Guide Part 1: 25 Rather Cute Gifts Under $50
How excited am I that I’ve got an aging, faded Knoll Womb Chair in need of reupholstering and Maria Cornejo’s just launched a gorgeous textile collaboration with that very brand? Now it’s just a question of which fabric to choose. Is it crazy that I’m considering the metallic?
I love these mugs from Dwell Studio, which come clashy-matchy, two of each to a set.