This weekend is the 11th Annual Side Walk Sale which is DC’s Downtown Neighborhood Hosts the Hottest End-of-Summer Weekend! Stop by and enjoy special events, sales, restaurant deals, and family fun throughout MidCity! Check out the MidCity Life site for more info, by clicking here. The following are a few of my favorite spots participating.
1515 U St NW
Save up to 80% on select furniture, décor, and gifts.
1829 14th St NW
1330 U St NW
1528 U St NW
1840 14th Street NW
I am still getting settled in to my new home in Washington, DC. Here is a quick shot of my friend Paul who was nice enough to help me move. Everything is in disarray and it is making me crazy. I love the new digs and will of course be transforming the space. I will keep you posted on the progress.
Special thanks to Paul, Marc, and Emmy for their help with the move. Missing Boston already.
Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, among other actors are being spotted all over Massachusetts filming a new comedy/romantic thriller titled Knight and Day. Yesterday, I saw the filming of a scene with Diaz on Union Park St in Boston’s South End. Chic boutique Looc was transformed into a bridal shop for the day. The above image is of the scene where Cameron runs out of the bridal shot. Where is she? You can sort of see the yellow dress as she is going back into Looc. Well, let’s just say, I will not be becoming a paparazzi anytime soon. But, I must say that I found myself star struck for the first time on set, waiting for a glimpse of the actress. Was it all worth it? Not sure, but Cameron is stunningly gorgeous in person.
What was cool was getting to hear “rolling” and “cut” on set. However, the glamour of the movie was replaced with the reality of an orchestrated recreation of everyday life. A child crying was a reason for “cut” to be yelled. I was absolutely amazed by how fragmented the process was and by the sheer number of people and equipment needed to make one short scene happen. I realized that over the course of that day, less than 5 minutes of the movie was captured. Academics often debate the architecture of film…the director’s desire to be an architect/designer and vice versa. I left thinking, I love that I can create an experience for my clients but they are the ones that make it real.
Keith Johnson has my dream job, he travels the world shopping for antiques and furnishings for Anthropologie. And now he has his own show on the Sundance Channel called, Man Shops Globe… color me jealous. I wondered, how does one snag a job scouring the globe for cool finds? Johnson became fascinated with traveling and antiques as a child when he went on excursions to Europe with his father, an art dealer. He brought his experience to Antropologie in 1994. His partner, Greg Senk, CEO of parent company, Urban Outfitters Inc asked Johnson to find furnishings for the women’s lifestyle store. The store was a big success and Johnson is now buyer-at-large for the 123 Anthropologie stores in the United States. He also curates the gallery at the Rockefeller Center location. This answers a long time question of how the Anthropologie stores has remained so consistently chic and inspired over the years. Truth be told, I would love to see a men’s slant on the concept.
So, not only does Johnson have an awesome job. But this shopping has benefits on the home front as well. He says that many of the finds for the store wind up in the home he shares with his partner. Their Manhattan apartment is featured in the October issue of Elle Decor [See full slide show] I fell in love with the old apartment featured on Mrs. Blandings which blogger, Patricia Shackelford dug up from an issue of Home & Garden in 2006. You can clearly see some of the same pieces re-purposed or reused from the old place in their new home. The arc lamp he found in Paris shown above is just amazing. The gothic cabinet below knocked my socks off. I love the way different styles and periods are blended in the home.
Make sure to tune in to Man Shops Globe, which premieres today, October 7 at 10p on the Sundance Channel. I am already hooked by the webisodes and previews. Special note to Keith Johnson: you let me know if you ever get bored with your job, I am happy to take over. Special thanks to Paul V for letting me know about the show.
I get a little sad every time I pass by the Filene’s basement building, located at 426 Washington St in Downtown Boston. Designed by renown architect and planner, Daniel Hudson Burnham, the Filene’s building was built in 1912 to serve as the flagship for the Filene’s Department Store. In 2006, the buyers of the building planned to build a 38 story tower on the property. The $700 million high-rise designed by Elkus Manfredi would feature retail and office space, 140 residence, a 207 room boutique hotel, and a health club and spa. I was looking forward to the completion of the project as I thought it could play a large role in transforming the Downtown Crossing area. Alas due to the economy, the project was halted in November 2008. The Filene’s building is among quite a few local projects to be stalled during construction. Other projects include the Harvard Science Complex in Allston, the Longwood Center Biotech Lab and the Columbus Center in the South End. According to this article by Casey Ross and Jesse Nunes of the Boston Globe, the city is challenging designers and artists to re-imagine these eye sores to once again incorporate them into the fabric of the city. Take a look at some of the projects and choose your favorites. And Boston.com is welcoming submissions of your design ideas as well.
The most provocative designs shown were for the Filene’s building. Coming in first for me was the Filene’s Design #1 by Howeler + Yoon Architecture and Squared Design. The building would be transformed into an algae-powered bioreactor. While I won’t pretend to understand the technology – the design involves robotic arms and pre-fabricated modules or “eco pods”. I was struck by the creativity of the design.
A close second is the Filene’s Design #4 by Neoscape. The design incorporates a large interactive screen that can be controlled by visitors on touch screens on the fencing along the site perimeter. The designs were all impressive and I am glad that the city is taking steps to make these abandoned projects more aesthetically pleasing. While some of these designs are quite innovative, I began to worry about cost as that was the problem in the first place.
The Boston City Council has declared the month of October as Black Architecture Month in the city of Boston, in honor of city planner/surveyor and political advocate Benjamin Banneker and other African-American architects throughout history. Click the image above to view the official resolution. The month pays tribute to the many contributions to architecture, city planning, and community development made by Black architects over the years. In addition, the council hopes that this month will help to inspire the young and emerging professionals in architecture and related fields.
Members of Boston’s division of NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) are particularly excited as the NOMA Conference will be in Boston in 2010. And I am sure that Black Architecture month will be discussed at this year’s conference in St. Louis, MO. Stay tuned fore more information on this exciting month including events, exhibitions, and seminars. You will certainly see special features during the month of October on DESIGN FOR MEN on contributions made to Black design professionals.
Many of you may be wondering what happened to DESIGN FOR MEN over the course of the past week. On Saturday, Aug. 29th, I received an email from a reader that the link to the site was not working. I contacted Powweb, the host provider for the site which is certainly not “the perfect hosting solution” as their slogan reads. After someone in technical support resolved the linking issue – I discovered that I could not log in. Every time I entered my username and password, the page refreshed without allowing me access to the site. Later on Saturday, I received an email saying that they had reloaded the password and resolved the issue. While I was able to log in, the link to the site was still not working. So, Sunday I made another call to them, and had to bring a new person up to speed with the issue. And here is where the poor customer service at Powweb began to annoy me.
A little background on this issue, I installed Wordpress through Powweb based on a technician there’s recommendation as my domains, kibwedaisy.com and designformenmag.com are registered through them. Let me tell you, having both domains with powweb has been nothing but trouble since the beginning. When I install or change something on the Kibwe Daisy Design site, something happens to the DESIGN FOR MEN site and vice versa…ugh!!! And this situation is no different – I reworked Kibwe Daisy Design on Friday, the very day that DESIGN FOR MEN went down.
So, back to the story, every day of last week up until Sept 3, I contacted Powweb, speaking to a different person each time in an attempt to figure out how to resolve my issues. And Wordpress support was down until after the holiday – excellent! I was told by customer service people on the front end (those who answer the call initially) that they could not transfer me to the technician working on my account. One such individual informed me that she could not even transfer me to her supervisor. Often my calls were received by call centers in India and the Philippines. I would receive an emails instead of phone calls reiterating the issue I had already expressed or with information that I couldn’t comprehend. All I wanted was for the same person to handle my issue from conception to resolution and to be contacted by phone by that person. Finally, on Sept 3, I reached my savior, Gareth B. Gareth spent a couple hours with a very frustrated and confused me. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Together, we tried to reinstall Wordpress and transfer the database which contains the content of my site. While the reinstall was successful, the transfer of the content was not. At my wits end, I asked Gareth, what I should do. Gareth said that he would just begin from scratch with the newly installed version. Grudgingly I agreed, which meant copying and pasting posts – enter the new and improved DESIGN FOR MEN. Geez, I must love doing this!
I confided in Gareth all of what had happened over the past week – he couldn’t understand why technicians didn’t call me back. Readers – do not go with Powweb, they may be cheap but the customer service is not worth it! Powweb management – if you read this – please consider the customer as you provide your services. Your employees are working in a vacuum – a sea of inefficient instant messaging and the reliance on emails and a support tickets. It is unacceptable that it took me a week to resolve this issue. And if you need someone to train employees, I recommend Gareth B. Shame on you Powweb and thanks Gareth!
Sen. Edward Kennedy, the youngest and last of the Kennedy brothers, passed away Tuesday at 77. Referred to as the “lion of the senate”, Kennedy was known for his approachability, his humor, and his ability to get things done in congress. Gloria Borger, CNN senior political analyst said “He was a rare politician who knew when to cut a deal. He knew when to compromise. He knew how to work with George Bush…He understood the power of personal relationships.” After reading so many articles, I thought this is certainly the end of an era. And then I remembered Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama in the presidential campaign last year. In his speech, Kennedy mentioned that Obama would continue the legacy of his fallen brothers and I believe that he will do just that. Last night, I received an email from President Obama, like many, many others with a statement about the death of Ted Kennedy. Obama, who will give the eulogy for Kennedy at his funeral said, “His fight has given us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you — and goodbye.” And fight, Kennedy did.
Although, Ted’s brother, John F. Kennedy, is often associated with style. After seeing some photographs from the 1960s, I couldn’t help but notice the attention all of the brothers had to their appearance. In an article on the Huffington Post, titled “Ted Kennedy’s “Mad Men”-Style Suits” looks at Kennedy’s 1960s style. The suit he is wearing looks dapper by todays standards. The look is classic and cool: the two button jacket, the subtle striped skinny tie, down to the brown shoes.
It will be hard to fill the shoes of Ted Kennedy and many are discussing who will take over for Senator Kennedy. Kennedy was an inspiration and his legacy will continue on in legislation and in the people that he inspired. Obama said, “Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still.”