The Friday Roundup


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Are seven days enough?  I suggest we add one more day, Funday.  It’ll be the Rudolph of days, well loved but somewhat illegitimate.  There’s nothing really stopping us from having an eighth day (perhaps the moon).

The whole block burned down and all I got was this dumb photo


Then this happened the next week:


Do you like me?  If so, check this box.

Click the icon to connect on Facebook.  Here’s the thing; using the word fan makes me cringe, but that’s what Zuckerberg’s bunch calls it. But it gives me a chance to see who you are, which is nice.  Plus I’m very insecure.  Eventually I’ll use the page for something, but I’m not sure what.

Strange Closets's Facebook Page

A Neocon Post

Did you hear the hot joke making the rounds at last week’s Neocon show?  No?  What do you get when you multiply eight interior designers times three muralists?  That’s right, 24 times the trouble.  It gets me every time. 

About This Post

These roundups (or round-ups?) (Anyone?) are just like Twitter except rather than deliver each topic in short easily digestible posts with links that can each generate traffic, I’ve chosen to compile them in an extremely long-form blog post.  What do you think?  No, it just sounds dumb – it’s actually counter-intuitive.  I’m striving for rat-tat-tat if it that makes any difference, kind of a Nick and Nora thing.

Hey, this is a note from the me who’s above five minutes older than the me that wrote ↑  God, I’ve matured so much since then.


(Photo: Hannah Whitaker)

So I saw these chunky bracelets in one of New York Magazine’s shopping section; they’re cool, right?  But just a couple years ago?    Yep.  Mrs. Roper in her moo-moo.  (I also think this would make a great table base).

How does that happen?  I’m glad I asked in your stead.

The New York Times published an interesting piece, which explored trends through the lens of round sunglasses.  Ha.  Good one.   How does that or any style go from totally out to . . . the big shout?  And how is it that all the designers from all the different companies are envisioning the same thing at the same time?  Some say it’s part common sense.  Sometimes I can spot an interior design trend early by watching fashion or seeing something cool in the subculture, but more often than not, I just make an educated guess.  And the great thing about blogging is that it’s easy for me to selectively delete the ones that didn’t pan out.  I’m the James Frey of design writers; except I was lying about deleting old posts. . . which still makes me the James Frey of design writers . . . except without the compelling addiction narrative (don’t worry I’m working on it).  Oh uh, here’s the NY Times article.


Illustration by Risko for Vanity Fair

In their June 2009 issue, Vanity Fair calls Alec Baldwin “one of the finest character actors of his generation.”  I can support their contention.  But what’s this have to do with design.  In their monthly Proust Questionnaire, we’re treated to this exchange:

VF:  What is the quality you most like in a man?

AB:  Masculinity – with a splash of interior decorator.

Aww, thanks Alec.  I think you’re terrific too.  And speaking of masculine, Details Magazine calls the tanker desk a “key piece.”  That’s what I’ve been sayin’!  Click here to read, print and forward my guide for manly living.  Details says:

In the fifties and sixties, hulking metal desks with integrated file cabinets were standard equipment for middle managers. Now vintage lovers are hooked on hunting down those originals—especially the ones made by Steelcase (available at—and stripping them of their finish.


Details Magazine


Who says bloggers can’t be journalists?  I went undercover as a casual browser at Room and Board and managed to secure this image.  I like.  But why is there no evidence of them at Room and Board’s website?  Why?

Ah, no matter.


My New York Bed & Breakfast

I stayed at the Chelsea Pines Guest House for my last few days in NYC last week.  Check out that mural.  Can you hear the orchestra?  I tap-tap-tapped the night away, much to the chagrin of the people in the room downstairs.  I even bought a tux (with tails of course)(and ruffles).  Tap-taptap, tap-tap-tap.  Nice place.  Great location.

I’ll have what he’s having

So . . . who buys Penthouse Magazine at the airport?  I’m just not sure it’s appropriate reading material for an airplane.


Naples, Florida:  A Design Mecca in the Making


Visiting the sleepy burb wasn’t quite as exciting as Manhattan (or Joliet for that matter).  The entire city smelled faintly of formaldehyde, and I was dismayed that despite being known primarily as a destination spot for retirees and vacationers, nobody looked happy.  Aren’t those ocean ions were supposed to make people peaceful and refreshed?  There was one bright spot; I relished swimming in the Atlantic for the first time since I was a kid.  Until I discovered I was in the Gulf.  Who moved Florida?

I was hoping I’d run across some interesting antique shops, but no such luck.  Exhibit A:


Then again, I love this fine example of Decoratus Absurdum:



Do you like this industrial light fixture?  Someday a trendy Soho couple will have it installed in their brand new kitchen.   They’ll never know it began its life lighting the cutting board at Flatbreadz in the Tampa airport.


Did You Read Nest Magazine?

If so, may I borrow them from you?  Or purchase them perhaps?  I’m hearing all kinds of good things about the dearly departed home publication. 



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3 Responses to “The Friday Roundup”

  1. Hey Tate,
    Thanks for the link to the vintage office furniture. I picked up a metal desk over the weekend, little did I realize it’s known as a “petite tanker”. Sounds like a lady wrestler or something. Enjoyed Berlin post, makes me wish I was heading to those flea markets this weekend. One can never have too many taxidermy items you know.

  2. I once spent a week in Naples and also found it to be…..lacking. I’m ashamed to say that Ilove that new line of Lladro ceramics – they are slightly creepy in an Alice in Wonderland kind of way and I think they sell them at the museum stote at the MCA so they must be kinda cool.

  3. Hi, I got around to reading this on Canada Day, July 1. Friday was a long time ago, and there was almost 30 hours of work for me between then and now… I need the Friday Roundup twice a week, Tate, could you do a Tuesday and Friday?
    Many thanks and I hope you have a fabulous national holiday weekend for Independence Day, July 4.