The Tuesday Rant (topics include summer strolls, decor’s debt to cartography, wall-to-wall carpeting, tumblr and Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Warm evening strolls are one of life’s great pleasures. It was almost hot and definitely humid last night, but there was a hint of a cool breeze that made it pretty bearable. The neighborhood looks so different at night. Rather than focusing on the architecture and landscaping, my eyes were drawn to the illuminated windows of the single family homes and apartment buildings lining the streets. (Note the word glimpsed – while walking through the neighborhood at a normal pace. Seeing and watching are two very different things). I saw a large faded, antique map hanging prominently over a sofa (I think), and I noticed a beautiful harp on my neighbor’s front porch. Who knew? But my favorite sight of the evening was what appeared to be a den in the second floor apartment of a brick 2-flat. Paneled in a honey colored wood, the walls were lined with shelves, and I spotted a large white glove mold among the books. The room’s only pop of color came from a deep blue, larger-than-average vintage aviators globe on a table or something near the window. It looked very, very current in the most old-fashioned possible way. Like a gorgeous, vintage flannel shirt some cool twentysomething kid bought at a thrift store – cool yet very cozy. Not a bad combination at all.

Can wall-to-wall carpeting ever feel urban?

Speaking of cozy, lately I’ve missed wall-to-wall carpeting. Hardwood floors look nice, that’s true. But I grew up with wall-to-wall, and it really does make a room feel warm and comfortable. I didn’t sit on a piece of furniture until I was in college. That’s only a slight exaggeration, as I loved lounging on the carpeting as a kid. While it sounds unsanitary, my mother enforced a strict no shoes rule for years, and despite relaxing it in recent years, her home is always clean, tidy and lovely. But back to my dilemma, should I have the second bedroom carpeted, or is that too extreme? Is this just nostalgia?

Are you a Tumblr?

I rolled my eyes the first time I read about Tumblr, a new social media platform that borrows elements from blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Much like Facebook, users can post links, photos, videos or text, but Tumblr offers more functionality to customize profile pages, and like blogging, multiple themes are available. Some are calling it the next big thing, so I checked it out last weekend, and it’s oddly satisfying. Perhaps it benefited from my low expectations, but I like the themes a lot, and I see the potential for positioning content in a new way. My Tumblr site La Casa Dada will host some of the atypically cool places I’ve featured over the past couple of years as well as links to those kind of stories in other blogs and publications. I’m pretty sure people follow people, but I haven’t quite figured that out yet – another big difference from Facebook where the emphasis seems to be more about connecting. Have you tumbled?

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

My cousin’s very sweet 11 year-old daughter Amalie (above in my brother’s upstairs apartment) visited last weekend. As usual, her interest in decor and attention to detail impressed me. This time she described my place as “jazzy and creamy,” which is a pretty good description. The zigzag rug in the living room definitely brings to mind the jazz age, and white is one of the signature colors throughout the space. Click here to read about her last visit during the holidays.

Spotted on Sheridan Road in Edgewater. Let’s pool our money and go in on it together.

Spotted in the West Village, NYC.

Spotted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. NYC.

Spotted on Wabash in the loop.

Spotted at Brownstone Antiques in Andersonville.

Spotted at Metropolis Coffee. I love this countertop, which appears to be a very soft, honed soapstone? Anybody recognize the material?

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4 Responses to “The Tuesday Rant (topics include summer strolls, decor’s debt to cartography, wall-to-wall carpeting, tumblr and Ralph Waldo Emerson)”

  1. Hippy commune on Sheridan & Thorndale! Word.

  2. Very fun post. I think you and Amalie should work together in some capacity. Like the crocodile hunter and his daughter. Or like Rick Bayless and Lainey.

  3. She’d be a great foil Janis. And somehow I don’t think she’d let me get away with anything.

    Katie: so you’re game to buy the house? Great!

  4. Having lived with carpet for so many years (like you), I’m so happy to be away from it. Vacuuming, vacuuming, and more vacuuming gets old as does the constant discovery of some hidden little things deep in the fibers :( Hardwood floors with some great throws are perfect for me.

    I too love the Tumblr themes and the overall ease of use. My only gripes are the inability of non-Tumblr’s to leave comments and the inability to customize a sidebar with your own html.