We took a leisurely browse through the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend. There was so much to see, including a fantastic collection of fly fishing books, art coffee table books and a plethora of first edition classics. We were especially intrigued by John Vassos’ 1931 book Phobia. The limited-edition art book contains illustrations in his Art Deco style of different phobias. While a little dark in subject matter, his drawing are undeniably cool. Vassos explains in the introduction: "A phobia is essentially graphic. The victim creates in his mind a realistic picture of what he fears, a mental image of a physical thing." Vassos had a varied career as a commissioned illustrator for stage, stores, cruise lines, automobiles and other literary works including Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, Contempo (1929), Ultimo (1930), and Humanities (1935). He is also known for his long career at RCA, including the creation of the Lucite television at the 1939 World's Fair, which became the design for the first mass produced version.
We love collecting & using ceramics and picked up a great little stoneware butter bell recently. The design originated in the Brittany and Normandy regions of France. Sometimes called a butter crock, butter keeper or French butter dish, it's a simple design that keeps butter at a spreadable room temperature while protecting it from going rancid. There are two parts to the dish: a smaller, bell-shaped piece that sits on a flat base and a second, larger jar. You pack butter into the bell, put a little salted water into the jar (which you change every few days to inhibit mold) and invert it. The water forms a seal between the butter and the air to keep it fresh... and voila! Now, where's a baguette?
Ezra has headed into his second year at UW and has a great first quarter ahead with biology & chemistry classes, sailing regattas and choir concerts in the mix. We just moved him into his new Mercer digs over the weekend. They're so nice! A big apartment with a modern kitchen, open living room along with private bedrooms... certainly a leg up from his closet-sized space last year.
Nerd alert. We love NPR... from All Things Considered and Morning Edition to Food For Thought and
Weather with Cliff Mass. When Ezra was in elementary school, BirdNote was the last thing we'd listen to in the car before heading into class. We still reference the signature song. Now is the Fall Fund Drive. Help end it early by donating now at KPLU.
What's the recipe for a perfect summer outing?
Pack a picnic and go sailing on this sprit from the 1800's on Lake Union.
Once upon a time, two of our favorite musicians collaborated on a classic.
Of course, you can't really beat Ella's version... but this is pretty great.
We've fallen in love with Commodity Goods perfumes. Sleek packaging of genius scents with straight forward names. Naturally, we found ourselves drawn to moss, tea & rain. They're like Warby Parker for the beauty world, try your own fitting kit at home then order your favorite(s).
What's your flavor?
Our neighborhood is full great spots to enjoy a drink or bite. It's so nice to just walk out the door, no Uber required. A few of our new favorite haunts include Cafe Umbria for granitas or a capuccino. The London Plane and Bar Sajor have created beautiful spaces on Occidental Square for a cocktail or multi-course dinner. Intermezzo has great ambience and all of the male waitstaff wear brown leather aprons, so chic! Check out Damn the Weather for chicken fat fries and Casco Antiguo for spicy margaritas on tap. Girin plates the most beautiful Korean ssam and Radici holds a place on the list for a lovely meal.
If you're around for weekday lunch, do it at Il Corvo. Remember, it's happy hour somewhere!
One of our favorite shows is Mind of A Chef on PBS Food, featuring David Chang, Sean Brock, April Bloomfield, Edward Lee & Magnus Nillson. We haven't caught up on Gabrielle Hamilton and David Kinch in Season 4 yet. If you haven't already discovered it, you should watch the Netflix series Chef's Table. This 6 episode show is along the same lines.The director, David Gelb, set his sights on 6 internationally renowned chefs. All of them possess similar natures combining passion and discipline to achieve their status. Their lives outside the kitchen are just as complex. Be inspired, from one of the most isolated restaurants in Sweden to open fire cooking in the remote Patagonia.
We've been taking advantage of our proximity to various neighborhood galleries on First Thursdays. This past week, the most interesting show we found was titled Pagans, black & white photography by Jim Chuchu at Mariane Ibrahim. A filmmaker, his arresting images have a lot of movement. He takes the original photograph, draws in pencil or watercolors, then digitally scans the altered photograph to further manipulate it. His work explores African mysticism and his life living in Nairobi as an openly gay man in a country where it is considered illegal. The show runs through July.