Numero Uno

Well this is it. Welcome to the all new Blood & Champagne newsletter. It’s been a long time since I left you all - my loyal readers. Sorry. A lot was happening in my life which you’ll find out about soon enough. Much has changed and I’m sure there have been lots of changes with you as well so no hard feelings if you want to unsubscribe. I won’t take it personally.

But I ask you to please accept me back into your lives as I test out this new way to inspire and stimulate everyone as the blog once did. I’ll be sharing links to be read at your leisure designed to provide approximately 2-6 hours of material which will never require more than 50% of your brain to consume. Topics will run the gamut from art and design to science and philosophy, and are selected with an eye toward helping you feel more clever at your next cocktail party (if those ever happen again).

First, let’s learn how previous epidemics have impacted home design

Next give your eyes a treat with these real-life locations a la Wes Anderson or with a visit to the fictional town of Scarfolk

Then I challenge you to scour your local flea markets and try to make your home look as amazing as Jonny Ribiero’s apartment

I wish I was spending my quarantine in this beautiful A-frame cabin in Minnesota, or this urban cabin in Seattle or this treehouse in Washington

And while we’re on the topic of lockdown locations, there quite a few cozy cabins for rent in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts as well as A LOT of great airbnbs within three hours of New York City

For those of you not in the Northeast here are some beautiful remote rentals throughout the US and some amazing new hotels around the world

You could always just buy your own UFO or A-frame and park it wherever you want

In Japan, there’s a 100-year-old townhouse in Kyoto that is now a guesthouse and an almost 100-year-old home in Tokyo designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s disciples that has recently been preserved into a hotel

Also in Tokyo is a Tadao Ando-designed concrete house for sale for $7M

Designed in a similar aesthetic, with black timber replacing concrete, is the newly-finished Fjord Boat House lakeside retreat near the border of Denmark and Germany designed by Norm Architects

And speaking of timber, this is a great interview about the potential use of mass timber in architecture

In other good news, the sale of over 5,000 Akari lanterns during the lockdown has helped one of my favorite museums, the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, stay alive and keep all its staff without any pay cuts

Do yourself a favor and buy an Akari lamp now before you get on your next zoom call

Did you know Noguchi designed playgrounds?

Which inspired two architects to design the West 67th Street Adventure Playground in Central Park

I’m not sure what inspired Walter de Maria to haul 280,000 pounds of dirt into a 2nd floor soho loft 43 years ago but I approve and you should go see it for yourself

In case you missed seeing $8B worth of Jean Michel Basquiat paintings in person last year, the Brandt Foundation (which occupies the former studio of Walter de Maria) created a covid virtual tour where you can experience the entire exhibition of over 70 works of art

In what seems like something out of Basquiat’s era, these NYC subway cars were recently covered in illegal graffiti which I’m really hoping becomes a new (old) trend

Reminiscent of Basquiat’s work are these 12,000 year old rock paintings that were just discovered along an eight-mile stretch of rock face in the Colombian Amazon

Almost as fun as discovering prohibition-era whiskey bottles hidden under the floorboards and in the walls of your home while doing a renovation

Here’s a great story about a war hero who landed a plane in a New York City street while drunk. Twice. (Photo above)

If you like that story then you’ll love this documentary about serial MTA imposter Darius McCollum, who has been jailed more than 30 times for illegally driving buses and conducting subway trains since he was 15 years old

Finally, allow me to introduce you to my favorite local bookstore/cafe Head Hi which is where I found this amazing zine that helped me get through the quarantine

Thank You for reading!

As always, I’d love to hear what all of you are up to and if anyone has anything to share don’t hesitate to reach out at capa@bloodandchampagne.com

Until next time,
Thomas