New York: Have You been to Upland?

BI says it is the “best room” in New York! The Infatuation review is also gushing.  This is the standard view

And this from NYT

“Go to Upland” is my current answer to anybody who asks for a good new place to eat in Manhattan. It will probably remain my answer for some time. The recommendation is the same for fetishists who unwind by reconstructing recipes from the court of Catherine de Medici as for parishioners in the Church of St. Rachael. It holds for drinkers who are on the lookout for unexplored grapes and for those who call all white wine chardonnay. The only diners I would not send to Upland are the ones who categorically refuse to take any meals along Park Avenue South. Their loss.


Paris: Hotel Dauphine St. Germain

With so many places to stay over in Paris, how would you choose? We will leave out for the moment, the idea of dropping a bundle to experience ultimate luxury in on of the grand dames. This is not a show off trip, but one to just experience Paris. So, you would like a reasonably priced room in a nice location. Is it possible? Well, you might try to Hotel Dauphine St. Germain in the 6th.  Here is a quick recommendation. And Here the entrance

More on English Hipsters

If you are itching to spend time at Ian Schrager’s new London Edition Hotel (mentioned in a post below) you are most likely an English hipster. Congratulations!

I am discovering that English hipsters have much in common with American hipsters – they like craft made booze. American hipsters, for example,  have driven the price of bourbon through the roof! I find it difficult to forgive this. On the other side of the Atlantic, the hipster buzz is for gin.

And I thought that I was pretty racy with my fetish for Tanqueray!  I am still a fan of No. Ten. Ah well, I guess that makes me an old fogey!

London: The Hotel King is Back!

I didn’t know that Ian Schrager is known as the “hotel king”.  I thought of him in connection with Studio 54 in New York.  But his Wikipedia entry makes clear that Ian has been seriously into the hotel trade since the 1980’s.

In the 1980s, Schrager and his business partner (Stevel) Rubell turned their attention to hotels and found that their “on the pulse”, keen instincts for the mood and feel of popular culture gave them a unique perspective that would allow them to significantly impact the hospitality industry just as they had done with nightlife.

And Schrager has a new hotel in London called “London Edition” (article at the first link above). It is over the top.

The London EDITION: A Luxury Boutique Hotel in London

Well, this is not so bad. Even inviting. But this?

The London EDITION: A Luxury Boutique Hotel in London

Chic? It is colorful. It will be interesting to see how if fares.


Frank Sinatra Glamour?

Before I say anything, I would make it clear that I have nothing against living walls. But my sensibilities were jarred a bit by this comment about a new restaurant in Times Square

Restaurateur Eyten Sugarman’s vision for the new Times Square hotspot was Frank Sinatra-inspired glamour combined with fine art and a natural element.

The name Frank Sinatra conjures up many things for me. But I just don’t think he was that glamorous. Cary Grant? Yes. Olivier? Yes. Grace Kelly? yes. But Frank was more …. kind of grumpy.

Errr … that “natural element” is the so called “living wall”. It looks like this

green design, eco design, sustainable design , Hunt & Fish Club NYC, living wall, Iyor Studio, Eyten Sugarman, Roy Nachum, Times Square

I will eventually check this out. But I am not sure that the living wall is enough to make this comfy. What do you think?

Matisse gets Serious

Matisse was not a serious artist … or was he? His later work especially seems so playful. We know that we should consider it great art, but is it to be taken seriously?

Consider this exchange from an interview that Matisse did just after the war

JS: I read a quote where you say you do the paintings sitting in a chair.

I said that forty years ago in 1906. [Here he had his secretary locate a book in a small bookcase beside his bed]. Yes, forty years ago, and I found myself tied up with it for my whole life. People have repeated it so many times that it has become a slogan. I think that art must not be a disagreeable thing. There is enough unhappiness in life to turn one towards the joy. One should keep the disagreeable, the unhappiness to himself. One can always find a pleasant thing. An unhappiness doesn’t remain. It makes experience. One doesn’t need to infect people with his annoyances. One should make a serene thing. One should make a stimulating art which leads the spirit of the spectator into a domain which puts him outside of his annoyances.

What a silly question! Who cares how Matisse painted, standing, sitting, lying down or standing on his head! It is what he produced that interests us. But Matisse was kind enough to answer a different question – about art.

There is enough unhappiness in life to turn one towards the joy

And there you have it. Matisse reminds us that joy has value independent from the unpleasantness that life may bring. Not all that is serious must be unpleasant.  Not all of art is a distressed reaction to life’s difficulties.