click here to maximize your minimalism!
click here to view my favorites from the archives. gee
are you a fonts enthusiast? a typophile?
find the beauty on your daily walk! take time to notice the details of your landscape.
there is nothing like seeing a great handbag in action.
plastics are our future. how can you resist plastic? it is so shiny and pleasing. I have a penchant for plastics.
chronicling my quest for the one true
have you ever noticed the similarity between nyc fire call boxes and benevolent Kannon, goddess of mercy?
every design, fashion and art magazine I read lately features some important directional artist making big contributions to their genre. and where do they live? brooklyn!
who says there are no more 'new ideas' in art and design? the newness is in the juxtaposition.
this is how I really get things done. with my little green co-worker/task-master.
clothing & accessories design
useful, economical, modular pieces that can be mix-matched in numerous
ways (because why can't fashion be useful and lasting? I think
it can!) So I say Maximize your Minimalism!
Satin Karate Belt featured in Dec 06 Real Simple
Voted Best Designer 2006 Style Bakery
'On the Rise'
Daily Buss Feature
in the blog press
the girl who ate everything
(into) the fray
far too cute
couture in the city
high fashion girl
furniture (especially chairs from the 50s and 60s), uniforms, repeating patterns, menswear, Oscar Niemeyer,
traditional Japanese architecture, the Rimpa School and Ogata Korin's 8-Point Bridge, Matisse, bromeliads,
succulents and other waxy flora
bamboo, coral, moss, woodgrain, silhouettes & other cut-outs, plastic,
low-resolution images, the photo copier, off-registration prints, Max
Ernst's Lunar Asparagus, NYC fire call boxes that look like Kannon, Fauvist color sense, the Noguchi Museum,
pretty much all of Abstract Expressionism
magazines of current
Domino, Elle Decor (British), ARTnews, Art in America, Wallpaper
favorite heel style
the wedge, but a sleek modern interpretation
current shoe obsession
alas, the sneaker. (because I live in nyc and walk a ton!) but not too
sneakery of a sneaker. more of a sneaker disguised as a shoe, like a mary
jane style or a high-tech looking black one with a metallic accent. how
about Royal Elastics? I must go try some on. I really like the non-sneakeryness
of their styles.
meet me for coffee: el beit
The sign lured me in. How could a resist a cappuccino
with heart-shaped foam saying hi to me? I couldn't.
And I'm glad I didn't.
New cafe on the block: El Beit opened earlier this month
on 158 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg
I was dazzled by the decor as soon as I walked in, particularly
the striped chairs. There is such fine attention to detail here.
Does that say 'cutting table'?? You've got my attention.
After my bag-purchasing trip to Brooklyn Industries
, I passed an appealing sandwich board in front of the newest cafe on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg: El Beit. I've been eager to check out the decor of this place. And a cappuccino with heart-shaped foam was just what I was in the mood for. It will sound trite to say that as soon as I walked in, I was dazzled. But I was. The striped chairs
, the minimalist space, the textures. Wow. Williamsburg is rapidly changing.
Coffee master, Dan Griffin who manages El Beit and (I don't want to say curates but) curates the coffee offerings, was kind enough to talk with me about the underlying details of the place. We discussed everything from decor to design to materials to coffee nuances. El Beit which means 'home' in Arabic and Hebrew, is owned by three brothers, one of whom, Bassam Ali currently works as a designer for Coach
. The cafe tables that are stamped 'cutting table' are indeed cut from actual butcher block fabric cutting tables. Aha.
Bassam was largely responsible for the design and build-out of the space. Its centerpiece is a striking shingled coffee bar which was constructed from the facade of a barn. The shingles are oak. The surface is steel. The walls and ceiling of the cafe have been re-plastered and re-bricked to incorporate soothing curves. In fact, the flow of the entire space is pleasing. And yes, that was on purpose, Dan pointed out. The front door was relocated to be in line with the back door (also taken from the old barn), thus creating a better flow of traffic to an outdoor patio space that will be completed in the coming months.
The coffee menu is for the serious connoisseur. No super-sized 20 ounce cups dripping with peppermint syrup here. Thank goodness. On my next trip to El Beit, I will opt for a brewed-to-order cup from The Clover
, a machine made in Seattle. As Dan explains, the dose, grind and brew time must be adjusted to bring out the particular flavors of each varietal. The resulting cup has a similar body to that of French press coffee. But you really have to try it. And so I will. Is it gauche
to add milk? I'm not sure. Meet me for coffee!El Beit Coffee
158 Bedford Avenue
El Beit to go. The classic tulip-bulb-shaped espresso and cappuccino cups, offers Dan,
are best for experiencing the full aroma and flavor of the espresso.
Like the wine glass does for wine. Dan is the sommelier of coffee.
The curves of the exposed ductwork mirror the curves of the ceiling.
You will enjoy examining every design detail of El Beit, each
thoughtfully considered. Very architectonic indeed.
Attention coffee connoisseurs: have you ever heard of The Clover?
(The machine is made in Seattle!)
The dose, grind, and brew time must be adjusted for each varietal.You must try an individually brewed-to-order cup on your next trip
to El Beit. I will join you.
Labels: brooklyn, coffee, design, interior design, outdoor patio, restaurants, retail design, sandwich board, snacking, williamsburg