If you're working with designers on your home furnishings projects right now, you know with repeated certainty that the supply chain for delivering goods is not what it used to be! In fact we’re all suffering from delays that stem from problems with foam production in Texas to containers stacked up at the ports in Long Beach and Savannah. It seems that we, along with all of our fellow designers and retailers, are sending out weekly apologetic missives to our clients about the delays that are unfortunately out of our control.
In fact, by this time of any other year, we would have made two trips domestically and three trips to Europe just to source for our art, home and design clients. So far this year there've been no shows in Europe, no international antiques fairs and very few shows in the U.S. that we would dare attend. So what do we do?
Well, there’s always the internet (so don’t worry about our finding goodies for the store). But for a lot more fun, how about a trip to N.Y.C. – for buying, for inspiration and for the little change of scenery that we have all been craving?
It didn’t take much convincing to get a fully vaccinated Trudy on board, and so that’s where we headed this past week: on a mission, wearing comfy shoes, and ready to clock some serious steps.
Follow me, y’all!
We hit the trade only show rooms first, including the D&D Building, 200 Lex (which was like entering Fort Knox) and some of our BFF's on East 61st.
Some of the displays in the trade buildings were very inspirational ..
while others left us wondering if this fad will retire before it heads too far south?
We had some homework to do for our Paris clients, so we salivated in front of these gorgeous metallic kitchens!
Once we placed our orders for our design projects, we headed for a little retail therapy, as recommended by some fellow designers in the NYC area. First stop, Upper East side:
is a lovely quaint shop with a great array of eclectic and tasteful home furnishings, art and books, on East 74th Street. It came highly recommended by some design clients and it didn't disappoint!
Heading south on Lexington avenue, we were first attracted to the garden in front of Creel and Gow
... and even more mesmerized by their eclectic collection of curiosities from around the world. What a jewel box!
How convenient that we spotted a Farrow & Ball store just down the street. We had to run in and spec a color for the back of the mantel in the new (and soon to be announced!) Armagnac apartment in Paris!
Of course you can't go to N.Y. without visiting Bergdorf's and nothing is more inspirational than their current whimsical display of Bunny paintings by Hunt Slonem, whose artwork is also represented by Timothy Tew
After a few more visits on the Upper East Side, we hopped on the train and headed downtown to check out a few places we've been reading about, including Clic!
An emporium of home furnishings, accessories and photographic art that was both fresh and unexpected.
We had heard a lot about the work of artist Tyler Hayes at BDDW on Crosby, but nothing could prepare us for the sheer awesomeness of the grandiose space and the minimalism of the works for sale. It defies words - or at least mine. Let's just say that I loved the simplicity and grandness of the space -- a great example of less is more, when the less truly is more!
Friends have long raved about the Crosby Street Hotel
, so it was fun to pop our heads in, next door.
Just around the corner is another great store called RW Guild
which shares its space with the divine Mercerie
We stopped for a bite to eat at this very cool place, and were so taken with the surroundings, I think we forgot to enjoy the meal!
Everything about Mercerie and RW is beyond cool, down to the details ...
... including the hardware in the restrooms, which I'm not too ashamed to have photographed - in the loo!
Soho and Tribeca are visual feasts for the eyes, and this building (are we the only ones who call it the Jenga?) is just remarkable, especially how it contrasts, complements and fits in seamlessly with its neighbors, just like the fabric of this country.
And when in Soho, I love to wander a bit further to the west side and gaze over the Hudson river to what is actually New Jersey! Can you believe it? When I lived in N.Y. many moons ago, this area was all warehouses. And now some of the biggest names in banking and finance have moved their offices across the river.
Heading back uptown, a new must-see is the extension of Penn Station into what we all remember as the classic Post Office building (now the Moynahan Station). The whole place is magnificent, but I was particularly taken with this ceiling sculpture of the N.Y. skyline!
There is usually one final stop before the end of the day, and that is to the Met Museum to say hi to the 17th Century Ruysdael paintings! You may recall that I still hold out faint hope that I actually have a Ruysdael painting, found in a French market, and hidden in plain sight at our home in Provence. I'll revisit this story some time, but for now, it is to be continued.
It's been a long (fun!) day, and what better way to head home than via Citi Bike?
And of course I couldn't resist eyeing this fellow biker and her very well behaved backpack!! (Can you imagine what Coco Huff would do if we tried to put her in one of these?)
And last but not least, kudos to N.Y. restaurants for reinventing themselves by creating Covid friendly outdoor pods during this pandemic. Trudy and I were amazed at the creativity and sometimes sheer opulence of these temporary shelters.
If there is a silver lining to what we're all going through it is to witness and support the sheer perseverance and creativity of so many businesses, to not only survive but thrive during this difficult period.
Hats off to you N.Y.! You were hit the hardest and you are handling the hardship with the grit and grace that we have always expected from you. We thank you for welcoming us back and, as always, for filling us with the hope and inspiration that we need and appreciate, especially during these times.