This photo shoot is from Architectural Digest 2 years ago, but my dear friend Mary Jo said that she missed it, and this is one of my absolute favorite spaces….so thought I’d share with all of y’all.
Who lives here? Writer Brad Goldfarb, who’s cooking blog I just devour – the Recipe Grinder, and his partner, Alfredo Paredes—Executive Vice President at Ralph Lauren.
2 talented guys, one timeless apartment.
“This place is amazing,” Alfredo whispered to Brad on the first viewing. After about a year of looking at listings all over downtown Manhattan, the boys had finally found their place.
The building had been a hospital in the 1920’s, and a music school after that. At some point in its hardworking life, the top 3 floors had been converted into apartments. It wasn’t difficult at all for the pair to imagine living there. A 2,500 square-foot penthouse, abundant natural light, extremely high ceilings and, of course, that terrace with the direct view of a historic East Village church…….what’s not to love? But the space needed work to remove the awful “80’s-ness” and convert it into something a little more timeless. Alfredo imagined it as an artist’s garret. Something that evoked the all the romance of early California architecture. Natural white oak was used – for paneling, built-in bookcases, and cabinetry – raw plaster for the walls, reclaimed wood for the ceilings, and French limestone tiles for the flooring. These elements gave the place an instant patina.
5 sets of double doors lead to the best feature of the whole penthouse……the terrace.
A couple of gift-cards and a miss-priced floor display later, we brought 4 home for an absolute steal.
Well, anyhoo, we’d always meant to cage them, like in a factory, but didn’t want to spend the crazy money it seems to cost just for cages. More than twice as much as the pendants cost us in the first place.
Enter Jonathan, a reader of ours, who sent us 3 different sources for cages online…and ALL 3 extremely well priced.
How could we not do them now?
I ordered 4 16 inch cages from Global Industrial, and we had them in our hot little hands 4 days later.
I grabbed a few bolts with wing nuts to attach them.
They simply “pinch” together over the rim of the light fixture. It might be a little easier with 3 hands…..but I got them done.
I had thought that we might spray them red – and still may someday – until then, I just hung the plain galvanized.
For some reason, they look black in the pictures.
To change the bulb, if it ever burns out, we just reach up through the hole in the center.
Millicent Rogers was born in 1902 as the heiress to the Standard Oil fortune. After contracting rheumatic fever as a small child, doctors gave her only a few years to live. She proved them wrong, but suffered from poor health for her entire life; enduring several heart attacks, pneumonia, and even a crippled left arm.
No one ever called Millicent Rogers a “poor little rich girl” but she did have several eccentricities; like using a 24-karat gold toothpick at dinner parties, traveling with a pack of 7 to 10 dachshunds at a time, and a tremendous attachment to thousand-dollar Charles James couture blouses (she ordered them by the dozens). During gas rationing in World War II, she simply avoided this inconvenience by hiring a yellow cab and cabby full-time. When the cabby asked, “Where to, Lady?” She replied, “Just keep the meter running ’till the end of this damn war.”….and he did. She even had the cab painted black and the back seat upholstered in leopard print.
She was married 3 times, and had 3 sons, but Millicent Rogers was romantically linked to a number of notable men throughout her life, including author Roald Dahl, actor Clark Gable, author Ian Fleming, the Prince of Wales, Prince Serge Obolensky, and even an unknown “heir to the Italian throne”.
After her third divorce in 1947, Millicent planted herself in Taos, New Mexico declaring that it was, “time to stop falling in love.” She named her home, a reclaimed adobe fort, Turtle Walk and she filled it with Spanish Colonial furniture and native American textiles, pottery, jewelry, baskets, santos, tinwork and paintings. She loved the relaxed New Mexican lifestyle and traded in her usual couture dresses for a daily uniform of an authentic Navajo blouse, a long and full skirt propped up with multiple petticoats, a shawl and bare feet. In 1947, Rogers and several prominent friends hired lawyers and visited Washington, D.C. to promote the issue of Indian rights and citizenship. She even successfully lobbied for Native American art to be classified as historic, and therefore protected.
She died in 1953 as the result of an aneurysm. She was only 51.
Following her death, one of her estate lawyers was heard to remark, “What are we going to do with all this junk?”….refering to the thousands of Native American jewelry pieces that she had lovingly amassed in just a few years of living in New Mexico.
Her sons knew exactly what to do with it all. They founded the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico.
Today it is widely considered to be the gem of the American Southwest.
Here is just a sampling from Millicent’s extensive collection.
Y’all know just how “Pillow Happy” I can be…….it takes an unbelievable amount of restraint to edit it down to just 6.
Looks like it should have been there all this time.
It’s just amazing…..you can go ahead and say it.
Of course, we both want to sit on it when we eat dinner. (It faces the TV perfectly)
(Sidenote here: Those are our last 2 Cessa chairs that still have the cane backs and vinyl seats mostly intact. As y’all can see, they cane isn’t holding up that well either. Maybe we’ll do something about those in the near future. Also thinking that pendant looks a little bit…underscale. HHHmmm? It just never ends around this house.)
Chipotles are simply smoked jalapenos. And that smoke makes a flavorful world of difference.
For the best southwestern ranch dressing, all you need is a couple chipotles (find them in a can in the Mexican section of the grocery store) and an 8 ounce bottle of ranch dressing.
Add the 2 peppers and the whole bottle of ranch dressing to a mini food processor, along with 2 teaspoons of the chipotle liquid, and hit pulse for just a second.
Deliciousness in just 1 second.
Mix this with sour cream for a cool, smokey dip for veggies or taquitos, or toss a couple of spoonfuls with a bag of mixed greens……
….and layer on a plate.
To top this spicy salad we usually just use whatever we have in the fridge. Grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and bacon are pretty standard for a Cobb salad. Avocado, corn, and diced jicama (a Mexican root vegetable somewhere between a potato and an apple) give it a little more of a southwestern flavor.
Last weekend Jamie dragged me to a country bar. I have trouble hearing in crowded places, so I watched the videos…….most of which I’ve never seen before.
Like Drunk Last Night by the Eli Young Band.
I like classic rock and 80’s alternative, Jamie prefers techno and divas, but we’re both open to everything……. I liked this song and downloaded it onto my iPod immediately.
Sure, Mr Eli could use a little help from an “Arm Choreographer”, he moves them in an uncomfortable looking C3-PO fashion. But it’s a catchy tune. I Googled them and apparently the Eli Young Band, formed in Denton, Texas BTW, won Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music a couple years ago. Good work, boys.
Still never heard of them before.
So why all the hullabaloo about a band I hardly know?
Because their video was filmed in our neighborhood. Oak Cliff, of all places.
The bedroom scenes are at the Belmont Hotel, the boys are performing on the shipping pallet stage at the Foundry. They drink boilermakers, flirt with a tattooed bartender-ess and shoot pool at the Foundry bar. Our hero calls for a pre-moistened cab from the only pay phone booth left in Dallas in front of SMOKE Restaurant. I’d recognize those orange Umbra chairs and, Man-ohh-Man, that arrow sign pointing to the front door anywhere.
So, how about a little walking tour of our neighborhood as highlighted in the Drunk Last Night video?
The Belmont Hotel was designed in 1946 by famed architect Charles Dilbeck in the art moderne design and is the only public building that he ever designed. The entire cliff it sits upon was trucked-in and created just to take advantage of the spectacular view of downtown Dallas. It was also one of the first hotels to offer year-round air conditioning. The Belmont was abandoned in the 80’s and set vacant for years until Monte Anderson and his team of contractors saw the potential and restored the building to its former glory in 2005. The Bar Belmont is the best view of downtown Dallas and during the summer evenings the hotel shows free drive-in movies on the lawn by the pool.
SMOKE restaurant shares a parking lot, and the same Dilbeck designed art modern lines, with the Belmont Hotel. It should, after all, in another lifetime the building was the diner for the hotel. This place just smells like you would expect Texas to smell…like BBQ. But not your average brisket….coffee rubbed brisket. Or try something a little more exotic like pate with smoked onion marmalade, or sweet breads with roasted figs, or cabrito with green apple salsa.
Definitely not your average BBQ joint.
If this arrow ever disappears from the building….there might be a slight possibility that it’s in my den. Just sayin’.
Across the street from both of these beautiful buildings….is the not quite attractive front for the Foundry.
Behind that U.G.L.Y. parking structure the beer garden awaits….I wouldn’t usually describe a place as feeling “Austin-ish”. But if you have never been to Austin, Texas…this place just exudes the same laid back, outdoorsy feel that every place in Austin does.
The garage doors to the bar are usually up and open continuing the outside is inside feel of this place.
Mostly Texas beers on tap too.
As it should be.
The stage made from reclaimed shipping pallets has live music on every evening where the weather permits.
The Foundry never charges a cover.
In the summer……..this place is packed with Cliff-dwellers enjoying local draft beer and free music.
Did I mention the food?
Attached to the Foundry, actually it’s the same owners, is Chicken Scratch serving up street tacos, tremendous salads, and …. well, chicken. Rotisserie and fried.
It’s a well-known Oak Cliff fact that Chicken Scratch serves some pretty perfect hangover cures.
Like the Foundry Biscuit; fried chicken, mashed potatoes, smoked slab bacon, cheese, and grainy beer mustard nestled in a buttery flakey biscuit.
Is your mouth watering yet?
I got mine with a side of the green chili hominy mac-n-cheese.
I happened to run into my good friend Darrell. Who, along with some other hung over friends of his, were all munching on chicken and waffles.
Because they….are y’all ready for the punchline?
…got Drunk Last Night.
So check out all of these places if y’all get the chance.
Well, for some odd reason there are hardly any pictures of the actual house.
Here are the best ones that I could find.
Even the exterior shot looks like a game of “Find The House?”
(photos by Kristin Barlowe, in case she wants credit for these duds)
Thanks to the architect using reclaimed doors, windows and other tidbits the house has all the character of a century old estate, and it’s only 12 years old. There’s a hidden office behind a swinging bookcase, there are wide staircases opening the center of the house, and even four separate porches. The previous owner, also a motorcycle collector, kept his bike collection in the finished basement. There’s access via a garage door.
“Oh my God, I’m taking this house!” he said as soon as he saw that basement garage door. It was as if the whole space were custom-made just for him.
Now, you might expect a bicycle/motorcycle fanatic like Mike to cruise around his 32 acre property on a vintage 2-wheeler, but no….he opts for this cool-as-hell red vintage Ford pickup.
Don’t blame him one bit…….I would too.
Sure, you know that Mike spends his days digging through dilapidated barns, in his custom-made imogene + willie jeans, for “Rusty Gold”. My dream job. (Who am I kidding, I have my dream job…picking junk would be my fall-back dream job) But what does he do with all those odd-ball things he uncovers? Recently Mike teamed up with Nashville designer Dave Phillips to create one-of-a-kind light fixtures. Lovingly called Rustorations. The guys use vintage buckets, funnels, hay pulleys and fans to make pendants and floor lamps. If it can be wired for electricity…it’s fair game for the pair and their imaginations.
Here are a few of my favorites.
(photos from Antique Archeology)
Aren’t they just freaking awesome?
Unfortunately, each is one of a kind…with no prices listed online…..and can only be purchased in one of Mike’s shops; Antique Archeology.
The original location is in LaClaire, Iowa and the newest in Nashville, Tennessee.
Nashville, that’s not too far from Leiper’s Fork, I suppose.
Probably just a quick ride in a vintage Ford pickup.