Camille Becerra is no stranger to departures and homecomings. “We actually lived here before,” the chef and food stylist says, waving around her sun-filled TriBeCa loft. “That day the towers went down, we physically left,” she says of Sept. 11, which prompted her to flee with her then six-month-old daughter to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint, where they lived for seven years. During that period in her new neighborhood, Becerra opened Paloma, a restaurant housed in a converted parking garage, which she named after her daughter. In 2008 the restaurant burned down, and Becerra returned to her beloved loft in Manhattan.
Tom Scharpling’s long-running program, “The Best Show on WFMU,” had its name for a reason. Until its final broadcast last month, it was the Jersey City-based station’s most popular—a fact that isn’t lost on its successor.
” ‘The Best Show’ is an institution with hard-core fans, and I’m among them,” said the comedian Dave Hill. “Part of me doesn’t want to be that guy that comes in and replaces everyone’s favorite thing.”
He paused for a moment, then added, “but Tuesday, Jan. 7, mark my words, I’m showing up with guns blazing.”
It was Mr. Hill’s natural humor, equal parts self-effacement and sarcastic bravado, that helped him snag the coveted weekly block on WFMU, which broadcasts locally at 91.1 FM and streams online. “The God— Dave Hill Show” begins this week.
Graphic designer Jessica Walsh’s name is associated with a few very obvious words: talented (she’s won accolades from the Art Directors Club, Print magazine, SPD, and other major industry organizations); Sagmeister (her partner at design firm Sagmeister & Walsh); and nudity (her shocking photo announcing her position as partner at Sagmeister & Walsh).
Adding to that list, one might consider including “surreal,” as Walsh’s curiosity toward the idea has been formative in her childhood, her dreams, and her work. Though she doesn’t consider herself a surrealist by trade, she does find inspiration in the wonder-filled world of the surreal, from classic examples like Alice in Wonderland to contemporary exhibitions at the Whitney.
For Grammy-nominated musician and activist Kenna, storytelling isn’t just a form of art—it’s an almost involuntary form of existing. Sometimes he’s the voyeuristic outsider looking in on supposed narrative, and other times he’s the main character, surmounting challenges and writing the next chapter as he goes—but always sharing. Earlier this year, he led a group of friends and fellow performers on his second climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for his global clean water initiative. Not surprisingly, every picture tells a story…
“I don’t even know if this is West Coast,” says Kelly Wearstler, waving out toward her West Hollywood studio. For the designer who has become synonymous with the decadent and colorful, amped-up interiors that vividly represent California and the stylistic revival of Hollywood Regency, this is perhaps the boldest statement she could make.
And yet, given how visibly defining her work has been in the emergence of Los Angeles’ maximalist style—a rebuttal to “shabbychic” and stark minimalism, two polar opposite trends of the ’90s—it’s easy to see how someone, Wearstler included, might shun the pigeonhole of regional references. She regards her style simply as her own.
For more than a decade Wearstler has been a head-turning figure in the design world, not only through her work on hotels and residences, but also her multiple books, lavish pictorials that remain fixtures on marble coffee tables as much as style bibles for the trade’s aspiring neophytes. In 2007 the interior designer made her way into even more American homes as a judge on Bravo’s reality series, the competition-based Top Design. And with a newly published retrospective tome, Rhapsody (Rizzoli, $55), and a brand-new hotel project on the horizon, it’s clear there’s no such thing as “enough” for the doyenne of maximalism.
Before hearing her soft Southern drawl when she speaks, it may come as a surprise to many that Wearstler spent most of her formative years on the East Coast (perhaps another reason she demurs from associating her own deeply instilled aesthetic with any particular Californian movement), first in South Carolina, and later in Boston, where she attended the Massachusetts College of Art.
The style of her childhood home, she remembers, couldn’t have been more divergent from her own tastes. “It was country-style—so different,” she says. “Stuff was everywhere. The powder room off the living room was filled with tins and baskets and all this stuff. It was crazy.” Fortunately for Wearstler, her mother, who also worked in interior design, gave her and her sister creative freedom over their own rooms. “We could pick our own wallpaper, and we could paint it any color we wanted to. I always gravitated towards color—something that was cool, colorful, a little more modern. That’s always been my vibe.” (more…)
It has been 40 years since Ed Schoenfeld helped open Uncle Tai’s Hunan Yuan, New York City’s first four-star Chinese restaurant. Working as a captain in the front of the house, he hosted an illustrious clientele that included Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Andy Warhol, before going on to preside over the dining rooms of several other landmark eateries throughout the city. These days Mr. Schoenfeld, one of the country’s foremost experts on Chinese cuisine, is the proud co-owner of RedFarm, a popular dim sum restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village. A second RedFarm location is due to open on the Upper West Side next month, in addition to a new bar and dining room in the space downstairs from the original location. Last January, Mr. Schoenfeld and his wife, Elisa Herr, a financial editor, moved from Park Slope, Brooklyn, to the Forest Hill neighborhood of Newark, N.J. He spoke to us in the kitchen of the 1909 Georgian-style house that he and Ms. Herr share with their cat, Cocoa Chai Latte.
Featured in Design Bureau’s special edition issue, Weddings By Design (on newsstands, Spring 2013)
When Omar, a restaurant and private supper club opens next month at the former Hotel Griffou in Greenwich Village, many night-life veterans may ask, “Omar who?”
He would be Omar Hernandez, a behind-the-scenes fixture on the party circuit who is seeking the same, first-name-only recognition once reserved for legendary hot spots like Nell’s and Elaine’s.
“It’s not meant to be a vanity project,” Mr. Hernandez said the other day, as he whirled about the gutted space on West Ninth Street, pointing out the new décor and not-yet-arrived fixtures. “It’s about the spirit I want to convey.”