July 23rd, 2014

Cinematic – The Terrace Theater

Places speak to us, I can hear them saying things.

TerraceTheaterMinneapolis

In older spaces, like the Terrace Movie Theater right outside of Minneapolis, when I look at photos of its heyday I hear an excited voice saying, “This will be a great space, designed with care, making the people inside it feel important and the time they spend inside it feel important. This attention to design, this feeling, will bring people here and bring people back which will make the space a success and the business behind it profitable.”

TerraceMovieTheater

TerraceTheater

Most commercial spaces (or schools or churches) built after 1979 or so have less inspiring things to say. Something more like, “America is fading and making a profit in it is so hard today. This bland, builder’s-grade structure will do well enough. It’ll keep investment costs and overhead low, and through this approach the space will have an easier time being a success and it won’t be so hard for the business behind it to become profitable.”

Both these stories that spaces can tell you make sense, logical sense. But one story makes life better, and America better, and industry and craftsmanship and so much more so so much better.

TerraceTheaterRobbinsdale

The Terrace theater is like seven minutes from where I live, and one minute from the hospital my sister was born in. I don’t recall having ever been there before it closed in the late 1990s. But it still stands there today, tired and tattered within a parking lot growing so much wild, weedy greenery it looks like those “Earth After Mankind” Discovery Channel specials.

Sigh.

Apparently at The Terrace there was a TV Lounge for macho husbands to sit and watch sports games and such while their wives watched the latest chick-flick weepies in the theater proper on the big screen.

What a place. What a time…

    July 16th, 2014

    Northwest Passage – The Road to Twin Peaks

    Northwest Passage, if you didn’t know, was the working title for what would eventually become the very best anything ever: Twin Peaks.

    TwinPeaksMural

    I was an impressionable and not fully-formed fourteen year-old when the series washed onto the shores of television, wrapping a dead girl in plastic and possessing my mind and spirit ever since like a supernatural demon. My bucket list isn’t terribly long, but touring the series’ shooting locations near Seattle has definitely sat toward the top of it for at least a decade now. Thanks to a Washington state wedding Hurly and I were invited to, my bucket list is now one entry shorter.

    Come see what I saw.

    GreatNorthernLodgeText

    The night before the wedding we stayed at the Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie, used as the exterior of the hotel where Special Agent Dale Cooper stays while investigating Laura Palmer’s murder.

    SalishRestaurant

    SalishWaterfall

    The interior scenes in the pilot were shot elsewhere, which made it all the more difficult for the lodge owner’s daughter Audrey to walk in on my breakfast and ask if my palms ever itched. But right below me and my (not) damn fine cup of coffee (cause I can’t really stand coffee) was perhaps Peaks’ most iconic location…

    SnoqualmieWaterfall

    …The falls outside the Great Northern! Just steps from the spa, the Snoqualmie Falls looked exactly how they do in the series’ opening credits, though perhaps less sepia-tinged. The stunning spray splashed up to my face as the show’s theme song flowed over my ever-humming lips. In this moment Twin Peaks wasn’t just a show, it was real a place after all, and I was in it, at last.

    TwinPeaksSchoolText

    On the far side of Snoqualmie’s historical district sat the high school where Laura’s classmates learn of her death. I couldn’t get inside since it was summer and shut up tight.

    TwinPeaksHighSchool

    But I could, and of course did, faithfully re-enact the scene of the un-named Twin Peaks Senior High School teacher running from this door, shrieking with her hands on her face right before the Principal tells the student body to go home and grieve with their families.

    TwinPeaksRoadSignText

    Not five minutes further down the road was the location of the Welcome To Twin Peaks road sign. Right behind Hurly, right where our ruby red rental car parked, that’s where the sign once stood. The summer foliage and mid-morning mist shroud the twinned mountain peaks in the distance compared to the image used in the first shot of the opening credits and on the show’s soundtrack album cover. I might’ve missed the spot altogether, honestly, if it wasn’t for the assistance of the otherwise useless Siri.

    PackardSawMillText

    Most of what was used as The Packard Saw Mill closed and collapsed years before, aside from this one building.

    TwinPeaksSheriffsOfficeText

    The office for the actual mill was used as the Sheriff’s Office. In the pilot, if you look past Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman you can see the mill right outside the interrogation room windows. The Sheriff’s Department structure, thankfully, hasn’t been torn down yet, although now it houses some sort of outdoor adventure company.

    TwinPeaksDinerText

    Next stop was Twede’s Cafe AKA The Double R Diner. The cafe’s interior is now decorated tragically with Tweedy Bird stuffed animals so I refused to sit and order a slice of cherry pie purely on principal.

    DoubleRDiner

    Instead I alternated cell phone selfies with D-SLR shots snapped courtesy of Hurly and recited my favorite Double R line of Donna Hayward dialogue. “Why don’t you sit here and hold hands and try and figure it out.”

    RoadhouseInteriorText

    Bar-brawly juke joint The Roadhouse was actually filmed using two locations. The interior was a Seattle performing arts center only my iPhone’s eye was able to enjoy.

    RoadhouseExterior

    The exterior was located outside Snoqualmie and no matter how hard I listened I couldn’t hear Julee Cruise crooning from inside.

    LauraPalmerHouseText

    Way out in Washington, far from anyone who might hear Cousin Maddy scream, was the Palmer Family home. Completely blocked from the street by towering bushes and thick brush it was eerie, sneaking through all that green to get a good glimpse, and thinking about all that had gone on inside that house. On the television show they never shot it from an angle that demonstrates  just how hidden the house really is from view, but seeing the truth of it, there was a sinister, symbolic sense to it.

    SnoqualmieFalls

    As our tour wound down, a dreariness came over me. I’d made it as far into a make believe place as is possible and there was an emptiness to that. I couldn’t ever get any deeper into Twin Peaks, or any closer to Cooper, or ever actually ask Audrey if she needed extra help with her amateur investigation into One Eyed Jack’s.

    The complete un-realness of something that has always been and felt so real to me was brought to light. And yet, even if the ugly emptiness of the modern world insists on tearing down every last saw mill structure or slapping Tweedy Birds all over its restaurant walls to remind me TV shows are just shows and they live for a while and then they die - Twin Peaks has always felt real to me and amazingly, it still essentially does.

     

      July 8th, 2014

      Wide-Brimmed & Banded

      Separately (totally separately, I swear) I bought a giant Sunbody brand straw hat from Ranchlands Mercantile

      RanchlandsHat

      And a banded collar indigo shirt that’s got a little bit of linen in it.

      JCrewBandedCollarShirt

      If I wear these separate purchases together I am suddenly an Amish extra from the movie Witness, or possibly a hip hemp farmer in Ojai.

      AmishWill

      Allusion to either such character isn’t totally unwelcome, I suppose.

        June 19th, 2014

        Black on Black

        It was January when they first caught my eye.

        February or so before I decided I for sure needed them…

        BirkenstockShoes

        Late (and still snowy) April before I thought it made any sense for a soul to be buying sandals in Minnesota…

        BirkenstockSandals

        And then suddenly everywhere/shop that I looked, the austere all-black Birkenstocks they call The Monterey (not Arizona) were sold out, a subversive style from a season or three ago. Seemingly never to be revived or replenished.

        BirkenstockMonterey

        Then June came, just about the earliest it makes sense to manual-up in Minneapolis, and I found a pair in Germany that only took a week to work their way to me.

        BirkenstockMontereyBlack

        A happy ending as summer finally gets around to beginning!

        They’re my third pair of Birkenstocks in as many years, but the way they bridge hippie-chic with Helmut Lang I thought them wonderfully wearable and insanely un-ignorable.

          February 25th, 2014

          Touring Tinseltown

          The Ace hotel was our main excuse to return to L.A., but Hurly and I spent plenty of time out and about.

          CaliforniaSurplusMart

          SunburnCream

          One of the stores we hadn’t checked out during last year’s visit was the California Surplus Mart which is where U.S. military goods go to live/die once they’re honorably discharged.

          TheLastBookstore

          TheNowhereCity

          Downtown at The Last Bookstore I picked up a small stash of trashy old B-movie worthy paperbacks I’ll wait to crack open ’til summer sizzles on in.

          JamesDean

          Most mornings while we’re vacationing I excitedly rustled Hurly up out of bed hours before shops are even open. We try and kill time best we can, but often times we’ll just sightsee the outside of closed tourist spots, like the cold, misty exterior of the Griffith Observatory, three full hours before doors unlock for the public.

          Fonuts

          Other than the CW stars we saw on the Ace’s rooftop, our only other real celebrity sighting was technically just a Bravolebrity. We went to Fonuts as featured on Eat, Drink, Love and the lovely Waylynn herself filled our box with half a dozen of the yummiest and most moist non-donuts we’ve ever had.

          It was an amusingly unscripted little scene for Hurly and I, and though he isn’t much into donuts at all, he was way into the donuts, fo’sure. Those things stayed un-dry for days.

          HeathCeramicsCopperBowl

          Last year it was some candlesticks at Lawson Fenning I most regretted not bringing back to Minneapolis from L.A. This year it was this heavy handled copper bowl at Heath Ceramics. It weighed a ton and cost even more…

          IMG_7371

          Whether it’s early in the morning, or too early to head to our dinner reservations, Hurly and I have found that another good way to kill time and see swanky sights is to wander through other guests’  hotels.

          BeverlyHillsHotelCabana

          We looked at the famous palm-wallpapered coffee shop and hand-stenciled signage at The Beverly Hills Hotel one night.

          AvalonHotel

          AvalonHotelPool

          And enjoyed a quiet breakfast at the Kelly Wearstler-designed Avalon Hotel our final morning.

          HotelAvalonKellyWearstler

          WillReesAvalonHotel

          I’ll skip pretty much any museum visit if it means I can scope out and pose in yet another handsome hotel.

            February 18th, 2014

            Ace Hotel Los Angeles

            Our last three getaways were to California. And we’d just visited Los Angeles less than a year ago. But I had such a transcendently sublime time at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs this fall for our non-honeymoon that I really wanted to check out the newest Ace location in L.A. basically A.S.A.P.

            And so Hurly kindly jetted us off to the Golden State for the fourth time in under 12 months so I could scope out the just-opened awesomeness.

            AceHotelUnitedArtists

            The L.A. Ace is located, notably, downtown – helping shift the area’s once shady status from down-and-out to up-and-coming. A majestic movie theater/office tower Charlie Chaplin and his colleagues built in 1927 to showcase their United Artists’ films is the Ace’s set of bones.

            AceLosAngelesTheater

            The grandiose theater lobby I thought would act as the lobby/public space of the hotel – but the theater is solely/separately dedicated to Ace-curated public concerts/shows and unfortunately closed off otherwise from the hotel and its guests.

            LAChapterRestaurant

            The hotel proper is carefully crammed into the theater’s adjacent thirteen-story office tower. There isn’t even barely a proper lobby, just the front desk/gift shop and then the hotel’s coffee shop/bar/restaurant called LA Chapter.

            AceLosAngeles

            But Ace’s strength is creating striking visual moments at every scale, and assembling beauty from mixing the old and the new with the high and the low.

            AceHotelPendleton

            In the rooms, the little things bring big rewards. Southern California was crudely cool when we were there and the color-blocked Pendleton co-branded wool blanket on our bed was a soothing, snuggly comfort that I keep thinking a ton about, back here in the blizzards of Minneapolis.

            HelloMrMagazine

            The in-room reads aren’t just generic city-centric publications, but indie zines about girl drummers and man-dating men. 

            AceLosAngelesRoom

            AceHotelSheetMusic

            HurlyGuitar

            Ace locations are famous for their in-room turntables, which our 12th-floor suite indeed offered – as well as our very own guitar and a stack of blank sheet music we used to effortlessly transform Hurly from a simple tourist into a soulful little troubadour!

            AceHotelLosAngeles

            Nodding to its Hollywoody past, signage at Ace DTLA is stenciled atop schlocky old screenplay pages.

            AceLosAngelesLAChapter

            And the walls of its restaurant are professionally doodled in images of tinseltown’s richest and most famous.

            LAChapterFood

            Diners can sit around and order ricotta pancakes or avocado toast while subtly trying to celeb spot (pencil sketchings of) Keaton and Dern and Schwarzenegger.

            LAChapterBar

            AceLAChapterRestaurant

            Or do as I incessantly did and gawk at all the ivy leather and tricky tilework and beautiful brass tabletops that makes LA Chapter so aesthetically delicious.

            AceLosAngelesUpstairs

            If you ride the elevator up the the roof the sign for the sorta Less Than Zero-seeming Upstairs bar beams bluely at you.

            AceLosAngelesRoofBar

            WilliamRooftop

            AceDTLARoof

            But once you step into the sun the scene gets a little less Less Than-ish. There’s countless kilim pillows, cement knick-knacks, a shrimpy swimming pool and, on our last day there, a chic from the last three seasons of Gossip Girl and a dude from the only season of Ringer.

            WilliamReesAce

            Other places, two semi-celebs from old CW shows might be the coolest and most beautiful things around you – but at an Ace, they just fade blandly into background players since its the hip-chic scenery that really shines.

              February 13th, 2014

              Homemaking Granola

              I was never very into fancy granola. And neither GQ nor Gwyneth Paltrow nor any Tumblr-ing styled blog has recently told me I should start getting into grandiose granolas. But in the past few weeks those expensive bakery bags of granola I never would’ve bothered paying for before suddenly started seeming crazily cravey to me. Still not enough so to pay like $9.75 a bag for though, and so I thriftily and swiftly made my own.

              And it tastes totally like Christmas cookies!

              HomemadeGranola

              Barely sweet and loaded with pebbles of pecans, it reminds me of butter cookies or sugar cookies or something like that, but its obviously way better for you – me.

              I based my base recipe off this one - just cause it popped up first on Pinterest. For the fat I used coconut oil, for the sweetener I used some agave syrup I’ve been trying to get rid of for years, for the nuts I did sunflower and pepita seeds plus chopped pecans, and for the spices I used just a whisper’s worth of cinnamon.

              I wanted my granola a little on the dark side so I kept baking mine for four or maybe more minutes. Next time I may add some dried fruit – but this time all my body and mind cared about was over-toasted oats and uber-roasted nuts.

                January 16th, 2014

                Cherry On Top

                To you she’s maybe just the chick that sang “Buffalo Stance”.

                But I had the time and the mind to pay better attention when the 80s were turning into the 90s, and so “Kisses On The Wind” might’ve been a less buzz-worthy follow-up to her name-making smash, but not an unworthy one. And then came the dark “Heart” video which freed Neneh from her green-screen cell and placed her in the brilliant spotlight of David Fincher. And then came the rap clip about AIDS, insidiously infecting the old, cold format of the PSA with the youthful sizzle of MTV so that worrying about HIV became less a matter of Life Or Death but of Hot Or Not.

                Neneh-Cherry-Blank-Project-608x602

                Neneh always had too much to worry about, too much to school us all on, to waste her time getting us to majorly like her by cuddling mer-boys or tapping with animated skat cats like her pop diva contemporaries did. She’s been lying pretty low for the past twenty years, but she’ll be rising back up in February with her album Blank Project and she sounds like she’s still got pages of personal and social woes to alert us on.

                She might’ve stomped into our world via the dance floor but she’s too urgent and acid-jazzy to bop around in such feelin’-good grooves these days.

                However she needs to sound now, whatever she wants to say, I’m listening. Old friends will tell you things no one else can.

                  January 6th, 2014

                  Hot and Cold

                  Last night, as Daisy and Mrs. Patmore swirled into the modern world with the arrival of an electric mixer in their Downton kitchen, I myself took a step back.

                  SangerHotWaterBottle

                  Hurly said temperatures the next few days in certain spots in Minnesota were going to be colder than on Mars. He knows everything about almost everything, but I didn’t believe him until that moron that knows almost nothing about nothing (AKA Siri) proved him right. Last night Mars was -51 or something and this morning Bemidji had a windchill of about -52.

                  IMG_6935

                  Friends in my Facebook feed have dubbed it the Freezepocalypse and so to ensure Hurly and I didn’t frostbite-the-bullet in our sleep, I filled up the German hot water bottle I received at Christmas and tucked the sunshiny little thing under our covers right before bedtime.

                  HotWaterBottle

                  Battling the apocalypse-ish elements really isn’t so bad if you can do it in retro rubbered style.

                    December 5th, 2013

                    A Few of My Favorite Things

                    I know all of y’all a little bit, but since I’ve never met your Sweetheart or your Sixteen Year Old Cousin or your Self-Defense Instructor, I wouldn’t know better than you what to go and gift any of them this Christmas. But I love the way Holiday Gift Guides shine spotlights on selections and shops which readers might not come across otherwise – and so I’m issuing out the first ever Treasury-approved Gift Guide, highlighting items I’m sure someone in your life would probably treasure.

                    HolidayGiftGuide2013

                    1. Geneva Travel HiFi System
                    I demand my iPhone speakers white, un-ugly, and non-gigantic, and this is the most handsome little-ish device I’ve come across in my thirteen months of hunting. It’s got Bluetooth, of course, plus an FM clock radio, tuckable within a future-retro travel case.

                    2. Manjukaza Painting
                    Far across the sea, Hong Kong artist Majukaza strokes out a never-ending series of affordable ink wash paintings, all of them black on white, each one a little different than those that have come before, and all of them modern masterpieces.

                    3. Minuteman Watch
                    I grew up in Swatch Watches, and now tend to wear vintage timepieces off etsy. The aesthetic of Squarestreet’s Minuteman watches span both sides of the spectrum, and then settles somewhere in between. Some designs offer brown lizard print leather bands, others sport see-through candy-like cases. Whether your style is pretty Poppy or more Papa-like, Minuteman’ll tick with every look.

                    4. Vermont County Store Short-Sleeve Sweatshirt
                    Short-Sleeve Sweatshirts used to be a thing, then they basically stopped being a thing. And I just LOVE things like that. These sweatshirts appear to be cut a little on the big and baggy side but I’m gonna just go with it (like in the movie Just Go With It) and make ‘em look casually cool anyways.

                    5. Monoi Tiki Tahiti Coconut Oil
                    The Line is a freakily chic shop in New York that sells some pricy little prizes. These bottles of Tahitian-made Coconut Oil cost but twelve tiny bucks though and they’re just the thing to make you feel dewy and tropical when winter turns you all dry and dreary.

                    6. Nate Berkus Aluminum Box
                    Online, almost everything Nate Berkus designs for Target looks lust-able. In person, that’s not always the case. It all comes down to (it always comes down to!) material and finish, and these shining ebony and ivory enameled storage boxes could pass for “good vintage condition” 1977 Pierre Cardin pieces. Hurly-the-Hubby thinks they’re cool too.

                    7. Cupid Deluxe CD by Blood Orange
                    iTunes gift cards are a’ight, but a real CD you can handle with care feels so much better un-stuffed from a stocking. Blood Orange’s album (I swear) is like the seductive soundtrack of some Pacific-set romance starring Mia Sara and whichever heartthrob looked hunkiest in bolo ties back in ’88. It’ll turn your half-lame life into a montage of hair-flips in hot tubs and kisses in corvettes. (Wouldn’t “Kisses in Corvettes” be the BEST name for a song? Someone go off and make that happen.)

                    8. Musco Orange Amber Shaving Cream
                    I haven’t considered straying from my praise-worthy Proraso brand of shaving cream for six or seven years now. But the Hermes-y citrus-colored tube of this orange and amber-infused Musco cream is telling me it’s time to at least consider letting something new come between me and my Mach 3.

                    So Happy Holidays, friends! Go give and receive with all your heart.

                    And for year-round insight into all I’m basically wish-listing, peek at my Pinterest boards.

                      December 4th, 2013

                      Duck ‘n Covered

                      A few falls back I picked up a Pointer Brand chore coat and I don’t think any item of clothing I’ve ever bought caused so many strangers to come up to me with compliment-covered questions.

                      PointerBrandTag

                      Pointer Brand’s been pretty busy updating and expanding their offerings since then, and the new-ish debut that’s piqued my interest the most are the line’s Raw Navy Duck Jeans.

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                      NavyDuckJean

                      Crisply canvas-like, they’re a terrifically yesteryear shade of moody blue, and a great escape from the life sentence of unwashed denim.

                      PointerBrandDuckJeanATreasuryOf

                      Although Pointer Brand’s products are designed for the down ‘n dirty daily lives of workmen across America, I always tend to dress ‘em up a little bit. (I’ve only sorta heard of elbow grease, so I don’t want my outfits getting too gritty and giving anyone the wrong idea about me.)

                      PointerDuckJean

                      I am handy enough, however, to take an X-Acto knife to any visible branded labels on all of my pants since I generally want my wear as era-less and obscure seeming as possible.

                      DuckJeanSide

                      PointerBrandNavyDuckJean

                      But something about these Duck Jeans’ ‘lil labels, both front and back, work just perfect for me. Obscure’s good, but looking like half your outfit came off the shelf of a South Dakota hardware store sometime between 1953 and 1981 is even better.

                      I’m telling you – for me it’s just way, way better.

                        November 26th, 2013

                        Taking The Cake

                        NapaCakes

                        Revered as the original power bar, Panforte literally means “strong bread.” Solidly spiced and tougher than hockey pucks, Panforte packs nuts and dried fruit into a dense little disc of dessert-worthy nutrition.

                        NapaCake

                        I’d never had Panforte before, but since the makers at Napa Cakes wrap up their sugar-coated power pellets so sweetly, I thought I’d get a jump on the holidays with some Sienna-style fruitcake and give one a try!