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MidCity Annual Sidewalk Sale

This weekend is the 11th Annual Side Walk Sale which is DC's Downtown Neighborhood Hosts the Hottest End-of-Summer Weekend!  Stop by and enjoy special events, sales, restaurant deals, and family fun throughout MidCity!  Check out the MidCity Life site for more info, by clicking here.  The following are a few of my favorite spots participating.

RCKNDY: Sweet Decor RCKNDY 1515 U St NW Save up to 80% on select furniture, décor, and gifts. 202.332.5639

Vastu Logo

Vastu 1829 14th St NW
Take 20% off all new custom upholstery orders. 202.234.8344

Urban Essentials Logo

Urban Essentials 1330 U St NW
Floor samples discounted up to 70%, plus 15% off regular prices on everything else in the store! 202.299.0640

Millennium Decorative Arts Logo

Save 20-50% off Mid-Century furniture and decorative accessories throughout the store. 202.483.1218

Room and Board Logo

Room and Board 1840 14th Street NW
Room & Board Celebrate Dog Days with dog biscuits and "people biscuits" from CakeLove for hungry shoppers and their four-legged friends. 202.729.8300

Images from MidCityLife




movingin I am still getting settled in to my new home in Washington, DC. Here is a quick shot of my friend Paul who was nice enough to help me move. Everything is in disarray and it is making me crazy. I love the new digs and will of course be transforming the space. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Special thanks to Paul, Marc, and Emmy for their help with the move.  Missing Boston already.


Cruise, Diaz Flick Filming in Boston

Knigh Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, among other actors are being spotted all over Massachusetts filming a new comedy/romantic thriller titled Knight and Day.  Yesterday, I saw the filming of a scene with Diaz on Union Park St in Boston's South End.  Chic boutique Looc was transformed into a bridal shop for the day.  The above image is of the scene where Cameron runs out of the bridal shot.  Where is she? You can sort of see the yellow dress as she is going back into Looc.  Well, let's just say, I will not be becoming a paparazzi anytime soon.  But, I must say that I found myself star struck for the first time on set, waiting for a glimpse of the actress.  Was it all worth it?  Not sure, but Cameron is stunningly gorgeous in person.

What was cool was getting to hear "rolling" and "cut" on set.   However, the glamour of the movie was replaced with the reality of an orchestrated recreation of everyday life.  A child crying was a reason for "cut" to be yelled.   I was absolutely amazed by how fragmented the process was and by the sheer number of people and equipment needed to make one short scene happen.  I realized that over the course of that day, less than 5 minutes of the movie was captured.  Academics often debate the architecture of film...the director's desire to be an architect/designer and vice versa.  I left thinking, I love that I can create an experience for my clients but they are the ones that make it real.

IMAGE CREDITS: Photograph by Kibwe Daisy

Man Shops Globe

india2Keith Johnson has my dream job, he travels the world shopping for antiques and furnishings for Anthropologie.  And now he has his own show on the Sundance Channel called, Man Shops Globe... color me jealous.  I wondered, how does one snag a job scouring the globe for cool finds?  Johnson became fascinated with traveling and antiques as a child when he went on excursions to Europe with his father, an art dealer.  He brought his experience to Antropologie in 1994.  His partner, Greg Senk, CEO of parent company, Urban Outfitters Inc asked Johnson to find furnishings for the women's lifestyle store.  The store was a big success and Johnson is now buyer-at-large for the 123 Anthropologie stores in the United States.  He also curates the gallery at the Rockefeller Center location.  This answers a long time question of how the Anthropologie stores has remained so consistently chic and inspired over the years.  Truth be told, I would love to see a men's slant on the concept. IMG_0001

So, not only does Johnson have an awesome job.  But this shopping has benefits on the home front as well.  He says that many of the finds for the store wind up in the home he shares with his partner.  Their Manhattan apartment is featured in the October issue of Elle Decor [See full slide show]  I fell in love with the old apartment featured on Mrs. Blandings which blogger,  Patricia Shackelford dug up from an issue of  Home & Garden in 2006.  You can clearly see some of the same pieces re-purposed or reused from the old place in their new home.  The arc lamp he found in Paris shown above is just amazing.  The gothic cabinet below knocked my socks off.   I love the way different styles and periods are blended in the home.

cab Make sure to tune in to Man Shops Globe, which premieres today, October 7 at 10p on the Sundance Channel.  I am already hooked by the webisodes and previews.  Special note to Keith Johnson: you let me know if you ever get bored with your job, I am happy to take over.  Special thanks to Paul V for letting me know about the show.

IMAGE CREDITS:  Keith Johnson Picture from  Sundance Channel: Man Shops Globe Profile Page.  Images of  New York Apartment from House & Garden, March 2006 via Mrs. Blandings

Hope for Boston's Abandoned Projects

filenes I get a little sad every time I pass by the Filene's basement building, located at 426 Washington St in Downtown Boston.  Designed by renown architect and planner, Daniel Hudson Burnham, the Filene's building was built in 1912 to serve as the flagship for the Filene's Department Store.   In 2006, the buyers of the building planned to build a 38 story tower on the property.  proposedtowerThe $700 million high-rise designed by Elkus Manfredi would feature retail and office space, 140 residence, a 207 room boutique hotel, and a health club and spa.  I was looking forward to the completion of the project as I thought it could play a large role in transforming the Downtown Crossing area.  Alas due to the economy, the project was halted in November 2008.  The Filene's building is among quite a few local projects to be stalled during construction.  Other projects include the Harvard Science Complex in Allston, the Longwood Center Biotech Lab and the Columbus Center in the South End.  According to this article by Casey Ross and Jesse Nunes of the Boston Globe, the city is challenging designers and artists to re-imagine these eye sores to once again incorporate them into the fabric of the city.   Take a look at some of the projects and choose your favorites.  And is welcoming submissions of your design ideas as well.


The most provocative designs shown were for the Filene's building.  Coming in first for me was the  Filene's Design #1 by Howeler + Yoon Architecture and Squared Design.  The building would be transformed into an algae-powered bioreactor.    While I won't pretend to understand the technology - the design involves robotic arms and pre-fabricated modules or "eco pods".  I was struck by the creativity of the design.


A close second is the Filene's Design #4 by Neoscape.  The design incorporates a large interactive screen that can be controlled by visitors on touch screens on the fencing along the site perimeter.   The designs were all impressive and I am glad that the city is taking steps to make these abandoned projects more aesthetically pleasing.  While some of these designs are quite innovative, I began to worry about cost as that was the problem in the first place.