Hi friends, it’s been a minute! I’ve spent the last couple of months figuring out some things, my priorities, looking forward, planning, all kinds of meaningful things.
In the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of jogging. I listen to ambient music while I’m out, usually a long stream of Kenji Kihara tracks, trying to focus more on my breathing and distance and less on my speed. During the week I’m trying to eat less carbs and more veggies, drink NABs (non-alcoholic beverages) like Optimist Botanicals, get into edibles, and reorganize my apartment to make it habitable for friends to come over.
I can firmly say that I’m not one for things “going back to normal” (burn it all down, in my opinion) though I love to share that feeling of intimacy with friends and family once again. I was able to hang in Palm Springs with a couple of close friends this last week and it was such a joy. Hopefully next up on the list is visiting Barcelona and Madrid, though for now my partner Kyle and I are playing it by ear. If you’re in Spain drop me a line, maybe we can share a bottle of Cava some time in late summer or early fall?
Creatively, I’ve been working on some fun projects here and there. I’ve been making a lot lately for Vespertine, one of the most exciting Michelin starred restaurants in Los Angeles, and Destroyer, it’s more low-key (but equally delicious) breakfast and lunch sister restaurant. Lots of branding, packaging, and environmental design work, I’m excited to share more soon. I also helped the City of Los Angeles with some branding and a website for their Low Rise design challenge, an effort to rethink sustainable housing. I also make a lot of random items which I upload to my Dribbble every so often. If you’re in need of some creative help, hit me up: firstname.lastname@example.org
As you can see this edition has been a little more “conversational,” something I feel like this little newsletter has been missing. I’m hoping to utilize this as a way to meet more people, make more friends, branch out again. Now, onto the fascinating links!
Palm Springs is my favorite place when I need a getaway from Los Angeles. It’s in close proximity (~2 hours), there’s some great food and drinks to be had, and the dry heat of the desert makes it an idyllic place to lay by a pool and get a tan. I thought I’d share a few places I love in case you’re in need of a vacation yourself, cuz’ who isn’t right now?
Sparrows Lodge →
By and far my favorite place to stay in PS. The hotel is basically a private retreat that looks like it’s been untouched and hidden away forever. The deep red stained wood and grey green walls surrounded by lush greenery and anchored by a massive barn in the center set the stage for a relaxing vacation. They also have a great bar and kitchen and best of all, the property is 21+, which means no screaming children.
Bar Cecil →
From the same folks responsible for Sparrows (and their sister property Holiday House, which is more classically PS, but still great) is a new restaurant called Bar Cecil. We ate at the newly opened restaurant last week and had a wonderful time. I would describe the food as “new American” with a French/Euro twist. Everything was delicious and the service was honestly impeccable.
Counter Reformation →
This is one of my favorite hidden gems that I feel like folks haven’t discovered yet. Hidden in what used to be a storage closet on the grounds of The Parker hotel is a small, maybe 10 seat bar called Counter Reformation. With a tongue in cheek nod to Catholic tropes the tiny bar serves precisely edited dishes that go down wonderfully with a glass of Champagne. Don’t miss out on the freshly sliced Jamón Iberico!
✖ — I’m totally enamored with Troye Sivan and his perfectly designed home. If you haven’t watched this walkthrough of his renovated Melbourne home, which used to be a handball court, please stop what you’re doing and click that link. Major props to Flack Studio on the incredible design and all the thoughtful work that went into the project.
✖ — Do you think an office chair is worth $2300? I’m trying to look at objects like this as a long-term investment. I’ll own the chair forever, it would never go out of style, but WOW that’s a lot of money upfront. If anyone has a hook up at Herman Miller or knows a good second-hand store holler at me.
✖ — I feel like I keep seeing Meiwen See’s branding and design work on the sites I frequent, and with good reason, her work is incredibly charming and very on-trend currently. She utilizes negative space to great effect and her photography does well at further capturing the moods she’s going for (though I don’t why you’d squeeze your lime out on a menu lol).
✖ — Very excited to watch the new season of Master of None (I was a big fan of S2) especially this season’s focus on the relationship between Lena Waithe and Naomi Ackie, such a smart pivot. Related, this Domino article talks about the beautiful set design of the season and introduced me to the phrase “Upstate Lesbian Cottagecore.” Yes please, sign me up!
✖ — My good bro-friend Dana sent me this article on the typography of watches, which he very correctly described as “the Venn diagram between Bobby and Dana.” It’s an area of design I hadn’t really considered before, and even if you’re not interested in either of these fields, it’s an interesting, well-written piece.
✖ — Roxanne Gay, one of my favorite writers to read, has an astute piece titled, Cops Don’t Belong at Pride. I love her POV, highlighting the disturbing history of cops and queer people, as well as the normative behaviors queer people are often forced to uphold to be “normal”:
Let’s be clear: We should not have to contort ourselves to make straight people more comfortable with our lives. Assimilation cannot be the price we must pay for freedom.
✖ — Speaking of things that probably make straight people uncomfortable, Thom Browne’s new Resort 2022 collection is a fantastic sight to behold. His clothes always fuck with gendered norms and this collection, filled with skirts and belly shirts and ponchos and sailor caps, is a striking evolution of his signature style. And the attention to detail! I can’t get enough. Thom, if you’re reading this, please let us enter into a beautiful throuple.
✖ — Sweetgreen got a redesign from Collins, and honestly? It’s fine. It’s not bad by any means, but doesn't it feel like every other corporate food redesign out there? Like it’s lacking a real sense of personality or point of view? Again, it’s not bad, but I can’t say I’m wowed by it like all the commenters on Brand New seem to be.
The Trend Report™ by my partner, Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, is a sharp and insightful look at everything going on in the world, arriving every Saturday to your inbox. Highly recommended, obviously.
The Fox Is Black Radio is a 3 hour playlist I keep updated with new music I’m listening to and loving. Don’t let the cover fool you either, this mix is nothing but fresh. Put it on shuffle and enjoy.