Over The Hill
Celebrating my 40th in Paris, new Björk album, creative resources, and the most beautiful mochi shop you've ever seen
I’m currently writing this as I speed toward Paris from Barcelona on the TGV. A few months ago, I mentioned that Kyle and myself had a made a five year plan. We’d move to Europe, and we would celebrate my 40th birthday in Paris. Wild enough, the 21st, this Sunday is my birthday, and we’ll be laying the final brick of our life-changing plan. I keep saying how surreal all this is cuz’ it’s the only word that can encapsulate the feeling of starting something new like this. A new city, a new decade of life, and all sorts of adventures ahead.
And funny enough, 40 is such a comfortable age. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, 40 was “over the hill” and for whatever odd reason, you were basically a senior citizen. The Golden Girls, for example, were the same age as SJP and the ladies in the newest Sex and the City season. We’re told (in the U.S.) that growing old is a curse. It’s something to fear and to run away from, though personally, I haven’t felt better, both mentally and physically. You know, the whole knowledge vs wisdom thing? I was the dumbest fucking 20-something, I don’t miss those days a single bit.
Anyhow, it’s been nearly three years since our last trip to Paris and I’m so curious to see how it feels, after we’ve endured all that we have. How has the city changed? How does the city will feel in contrast to Barcelona? And will I be able to get a reservation at Clown Bar?! I’m excited to find out.
If any of you dear readers have any tips, places to eat, to drink, to stock up on items for the apartment, drop me a line — firstname.lastname@example.org — or leave a comment here. And if you’re in Paris, let’s grab a drink!
💭 — I’m fairly certain the coolest thing that’s come out in the last few weeks was Fred again..’s incredible Boiler Room mix. The link there is actually to his live set as I feel like you should listen and watch it. It’s so pure and full of such good energy, I now listen to this like, every few days or so. It’s easily one of the best sets of the year.
💭 — Living in Europe you see Aperol Spritzes everywhere… or is that a Campari Soda? 🧐 I realized that I didn’t know the difference! Thankfully Food & Wine has a succinct answer. I had no idea that one of them had twice the alcohol content of the other! (You know you’ll click this now, haha…)
💭 — Using a touchscreen can often be frustrating, so now someone has gone and developed a gesture-based interface system, which gives me even more stress. Imagine trying desperately to make the correct “playing a tiny violin gesture” just so I can order a dang pizza. I know there are some appropriate uses for gesture interfaces but a watch or a phone isn’t one of them.
💭 — A brand new interview with Björk by Chal Ravens dropped today, announcing the title of her next album, ‘Fossora,’ and that it’s releasing this fall. She also speaks about how she finally became a homebody in Iceland. She swims at the local pool, throws house parties where she plays nothing but Gabber, and the next album will feel a lot “earthier".” I love all Björk interviews and this was a great one, so glad she’s doing well.
💭 — Walking around Barcelona there are so many well-designed restaurants in town. A few have consistently caught my eye, and as it turns out, there’s one studio behind this beautiful work. Branding and design studio Dennis, named after the director’s grandfather, is doing beautiful work in all kinds of areas. Highly recommend checking out their super playful brand work for LLOP, featuring a fox that loves to drink and dance, as well as the more refined identity for Les Filles, one of the best places for a boozy afternoon hangout.
💭 — While digging around for typefaces I came across OMGLORD, an incredible creative (and life?) resource. Crafted by Gabby Lord, the site has resources on a number of subjects like brand guidelines, anti-racism, illustrations, money… you name it, she’s compiled something helpful to reference. I’ve barely dipped my toes in and I’m looking forward to seeing what else she has to recommend.
💭 — I’ve fallen I love with a mochi shop. A beautiful space located in Dafaizu, about a 30 minute train ride from Fukuoka, it was designed by Toru Shimokawa Architects to blend in seamlessly with the Tenmangu Shrine located nearby. I find it refreshing that it feels traditional, no traces of modernity. I appreciate that the designers took this approach, making the shop feel like part of the area itself. How magical it must be to order such delicious treats from a space like this.
💭 — Speaking of, the new Ace Hotel in Toronto manages to accomplish the same ideal at a much larger scale.
"Our intention with Ace Hotel Toronto was to make a positive contribution to our city, a welcoming civic space where life happens and memories are made, and where both locals and their guests feel equally at home," said Shim-Sutcliffe Architects co-founder Brigitte Shim.
So many beautiful, natural materials. So much brick, concrete, wood, and tile. Everything in the space feels well loved, like it’s been there for a long time. There’s a natural ease to the space that is very hard to get right.
💭 — And finally, a big shoutout to Kyle for having his piece published, I Was A Famous Child Star In South Korea. Here’s What It Taught Me. Clickbait-y title aside, I’m stoked he was able to share his experience being a young actor on Korean TV, though the piece really does an incredible job highlighting cultural identity, how American culture has run rampant, and the value of democratizing education 👏
The Trend Report™ by my partner, Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, is a sharp and insightful look at all the things going on in the world, arriving every Sunday to your inbox. Highly recommended, obviously.