Articles and Essays

Books and Special Projects


Foraging: Kuraya Japanese Antiques

Kuraya doesn’t look like much from the street — just a nondescript warehouse on the industrial fringe of the Mission District. But climb the loading-dock stairs, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by some real Japanese booty: hundreds of antique tansu chests from the mid-19th to the early 20th century, each built for a specific function, from tea preparation to kimono storage. (Read More…)

Prayers at an Exhibition: Bhutan’s Art and the Monks Who Protect It

On a recent afternoon, art handlers in T-shirts and tattoos paced the sixth-floor gallery of the Rubin Museum of Art, wielding levels and hammers as museum employees with clipboards leaned over tables laden with gold and bronze sculptures. (Read More…)

Check In, Check Out: The Storrier, Sydney

THE BASICS The “art hotel” concept has arrived in Australia. The Melbourne-based A Hotels Group, run by an avid art collector, is planning seven art-themed hotels across Australia by 2010. The first, the Storrier, opened in Sydney (Read More…)

Check In, Check Out: Colony Palms Hotel, Palm Springs

THE BASICS The Colony Palms Hotel was built in 1936 by the Detroit mobster Al Wertheimer as a front for a brothel and gambling house. But despite its notorious past and a $16 million overhaul completed (Read More…)

In Miami Beach, Where Youth Is Still Served

The nightclub Suite, where the stiletto heels of its very prominent clientele are hard on the upholstery.Like the bronzed and barely clad bodies that saunter up and down Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive, South Beach is in a constant state of self-improvement. That’s especially true this season, as a wave of new bars, lounges and clubs put up their velvet ropes and (Read More…)

Surfacing: In Chicago, Slaughterhouses to Art Houses

“We’ve got 100-year-old businesses selling wholesale pork rinds and bulk-size canned tomatoes next to world-class galleries selling $50,000 paintings.”

Stand on West Fulton Market in Chicago at around 3 p.m. and witness an incongruous changeover. Forklifts hauling greasy pallets of sliced bacon clear out, as bright young things in stiletto heels and luxury cars roll in. (Read More…)

Check In, Check Out: Seattle: Hotel 1000

THE BASICS After surfing Hotel 1000’s Web site, which tallies the hotel’s many futuristic technologies (a tub that fills from the ceiling, infrared occupancy sensors), you may arrive at the hotel expecting (Read More…)

Foraging: Berkeley, California: Jitensha Studio

Rare 1940′s and 50′s bike parts are displayed as artifacts behind glass. At the back of the shop are exquisite canvas-and-leather touring bags, woven willow baskets, handmade French tires and tiny brass bells from Japan.

Berkeley is big on bikes. The city is laced with well-used “bicycle boulevards” — streets modified for bike safety and convenience — and studded with overflowing bike racks. Stand in front of Jitensha Studio (jitensha is Japanese for bicycle) and you’re within a mile of (Read More…)