The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture:

The Phaidon Atlas was in every design magazine's holiday gift list in November and for good reason. It features over 1,000 buildings from around the world—"from the Arctic circle to the African deserts"— built in the last 5 years. Basically a who's who (or should I say what's what) of contemporary architecture, it's so massive— about 20 pounds—that the book comes packaged in a plastic case with a carrying handle. Of course, the price is just as massive—$160 (although Amazon.com is now selling it for $100.


A trip to the heart of Patagonia:

Patagonia, which encompasses the southernmost parts of Chile and Argentina, is known worldwide as one of the most beautiful, unspoiled and remote places on the planet. This photo is the Explora resort in Chilean Patagonia, north of Punta Arenas in the Torres del Paine National Park . The rooms either overlook the Paine Massif mountains, which originated 12 million years ago, or the Salto Chico waterfall. And from the hotel, you can go horseback riding in the mountains, hike through forests, and climb the glaciers of the South Icefields of Paine Massif. Plus, the hotel has a spa. What more could anyone want?


A new sofa, this time one Briar may like:

It turns out that for the past year I thought that the type of sofa Briar disliked was actually the type she likes. I thought she required a sofa to have arms that are shorter than the back. But, no, it is only arm chairs that need to have arms that are shorter than the back. For couches she wants the arms to be the same height as the back. (And she says I'm the picky one.) All this time I kept seeing sofas that I liked and I thought she would nix because of the arm-to-back ratio. This B&B Italia couch was one such one. Of course, I want it covered in black leather to solve that pet hair and vomit issue I've so often mentioned. It was designed in 1993 by Antonio Citterio , who also designed the Diesis sofa I posted last month.


Room & Board's Madake floor lamp:

This is just about the coolest floor lamp I've seen (and believe me, I've seen plenty). Plus it's under $230. I think it's the perfect addition for our living room.


A new, leather sofa:

After Gertie puked on our couch three times in one day (which was preceeded by Briar's vomitting on the couch only a month earlier) we became even more aware of our need to have only furniture that can be wiped off with a cloth. That means we really should only have wood, leather and metal, which suites me fine.

Although I really, really like the B&B Italia "Diesis" sofa that I posted last month, Briar wasn't completely sold on it. I think this one by Keilhauer is a good option. It's nice and cushiony and it looks like Gertie would be able to snuggle right in.


Jean Prouvé's Potence lamp:

We have some lighting issues in the downstairs and this lamp would be a very cool solution (although Briar is still not convinced).
Jean Prouvé designed the lamp in collaboration with Charlotte Perriand in 1950.
The single metal rod extends almost 7 feet and pivots 180 degrees, which means one lamp can be used to light various parts of our living/ dining room.
Plus, in 1930 Prouvé helped establish the French Union of Modern Artists, whose manifesto read, "We like logic, balance and purity." If only I had been alive then— I would have joined.


Cyanide pills:

I don't want to end up like my Grandma— bedridden, unable to eat and miserable to still be alive. When I saw her this summer she told me she was "ready for the grave." "This is no way to live," she said. I'm thankful that she finally died.
I think we would all be smart to keep a cyanide tablet around just in case we end up like that. Instead of waiting for who-knows-how-long to finally die, we could take matters into our own hands.


I said it once before but now I mean it. I need new boots:

Both of these are Kenneth Cole (and both are black although they look different colors) but are strangely made in my tiny size. I'm not sure which ones will put me at the dressy-but-not-too-faggy-level. Opinion?


Fish's Eddy's 212 Skyline dish towels:

They feature the Chrysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, two of my favorite structures in the city (plus, it has the Twin Towers since these were first made pre-9/11). And now Fish's Eddy has opened a store in Brooklyn Heights, thank goodness because we have to restock all our Dog glasses , all of which we've broken over the last year or two.


A nice, new steel back door handle:

When we moved into our brand new apartment I was dismayed to see that the developer had for some reason used a curvy brass door handle on our patio door. Not only is it butt-ugly, but it also clashes with the entire apartment. I thought it simply meant we would have to go out and buy a new door handle. That would be wasting a bit of money, but it would simply mean going to any of the numerous cool "hardware" stores in the city ( Simon's Hardware & Bath on 3rd Ave being my favorite and the place I got our cool bedroom door pulls). Of course, we never seem to get things done the easy way, so the type of door that we have can only take door handles made by Andersen , the company that made the door. Luckily, they have the Metro "Anvers" handle, which basically matches the handle on our front door. Of course, though, the handle costs $200! It seems like our developer should have used this handle in the first place. Oy.


I keep seeing the cutest bunnies:

Not real rabbits, of course, just pictures of ones online, mostly on Pet of the Day .
I took a look at Petfinder.com to see if they had any for adoption in the tri-state area and they had hundreds, each one cuter than the next (I'm especially fond of the ones with fuzzy faces and giant feet).
When we first moved into our new apartment, I was walking up the block and saw a little girl holding a bunny. At first I thought it was a kitten since how many bunnies do you see in New York? When I got right up to her I realized it was a sweet rabbit just sitting in her arms.


Mikasa tableware based on buildings.
Columbus Circle:

TRUCK is a group of architects who joined forces several years ago to create architecturally inspired home products. Last year, they partnered with Studio Nova , one of Mikasa’s brands, to produce its first line of tableware. Although they have several different patterns, the building-inspired ones are the most appealing.

TRUCK based the pattern of these plates, bowls and mugs on 2 Columbus Circle, the landmark 1965 building by Edward Durrell Stone. The building is often referred to as "the lollipop building" because of it's circular opening at the top of the ground level columns.

I had the pleasure of going to an event there about 8 years ago when it housed NYC's Cultural Affairs Department (the agency moved out in 1998 and the building has been vacant since then.) Now it is slated to be sold and renovated as a permanent home for the Museum of Arts and Design. The Museum wants to completely change the facade and since the building is a nationally recognized (but controversial) icon of the Modern Movement, there have been numerous panel discussions and debates about the preservation of the building. The building is currently listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2004."


The Cat Tree (aka the coolest scratching post ever):

From San Fran's Everyday Studio ,a wall-mounted scratching post framed with 16 gauge steel and available in 6 colors (I like the midnight blue I pictured). Everyday Studio writes: "Cat Tree provides a refreshing alternative to the banal carpet and plywood pieces which currently saturate the market." I couldn't have said it better.
The best part is that the corrugated cardboard surface can be replaced. And although it's more expensive that a scratching post should be, at $70 it's not fall-over-fainting extreme.

Both Art and Amelia would love this— Amelia because it's the cardboard type she loves and Art because he rwally likes to stand and stretch. (And as soon as I started to write this Amelia jumped up onto the desk as if to give this some feline approval).


Cubox 21 Wall Sconce by Italian design studio Laser Illuminazione:

Our living room lighting sucks. What we need are some great sconces that will shine light both up and down. The Cubox sconce available through YLighting is my favorite. The thin metal frame is subtle and gives a very unusual look to the light. I'm sick and tired of the typical light sticking out from a flat base that's attached to the wall.


Today I'd really only like to see a return to normalcy for Indonesia, Thailand and the other regions effected by the tsunamis.

The Aceh province in Indonesia once looked like this:

But now this is what it is like there:

The earthquake measuring 9.0 magnitude struck the western end of Indonesia's Sumatra Island at 7 a.m. local time, Sunday, Dec 26th, flattening buildings and sending a wall of water higher than the tops of coconut palms into the towns and villages in the province of Aceh. It was the fourth-largest earthquake since such measurements began in 1899.
Some of the resulting tsunamis reached as far as 91,000 miles from the epicenter of the quake (as far away as the eastern coast of Africa), which was located about 100 miles off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra Island at a depth of about 6 miles.
The death count currently stands at 150,000, with 500,000 seriously injured and millions lefthomeless.
To help, donate money to the Red Cross , Oxfam or similar groups.