BlackBook

For BlackBook magazine I have written feature stories and also served as freelance listings and guide editor for the Hamptons guide.

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george loisGeorge Lois talks with the cadence and manner of a guy who’s spent years around boxing gyms and maybe the track. Though, most of his fights have been in editorial bullpens and most of his bets have been on creative long shots. And they’ve paid off. He’s a recognized legend in the design and ad worlds, and 38 of his iconic Esquire covers reside in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. He has, of course, little love for the standard magazine design by committee, which he calls a “group-fucking-grope” in his typical fashion, and his speech comes out in sputters and stops when he’s worked up, which is often. We had the chance to witness this firsthand, on this, the occasion of the umpteenth homage to his Muhammad Ali as Saint Sebastian cover (above; this time it was Ricky Gervais as Ali as Saint Sebastian on the cover of British Esquire) and at the end of a year where magazines appear to be on the ropes. It makes sense that some of his most well-known images are of boxers, because for all the accolades and decades of success, George Lois sounds every bit the old ringside corner man, vigorously pep talking his over-the-hill fighter (in this case, print) into pulling off one last astounding late-round K.O.Read the interview at BlackBookmag.com …
By Invader“It started last year in response to the economic downturn,” says Manom Slome, cofounder of No Longer Empty, a cooperative formed to stage site-specific exhibitions in vacant commercial spaces. “Walking on Madison one day, we counted about 15 empty storefronts,” Slome recalls. Confronted with all that unused square footage, the veteran curator, who spent seven years at the Guggenheim, and her colleague Asher Remy-Toledo saw an opportunity to put art in atypical places.Since June, with space donated by various landlords, the group has put on shows in vacant storefronts beside the Chelsea Hotel, under the High Line and in a former belt factory in Brooklyn. (An artist from Italy transformed an abandoned freight elevator shaft into a version of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” that could take you up to heaven or down through the circles of hell). Through this Saturday, No Longer Empty, has taken up residence in the old Tower Records on Broadway and W. 4th Street, a venue that has been dark for going on three years. Dubbed “Never Can Say Goodbye,” the show re-imagines the old record store as, well, a record store, but rendered with a gallerist’s vivid imagination and a long time-East Villagers’ nostalgia. Upon entering the gallery, a Tower-yellow and -red kiosk recounts a little of the history of the spot. How it was a place where Mariah Carey, Tom Waits, The Talking Heads, Biggie Smalls, Metallica and Camper Van Beethoven all got equal time.Read more on BlackBookmag.com…
industry-insiders-franklin-ferguson-montauks-navy-beachFreshly shorn of the mountain man beard that kept him warm throughout the desolate Montauk winter, as he worked to painstakingly remake a former bayside dive into a beachfront restaurant retreat, Franklin Ferguson now sports only a couple of day’s worth of stubble. After months of hands-on hard labor he’s looking much like his soon-to-open project, comfortably weathered but ready for the sunshine. “I wouldn’t mind if I never touched another paintbrush,” says Ferguson, who himself moved from Manhattan to Mountauk to oversee reconstruction of the Sunset Saloon, transforming it into his new venture, Navy Beach.Read more on BlackBookmag.com…
MontaukThe realization that development has hit the last possible tract of land at the end of an island is like finishing an eight ball at 4am and coming to grips with the fact that there’s no more left, no hope of getting any more, nowhere to go, and the sun’s coming up. Montauk, or The End, might just be earning its nickname at last.The locals and longtime summer regulars are bitter about interlopers turning Montauk into an eastern expansion of East Hampton. The arrivistes — Kelly Bensimon, Amanda Hearst, Andre Saffir, and legions of others who only a few years ago, never would have ventured West of the canal or East of Napeague Stretch — are there for the very thing the locals fear they’ll destroy. The newcomers want to outrun the development they wrought. The barbarians are at the gate, and they’re wearing Givenchy jeans and Ed Hardy T-shirts. They love the light, the air, the natural beauty, but they bring with them the market for trendy shops and, eventually, Starbucks, Blockbusters and CVS. When the chain stores arrive, stalwarts and recent arrivals alike will decry that the place isn’t what it used to be together, and wish they could move further east, to find some place more pure, more authentic, that doesn’t have a Coach store next to a Gucci store next to an Elie Tahari. The problem is, after Montauk, there’s nowhere further east to flee.Read more on BlackBookmag.com…