Bad Ass Boutique . Thompson . Nashville

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Thompson . Nashville – sorry Nash this is a five star hotel.

To be clear, I am generally speaking, a hotel lover.  I like watching people, imagining where they are from, what brought them to this place, and the delicious thought that others are toiling away – while you are not.  I love them so much, I spend a good deal of time in them, in the various neighborhoods in my own home town.  Lap top, mobile, note pad, it’s as good an office as any old place, and I find that the general buzz is a welcome and impressive noise.  So there you have it.  Hotels are my jam.

Tyler and Lauren stand under the lights . Design – Parts and Labor . NYC

But…Thompson Nashville is the jammiest of jams – high tea at the Ritz with crumpets and clotted cream without any of the formality that comes with a British accent.  The Southern twang is served up with a 40 ounce Rosé wrapped in a paper bag.  Don’t laugh, you’ll be pleading for more of this porch pounder before the last live song is sung for the evening.

The prettiest 40 I ever did see.

21st century lighting in mid-century costume.

It goes without saying that a place as hip as Nash, and Thompson would not disappoint with the design.  San Fransisco based Two Roads Hospitality, the owners of the Thompson Brand opened their newest, 12 Story, 224 room, boutique hotel (one of eight) on 20 October 2016, to rave reviews.  Located in the Gulch Neighborhood, named literally for the narrow, steep-sided ravine which marks the course of a fast stream, arcing through the city’s south side.  The Gulch was previously the site of a very active rail road yard, which brought the majority of the supplies to the city, but became defunct after WWII.

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The Marsh Restaurant at Thompson

Now for those that have been paying close attention to me, you know I love edgy design, and I swoon over lighting, and make all manner of bad decisions when this happens.  Darlin’ we’re all human.  When I tell you that Parts and Labor NYC based design firm combines the sweet and salty scrumptiousness that offers up a veritable explosion for your visual senses, I’m really not doing them justice.  Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt offer up “bespoke, bare-knuckled and straight forward approach to high end design”.  I feel lightheaded.  Brass and glass, texture and layers, pops of color and sophistication, mixed with a little industrial to remind you of the origins of its geographic location.  The chug of the train receding into quiet.  It’s gritty and glamorous all at the same time.  This is Thompson.

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Cane Backed Bench inside a bookcase.  Considering my options.

I didn’t peak into the rooms, but understand the mini-bar dispenses vinal records.  So beyond cool I can’t stand it.  Apparently they provide maps that will guide you to neighboring record stores where you can really score.  Who doesn’t like an adventure.  Stop along the way at any of the restaurants or shops that have found their home inside the re-purposed industrial buildings that line the streets, or make your way back to Thompson’s Marsh House Restaurant, or to its roof top bar where the warm breeze blows, and views of the city are tipped in pink at sunset.

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Relaxing Rooftop

Y’all, I’m preparing to book my October visit.  Don’t wait, the hotel stock is so low in this booming city despite their hyper-track pursuit to bring rooms on line – the lines are outpacing supply.  The Thompson is a sip of perfect whisky in a city where you are the star in the song.  I so love being the star…..

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Rooftop Restaurant

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The final word . wood pendants, capped in silver, surrounded by Crystal … please!

Seeing the Light

Statistics – who would think a gal like me would love them so much.  They help set the stage, create the appropriate amount of awe – outlining the sheer magnitude of the effort.  If I just told you I bought a chandelier in Paris, and had it hung in my condo, that wouldn’t be much of a story.

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Marche aux Puces . Paris

For those following along, you know first that I bought it a very long time ago, back in September.  You’ll remember that my good friend Tiffany, and international treasuring hunting partner and I were scouring the Marchè aux Puces when we turned the corner, and there she was… my heart skipped a beat, and I knew I had to have her.  An offer was tendered, laughter followed by a sinking panic, additional requests, mild pleading, a whimper of consent, and a relinquishing of ghastly amounts of Euros.

Accounts were opened to handle shipping, wire transfers established, the trans Atlantic voyage complete.  An assessment of the structural capacity of the ceiling, the electrical box, and associated components designed to carry the weight of the chandelier – rendered a verdict of insufficient.  Modifications were made, plaster medallions were broken.  Then the rewiring commenced, followed by the discovery that Regis Royant and his Gallery of the same name – shipped me a chandelier that was similar, but not the same as the one I purchased from him.  Buyer beware.  After I got over that shock I took an ill-advised ride with the chandelier in the back of a pick-up truck.  That almost cost me a finger or two.

 

The initial installation was short lived as I discovered that once the following was assembled:

  • 65 main branches
  • 832 small branches
  • 808 glass discs or petals
  • 832 screw top components

It hung so low, it needed to be taken apart, branches carefully stored, orb and conduit back to the shop to be cut down.  Three Electricians later – can you believe no one wanted to do some star gazing – and after a very long night of reassembly, the curtain has been raised.  I will admit to being a little nervous about it crashing down in dramatic fashion…but one mustn’t live their life in a constant state of worry.  I’ll acclimate.

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For all the broken promises and heartache.  I’d do it all again.  This chandelier is a work of art, a wonder, a Broadway set in my living room, with all the magic a first rate production engenders.  It is stunning.  It is a showpiece.  It will steal the show, night after night, even if its only audience is me.

Happy Saturday.

Serious About Shopping

In New York City most things are taken seriously, even those things that are meant to be fun, ridiculous, or pushing the limits of outrageous.  I slide right into the frenetic throng of humanity with my map, plan, and insider guide (my sister Mary Beth).  A 15 year veteran of Manhattan, a technology guru, and an ardent city walker combing the neighborhoods as a favorite pastime, shops of every make and model are revealed to her, and by association me.  What a happy coincidence we share a fashion and furnishings …. well let’s just call a spade a spade….it’s an obsession.

Weekends go by so quickly, and even though NYC is a place where you can get just about anything, getting from the Lower East Side to the Upper, Tribeca, to the West Village or Soho can swallow up precious time.  I like to tackle themes and hoods.  Soho was the center of my Saturday, but excess is in order here, so I also went uptown to visit Bergdorf, and then Time Square to take in a show at the Palace Theater.  My recommendations for Furnishings and Art in Soho:

Jean Philippe Piter . Karina Surf at Click

Jean Philippe Piter . Karina Surf at Click

Calypso St. Barth . Home

407 Broome Street . NYC . www.calypsostbarth.com

Clic

255 Center Street . NYC www.click.com

Coming Soon

37 Orchard Street . NYC www.comingsoonnewyork.com

Flair

88 Grand Street . NYC  www.flairhomecollection.com

Flair

Gabriel Scott

372 Broome Street . NYC  www.gabriel-scott.com

NYC SOHO

John Derian Company

6 East 2nd Street . NYC  www.johnderian.com

While the shops certainly offer plenty of inspiration for home, to my mind, the street is equally rich.  Vibrancy and creativity abound.  Soak it in, revel in the energy, find a spot to observe the world unfold before your eyes.  Whether you leave with arms laden with shopping bags, a U-Haul full of furniture, or an empty wallet and a smile on your face, you are sure to have been provoked.  A feeling, and idea, a new direction.  This city moves, shakes, and jostles – this is a good thing.