Sometime in the last year or two, we noticed a new store at Serramonte: Daiso. Took us a while to check it out, but in the Christmas stocking-stuffing rush, we finally did. At first, the "livingwear" store (that's what the sign on the door says—it's kind of like a Japanese Target, only without clothing) seems chaotic and schlocky, but when you dive into the kitchenware sections, you realize that it's basically Muji gone Hello Kitty. (Which is an idea that would, no doubt, quietly horrify the philosopher-retailers at Muji.) And plenty of the cool little containers and mysterious gadgets are decal-free.
2008 was the year of the staycation, and 2009 doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. This is excellent news for California residents who have everything one could want--sand and snow, mountains and deserts, plains and valleys--all within the state's confines, plus some stellar ongoing deals on local getaways. In this two-part list, we'll tempt you with 10 can't-miss spots to visit in the coming 12 months--make it your New Year's resolution to hit them all.
10. Mammoth Lakes
New Year's resolution: add color and comfort to the home. Knock that one off your list in one fell swoop with wool felt products from Lotus Bleu. Not only are the thick, handmade items soft as can be, the vibrant, natural-dyed colors add the perfect touch to finish any room. The store carries rugs, throw pillows, floor pillows and accessories such as baskets in the fabric, and all are 30% off for the month of January.
In this era of MCM madness, "French Country" is a term that, while loved by some, can cause cringes in many a design circle. But while the beauty of an Eames or Saarinen is undeniable, the warmth of a farm table or elegance of a settee is also most certain. Another reason to give the style a chance? The arbiter of all things "French Country", Pierre Deux, has select items marked down as much as 70% percent from now until February 1st. Oui, s'il vous plait.
Among, you know, other things, 2008 will be remembered as the year that Saturday Night Live became relevant (and funny) again. Ms. Tina Fey, obviously, has been coronated as the savior (just see January's Vanity Fair cover). Her spot-on impersonations of Sarah Palin may very well go down as the apex of SNL political satire. But Palin, of course, was the comedic gift that just kept on giving.
This is the time of year when I start thinking about all the bests of the year—my favorite meals, the chefs I hope to see more of in the New Year, the best newcomers, restaurants I’m sad to see close. Melissa Perello is one of the young chefs I’m keeping my fingers crossed for in 2009. I finally got over to Sebo last Monday, where Perello’s been guest-cheffing periodically (her boyfriend, Danny Dunham, is one of Sebo’s chef-owners and was in the kitchen to help). The $45 four-course meal was a well-executed Cal-French mid-winter treat, featuring a caramelized scallop salad with celery root puree, kale-and-chanterelle risotto, and fork-tender Cabernet-braised pork cheeks.
Recently, the Sun – the London-based tabloid that seems to pride itself on movie-related misinformation – reported that Eddie Murphy and Shia LaBeouf would be joining Christian Bale and rumored Catwoman Rachel Weisz in Christopher Nolan’s next Batman sequel, tentatively titled Gotham.
Though the rumor has been categorically (and convincingly) denied, I believe Murphy could make a fine Riddler, provided he muted his act to suit the dark tone of the material, as Robin Williams did for another Nolan production, Insomnia. But LaBeouf as Robin? Spare us.
Hey, this has been kind of a rough year, eh? The last couple of months have kind of made us want to hide under our desks. But as this year ends and the next begins, it would seem a shame to let it go by without a proper toast, something like “Thanks for nothing, 2008. See you on the flip side.”
Who couldn't use a little therapy after the hectic holidays, right? And if you prefer the retail kind, make your way over to the Mission this week where home decor store Therapy's entire stock is 40% off. There is a great selection of simple Mid-Century Modern inspired sofas, as well as a good mix of decorative accents to fit any space. Get over there soon though as the sale is just to clear some space for new inventory, and will be over in about a week.
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