Discover more from Tourist Trapp
TT Vol. 14
Clockwise from Top.
A few weeks ago, when doing a little research on the sublime Tschabalala Self, I decided to reach out to the gallery representing her just to check how much it would be to own a piece of her work. Needless to say, I’ve never sent in an inquiry to a gallery requesting a quote for a leading contemporary artist, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. (I did once walk into Phillips Auction on Park Avenue because, seeing Basquiat’s Krong Thip on display, I was floored to see some Burmese script on the canvas; sadly they wouldn’t tell me how much it sold for.) I was surprised to get a response from the gallery’s director, with news that there was a long waitlist for her work but that some fabric pieces were available for $20K each. I dodged her question on what our current collection consists of, but somehow I managed to get us on the waitlist for a canvas piece. Raquel and I have been loving the exposure that artists like Tschabalala Self have been getting lately. (Hers is a great instagram account to follow.) Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley saw their careers launch into the stratosphere when they worked on the Obama family portraits (Michelle’s here and Barack’s here). Grace Lynne Haynes is a supremely talented illustrator who was just on the cover of The New Yorker.
We have a large plant collection at our apartment. Raquel, of course, has anthropomorphized them all giving them each their own name. The small rubber tree we have is called Rosita, and there are a pair of succulents that we call Don Quixote (the tall one) and Pancito (the short fat one). Don Quixote is also what we call our “relationship plant” since I gave it to Raquel as a gift soon after meeting her. It was only a few inches tall then, and now it’s almost three feet tall! (We’d like to think that means we’re growing as well.) I tend to water all of our plants at once - what I call spa day for the ladies! I carry all of the plants over to the sink, and give each one a good soak and let them sit on a towel for 24 hours before bringing them back to the windows. I usually do this every other week in the summer, and once a month when they aren’t growing much. This has worked really well for us, and I haven’t lost a succulent in a long time now. This Arch Digest article delves into great online options if you’re in the market to purchase houseplants. While of course we love our real plants, don’t be scared to buy some fake ones! We just procured an artificial fiddle leaf fig tree from Ikea, that we plan to put in our bathroom to spruce things up. Raquel is especially nostalgic for fake plants since her maternal grandmother (Nana) uses them in her home decor. (Nana also used to have an amazing green plastic covered couch that Raquel references wistfully (see similar image here).)
Tekla launched their sleepwear collection a few months ago, and we’ve been obsessed with them ever since. It’s 100% organic cotton, and for the bottoms you have the option to buy either pants or shorts. Even better, because it’s unisex, Raquel and I have another category of apparel that we can share. The way it’s presented on their e-commerce site is a welcome departure from the typical online store archetype. While unisex collections are becoming more common, they are generally double exposed in both a men’s collection page and a women’s collection page. Tekla took a different route: they have one sleepwear page, where you can easily toggle between male and female models. This is how unisex styles really should be presented for e-commerce, not on separate gendered collection pages (check them out here). What other options are out there? Charvet, the grand dame of Parisian finery, sells an $800 night shirt on Net (get it for cheaper at the store on Place Vendôme, just be aware they are hidden on the second floor). Then you have Zara (Raquel likes this set) or Uniqlo (I like this set) if you don’t want to spend a month’s rent on sleepwear.
As many of us have been staring glassy eyed at the interiors of our hallways, kitchens and living rooms, we thought a rundown of some of our favorite textile and rug suggestions could be useful. One of our favorite rug vendors is a lovely little shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We visited for a wedding in 2016 and while I typically handle developing our food and restaurant itinerary, Raquel focuses on our shopping. She discovered Monte Arte Étnico (shop’s location here) and we fell in love with their home goods. Ricardo Paz and Belén Carballo at Monte Arte Étnico specialize in acquiring antique rugs from northern Argentina, along with leather goods, indigenous art and wooden furniture. Travel + Leisure has a nice write up on the couple running the shop here. When we last saw Ricardo, he was more than willing to ship to the US and advised he had a deck of high resolution images available for review. We thought the prices were very reasonable, ranging from around $300 USD to a few thousand, a much better deal than ABC Carpet. If you do happen to plan a visit post-pandemic, and we highly recommend Buenos Aires, you can follow our lead by emptying out your luggage into tote bags to make room for all your new rugs. Sadly, since we all are unable to travel currently, a few more local suggestions came to mind. Brooklyn-based Quiet Town is a cheaper option that has a lot of beautiful abstract styles that are great for next to the shower or tub. Most of their rugs are handmade in India with organic cotton and are comparable to Cold Picnic. Then there is Valencia, Spain-based design collective MUT (we like the Link Rug seen here). They can be on the pricier side but in our opinion are worth the investment. They also have an amazing collection of furniture pieces that we would love to purchase one day.
I’ve somehow accumulated almost a whole new shelf of condiments in the past few months (see my new Cooking Corner instagram that Raquel set up). Because just sriracha gets a little boring, we kicked off quarantine by investing in a few new hot sauces: Texas Pete, Cholula, Tabasco and Valentina. Most recently, we have been loving furikake and fried shallots and have been dumping them on pretty much everything I make. I’m too lazy to make my own chili crisp, so the next purchase is going to be this from Lao Gan Ma. (Side note: they have an amazing logo and I’m glad that someone is making merch for them.) Also, since Raquel has long been a fan of ice cream sundaes (and as we are ever the consumer that favors good graphic labels), we added some Bosco chocolate syrup to our fridge (purchase syrup here). We think it’s much better than Herschey’s and we love that it practically starred in this episode of Seinfeld in the 90’s. We also have a secret ambition to create our own condiment brand empire. So far we’ve come up with Tia Chapara Hot Sauce and Mr. Aung’s Secret Sauce.
I frequently find myself nodding along reading Matt Levine’s Money Stuff column; he’s an ex M&A lawyer and investment banker turned reporter writing cogently about what’s happening in capital markets. (Sign up for his newsletter here).
Goldman Sachs is building an app called Gemini to be the “Tinder for Banking” to match companies with prospective buyers or sellers, which would seemingly eliminate the need for many junior investment banking positions.
How to impress your boss on Zoom: one Wall Street intern uses a green screen and an image he took from the top of the World Trade Center to make it look like he has a penthouse (when he’s actually living in his parent’s basement).
Firas Attalah, a co-founder and longtime CFO of leading e-commerce platform SSENSE, announced a move to Chief Governance Officer making way for an outside CFO to join. For SSENSE, long rumored to be unprofitable, this may mean a transition from a period of rapid growth towards profitability.
Chris & Raquel