Salt Fish Surf Co is a surfy boutique in Venice, in Los Angeles, run by the effusive and friendly French surfer Romaine Goudinoux, who designs and sells branded t-shirts, caps, accessories, and leather-and-fabric surfboard bags hand-crafted in Mexico. But, to be clear, his small second-floor store is not a surf shop. In fact, Salt Fish hardly feels like retail space at all, but rather a beautiful shabby-chic, hipster-surfer living room (dubbed “La Casa Saltfish“). It’s fillwd with Mexican blankets and rugs and a few surfboards propped up amid a tiny selection of merch for sale. The space and vibe is so cozy and chill that you don’t ever want to leave.
There’s really no excuse for this. Unless it’s a college dormitory or your parents’ basement or the living room of a pro skater or the place of business for somebody connected to the skateboarding industry (and by extension the surf industry), skateboards as decorative wall art is no bueno, brah!
You see, savvy reader, once you’re past a certain age and a certain living circumstance (i.e., you’ve moved out of your college dorm room or parents’ basement into your own apartment or one-bedroom condo) your choice of decor and artwork should show that you’re adulting, and we mean adulting hard! Continue reading
There are few things in life that make us positively giddy with excitement. These few things are …
- Good waves and the promise of good surfing;
- A quad-shot espresso in a cup filled to the top with ice first thing on a hot, humid morning, preferably near a beach with good waves and the promise of good surfing;
- Experiencing a bold, massive-scaled and amazing art installation, preferably after quad-shot espresso, good waves, good surfing, etc.;
- Boarding a plane bound for a foreign country, especially after seeing amazing artwork, quad-shot espresso, good waves, surfing blah blah blah;
- And … seeing a new, freshly printed issue of Apartamento magazine sitting neatly on the table at HQ.
The smell of the magazine’s thick, expensive paper stock can practically be sensed from a few meters away, which is like foreplay to thumbing through its pages.
Print media dead? Dying maybe, but not dead. In some cases, print media is positively thriving. For a few years now we’ve been in a new golden age of excellent independent print magazines. For for some magazines, the content is such that it is best experienced in print.
. . . . .
Want to add a bit of sexy, aspirational flair to your retail / dining / third-wave coffee establishment, something with a bit of totemic presence and cool-mystique lifestyle cachet?
You say “YES! Yes, I do!” In that case, here’s a tip: Add a surfboard.
That’s it. Just mount a bright colorful surfboard on the wall. Or tuck a couple of beat-up shortboards in the corner of otherwise dead interior space.
If the board still has wax on it, so much the better for authenticity. If it’s a dinged shortboard autographed by a pro surfer — say, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater — and covered in garish energy-drink sponsorship stickers, well, that’s just great. If it’s a pristine, glossy longboard in a bright, yummy candy color that makes you want to lick the board, that’s fantastic.
By doing so you’ll have added tremendous value to your business by improving the “customer experience,” and you’ll have instantly hipstafied your establishment by a solid 34%, minimum. We absolutely swear!
Many examples as follows …
From top to bottom: Sunny Days Cafe, Honolulu; Kono’s Restaurant, Haleiwa, Hawaii; G-Shock SoHo Store, New York; Louis Vuitton Store, Santa Monica, Los Angeles; Lost Weekend Cafe, Lower East Side, New York; Chanel surfboard signed by Gisele Bundchen at art gallery, Venice, Los Angeles.
The space at Daydream Coffee and Surf in Costa Mesa, California is great, but it’s missing a few things that would make it perfect: A bed, a TV, and a set of keys to the space with our name on it.
The Parisian clothing and retail brand A.P.C. recently opened a shop in Silver Lake in Los Angeles. Like may of this French fashion label’s stores, whether it’s in Tokyo, Paris or New York, this new LA outpost has its own distinct interior design aesthetic, different from all the other A.P.C. stores, yet inscrutably “on brand” in its warm minimalism.
A.P.C. stores embrace the constraints and quirks of the space they occupy and subtly absorb the character of the surrounding neighborhoods they’re in. At the Silver Lake store, the tiered shelving system is the foremost feature of the space. It’s a piece of architecture in and of itself within the shop space, built in smack in the center of the store and easily eating up much of the architectural footprint. Customers can walk through it.
The plain distilled earthiness of the wood suggests a casual, clean organic aesthetic in sync with the Southern California “canyon spirit” style, but the thin bars of LED lights augment this with a restrained hint of the Hollywood glamor. All in all, it sweetly aligns with the the clothing brand’s style of fashion.
The cafe at Menotti’s Coffee is a third-wave espresso joint and a friendly little hub for the legion of caffeinated locals and a certain stylish subset of Silicon Beach worker bees in the heart of Venice in Los Angeles. The baristas are serious about their coffee game but with zero pretension, in spite of the smattering of hipster accoutrements. Sure, there’s a skateboard and fixed-gear bicycle propped against a wall inside the cafe, and there’s beautiful, curated art photography on the wall, but its presence seems more a natural byproduct of taste than strategic. Across from the cafeteria is the famous, epic-scaled Venice “Touch of Evil” mural. On a slow day, we’ll cruise over to Menotti’s on our bikes for a long break and a flat white cappuccino.
Menotti’s Coffeeはロサンゼルスのヴェネツィアで “Silicon Beach”で働くスタイリッシュな若者やカフェ、親しみやすい小さなエスプレッソバーです。 カフェバリスタはコーヒーについて真剣です。 彼らにはプレテンションはありません。 しかし、彼らはヒップスターです。 もちろん、カフェの中にはスケートボードと固定式の自転車があります。 壁に美しくキュートな芸術的な写真があります。 これはメノッティスタイルの例です。 カフェの通りを渡って、有名な、壮大なサイズのヴェネツィア「Touch of Evil」の壁画があります。 私たちが忙しくないとき、仕事から休みを取って、メノッティに自転車を乗せて、美味しいフラットホワイトのカプチーノを飲むことにします。
The flagship store of cosmetics brand Hourglass is a testament of exemplary, beautiful retail design. The shop is located on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard near Venice Beach in Los Angeles, and the space is so “on brand” that the experience of the space feels like part of the product itself in ways similar to that the aesthetic minimalism of an Apple store and iPhone.
As regular readers of Global Graphica know, we’re fans of Apartamento magazine. We always get excited when we see a new issue hit the newstands. It’s one of those rare periodicals these days that is almost exclusively a print experience; There’s an Apartamento website but it’s a mere presence. The magazine’s contents are only fully digestible in the actual printed edition of the magazine itself.
The current issue has been out for a few months already, but we just delved back into it while doing a little research and we got excited by it all over again. The issue looks great and features an interview and photos of artist Raymond Pettibon at home in his apartment in the new Frank Gehry “New York” building in downtown New York. Back in the day, Pettibon (pictured on the cover, below) created — among many other things — the iconic black-bars logo for the seminal American punk Black Flag .
We recently popped by Propellor Coffee in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on one of those interminable snowy days during this year’s remarkably harsh winter in New York City. This cafe is a solid, local ‘third-wave” coffee joint with much more generous space than many of the miniscule espresso bars that these days seem to be opening up every five seconds in NYC. The atmosphere is warm, mild, friendly, unobtrusive amid a decor of spare 1960s- and ’70s-era vintage furniture and walls filled with thematic, similarly aged and well-preserved photography of airplanes and airlines, in keeping with the spirit of the cafe’s name. The usual retinue of cafe punters are here, the laptop brigades and freelance designer/scriptwriter/fashion blogger types, and the local hipster coffee nerds. It’s a wonderful place to while away an hour or two on a lazy Saturday afternoon nursing a hot latte while reading an actual printed newspaper copy of the New York Times, checking your Instagram, and staying warm.
After an awesome day of surfing at San Onofre Beach, a legendary surf spot in Southern California, we went out for beers and grub at the Cellar, a bar in neighboring San Clemente where we were pleasantly surprised to see this stencil street art by the Los Angeles-based street artist Bandit in the bar’s restroom. The town of San Clemente itself is a beautiful beach town that is virtually devoid of graffiti and street art.
The restroom at Miss Lily’s — a Jamaican-and-reggae-themed cafe and shop in downtown New York City — is decorated with the framed record covers of roots reggae and dub music classics from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Our favorite is the cover for Dr. Alimantado’s “Best Dressed Chicken in Town” record pictured above.
Pulino’s on the Bowery is our downtown go-to weekend spot for Italian-style brunches in New York City. The food and atmosphere are great. And its location at the corner of Bowery and Houston streets means it’s in a prime spot for taking a break during our usual weekly art circuit and close to the action. The Deitch Wall is across the street. The New Museum is a block away, as is Rag & Bone, Banksy’s recent “Grim Reaper” installation, and a few other often-changing commissioned street art spaces. A dozen or so of the nearly 100 galleries now in the Lower East Side are two or three minutes away on foot. Like so many restaurants these days, Pulinos delivers its check to your table with a postcard, which we love.
The front of the pioneering Commes des Garcons concept store in New York’s Chelsea art-gallery district has become a mini-mecca for street art in recent years. Layer upon layer of wheat-pastes posters, stencils, graffiti, spray-can art, paint and stickers by various artists, graff writers, designers and creators cover the brick exterior and sidewalks on either side of the shop’s aluminum tunnel-like entrance on W. 22nd Street. The street art-bombed frontage is a beautiful contrast to the minimalist-futurist polish of the store’s architectural design, which looks as cool now as it did when it opened in 1999 on the site of the Heavenly Body Works auto-body shop (the sign is still there).
The French clothing label A.P.C. is one of our all-time favorite style brands, and we’ve been buying shirts, sweaters and jeans at their shops in Paris, New York, Osaka and Tokyo for many years while on our travels and living abroad. While A.P.C.’s retail presence in the U.S. and even is native France is relatively small, the company has many boutiques big and small throughout Japan’s major cities. This one pictured here is in the chic Tokyo neighborhood of Daikanyama, tucked between Shibuya and Naka-Meguro. It’s a tiny storefront and shop space, but it has this beautiful, minimalist style than manages to fit right into the neighborhood’s quiet ambiance and human-sized architectural scale. It’s also incorporated some leafy greenery into the space. And it’s totally “on brand.”
We’re fans of Jamaican-styled Miss Lily’s, a roots reggae record shop and Internet radio station that’s also a cafe and “juicebox” — a place that makes fresh smoothies and juices — on Houston Street, on the border of SoHo and Greenwich Village, in downtown Manhattan, NYC. The full name is Miss Lily’s & Melvin’s Juicebox and Record Shop. (Melvin makes the smoothies.) Readers of this blog may recall we’ve posted about Miss Lily’s before and published images of the interior. Here are some pix of the exterior and some of the yummy food.