After taking some time off to work on her book about the glamorous Gloria Vanderbilt, our design editor Wendy Goodman resumes her tireless treks in search of great style. This week, she finds the collected design books of the great Albert Hadley, has a $29 lunch — with wine, of course — at the elegant La Grenouille, and eats a candelit Fashion Week dinner with Simon Doonan and Anya Hindmarch.
I heard that Birch Cooper had acquired most of the design library of the legendary Albert Hadley. Birch lives and works in his studio; he's a private dealer, so you have to make an appointment. Here are the shelves of Mr. Hadley's books.
It's very rare to see a great designer's own curated collection. There are even Post-It notes in Mr. Hadley's handwriting. Birch lives and works in his tiny studio; here, you see the loft bed above his little desk. The books on the left are literary works; on the right, the Hadley collection.
I asked Birch how he keeps everything so orderly in his tiny space; he said "a label-maker." Here it is.
Birch just found this silver bookmark one day in one of Mr. Hadley's books. When he offered to give it back, Mr. Hadley said, "oh, that must have been one of Sister's bookmarks. Just keep it." What a collector's item!
One of Mr. Hadley's Post-Its, with notes in his handwriting. I hope someone buys the whole collection, which is filled with little treasures like this.
Here's another of Birch's design books. It's called "The Faith of Graffitti," and I was surprised to see that Norman Mailer is the author.
Here is the exquisite, magical oasis that is the restaurant La Grenouille, at 3 East 52nd Street. We're looking from the upper balcony down to the private dining room, which is now open Tuesdays through Fridays for lunch. Men don't need to wear jackets (a first!), and a delicious three-course lunch is $29.
This is one level up, where you can have a very small private party for ten people or so. The whole place is beautiful.
Could any table be more romantic? La Grenouille's owner, Charles Masson, is the most charming man. As it gets cooler, this room will have a wood-burning fire; on a fall afternoon, it couldn't be more lovely.
That intimate table looks down on this lovely view of the private dining room. The menu is called "Ardois," which means "slate" in French; Charles writes the daily specials there each day in chalk beside the dish.
Every day there's a wine special; here's the day's wine, with the frog (grenouille is French for frog) kissing it.
The Urban Garden
Here's the installation of the Urban Garden at the Bank of America building at Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street. Margie Ruddick of WRT Landscape Architects did the design.
The Urban Garden
The process was fascinating. This is all living sculpture, covered in moss, ivy, and nineteen different species of ferns. It's so lush.
The Urban Garden
Here's Margie, pointing out different plants. She actually hired her mother, Dorothy Ruddick, who is a great sculptor, to create the abstract figures the plants are covering. All of the planting was grown in Montreal by the fabricator and planter Yves Vaillancourt of Mosaiculture Internationale de Montreal.
We Should All Have Stilts
I was scouting an Annabelle Selldorf building and I saw this man at work wearing stilts. It's so much faster than a ladder. You just strap them on and you can plaster or paint or whatever. Why can't we all have them?
Anya Hindmarch's Fashion Week Dinner
The accessories designer Anya Hindmarch (famous for her "This is not a plastic bag" tote that's been so widely copied) held a beautiful dinner at her meatpacking-district showroom during Fashion Week. It was so calm and lovely, and full of interesting people, like Christiane Amanpour and her husband.
Simon Doonan at Anya Hindmarch's Dinner
Here's Simon Doonan — sporting a self-explanatory jacket — with the Über-stylist-editor Freddie Leiba. They are two of my favorite people on earth, and I was so happy to see them. Of course, Simon's husband, the massively talented Jonathan Adler, was there, too.
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