I’m posting this three weeks after its event but it’s worth sharing and documenting it. It’s always exciting to go to MOMA. Well, usually. The kitchen exhibit was fantastic, particularly the Bauhaus and post war American graphic work. All of the gallery above is from there excepting the Louis Sullivan and the Rothko.
As if Blue Bottle Coffee were not already about as cool as it gets with their incredible roasts and brews and foams and wild apparatus behind the glass there on Berry in Williamsburg, they had to go that extra step and be as green as possible with their cups. New cups are 100% compostable with a bio-degradable plastic lining, and the lids are compostable too (maybe made from corn?). Good on you BBC. Love you guys!
Some readers may know that I have a little tick when it comes to peppermills. A tick is too mild. Most peppermills fill me with rage. They are clumsy and carelessly designed, messily delivering a precious ingredient to our most precious rituals of cooking and eating. I even toyed with devoting my master’s thesis to the subject. Suffice it to say for now that the peppermill stands at a crossroads out there on my horizon, a crossroads from which neither of us will walk away the same. Pictured above is a basic look at the peppermill market today. And below is a close up on that little sign in the middle. (Photo taken at Whisk in Brooklyn.)
But these are all of one brand you’re saying. Sure, sure, as the inset says, these are all Peugeot peppermills, but Peugeot is the market leader and at least from a formal perspective (excluding the Peppermate) represents the dominant trend in peppermill design– a turned piece of wood cut into two parts and bored out to hold peppercorns and the grinder mechanism which threads through both and holds them together via a little closed nut on top. And it’s been this way for, what does it say? 150 years? Ok, I’m the first to admit that some tools really shouldn’t be toyed with and any effort to improve them is vain, wasteful and destined for embarrassment. But I am going to step out of my little box and say this: Peppermills everywhere– watch your back. I’m coming after you.
I’ve been out here in Bushwick or East Williamsburg for eleven years and one of the things I love most about neighborhoods like this is the blurred lines between clean intention and decayed happenstance. Yummus Hummus is a little place around the corner and they use this old bike, chained to a sign post as an ad board– look closely. It’s perfectly targeted marketing. No one but some freak like me, totally in love with post-industrial rust and dust is gonna pay any attention to that heap of junk.
I hesitate from being too dramatic here, though I realize drama befits any discussion of pasta. Still, even if the issue be only graphic and typographic in nature, the style is so brutal and austere in form and type and so bold and passionate in proportion and color that I can’t help but say that if I ever make a single layout as simple and striking and beautiful as this, I promise to die a happy man and forfeit all prior grievances. Really. The people at Molino & Pastificio have produced some of the best packaging of all time. (Eat your fill Lester Beall.) I’ve taken my time and considered my words. And I’m comfortable with that statement.