In Tokyo, a New Boutique Hotel With a Rooftop Pool
By Kurt Soller
When the Japanese brand Trunk opened its first hotel in central Shibuya in 2017, its Western-influenced rooms, with their calming neutral palettes, were a respite from one of the world’s busiest neighborhoods. At the same time, the cozy, moodily dark lobby was conceived to be a communal social space — rare for Japan, a country where lodging tends to be more cloistered — for locals and tourists to work on their laptops or drink highballs with friends. If that place was about bringing people in, Trunk’s next one, a 25-room property opening Sept. 1, is meant to draw eyes outward, particularly toward verdant Yoyogi Park, a 133-acre green space in northern Shibuya that the new concrete-clad, seven-story building faces. With balconies extending from every room and a rooftop pool club — another rarity for a Tokyo hotel — the idea is not only to bring visitors to a rising corner of the district that’s increasingly crowded with cool shops and restaurants but also to give guests a chance to relax away from the thrum while gazing out over the tree line at the metropolis beyond. The design, led by the Japanese architect Keiji Ashizawa’s firm, with interiors by the Danish company Norm, has all kinds of warm wood touches and beige textures, and the restaurant will serve pizza and Italian food: Not at all rare in Tokyo these days, but comforting nonetheless. Rooms from about $419; trunk-hotel.com.
R. Crumb’s Utilitarian Tribute to His Wife
By M.H. Miller
During the summer of 2022, I was lucky enough to visit the home of the comics artist couple Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Robert Crumb in a remote town in the south of France. Kominsky-Crumb, in good health at the time of our meeting, died of pancreatic cancer less than six months later. She was, with apologies to Crumb, the more personable of the two. This shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with their work, which frequently focuses on their relationship, husband and wife each drawing themselves: In a 2021 comic, the “Crumb Family Covid Exposé,” Crumb announces in the first panel, “I’m becoming radioactive with extreme paranoia!!” In the next panel is Kominsky-Crumb, calmly striking a yoga pose while vacuuming the house and thinking, “Due to naturally high serotonin level, daily yoga, mindful eating and playing with grandkids … I remain high energy and positive!”
When they were living in California in the 1980s, struggling to support themselves, Kominsky-Crumb taught aerobics and fitness classes on the side. (“I got a diploma from the Jane Fonda training thing,” she had told me.) Which brings us to this, Crumb’s touching tribute to his wife in the form of a yoga mat, with art based on an old flier he’d made for one of Kominsky-Crumb’s classes. It’s not something Crumb himself would ever use, but it’s the contrast in their personalities that makes their work so captivating.
In another panel from the “Crumb Family Covid Exposé,” a cringing, slouching Crumb looks at his wife forlornly while they’re taking a walk; she’s surrounded by butterflies and flowers and birds. “Poor innocent creature,” he thinks. “What’ll I do if she dies?!” Shape Up! Yoga Mat by R. Crumb, available for preorder in an edition of 225, $250, platformart.com.
A New Line of Taiwanese Tea-Infused Gin
By Angela Koh
The entrepreneur Wan Di first met his business partner, James Park, in 2018 when Di was operating Luv Tea, a shop he co-founded in New York’s West Village, and Park was overseeing the drinks program at Windrose, a restaurant on the same block. They struck up a friendship and began concocting beverages that combined tea with spirits. This week, they’re launching a small-batch label of tea leaf-infused gin called Guilder’s Gin, nodding to the 19th-century merchant guilds that, during the opium war, smuggled tea out of Canton (now Guangzhou) by pouring it into spirits bottles. Di spent a year tasting over 300 different teas before finding just the right flavors and consistency from leaves harvested at two family-owned farms in Lugu Township and Tai-Dong, Taiwan. Guilder’s first offerings are a Green Tea gin, Red Oolong (which Park and Di enjoy sipping on its own) and a more classic offering called Canton Dry, a blend of juniper, coriander and angelica. Starting this month, the brand will be carried at select New York restaurants and retailers, such as Seoul Salon and Ye’s Apothecary. This fall, bottles will be available to purchase on the Guilder’s Gin site. From $45, crushwineco.com.
Charms That Recall Summer Travels
By Rachel Felder
Last summer, two style-obsessed friends — Elisabeth Holder, who runs Ladurée in America, and Celine Kaplan, the patisserie’s U.S. publicist — decided to start a side business designing capsule collections of eclectic items in all sorts of categories. For its name, the French-born pair chose something reflective of their shared love of travel, imbued with a healthy dose of insouciance: OOOF, or Out of the Office Forever. It’s also a pun: In French, to call something ouf is to say it’s crazy good. “We love clothes, we love accessories, we love food, we love home décor, so it could be anything,” Holder says of the brand’s purview. (She was speaking by phone from a suitably OOOF location: a holiday in Ibiza.) Last month, the duo unveiled the brand’s first items: small 18-karat-gold charms shaped like a diving mask and snorkeling flipper. (Each one, handmade in TriBeCa, is $750.) Later this year, they plan to release ceramics and upcycled embroidered shirts. “There is no calendar that we need to obey,” Kaplan says. “It’s all based on our intuition and inspiration and travels.” ooof.community.
Thai Silk Wear Inspired By Bangkok Nights
By Chris Schalkx
For his latest collection, the fashion designer Rukpong Raimaturapong, who grew up in northeastern Thailand and now lives in Paris, aims to channel Bangkok after dark. Working with the city’s centuries-old Baan Krua silk-weaving community, Raimaturapong designed limited-edition shirts, pants and accessories for his label Rukpong — all grouped under the name Light Life — with striped two-tone patterns inspired by the Thai capital’s graphic lines and neon lights that so impressed him when he was a kid. He also uses swaths of striped silk picked up from the city’s fabric stores. The garments were constructed by some of Bangkok’s renowned tailor shops, including Athens Tailor and Den Champ Suit, and take their silhouettes from the uniforms of the street sweepers, messengers and market workers who come out at night. From $172, rukpong.com.
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An L.A. Diner That’s Been Obsessing Over Its Burgers and Pies Since 1947
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