A New Jersey Beach Town Welcomes a Design-Centric B&B, and Other News

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The James. Photography by William Laird

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A New Jersey Beach Town Welcomes a Design-Centric B&B

Asbury Park’s recent renaissance has been well-documented, but neighboring Bradley Beach is quietly cultivating its own scene. The arrival of The James, a 17-key hotel within a 118-year-old Victorian property, heralds a new era for the weekend destination town and will surely turn a few heads in nearby New York City and Philadelphia. Inspired by his summers growing up on the Jersey Shore, owner George DiStefano set out to reimagine the bed and breakfast genre for the modern age. With the help of Manhattan-based interior designer Sebastian Zuchowicki, the result is a meditative interior scheme with earthy tones, sumptuous European textiles, and gauzy shades that fill spaces with muted light. Each of the 16 rooms and one standalone bungalow features idiosyncratic touches—from Turkish rugs and handcrafted ceramics to 1900s clawfoot tubs and works by Australian artist Pamela Tang. Call it a coastal worldly uncle vibe.    

In the intimate dining room and private garden, guests find daily breakfast offerings such as local staple pork rolls, housemade granola, and crumb cakes. DiStefano’s thoughtfulness shows itself in ways big and small. The bath products come from Malibu’s if-you-know-you-know Flamingo Estate; the robes are from Brooklyn-born Parachute. The fresh bread at breakfast? Delivered every morning straight from the SoHo brasserie Balthazar. Some things, however, are perfect just as they are. “It was important for me to tie together modern design elements with my childhood memories spent at my grandparents’ beach house,” DiStefano says. To that point, the nostalgic Jersey Shore is across the street—ask for the hotel’s chair and umbrella service—and Main Street’s shops, restaurants, and, most importantly, miniature golf are a short walk away. –Nate Storey

Taipei Performing Arts Center. Photography by Shephotoerd Co

OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center opens to the public nine years later than planned.

“The landmark Taipei Performing Arts Center by Dutch architecture studio OMA has officially opened to the public in Taiwan, nine years later than originally planned. Occupying a site next to Taipei’s popular Shilin Night Market, the 59,000-square-meter  (635,000 square feet) performance venue was opened by the city’s mayor, Ko Wen-je, on Sunday. Taipei Performing Arts Center has a distinctive appearance with multiple fronts, which OMA formed by plugging three theaters into a central glass-clad cube.” [H/T Dezeen]

Stella McCartney is launching a $200 million climate-focused fund with a VC firm.

“The fund, Collab SOS, will invest in companies working to develop more sustainable materials, ingredients, energy and supply chains at the Series A and B level. McCartney announced the initiative on her brand’s Instagram Saturday. The move comes amid growing investment interest in materials and technologies that could reduce the fashion industry’s environmental impact.” [H/T Business of Fashion]

Tate agreed to pay a six-figure settlement to artists after their discrimination claims.

“Three artists who sued the Tate for victimization, alleging breach of contract and race discrimination, have told of their experiences after it agreed to pay them a six-figure settlement. The action was taken after the institution told one of the women, who had been commissioned to lead a major year-long program, that she couldn’tt work with Jade Montserrat, an artist who made allegations of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior against the art dealer Anthony d’Offay. A claim alleging discrimination, victimization and harassment under the Equality Act was issued against Tate by Amy Sharrocks, who was to be the lead artist during the 2020-21 season of the celebrated Tate Exchange program. She was working with Montserrat and Madeleine Collie, a co-curator.” [H/T The Guardian]

Shaker System by Kvadrat and Raf Simons. Image courtesy of Kvadrat

Kvadrat and Raf Simons launch a Shaker-inspired collection that goes beyond fabric.

“For their eighth year working together, Danish textile brand Kvadrat and Raf Simons, the prolific Belgian fashion designer and co-creative director of Prada, have completely shaken up the nature of their collaboration. Rather than launching a new collection of upholstery fabrics like they normally do each spring, Simons has put his own aesthetic spin on a classic American design. The undertaking has fully developed in the form of the Shaker System, an innovative home storage system Simons designed from scratch. It was inspired by the prosaic wall-mounted railings found in traditional Shaker homes, long wood boards adorned with a single row of pegs, upon which everything—from chairs to jackets to brooms—would hang in order to keep common spaces clean and orderly.” [H/T Architectural Digest]

The Orient Express will resume service from Paris just in time for the 2024 Olympics.

“A number of train projects and formats are being developed to meet demand, and take the scenic route to a whole new level. The latest? The relaunch of the original Orient Express. The train that forever changed luxury travel almost 140 years ago—it debuted on October 4, 1883—is being brought back to life by French hospitality group Accor, which uses the Orient Express name under license from SNCF, France’s national train service. Starting in 2024 and just in time for the Paris Olympics, the railroad icon will gear up to resume service from the French capital to the rest of the continent, reviving the same lavish journeys of its heyday. While details and itineraries have yet to be confirmed, it’s likely that some of the routes will end in Istanbul, just as it was for the first Orient Express.” [H/T Condé Nast Traveler]

Facebook and Tinder alums are building a Web3-based social network called Niche.

“The founders of a new social network called Niche believe the next generation of social networks might cater to online communities formed around more specific interests, such as hobbies or creator businesses. So, on the Niche app, which became available in the App Store Tuesday, you would find groups formed around rock climbing or around people who enjoy collecting Star Wars memorabilia. Eventually, Niche will host groups based on many different things, including music artists and business events.” [H/T Fast Company]

The Toy by Lanvin. Image courtesy of Lanvin

Today’s attractive distractions:

Stingrays were recorded making mysterious clicking noises for the first time.

This librarian collects the various ephemera left behind in returned books.

Lanvin drops a rubber bag that’s punctured with holes evocative of Crocs. 

Toys R Us is readying a comeback, this time via in-store pop-ups at Macy’s.

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