I made a trip to midtown yesterday to one of my favorite stores, Kinokuiya, to stock up on some Japanese magazines and books. I was also hunting down the elusive Bear Pond Espresso book, which is sadly out of print and could not be special ordered.
The trip wasn’t in vain though as I picked up the latest edition of TooLs.
TooLs bills itself as a users guide book of 365 items, ranging from socks to inflatable rafts to desk lamps. The editors introduce the book with the set of criteria they used to choose the objects.
“An item is listed in the guidebook if it is defined as:
1. Useful as a tool
2. Relevant to creation
3. High quality or right cost
4. Easily handled
Guidebook Policy with suppliers and users:
The guidebook has no influence by suppliers, except for supplying accurate information in exchange. Our responsibility is to the CATALOG users and the goodness of tools that connects one another.
Please bear in mind some products may have sold out or had to stop production for various reasons, such as matter of season or lack of materials. Also, prices are subject to ups and downs. Prices, addresses, suppliers, and all access information re as current as the most recent printing date. “
What I love about this series is not only the variety (here you see a classic varsity jacket along with some plastic buckets), but the catalogs ability to reshape what you consider great design. Any publication can put together a list of fancy items with high price tags to wow readers, but those lists become irrelevant in the context of function because of their price (i.e. it is no longer useful if the people that it is intended for cannot purchase it).
It took me a while to figure out what they meant by “relevant to creation” (Rule 2). It didn’t hit me until I saw these Japanese Safety Helmets (my favorite item in the book) when I realized it was just a slight translation hiccup. Is the item a creative new design? Yes. Not only that, the helmets do what they were designed to do (Rule 1), are the right cost at around $37US (Rule 3) and are easy to handle because they stack easy without slipping like round helmets (Rule 4).
The book ends with a list of places where each item can be purchased, though as noted in the introduction, some items might be harder to get than others.
I highly recommend you tracking this book down if you’re a design geek like me. Though it might be hard to find outside of Japan at its retail price (about $19USD), you can pick it up at Kinokuiya for $29.
(Anthony Bourdain photographed by Melanie Dunea for My Last Supper)
What would your final meal be? What, where, with whom and how?
The book asks 100 world renound chef’s this simple yet complex question, from Gordon Ramsay to Wylie Dufresne to Ferrán Adrià. Each photographed in Vanity Fair style portraits to accompany their answers, as does a recipe each one of their answers by the Chef’s themselves. A fascinating and often surprising read for any food (or philosophy) fan.
While one might assume these famous chefs would opt for pure decadence (and with many, there sure is), you’ll find many answers humbling, often tied to nostalgia.
Me? My gut answer would like to be something my mother makes. But in all honesty, if I had to really choose a last meal I don’t think there is a more perfect food than the burger.
My last supper would be in a diner like setting. My brothers, my childhood friend Troy and his wife, and my girlfriend.
(Photo via starnews)
The burger has to be a classic. The fanciest ingredient would probably be bacon.
Proper side? What else, french fries.
Preferably my famous duck fat french fries (recipe follows). Heinz Ketchup and mayo for dipping, because mayo and fries are an underrated combination in the States and more people need to eat this.
And of course Ice cold Dr. Peppers.
I would die happy.
What would your last meal be?
My Duck Fat French Fries
The two biggest mistakes of home french fry is temperature monitoring and single frying. Fried foods only get oily because the temperature is too low allowing the food to absorb oil before it is done cooking, too high of a temperature will burn the foods before it cooks. Double frying helps cook the inside on the first pass, and crisp up the outside to a nice golden brown on the second.
Here’s how to make the perfect batch of fries. (serves 2)
Hey man, hope all is well. My gf got me a sewing machine, and wondering if you have any advice on some entry level books / videos on sewing / basic pattern making. I used to sew back in high school but I’d definitely like a quick refresher.
I have a few.
The Reader’s Digest Guide to Sewing is the sewing reference bible, with everything from hems, sewing buttons, proper pattern notching, stitch types, etc with easy to find reference tabs.
Patternmaking for Fashion Design was the book we used when I was in school, and I remember it being pretty easy to follow compared to the other books my teacher had that I borrowed. The new versions of this book seem to come with a DVD, but from what I’ve read in reviews it’s pretty boring and unhelpful.
I do have some DVDs on more technical aspects like shirtmaking, but I haven’t had the time to check them out yet. My suggestion though is to start with these books, and even though the patternmaking book is heavy on the women’s clothes, the concepts are all the same.
Easiest way to think about garment construction are LEGOS, pieces are the same, just arranged in a certain manner. There is a good menswear book out there but it has to do with hand tailoring suit pieces, which is a bit more on the intermediate/advanced level.