An Isle of Joy Feb17

An Isle of Joy

The mention of the name Blossom Dearie among a crowd of twenty – thirty somethings, usually elicits a fair number of shoulder shrugs. I guess the younger set tends to prefer Bono to Blossom. Remember that part about me being an old soul? I’ve been an ardent Blossom Dearie fan for the past ten or so years – and can actually remember where I was the first time that I heard her voice. I was at a photo shoot for the Neiman Marcus holiday wishbook (with the Rockettes, nonetheless) – and they were playing her on set. I had never heard a voice like hers – so girlish, so utterly unique.  She was known as one of the last supper-club performers, and nearly up until her death a few years ago, you could still catch her cabaret act here in New York. As I type this, my Itunes is making its way through this album – which includes my favorite song of hers – Manhattan. Such easy listening – she really was one of a kind! Blossom Dearie – Manhattan I’ll take Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island too. It’s lovely going through the zoo. It’s very fancy on old Delancey Street, you know. The subway charms us so when balmy breezes blow, to and fro. And tell me what street compares with Mott Street in July. Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by. The great, big city’s a wondrous toy – made for a girl and boy. We’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy. Tell me what street compares with Mott Street in July. Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by. The great big city’s a wondrous toy – made for a girl and boy. We’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy. I’ll take Manhattan. I’ll take Manhattan…  ...

Stockbroker Tudor Feb16

Stockbroker Tudor

Steven Gambrel‘s interiors are always fresh, modern and eclectic – so I was excited to see one of his latest projects in the February / March issue of Elle Decor. The client was a young, Manhattan family who recently relocated to a historic house 15 miles north of the city. The 1927 tudor style home, by architect Charles Lewis Bowman, is known as a “Stockbroker Tudor” – historically popular with new money Wall Street Bankers. While the original home was perhaps too oppressive for the young family, Gambrel re-imagined the floor plan, opening up the space, and creating a warmth and airiness that is simply stunning. A yummy palette of blues (the wife’s favorite color) also helps to bring light into the home – even the half timbers on the home’s exterior were painted a pale blue. I enjoyed reading about the history of this home, researching the architect, and looking at the gorgeous photos… enjoy the...

J.Crew Blog Feb15

J.Crew Blog

I was so excited last week when I heard that J.Crew is launching its own blog later this month. The ever so fabulous Jenna Lyons, J.Crew President & Executive Creative Director, made the announcement last week at Lucky Magazine’s Fashion and Beauty blog conference. “We’ve done a pre-selection of people within the company who would have something interesting to bring to the table, but we’re also looking at people outside the company, to bring things to the forefront of content,” she said. Read all about it...

Be My Valentine Feb14

Be My Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here are some fabulous gift ideas for that special someone.  Actually, feel free to treat yourself, too.  I won’t tell! 1. Hermes Umbrella 2. Tom Ford lipstick 3. Red Peonies 4. Cinnamon Hearts 5. Hermes Scarf 6. Asprey Backgammon Set 7. Laduree Macaroons 8. Hermes Notebook 9. Diptyque Candle 10. Hermes Avalon Blanket 11. Smythson of Bond Street Travel Wallet 12. Tod’s Moccasins 13. Book – The Best of Flair 14. Book – Jansen 15. Book – Titian 16. L.L.Bean Boat...

Welcome Feb14


Welcome to John About Town! I’m John – a 30 year old interior designer who lives in New York City. Nearly fourteen years ago, I left small town Pennsylvania for the big city of New York to attend Columbia University. As an undergrad, I majored in art history – graduating in 2002. Following college, my career took a slight detour for a few years, during which I worked a very corporate consulting gig. It didn’t take long to realize that I desperately needed a creative outlet. I took a year off – I traveled, started a now defunct blog, and took some art and design classes. Eventually I returned to school full-time to study interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, from which I graduated last year. So what is John About Town? Well, I’ve been meaning to start another blog for a few years – a place to discuss the things from which I draw inspiration. My interests are fairly wide, but as trite as it may sound, I am most inspired by beauty. I have always romanticized the past, and consider myself to be an old soul – a bit of a preppy grandpa, some of my friends might argue. In fact, my personality is more A-type than even I care to admit. I justify margins, straighten crooked picture frames, and abhor tardiness and sloppy handwriting. I collect (hoard) art and design books, watch more television than I probably should, and sometimes feel the call to move to Paris (part-time). If I could have a fantasy dinner party, my guest list would include Katharine Hepburn, Luisa Casati – actually, I don’t think that I could take much more excitement – so I would probably stop there. Can you imagine the conversation?...

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