Plus: blown-glass creations, a chic hotel on the Jersey Shore and more recommendations from T Magazine.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
Welcome to the T List, a newsletter from the editors of T Magazine. Each week, we share things we’re eating, wearing, listening to or coveting now. Sign up here to find us in your inbox every Wednesday. And you can always reach us at email@example.com.
Step by Step
I start my mornings by splashing freezing cold water on my face and then washing it with Obaji Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser. I’ve been using this brand for years — a friend of mine who works at a spa introduced me to it — and swear by it. I also use the brand’s Professional-C serum, which has truly restored my skin. It’s magic. I use sunscreen by V.Sun in SPF 50. Sunscreen is something my mother, who lives in Jamaica, taught me to always wear, even in the winter. I used to wonder why because I’m so Black, but she is 70 and looks amazing. After I go outside during the day, I wash my face again, this time with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, since I don’t want to use up my expensive face wash. After the Cetaphil, I follow with Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 and Obaji’s facial moisturizer. Sometimes, I also throw in Paula’s Choice’s azelaic acid booster, which brightens my skin and shrinks my pores. At night, I use Skinceuticals discoloration serum. I have pigmentation problems, so I live by this product. As for my lips, I have bought a million and one lip balms, but just give me that original Chapstick in cherry. I travel often, so for the plane I always bring an SK-II Facial Treatment Mask. On my body, I also use a geranium oil by Aesop, which smells divine. I wish I’d known about Face Gym earlier. I’ve been trying to do more facial exercises at home, especially mewing (using tongue movements to reshape your jawline). I watch these YouTube videos of guys who have been mewing since high school, and their faces are so chiseled and their jawlines so strong. Another recent discovery for me is Matiere Premiere, which has a sexy, mysterious fragrance called Falcon Leather. Every time I wear it, people stop me on the street to ask me about it.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
George DiStefano spent his childhood summers at his grandparents’ beach house on the Jersey Shore. Now 29, he’s looking to facilitate equally idyllic days for guests of the James, a 17-unit hotel he’s opened in Bradley Beach, N.J., just a block from the water. A construction manager by day, DiStefano first toured the Victorian-era building in May 2021 and immediately fell in love with it. By the fall, he’d teamed up with the 31-year-old interior designer Sebastian Zuchowicki to help create a warm and textured space. Vintage silver-plated pitchers and creamer jugs are used for the daily breakfast service (strawberry muffins, raspberry crumb cake, and — a local delicacy — decadent pork rolls) in the dining room, one lime-washed wall of which is hung with an oversize abstract painting by the contemporary British artist Joe Henry Baker. Each guest room is unique, though a number of them feature custom Turkish rugs and work by the Australian artist Pamela Tang, whom DiStefano and Zuchowicki discovered on Instagram. The hotel’s linens were sewn closer to home — by seamstresses in nearby Asbury Park. When the pair couldn’t find certain pieces they had in mind, DiStefano simply made use of the on-site wood shop and produced, among other things, a series of minimal bedside lamp stands. And he paved parts of the grounds with gravel because, he says, the sound of it crunching underfoot reminds him of summers gone by. Rooms from $300, thejamesbradleybeach.com.
The glass studio Suna K lets a hypothetical be its guide: What if Ettore Sottsass, the 20th-century Italian architect, industrial designer and founder of the Memphis Group, had visited Anatolia? The result is a series of modern, playful and one-of-a-kind glass sculptures, handblown by Aslı Altay, Can Altay and Mert Üngör. Anatolia, now part of modern Turkey, was a cradle of glasswork, and the studio’s designs are influenced by the wealth of artifacts from the many civilizations that have made the region home. Üngör began working with glass in 2012 at Sabancı University in Tuzla and continued as a masters student in visual arts at Texas A&M University in 2014. He opened his own hot studio after he returned to Turkey. The Altays, who are married, joined Üngör for a residency in 2019 and have been working with him ever since. Now all based out of Istanbul, the trio make pieces that consist of a series of bulbous forms stacked on top of one another like plates or cups stored haphazardly in a cupboard, and that are both totemic and creature-like — some even have feet. This is fitting, since the word “suna” is Turkish for altar and also refers to a species of the duck family. It can also be a woman’s name. “We imagine her as someone with strong ties to myriad histories and geographies,” explain Can and Aslı. sunak.glass
In the late ’80s, a model asked Dick Bradsell, then a bartender at Fred’s Club in London, for a drink that would wake her up and then mess her up. He’d never heard of such a thing but improvised, shaking vodka, syrup, Kahlúa and fresh espresso, and using what he called three lucky coffee beans as a garnish. Thus, the espresso martini was born. Over 30 years later, the drink seems to be making a comeback. A dirty chai-flavored version appears on Indochine’s just-launched brunch menu, and is already proving to be a popular order. “It is the drink for the fashion and art crowd,” says CT Hedden, the downtown Manhattan restaurant’s manager. No wonder the curator, author and associate director of Pace Gallery Kimberly Drew found herself craving one at an event celebrating the recipients of the Dior Photography and Visual Arts Award for Young Talents that was held in Arles, France, in July. “It’s perfect for when you’re enchanted by the conversation but exhausted from your jet lag,” she says. (Or for when even much shorter journeys outside the home are depleting.) In New York, she likes to order the drink off menu from Frenchette in TriBeCa. A bit north, in the West Village, Don Angie recently debuted its take, which is called the Italian Coffee Situation and contains biscotti-infused vodka and star anise. Unsurprisingly, the espresso martini is a longstanding staple at Sant Ambroeus, which takes its coffee shops as seriously as its restaurants. Starting at the end of this month, you’ll also find espresso martinis at the U.S. Open, where the Grey Goose suite will serve them with a pinch of salt, and with a few beans for good measure.
Nestled on the jungle side of Punta Pájaros, a sleepy road that runs parallel to Oaxaca, Mexico’s, Pacific coastline, Kakurega Omakase is the first restaurant of its kind in the area, which lies a nearly 30-minute car ride northwest of Puerto Escondido. It was opened by the Mexico City-based hotel developer Grupo Habita as a means for travelers to taste the bounty of local seafood, and as part of a secluded world the brand has constructed in the area. The restaurant is just a short walk from the brand’s Hotel Escondido, a bohemian beachside retreat, and set beneath an open-air, thatched-roof palapa built in the same style as the hotel’s bungalow suites. Designed by the architect Alberto Kalach and his firm, TAX Architects, and the artist Bosco Sodi (who runs the nearby nonprofit arts center Casa Wabi), the structure was made from brick, concrete and pinewood charred according to the Japanese weatherproofing technique known as shou sugi ban. Guests first enter the restaurant by way of a sandy path that snakes through a garden of fragrant copal, guayacán and areca trees. Each night, the chef Keisuke Harada and his team offer three sittings, each for only 12 guests. The accompanying 10 courses change daily and are always seasonal — dishes range from rib-eye tataki to sailfish carpaccio — but are always best enjoyed with Japanese whiskey, beer or sake. Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From T’s Instagram