2021年3月31日 星期三

The T List: Five things we recommend this week

An augmented reality app, Maggie Lee's latest installation — and more.

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 tlist@nytimes.com.


A Pop-Up Housewares Shop in Downtown New York

A textile work by the artist Megumi Shauna Arai for Tiwa Select hangs next to an assortment of kitchen necessities at Beverly's NYC.Ryan Lowry

By Camille Okhio

T Contributor


"Platinum, Metal of Mystery and Miracles" Online Talk

Misunderstood for centuries, nicknamed "Little Silver" pejoratively by the Spaniards when they found it in South America, platinum had to wait a long time to reveal its secrets! Discover the fascinating universe of jewelry with the best experts, with L'ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, supported by Van Cleef & Arpels. Next online talk on April 1st. Live and free, by registration.


Friday will see the opening of a new kind of general store in downtown New York, one informed by nostalgia and empathy as much as function. The fashion stylist Beverly Nguyen's first foray into retail, the two-month pop-up shop Beverly's NYC, will offer a tightly edited, affordable selection of household essentials — including the perfect martini glass, pepper mill and cast-iron pan, as well as olive oil she produced in collaboration with a family-owned company in Santa Ynez, Calif. — in a Chinatown space that conjures the same feelings of warmth and intimacy as the dinner parties that, before the pandemic, she threw regularly at her Manhattan apartment. The interior was a collaboration between Nguyen and two of her close friends, the architect Louis Rambert, known for his work with the firm Rafael de Cárdenas, and the film producer Kelly McGee (Nguyen's partner in the project), and features floral wallpaper by the New York-based Superflower Studio, as well as a custom kidney-shaped ceramic cash wrap by Fefo Studio in Brooklyn. But Nguyen's biggest influence was perhaps her grandmother, who owned a hardware store in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, in the 1960s; it was only after praying to her spirit, when a previous location fell through, that Nguyen secured the venue. Her family is also represented in a line of simple, supersoft towels and table linens that Nguyen developed with her parents, Vietnamese immigrants who began manufacturing apparel after arriving in the States as refugees in the 1980s. She hopes the space, which was previously a Chinese temple, will feel equally welcoming to her Chinese neighbors, many of whom have lived in the neighborhood for decades, and to newcomers to the city looking to make a home here. As she sees it, "the shop is really for anyone who wants to build their own conversation and their own community." Beverly's NYC, 22 Ludlow Street, New York, N.Y. 10002, beverlys.world.


Sardines, Mussels and More, Ethically Sourced From Spain

The 2020 limited-edition range of Pyscis tins include, clockwise from top left, vintage 2018 Beauty sardines, blue mussels with garlic and chile, Taste sardines in manzanilla extra-virgin olive oil and vintage 2018 bullet tuna fillets in Andalusian olive oil.Dale Cutts

By Eleonore Condo

T Contributor

For anyone wanting to eat more sustainably and mindfully, the discovery of Pyscis, a gourmet tinned-fish company from Vienna, will be a welcome one. Created by Marwan Saba, the owner of Hans Reh, a local grocer that specializes in fish conserves, and his daughter, Song-I Saba, Pyscis sells seasonal pelagic fish responsibly sourced from Spanish waters and packaged in limited quantities. Its offerings include blue mussels, bullet tuna and two types of sardines, each tinned in a high-quality olive oil specifically chosen to pair well with the fish. "None of the subspecies we use have been overfished," Song-I explains of the brand's sustainability efforts. "These fish, like with the bullet tuna, are lesser known in the industry, but they're actually healthier: Because they're younger, they don't accumulate as many toxins." Each tin comes wrapped in white parchment paper adorned with a drawing of the fish inside and held together by a natural-rubber band. While methods of preserving nonrefrigerated foods have remained largely unchanged since 1809, when Napoleon awarded Nicolas Appert — known as the Father of Canning — 12,000 francs for winning a contest to find the best method of storing rations for his troops, Pyscis's subtle touches are what make each tin uniquely delicious. On a recent cold night, I rolled back the lids on the sardines, the hand-shucked mussels and the tuna. I made a quick salad, softened some butter and ripped apart some good bread. I wasn't feeding an army, but as I assembled tartine after tartine, I felt my resolve return — at least for the evening. From about $9, pyscis.com.



An Art Installation That Pays Tribute to Mall Culture

A view of Maggie Lee's "Daytime Sparkles" (2021) at Nordstrom in New York City.Connie Zhou

By Nikki Shaner-Bradford

T Contributor

In the folklore of suburban girlhood, the mall persists as a symbol of freedom and fantasy. Or so believes the multimedia artist Maggie Lee, whose latest installation, "Daytime Sparkles," debuts at Nordstrom this week in partnership with the Whitney Museum's emerging artists program. Lee, who grew up visiting her mother after school at the New Jersey department store where she worked, describes her time in these spaces as being dominated by pop music, ever-changing displays and shop-specific fragrances. For her installation, she drew on those memories, as well as her own Y2K girl-power style and the 1996 DJ Screw mixtape "Ballin in da Mall," to create a piece that speaks to teenage self-discovery and independence. Located on the fifth floor of Nordstrom's New York flagship, on West 57th Street, the work includes two rust-colored couches that frame a low table, within which Lee has stored a range of Nordstrom merchandise, and atop which sit two analog televisions playing D.I.Y.-style commercials that the artist filmed herself. The high white walls that surround the scene are adorned with sparkling shapes, colorful LED-lit windows, "No Loitering" signs and a massive projection of a candelabra dripping in necklaces, while a custom pop song that Lee created in collaboration with the composer and artist Stefan Tcherepnin plays in the background. Shoppers are meant to engage with the installation — to recline on the sofas, bop their heads to the music — becoming one with the artwork and showcasing precisely what Lee is nostalgic for: a public gathering place, where the younger versions of ourselves can run free. "Daytime Sparkles" will be on view through May 16, 225 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.


From Lemaire, a Collection Inspired by a Self-Taught Artist

Looks from Lemaire's spring 2021 collection.Estelle Hanania

By Jameson Montgomery


Born in the Mexican state of Jalisco, the artist Martín Ramírez left for California in 1925 to work on the railroads and in the mines. When the Great Depression hit, Ramírez, who didn't speak English, found himself without a job or housing, and was picked up by the police and admitted against his will to a state hospital; he was eventually diagnosed with catatonic schizophrenia. He would spend the last 30 years of his life in psychiatric facilities, where he kept to himself but produced a body of drawings that incorporated images of Catholic saints, cowboys and train tracks, as well as complex geometries. Since his death in 1963, he's been widely recognized as a self-taught master and has been made the subject of various major museum shows. Now, he's being celebrated by the French fashion label Lemaire, which, having partnered with the artist's estate, sent cotton-linen, dry silk and cotton voile garments printed with Ramírez's work down the (virtual) runway last fall. Sarah-Linh Tran, the co-creative director of the house, says that the artist's tragic story resonates with our time, but it isn't what she sees first: "What's striking is that he had the power to transcend isolation and create an intimate topography." And surely the works' earthy tones and precise draftsmanship were a natural fit for Lemaire's aesthetic. The brand honored the latter by eschewing a copy-and-paste approach and instead allowing Ramírez's vivid line work to inform the silhouette of each piece, as with a shirt with an askew button that seems to create a step for the subjects of "Horse and Rider" (1953), heightening the sense that they are on the move. Tran's favorite design is a parachute dress emblazoned with a Mexican Madonna. "It's as though she's playing hide-and-seek around the wearer's body," she says. The capsule collection will launch April 2. From $295, us.lemaire.fr.


A Virtual Tour of Philadelphia's Monuments

Left: Albert Wolff's "The Lion Fighter" (1858). Right: A. Thomas Schomberg's "Rocky" (1980). Lori Waselchuk/Monument Lab

By Courtney Coffman

T Contributor

Monument Lab, a Philadelphia-based creative studio founded in 2012 by Paul Farber and Ken Lum to facilitate the community's engagement with public art through exhibitions and research initiatives, recently launched a free augmented reality app: OverTime. Developed in collaboration with the production company Dream Syndicate and supported by the Knight Foundation, the software allows users to embark on free historical tours of the city. The app's inaugural journey begins on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and is led by the local poet and activist Ursula Rucker. Scan the ground with your smart device and Rucker appears onscreen, welcoming you to Philadelphia. From there, users choose from three different tour options: There's the virtual Living Timeline, which moves users from 10,000 years before the Common Era to 2021; City Sightlines, which maps Philadelphia's development from an early "green country town" to a thriving city; and Statue Stories, which delves into the history of the Rocky Balboa statue and other memorialized figures. Each route enables participants to explore the hidden narratives underfoot, like the fact that the museum's steps — and part of the building itself — were designed by the African-American architect Julian Abele in the early 20th century, or that before the arrival of William Penn in 1682, the land was inhabited by the Lenape, the Indigenous people of the area. Throughout the tour, Rucker asks users to answer three questions: "What has happened here? What can you see from here? What does this statue mean to you?" Submitted through the app, the responses become, according to Farber and Lum, part of the city's collective memory. It's a gesture Rucker herself agrees with: "Should we even call them monuments anymore?" she says of public statues and institutions. "All of our memories matter. We are our own monuments." Download the app here for iOS. An app for Android users will be available later this year.



In Southampton, a Pool Amid the Dunes

The bluestone-lined pool of Ward Bennett's Sugarman House.Jason Schmidt

One of only a handful of homes designed by Ward Bennett, the Sugarman house, in Southampton, has passed through several hands since it was built in 1963. Its current owners, longtime admirers of the underrecognized American designer, bought the property in 2012 and spent three years restoring it, even stripping the lacquered-over millwork to its original matte grain. Previous owners had enclosed the ground level with glass and installed a rectangular, bluestone-lined pool. And to connect the property more explicitly with its setting, as Bennett had envisioned, the current residents covered the patio tile around the pool with sand; the beach is just beyond. For more on the property, read Christopher Bollen's full story — and follow us on Instagram.

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On Tech: Why Amazon’s union vote matters

The vote is a temperature check on beliefs about Amazon and labor unions in the United States.

Why Amazon's union vote matters

Erik Carter

A programming note: On Tech will not be publishing on Thursday, April 1. I'll see you back in your inbox on Friday.

There's a lot riding on the outcome of a vote on whether to form a union at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala.

My colleague Karen Weise has described it as the most significant unionization effort in Amazon's history. Ballots are being counted now with results expected within days. Karen spoke with me about how the outcome may reverberate beyond this one workplace.

Shira: Why is this union campaign getting so much attention?

Karen: This is a temperature check on beliefs about Amazon and labor unions at an important juncture for both. Amazon is ascendant and it created a mind-boggling number of jobs in the last year, bringing its global work force now to about 1.3 million. And one question that people have is: Are these jobs as good as they could be? The union vote, in a way, is a referendum on that question.

It's high stakes for labor unions, too. Their membership has generally been declining in the United States for decades. And the question unions are facing is: What role, if any, will they have in the work force of the future? There's a lot of meaning tied up in the votes of those nearly 6,000 Amazon employees near Birmingham.

What do workers who support this union say that they want?

My colleague Michael Corkery and I have heard from Amazon workers who say that they don't feel valued. They believe that they are constantly monitored to make sure they meet productivity goals, and the work can be exhausting.


While Amazon's pay is higher than the minimum wage, they say it's not enough to compensate for what the work demands of them physically and the monitoring they're under. There is a subset of workers who believe that a union would help them have power to change their pay or working conditions.

And what does Amazon say?

Amazon's position is that it pays workers well — starting pay is at least $15 an hour, compared with the $7.25 hourly federal minimum wage in the United States, which is also the minimum wage in Alabama. And Amazon says that workers are better off engaging directly with the company rather than through a union.

What's the expected outcome of this union vote?

The conventional wisdom is the union won't succeed, so most experts are looking to see how close the vote will be. A slim vote against the union could still encourage labor organizers to try again at other Amazon workplaces. But if the union loses by a huge margin, Amazon will feel validated in its workplace practices and its stance about unions.


I'm wondering how to best interpret what it means if the union vote in Bessemer fails. It may be hard to separate how much workers are satisfied with their jobs versus how many don't think a union is the solution, particularly given Amazon's messaging on the topic.

Why did this particular warehouse become the focus of a unionization campaign? And why now?

The Birmingham region has been described as more like the industrial areas of the Midwest than the South. It has a long history of strong steel and mining unions, and unions were particularly involved in the civil rights movement. About 85 percent of the employees in the Bessemer warehouse are Black, and union organizers have focused on issues of racial empowerment and equality.

And recently, workers' fears about the health risks of the pandemic and the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement have made some employees feel emboldened to demand more from Amazon.


Part of Amazon's position is that it's doing what people and politicians want companies to do: It's creating a lot of jobs and paying more than many of its retail competitors. Is Amazon held to an unreasonable standard to do far more?

Amazon certainly believes that, and it points to Walmart as a competitor with lower pay and benefits. But at the peak of Walmart's growth, it was also scrutinized for changing how we shop and for its pay and treatment of workers. Companies that are growing fast are naturally going to feel a lot of attention and pressure.

What do Amazon's critics want it to do?

Amazon's retail business is more profitable than many people realize, but it reinvests a lot of its profits in new technologies like drones, Alexa or other innovations that we don't know about yet. Some workers are asking whether Amazon workers, the economy and maybe the company itself would be better off if Amazon spent more on them.

They point to examples of companies with different priorities. Costco, which employs almost 200,000 people in the United States, said recently that its average wage was $24 an hour and it planned to increase starting pay to $16 an hour.

(Amazon has said that a typical full-time employee in the United States had total compensation that equated to about $18 an hour in 2019. That's not a direct comparison to Costco's figure because it includes well-paid tech and corporate employees, which Costco's disclosure does not.)

Costco's chief executive said those wages were good for business.

(For more on this topic: Noam Scheiber discussed why this vote is a big deal for labor unions. Astead Herndon wrote about why Biden got involved. And a Wall Street Journal podcast featured two Bessemer employees with opposing positions on the union.)

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Before we go …

  • It's time to consider a different web browser: I know, ugh. But my colleague Brian X. Chen makes a compelling case for switching to a browser such as Brave or DuckDuckGo. They're similar to Chrome and Safari, but they block many of the technologies that track what we do online.
  • An internal fight over a YouTube video: Some YouTube staff members asked the company to delete a music video with lyrics that they said included anti-Asian racism, Bloomberg News reported. YouTube said it wouldn't remove artistic expression. Some employees criticized their bosses' decision on internal websites including with mocking memes and a reference to Bloody Sunday in Selma.
  • We're obsessed with tech billionaires, but uneasy about their power: Americans needed rich people during the pandemic, "in no small part because of a slow response from a public sector that created a leadership vacuum," Recode writes. It's a thought-provoking article about the influence of billionaires and our complex feelings about them.

Hugs to this

Here is an elaborate, wing-beating display from a beautiful ruffed grouse. Thanks to my colleague Charlie Warzel for sharing this. (We've had a lot of bird videos in this space recently, and I DO NOT apologize. Birds are amazing.)

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