Kuwait + Tokyo = Portland? Local firm Architecture W entered an invitation-only competition to design a new Kuwaiti embassy in Tokyo with a tawny cube that evokes historical desert fortresses. “We played off Tokyo’s urban chaos,” says Architecture W’s Brian White. “But the closer you get, the more complexity you see.” The Kuwaitis have not yet picked a winner. White says he’s heard that in monarchies, decisions take time.
Retro-memo enthusiasts can now accessorize local design company Draplin’s popular Field Notes notebooks ($10 per three-pack) with a custom-size selvage denim sleeve from Portland’s MS&Co ($30). Aaron Draplin, Field Notes’ creator, approves: “A cool little notebook. A cool little pouch. Simple.”
The London technology firm Hulger has twisted the boring CFL into an energy-efficient bloom dubbed the Plumen light bulb. Old Town’s Hand-Eye Supply (23 NW Fourth Ave, 503-575-9769) snagged five of the beauties, not yet sold in the US, for a bright winter display.
NIGHTSTAND Crossing the Heart of Africa by Julian Smith. A Portland Monthly contributor combines Victorian adventurism with his own modern romantic befuddlement in a gripping yarn about his trip from Mozambique to Cairo. Harper Perennial, $15.
Low-key cart Thai Me Up (SW 9th Avenue between Alder and Washington Streets) won our hearts with khao mok khai, “special occasion” chicken with saffron-infused rice. For us, the “special
occasion” comes around every Tuesday.