Posts Tagged ‘ modernism ’

Palm Springs version 2.ohhhhhhhh

Yes, it’s been a bit since our last update, sorry about that. We have been working, really! It’s just been a lot of behind the scenes stuff, which to you is probably not that interesting. Or maybe it is, if your into masochistic stuff. So the brief overview is this:

  • The holidays were crazy busy
  • We successfully got the building that z|modern resides in up for sale
  • Don’t panic, we’re just downsizing a bit and reinventing to bring you the leaner, meaner reincarnation of z
  • We’ve been working hard on the new space, which is the old 9Health space next to z
  • and we did the annual pilgrimage to Palm Springs

If you read last year’s post about Palm Springs (you can start the 3 part saga here) it was my first adventure out there, and I had a great time, even though as a minion I was worked like a mule. So This year, Kevin and his wife, Rando and I, decided we’d stay a few days after to see the sights, decompress, and maybe get a mini-break from the prep and execution of the Palm Springs show. Great plan, glad to be a part of it!

Because I had a crack of dawn flight to catch to get to PS and meet Rando, who had already driven the booty to the treasure site, I opted to use Uber to get to the airport. Even if one of my friends did not laugh heinously when I told them what time I had to leave, I couldn’t ask anyone to drop me at the airport when I myself would rather be in a coma. Uber is somewhat new to Denver, but is very popular in the coastal cities and places like Chicago, and having tried it I truly think it is the only way to go to the airport. You get a towncar, leather interior, chauffeur, water, the whole 5 star treatment, but for much less than a normal car or limo service, in some cases, more than half as much. And not having to deal with an obnoxious, chatty driver in a cab that reeks of smoke, crappy air freshener, and hope they show up on time? Priceless. It’s a bit more than a cab, but work every penny. I encourage you to check it out, the quiet and posh ride was a very welcome start to what would be a crazy week. Check ’em out HERE.

I arrived to 72 degree sunny weather, a ride to the convention center from Randy’s friend (Tony who is a total sweetheart), and a nice lunch from a place called Koffee that stomps the everloving crap out of anything Starbucks has done or even would think to do. Chaos has already ensued with the truck unloading process, but it was pretty controlled compared to last year. At least, from where I was sitting.

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Since we didn’t have the problem with the floor like we did last year, and we had a better understanding of what Randy’s “vision” was, we were actually able to get the booth a bit farther along than planned, though not as far along as Kevin & I would have liked. However, fish tacos were calling us, it was a long day for everyone, and we were all happy to be done even though the progress was a bit slow. Day two is the big push, because we still have to go home and clean up before the big opening Friday night, and there’s not much room for error or your booth will look like dog poo in front of your biggest and best clients. Randy was in and out of the booth, depending on how freaked out he was, and whether or not he was shopping around at the other vendors. Overall, other than a hiccup with lunch and a few last minute decisions on moving things around to get the best presentation, it came together pretty well. Friday night was a good one for us, and some of the luck followed into Saturday’s sales. We did sneak away on Saturday and check out the art show, which we missed last year, an it was very fund and educational. Sunday was slow, but we were on the last leg of the journey. The hot tub at the hotel was our best friend, and we spent a lot of time hanging out there after supper.

Sunday’s dinner is worth mentioning, but not for any of the right reasons. We were walking to a mexican restaurant, and on the way was an “English” pub called Lyons. We stopped in the front reception area just to see if they had Bass Ale, since Rando’s fav beer is rarely served, and we had to check the menu just because. The items looked really good, and from the price we determined that if they food wasn’t tasty, they couldn’t charge their rates. We changed our plan, foolishly, without checking reviews and decided to try dinner at Lyons. The service was horrid, once you got into the restaurant it was throw-back 1970s, and so dark we could barely read the menus. Our waitress “doe” was actually stand-offish all night, and was really extra icky to Kevin’s wife. The food was mediocre at best, and if you factored in the cost, really not good. The icing on the cake was while we were waiting for the check (which took forever, and was also wrong) we watched two other waiters serve their tables with both zeal and fun, and the salads, appetizers, etc were DOUBLE the size of what we received, and each item was described and explained in detail. We weren’t even given the specials. Lesson learned, check the reviews BEFORE you try an expensive place (the reviews were very similar to ours) and don’t eat where you can’t read the menu. While having dinner at Lyons, (or Lyings, as it should have been called) I picked up this nasty little cough that just wouldn’t go away. I thought it was from sharing the hotel room with Rando, (which he switched to a smoking room before I got there) but wasn’t completely convinced. Otherwise I felt really good and enjoyed another post-dinner dip in the hot tub and some scotch. Alas, I was seriously mistaken. I woke up on Monday SICK SICK SICK. I thought at first I just had a migraine and needed to try and shake it off (which never works, but I still always try). Randy was determined we needed to have breakfast at his favorite place, Spencers, so we headed out. In the short 20min drive, walk, and entrance into Spencers, I started to truly grasp that I was likely not going to keep down whatever my breakfast was going to be, but hoping that I might still be ok, I ordered the oatmeal figuring if it did stay down, great, if not, well….And it was the best damn oatmeal I have ever had. Period. Randy’s eggs benedict, and Kevin’s breakfast were also beautiful, and everyone raved about the food and service, a much needed experience after our tragedy at Lyons.CameraAwesomePhoto-8

Once we made it to the show, I had a full blown migraine, and could barely stand up. So Randy opened up the truck and I got myself horizontal on a couch we had slated for auction. After what seemed like another 20 min, Randy came and got me, informing me that 3 hours had passed, I looked green, and his friend Ken was taking me back to the hotel. Normally I’d at least feign some sort of bravado, but there was nothing left in me to do that, I was wiped out.  On the way back, I was met with the unfavorable realization that the oatmeal was going to make a repeat appearance. I made it to the room, it did, and then I went to bed. For 3 days. Solid. I didn’t eat, I barely slept, I felt like someone threw me down a flight of stairs in a sack and then beat me with a bat before opening the sack. I couldn’t drink, though by day two was able to slurp down small portions of chicken stock. I finally was somewhat able to function on Thursday, but very slowly, and still without food. When it was all said and done, I was sick for two weeks before I felt like myself again.

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This would be the view I got for three days, instead of touring houses, looking at killer furniture, and enjoying the sunshine

Randy was very sweet and brought me vitamins, water, and soup, though I wasn’t able to do much with most of it. He was wise enough to start pounding vitamins right after teardown at the show, so though he too caught sick, he was only down about a day. Kevin & his wife were coming down with “something” about the time they were flying out, which was good and bad. Good that at least they’d be home to be sick, instead of cramped up in a hotel room with a TV that shuts off automatically every 45 min. I’d tell you about the teardown of the booth, how Randy hustled out a ton of furniture and had a great show, and many other things that happened if I had actually participated and knew the stories, but that clearly didn’t work out. In addition, we were supposed to all go out to celebrate Randy’s birthday, but with the dread mahacas working it’s way through our merry band of troops, that was a subdued celebration. I did mange to get out and see some of the stores on the strip and also catch a car show for an auction that was happening. So, compared to last year, this year’s trip wasn’t the best. Randy did well in Palm Springs, and was able to unload most of the items we brought. The hotel (The Vagabond) was a good value and overall was a good stay. Most of the places we ate at were very tasty, and we were lucky in that most of the new places we tried (other than Lyons) were great. Unlike last year though, I don’t want to repeat this year’s trip. Blech.

Tinsel Time!

It’s been a little while since our last posting, mostly due to the craziness of the fall season and our renovation of the new space (more info coming about that soon!). So now we find ourselves in the midst of the Holiday season with everything merry and bright, and an excuse to max out the credit card. Ok, ok, don’t do that, but if you just have to, come and do it here at z|modern!!

ImageWe strive to offer our customers the highest forms of design in the Denver area, and we work hard to bring you quality items that are second to none on the market. Whether it’s Colorado historic art, furnishings, or lighting, we at z| do our best to find you the best of the best. And with that in mind, we have stocked the store with some of the best vintage Aluminum Christmas trees we could get our hands on.

Aluminum Christmas trees? Did you just read that right? Yes, we have many sizes and shapes to illuminate your holidays with shiny boughs of twinkle. Tacky you say? Perhaps, but when you consider the history of the Aluminum Tree, you too will be a convert.

The following was excerpted from The Aluminum Association at aluminum.org:

It was 50 years ago when a sales manager for an aluminum cookware company saw a hand-made aluminum Christmas tree. He took the idea back to his company, and in 1959, America saw the first commercial aluminum Christmas tree.

It was not billed as an artificial tree but instead was called a ”permanent” tree. Some people immediately embraced the new space age tree. Conservation of real trees was not a consideration, but the chance to have a new modern interpretation of an ornamental tree inspired some and dismayed others. Artificial trees of various kinds had been available in earlier years. There was even a base-metal tree available in 1950 along with feather trees and visca (straw-like rayon) trees in green or white.

Aluminum trees were first manufactured by the Aluminum Specialty Company in Manitowoc, Wis. It is estimated that this company made more than four million trees in a 10-year period. ”Shredded” aluminum strips were wrapped by hand around the wire branch and then fluffed to spread out the aluminum needles.

Each branch was then packed in a cardboard sleeve. Any branch could be put in any one of the holes in the pole that was the trunk because the branches were all the same length. This made the tree easy to assemble. The correct shape was attained because the holes in the pole that formed the trunk were drilled at different angles. The first trees had a folding tripod base to hold the tree trunk. Later, other stands became available that rotated the tree and played music.

It was recommended that electric lights should not be put on the trees because of the possibility of an electric shock. Color wheels, which had earlier been used to decorate in other ways, were used to illuminate the aluminum trees with different colors as the wheel with four or five colored transparent sections rotated past the light source. The branches were not strong enough to carry many ornaments. Usually the decorations on the trees were only glass balls and often of only one color.

Eventually many other companies manufactured their own version of an aluminum Christmas tree. Some later models had pompom ends on the branches to make the tree look fuller. Colors were introduced – gold, blue, green and even pink. Some models were only one foot high, while the tallest were seven feet. The more expensive models had more branches. Even half trees were made to put on the wall in small areas or an office. The interest in aluminum trees peaked about 1965 and by the end of the 1960s few were being manufactured.

So as you can see, the previous generation had a little “conservation” thing going long before it was considered necessary or even “in vogue” to do so! Not only are these stylish trees minimalistic in their presentation, but by purchasing one of these highly collectable beauties you are saving a real tree from an untimely demise. Form and function come together yet again at z|!