The coolest people in NYC love the MF plane
Nathan Fielder and Lorde bump-ins, a Small Talk Spygiveaway & more
Welcome to Blackbird Spyplane.
The B.L.I.S.S. List — our comprehensive guide to Beautiful Life-Improving Spyplane Staples — is here.
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Peep our list of the world’s 35 slappiest shops, where Spyfriends have added a ton of gems in the comments.
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— Jonah & Erin
Blackbird Spyplane coming at you from undisclosed NYC lodgings where, thank g-d, I’m enjoying a calming glimpse of the East River (below) as it shimmers in the Autumnal sun… I (Jonah) am a native NYC Outerborough Boy, but I’ve spent the last 9 years getting Baypilled, so now I appreciate a dose of something natural in my eyes when I return to this beautiful f**ked-up concrete-choked city!!*
*Shout out also to my city trees, my city birds and — on some S.A.C.R.E.D. Mindset s**t — my city rats.
Another thing that makes me happy when I return to New York: Being in the same municipality as all manner of Mach 3+ people I don’t get to see often enough…
Case in point, we’ve gotten dinner with James and Lawrence of Throwing Fits; linked with the designer Lauren Manoogian and her partner Chris Fireoved (more on that this Thursday); seen phenomenal FW23 pieces at C’H’C’M’ and Colbo; enjoyed vermouth & potato chips at Casetta with Spyfriend and now weekly sletter-crafter Sam Hine; dipped into a cool little Manresa pop-up; met but sadly missed out on the cooking of Pierce Abernathy; and shot the breeze with tha GOAT Rachel Comey at her design studio downtown …
Also? The other morning I bumped into Spyfriend Nathan Fielder, who did a classic Spyplane Interview back in 2020 and is in town from L.A. for the New York Film Festival premiere of his excellent new TV show with Emma Stone and Benny Safdie, The Curse.
We grabbed a coffee and Nathan kindly blessed me with an extra ticket to the premiere, so that night I watched the first three episodes in a packed theater at Lincoln Center. Spyfriends John Wilson and Michael Koman flanked your boy like a How To sandwich, and peace to the gifted comedy duo Rajat Suresh and Jeremy Levick as well, who I chopped it up with in the lobby afterwards, and who were not being their usual sly and ironical selves when they said they think I “dress cool” 😀.
As far as The Curse, it’s brilliant! Very funny, very dark, satirical, raw, poetic and sad in a complex tonal combination I’ve never seen before… for his part, Nathan told me he’s just been calling the show “a drama.”
The show struck me as spiritual cousin not just of The Rehearsal and Uncut Gems but also of George Saunders’s surreal, funny, tragic fiction circa Pastoralia, and Danny McBride & Jody Hill’s early, pitch-black comedies about selfish, sad, damaged people trying to get theirs in late-empire-era America.
I can’t say for sure until I’ve seen the remaining 7 episodes, but I’m wondering if The Curse might wind up my favorite “how did this get on TV??” series since Eastbound & Down — with a woozier narrative rhythm, a compelling ambient strangeness, and a sense of lonesome creepiness dialed way up…
The less you know going in, the better. The Curse comes out on Showtime on November 10th — so enjoy that!
Spyfriend Ella Yelich-O’Connor a.k.a. Lorde is also in town, working on new [redacted]. One afternoon she picked me up and we headed over to the Greenpoint showroom of antique-Japanese-textiles dealer Sri Threads, which is a spot Erin’s been following for a minute but one we’ve never hit up IRL. So I was grateful that Ella made an appointment & invited me along.
She was also rocking some sick beat-up Our Legacy Camion boots — the very ones that inspired my recent Banger Boots Hunt…
The place is hushed & beautiful, with a bunch of old shibori, boro, sashiko and rice-paste-resist-dyed treasure on hand: blankets, furoshiki, noren, jackets, vests, rugs, wall-hangings and more.
Some of it’s priced in the high four digits, but there were smaller, vibe-rich gems in the low two figures, too, and plenty in between. For $100 all in I picked up two long, simple rectangular textiles (detail shots below). One is a sashiko-mended swath of soft indigo-dye cotton plaid, and the other is a canvassy brown-iron-oxide striped joint that was apparently used in the early 20th century as a ceremonial horse lead on some wabi sabi “I got horsepower” s**t. I’m thinking I’ll use them as wall hangings, or maybe mismatched noren panels —
Sri Threads is appointment-only, and on IG here.
We don’t take $ from anyone but subscribers, so we keep some of our best material behind the Recon Curtain. Join our Classified Tier today if you haven’t yet — Jonah & Erin
REAL QUICK —
After years of wanting but failing to schlep up to the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, we finally did, and it rocks — “no pun intended,” since the best things on site are enormous rocks that Noguchi and his assistants chiseled, cut up and otherwise intervened upon with elegant vision…
We also got blessed with a private tour of Noguchi’s old home studio across the street, where he’d go to work on his sculptures when he didn’t feel like dealing with mad visitors at his easier-to-reach spot in MacDougal Alley down in the Village. If man got sleepy in Queens?? He would climb a beautiful slatted Japanese-pine staircase to a lofted bedroom that, I can verify, was teeming with enough Akari to enswaggen 10 tasteful IG vibe-corners....
The old studio is currently not open to the public (and they asked us not to post photos) but the museum is planning to perform some reverent, repair-focused renovations on it, after which point they are going to open it up.
AND FINALLY— !
Today, Oct. 17, Small Talk Studio — gifted NYC jawnscrafters whose incredible hand-drawn custom pieces we wrote about very early in Spyplane Year One — are launching their first-ever season of unisex cut & sew clothes…
And they rip!
Small Talk is the creation of Nick Williams, who went on to add a chill talented prince named Phil Ayers to the operation a couple years ago…
As long as Erin and I have known Nick, he’s talked about his desire to make cut & sew pieces in addition to the “graphics-driven” slappers that made the line’s name. Today is the realization of that dream… and these kings went cuckoo !
Among other standouts, there’s a cropped deadstock silk-mohair-blend coat; a raw-hemmed cotton-tencel blend satin workshirt; studded wool-gabardine trousers; LUSCIOUS corduroys with a subtle burnt-in floral motif; and (as seen above on Ethan Hawke) a fantastic jewelry- and embroidery-bedecked Japanese cotton-tencel gabardine jacket (plus a linen-tencel embroidered button-up) made in collaboration with Yona Kohen.
All of the cut & sew pieces are made in NYC’s garment district. Nick & Phil used extremely premium materials and hardware, and they found a way to honor the spirit of their hand-drawn work while expanding on it — not in any obvious straightforward way, but with subtlety, elegance and even MIRTH!
As of right now the clothes are available through the Small Talk site, here. (They’re also at cool stores like Blue in Green.)
To celebrate the launch, we’re giving away a few pieces: The linen-tencel embroidered Yona Kohen collab button-up; the flower-motif corduroys; a cheeky devil-horned spiral longsleeve tee; and — mamma mia — a brown Japanese-peached-twill jacket with a double Riri zipper and charming star-patch and bovine-themed hand-appliqués…
This is a Classified Spyfriend ‘xclusie. To toss yr name into the Virtual Bucket Hat, smash the button below & good luck.
We’ll draw names at random this Friday Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. PT, and email the victorious Spyfriends afterward.