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The Top 10 Lines from the Times Feature on Taavo Somer

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It's hard (and hypocritical) to disapprove of the Times for over-covering Taavo Somer and his new rustic Williamsburg restaurant Isa. So hot, so trendy, so primitive modern. But kudos to him for getting the cover of Thursday styles section today after a feature from The Moment.

The biggest piece of news in the feature is that Somer says Isa is probably his last New York project and probably his last restaurant. Also: he enjoys growing beets upstate. Ahead are the best overall lines:

1) The lede: "To anyone else, it would just be a barstool. But to Taavo Somer, it was a conundrum."

2) On said barstool: "'Through osmosis, it’s kind of Wharton Esherick,' he said, referring to the postwar sculptor and furniture designer known for his fantastical wooden creations."

3) A photo caption: "Taavo Somer with planks of walnut in a photo inspired by John Loengard's 1969 Life image of the Japanese architect George Nakashima, who influenced Mr. Somer."

4) Alex Williams, describing the restaurant: "Rather, it was airy and rustic, like a treehouse that Mies van der Rohe might have built for his kids."

5) On Mr. Somer's influence: "Ironic beards? Navy watch caps? Vintage-style suits cut from deadstock wool? Those trends might have never taken hold without Mr. Somer..."

6) More of the same: "Every other guy on the L train started looking like Taavo’s lost twin: the lumberjack whiskers, the rolled selvedge jeans, the flannel shirts weaved from organic cotton."

7) Plans for Isa: "He’s planning to include some totems from his childhood, like macramé and yarn art, and to pipe in recordings of woodland bird and crickets."

8) Taavo on hipsterdom: "To him, hipsterdom is a condition of man. “Haven’t they always existed throughout time?” he asked. “Wasn’t there, like, a hipster caveman? Like, ‘Oh, those cave paintings, you should see these cave paintings over here. Bob’s cave paintings are way better.’ ”"

9) Taavo's style: "Wearing baggy herringbone train-engineer pants, rolled halfway up the calf, with desert boots, no socks, he pedaled the 10 blocks to Isa..."

10) Taavo's beard: "The beard that launched a thousand beards has been trimmed back to something approximating a goatee."
· Mr. Downtown Moves On [NYT]
· All Coverage of Isa [~ENY~]


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348 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, NY