Begin at the Beginning

There are a few projects that I regret not doing. The first was the Avalon Hotel, here in Beverly Hills. It was a perfect job for us: mid-century Alvin Lustig tiles, incredible building, beautiful redesign by Koning Eizenberg, and just a few blocks from the office. But, alas, it was not to be. The project went elsewhere, and as is typical, the final result was pretty darned good. I also was desperate to design a little book on “first lines,” when I was working at The New York Public Library. Again, the project was designed by my friend Donna Moll, who did a far better job than I would have. So the lesson here is to be glad that some projects get away, as long as they go to someone good. Or, if you don’t like the choice of a different designer, well accidents happen everyday.

The Know These Lines booklet that Donna designed is a gem. The design is subtle and incredibly crafted, and fits the subject matter flawlessly. The content is fantastic. The idea is to read the first sentence of a famous book, and answer its origin. For example, “Call me Ishmael.” is the first line in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. However, like the New York Times crossword, the choices become more difficult. If you have the kind of parties where people in worn out, but well made suits (men and women) get angry over a discussion about modernism and Virginia Woolf this is a perfect game for you. One caveat, however, like most things in life this game is better after cocktails.