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Have you ever walked down the street and found a dollar bill or maybe even a five or a ten? Neither have I. I know I have lost them, but I have never found any. The reason is that I like to look at people. All kinds of people attract my attention. Tall, short, fat, skinny, all colors, all ages are fun to look at. We are all worth a movie, in my opinion, and that is part of the fun of life. Grumps and overly serious minded people are, perhaps, the exception to the rule.

But when I am not looking at people, I look at buildings. I don’t reference them from any other point of view than their aesthetics. Of course some buildings are very memorable for their aesthetics, but some are not, most notably the majority of apartment buildings. I wondered to myself the other day, for example, why anyone would ever use a white glazed brick in an urban setting. It is a little like wearing all white to a mud wrestling event. It isn’t going to last so why be so foolish?

Looking at things is an extension of my job, which is looking at furniture. I look at all furniture. No era has a lock on the perfect design for something. The egg chair, for example, is the perfect chair for an adolescent suffering from, well, adolescence. And Gehry’s cardboard chair is ideal for people who move a lot, because it is so easy to carry. Mackintosh’s furniture sits well in his tea house, but not too many other spots and Wiener Werkstatte furniture is wonderful in cafes because it is light and sturdy and stylish.

The 18th century furniture makers, however, have a lock on craftsmanship. The French and English workshops had rigid apprenticeship systems and that slavish adherence to method produced incredible results. The woodcarving, the inlay, joinery, the choice of materials were all the best of the best. And because I love craft, I never cease to want to look at 18th century furniture. Take a really close look some time. No ten dollar bills, just million dollar craftsmanship.