Spike Mendelsohn's Schoolhouse Apartment Slideshow
May 14, 2013
The Living Room
Mendelsohn's favorite part of the apartment? "My bed," he said. Joking, of course.
"I just think it’s just a cool warm whole open area," he told us. "It’s great for entertaining to have fun and have people over. The downside is you have to keep the whole apartment clean. The whole shoving everything in your bedroom thing doesn’t work."
The graffiti above the chalkboard features one of Mendelsohn's favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, which inspired him to ask a friend to create some street art for his apartment.
"I said take this and do whatever you want with this, so he did a classroom theme and did something really awesome," Mendelsohn said. "I feel like it's a bold move to take a whole wall and do graffiti but now you don’t even notice it. It’s just part of the wall."
As for the Yamaha piano, Mendelsohn is gradually teaching himself. "I play Chopsticks and maybe a little Beethoven."
The hanging pots are both utilitarian and decorative; some you can use, but the gold molded pans are just for kicks. "The ones with the moldings you can’t use because you won't have even heat," Mendelsohn said. "I grew up with those in my mother's house. They were hung up over the fireplace in my house in Montreal when I was a very little boy, and she saved them all these years and she gave them to me."
Perhaps jarring against the graffiti on the other wall, these two paintings were chosen specifically by Mendelsohn. On the left? A painting by a local artist, which was showcased in an art installation in Mendelsohn's building. "This painting caught my eye every day when I was walking in for a whole month," Mendelsohn said. "It has a really cool color scheme, and three birds hanging on a wire. It reminded me of one of my favorite Bob Marley song called 'Three Little Birds.'"
The painting on the right was passed down from his grandfather, modeled after Greek paintings of nymphs. "It’s just a beautiful antique painting and it’s something reminds me of my grandfather who passed away," Mendelsohn said. "I don’t feel right without it in my house."
Cards Against Humanity
Card game Cards Against Humanity is always a hit at parties, especially with questions like "What's a girl's best friend?" and "What will always get you laid?" (some of Mendelsohn's favorites).
Mendelsohn heats some tea to season his steak and eggs.
Steak and Eggs
Steak and eggs for breakfast, complete with an "I Heart BS" mug.
A selection of mugs and cups at the bar area below the kitchen.
Mendelsohn's book collection varies, with graffiti books alongside travel companions to the Galapagos, Africa, and Vietnam. And while those may get a lot of wear and tear, cooking books are used mostly for inspiration.
"There’s a couple key cookbooks that have shaped my cooking like Thomas Keller’s books and things like that," Mendelsohn said. "Just classic French technique chefs, which drew me to the business when I first started. If anything they serve as reminders and they really help me whenever I need inspiration to do new dishes or open a new concept."
Mendelsohn grew up playing with this chess set, which was passed down from his father, which his father owned as a kid. "Yeah I played chess, I was in the chess club," Mendelsohn said. "I was a big nerd back in the day."
Fish Tank in the Bathroom
This murky fish tank ("It's called a habitat, OK?" Spike clarified.) didn't house much at the time of our shoot, but now it holds a 4-inch shark (which they feed minnows) and 10 dalmatian fish. "I have a very busy schedule... There aren't too many animals I can have in this moment of my life, and I like cats and dogs and parrots," Mendelsohn said. "Fish are the only ones I’ve figured out I can keep alive… barely."
Mendelsohn keeps stacks of vintage Playboy magazines around the apartment, and while a few are risque, they're old enough to be history, with some dating back to 1947. "You know, I was in military school, so having a collection of Playboys among the cadets was not all too unfamiliar," Mendelsohn said.
Old Playboy magazines, however, are even better. "Back then the magazine was so much more than what it is today. It had a very interesting movement," Mendelsohn said. "You pick up a old Playboy and it weighs about a pound and it's 98 percent full of articles political views, movement, articles. It has very little pictures in it and things like that."
Spike Mendelsohn at Home
One of his favorite issues? A Playboy featuringthe article "A Testament of Hope" by Martin Luther King Jr. "The magazines to me are a really important part of history," Mendelsohn said. "You’re sitting there reading this stuff you’re like wow, this is like some heavy history stuff. I think Playboy gave so many people their start and inspiration. And the coolest part are the old ads or cool things that don’t even exist anymore."