New York Times Identifies Next Big Thing: Dust


There’s a whole lot more dust now than ever before. Don’t believe us? Wipe your finger on your desk. Not dusty? Read this recently written scientific report in the science journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics; it’s real science-y. Still not convinced? Then feast your eyes on this, a New York Times article profiling the hottest new trend: dust.

Dust seems like it would be a scourge of the hoi polloi, the fine sheet of shame covering Joe Sixpack’s unused AbRocket. Not true, says the New York Times. Here are some things you need to know:

  • Dust attacks cool people like Michael Tortorello, the author of the Times piece:

Have researchers considered the possibility that the dust might have come from under my bed? Recently, my wool Schlitz hat fell down there. When I retrieved it, the hat had grown a full, gray rabbinical beard.

We can totally relate, dude. We dropped our Tecate visor (which we always rock upside down and sideways) behind our roommate’s vinyl collection. Same result.

  • Dust doesn’t care if your apartment is decorated by a celebrity interior designer, just ask the Novicks:

The Novicks have been working with the designer Vicente Wolf for 25 years. And his pale palette can create a blank canvas for dust.

The 4,000-square-foot apartment isn’t all white. There is some cream and beige, too, Ms. Novick said, and a celadon-colored couch. But even worse for camouflage is the herringbone floor, which is stained ebony.

“You clean constantly, but not crazily,” Ms. Novick said. Granted, one person’s constant is another person’s crazy. “Maybe I have more DustBusters than other people,” she added. “I usually have a DustBuster in almost every room.”

Vincent Wolf just spit Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper all over his white Vincent Wolf for Tufenkian carpet when he read that Ms. Novick has a DustBuster in each of the rooms he designed for her.

  • It helps to live in a super hip minimalist Brooklyn condo, like design blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg. It also helps to have a stern Swiss upbringing, like design blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg:

Her mother ran an orderly home, she said, while working full time. When one of the family’s au pairs lagged in her housekeeping, Ms. Eisenberg’s mother sent her a gentle reminder.

“She wrote with her finger” on the dust that had gathered atop the grand piano in the parlor, Ms. Eisenberg recalled, leaving a single Swiss-German word, “sau.” Or in translation: pig.

In the au pairs’ defense, the grand piano in the parlor is one of the trickiest places to clean, next to the Favrile Tiffany lamp in the auxiliary solarium and the underside of the die-cast Millennium Falcon model in the game room.

Antiques collector James Kaston can relate, he knows that dusting can be a precarious task — even for pros:

Mr. Kaston used to employ a house cleaner, he said. But she was a menace to the apartment’s permanent collection. “She broke a beautiful 19th-century transferware bouillon cup,” he said. “She broke a 19th-century Aesthetic Movement fish platter.”

Each time, Mr. Kaston added, “she kept saying they flung themselves off the wall.” His housekeeper was a lovely person, he said. “But eventually I said to her — and I said it to her three times — ‘No more dusting for you. Leave the dusting to me.’ “

Got that, lady? I was cool about the Aesthetic Movement fish platter, but if you go near the Herter Brothers credenza I will flip my fucking shit.

  • If you collect books like Bryan A. Garner, editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary and author of Garner’s Modern American Usage, it’s better to be safe than sorry:

In recent years, Mr. Garner has begun wrapping his dustjackets in their own clear Mylar dustjackets. This precaution would seem to be the equivalent of washing soap with soap. So far, some 20,000 of his books have been Mylared. “I’m typically one who is reluctant to make proper nouns into verbs,” he said. “But this is certainly a very convenient one, and we do it.”

We don’t like to make proper nouns into verbs either, but after reading this article we nearly Dinty Moored all over our keyboard.

Speck by Speck, Dust Piles Up [NYT]

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