Nifty stuff has been landing on my desk and in my inbox. Thought I’d share.

1. Two great sites for quirky stuff:

  • Swap Meat, a funny little designophile project by local Web company Coudal Partners. You send something cool in—you know, something that you made yourself. They assess its value and send something equally cool back. Get it? It’s a swap! There are great prints, handmade books, T-shirts, etc. I don’t make things by hand, so I have nothing to send. But if I did make things by hand, and if they didn’t suck, well, you know.
  • Curiosity Shoppe, a funky little home décor site with a natural bent. The Cody Foster alabaster deer head is in this month’s Domino; I adore it.

In the foreground, the pork rillette at Sepia. Like a pâté, it comes with toasted bread. The mound in the middle is similar to a fig preserve. In the background, steak tartare.

2. The wood serving pieces at Sepia, a hot new restaurant in the West Loop. The food is rich, too rich for me. But the paddle-style serving pieces rock. So do the Art Deco-inspired tiles and the Gary Lee-designed chandeliers.

3. Loving Frank, by debut novelist Nancy Horan, about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his love affair with Mamah Cheney. I’ve taken the Oak Park tours of Wright’s studio but I’d never heard this story about the woman who inspired—and later was murdered in—his Wisconsin masterpiece Taliesin.

4. The Cost, the ethereal new album by The Frames. They’re playing the Hideout Block Party next weekend, which I’m well on the record for saying is the best music fest of the year.

5. The Jeff Wall exhibit at the Art Institute. His photographs look real at first glance, but then you realize that the nutty-looking 80s hooker is staged! It’s a mind trip—in a good way.

What five things are you into?