If you didn’t catch our Culture Scouts featured in the New York Times yesterday, here’s the story. Will Hopkins and Mary K. Baumann (top) are award-winning magazine and book designers. They teach a renowned “Visual Trends” class at Stanford and for decades had a cool office loft in Chelsea and a deluxe apartment on the Upper West Side–I’m talking 2,000 square feet with a courtyard in famous Apthorp, arguably New York’s grandest rent controlled building. When Will and Mary K. got the news that the building would go condo and units would sell for $4.5 million a pop, they made a plan. Move! Not across town. Move back to Mary K.’s home town Minneapolis.
They bought a condominium in the basement unit of an old flour mill with river views. Hired a hip architect. Sold the office loft. Packed up the apartment and did what felt like the scariest step of all for two people who make their living in publishing–they left New York.
I visited them a while back to check out their new digs. With sweeping views of the river and the stunning new Guthrie Theater right up the street, they’ve landed in what has become Minneapolis’s toniest urban residential areas. They walk to everything. They’ve built out an office area that is neat and efficient.
They are an extraordinary couple. The kind that people love being around because they’re casually brilliant and curious about the world. I have no idea how many magazines the two of them consume, but no matter what the topic of discussion, they can always reference some idea or fact they’ve encountered. You walk away smarter and more inspired.
Congratulations Will and Mary K. for taking life by the horns.