Watching the Milky Way in Lombok

Future Perfect founder David Alhadeff talks the Gili Islands, exclusive Tokyo dining, and the Western Wall.


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The hardest place to get to that you’ve ever visited — and was it worth it?

I went to Indonesia back in 1998 and spent a month or so backpacking around the islands. While I was in Bali, I met some tourists who raved about the snorkeling off the Gili Islands. I didn’t really have a plan and based on their review, decided to try and get out there. Back then, it was a boat trip from Bali to Lombok, which was insanely beautiful, but very long. And once I landed in Lombok, I found out the boat to the islands departed every third day. And the day I got there wasn’t the day the boat left. So I spent a couple of unremarkable nights in Lombok and then took off for the islands. I’d never been someplace that felt that remote before. There were only a few places to stay and the power was operated by a generator that turned off at 10 p.m. nightly. After that, the island was lit only by the moon and stars, which I have never seen so many of. The Milky Way looked three-dimensional. I’d never seen a night sky like that. The snorkeling by day was incredible, with a very special coral that only grows out in those waters. And the bar (the only bar on the island) served mushroom tea, which is a story for another time! To say the least, unforgettable and profound.

What’s the most unexpected meal you’ve ever had?

My most unexpected meal was also the most beautiful meal I have ever had. I was visiting Tokyo and there was this restaurant that only accepted reservations by referral. No phone number, no email, no Instagram. You either had the referral or you didn’t. On top of that, they only service a few tables for dinner so getting in, even with the referral, was nearly impossible. A local friend made the referral on an off chance, and there happened to be a last-minute cancellation and they were able to unexpectedly accommodate us. We were greeted at the door by name and invited in. The place was warmly lit, and we were seated at a table that gave us the sense that we were the only people in the entire place. Multiple courses of serenity and beauty on the most beautiful Japanese ceramic plates. I've never had anything like this before or since.

What’s the most interesting tradition you’ve ever experienced?

I grew up and was raised Jewish. Saturday Shabbat services were a part of my childhood. I figured a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem for Saturday morning service would be nothing too special, but it stands out as something entirely different. Thronged with people, the scene was pretty much chaos. There were tons of tourists and orthodox locals praying together in the shadow of this very special and holy wall.


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Our Contributors

David Alhadeff

David Alhadeff founded The Future Perfect in 2003 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Almost 20 years later, The Future Perfect is an internationally renowned platform for some of the most creative forces working in contemporary art, design, and decor. The Future Perfect continues to evolve the boundaries of what contemporary design can do. Each location — New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles — offers site-specific collections tailored to Alhadeff’s original vision: playfulness, craftsmanship, and innovation.

Hisham Akira Bharoocha Illustrator

Hisham Akira Bharoocha is a multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, New York, working across various mediums including large-scale murals, paintings, drawings, collages, audio/visual installations, and performances.


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