Sunday, May 31, 2009

Paris...for me.

Lee and I on our nightly skype. It's a heck of a lot better than a "cell phone marriage," which is how it was when he lived in LA a couple of years ago. Still, I miss him.

I was scrubbing the life out of a pan in greasy dishwater when I heard a song coming from the Living Room last Saturday morning in NY. Lee found a song on Pandora about Paris and bridges and the Seine – a song I’ve never heard. Something about wanting to “dance with you along the Seine.” He came to the kitchen and took my hand, led me to the Living Room and we began to dance at 9:00 in the morning. The apartment was languishing in that beautiful late Spring northern light, a painter’s light. It was slow and sweet. I had no makeup on my face and I probably hadn’t brushed my teeth. I was wearing a knit shirt and pajama bottoms. He loved me still.

He never wanted to go to Paris. I do. I've never been. He’s changing his mind for me. After sixteen years, we still dance in the morning and he gazes into my eyes and says he wants to go to Paris. God, I adore that man.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gramercy Park Hotel. Luxe Goth.

On the way to the bathroom at the Gramercy Park Hotel.
Silk velvet banquette.

Across from the banquette. A wall of famous people in black and white.

This says it all - the phone station.

Lee at the bar - far end.

Entry to Gramercy Park Hotel.

Finally....for a couple of years now, I have been wanting to see the Gramercy Park Hotel. We were in the neighborhood last night after dinner so went searching for it. Once inside, we decided to have a drink at the somewhat famous bar (reservations required after 9:00.) Here are the photos. It did not disappoint. Although some of the paintings in the bar were a little creepy. Julian Schnabel has a sense for color like no one I have ever seen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Day in the Hamptons - Summer is Here.

The charming guest cottage of our hosts - originally the
property's hunting lodge.

Exterior of the hunting lodge turned guest house.

A passage at Mecox Gardens in Southampton. Their shop in the city
is one of my favorites - always a find that is relatively affordable.

The wisteria over the entrance to Mecox Gardens. The fragrance
was like a perfume factory.

Summer is officially here. I know because Lee and I took the Hampton Jitney to (where else?) the Hamptons. It was our first visit; we were guests of a charming family from the Steiner School, where Lee teaches. First, they couldn't have been nicer. Fed us! The best crabcakes I've ever eaten - they were picked up from a local fish market, grilled steak for dinner with fresh sweet corn that had been picked at the pinnacle of perfection, and today, empanadas at the local south-of-the-border restaurant. (We went back for seconds.) This, followed by fresh lobster salad for lunch. I added some guacamole. Wow. 5 pounds, but worth it.

Back to knowing how summer is officially here. We were going to take a drive to see the "Old Hamptons" today - see the summer "cottages" of "the top of the food chain" as our host called the owners of these palaces on the beach hidden mostly from view by a privet "fence" that was at least 15 feet high. Gatsby-esque. And the name of the street? Gin Avenue. How perfect is that?

On our way out of the driveway, they saw a neighbor (a 50-something man) sneaking a cigarette in HIS driveway. We pulled over to say hi - and like clockwork he said, "You around for the weekend?" When our host answered in the affirimative, the neighbor said, "Great, let's get together for a gin and tonic."

Summer's here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New York Museum Alert

I'll write more later, but Lee and I just spent the morning at the Met. First we saw an exhibit called "Pictures: 1974 - 1985," an exhibit that examines the role of advertising and culture on art (and vice versa.) Really fascinating. Made my brain just ping.

Then, we decided to go to the Costume Institute at the Met - the exhibit is called Model as Muse. It is an exhibit of the role that models have played in the design and marketing / selling of fashion since the elegant, aristocratic Avedon photos of the couture of the 1940's through the 1990's grunge / anti-fashion movements.

I was levitating when I got to the last display of the Giorgio di Sant'Angelo dresses from the early '80's. (I remember wanting one!) I could hardly contain my thrill and excitement to see the Saint Laurent pieces from the Russian collection ('70's - which I lived through the first time - and saw at the Met around 1980,) the John Galliano interpretation of Dior with swaths of tulle and satin, Donna Karan's mid-80's retro glam collection, Lagerfeld's modern Chanel pieces which included biker jackets and boots - (It gave me ideas for how to wear some of my own pieces differently.) OMG! And the Charles James satin gowns!

Okay, I am going to take a sedative and go to the library. Just too much,too much excitement and inspiration for one day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Curated Space

A globe I found in Minneapolis - $25! The owner thought it would be cool to paint it black.
I agree.

An old wooden Buddha, some paper string lanterns on my fireplace, an Italian mirror and the view.

Details of the inlay on the French Deco server. Mother of Pearl and ebony on pear wood.

My favorite forever book, now tattered. Chanel. Left open on my table with potpourri I make - a mix of dried roses and the divine fragrance from Santa Maria Novella in Florence.

Saint Michael and all my vases on top of shelving.

I spent the weekend cleaning closets, purging, and rearranging. I am preparing for the arrival of Isabelle (the hurricane) and her step-father, my husband, Lee (the tornado.) I know that from the day they arrive nothing will be as tidy as it is today. This is not entirely their fault. I am ADD when it comes to organization. I can do it as long as I am not distracted, but give me a 19-year old daughter to cook with or a charming and adoring (and adorable) husband to hang out with and organization is the last thing that matters. The summer will be one big love fest.

So...I have spent this single weekend with an organized apartment. And I have really enjoyed it.

One of the things I was inspired to do was to look at my limited collection of objects in a fresh way. New York has given me that gift. One shop after another.....the spaces are curated like a museum. So I have started to look at my objects with more respect. How might they carry more weight in my home? How might I make them a focus instead of a lost mass of jumble on a horizontal surface? That is the key. How do I see what I have?

So that was my game on Sunday. I walked through my small (not tiny!) apartment and LOOKED at what I have. Do you know what I discovered? I mostly LIKE what I have. The only matter was to respect it and celebrate it and curate it! So I fussed and fudged and fidgeted. And the above photos are what I created.

Open your eyes. Look at what you have. How might it make a point about who you are?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

When Things are Simple

I don't have a photo because I ate it before I could take a picture. My dinner: sitting here alone at my desk in Minneapolis emailing (almost like instant messaging) my friend, Anna, who is in New York. (The cook extraordinaire and the friend who has lighted on my life like an angel.) Glass of wine, roasted asparagus with roasted walnuts, shaved parmesan, balsamic and olive oil - homemade hummos and crackers. Yum. Food. Friends. Painting my bedroom this afternoon to spiff it up before Lee comes home for the summer. In total denial that when he arrives, I will live with suitcases, books, notebooks and stacks of dissertation notes for 6 weeks. None of it will be in any way organized to my liking. But, he will be here with me.

Now, to bed with a bomb of a book. "Truth and Beauty" by Ann Patchett.

Life is good.