Monday, January 24, 2011

Shameless self-promotion

here is the nice little piece my web designer, Kim Kalina, whipped up for me after hearing I was "Elle Decor Designer of the Day". I'm hoping they'll send a tiara.

I am naturally an extrovert. But, I was raised NOT to toot my own horn. As a writer, especially drawn to memoir, this is always a push me - pull me about how much to do and say. I woke up to this lovely note from a woman at Elle Decor:

I hope this finds you well! I just wanted to let you know that you are today’s featured designer on ELLE DECOR’s Designer Registry. We’re promoting it on the Designer Registry homepage, the ELLE DECOR Facebook page, and our twitter feed. Thank you for being a part of the registry and congratulations!

All the best,
Elizabeth Stamp

Well, that is a nice way to start a week! So here's the link:

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Benefit of Children...who know how to cook...

Isabelle was home for almost a month. All in all, in a 1200 sf apartment, we did okay. And the benefit to having Isabelle around - besides that she is smart, funny, and charming - is that she is an amazing cook. I now put her in the category with the top four cooks I know who are all much older than she. Those cooks would be Carrie, Holly, Anna, and Jacqueline. She has surpassed me as an instinctive cook.

Here is a sampling of Isabelle's ouevre. How lucky are we???? If anyone wants a recipe, let me know...she kind of makes this up, but we can work it out.

Izzy at the oven - spinach, leek, and feta quiche.

La quiche and Warm Crimini Mushroom salad with Parmesan. omg.

Izzy making apple crostada for dessert for our friends Jean and Mark

La Crostada!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ponder Springtime

We live in an icebox. While the 20" of snow that fell furiously on New York City is now gone, the 17" that fell on Minneapolis has created a landscape that recalls Neptune, the planet farthest from the sun and deprived of all warmth and comforting light, littered with dirty white hills of ice.

So, I am holding my energy like a tantric practice, trying not to burst, until Lee and I leave for Rome nine weeks from today. Yep, Rome. Never been there. Can't wait. For a month. It will be springtime in Rome then.

I am captured by images of Spring Fashion as I consider how to pack ONE BAG for a month. Yikes. Shoes alone could take a bag. A boot, a heel, a walking shoe, my clogs, my slippers. Jeesh.

Here are some great looks from this month's Vogue. They give me hope when I look out my window.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Do we fall in love with a place like we fall in love with a person?

A couple nights ago, I skyped with my sister, Holly. She and her partner, Brian, have been noodling around for a new home, having lived in Chicago about ten too many years now. They had their qualifiers: warmer than Chicago, sunnier than Chicago, less suburban than where they live in Chicago. That was the short list. They've been shopping for a couple years

They went to Santa Fe for New Year's. It was Holly's second visit and she had an inkling after the first that this might at least be on the top ten list of places she could live. I think Napa was on that list. (Too expensive.) They had considered parts of norther Virginia and Vermont. They considered Minneapolis until they visited this winter for the 50th time and remembered, once again, what winter means in Minneapolis.

They rented a little casa in town, which is protected by the Santa Fe
historical society. No crappy 70's apartment buildings. No skyscrapers. No McMansions. Just sweet little adobe houses with courtyards, according to her. I know those towns. I lived in Charleston, SC for 8 years and yes, people do actually care about such things in some places. It is remarkable live in such a place.

She called me after the trip. She was giddy. She was blushing. She was exhausted and over-spent, but couldn't have been more satisfied. She was in love.

But not with a person (though, perhaps that too, we hope) but with a place. She had fallen in love with Santa Fe. I specifically asked her, "How do you feel about the place? Could you live there?" she blushed, tipped her head a la Princess Diana and nodded. "Yeah. Yeah. Really good."

I started thinking about this. Do we fall in love with a place like we fall in love with a person? Then, if we do, what do we do about courting it? Compromising to make it work? What do we do about this love with a place?

I have written about falling in love with Charleston in the 1980's. Here are some scenes:

Charleston, SC

19th C. home of friends in Ansonborough in Charleston, SC

18th Century Slave quarters in Charleston

Charleston Garden

Atlantic scene off the coast of Charleston

I found my soulmate when I landed in Florence, Italy at 52 years old in 2006.

View of Firenze from Piazzale Michelangelo

Scenes from Firenze

The good life in Firenze

Lee on the terrace of our studio apartment - circa 15th Century

Interior of Florentine villa

Exquisite Florentine palazzo on the banks of the Arno.

And I have a huge crush on New York City, a crush that is deepening and seems to be turning into the real thing in love.

What I notice is that, like a love affair with a person, there is some expectation that the relationship is reciprocal - that I am both giving and taking in relationship to this place, that it is respectful, bountiful, sensual, and enlivening.

So, that's what is on my mind. I include a few photos from the places that define me, hold me, and have seduced me. I am trying to understand now how I make a commitment.

Please tell me about places that have held, seduced, nurtured you?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Body, Mind, Soul, Beauty

That's it. That's all I'm doing this week in New York
I needed a holiday from the holiday.

Translated, this means:

Yoga, Good Food, Love

Reading and Thinking and Seeing things I haven't seen - the Balenciaga exhibit at Queen Sofia Institute.

Central Park and Quiet, Talking with Lee

Art, Museums, Fashion

And, here's the qualifier: on my schedule. Especially...on my schedule.
That is what vacation means to me.

What does vacation mean to you?????

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Attentive brothers

BTW- that set of books at H&B Gallery that I coveted - a 1960's edition of the Divine Comedy by Dante....well, I got it for Christmas. My "brothers" - Tom and Kelly got it for us. They'd read my blog about it. I couldn't believe it when I opened it. I had been at H&B Gallery a week earlier and saw that it was gone. "Oh, well," I thought. "I hope whoever got it will love it."

On Christmas Eve, we opened it. Isn't that just something when someone really thinks about what you want? It is so thoughtful.

Divine Comedy by Dante - circa 1960. Love it. Just love it.