Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Changes make a Difference

I had to take some photos of my apartment in MSP today for someone who might want to rent it for a week or two.  Once they landed in my iphoto, I noticed how simply things have changed, but that little changes make a difference. Here are the images with notes.

Here, I added the chinese garden stool - really just bought it thinking a client would like it - it is so practical and affordable! It only worked once I re-hung the photos with the white matting. Before that, the stool was too white for the room, but now I think it adds a modern touch. they come in multiple colors. Also am happy with the dried hydrangeas in something that resembles Christmas colors! Maintenance free, too!

There is nothing I like better than books as accessory. I also like a 20" square pillow with a smaller kidney pillow (13 x 20) on top of it - not standing at attention like soldiers!

What a simple thing  - a spray of orchid.

....or branches. These have lasted over a month!

The good bones of our apartment filled with lots of vintage and yes, some Room & Board.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Colorful New York

ABC -- these wonderful overdyed old rugs made into furniture.

The hot chili peppers at the Greenmarket at Union Square

Brussels Sprouts - aren't they amazing little creatures?

Yarns available from a sheep farmer! Greenmarket Union Square

Lee on the elevator to the High Line

This past Saturday, we acted like New Yorkers, heading out early onto the city streets with dear friends Tami and Frank McCann visiting from Charleston. (St. Tami and St. Francis are the two who have hosted Isabelle in their Charleston guest house for the last few months until she moved ito her own apartment this week.) Frank is a New  Yorker by birth and, although he grew up in Ohio, he returned to NY for college, was a NY cabbie and generally loves New York City- its grit AND its groove.

We headed first to ABC - Tami and I have a long-shared passion for fashion and design and she had never been to ABC. We agreed to meet Lee and Frank near the door in a bit over an hour to check in. Well, we never made it off the first floor! (She is staying the week and will go back.) Gary Graham's incredibly sophisticated clothing,  their cut, the fabrics kept us transfixed for at least 20 minutes. We didn't buy a thing but marveled at his ideas and happy to know his things were mostly made in NY - his work is a lily in a field of schlock made in China.

We only imagined how and where we might find spots for a chic line of furniture that ABC creates from vintage rugs that have been over-dyed - but all in modern forms.

Tami's taste for vintage jewelry was sated when she found a pair of old silver earrings with carnelian from Afghanistan, circa 1920.

I mostly catalogued ideas for clients, from the beautiful hand-painted bird pillows on wool felt for just about anyone to an ottoman for Meg in just the right teal.

Then we walked to the Farmer's Market (or Greenmarket) at Union Square and, here, on a mid-November day with rusty leaves dangling from near-naked trees, with golden Ginkos shimmering like crepe paper, the most beautiful display of vegetables, breads, pies, cheeses and meats are still available.  This is the lovely advantage of the latitude difference between Minneapolis and New York. Fall lasts a month longer and Spring comes a month earlier!

We then went to Eataly for lunch on the 15th floor - open air - at the birreria. On the way out we saw this (okay....cute) cheesemaker pulling mozzarella!

Finally, off to the High Line, which I am ashamed to say I have never visited. Great little architectural tour of old Chelsea and Meatpacking Districts.

Then, we went home to nap.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Random Images and Feeling Zippy in NY

Back in NY and feeling for the first time in the full 3+ years we've lived here that I belong here. I got to the apartment, dropped my bag, had the laundry delivered and then hit the streets to get to Holly Hunt before it closed to pick up some things from the lovely Anna Hillegass for a client. I just felt zippy. Zippy getting on the train. Zippy getting into a cab with Anna on the way home. The cabby dropped me at 81st and 3rd while Anna headed farther uptown for an appt. Just zip-zip.

Back to the design district AGAIN today to pull a few more things for my meeting at 5 today. In the groove.

Of course, that probably means tomorrow I will definitely NOT be in the groove. That's life, isn't it?

But, for now so appreciating the resources at my fingertips. Life is good. And here are some things I saw this past week that I liked.

Aren't clouds cool? From my airplane window this week.

The hand rolled cocoa dipped truffles from Broder's for our flower party.

Mary Hickey's talent for display - at our flower party. Isn't this just right?

Embroidered linen napkin. The good life.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I had a late meeting - got home around 6:30.  We had planned to go out since I knew in advance my schedule. We decided on Pizzaria Lola - a once a week kind of place for us. Their "Ma-Sharoni" homemade fennel sausage and Iowa pepperoni is just divine. (I'm not even much of a meat eater.) We each get a salad; I get the beet / goat cheese / arugula and Lee gets the Hook's Blue Cheese and mixed greens. Then we share the Ma Sharoni. And tonight they had Surly Darkness on tap! Yikes is it good!

Well, on the way there, I brought up that I might want to try something new.  I said, "Ya know, all that pork fat - it's probably not even that good for us. And, besides, I just kind of want to try something else."

He said, and I am not kidding...."Honey, that's what monogamy is. You stick with the program."

I guess ya gotta love a guy who makes you laugh. He has a thing about certain foods. When he loves them, he loves them. And I love him. So we had the Ma Sharoni!

Here are the teeniest tiniest pictures of the salad and pizza, from the website. Check it out at Xerxes and 56th. Family city! Go early or late to avoid the crowds.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beyond Middle Age

I bought a St. John knit jacket today at Nordstrom's.


I feel like I should have a a Dallas zip code, and a marble entry with columns and a very large diamond on my finger with a husband who is 80, balding and who wears bow ties. And I would probably have really puffy lips because I've had them "enhanced."

I am only able to live with myself after this threshold event because at the same time I bought a super cool ankle length Theory dress which I will wear with Fiorentini and Baker biker boots (once I get back to NY to buy them.) Now I really have to buy them to prove I am so not over the hill.

.......but I desperately needed a 3-button black jacket that fit properly. I like to wear my jackets without a blouse / shirt beneath - just buttoned up. And the only one that fit that bill was the St. John. OMG - and it stretches! It is sooooo comfy!

Here, below is the Theory dress I bought. It will be even cooler with boots. (Like Angela Missoni in the last Veranda. Long skirts and biker boots - her look - and she's in her mid-50s!)

Whew. Just a little too close to that Dallas deal, though.

Theory Dress I bought - NOT to go with St. John jacket! 

My favorite bootmaker - Fiorentini + Baker.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Writer's Challenge

Dr. James Hillman
founder of Archetypal Psychology
Director of Jung Institute in Zurich in the mid-20th C,
but asked to leave because of his "radical" ideas

James Hillman, the founder of Archetypal Psychology and one of the depth psychologists from the lineage of Freud and Jung (and way back before Plato and Hericlitus) died today - of bone cancer, like my father. He was 85. Hillman believed that the soul needed a voice and that it speaks to us through images -  in dreams, in architecture, in culture, in our madness. He was a maverick in the world of psychology and loved it that way. He wrote a book whose title I just love, We've Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse.  He also wrote the beautiful The Soul's Code and Revisioning Psychology.

So, as Lee's work follows in this lineage, we toasted Dr. Hillman tonight. He taught a few of Lee's classes, during which Lee was always enlightened and he donated his library to Pacifica. Tonight, I dug into some of his books for "light bedtime reading." Yikes. He is not an easy read. But Revisioning Psychology started with this great quote from the Spaniard Ortega y Gasset; Hillman had it in front of him as he wrote Revisioning Psychology. I present it as a challenge to all of you friendly writers out there; it was so powerful, it catapulted me out of bed to my computer to write this post.

"Why write, if this too easy activity of pushing a pen across a paper is not given a certain bull-fighting risk and we do not approach dangerous, agile, and two-horned topics?"

-Ortega y Gasset

Indeed. I've been playing it safe.

What needs to be written?

Rest in peace, James Hillman.