LPC Is At Corporette Today


Never rains but it pours, with guest posting. Today I’m over at Corporette talking about retirement planning. And it’s not the sort you might expect. Although I have to remember, it’s hard to surprise you guys. See you over there, if you’ve got a minute.

LPC Is At “How I Wear My…”


Today I, with a host of other bloggers, am over at Adrienne’s blog, Rich Life On A Budget. It’s time for the monthly feature she hosts, along with Jill at Everything Just So, in which you can see multiple outfits on one theme. These month it’s “How I Wear My White.”  I’m in the white tee and shorts you saw in the Bottega Veneta Hobo review, with a little more explanation of the outfit and motivation. Others are wearing everything from white jeans to white button-fronts to wispy white dresses. Take a look here, or here for more, and consider dressing in white. I wouldn’t have gone beyond t-shirts, a few years ago, but it feels quite right for 2014.

7 Interior Shots I Could Actually Live In


You all have been so great talking to me about my house design project. I felt a little bad that my response has often been, “Great idea, but probably not my taste.” Then, almost like the iconic slap upside the head, I realized I hadn’t ever made my taste clear. At least not in houses. Tsk, tsk, Sturdy Gal.

In part, as we’ve discussed, that’s because my house aesthetic is even more freighted with cultural and class references than my wardrobe. I can articulate the High WASP Style Archetypes because they have developed in response to an audience, a social context. Houses? Well, as I’ve said, houses are private. Words hard to come by, in description.

So we move on to photos. Fortunately, in 2014, not hard to find. But there are so many pretty pictures, and so few in which I would want to live. Is it common to find photos that you want to move into? It was possible in fashion. Or perhaps after so many years of scanning fashion mags I’d learned to see the real outfit behind the style photos.

In any case, behold 7 interior shots I could actually inhabit. Most culled from my Pinterest feed, so not new to all of you. However, let us run the images through our fingers like wheat and see what remains. Sometimes the chaff is what you want.

White paint, worn leather, a little sprawl of fabric, some blue.
fec4c31ffc95b2ec8b47bfa7f6a969c8
Wood floors, “Oriental” carpets, light and white, a box resting casually under the chair as though it might be needed for something important in just a minute.
a53f97d4d68dfac8726edff60e22c78f
Irregular stone tile floors, natural materials rug, a color I think of as Old Town Stockholm Ochre, and family portraits. India Hick’s house in England, where I imagine one needs wall color in the absence of a California sky.
CH_Shostak_Dapuzzo_Office_013_CROP
Surfaces that could sustain clutter if they had to, a rich texture of colors. Serene, almost minimal, but in no way cold. More blue. That one’s by Boy Darling, IRL the exceptionally talented Bruce Shostak.
Heart Of Light Workspace

Practical. Objects of work presented as they are. White surfaces, simple wall shelving, subtle mid-century chairs, industrial light fixture, and yet more natural fibers on the floor. From Heart of Light, a blogger who writes about food, design, life, and who really lives in that photo.

mesas-de-picnic-11

A place in the country, the nook an homage to breakfasts. Here, I’d have to change out that lampshade unless it came from Aunt Priscilla in which case it’s staying forever.

Living-Room

And then of course the Platonic ideal, Mom’s living room in Santa Barbara. Or Dad’s dining room, for that matter.

Not that I really want swords, I don’t. They come with the territory. So, yes, I cheated and chose 8, but we’ll combine the parental spaces into one ür-home of the heart, shall we?

What over-arching principles to infer? I find these.

  • A love of natural materials.
  • Surfaces that can sustain the stuff of living, and much of that stuff already in view, but ordered.
  • No “named” style, but not quite what they call “eclectic” these days. A mix of the modern and the classic, but a touch rustic.
  • Serene but warm.
  • Colors but layered in tones, rather than contrast and “pops.”
  • Histories of many decades.
  • Little pretense, not affected, not formal, not twee.
  • Many references to the houses of my family, even now.

You who are so much more deeply educated in this process, you may deconstruct those photos and find yet more principles and guidance. Tell me how to describe my taste. I am so curious.

Photo credits:

Traditional Basement by Barrie Interior Designers & Decorators Staples Design Group via Houzz
Joan & Jim’s Lovely, Artful Home (Santa Barbara) via Apartment Therapy
India Hicks and “The Grove” via Domino
Home Office by Bruce Shostak via Shostak & Company
Workspace via Heart of Light
Origin unknown via Pinterest and Fagin’s Daughter Tumblr

Getting My Body Back In My Fifties, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:19am


All The Freeds And One Pair Of Block

When I look back to my resolutions earlier this year, a few things hit me smack in the face. To you, my board of directors, a progress report. Not quite mid-year, but what’s a month between friends?

The first slide, in bullet points, reads:

Stalled

I have not yet donated the $1K to Dress For Success.  I am trying to give appreciated securities and the administrative details have been tricky. I’m going to try again and I will succeed. After all, I promised. Nor have I started volunteering, in this case because I’ve occupied those planned time slots with working on a possible new company. (Details to follow once we know the outcome, no matter whether it’s a yay or a nay, I’ll report.)

As I plan to also tell you what I’ve done well, and give you some advice, that may be useful to know thatI’m better at taking care of myself and those near to me than taking care of the wide world.

Minor Progress

Where have I made a little progress? I figured out how to sell on eBay, theoretically, thanks to Alicia, and I’m halfway through photographing all 10 pairs of my daughter’s unused ballet shoes. (With time outs for creative fancy, as you can see above.) However, I’ve also figured out that to really succeed on eBay you have to establish trust. That’s a lot of work. So I may sell any notable clothes here on the blog, where I’ve staked my real claim to trustworthiness, and donate non-notable but good clothes to charity.

Back to the resolutions. I realized I didn’t want to write a book unless someone begged me. I would love to have written a book, and to be basking in the certain glory of wide readership (insert sarcasm icon), but I am too impatient for the long form and there we have it. Still to try, articles for print.

Major Progress

I’ve made lots of progress in terms of organization and house tasks. So much that I decided to redo our interiors, as you know, and blog about it. Which has helped me to keep writing, another resolution. In the interest of a complete my status report, I can confirm that I am taking care of my still-new husband.

The second slide, perhaps with visuals, reads,

Goal Achieved!

This is why we’re really here today, in the imaginary board room, lights dimmed and projector blaring. I did sign up for a personal trainer, and I did keep walking. I want to urge you all, if you don’t do it already, to start strength and flexibility training, and maybe spend some time in flat shoes.

I haven’t lost any weight, I don’t look much different in clothes, this isn’t about style. It’s about preparing to get older. From what I can see, old age in health has its joys. Old age in illness is very hard. I once wrote a post about laying the foundation for your 50s when you’re 20 or 30. As I’ve said, now I want to lay the foundation for my 80s, should I be so fortunate as to live that long.

I know that the last thing you need is another exhortation to exercise. So let me try to be specific. I spend 1 hour twice a week at the trainer’s. That’s it. After 6 months I’m stronger, more flexible, and far more happy in my body. My shoulder injury is pretty much rehabilitated, and old pains in my foot, ankle, and hip are lessening. I am far less stiff than I was.

No miracles. I’m still nigh-on 58. I should still work my heart rate harder. One can always do better. But boy do I feel good. And that was my over-arching goal. My thought is to learn this program so well, and become so habituated, that by the end of the year I can take it home. Or to a yoga studio, where I will no longer struggle in the poses.

What would you need, if you wanted to do this at home now? The time. A little space. And I think the following equipment would be enough. We could probably manage with nothing, but I find the props helpful for focus and even entertainment. I look really funny crab-walking with big rubber bands at my ankles.

  • Some hand weights (3lb, 5lb, and maybe a 10lb would probably be right for most of us)
  • A foam roller (amazing for loosening tight spots before a workout)
  • A mat (unless you don’t mind lying on the floor/rug)
  • BOSU ball (for balance exercises)
  • Bands

And then you’d need guidance, of course, as I’ve needed the trainer. But there must be reputable books out there, or good YouTube videos. Maybe a reader has recommendations? If it would be helpful to hear about my sessions, feel free to email me or tell me in the comments and I’ll go into detail another day.

Getting my body back has been the single best thing about not working. And I could have done it previously if I’d only focused. Ah well, at least there’s now. There’s always now, until there isn’t any more.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Affiliate links may generate commissions

Reviewing A Classic, The Bottega Veneta “Veneta” Large Hobo In Blue


Do you all remember when I was looking for a blue handbag? To go with both brown and black shoes? Maybe orange ones? As it turned out, in an act of extreme originality, I stuck with Bottega Veneta. Below, the brand’s Large Hobo, AKA the “Veneta.” The name suggests Volkswagen might name one of their cars “Wagen,” but why not?

As one might expect from a Sturdy Gal, the joys of luxurious materials and craftmanship are almost outweighed by sheer practicality. Look how it takes to suburban life.  Say hi to the Rav4, Ms. Veneta, and wave to the white-flowered oleander.

Review-of-the-Bottega-Veneta-Large-Hobo

The name of this dusty, grayed, a-little-mauve-in-some-lights hue? “Blue.” Not Electric, not Navy, just Blue. In fact it’s the color of denim, and registers very Southern Hemisphere to me. Think Florida, Texas. Were I buying now for fall I’d probably choose Aubergine. But I’ll carry my little bit of Imaginary Miami right through our rainy season. We have umbrellas in the suburbs, we have cars, we go in and out of buildings.

The-Large-Hobo-Gets-Into-The-Car

While I wanted no logo, I’m OK with the characteristic woven “intrecciato” leather as an identifying design element.  And the shape works perfectly on the shoulder. So comfortable. Wear it behind you, on a slant. I’d tell you to be sure and zip it closed, but you all are smart.

Taking-The-Large-Hobo-For-A-Spin

The bag sits in comfort if not glamor on the passenger side of the Rav4.

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Even a relatively short person like me can hold it in hand without the dreaded bag drag.

Finally, should you be headed to the airport, as I was recently, you can pack in an iPad, a book, and all modern cons. The bag’s interior is one large space (with a small virtually useless “phone flap” and a very useful zippered pocket for storing your keys as you travel far from home.)

The saleswoman at Neiman Marcus told me her customers reordered this year after year, because it is so comfortable. I have no doubt that’s true, probably in different colors every time.

Details

If you like this Southern blue, I find it online now only in the medium Veneta. However, Neiman Marcus carries all sorts of colors, even Fuchsia, and you can occasionally find the brand on MyHabit, if you are registered there.

Other stuff: Sunglasses | Costco, T-shirt | Banana Republic (they make a great tee on sale for $10), Shorts | UNIQLO (sold out online), Shoes | Rieker (similar at Zappos), Earrings | 20 years old from De Novo (not disssimilar), Wood watch | JORD,  Jacket | UNIQLO de la Fressange (sold out online) Car | Toyota Rav4, profanely memorialized as the dorkiest car in the universe here, by Kanye West. Affiliate links may generate commissions, although not for Kanye, sorry dude.

The Hunt For An Organic, Visually Interesting, Subtle, “Am I Asking Too Much?” Bedroom Rug


And on to master bedroom decorating. Fixup. Whatever we’re calling it. Decorating sounds like embellishment, while this is more Moving Beyond Camping In My Own House. However, one word is always better than six, so decorating it will be.

I’ve got 3 major purchases to make, bed, mattress and rug. The rest – bedding, fabrics for such cushions as there are, paint, objects – will follow. At this point I’m searching for all 3 big ticket items in parallel, unsure exactly which will settle first. But for the sake of imagery, and in the spirit of pretending that life is linear, consider the rug.

Setting the context first.

  1. I do not plan to live in this suburban house forever. I envision growing old in a city, with a country place should liquidity events conspire to make that possible. Of course, life being non-linear I may surprise myself, but let’s assume planning matters. So I’m not going after perfect, just good.
  2. I don’t, however, plan to change everything in the room. I’m working with a certain space and flooring, and with a few set pieces of furniture. Sturdy Gals like constraints. Without them, life is vast and scary.

So what will stay?

The floor.

Flooring Closeup

The windows, most likely with blinds and no curtains. That corner window is double height, as is one of the corners of my bedroom. It was a 1990′s addition to the 1953 house.

Window And Chinese Evergreen Elm

The Pottery Barn dresser, which means I am apt to want a bed in dark wood, given a Sturdy Gal’s propensity for matching.

Pottery-Barn-Dress-Closeup

An armchair, which I think will wind up slip-covered for the sake of budget, and also because I like a little fray and mess. A lived-in look, if you will.

Chair

A Pottery Barn lamp. But it’s clear, so, you know, versatile.

Bedside Lamp

to say nothing of an undeniable new impulse towards blues and grays. Here’s the bedding I have now,

Bedding

and I’m ready for change. So I make collages, as one does, in first, tentative steps.

Untitled #189

On to the rug. I search Pinterest, Houzz, and sites found when searching for “Tibetan carpet.” I love the organic look, neither plain, nor geometric, nor bold. Behold. From Tufenkian. I had one of their rugs, but it exited in the divorce.  The one below is woven of wool, silk, and linen.

Tufenkien Sequins Border Nickel

Sigh. Price requires a quote, and is likely to be upwards of $10K for a 5×8. I had been thinking it made sense to invest in the new rug, but Boy Darling (in reality a tony and quite brilliant designer) set me to rights. “Why,” he said, “Given that you may move in the next 3-4 years, spend big on something that may not fit in a new place?” Oh. Right.

But in searching for the same aesthetic, for less, we descend into that which reminds me a tad of office carpet,

1510_ATL-6001

 

that which is possibly too monochromatic,

1710_05960004_large

that which is certainly too geometric,

ModernRug_1510_KAB8019_large

that which is too vividly patterned. (Although I like the source, Inhabit. for the current “mid-century” look. In quotes advisedly because I was alive mid-century and I remember none of the look now in favor.)

Inhabit Madera Rug MDAOC_R_xl_28

and that which is too, something, maybe, “regular?” “Insufficiently random?” Albeit quite beautiful for somebody else.

ModernRug_1510_CAN-1915

But, oh joy, when I relax one of my parameters and open up to a deeper, more marine blue, I stumble onto other options. (Note to self: relaxation of parameters, good strategy.) Seems as though the design world expects a love of organic patterns to dovetail with a preference for “off” colors. Haven’t they yet understood that humans present in oxymorons?

What about this?

Feizy Qing Rug via Wayfair

Not neutral, but the best color of my eyes, so perhaps neutral on me? And Significant Husband likes it.

Or this, at nowhere near 12K?

8510_1924_444e_large

And so we find, as both Chaucer and Hesse’s Siddhartha knew, a search produces more than stuff. It educates us in the patterns of the searching mind. Myself, I may now be ready to enter a showroom without having to shove panic down, below my throat, where it often rises in fear of visual overwhelm. Or at least make another collage.

BTW, to offer options for those who prefer the vivid, as we must not discriminate, take a look on Houzz, here. As always, affiliate links may generate commissions. Several of these links are for ModernRugs, a site with gorgeous goods and perhaps one of the ugliest visual designs I’ve ever seen. However, I can’t find anything bad about their service and quality, so am soldiering on through very sad font and color choices.)

 

Do Crows Make More Noise When It’s Hot, Or, Saturday Morning At 7:51am


“Do crows make more noise when it’s hot?” I Googled.  No clear answer.

We’re having a heat wave in Northern California, which, given our usual deeply temperate climate, feels a little apocalyptic. If the Apocalypse comes in small doses that is. The crows are cawing late night and early morning. Jays are screaming, and fighting with seagulls in from the bay.

My house was built in 1953 and I do not have air conditioning. New houses in the Bay Area may, but we faithful few, we soldier on. Come the annual heat wave – because it happens almost every year and each time we say to each other, “Oh, it’s so HOT!”- we long-time Northern Californians open our windows at night and close up tight around 9:30am. We wait it out, feeling like we really live here.

The day before yesterday Yahoo weather got stuck at 102°. Long after Weather.com and Wunderground were calling the temperatures down like an election, 93, 86, 82, our phones just glared at us, 102. Hotter than decades past.

Yesterday wasn’t much better. I drank cold water with a lot of ice and a little lemonade. By 3pm the heat had reached its peak. We opened the doors in surrender, and hot air blew through the house. I lay on the sofa with my legs resting up the back, fighting off foot swelling. What a heat sissy, acknowledged.

And, even though at one point the heat weighed on my chest so heavily it was almost hard to breathe, I felt a sort of gritty joy. Reveling in my body dealing with extremity, perhaps.

When I woke at 1:30am the temperatures had fallen to the 70s, as our marine layer cooled us off for sleep.  Now as I write, the back door open to a morning in the 60′s, I see today they predict a maximum of 88. I can recollect 102 fondly, “Remember that summer when Yahoo Weather got stuck?”

This may be the purest definition of privilege. In an abundance of 75° days we can enjoy one nigh-on painful sweating. In comfort we can enjoy hardship – it feels like life force, not distress.

But if I back away from my own senses and good cheer, I remember we’re in a drought. Delaine tells me it’s spreading across the country. This is the flipside risk of privilege, we find the crows to be an annoyance rather than intelligence from the front lines. I don’t want to feel danger, who would unless they had to? Maybe we have to.

It should go without saying that the responsibility of privilege is empathy, and on a broader scale some kind of global consciousness, but I still need reminding.

Have a wonderful weekend. I believe it’s possible, even when we acknowledge the hard stuff.

The Long Awaited Return Of Professor C. In Which We Discuss James Joyce And John Huston’s The Dead.


My very distinguished father, Professor C., on The Dead as written by James Joyce, and then written again and filmed by John Huston and his son, Tony. If you find you would like more of these pieces, please look to the sidebar and click on “Professor C.” Thanks Dad, for all sorts of things.

“The Dead”

31-JamesJoyce-Getty

James Joyce’s “The Dead” is one of the best short stories ever. John Huston’s film adaptation of “The Dead” may be the best translation ever of fiction into film.  At least I think so. As do many others. So what to make of this outlier from “Rotten Tomatoes”: “Disappointing adaptation of the last story in Joyce’s Dubliners. It has dullness written all over it. It makes Merchant Ivory seem like Rambo.” This nonsense in fact undermines itself and helps explain why, and how, Huston’s film, about as far as it could be from Merchant Ivory’s glossy stuff, is a masterpiece. In the story and the film, nothing to speak of happens. Or, make that, “nothing” happens. There’s a Christmas-time party in 1904 at the house of two old spinsters and their niece. There is music and formal dancing. The guests are friends and relatives, among them the spinsters’ nephew Gabriel Conroy (Donal McCann) and his wife Gretta (Anjelica Huston). Snow is falling. When the party is over, Gabriel and Gretta go back to their room in the Gresham hotel, where Gretta is overcome by the memory of the boy Michael Furey, with whom she went out walking in their youth and who died, she thinks, for love of her.  And that’s it. Behind it all stands the ghost of Chekhov, master of domestic dramas in which nothing happens and everything depends on networks of implication and desire.

Photography By Brian Hamill

What is “The Dead” about?  Almost everything: the falling snow and the Irish landscape; Ireland and England in the person of Conroy, an imitation “West Briton” who takes vacations on the continent; the Irish rebellion that is soon to break out; the two Irelands, east and, in the west,Gretta’s birthplace beyond the English pale  – Miss Ivor invites the Conroys to come with her to Aran in the summer, and Gretta, born in Galway, longs to return; the two languages of Ireland, English and Gaelic – “beannacht libh,” cries Miss Ivor, “good-bye to you,” when she leaves rudely and early for a meeting of Irish nationalists; Ireland and its Scottish diaspora – old Mrs. Malins, mother of the drunken, charming, puppyish Freddy, has moved to Glasgow to be with her daughter; women and the Catholic church; the music of melancholy and memory  – “Arrayed for the Bridal,” “The Lass of Aughrim,” the song that Michael Furey used to sing; Catholic drunks and Protestant drunks; social class; love; loss; desire; age; death. What more do you need?  Film and story overflow with something that is everything more than nothingness.  John Huston was dying as he made the film, in a wheelchair, hooked to an oxygen line. Dying, he knew that “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and “The African Queen,” good films all, were froth on life’s emotional seas, the comings and goings of every day.

In the script, by Huston’s son Tony, much of the dialogue is Joyce’s own; changes here and there are for emphasis. A new character reads (beautifully) the ending of an eighth-century Irish poem, translated by Lady Gregory, about immeasurable loss: “You have taken the east from me, you have taken the west from me;/
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;/
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me/
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!” Otherwise, Huston transplants from mid-story to nearer the end the emblematic tale of a family mill-horse, used to circling the mill, who starts circling a statue of the despised English King, William of Orange, when harnessed to a carriage for a day’s outing, an image of Irish life both political and domestic. In a bow to modern usage, Freddy Malins arrives at the party not “screwed” but “stewed.” The “jolly gay fellows” (“which nobody can deny”) of the traditional song become “jolly fine fellows.”  But the fabric of the original is intact.

The Dead Dinner Party

 

A final challenge, however, eludes the reach of acting and film-making, however adroit: the tumult of Gabriel’s feelings on his way to the hotel and the greater tumult after he learns of Michael Furey. As they go back to the Gresham, in Joyce’s telling, Gabriel is filled with quiet longing: the “touch of her body, musical and strange and perfumed, sent through him a keen pang of lust.” Years slip away: “as they stood at the hotel door, he felt that they had escaped from home and friends and run away together with wild and radiant hearts to a new adventure.” In the film, while in the cab to the hotel, Gabriel has taken Gretta’s hand, but nothing more. And all goes dead when Gretta, overcome by memories of Michael Furey and “The Lass of Aughrim,” cannot respond to Gabriel’s desires, which resist not only being spoken but, being silent, resist the power of film to capture them.

MV5BMjEwMDE1MzkwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTkxMjEwNQ@@._V1__SX640_SY720_

The snow is falling again. In the story but not the film, Gabriel lies “cautiously” down beside Gretta, understanding his feelings now not as lust but love, and speaks a silent requiem: “The time had come to set out on his journey westward” — to the country where Gretta comes from, where Michael Furey is buried, and where spirits dwell. “Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland,” the weather report as a human condition. The final lines of “The Dead” are surpassingly beautiful. In the film, Donal McCann as Gabriel assembles their threads in a soliloquy, the best film can do with interior monologue.  It would be ungrateful to protest that film cannot do more. What it can do, and does in Huston’s “The Dead,” is enough.

Photo credits (affiliate links may generate commissions)
James Joyce via The Independent.
John Huston via Brian Hamill Photography
Anjelica Huston via iMDB
Dinner party via Slant Magazine

Gallivanting Through Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Hudson River Valley, And Short Hills, New Jersey


(Reminder, Professor C., James Joyce, and The Dead on Thursday)

 

I’ve been gallivanting.

First to Brooklyn and Manhattan to visit my son and others, then up to the Hudson River Valley for the extreme pleasure of staying at Reggie and Boy Darling‘s house, then down to New Jersey to see my best friend. It has been a wonderful trip. Highlights are perhaps in order?

I arrived at my son’s apartment Wednesday night. We went to dinner. He’d bought an air conditioner to make my stay comfortable. Adult children, for the win. The next day he worked, so I took the F train into Manhattan. First stop, serendipitously, the Jefferson Market Garden. A small public garden, pretty much defining the term, “jewel box.”

Jefferson Garden

Next stop, Buvette, for lunch with Susan Champlin, writer, author of the blog What Would Katherine Hepburn Do. She’s a Twitter friend, and all-around-lovely-person. Planned, but on short notice, so I was very happy she was free. Here’s our selfie. We were searching for the perfect profile. Susan says she’s still looking but I think she’s awfully close.

Selfie With Susan

Then I scooted uptown to see the Jeff Koons exhibition. Serendipitously passing an extraordinary shop display on the way, I had to stop in to admire, briefly, what is essentially a museum of beautiful china. Quite something. The shop is called Bardith. Ring the bell, and smile at the proprietor to be let in. Some of his pieces are from the atelier of Marie Antoinette’s ceramicist. I know.

China Shop, Bull In

And then on to the Whitney for Mr. Koons. Jeff Koons is Jeff Koons, mostly monstrous, never pretty, highly annoying. The exhibit, however, is brilliant, and illuminates American cultural history in a way that I did not predict, drawing a clear line from early pop art to social media overexposure of today. Besides, Koons stumbled onto beauty with the balloon dogs and we will not forget. You might have to see the “balloon” polished surfaces in situ to believe me on the beauty thing. The porcelain sculptures of “Banality” are only monstrous.

Jeff Koons

A few hours later, revived by some caramel ice cream at the Sweet Shop, I met my son, @kidchamp, and her husband for ramen at Ippudo. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and then more wonderful.

The next day, the boy and I meandered around Brooklyn, where I bought him a blue t-shirt. He needed it. Then we made our way back to the Upper East Side, to meet the author of the great blog Reggie Darling and his husband, for a trip to their gorgeous house in the Hudson River Valley. The Architectural Digest article shows it off to best advantage, here, so I captured just a few details. The side entry, for example.

Doorknob-and-Number

After a drive full of entertaining conversation, we enjoyed a late dinner at Swoon, in Hudson.

SWOON

The next day, I had the distinct privilege of following Boy Darling, Reggie’s husband, on his sweep through a few antique and “picker” stores, again in the town of Hudson. A quite tony designer by trade, he can can spot a find in an instant. I was distracted by everything.

Self-Portrait-In-Junk-Shop

Or perhaps my focus is taken by this young man, caught in a serious moment of post-prandial contemplation. Lunch was pasta and he said it was delicious. I told you he needed a blue t-shirt.

Son

Back at Darlington House, we rested on the screened porch. Some beautiful sunflowers assisted.

Sunflowers-In-The-Day

We had to rest up, you see, as Reggie and Boy were throwing a dinner party. What a table. What food. Most of all, what guests!

Dinner At Darlington

We retired afterwards, again, to the screened porch. Sunflowers look even more beautiful at night.

Sunflowers In The Night

Spent the next day touring and exclaiming over the house and its extraordinary details. Then, almost overwhelming us with hospitality, Reggie grilled some chicken and vegetables for lunch, and served them on this table. Chamomile flowers by Boy Darling.

Lunch-On-The-Porch

One last look down the view before we headed back to Manhattan. Much as I love California, the green of an East Coast summer cannot be denied.

Lawn-Chair

And from there, I was off to see my best friend, who has returned from Belgium to live in Short Hills, New Jersey.

I’ve been gone just long enough to enjoy every minute, and now I’m ready to return home and and see Significant Husband. I miss him. However, lest I have not yet clarified, this trip has been a veritable paean to gallivanting, and I thank everyone who has hosted me so graciously. Never to be forgotten, thank you notes to follow.

 

 

Do Not Concern Yourself With My Absence, Or, Saturday Afternoon At 1:51pm


Well. I am back from blog break, but apparently not back enough to manage a Saturday morning post. Neither emergencies nor crises are at fault, and probably some stories of gallivanting will follow. I hope you are in the midst of a wonderful weekend.