Friday, November 30, 2012

And I Think to Myself.........

Sorry for all the blog negligence this week!  We have a bit of a situation here, I've run out of storage space.....and I have the impression that I'm not the only one out there in the blog world who's run into this problem.  I tried to delete old posts and pics with no immediate improvement and my tech support has been otherwise occupied.  Meanwhile, I had already been ruminating on possible format changes, maybe even moving to tumblr with less talk, more pictures.  What do you think?  Meanwhile here are some older images which I've not used yet.......and hope you enjoy............






world.  (All images via Sophie Munns' aka "wonderful eye" SeedCapsules)

You can finish this post with Louis Armstrong maybe:

And speaking of Henri Matisse, is anyone headed to New York soon?  The New York Times gave an effusive review of the new "Matisse, In Search of True Painting" show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art thru March.  Details here.

*******Happy Weekend Everybody!*******

Monday, November 26, 2012

London Design Week at the Conran Shop Morphs into Christmas

Now that Thanksgiving is over (how was yours, anyway?), can I get all art-ey and designer-ey on you?

Here are some pics I've been saving up of the Conran Shop in London

during Design Week in September.  For awhile there, it seemed like the Conran Shop

had lost a little of its pop, snap and zing.  (After Priscilla Carluccio left it to start her own place, short-lived, sadly.)

But on the day of these photos, this temple to design was back in all it's brilliance.

With even, the great man himself, Sir Terence in evidence (we tip-toed past him in awe, with sneaking backward glances).  I've posted about these fabulous Sue Binns ceramics before.  You can't think in terms of buying kitchen ware.....they are far too have to buy them for yourself for a special occasion and think in terms of INVESTING IN ART!

OH MAN this gleamy all-in-one kitchen island made my heart pitter-patter.  But I would not want to be the slavey with the constant job of keeping it's shine impeccably bright and finger-print free.  Still........

A big development in London, the Conran Shop is not the only place where you'd be able to find these wonderful creatures from Boutique Petit Pan Paris but it might be the most FUN place to purchase them from.

Love their otherworldly quality, and the genius of their underlying structure.

So, oh!  Christmas is coming.  If I lived in London, or Paris, Tokyo or New York......I'd be heading over to the Conran Shop to see what kind of goodies I could find to make me as a Christmas Holidays guest, or Christmas Holidays hostess.....just a little extra "distinguee" in December.  On the other is cyber Monday and there is something called on-line shopping.

Just an idea.  I'm not a big shopper, but if I must, the Conran Shop never fails to be at the top of my list of Happy Places.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy the abundance.

Wherever you journey...

Hope you find something uplifting in your encounters.

We can be thankful for being mostly the same at the same time that we're thankful to always be just a bit different.

Top photo: via Sophie Munns' SeedCapsules, others, ChutJeReve tumblr

Monday, November 19, 2012

Birthday Smiles

It happened again!!!!!!!

I had another birthday!

I guess on balance, it's better to have one than NOT.  But I can't say I'm always a great lover of my birthday.... if only it could happen at a different time of year.......Anybody else out there having one?    (Happy-Happy to you!)

I got a really wonderful present. Which makes the whole day.  I will share a picture of it soon.

Meanwhile thanks to those who have already sent birthday wishes.   I'll wish you back a "Very Happy Thanksgiving" with whoever you choose to share it with - and successful turkey roasting!  And for those not celebrating Thanksgiving - JUST HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

(Photo:  Ebony Bizys aka the HelloSandwich girl.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

By the Sea, By the Sea - Hastings

An old old town

An old

old way of life.

Hastings still has the

largest beach based fishing fleet

in England.

I love the sober geometry of these ice houses.

Isn't the light so beautiful by the sea?

What do you think about the life of a fisherman?  Could you be one?

Have a happy weekend!  I'm going to take a bit of a break for a birthday and some Thanksgiving preparations.  I'll be back soon.........

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Little Blessings

(AFP-Getty Images)  Hoboken, NJ  (I used to live there!)

We've had a little too much excitement lately here in America.  A lady on the phone from England asked me last week if the right man had won.  I think so.  As Maureen Dowd put it so sagely today, we may not have elected him this time on his message of hope and change, but rather, we just hope he WILL change!  (And find some cojones!)

But it certainly can be argued that this was an election of hope and change. There are other wise people who say that human progress is accomplished more through evolution than revolutions.  If this is true, then it seemed that this election signaled the handing of the baton to the (more highly evolved we're guessing?) children of the baby boomers. It's a generation not only happy to be governed, and by women and people of color, but a generation convinced of the value of hard work, showing up, and being counted.  (Woody Allen always said that 98% of success is just showing up!)  They went to the polls, they got people to the polls.  And they elected MANY candidates who represent hope and change.  Most importantly this election could neither be bought nor stolen, (despite our worst fears) despite the insane amounts of money that were poured into it by both parties.  Oh my, just imagine what problems could have been solved in this country and the world if the $2.5 billion had been spent elsewhere.

Anyway, I think the soft-hearted ones prevailed.  Nothing wrong at all with being soft hearted.   When you use your ingenuity and stick-to-it-iveness to make sure that everybody gets a chance (or even two) and nobody is left behind. That's my idea of America.

It's nice to know that other people think of it that way too.  Including some of you who've left nice notes of support for President Obama.

Much Aloha.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Restaurant Recommendation: Terroirs, London

It won't be out of your way.

It's within a few very short blocks of the Covent Garden and Embankment Tube stops.

Hard by the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square and St. Martin in the Fields.

The prices are gentle, the food is impeccably fresh.

The bread is crunchy, just a little chewy - and moist.

The staff are young, friendly and on top of your order.

I guarantee you, you will clean your plate!

And for afters, there are pubs close by!  TERROIRS on King William IV Street.  More here.

It is possibly the very best restaurant value in London.  It's new, so go soon while they're still endeavoring to impress! If you aren't eating there this weekend, I hope you're going somewhere good!  


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

St. Pancras Station Part Two - Brief Encounter

Another look at this jewel, resurrected and shinied up, thanks to Sir John Betjeman among others....

If there's anyone out there - youngish, hunky with means.....(Preferably male?  Sorry girls!)  yes, I would be interested in conducting an illicit affair with you, if it means we can do so in these environs.  I haven't actually checked out the rooms yet.  What do you think?  You can see them here.

Let me know.

(OMG!  EVEN FOX NEWS has called the election for BARACK OBAMA AS PRESIDENT!  8:21 p.m. in Los Angeles.)

"we believe in a generous America, a compassionate America, a tolerant America....... and now, more determined and more inspired - - - FORWARD!"  (10:55 p.m. in Los Angeles)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Coming or Going? - St. Pancras Station, London

Do you love a train station?  I still do.  The anticipation of departure, the joyous expectation of an imminent arrival - whether yours, or that of another.  I used to feel this way about airports but let's face it.....when it comes to that experience these days, THE THRILL IS GONE. 

You know what I'm talking about.

In days well past, Mr. Paradis and I had friends who lived in squats in a place called Stanley Buildings right behind St. Pancras station.  On the day that I took these pictures, the very last of them was in the process of coming down. From Stanley buildings you could see into St. Pancras from the back and I have loved this station since those days.  Its soaring roofline like a giant glass house.  The journey out of St. Pancras to the North has always been very moving to me.  As all train travel is, it's a metaphor of life somehow, of all of one's life, passing before our very eyes, a parade of earthly possibilities flashing by, rushed and compressed into a couple hours' journey.

Now the Eurostar leaves from here, adding another layer of charm, sheen and enticement to the railway station environs. 

Here is a man we can thank that St. Pancras endures and thrives:  Sir John Betjeman, a beloved Englishman of letters and founder of the Victorian Society.  He and his society lobbied strenuously and passionately for the preservation of treasures of the Victorian age.  One of which was St. Pancras Station.  It took a long while for him to prevail - i.e., well into the 21st century. But now, a tribute to him stands in the station.  It's a lovely sculpture, one amongst others in London, that I am quite in love with.

From Wikipedia, here:

Betjeman responded to architecture as the visible manifestation of society's spiritual life as well as its political and economic structure. He attacked speculators and bureaucrats for what he saw as their rapacity and lack of imagination. In the preface of his collection of architectural essays, First and Last Loves says: "We accept the collapse of the fabrics of our old churches, the thieving of lead and objects from them, the commandeering and butchery of our scenery by the services, the despoiling of landscaped parks and the abandonment to a fate worse than the workhouse of our country houses, because we are convinced we must save money."

I could not agree with him more and this sentiment applies equally, if not more, to the American architectural and cultural landscape.  And to our life and times.

We don't realize what we're losing when, throughout the world, we allow our visual history to be obliterated in the name of "urban" and increasingly, "suburban renewal".  

By sculptor Paul Day, this monumental piece nine meters high, called "The Meeting Place" (more pictures here of the lower frieze) towers over the front end of St. Pancras station.  It has a nice "It's Grim Up North",  pulp-fiction, kitchen sink realism vibe to it.

Reminding us that it's good to go......and then again..........

meeting up back in "the Smoke" could just be the beginning of a whole other adventure.

Did you go anywhere good this weekend?  I did.  But I'm not telling where yet.