The Beauty of Not Even Trying

September 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Heaven knows that I love All Things Beautiful, from fantastic landscapes to a perfect dress. But you may not know of the deep pleasure I take in things I find to be beautiful that aren’t trying in any way to be that — they are just what they are…

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For instance, I am obsessed with painted trucks. I especially love this one, as well as the old “Yellow” and “A. Duie Pile” trucks that I see so often on the highways. Other favorites include hand-painted oil trucks…really, the next time you are sitting in traffic, take a look around. Pretty cool stuff.

What’s not to love about functional items that were designed with care, and also speak in another language from a generational perspective?

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I think I want to bring back “parcels”. Isn’t it a good word?

Let’s not forget the most basic of packaged goods that are comforting because they almost never change…

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And of course, the city streets, especially when they are “glazed with rain water”, to borrow a phrase from William Carlos Williams…

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I think that brick here is especially great.

So, while I write a lot about things that are made to be or are just naturally beautiful (I can’t wait to show you some of what I saw in the Tetons), I thought it was worth pointing out that if you look around, beauty is often hiding in plain sight.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Greetings from the Mountains!

September 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

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We have landed in Jackson Hole, where we plan on spending the weekend spotting wildlife, riding horses and being quite. This seems like the place…

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Enjoy your surroundings wherever you are!

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Lovely To See You…

September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Indeed! Alison Goldfrapp gave a fantastic performance at the Beacon on Tuesday night and I was so glad that we were able to attend. She was accompanied by her musical partner, Will Gregory, their band and The Wordless Music Orchestra. But this was not a “Goldfrapp Unplugged” affair.

Using everything at their disposal, including a well-edited set list that covered most of their beautiful new record, Tales of Us, along with more moody but equally lovely songs (mostly from Seventh Tree and Felt Mountain) they heightened each song’s intent, without it ever feeling like “I am so tired of performing this song, we are totally reworking it”.* The result: an exhilarating show that made me reconsider those that weren’t necessarily my favorites and revel in the ones that I loved already.

I’ve never seen them live before, and was completely taken with Ms. Goldfrapp’s voice — no backup tracks here! I also loved how she managed to be fun and a touch saucy with the audience, while also seeming the teeniest bit shy. (Until she was consumed with the music — then there were moments of absolute fierceness. This is a woman I’d like to have a scotch with…or maybe two.)

Did I mention that she looked like what I imagine a really cool angel might look like? She did.

Love!

xx

* In my totally unprofessional opinion.

(Photo that no one said was prohibited: Mr. H)

Back to School at 42!

September 6, 2013 § 2 Comments

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I never considered myself to be someone who loved school. I did love learning new things, especially anything involving the arts.* But I never got into the whole ritual of school, except to make sure that I got good grades and was decently popular. I am human and a touch competitive, after all.

When I finished grad school at the tender age of 28, I thought that I was done with the classroom forever.** And I was thrilled. No more schedules, no more textbooks. No tests! And best of all NO MORE PROJECTS!!! I was going to be a Working Woman of Leisure.

All that aside, I still found myself wanting to learn new things. Is there some kind of gene for that? If so, I appear to have it. So, there were tons of books to read on all kinds of topics, museums to visit and professionals to interrogate about their craft. (Thank heavens people who love plants and flowers tend to be pretty mellow — I would kill me if I were a client.)

There were even a few “classes” here and there — lectures at The Met, knife skills and intensive cooking programs, cheese class, wine class, you get the idea. But I never signed up for anything that required any real “work” on my part. (Unless you consider drinking wine and eating cheese to be work. I do not. And if you do, I might need to ask why you are reading my blog.)

And then I got all crazy about interior design. I always loved making my bedroom, Barbie Dream House, dorm room and Single Girl Apartments as comfy and pretty as possible (even then, this often included fresh flowers and a dog), but Mr. H was a bit of a Furniture Head when we met. And that was kind of the end of my casual interest…within a few years, I was hooked.

I now have Furniture Crushes, Imaginary Homes decorated in styles I can’t quite pull off in my current surroundings (my L.A. Apartment is a blast of white and oversized art, the one in Paris, spare and sculptural), and find myself “helping” friends — whether they like it or not — with their own spaces.

A few weeks after our Big, Hairy Project that Took Years to Complete was done at work, I started thinking that maybe now would be a good time to admit it to myself: I think I want to go back to school to study interior design more seriously. At this age??? Seems like a lot of effort for someone with a pretty demanding job. But still. And more still, Julia Child didn’t start her career until she was 40. And I think even Chrolotte Moss worked on Wall Street for some time before she got cracking. So, yes, I am going to give it a shot.

But before I jump right back in to the whole affair, I decided to dip my toes in with a six-week course on the basics. I report to school on Monday, and I already have homework!!

But I am also already loving it — it just must be in my genes.

xx

* How I must have driven my family crazy when in High School during the Humanities lectures that introduced me to Handel’s Water Music. Seriously, I find the incessant harpsichord completely mind-numbing now.

** OK, I did toy with the idea of going back to get an MFA in art history, but the language requirements — German AND French — made me balk.

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

Fall Has Its Merits

September 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

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As we were driving back to the city this morning, I was feeling a twinge of Summer is Over Sadness. Until I remembered that fall has quite a bit to recommend itself. For starters, there is the fashion. Whether cuddled up in cozy sweaters, busting out my favorite capes and jackets or wearing something insanely pretty and glamorous — but impossible for real winter weather — this is the time of year to let it rip.

Concerts, plays and art openings are happening everywhere, restaurants are bustling and it finally gets a little more quiet by the beach for when it is needed.

And then there are the pumpkins…have I mentioned that pumpkins are one of the things in life that makes silly happy? I have no idea why, but when I spy the first ones popping up, I get full-on giddy. As such, I always take the Children in My Life pumpkin picking. They are an excellent cover, and tend to be extremely adorable bopping through the patch. They also are totally into “more” as a concept, which ensures that our wagon is nice and full and totally guilt free.

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Fall is also grape harvest season for all that wine I like to drink! And it tends to be the time of year that some equally Wine Friendly companions of ours hit the vineyards to find things to squirrel away for the perfect occasion. Last year, we went to Sonoma for said trip and it was, among other things, a very nice way to spend a few days in the fall…

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quiet morning

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As you can imagine, I didn’t miss summer at all in these surroundings. And the food and wine that went along with it made it even better…

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My new crush vineyard: Williams Selyem. A must if you are in Sonoma.

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And fall is the perfect time to not only drink a few reds, but also to eat slightly more hearty food. Let’s just say that I enjoyed the chicken and waffles here very much. Very much. As well as the food at both Barndiva (sorry for the blurry photo) and Zazu Restaurant & Farm, which was a little meat-centric…hence the twinkle light pig, I think.

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See, fall is fun and filling!

And then there are still the Farmer’s Markets. Now, they might not be in their full glory come November, but they do keep chugging along, which allows you to prepare all manner of cozy fall meals.

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For the record, these are from a stand in Sonoma, so, you know, they still have zucchini blossoms. In New York, not so much. But my favorite one by the beach stays open until December 1st. So, I am In Produce until almost the end of the year.

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And you can wear a cute sweater cape when you are out shopping!

So, bottom line: fall is fabulous! Enjoy the season. I plan to.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

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