June 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
It is 55 and drizzly in New York and thank heavens, Florence and the Machine have released their third record: How Big, How Blue, How, Beautiful. And my initial, totally unprofessional assessment is that it is great. Early favorites include “Ship to Wreck”, “Third Eye” (infectious), and “What Kind of Man”. While I patiently wait for the new Frank Ocean and need a little break from Kendrick Lamar’s latest (while excellent), this is just the ticket!
September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
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.
* In my totally unprofessional opinion.
(Photo that no one said was prohibited: Mr. H)
August 29, 2013 § 2 Comments
Oh my goodness! How did it get to be the beginning of Labor Day Weekend? (AKA: The End of Summer.) I know that it was busy, but really, this one went way too fast. Thankfully, I think we made the most of it, especially over these last couple of weeks. So, before we start thinking about fall and Fashion Week and All That Work We Need to Do, some last bits of summer, which in my book is at its best by the beach…
One of my favorite things about the season is the flowers — I know, this is not new information. And I especially love these particular roses when they greet me each day…
The Village Improvement Society’s Annual Geranium Planting (I am not kidding about this, even though it sounds very Star’s Hollow) makes dog walks* a little bit more inviting in the morning, when I pretty much don’t want to be walking at all.
Also making dog walks and other activities more enjoyable is our town itself, which I find to be quite charming. Pierre’s is our year-round spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and the best fries around), and the library next door is very high on the Adorable Factor, as is their library card, of which I am a proud holder. (But I am pretty sure I owe them a late fee for a Mary McCarthy biography. I feel bad about that…I really do. But somehow, I still haven’t made it back in to pay it. I think it is shame that is keeping me away.)
And then there is the beach. I don’t think there is a better place to take a nap than on a beach. And nap I did this summer. Quite a bit. This was my typical view when I woke up from one of said naps…
Unless I was opted for the shade of our beach camp…
And sometimes, after napping, walking would happen. I know, everyone says it, but that is because it is true: A walk on the beach clears the mind, lifts the spirits and sometimes gives you ideas for interior design projects. (OK, that last part is probably just me.)
(And this shell below has me thinking of all sorts of masculine colors for our kitchen project….but that is for another post.)
Then there is eating. One of my favorite things to do. Ina always talks about them, but this place really is yummy…
As is Navy Beach, which has been GOOP-ed, but I like to think that I knew about it first…
If only they were a little more forthcoming about the availability of tables outside…
Not that I am complaining. Well, actually, I am. Seriously, that was just a few of the open tables outside. Grrr.
Anyway, one thing I could never complain about is Mr. H’s annual Birthday Dinner with our dearest friends. As always, this was one was excellent — and included doughnuts from Dough!
Naturally, this kind of eating requires a little more movement than just rolling over on my beach towel. So, I did attempt a jog or two and either I hallucinated it, or there is an amazing cobweb in this photo that I cannot see. If you can, I am very happy for you.
And just in case you were concerned, A+O also had a very restful summer, including lots of time on the down cushions of our sofa. This does not please me, but they are so darn cute that I let it slide…
And this year, we had an extra fun treat in the form of a fantastic sail on the most lovely boat…
I am not a sailor, but I think this one is pretty “yar”. (Watch The Philadelphia Story, please.)
So, even though I hate to see it go, I think that we did summer quite well this year, and hope you did same. And don’t forget to savor this long weekend — whatever your plans may be. I will probably still be napping and eating, if only for the sake of consistency.
* In all fairness, Mr. H performs this duty far more frequently than I do. But, I am the one on teeth brushing and managing their schedules. Yes, they have schedules because parts of my life are ridiculous.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night and Mr. H)
March 22, 2013 § 2 Comments
Not the subway in London. I am writing of the television. Or iPad or other tablet that you may use to watch programming. (I’ve been reading legal documents, so please forgive the halting language.)
While I patiently wait for the return of Mad Men, followed by Breaking Bad’s last few episodes*, I have been thoroughly enjoying FX’s The Americans. I never watched Felicity, but will admit to being wary of Keri Russell playing a deep cover agent for the KGB during the cold war. But I am delighted to say that I was an idiot. She is fantastic. (And soooo tiny to kick so much a**!!) As is Matthew Rhys as her KGB Husband, who astounds me once again by his flawless American accent despite being Welsh**.
I’m not sure how best to describe this show. It has the slow burn of Mad Men but doesn’t over-use the time period to make any points. I suppose it is mostly about relationships, trust and loyalty, and what happens when those things don’t all fall into place so neatly. It is also about SPIES, so it is full of excellent fight scenes, “missions”, gadgets and disguises. There is a decent mount of violence and tons of sex (which could be toned down in my opinion), but the plot lines and characters are so consuming that it never feels as if that is the point of the show. So, if you are looking for something new to watch that isn’t mindless, give this one a shot.
_.._ _.._ ***
* What will Hank do??? Will Jesse be ok? And what leads Walter to that first scene of last season’s opening? God, I am going to miss this show.
** The one accent possibly more impenetrable than the Scottish accent. And I have recent experience: My new hair stylist is Scottish and I seriously have no idea what we discussed during most of my first visit with him. Thankfully, I love the cut, which includes bangs…for another post.
*** Yes, that is morse code for “xx”
December 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
Hopefully you are nearing the end of all the prep work and almost ready to settle in for a little Holiday R&R. And if you aren’t, you probably need a break. So here are some movies that I can’t help but watch this time of year, often by myself, as they range from weird to sappy…
Desk Set, 1957
I love this movie. LOVE IT! Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracey and The Electronic Brain (also known as EMERAC). It isn’t about the holidays, but enough of it takes place during that time of year so that it feels right. My favorite scene is the dinner at Hepburn’s apartment, which is completely cozy and strangely chic. And without this film, I would never be able to ask Mr. H “How do you like your chicken fried?” when we obviously can’t understand a word either of us are saying. (Just watch it and that will all make sense.) Adorable and fun. And you can refer to your computer as “The Electronic Brain” for at least 24 hours after viewing before people get annoyed with you.
Little Women, 1994 (A.K.A. “The One with Winona Ryder”)
What can I say? This one reeks of Christmas and Simpler Times and The Goodness of People — an explosion of horse-drawn coaches, kittens, quilts, snow and flowers. And Marmee is played by Susan Sarandon, who was pretty much The Best Marmee Ever. Have I mentioned that Christian Bale is in it? Yes, he is, which provides a decent enough distraction from Winona Ryder, who, let’s face it, tends to be flat. Then there is the Beth Death Scene, which is wonderfully sappy and leads perfectly into the happy ending. For the ladies, only, I think. And make sure you have a nice, soft hankie.
White Christmas, 1954
True, it makes no sense but it is cheery and has “Christmas” in the title. And I really love singing along when the girls do their “Sisters” number. I really do.
Rosemary’s Baby, 1968
I know what you are thinking: What?? Well, all I can say is that I love this movie and will take any excuse to watch it. Aside from the insanity of it all, I love the amazing apartment, every single Rosemary Woodhouse outfit and the fact that this appears to have been made in a serious manner without anyone thinking that the plot is completely nuts. Campy good fun.
When Harry Met Sally, 1989
You know why. And I believe it to be an American Classic.
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)
September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
Do you love classic Stevie Wonder? Dig a little early Prince…and maybe even a dash of Lenny Kravitz before you discovered the others? Then Frank Ocean’s “channel ORANGE” may be for you. I’ve been hearing about this record all summer long and finally downloaded it from iTunes this weekend. At its best (in my non-professional opinion), it is intelligent and funny, and in between it is kind of romantic. Mr. H and I followed it up with some Fitz & the Tantrums and then a little Spinners on our way home last night, which turns out to be a good antidote to traffic and nutty drivers. I recommend!
August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s been some time I’ve noted things I’ve been loving lately. So just in time for you to ponder “Where has the summer gone?” and “Ack! Am I ready for fall?” this weekend, some more food for thought…
While the magazine isn’t always as fashion forward as the cooler kids (V, for instance), I am still a Vogue Girl. And their site, while not quite well-formatted, provides bursts of inspiration any time you need it. I especially like APT with LSD, the Best Dressed of the Week and all their thoughts on things to do at a given time of year. Enjoy! (http://www.vogue.com/)
2) Yoga Toes
During a recent trip to southern California with some girlfriends, we discussed the important subject of keeping our feet in good shape as the years pass by. And that is when Yoga Toes came up. They are a touch hard to explain, but I have been using them for about ten minutes a day for well over a month now, and I love them. A great stretch for your tootsies that have been shoved into all manner of foot-hostile shoes. And don’t fret, they come in clear. (http://www.yogapro.com/products/YogaToes.html?utm_source=adCenter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=YogaToes%2BKeywords%2B-%2BUSA)
3) Diptyques’s Mini Candles
As I have said before, Diptyque makes the best (outrageously priced) scented candles on the market. Full stop. And their mini ones are great for trying out new scents, to give as gifts and to just save a few dollars if you haven’t been fully converted yet. I am especially loving the
Feuille de Lavande scent, but there are few that I don’t adore. (http://www.diptyqueparis.com/home-fragrances/mini-candles.html)
For the major splurge, nothing feels more right these days that Phoebe Philo’s chic, streamlined and wearable designs. I loved her work with Stella McCartney and at Chloe (much of which I still have!), but she is just white hot these days. No gimmicks. Not super trendy, despite everyone in fashion loving everything she is doing right now. Just things that will effortlessly fall into your wardrobe and make you feel confident and comfortable. Love. (http://www.celine.com/)
5) Ciao Bella Malt Ball Gelatto
Theis flavor has been around for a while, but in case you are unfamiliar with it, put down your computer and go get yourself a container. There really isn’t anything more to say on the matter. (http://ciaobellagelato.com/#/products)
6) Tokyo Banana
Friends of mine brought me a box from a recent trip to Tokyo. Apparently, they are kind of a touristy thing to buy, but they are like a Japanese Twinkie and they are also crazy delicious. (http://www.tokyobanana.jp/)
And that is all I have got for you this evening. Enjoy and have a great long weekend!
(Funky photo of the bag my latest splurge came in, taken while on a bus, mind you: Some Cozy Night)
March 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
So, it is a beautiful day here by the beach and I did manage to make some delicious four grain pancakes for breakfast and take a ton of photos of the real signs of spring’s arrival, but I haven’t felt like doing much else. This is a good thing, as I have a nice pile of books to get through…
And some willing participants in General Loafing.
Hope your Saturday is a relaxing one. And I promise a proper post soon.
(Photos of my book pile and A+O at rest: Some Cozy Night)
January 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
Happy Saturday! I stumbled out of bed after a 36-hour bug to find this outside my window:
“Did it snow?” I asked myself. I checked again. Yes, it had. Even though the weather report had not indicated that we would be getting more than an inch or two and I was not convinced we would get any. For the record, we definitely got more than and inch or two.
I surveyed my options and while the thought of building a snowman crossed my mind, after assessing the accumulation a little more closely while out with A+O, I decided my best course of action was a day indoors. A perfect excuse to catch up on some reading…
I have been meaning to get to this Jansen book for well over a year. And it is fascinating. (As is Know Your Rodent, but that is a much quicker read.) While reading about the many amazing homes this venerated design firm decorated well into the later part of the 20th century, I began to get The Craving to order a few more books on some of the more infamous and glamourous figures who made up much of Jansen’s clientele and their circle, including the Mitford sisters and Nancy Lancaster. It seems to me that these topics could take me through a number of other snowy days and it is totally possible that this weather is here for a spell:
Really, who wants to go out in that, which isn’t even as bad as it could get. Much better to be curled up with a book and a dog, I say.
So, I fixed the fire…
Which enabled Mr. H to build upon said fire…
Leaving me with nothing to do but order my books, keep reading and then make dinner for friends*, starring a fresh bolognese from Marcella Hazan, who is pretty much that last word in these matters.
So, it will have been basically a day of loafing and pasta-eating, which we all need from time to time. So, thank you very much Surprise Snowfall.
*Although even that might be a Mr. H production. At least I set the table. And pulled out the necessary ingredients.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night, who left her good camera in the city.)