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)
August 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
On the sweets front, I think New York is pretty much over its cupcake craze, and I am not even going to touch the croughnut thing. But for the last year or so, the city has also been pretty obsessed with doughnuts. There is even a map you can buy to basically do a doughnut crawl: http://allyoucaneatpress.com/post/31478946388/our-very-first-publication-the-new-york-doughnut
I’ve been obsessed with them for most of my life, so this was a good development for me as well as for the people of my fair city. Naturally, there are factions with a very large group being Dougnut Plant devotees (http://doughnutplant.com). I’ve had them and I think they are great. But after doing a decent amount of legwork, if you like a yeasty doughnut, it is my firm belief that Dough in Clinton Hill is The One.
Yes, I know it is another one of those One Word Brooklyn Places, but this teeny shop pumps out the most delicious doughuts all day long — from 6 in the morning until 9 at night — and they are heaven. Not too sweet, not greasy…totally tender and just plain flavorful. I like a plain cinnamon sugar affair, but for those of you who are more experimental, they have all manner of options, from exotic fruit glazes to nutella and various jam fillings. Yum!
305 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
347 533 7544
Next up: Getting fitted for running shoes!
(Slightly blurry photo: Some Cozy Night. And yes, there are a few places in BK that don’t use Edison Bulb light fixtures…but not very many.)
May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
The beginning seems like a very good place to start sharing some of the highlights of our recent trip to England. We basically covered the countryside in the west and south. Our goal was to see as many manor houses and gardens as we could in twelve days. And with the help of the the U.K.’s National Trust (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk), the Lonely Planet Guide to England and my own research about some of the more famous houses between the wars, we came up with a rather excellent mix of grand, eccentric and simply lovely places to visit.
After arriving at the airport, we drove out to Bath, where we stayed while touring that part of the country. While the narrow, twisty streets of this beautiful old Roman city made the Car Thing a little treacherous, one cannot help but appreciate how beautiful it is…
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a ton of time in the city itself. However, we did find this excellent lunch spot for our first non-airborne meal of the trip:
If memory serves, this is one of the places we found through the Slow Food U.K. site (http://www.slowfood.org.uk) and it does have an emphasis on local and sustainable food — which didn’t rule out proper English fare, including fish & chips, ploughman’s lunch, shepherd’s pie and pints. I kind of loved the spare entry and table up front, and the bar has just what every woman wants in a good one: bag hooks…
I opted for wine and a delicious sandwich…with chips (fries, really…I had the difference explained to me…chips are bigger). Mr. H went for a shepherd’s pie with his wine. It was exactly what we needed after two hours of driving and time zone adjustment…
Also much needed was a post-lunch nap in the sun-filled room (yes, we were in England) at our hotel. To get to it, we had the good fortune to cross this garden every day…
After the bustle of the city streets and the slight chaos of getting around those first few days, this was the perfect hideaway to begin and end each day. Especially when breakfast was served here…
And Tea here…
Which included one of the most delicious New Things I’ve Eaten: The Bath Bun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_bun). They are those sugar covered buns in front of the scones and I could have eaten a mountain of them. Yum!
And I think that is all I have today, especially since I totally want one of those buns now, which means I should see about getting dinner together before I run out and eat a pile of donuts. (Which I think I’ll call Beach Buns from now on.)
Next up: Kingston Lacy, Dryham Park and maybe Cliveden.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
May 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
Very English weather today, but armed with hats, wellies and a map, we set out on a five mile walk around this beautiful estate, Gravetye. There was rain. There was mud. We may have taken a wrong turn or two, but we made it back quite pleased with ourselves.
Given the rather challenging terrain — many hills, rocks, and stiles (more on these later) — I came to believe that we were entitled to two treats for our efforts. First, we hit the pub…
I didn’t care that it was all fried. It was just what I required, including my Half Pint. However, that Half Pint along with the walk made me a touch sleepy and an Epic Nap ensued. But my body is now fully on English Time, and I woke up just a few minutes before 4, just in time for Treat Number Two, tea…
Served by a nice fire…
The perfect ending to a rather perfect — and filling — day. Now it is upstairs to pack, and down to our last dinner of this wonderful trip.
More to come.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
May 13, 2013 § 2 Comments
May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
Greetings from the English Countryside, where Mr. H and I have been powering our way through various manor houses, gardens and other grounds. A small driving incident in Bath aside, we have been having the most wonderful time. And while I plan to elaborate, I thought a little taste would be cheering.
Above, some of the gardens at our hotel in Bath. Sitting out here for tea is heaven.
Below, a bit of a pink Japanese Maple on the grounds of Kingston Lacy. A most beautiful property. And trust me when I tell you it is impossible to capture the actual shade of pink…for me, anyway…
A view on the grounds of Whatley Manor, where I had one of the best meals of my life (from a list that includes The Bristol, Chez Panisse, Per Se and Franny’s). And yes, it is in England.
The view from one of our windows in Cliveden, where I am still pinching myself that I am actually here…
And some of the grounds of Grays Manor, where even the cows were beautiful.
Tomorrow we have a longish drive to Highgrove, where Prince Charles has created one of the most interesting Gardens I Must See. Naturally this requires proper footwear, which Mr. H and I were able to conjure up without having to take up too much room in our suitcases with full blown wellies…
More to come!
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
April 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
Last week it was my birthday and the official celebration of an award that Mr. H was given this year. I will be honest with you: I was not at all looking forward to my birthday or the event*. In spite of trying to keep it light here, this year has been kind of drag in lots of places so far, and the days leading up to my birthday were especially crappy. So, in spite of my now many years of wisdom and maturity, I was basically a big baby until we got ourselves off to one of my favorite homes away from home, The Carlyle:
Completely old school and totally cozy…the perfect antidote to my unreasonably bad mood. No doubt, the Whiskey Smash at Bemelmans, with Chris Gillespie playing our requests** and those cheese things I cannot stop eating had an essential Mellowing Effect.
Did I mentioned the Whisky Smash? Yes, it was good. And Mellowing.
Then we were off to dinner at a place I haven’t been to in forever: Jean Georges. And OMG, Mr. Vongerichten — the man who completely changed the face of my chicken stock — was there, hanging out at reception. So I got to say a little starstruck “hello” before we were taken to our table…
And well taken care of…
This all put me in an awfully good mood. As did the lovely sky that night…so pretty, even if it was a tad moody. (Who am I to judge?)
Alas, the moody night sky turned into the kind of barometric pressure day that gives me a migraine, which I woke up with. This was unacceptable. I needed to be in good shape to celebrate with Mr. H and the rest of our team, and wear this dress, which I had picked specifically for this occasion:
So, I took two excidrin migraine tablets and rather than hole myself up in bed, went for a walk in the park with Mr. H, that may be better described as a “sit” with a bottle of cold Poland Spring pressed against my head. And either through sheer will to wear that dress and be merry, or a change in pressure combined with those magic pills, I was feeling better by the time we hit our favorite lunch place for some much-needed carbs. And then we got ourselves tidied up and off to Celebration No. 2. Which I have to say, was very nice, mostly on account of being able to cheer for my Mr. H and celebrate with all the people who make our company as interesting and fun as it could possibly be.
It is kind of funny to have a birthday and something like this so close to each other. Each little event was kind of begging me to think about “what I have accomplished” in my life and in my work. And I have to say that as I think about it now, as frustrating and challenging both can be (not just for me, for all of us), on the whole, it is very much worth celebrating.
(Photos, which I insist on taking myself or getting Mr. H to take because I am IP Sensitive: Some Cozy Night)
* Even though I was truly, truly thrilled that Mr. H was among those being celebrated.
** Yes, we go there a lot. And have for along time. And yes, I am only 42.
March 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
Today was one of those days when the weather is just too good to stay indoors, even if you need to borrow your husband’s scarf to be completely warm. So, Mr. H and I walked the Highline and spied some very good signs that Real Spring is almost here…
Small blossoms and other signs of life were everywhere. Alas, it wasn’t quite enough to make it feel as if winter were completely banished. So, we stopped a nearby florist to pick up some blooms to tide is over.
I am fairly certain that I’ve made no bones about how horrid the weather has been of late. But today felt like a sign that we’ll be snipping our own buds in no time. In the meantime, we’ll take these teaser days whenever we can. I hope you can do the same.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)