Thursday, January 31, 2013

Madison Square Park

A swim at the gym, then a zip downtown to Eataly, just off Madison Square Park at 23rd Street, where a light sculpture is currently in evidence, its neon light shining in the night. Most tourists try to capture the Flatiron Building, which would have been in my camera frame had I pointed it South. But hey- you know what it looks like, don't you?  

I remember a summer evening walk in Madison Park: full leaves a metaphor for the fullness of time.

The huge clock notes the passage of time to pedestrians and motorists alike: its face hard to capture in a photo because it is so bright.

The entrance to Eataly is is just to the right of the lighted doorway. Therein lies fresh pasta, shoppers with wine glasses in their hands (I spied two while I was there), and the spinach and ricotta pasta that found its way home along with a bottle of Arnaldo-Caprai Rosso from Montefalco- a taste of pleasures to be savored later this summer when I rejoin Umbrian Serenades for the third year. 

Photos taken with my iPhone, Camerbag App, Magazine setting. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tea & Sympathy

I got my wish. The same day that I made my post with photos of Central Park snow from two years ago, I zipped downtown to Tea & Sympathy in the Village, and it started snowing as I sat and had Darjeeling tea and yummy Victoria cake.  

It had been awhile since I had been there. The place is as it has always been, run like a tight ship by Nicky and her husband Sean. They also own the two shops to the immediate left, that being 'Carry On Tea & Sympathy' and "A Salt & Battery," which you can't quite see in these photos.  

When I first started going years ago, I would see Rupert Everett lurking at the table in the window, reading a British rag, or chatting up a handsome young man. Such is the way of New York: you see everything and everyone if you keep your eyes open.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sometimes I'm Happy (Sometimes I'm Blue)

Blue and the Celt were in Gotham last week, and dined with Mr. Husband and I at La Boîte en Bois, repairing afterwards to our hovel to hear my 1920's Victrola play a few tunes - my favorite being Vincent Youman's Sometimes I'm Happy (Sometimes I'm Blue) from 1927. It came with the machine, which my father presented to me for my 13th birthday (my family was living in Spain at the time, so the machine has "La Voz de su Amo" stamped on it).  I was attracted to antiques even then, my first obsession being old telephones. My parents bought me a reproduction from a catalogue, but when it arrived in the post, it didn't work. However, the Victrola plays as well as it ever did: frank, full tone, filling the room in a way that modern speakers do not (you can't quite hear the full effect on a recording). All one need do is wind the crank which is stored under the lid, and change the needle for every record, which keeps the latter from wearing out. No electricity necessary, Mr. Husband and I entertained ourselves quite nicely a few years ago during a rare summer blackout. It's gone to the Park on occasion too. Speaking of which: it might be fun to take it to the Governors Island Jazz Age Lawn Party this summer. Care to join us? 

And now for The Co-Dependent's Theme Song...

Photo taken with my iPhone using CameraBag App, Magazine setting, while the video was recorded on my Macbook Pro. Victor Recording "Sometimes I'm Happy" - Fox Trot- from the musical comedy "Hit the Deck", Irving Caesar & Vincent Youmans, Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Orchestra, Vocal refrain by Franklyn Bauer

Friday, January 25, 2013

Let it snow

December Snow Storm, Central Park, 2010. 

After my Mac crashed and was restored a few weeks ago, I found the photos above which I'd forgotten about. They had been lurking on the hard drive - a few of them appearing in a post I made two years ago in January. However, we've hardly had a dusting of white stuff this Winter. Hence the title: Let it snow. While many gripe and moan about it being hard to get around in the City when the snow man cometh, I relish it, and remember when city life stopped for about a week in 2006, when a storm dropped more than 26 inches in Central Park, and there was skiing down Broadway. Wonderful madness everywhere: I'd never seen buttoned up City dwellers have so much fun.

For a little history on storms in New York, click here

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gaudy Light

1880's Japanese Aesthetic Period table lamp.

I found the lamp that sits behind the sofa at the Antiques Garage on 24th Street some years ago. Got it for a song. No one wanted it because 1) the base isn't perfect, 2) its an orphan, and 3) the style is much out of favor, glam now being all the rage. But it makes me smile. I love the bug-eyed birds, the Victorian patterned borders, and the riot of color. And you know what? It looks great from 10 feet away. Sitting next to it is a Japanese lacquered box, and a collection of harmonicas from my father. Plunked down after being brought home, they have yet to find their 'place'. The table is 1840's, and is stamped 'New York'. It's rather beaten up, being- I believe- a kitchen table of some sort: rigorously washed and worn down, water damage aplenty. Not a precious thing, I refinished it so it would sing in harmony with the c. 1910 walnut armoire that stands behind. Lastly, the century old green and gold runner was given to me by a friend, who found it at the Paris flea market. It reportedly graced a church altar in the City of Lights.

Those who have read Dorothy L. Sayers, will understand my title. Pure whimsy on my part, I assure you. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Head of a Youth: the other man on the mantel

A curious reader emailed me a question after reading my last post,  having noticed the other objet on the mantel in my 'header' photograph, asking: "Can you tell us about the other bust on the mantel?" Well, yes. I can. It was a gift from Mr. Husband about 7 years ago, and is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, being a bronze reproduction of a first-century Roman cast bronze head. The original now resides in the Israel Museum.  You can have him for your very own by clicking here.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Triumphal Return of Paderewski

Ignac Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), 9 inch, Robinson & Leadbeater Parian Ware Porcelain Bust, c. 1880's. 

Mr. Husband saw this bust at the Portobello Road Market in London in 1997, but passed it by and regretted it the moment we got back to New York. A few years later, he found it on Ebay, and won it after a hair-raising bidding process. Fast forward a decade. I am cleaning the mirror on the mantel and Paderewski falls to the tile hearth, his head smashing to pieces.  Vowing to replace what was lost,  but fearing that we would never see him again (this size bust is rare), I searched everywhere for more than a year, again finding Paderewski's youthful countenance on Ebay. He made his way back home in yesterday's post.  Utter relief. And Joy. 

Listen to the great pianist play his own work here.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Film Society of Lincoln Center: Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center,  144 West 65th Street, New York City, CameraBag App, Lolo setting.

I popped in to meet a friend for coffee at the Film Center's excellent cafe this past weekend, its vibrant orange color (made all the more so by the camera App) and lighting quite striking at night, drawing one in from the street.  It's a happening place: Barbra Streisand will be an honoree later this Spring. The Film Center's sister theater, the Walter Reed Theater, lies just across the street. Both are part of the Lincoln Center campus, which comprises The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Ballet, The New York Philharmonic, The Juilliard School, The New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, Alice Tully Hall, School of American Ballet, Lincoln Center Theatre, and the Chamber Music Society. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Walk: Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum, New York City, Camerabag App with Magazine setting. 

I snapped these photos on the way home from the East Side, taking in the museum's exterior and Great Hall (lobby sounds too casual a word).  The dinosaur topiary framework out front glistens in the sun, its holiday greenery having been taken done.