Sunday, June 30, 2013

Waking up to (near) equality

Gay Pride Sunday here in Gotham, and I open the New York Times to read of marriages being held in San Francisco after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sped up the process of dumping DOMA in the trash with a one-liner. Funny thing is: I saw this news online yesterday, but this doesn't take away one iota of its impact. It's real life, in black and white, the kind of which I never thought to see when I moved to Manhattan in 1988. Equality seemed like Neverland then. However, seeing joyous faces of newly married couples in California gives me hope that full equality is not only possible, but inevitable. 

Happy Gay Pride! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Twice married: the first time in Saratoga Springs in 1997, the second in Toronto, Canada, in 2005 - the same day Parliament extended gay marriage to all provinces and territories. Interestingly and unexpectedly, the Canadian Broadcasting Network was at the court and interviewed us and our hosts, which landed everyone on the evening news. Oh, that was fun! The piece of paper? It wound up obtaining health benefits for Mr. Husband at the opera since New York State was recognizing gay marriage but not performing them until 2011. There are Rites, and then there are Rights. Not the same thing, of course, their intersection - the first ceremony being a Buddhist one - life-changing. 

So it was with great anticipation that we heard the news yesterday morning. I walked into the bedroom where Mr. Husband was online and said: "You get my Social Security, we can file taxes together, and we can inherit each other's property!" You know: the stuff that everyone else has - and in some cases - takes for granted. But you can't do that when you don't have any rights; can't inherit without cutting off your arm to pay the IRS, take care of each other without a blizzard of paper that can still be ignored, and are litigated against by greedy bastards who take your surviving partner for all they are worth. 

Those days are over in 13 states anyway. Their number will grow; pitched battle, politics being local, the Supremes making it near Constitutional: there is no going back because we are equal under the law. 

Thank you, Edie Windsor! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I hopped on a commuter jet to Charleston, SC, a few weeks ago, not having visited the city since I was a student in 1985, visiting for a few days to attend a concert for an esteemed colleague. Tropical storm Andrea stirred things up of course. High winds and rains coursed through the city the night of the concert, and I was quite surprised that my plane was able to take off the next morning since the skies were boiling when I got up. The cabbie who took me to the airport knew why;  I'd be in trouble if the air was hot and humid, but it was cool, a sign that the storm had passed over. As it is, I flew over it, landing at JFK, just as it was starting to rain.

Charleston is still the beautiful city that I remember as a graduate student. Bursting at the seams with beautiful houses, porches with doors and gas lanterns, it radiates a quiet charm. If there was one disappointment in an otherwise splendid two days, it was not being able to see the interior of the Unitarian Church with its fan-vaulted ceiling, since it is closed from May to September. I did, however, snap a few pics of the adjoining cemetery, its fading grandeur fit for an Ann Rice novel, all the while  hearing the organist practice a Bach fugue behind locked doors.  

The magnolia trees were full of huge blossoms which cast their wonderful fragrance for many blocks, reminding me of a long-ago Charleston romance with a lovely man named Richard, later taken as so many were in the late 1980s by the plague. He introduced me to another fragrance: Eau Sauvage. I wore it the whole time I walked down memory lane. 

If you go (and you must), do visit a wonderful wine bar on Meeting Street: O'Hara & Flynn. With its European feel, superb selection of wines and attentive staff: it's a great find. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

second day of summer

I should - or could be- posting photos of Charleston, where I took a trip to a few weeks ago;  but no, I've snapped a photo of fading apricot roses on the mantel instead. Mr. Husband brought them home yesterday, and plopped them on the mantel this morning. And what a glorious morning it is! The air is cool and the light golden: unusual in some ways for Gotham, which can tend towards hot and humid this time of year. I am savoring ever minute of it, and the roses too, which are sitting next to an early 20th century clock from Valencia, Spain. It was snapped up by my father - an ironmaker with an eye for antiques- when he worked there in the early 1970's. He also brought a 17th century table from Bilbao, which I also have (it will be taking its place as a desk in the bedroom). All in all, my family spent three years in Spain, living in both cities - a life-changing experience. Roses and memories. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Prism & Poppy: Two Tiffany Lamps

Two Tiffany table lamps that my father acquired in the 1960's where sold at Sotheby's yesterday, their radiant beauty finding new homes in which to dazzle the eye. They did very well too, which makes me happy, since my mother's move to a cottage in an assisted-living facility will now be all the more comfortable. 

I was a child when my father brought them home. Of the two on this page, my favorite has always been the Prism lamp. It sat on a small table in the entry hall, its hanging iridescent glass prisms glistening like dragonfly wings above a dark pool of blue-grey flagstones. 

Photographs, Sotheby's New York City.