Sunday, May 31, 2009


[image via here]


Tomorrow is month-end at work, and I am terrified.  Sort of like how I'd feel in a shower filled with balloons (it sounds like a fun idea in theory, but really - think if you would actually enjoy that).  It's going to be a fire drill of a week.  Send good thoughts my way and by the truck load if possible.

[image via here]

north fork

The weekend was spent on Long Island, wine tasting in the beautiful and historic North Fork wine country. Long days in the office the last several weeks merited - no, demanded - a change of scenery and an opportunity to let my hair down/kick my feet up/enjoy life.  

I made reservations at a darling b&b, The Fordham House and booked a wine tour through North Fork Wine Tours.  We borrowed a fun car from work, took off Saturday morning, stopped at  Starbucks to kick off our weekend, and took Route 495 all the way into town, a 2 hour drive or so.  

I can't say enough about The Fordham House and hostess Pam.  Every detail was intentional, the decor was comfortable and charming, I noticed fresh flowers and fresh fruit in every room - hospitality seemed to follow you everywhere, inviting you to make yourself contentedly at home.  Pam greeted us with coffee and friendship bread, and we chatted out on the white-washed wrap-around porch while waiting to be picked up for our wine tour.  The food served was made with serious love (parfaits, exquisite french toast with warm strawberries, fruit salad - the mom kind with almond extract and coconut shavings, mimosas and belinis, fresh squeezed orange juice), and Pam was the hostess of the hour, incredibly accommodating.

The wine tour was fantastic - we visited a slew of wineries and learned a good deal at each one. My favorite was Duckwalk - unpretentious and  hardly assuming, the pourer was generous and good company, and I walked away with 5 bottles I can't wait to share with m & d.  Think: a jaw-dropping blueberry port to be served with dark chocolate in-between sips, the show-stopping red blend Gatsby - barrel-aged and semi-sweet, I purchased two bottles (and no, not just because Fitzgerald's prohibition masterpiece is a favorite), a blackberry port I could almost pour over a peanut butter sandwich it was that delicious, and a Southampton White blend with lemon and orange blossom nuances.  All wines will, as ever, be saved and shared with people I love.  That sounds as good of an excuse as any for a dinner party.

After the tour, Arin and I walked to Claudios, the oldest same-family restaurant in the United States,  and spent the perfect summer evening dancing the night away to live music on the dock.  We had invited Pam earlier in the day and were thrilled when she came and joined us.  

In all, it was a great weekend, a wonderful escape, and as I've sworn to rent a darling little summer cottage, I will absolutely return to Greenport sooner than later.  Like possibly next weekend.
The Fordham House

Arin (left) and I on Fordham House's porch enjoying coffee with Pam

Pairing a rich red with 85% dark chocolate at Raphael Vineyard

A sweet moment; the man on the left, vineyard owner and former doctor who followed his passions post-retirement, gave a knowledgeable tour of the vineyards.

Monday, May 25, 2009

my kitchen window

After dropping off my weekend visitor at the airport yesterday, I went home, deflated the air mattress, threw a load in the washing machine, put away the mounds of clothing I habitually pile on top of my wicker and white beach cruiser (now glowing melancholy in the corner of my room), and decidedly treated myself to a pedicure.  

I made a quick right into the first salon I found on Washington Street, and to my surprise, the very affordable semi-spa treatment included a hot stone massage.  From there, I wandered into the used bookstore a few shops down from the salon, purchased The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank, and stopped by my favorite market to pick up a few things for dinner.

My kitchen window is my favorite part of my little home (the former being the darling cast-iron claw foot bathtub, but as I'm currently without hot water, I'm holding the worst kind of grudge against anything of bathroom orientation).  Last night, although I made summery Quinoa, opened a bottle of pinot, and even set my ipod to George Winston, my kitchen window stole the show.  It permitted the occasional but sure breeze to pass into my home and swipe at thoughts I swore I'd put to rest, now two months in.  The breeze played with my hair, teased the candle flame, convinced a return to lightness and buoyancy, reminded me that the only person I am genuine (and good) at being is me.

[image via here]

Saturday, May 23, 2009

tina turner

Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself.  If you are unhappy with anything - whatever it is - get rid of it.  Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Love this watch.  'Nuff said.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

what's cozy now?

House Beautiful asked the above question to several people who, by work or trade or preference or personality, they find inspiring.  I love their answers so much I thought it necessary to share, as this is second-hand inspiration in it's best, most comforting, form.  Here are my favorites:

I don't know anything that could replace books.  I'm with them all day at work, and when I go home, I'm surrounded by them there.  I have a library, bookcases in every room, stacks next to the bed, stacks on the dining room table.  Surrounded by all the possibilities within each book - a journey taken, a world discovered, emotions felt - well, I just don't see how I could do without them.  It would be awful and very, very cold.
Toby Cox, owner of the Three Lives & Company Bookstore

I like mounds of white bedding.  It's sensual but but reminds me of innocence.  Life begins and ends in white sheets - they tap into something essential rather than just being chic for the sake of chic.
Sean Cummings, owner of the International House Hotel

Coziness is being in a claret red room, or under a floral arbor, or on a train shooting through the countryside.  It's feeling enveloped, as if someone's arms are wrapped around you.
Gary McBournie, interior designer

It's wearing my favorite old blue-and-green Fair Isle V-neck sweater and making a ridiculously big breakfast on a Sunday morning - coffee, eggs, bacon, and lots of corn tortillas or cornbread in a black iron skillet.  I love the smell of corn in any form.  So comforting.  I'd sit with my husband on the sofa and eat it slowly, surrounded by a month's worth of books and magazines.
Susan Spicer, chef and owner of Bayona restaurant

Here's my recipe: Curl up with a great book on a comfy sofa - down cushions a must!-in front of a crackling fire.  Add one to three snoozing dogs, exhausted from a long walk.  You might have to put on a fleece robe or a pair of bamboo lounging pajamas.  Have you never worn bamboo?  Oh my.  It moves with you like a second skin - and it's soft as buttah.
Annie Selke, designer and founder of Pine Cone Hill

Sinatra's wonderfully cozy, and so is Ella Fitzgerald.  But there's something about listening to Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 that makes me go limp.  It's like sinking into a hot bath surrounded by candles.
Judith Owen, singer and songwriter

Personal artifacts - objects you've collected on vacations, family photographs, pieces of art you love.  It's a sense of yourself in your decorating.
Sharone Einhorne, owner of Ruby Beets

A dinner party where you're all tucked in as tight as possible at the dining table.  come to think of it, everything that feels good is done as close as possible - picnics, dancing, riding in sports cars.  I'll get in trouble if I keep going, right?
Mimi McMakin, interior designer

My answer would be pages long, but when think of cozy, I think of red wine, summer evening BBQ's with my family, books, men's sweaters, and feeling authentically myself. 

[image via with love & such


The artistic brand/company Lansing-Dreiden, "a trio of young NY artists who are often seen (or not seen) as an anonymous entity, unknown to the world except through the mythical nature of their work" has me fully enthralled.  First reading about them in an old edition of TOKION magazine, I found the possibility that they may or may not truly be the artists behind the work - the act of posing as Lansing-Dreiden the acual, intended exhibit - pretty brilliant.  It's up to the public whether or not they take Jorge, Diego, and Keith as the talent responsible.  TOKION author Maxwell Williams put it best:

The poetry of mystery - the internalization of communication - holds our gaze upon their works, deceptively simple and minimal, and always black-and-white.  Lansing-Dreiden looks always in at itself.  Lansing-Dreiden may be a myth; all of what you read may be false; Diego, Jorge and Keith could be figments of some artist's overactive imagination, or perhaps they are another red herring for the real Lansing-Dreiden - which is what?

Lansing-Dreiden publishes the literary magazine Death Notice, in addition to videos, sculptures, collages, paintings and music.  In 2006, their work was shown at Rivington Arms, a gallery - now closed - in Lower East Side.  I'd find it ideal to see their work up close.

sue london

Love love love Sue London's calfskin flats.  Bonus - they come in a myriad of colors, and they're relatively more affordable than the Lanvin alternative.  Simple and sweet.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009





of this



walt whitman

What good amid these, O me? O life?


That you are here - that life exists; and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

[from Leaves of Grass]

the disclaimer ruins it

Sunday, May 10, 2009

kelly claire

Happy Mother's Day, beautiful mom of mine.  I wish I was home to give you a hug and thank you thank you thank you for everything you do for me.  This morning, I re-read the journal you kept during my first few years, and I found the following excerpt exceptionally illustrative of how incredible of a mother you are:

There have been a few times where we have been playing and Genna has looked into my eyes and mine into hers - we just stare at each other for a minute or so and the feeling will last in me forever - it's like she says "I love you so much, Mommy, and I really trust in you."

You've set a strong example for me, Mom, and I am so lucky you're mine.  I'm sending you love today and every day, so get ready.  I love you!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ikea myself

Today Jess and Taylor are making the jaunt across the Hudson to a) pick up a few of Jess' boxes that made the trip with my own and b) to hit up Ikea. I've been mentally and physically preparing myself (in my sleep) for this trip for the last 14 hours or so, when Jess and I decided it was our to-do for today.  Ikea both terrifies and fascinates me.  

I'm also making delicious sponge cake with strawberry jam to greet them when they get here. That's the c) part but they don't know it yet.

And tonight, we're meeting up with Beth and Ryan, possibly in Montclair or an equally as darling NJ suburb for a fun dinner.  I've been craving Spanish guitar recently and am determined to find a place that pacifies that craving - or live music, preferably acoustic, at the very least.

The first picture is of Kizzy, who I wish was joining us on our Ikea outing.  The second picture Kizzy snapped of Jess and Taylor when she was visiting last weekend.  This is probably what they look like trekking into B&T territory.

Ta ta!

oriah mountain dreamer

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know
if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

[image via here]

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


My grandmother Onnie is the wisest woman I know. She is also:

sweet and kind
a baseball card collector
a dictionary reader
a former foot model
a world traveler
smart and patient and graceful

How lucky I am to have such an eclectic grandmother, my Onnie. She shared this video with me, making a point to say she wouldn't be surprised if I organized something similar but in Grand Central Station. Onnie also said she'll be watching for my video on YouTube.

All I have to do is rustle up a few friends and pick the perfect song. That sounds easy enough!  I love you.


Pia lives on a houseboat in Amsterdam.  And look, her new book.  Ooh's and ahh's abound.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

waltz for debby

Bill Evans Trio, my favorite weekend wind down music.  Just sharing, that's all.


For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel's sake.  The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot.

Robert Louis Stevenson

[image via here]

midnight blues

This reminds me of family road trips - the ones that involved bungie cords and nearly lost luggage scenarios.  I found the photo on an interesting blog titled midnight blues, "paris days and nights through the eyes of a crappy blackberry camera."  I am, admittedly, a slight bit jealous.

[image via here]


Did you know that the sweetest part of the pineapple is at the very bottom?  The man who works at my preferred bodega taught me the best pineapples aren't thoroughly yellow but green as well.  He also suggested standing them upside down several hours before serving; the sweetness will infuse all parts of the fruit, especially the top.  Food (ahem) for thought.