Friday, January 1, 2016

A Gift From Google Search

Unless Google comes up with a reverse search-page tool, I’ll never know what words yielded the above result. That was on February 7, 2012 ,and at the time, I thought it was hilarious, but way too silly to post.

By now we know that there is nothing too silly to post and in this year of a possible Trump presidency, we also know that there is no such thing as “too silly.” 

Happy 2016!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Odd Blossoms

DATE: Christmas Day
PLACE: 65th St. Transverse through Central Park.
ODDITY: One very confused forsythia in bloom

DATE: December 26th
PLACE: East Side exit of the reservoir of in Central Park
ODDITY: A riotous yellow bramble of blooming forsythia

DATE: December 27th
PLACE: East 61st Street
ODDITY: Lovely pink blossoms above bulb-encrusted branches
Somehow, set against the gray sky and the black branches of the surrounding trees, these spring blossoms seem far from innocent. 

Pretty, yes, but pretty scary, too.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Letters From Havana

There is so much to post from my recent visit to Havana. My camera may have snapped away in real time, but sorting out the layered head-trip that is Cuba is taking real time. My mind was—and remains—truly blown by what lays a mere 45-minutes, by plane, from Miami.

Mariane Pearl wrote a piece in the New York Times of her most recent visit to Havana, specifically, the neighborhood Nuevo Vedado, where her cousin lives. Pearl, whose mother was Cuban, has visited many times since the mid 1970s. Her familiarity with the texture of everyday life and the subtle shifts over the years makes for a fascinating glimpse of what a first-time tourist does not see. The accompanying photography by Todd Heisler is exquisite.

Meanwhile, this gringa, remains quite stunned. (Deer-in-the-headlights of--dare I say--decades of vintage cars?)

Pinterest and Flickr are loaded with Havana’s signage and typography. It kind of makes me wonder why I even bothered to bring my camera. I just can’t help myself.

As for postal “letters from Havana,” don’t hold your breath. It’s been a solid month since our trip and not one piece of mail sent by any of our group has yet to arrive at a U.S. address.

Vestigial type on a restored building.

A shop along Calle Mural (Wall Street).

Sarrá was one of the grand pharmacies back in the late 1800s. The name remains embedded in numerous thresholds in an assortment of typefaces.

Italian clothing manufacturer, maker of fine guayaberas.

A corner building identified by its intersecting streets.

Contemporary "Deco" lettering on Club 21 and the internet office at the Hotel Nacional.

This "B" is just one detail of the splendid Edificio Bacardi.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

La Sylphide

I found this photo posted on Twitter by an enthusiastic guest on opening night. Oddly, there are no photos of the set on the NYCB website. 

What a thrill to finally see Susan Tammany’s sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet’s production of La Sylphide in all their gloriousness the other night.

Set in Scotland, the 1836 ballet by Danish choreographer August Bournonville, is a classic boy-meets-sylph-on-his-wedding-day story. Unable to resist her flirtation, the groom-to-be, James, a poet, chases the alluring wood nymph straight into her otherworldly forest habitat. Needless to say, it all comes to a tragic end when James attempts to possess the ethereal creature. Her capture, of course means her demise. The ballet ends with James collapsed in despair, and we can see, off in the distance, the wedding of his jilted fiancé to his best friend.

For Danish-born NYCB-master-in-chief Peter Martins, the ballet holds special significance. He writes in the program notes:
La Sylphide is the first ballet that I ever saw. I danced in it when I was a student at the Royal Danish Ballet School, and more than a decade later, I graduated to the role of James, the male lead. Working my way up through the various corps roles, I came to know this ballet very well, and whenever I look at the cozy domestic scene that provides the setting for Act I it is as if I’m staring into my own living room.
The costumes were produced from Tammany’s designs in the NYCB’s costume shop under the direction of Marc Happel.

The following photos are samples from some of the wonderful slideshows about the production from around the web and social media.

It takes many wings to propel a flock of sylphs …

Above, Elle magazine slideshow backstage at the opening performance. Below, NYCB and Women's Wear Daily slideshows of the costume production.

And custom-woven tartan to outfit a Scottish wedding party …

Women's Wear Daily and NYCB  slideshows of the costume shop.

And Scenic Art Studios' massive industrial facility in Newburgh, NY to create the farmhouse where James first encounters the sylph…

and the beguiling woodland into which he is lured.

Photos from Scenic Arts Studios and Susan Tammany.

Michael Cooper tells an even more surprising story behind the scenes in the New York Times about Tammany's other role at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater ...

NY Times photo by Sam Hodgson

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Barneys, Asleep?

Dreamy as they are, I am definitely having a (slight) problem with these Alex Katz-imprinted pillowcases Barneys issued.  With same-sex marriage front and center as an issue, it’s hard to know if this offering should be categorized as retro, dictatorial, or simply out of touch?

Did they miss Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg invoking the power vested in her by the Constitution of The United States, while officiating at last Sunday’s same-sex wedding in Washington D.C?

In this day and age these pillowcases should surely be available as two men, two females, or singly, even!

I wonder how their celebrated Creative Ambassador-at-Large, Simon Doonan, and hubby Jonathan Adler would weigh in? 

The full line of Katz-ware includes mugs, candles, totes, etc.

Set of drinking glasses

Dog-print pillow

Cashmere throw

Terrycloth beach blanket (front and reverse)

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