Monday, September 30, 2013

The color of money



Green with envy
For whatever reason I've recently become
consumed with all things green. Actually
I don't adore all green tones, but those of
the deep variety. From emerald to hunter
to malachite to magnolia leaf, suddenly
I've become gaga for anything veridian.
Maybe it's our New York abode which is
primarily green tones.? Or it could be due
to the fact that  "Emerald" is one of the key
tones for fall? Who cares why. I've simply
decided that my outlook will be verdant.
The Emerald City
Years ago I went through a green
period. Marshall Field's color was
a deep green and generations of
Chicagoans carried it's signature
green shopping bags. In the early
eighties, Field's new owners briefly
changed the bags to brown. A riot
ensued and the beloved totes were
quickly returned to their rightful
hue. During my tenure we did our
best to own that tone of green!

Mr. Green Jeans
My favorite garment of the moment
is a boiled wool Barena Venezia
blazer in a deep bottle green. While
the color makes a statement, it is
actually as versatile as any neutral.
I must resist any desire to wear it
head to toe. Otherwise a gentleman
of my girth could quickly resemble
the green giant or a tall leprechaun.
Jewel box
Emeralds aside, the ultimate green stone is malachite. While I've aborted my malachite ceiling in our Montana  Powder Room, I'm still consumed with the stuff. Prior to any auction or shopping jaunt, my buddy "C.A."  sets the rules "if it's malachite, it's mine"!
A new leaf
You knew that my personal
passion would be impacted
by my compulsion with all
things vert. I recently added
the twelfth to my Wedgwood
majolica plates. Along the way
I "discovered" several other
green patterns plus twelve
William Yeoward Myrtle goblets
in you guessed it... Emerald!
The green room
Look out the window and what do you
see? GREEN! If green was good enough
for Mother Nature, why shouldn't we all
surround ourselves with her favorite
hue? In 1946 Billy Baldwin became quite
famous after he lacquered his drawing
room in Amster Yard "Magnolia Leaf".
Soon everyone had to have a salon vert
and as with all things fabulous this jewel
tone later fell from favor. Once again it
seems that if it's good for one to eat their
greens, it must be equally beneficial to
decorate and wear them! Let's embrace
emerald and paint the town green!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

7th Day Surprise - FALL GUY


Good morning sleepy heads!

What are you doing on this fine autumn Sunday?
I'm starting my day a little late.
So after some coffee and mass, I'll be fully awake!
The days are starting to get crisp.
So take an afternoon stroll and 
enjoy the day!



Saturday, September 28, 2013

Am I dreaming?!




Where am I?
Thirty years ago, I took the train home after a late business dinner. Rather than take a cab, I decided to walk home from the station. Concerned about riff raff, I opted to take the quiet street rather than a busy thoroughfare.
Ready... aim...
Shortly thereafter I was greeted by two gentlemen with sawed off shot guns. Before I knew it, they demanded my cash. The next thing I knew, one of them hit me in the temple with the butt of his gun. When I came to later on, my wallet and about two years of memories were gone. Talk about wrong place, wrong time!
In my dreams
Beyond losing over seven hundred days of my life, I did not dream for over twenty years post trauma. Well, at least not that I can remember. My nights were a total blank and while I faintly recalled what it was like to dream, I really didn't miss them very much. The primary benefit was that while I might be living a nightmare,
I certainly wasn't having any.


Deja vu
Slowly my dreams started to return. I can't describe how odd that was. As time has passed, I do not dream of days spent in paradise. Instead, my nights are spent in a state of mind where there is little rest for the wicked.
Night gallery
My twilight sojourns are no longer blank canvases. Now each evening is spent wandering through visions that oddly relate to the events of my day.
Be careful what you wish for
For many years I mourned the loss of my
ability to dream. Now I fondly look back
at those years of dreamless nights. My
return to evening revelry means that
instead of blank bliss, I fight mind games
each night. My head is now filled with
visions, visages, and vestiges of things
I can't quite comprehend. My hope is that
slowly I'll adjust to these night visions.
For now I'm still unnerved as I awaken.
Night traveler
To be honest I seem to rarely have nightmares. Instead my dreams consist of complex rehashes of odd events distantly related to actual circumstances. For example - I'm often traveling somewhere out of my control.
Suspended animation
There are experts who claim they can read dreams. That's nothing new as Biblical passages recount dreams foretelling future facts. However most of today's experts attribute dream filled nights to a lack of sleep. Given my snoring, and Frank's diagnosis of sleep apnea, I'm fairly certain there must be some sort of connection.
Sweet dreams
After years of putting off going to a sleep
clinic it's obvious that I seriously need to.
Periodic dozes at my desk, dream filled
nights, and ceaseless snoring are further
indication that I have a real problem. My
cacophony of caterwauling also causes
Frank to spend most nights on the sofa.
While I'm certain my baritone bellowing
can be quite spectacular, it's not doing
either of us any good. Time to wake up!

Friday, September 27, 2013

What's new?




Creature feature
I must confess that I'm rather a creature of habit and therefore more than sedentary. Given the choice of not doing something new, I'll gladly opt for the status quo. Don't get me wrong, I like new things. However
I will not assume the responsibility of discovering them. I don't know when or how but somewhere, somehow I became a complacent fat cat who relishes nothing more than the joy of familiarity.
I'll have the same
My comfort zone of continuity
means that once I find a dining
establishment that I like, I may
never dine elsewhere. You see,
at "my place" I always get a table
and then magically a Manhattan.
What could be better!? Nothing
except hugs from the waitresses!
Who me?
As an arbiter of all things tasteful,
I've been expected to know what's
hot. Sadly my basic instinct is to
avoid all things new at all costs.
Throughout life I've relied on the
inspiration of others to help me
escape my established routine.
Fortunately a retinue of experts,
friends, muses, and divas have
pushed me to the unexpected.
This way please
I'm blessed to have a partner who has NO problem dragging me along to some new or unique experience. Well... he does have a problem, ME. In order to get me to move forward he must charm, cajole, and periodically demand that I change my ways.
Say "Uncle"
I guess it's time that I channel my
inner Auntie Mame and open a
couple of new windows (plus a
door or two)! In truth I have to
admit that I always end up loving
whatever is different and unique.
It's rare that Frank's discoveries
aren't amazing and inspiring. If
I'm truly honest, almost all of my
tried and true "favorites" started
out as his newbies. Mr. Mundane
simply needs to sit back, shut up
and let my better half drive!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A blast from the past.



Up in smoke
Almost daily I'm reminded that
something I once considered so
real, solid, and permanent can
disappear in a heartbeat. Sunday
Houston's venerable downtown
Foley's flagship department store
(now Macys) was imploded.
Seems like yesterday
Built in 1947, Foley's was touted as
the store of tomorrow. Sadly, it took
just sixty five years for the old gal to
literally bite the dust. Think about it.
The place where generations visited
Santa Claus is now only a memory
and a soon to be gone pile of rubble.
As somebody who lives and breathes
retail everyday, nothing makes me
more melancholy than the memory of
stores long gone. While their purpose
was to sell, these amazing palaces of
commerce entertained, inspired, and
taught the masses for many years.
Gone but not forgotten
In the past, every downtown had a grand department store. Local merchants brought the world to their customers. Showing them how to dress, decorate, entertain, and live the good life. They lived to serve and died trying.
Badge of honor
Somehow their grandeur validated whatever purchases that were made within. Retailers used to stand for quality, service, and assortment. Sadly in todays mall, prestige and panache have been replaced by promotion and pandering. Pablum is served up by chains of national "anchors". These streamlined survivors pale in comparison to their once great predecessors. The question is why are we willing to accept their mediocrity and... pay for it?!

Remembrance of things past
In New York we still have grand
emporiums that inspire and thrive.
One can stroll daily by windows
that wow but may never deliver
ROI. Any shopper can be helped
by experts who not only know their
stuff but actually enjoy strutting it.
Who wrap your items in tissue and
place them in an elegant paper bag.
Shopping here is not only a pleasure,
in today's world it's a rare privilege.
Here today, gone...
Dear friends and fellow shoppers,
I must caution all to never assume
anything. The fact is that here in
Manhattan things change quickly.
In the past names like B.Altman,
Bonwit Teller, Franklin Simon,
Best & Co, and Peck & Peck lined
Fifth Avenue. Today they're only
faded memories and tattered labels
in thrift shop finds. My advice?
Shop before they drop. Your local
boutique needs you more than you
need them. Let's protect whatever
elegance is still left in our lives.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Out of control?!



Wrong turn
Have you ever felt like your world was out of control? At one point the pressure of life almost pushed me to the edge of the abyss. Somehow I thought that if I controlled everything then all would be fine. That if everyone simply did as they were told, life would be great!
I had to be master of it all!
Flipped out
Finally after years of trying to do it all (and more), I figured it out. In reality, my manic manipulation of everything was slowly pushing me deeper over the edge. The fact was that my drive to control was totally out of control. So, I simply stopped. And suddenly, the sheer bliss of the freedom transported me to a magical, peaceful place.
Magic bullet
You see, the only thing I can control is myself. Looking back I have to wonder why I ever tried to tackle any challenge bigger than that! Whether I've finally become mature, figured it out, or simply have given up doesn't matter. I now embrace my limitations and celebrate the joy of going with the flow!
Bitter pill
My next challenge is controlling what I can control. And sadly at my age that seems to involve my calorie intake. As I've already proved to all of you, I'm untrainable. That said it's time to move forward in the right direction. Even if that means tiny baby steps. Otherwise my Cucinelli custom bills are going to put me in the poor house. God help me!!