Monday, May 31, 2010

Alaska Air, Flight 30, Seat 25F

It's with a heavy heart that I'm posting back in the Colonies.  Sigh.

Portland was amazing as usual, and my panging desire to live there burns ever stronger! (Can you tell I've been reading Gothic novels?)

Maybe if I make a list everything will be easier.  A sampling of what went down:

-Made eye contact with friendly people on the street. (We don't do that in "America.")

-Referred to back east as "America"

-Scarce purchases: two used books as Powells (actually four but they were gifts) and a marcell hair iron, for finger waves (if anyone wants me to do their hair and talk about their problems come on over! I promise to make you look like Mae West and pretend to listen!)

-Spent five hours at Powells

-ate Voodoo Donuts

-Went to the movies to watch a film noir for 3 clams!
-Talked in hushed tones at the Japanese Garden with Jenna (the Prime Minister of Japan says it's the most beautiful Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan).  I may be so bold as to say most beautiful in the world.

"A story like mine, should never be told...."

- And saving the best for last, cried all day long at my friends most beautiful wedding.  Hotmess of a groomsman!  Preview to come: "Wedding. In manor house. In Ravine. In mossy  rainforest." Here I go again...

(First two pictures were from last year, and even though I packed like I was crossing on the Mauritania, I forgot my camera, so picture of garden is from phone.  Hope that's not cheating.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On the Oregon Trail...

Dear Friends, Lovers, Murderers and Felons,

I'm about to leave for Portland, Oregon and will be there all next week.  I'll be spending my days reading, getting more material, riding my bike and singing, drinking rain from a tea cup, rubbing myself down with ferns and moss, trying to taste every coffee PDX has to offer, asking the grinning bobcat why he grins, tasting the sun sweet berries of the earth, among other things.

With the violence of my affections,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shushing Sheep

The weekend last, I took my little niece for a day on an 18th-century farm in Jamestown.  Marina Grace's role models are Anne Shirley, Liesel from 'Sound of Music' and Fern from 'Charlotte's Web,' so I figured a day spent watching sheep being sheared, feeding chickens, and petting newborn lamps would be a dream!

The actual shearing was rather terrifying.  She was clutching my neck and I was trying not to do the same thing to her. "It's like when I get a haircut, painless," I half-heartedly told her.

The whole day was a dream, especially on this farm, laden in fog with the sound of the ocean just feet away.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Risotto allo Zafferano

Looking for some inspiration amongst the tumultuous seas of the internet, I found this post on the 1930's villa used for that new movie, Io Sono Amore, where Tilda Swinton will no doubt amaze us again spicken de ruski enda italiano.  The villa is found in Milano, the city everyone (at least every American) loves to hate. 

But I love it!  I love how it can be so brooding and melancholic one night when it's raining,

and still dreamy and romantic the next morning when it's sunny.

Grab an espresso, try on some Martin Margiela, read a book, find a picture of the train station tre minuti from your homestead at the Gallery, or ask the editor of Vogue Italia if she knows where your glove is - all at 10 Corso Como.

The first time I went, I was taking a train up from Rome and it got stuck in a snowdrift somewhere after Florence (picture Murder on the Orient Express). We all had to get out and trudge through two feet of snow to climb onto another train. Imagine 200 Milanese women in stilettos and furs going through thigh-high snow as train conductors liberally use whistles to herd us.  Never has my Italian been better. When we got to Milano the city was gorgeous with it's blanket of snow.  The Duomo looked like something from Narnia!

Now for the pictures of the villa, that started this reminiscence (hope I didn't loose you) at Man Make Home:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thoughts of Peace in An Air Raid

By the "land girl," Evelyn Dunbar.

"The Germans were over this house last night and the night before that. Here they are again. It is a queer experience, lying in the dark and listening to the zoom of a hornet which may at any moment sting you to death. It is a sound that interrupts cool and consecutive thinking about peace."
-Virginia Woolf

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bingefield Report

Everyone dresses like this at the Brimfield Fair. 

My significant purchase of the day was this Art Deco floorlamp that will look great in whatever Craftsman Bungalow, Georgian Estate or Seventies coke den I end up in...

That and a pair of sunglasses I fished from a cardboard box that fit me perfectly and whose perscription was obviously meant for me.  It's so nice to see those green tiny things on trees!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Full to the Brim

By time your reading this, I'll be up to my elbows in dusty, moldy, gorgeous, stunning antiques.  Tears will be shed, either from joy or said dust.  Where you ask?  The Brimfield fair!  The greatest show on earth! 

If you're looking for me, I'll be in the tent with all the Maxfield Parrish paintings and Art Deco delights, drunk on beauty, trying to get something for 1/12th it's price! 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"You should know the score"

I've always been jealous of those born and bred New Yorkers.  Especially when they have sweet moves like this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Window weakness

A couple weeks ago, a group of eight of us jumped in a truck and drove down to see our dear friends Shilough and Larissa who live in Bucks County, PA.  They're a great couple and seem to always find the most amazing places to live. 

Without working myself into a jealous rage, they're now living in a lovely country cottage, with a gorgeous garden, high ceilings, huge windows, and chipped plaster in the most apropos locations.  It's all very 'Out of Africa' meets 'Gosford Park.'  All mentioned lovely delights pale when you walk into their master bedchamber, with it's giant bed and window treatments like:

When I first laid eyes on them, my internal Gregorian chants cometh out and threw myself onto their bed in tears!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Mr. Stephen James Napier Tennant

"Later, asked by his father, Lord Glenconner, what he wanted to be in life, he answered, 'A great beauty, sir.'"

-D.J. Taylor

His great-niece, Stella Tennant, modeled for Tim Walker in his likeness.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Women of 1926

Mother’s advice, and Father’s fears,
Alike are voted—just a bore.
There’s Negro music in our ears,
The world’s one huge dancing floor.
We mean to tread the Primrose Path,
In spite of Mr. Joynson-Hicks.
We’re People of the Aftermath
We’re girls of 1926.

In greedy haste, on pleasure bent,
We have no time to think, or feel
What need is there for sentiment
Now we’ve invented Sex Appeal?
We’ve silken legs and scarlet lips,
We’re young and hungry, wild and free,
Our waists are round about the hips
Our shirts are well above the knee

We’ve boyish busts and Eton crops,
We quiver to the saxophone.
Come, dance before the music stops,
And who can bear to be alone?
Come drink your gin, or sniff your ‘snow’,
Since Youth is brief, and Love has wings,
And time will tarnish, ere we know,
The brightness of the Bright Young Things.

-James Laver

Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Burrow

I'd love if someone locked me in one of these rooms.  Do you ever feel like the books you want to read neverends?  I have to say I never want to not feel that way, but still it can be exhausting.

The other day I heard this story on NPR about this girl who did an internship as a librarian at the Riker's Island prison.  The prisoners could pick out any book from their gigantic collection to read.  She said they were all voracious readers and thank her so much. 

I'd love to go on a trip where all I do is read for a prolonged period of time, nothing else.

(First two: not sure where they're from.  Bottom: DesignSponge)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chocolate-Hazelnut Baklava

When I read Rick Poon's recipe for baklava then glanced at the pictures accompanying a shiver went down my spine and my eyes actually rolled back a little bit.  This looks so good! 

More pictures and full recipe at Design*Sponge

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beautiful Blog Award

The ever lover-ly Christina Lindsay of Fashion's Most Wanted hath nominated me for a the Beautiful Blog Award!  Isn't she sweet.  If you haven't seen her blog yet, stop reading this and go straight to hers!  It's filled with fascinating characters, wit and beauty! 

In tradition of the award I give seven things you may not know about me (harder than you think!) and nominate seven others to do the same!  Without further ado I declare this gems to all have beautiful blogs:

Onto the seven:

1.  The name of my blog comes from my ancestry.  My mother is full Irish and my father is a mix of Italian and French. "Hibernia" was the Ancient Roman name for Ireland, and "homme" of course is "man" en Francais.

(Sneem, where my Ma's Ma is from)

(Village of Monteforte, where my Pa's peeps hail from...a loud bunch)

2.  I took piano lessons for 11 years.  I never can say "classically trained."  Although I can play comfortably with sheet music, I only have one song memorized start to finish:

3. My Grandma Virginia is who I favor the most.  Our interests are pretty much identical.  She's passed now, but when she died she left me her video collection, pretty funny actually.  This was her favorite and now mine.

(Auntie Mame)

4.  As you can tell, I have an honest obsession with the 1920's.  Almost everything I do for leisure involves it in some way, be it reading, film viewing, music playin' or daydreamin'...seems I'm not alone on this one.  I've gathered that most who read this blog have a similar passion which is my favorite thing about having this blog!

(image from The Retronaut)

5.  My father wanted to make sure we were all hardworkers and had us start working early.  I started full time in summers when I was 13.  First job: pool boy.  Not exactly slave labor.

6.  When I was only 9 months old, my parents packed us up to go down to Costa Rica for a month.  This was a time when there was no Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio was deserted jungle.  I think whet my appetite to keep traveling and always have a trip planned. 
I would spend hours and hours looking at our globe.  When anyone would come over I'd bring it out, spin it and ask the guest where they wanted to older siblings still make fun of me for that.

(image by Alice Engel)

7.  When I was 19, I saved enough clams to plan a journey to South Africa alone.  Never have I been affected by a place like this, and being solo made it all the more special.  I saw some of the most beautiful (and scary) things and made a really great friend.  I recommend doing things on a whim every once in a while.  Dangerous or not.

(Side note on my pictures from South Africa:  I get off the plane, what felt like 7 days later, go to unpack and realize I forgot all my camera equipment.  I bought a few disposables and this is what I came out with.  Not too shabby!)

The wreck of the Hesperus

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Son projet

Just some otherworldly film stills from une fille.

Monday, May 3, 2010

C'est moi, c'est Lola.

Wilkommen Bienvenue Welcome!

Welcome to the planet, Mlle. Lola Pearl Monteforte.  That makes me an uncle thrice over! 

I'm going to try and teach her appreciation of French film early.

If you can't get a man to propose to you, you might as well be dead.

How amazing do these gems look?

I'd like to write a friendly informative letter to those at Vogue and GQ who claim Thom Brown revolutionary...Don't get me wrong I love his wares, but revolutionary my foot.

Image found at NYPL.

In other news:  A baby is about to have its upper lip touched by my Grandma Virginia and will join us here on earth soon! So exciting.  If you don't understand anything about what I just said, read the last 30 pages of The World to Come.