Holden Caulfield Turns 60

15/07/2011 § 2 Comments

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me.  And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That’s all I do all day.  I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the
publishing of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

I’m due for a revisit.  What are you reading this summer?

Summer in New York: Happy Bastille Day

14/07/2011 § 1 Comment

Military planes in formation, 1954 parade

Bastille Day has arrived.  This national holiday in France commemorates the storming of the Bastille, considered to be the beginning of the French Revolution.  Today, France puts on the world’s oldest and largest military parade (ongoing since 1880, almost without exception), down Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

François de La Rocque, leading the parade in 1935.

While many New York celebrations took place over the last weekend, there are still a few places where you can raise a glass in honor of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” today.  Eater has done an excellent round-up, available here.  My favorites are the free bottle of Veuve to Marie Antoinette impersonators at Artisanal and the pétanque tournament at Cercle Rouge with big band performances.

How will you celebrate Bastille Day?

Actress Elke Sommer playing pétanque.

Featured: Quite Continental on Two Inch Cuffs – “Home Film | Heritage Football”

13/07/2011 § Leave a comment

Just wanted to share the video from the Two Inch Cuffs feature.

Please do not judge my football skills by these few minutes, as I was taking it easy so I wouldn’t embarrass the boys.  Obviously.

Sounds of Summer: Carlos Gardel ~ Volver

11/07/2011 § Leave a comment

Currently listening to this collection of Carlos Gardel songs, nonstop.  Argentine tango music from the 1920s by the master.

The best part is that the mp3 recordings are from records.  The hiss, the crackle, the magic is there…

LIFE Archives: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

11/07/2011 § 2 Comments

Trigger and Donald.  Image via LIFE, taken 1949.

Now, before you accuse me of going all Horse and Hound on you (btw, that YouTube clip features Julia Roberts in a tie! Love!), this picture explains how I got on the path to the images of the sporting ladies.  I recently learned that Maryland had an official state dog called the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and was one of only eleven states to designate an official state mutt.  The “Chessie” is a breed that traces its roots back to two Newfoundland pups rescued from a ship called the Canton that foundered off of Maryland in 1807.  The dogs were then bred with local retrievers, eventually resulting in this curly-coated, water-loving, gundog that somewhat resembles a Labrador.  George Custer was a fan of the breed, taking his Chessies with him on the battlefield.  Teddy Roosevelt also had a Chessie, named Sailor Boy, who was supposedly a descendant of Custer’s dogs.

So, why the duck picture?  Well, in an effort to find a picture of this storied American breed, I came across these images of Trigger and his best friend Donald (yes, the duck) in the LIFE Archives.  Evidently Donald hated the water and whenever his owners would throw him into the pond so that he could be with the rest of the ducks, Trigger the Chessie would immediately jump in the water and gently retrieve Donald.  Too hilarious not to share.

Rabbit Hole: Sporting Ladies

11/07/2011 § Leave a comment

I have never been hunting.

Image taken 1915, via State Library and Archive of Florida.

Nor have I ever shot a gun.  Or held a gun, for that matter.  But for some reason I found myself drawn to these images of sporting ladies this weekend.  I have to say my curiosity is piqued.  Piqued enough to make it down to a shooting range?  Well, we will just have to see about that…

Image taken 1885, via State Library and Archive of Florida.

Image taken 1920, via Montana State University Libraries.

Image via Forks Timber Museum.

Otter hunting, taken 1901. Image via National Library of Ireland.

A young First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, in 1891.
Image via US National Archives.

Image taken 1910, via the Library of Congress.

Harriet Hammond, President of Nemours Gun Club, the first women’s shooting club in America.  Image taken between 1910-1915, via Library of Congress.

Nemours Gun Club.
taken between 1910-1915, via Library of Congress.

Nemours Gun Club.
Image taken between 1910-1915, via Library of Congress.

Image taken 1941 by Bernard Hoffman.

Real Property Lust: Danish Station House

08/07/2011 § 1 Comment

There is a certain romance about trains, no?


Obsessing this morning over how a young Danish family has converted a train station built in 1901 in Ormslev, Denmark, into a simply gorgeous home.  Aside from the design choices I am usually drawn to — white walls, painted floors, mismatched chairs, patinaed surfaces, a dash of the modern, interesting vintage touches, a jumbled gallery space — I love how the couple kept some of the features from its former life as a station house: the ticket office, the safe and the waiting room bench.  While I sometimes have trouble with the conversion of public spaces into private spaces (most frequently the “church to house” conversion), this space pulls it off beautifully while retaining the romance of old-fashioned travel.

Waiting room bench.

Ticket window.

All images via Sköna hem

Venetian Memories of Cy Twombly {The Coronation of Sesostris at the Palazzo Grassi}

07/07/2011 § Leave a comment

Cy Twombly, taken in 1958 by David Lees.  Image via Time Life.

American artist Cy Twombly passed away Tuesday, July 5 in Rome at the age of 83.  For me, his art has always had an irresistible magnetism.  Primal and chaotic, symbolic and mysterious, there is something about Twombly’s body of work that immediately exhilarates me but simultaneously knocks me off-kilter.  I love it.  Currently there is an outpouring of remembrances and many obituaries have been written, so I don’t feel the need to launch into a report on his life.  I will leave that to others.  What I did want to share was my most memorable Twombly experience, viewing his Coronation of Sesostris (2000) at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.

Image via Palazzo Grassi.

The stately Palazzo, completed during the second half of the eighteenth century, is located on the Grand Canal and currently houses the personal art collection of François Pinault (aka #77 on the Forbes List of World Billionaires, luxury goods tycoon robber-baron, and father to Francois-Henri who is a rather effective impregnator of fabulous ladies).  It is truly an amazing setting to view Pinault’s excellent and growing collection of contemporary (post-war) art.  I especially appreciate Koons’ Balloon Dog floating in the canal.

Twombly’s Coronation of Sesostris (2000) is an epic, ten part, mixed media work that was installed at the Palazzo in 2006.  The panels chart the coronation procession of Sesotris, “one of the cruellest of Egypt’s pharaohs, the conqueror of Nubia and architect of the unification of the lands of Egypt into a single kingdom” (via PG)  Thought by many to be his strongest work in years at the time it was produced, Twombly’s Coronation panels are

 “…magnificently colored, flirt with ethereal degrees of unfinishedness, and are at once luxurious and rotting, full of life and funereal. Coronation of Sesostris echoes some of the erotic tenor and violence of the early work, though in the mournful minor keys of yearning and homesickness. Bursts of scarlet that once read as hands thrown up in rapture, or bloodstains, now feel like flowers or heartbeats; convulsive, surging rhythm has turned beautifully, excruciatingly protracted; love, loss, melancholy and memory have taken the place of real sex.”  – Jerry Saltz (full article available via Artnet)

In the Palazzo, the large panels are positioned in a single room for maximum impact.  Wandering among them, I was amazed by how vividly I saw the arc of this storyline of a single blazing day in Egypt and how viscerally I responded to the colors and the words Twombly utilized.  It was easily my favorite work within the entire museum.  I have included the panels below so that you might glean a sense of them, but I absolutely urge you to take the time if you are in Venice to see them in person at the Palazzo.  While I am sad that Twombly has passed, I was pleased to reacquaint myself with an amazing work of art and of my treasured memories of Venice.

Coronation of Sesostris (2000) by Cy Twombly
All images below via Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly: April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011

The Obsession Continues… {Kitsuné F/W 2011}

07/07/2011 § 2 Comments

It’s just about that time again — that time when I fall in love with pretty much whatever Kitsuné has on deck for the next season. You may remember discussing with me the S/S 2011 “Passenger” collection and how much I loved its 70s-inspired look.  This time around designer Masaya Kuroki looked to the American west in the 1960s — by way of Ang Lee’s 2005 film Brokeback Mountain — for major style cues for F/W 2011.  The men’s collection clearly displays the influence of mid-century workwear, but while the womenswear is somewhat retro, it’s markedly much more tailored and ladylike.  While both collections are strong and stand alone quite well, when viewed together they noticeably lack the continuity I enjoyed in the S/S 2011 “Passenger” collection, but I don’t seem to mind all that much.

Sidenote: While Kitsuné menswear frequently makes the rounds on the interwebs, it’s somewhat frustrating to me that the womenswear doesn’t get more play, because it’s simply excellent.  The Kitsuné woman is classic, elegant, tailored and has a penchant for suits and blazers.  Parfait, if you ask me.

Below, some of my favorite looks.

I have been lusting after a fleece-lined Levis jacket for ages….!

Is this velvet or corduroy? Either way, it needs to get in my closet.

Shawl collars.  Yes.

As if that wasn’t enough to take in, Kitsuné currently has a men’s sale going on their S/S 2011 collections and they’ve recently released photos of the men’s S/S 2012 collection.  Curious as to the inspiration this time around?  Well, it’s none other than The Great Gatsby.  Can you sense my excitement?

All images via Kitsuné.

LIFE Archives: Bogart & Boats

06/07/2011 § 1 Comment

The iconic actor Humphrey Bogart is known by a number of his trademarks: the scar, the lisp, the trench coat, chain smoking, his love affair with Lauren Bacall.  He also had a love affair with the sea, and some of my favorite films and pictures of Bogart involve boats — have you seen Key LargoThe African Queen? You must.

In California in 1945, Bogart bought a 55-foot (17 m) sailing yacht, the Santana, from actor Dick Powell. The sea was his sanctuary and he loved to sail around Catalina Island. He was a serious sailor, respected by other sailors who had seen too many Hollywood actors and their boats. About 30 weekends a year, he went out on his boat. He once said, “An actor needs something to stabilize his personality, something to nail down what he really is, not what he is currently pretending to be”.

Aboard his yacht the Albatross for the races at the Newport (CA) Yacht Club.  Taken 1943 by John Florea.

Holy moly.  The hat!  The shirt!  “Sluggy” was Bogart’s nickname for his third wife Mayo Methot and he also owned a motorboat with the same name.

Newport (CA) Yacht Club

Boss.  With cigarette intact, natch.

Aboard his yacht Santana as he gets set to participate in the Newport (RI) Harbor to Ensenada Intl. Yacht Race.  Taken 1945 by Peter Stackpole.

Aboard the African Queen in the Congo.  Taken in 1950 by Eliot Elisofon.

Talk about Awesome People Hanging Out Together…  Actor Humphrey Bogart, director John Huston and Bogart’s wife Lauren Bacall on the set of the film “The African Queen.”  Can we talk about how adorable Bacall is here?  And the gun Huston just happens to be holding?

All images via LIFE.

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