Throwback Thursday || Autumn in New York

11/10/2012 § 1 Comment

Holy smokes!  Where’ve ya been, kid?

Guilty as charged!  I’ve definitely been quiet this week, and I’ve got to chalk it up to autumn in New York, which is quietly unfurling its beautiful self with cool evenings, hot toddys, falling leaves and flannel bathrobes.  I’ve slipped down a few rabbit holes these last few days, of the cultural, literary, culinary, musical, and cinematic kind, which I am looking forward to sharing with you very soon.  But today, I am forced to beg your forgiveness for being a wayward parent as of late.  I’m hoping a gorgeous rendition of Autumn in New York by Sarah Vaughn might help me win you back…

Autumn in New York
Why does it seem so inviting
Autumn in New York
It spells the thrill of first-nighting

Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds
In canyons of steel
They’re making me feel
I’m home

It’s autumn in New York
That brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York
Is often mingled with pain

Dreamers with empty hands
May sigh for exotic lands
It’s autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again

New York City by André Kertész

26/09/2012 § 2 Comments

“I write with light.”
— André Kertész

How I adore The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of
André Kertész photographs taken in New York.

QC Archives || Grandma’s Hands

25/09/2012 § 3 Comments

A trip home to Los Angeles is never complete without a wander through my grandmother’s photo albums, now kept by my mother.  While not exactly a scrapbooker per se, my Grandma did like to make collages with her pictures over the years — sometimes organized chronologically, sometimes completely nonsensical, sometimes accompanied by scribbled entries identifying who people are and where they might be, sometimes not.  The purist in me instinctively wishes that she hadn’t cut up so many of the pictures, but I always take it back when I think about her lovingly laboring over her creation.  I know how lucky I am to be able to hold in my hands something that she made with hers.

I took a few pictures (yes, of pictures) so I could share them with you.
Definitely click on them for a closer look.

My grandparents are the ones wearing sunglasses. Obviously they are the coolest.
With friends on Chesapeake Bay, 1946.
And can we please talk about what the women are wearing?  Can. We. Talk.

My mother and grandmother, 1950.

My grandmother and uncle (at right), 1940s.

My grandmother and uncle, 1947.

My grandmother and mother (at right) on Easter, 1950s.

Grandmother and uncle (at right), 1940s.

My grandparents and mother (at left) at her 6th birthday party, 1955.

School Spirited: The Vassar-Yale Bike Race, 1952

11/09/2012 § 1 Comment

The first crisp post-Labor Day weather has arrived in New York City and I was pleased to slip into a bit of tweed today — after roundly debating for a good three precious morning minutes on whether this would turn out to be a premature move, natch.  Happy to say that it was a perfectly sunny, briskly breezy transitional day and it put me in a proper “back to school” mood.  I almost felt like buying a new pencil box.

Completely apropos of the weather, my school spirit and my tweed, are these great photos from the 1952 Vassar-Yale Bike Race from the Life Archive.  A bit of astute Googling revealed that the lovely author Rebecca C. Tuite has written a great post for Ivy Style about the short-lived race, which began as a drunken wager, evolved into drunken debacle and was eventually shut down by school authorities for the greater good.  Thankfully, Life Magazine photographer Yael Joel was there to capture the shenanigans so that we might enjoy them today.  I don’t know about you, but my need for a new pair of Weejuns for the fall has definitely been intensified.

Photos by Yael Joel, taken April 1952, via the Life Archive.

Summer in Southern California

21/08/2012 § 1 Comment

For a perfect summer in Southern California, you’ll need golden light, a ton of palm trees, broad white beaches, a polka dot bikini, a beach shanty, some zinc oxide and a group of your closest surfing friends.  Add a dash of PCH, a little rum, some ice and blend it all on high.

For the second half of August, I’ve decided to turn my sights back to the coast I know best — the west.  While I may currently live on the east coast, and have quite an admiration for all things Northeast, summer will always mean very specific things to this California girl.  These photos taken along the So Cal coastline, from Malibu to San Onofre State Beach in Oceanside, were just the ticket.

See also:
Summer on the Cape
Summer on Long Island

Related:
Gidget in Malibu

Taken by Allan Grant in 1961 for Life Magazine, via the Life Archives.

Summer on the Cape

03/08/2012 § 1 Comment

For a perfect summer on the Cape, you’ll need some pretty sailboats, a few rainy bike rides, wavy fields of tall grass, a clambake on the beach, and an overloaded jalopy.  For best results, serve over ice in a highball glass and garnish with a gaggle of Kennedys.

Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine, 1940.  Via the Life Archive.

Rabbit Hole || Aviatrix Club

11/07/2012 § 3 Comments

With the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance this month, my discovery of these cigarette cards detailing famous airwomen seemed positively apropos.  Dating from sometime between 1923 and 1939 and part of an large collection of cigarette cards maintained by the New York Public Library.  I was impressed to see the inclusion of these high-flying ladies in this set of 50, as the majority of the women included in the other sets were chosen because of how beautiful they were — “beauties of the world,” “beauties of the stage,” etc.  — not because they were the first to fly a plane across the Atlantic, like badass Beryl Markham, above.

Pictured with their favorite planes, these ladies are the perfect mascots for my summer wanderlust — I also included images of the flip side of the cards, complete with their exploits and fancy titles.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Amelia Earhart.

Mary, Lady Heath

The Hon. Mrs. Victor Bruce.

Mrs. Harry Bonney.

Jean Batten.

Amy Johnson.

To see the whole set, hop down the rabbit hole here.
All images via the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Roughing It.

05/07/2012 § 4 Comments

Fact: I have never been camping.

Corollary: My mom will probably dispute this.

Who’s right?  I suppose it depends on how broadly you construe the term “camping” — because if to you, camping means you’re in a sleeping bag in a tent in the woods somewhere, then I most definitely have never been camping.  However, if you are like my mother, and think camping includes driving some sort of van or trailer to a “campground” and parking for a few days near some nature, then maybe you’ve got me there.

My parents did own a sweet Minnie Winnie in the late 90s.  It was sort of an odd purchase for a completely non-camping family that was spurred by the experience of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.  We did use it a few times, mainly for soccer tournament weekends, but also for camping at Lake Cachuma and the Kern River.  We actually did Thanksgiving one year, turkey and all, entirely on wheels!

So while I don’t really count those experiences as camping, I do have plenty of great memories of those weekends, which were jogged when I came across this set of photos in the Life Archive, taken at various points around the country by Ralph Crane in 1970.  Capturing different kinds of motor homes and trailers, and the folks who used them, they are a slice of Americana that seems perfectly apropos for the day after Independence Day.

Some of these images originally appeared as part of a special group of articles in the August 14, 1970 issue of LIFE entitled “Home, Home on the Road,” which details “Caravans on the open road.  Houseboats on the busy waters.  Youth in its frustrated festivals.  Venturers abroad in trains.”  If you’d like to read the article — and I definitely recommend it, mainly for some great pictures of a convoy of pretty aluminum Airstream trailers — you can find it here.  Enjoy!

Bob Newcomb with his 12-member family in Hershey, PA.

Sidenote: Can I just say that I have NO idea how 12 people could coexist for any extended amount of time in a trailer.  My family only numbered 5 and speaking for the kids, I know we regularly contemplated pulverizing each other when we “camped.”  Newcombs, hat’s off to the lot of you, indeed.

Baby Newcomb in her bathtub bed!

The Wally Byam Caravan Club converging upon Hershey, PA.  The club, named for the founder of the Airstream Trailer Company, still exists — and caravans — to this day.

Airstream owners and Caravan Club members, saluting the flag.

All images via the Life Archive.

Drawing Dad

15/06/2012 § 7 Comments

In honor of Father’s Day, a little something I found in the Life Archives…

One morning in 1949, the Kindergarten class of Ms. Doris Morcom at Sedgwick Elementary School in West Hartford, Connecticut, all drew portraits of their dads from memory for an upcoming Fathers’ Night at the school…and here we can compare the portraits with the subjects themselves, in photos taken by Al Fenn.  Aside from some startling accuracies, I love how these photos also give us a look at men’s style as the 1940s were giving way to the 1950s.

If you’d like to read the original article, which appeared in the December 26, 1949 issue of Life Magazine, you can find it here.

For fun, the fathers drew Ms. Morcom for their children.

Happy Father’s Day!

All images via the Life Archives.

A Day at the Races: Belmont Park in the 1910s

08/06/2012 § 3 Comments

In case you hadn’t heard, I’ll Have Another has withdrawn from the Belmont Stakes in New York this weekend due to a tendon injury.  I’m a bit sad that the chestnut 3 year-old colt won’t be making a run at becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, but of course it is for the best.

Since I’m left without a horse to back – I’ll Have Another actually won me a pretty penny on Derby Day – I decided to see if I couldn’t find us some photos from race days past at Belmont Park. The Library of Congress delivered in a major way with wonderful images dated between 1910 and 1915 of the track, Mr. August Belmont, Jr. and his wife, a couple of lady Roosevelts and anonymous racegoers dressed in their finest.  I love how some of these look like the streetstyle photography so popular today.  Perhaps we should get Scott Schuman a time machine…

A sea of straw boaters…

August Belmont, Jr.

Paul Drennan Cravath (of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, for the law nerds)
with August Belmont, Jr.

Mrs. August Belmont, wearing a rather rad hat.

Mrs. Edith Roosevelt
(Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt and former First Lady)

Eleanor Butler “Bunny” Alexander-Roosevelt
(Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.)

I feel as though this picture must be labeled incorrectly.
This woman looks nothing like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, or is it me?

All images via The Library of Congress.

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