Sunday, October 31, 2010

Siren Song

Still on my 'flix kick, I dove and was submerged in the watery tale of Ondine.
Colin Farrell plays a downtrodden Irish fisherman and recovering alcoholic who nets a secretive selkie. Her singing coaxes bounty back to Farrell's catch and he begins spinning a yarn for his little girl. As the mystery quietly unravels, the haunting soundtack, rippling landscapes and extraordinary performance by Alison Barry, cast as Farrell's daughter, bring otherworldly depth and meaning to the life aquatic.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Hallows

Swept up in Summertime

Went on a Netflix-capade last night, thought Venice might hit the spot.

Watched Katharine Hepburn do longing in Summertime.

Oh the longing

And for good reason

Oh Rossano the Sublime

And the dresses, what dresses

The world was beautiful then.

Venice the decadent, the glorious

the Grand of glass and gilt

the crumbling.

And then things got complicated

But then they got good

Really Good.

And a merry time was had by all.

But Oh Venice

Life got in the way of wonderful.

"Relax...relax and the world is beautiful. Take a deep breath like for singing."

Take that "Eat, Pray, Love."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Slam Jamb

"Admit it, things are feeling a little too quiet in the land of anti-excess." Sara Ruffin Costello

It's that time of week again folks, Sara's had her say.
This time she's touting technicolored doors. For more, take a knock walk.

Bon Weekend

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spectator Art

Argentine-born artist Guillermo Kuitca creates nebulously bleary-eyed works of art based on surrealist distortions of maps, blueprints and even baggage carousels. But it's his work with opera house seating plans I find most arresting.

The artist digitally distorts photographs of floor plans, intermittently layering the images with emulsions of water and watercolor. The result is that of a clouded fingerprint, an atomic ink blast and its reverberations. Kuitca swoops down as a deus ex machina, unleashing beautiful, color-banded chaos on an innocuous, horse shoe-shaped grid of alphabetized seats. The rainbow flood that follows is a show stopper.

For those living in or around Washington, D.C., a "Guillermo Kuitca: Everything" retrospective runs from October 21 to January 16 at the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Oh Calypso

This cozily staged setup still gets me every time.

Stella's Garden Idyll

Stella's gardens came together not unlike her fashion lines.
In lieu of ribboned gifts, her wedding guests brought offerings of seed and vine.
Gwyneth copper beeches, from Ford and Valentino, linden
And now her earthly paradise is ripe for country living.

"When I see a building on the horizon, I want to plant a tree in front of it.
That's my natural instinct."
Stella McCartney

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Heavens to Betsy

There's been a zeitgeist of late in the blogosphere, methinks it has something to do with the shifting of seasons, an undercurrent all abuzz with musings about dream houses and second, far-flung spaces, that gentle longing for another oft-imagined fold.

The murmurs brought me tiptoeing back to this urban bungalow in Birmingham, designed by Betsy Brown. The cottage has certainly made the rounds since its soft debut in House Beautiful back in 2007. But it's a place that stays with me because of the impression it made back then. Because before Belgian became the "thing" or Jenna Lyons made Serge Mouille a household name, Betsy blessed a pile of dirt in Birmingham with bleached floors and a parterre garden, an elegant but breezy eat-in kitchen, high but unintimidating art and plenty of reading lamps.

She respected the space and yet she elevated it. Without artifice or double-entendre. It could've been Paris, but this was Alabama. And I could smell the crisp rooms and feel the white light streaming in, hear the planks creaking slightly underfoot and almost taste the grapes tumbling in a mound off that platter. And it felt beautiful and right. Like a well-loved home.


Urban flâneuse, armchair observer, absent-minded scribbler, occasional epicure and carpool line cultural attaché, my nom de plume is Nero. Join me as I catalog a compilation of earthly delights and stuff that I dig. Alcira Molina-Ali



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