Thursday, March 31, 2011

Of Sudden Departures and Sandpits

Fairest Nerophytes, though it may bear a striking resemblance, this is not in fact Ghaddafi's bombed out backdrop. The rough-hewn space above and below is the skeletal fold that has emerged like a headstrong phoenix rising from the Cairene desert. 
Nero's alluded to this place before, here and here -- the beginnings of a far-flung home-away-from-home, a space to stay -- a room of one's own. With this haven-in-the-making, the Pharoah, weary of sleeping on freshly-ironed but impersonal hotel linens, will no longer feel himself the accidental tourist in his Motherland. But as you may have deduced via the visuals, the place needs a little work, because in Egypt construction looks a great deal like destruction. Dozens of paper bags bloated with sand, carted on heaving shoulders up flights of stairs to solder bricks and mould cement, have left behind a sand-nami -- a force that blows through and buries. But the pyramids were built stone on stone, so we soldier on. 
This past January, the winds of change -- of gusts and guts -- swept in and kept the Nero Trio grounded Stateside. And now we pick up where we left off, interrupted. We are headed to Cairo -- the newborn, the unsteady, the in-between. And things -- forces, cosmic pulls -- have shifted. As a new day dawns in this ancient place, old powers and older, noble people -- aging relatives mainly -- are giving way. Their knees are buckling, their backs, tired of the toil, are curving back to a place primordial and fetal. Their strained eyes struggle to see the beginnings of this brave new world. Their hearts, heavy with the years whisper "enough."
So where thoughts of faucet finishes and flooring once took precedence, other truths much graver have forced themselves into the fore. So be it. Rome wasn't built in a day, and as the great Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz once said, there is always a beginning and an end. Nero may be adrift for a week or so, awash in sand and other important matters. Postings and pictures may dwindle, potty fittings and floor tiles may get purchased -- or not. Because time is of the essence, you see. So do bear with, fair readers. Nero will return just as soon as the sands of time and flux blow me back home.

The beginnings of an open kitchen -- a travesty to the Egyptians, who view the cookery as a private inner sanctum -- not fit for the public sphere.

Nero will endeavor to bring you inlaid visions of rest and repose

And sparkling stars the likes of which the night sky has rarely seen.

But truth be told, it's not likely that there will be much rest involved.

The streets of Cairo can be difficult to weave through gracefully -- balance over chaos can be hard to achieve.

And so for those who'd welcome some supplementary reading material, this novel should prove both entertaining and thematically a-propos.

Farewell for a few, fair Nerophytes. See you folks on the flipside.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spellbound by Greg Lotus

Photographer Greg Lotus' work straddles the divide between art and fashion in such a way that the two collide, but gently. Many of his pieces serve to sell gorgeous articles of clothing but would also reign supreme over the sofa in the living room. For those equally taken, it appears Lotus will be showing -- read, selling -- some of his spoils this coming week in an exhibit titled "Impressions," at the New York Design Center. Could be worth a cameo for the art-hungry in need of some serious visual inspiration. Do report back, fair ones, if art is bought.

Of Premonitions and Sandy Places

Of Art with Mind and Heart

"I would never have started collecting so much art if I had not moved to Houston...When I arrived in Texas, there was not much you could call art...I developed this physical need to acquire." Dominique de Menil

To delve deeper into the fascinating and quirky minds of a pair of French eccentrics, philanthropists and art patrons who graced and gifted Nero's fair city of Houston, hop on over to 1stdibs to peruse Waters Roeck's informative piece which expounds upon this incandescent couple and the cultural offering that was their lives' work. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Cardiac Unrest

Nero has a sneaking suspicion that if my heart were sliced in two,
 this is what would be nestled inside.

Of Bellas Vistas and Treillage Triage

Monday, March 28, 2011

Of Bookish Nooks and Gentlemanly Crannies

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On You Transfix me Quite

This past Friday, in between early-bird appointments with the allergist and a titillating parent-teacher conference, Nero stepped out of the sunlight and joined a handful of fellow closeted romantics in the dark, cool bowels of our city's oldest and most charming movie theater, to at last inhale Jane Eyre -- you know the one fair readers, I've been taunting you with it for weeks. This latest rendition is darker and more cerebral than its predecessors and Nero thoroughly enjoyed every chilling moment. Below, on a lighter, brighter note, the movie's leads duke it out diaphanously in a sassy-sharp W spread. En garde

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Of Fashion Pomp and its Pontiff

"You can make a film in Hollywood without Steven Spielberg's blessing, and you can publish software without Bill Gates's blessing, but you can't succeed in fashion without Anna's blessing."

For those who wish to slip behind the seams of that petite powerhouse -- the elusive, the feared and most revered Anna Wintour, editrix en chef of American Vogue -- Joshua Levine cuts to the sartorial chase in the latest WSJ magazine, exposing Wintour's nimble-fingered gift for blending the big business of stitch witchery with hawking a global brand, through the delicate diplomacy of the dress form. To secure a front row seat, don your oversized sunglasses and sashay this way.


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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