Thursday, September 23, 2010

Showtime Design House 2010: The Borgias

The Showtime Design House is one of my favorite design houses, not least because they not only allow but encourage photography. This year it is at Cassa Hotel and Residences, on 45th Street between 5th and 6th. Entrance is $15, and the money goes to the Harlem Children's Zone. It's open Saturdays from 11 AM to 5 PM, through Oct. 23.

(Also, since it should be said: I don't watch any of the shows represented, I'm just along for the purpose of appreciating design.)

When you get off the elevator, the first room(s) you see are inspired by the show The Borgias, and was designed by Keith Baltimore, Marc Thorpe and David Schwarz:

The Great Room; notice the cross-shaped rug.

I love this chair kind of a lot.

The kitchen counter, complete with skulls.

The kitchen window, with delicate chain mail curtains.

The media room/chapel which is SO AMAZINGLY UNSETTLING, oh my god.

In the bathroom!

These rooms are really, really exactly the kind of thing I like. More red velvet and skulls and delicate fluttery chainmail for everyone! I also though the "media room" was particularly well done, even if it did totally creep me out both times I went into it. The red light and the hum of the neon cross are totally overwhelming, and I mean that in the best possible way. As it happens I read the neon cross as designating a chapel, not a media room, but in this case I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive. And somehow the stark modernism (as opposed to the more Renaissance-inflected great room) created a sense of lingering malevolence better than any pile of medieval skulls.

Next up: The Big C.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

it's full of stars


. . . okay not really. It's Christmas lights on a tree branch outside the Whole Foods at 59th Street. I just like to pretend it's a galaxy. Here's a broader perspective:


Thursday, September 9, 2010

my favorite season: autumn in new york

There's a chill in the air that says fall is here. I'm not excited about the rain coming our way, but cold crisp fall days, and the explosions of color on the street as the leaves change, that is just the best. Some highlights from autumns past:


A close-up of foliage from a photowalk at The Cloisters last year. This is the full wall:


Foliage at the New York Botanical Garden:


And also on my street:


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The first time I went to Glasgow was in 1995. My most recent visit was for Easter, in 2008. This year, I'm going over for Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) which is something I've wanted to do since 1995. Here are some pictures from the last time I was there:

Lobey Dosser, Woodlands Road

This statue is near where I used to live when I was studying at Glasgow University, and is a cartoon character.

The Cloisters, Glasgow University

The Cloisters is in the inner courtyard of the University. If I remember right, I had to pass through it, or near it, to get to my classes. I also used to spend a lot of time there practicing fighting with fake swords.

Kelvingrove Museum

And, finally, one of my favorite pictures of the statues on the bridge leading to the Kelvingrove Museum. I actually took this one in 1996, with a film camera:


Sunday, September 5, 2010

highlights: barbados

Last February I went to Barbados. These are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.


This was outside the front of the hotel. I'm not sure what purpose it served, other than being pretty (possibly alerting cars to the existence of the entrance?) but I liked to walk out in the evenings and look at the flickering flames.


A nearby canal at sunset. I'm particularly fond of the shadows on the water.


Inside St. James Anglican Parish Church in Holetown, one of (if not the) oldest churches on the island. It's a very quiet, peaceful place.


Flowers on an arch in the gardens of St. Nicholas Abbey, another historic site.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

view from the boom boom room

New York, Dec. 31, 2009

I have a superstition about New Year's Eve, i.e. that how I spend it will affect the year to come. For 2010, I chose to go to the Standard Hotel. I only went into the Boom Boom Room briefly, before the actual party. (Afterwards I spent the evening in my room with my sister, eating delicious room service and watching Green Day on TV.) It was just as glamorous as everyone says it is, even mostly empty. Here are some views from the windows:

The end of the High Line:


West Side Highway and the Hudson River:


And one of the ceiling from the way in:


2010 has been marked by a lot of travel. In fact, this new year's eve, I'll be in Glasgow, among old friends.

Friday, September 3, 2010

wayback machine: washington's crossing, 2003

The Delaware, at Washington's Crossing

Every year at Christmas, a group of hardy, dedicated and very brave souls re-enact George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on Dec. 25, 1776. This is an event I have always wanted to attend but never could, as I am not in the New York/New Jersey area at Christmastime. I see they do a dress-rehearsal the 2nd weekend of December, but I have a sneaking suspicion I may have to miss it due to exams. But someday, SOMEDAY, I will get to see it.

The pictures below are from events held around New Years in 2003, wherein re-enactors performed a variety of colonial-era tasks, including cooking demonstrations and military drills. Also, there was hot cider.


There tend to be a variety of types of military costumes on display.


And also non-military costumes:


I didn't take too many pictures that day, probably because I was cold. But if I manage to get back there this year I'll get some more.

More about the history of the site and the crossing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

seashores: Coney Island

Last week it was rainy and wet, this week has been hot, humid and miserable. This weekend: hurricane! But (allegedly) only on Friday, and then mostly it's just the eastern end of Long Island that will get hammered.

Anyway, here are some (more) pictures from one of my favorite beaches, Coney Island, taken over the July 4th weekend:

The new Luna Park

The Wonder Wheel: 90 years and still going strong!

We rode on this one, actually. While we were standing in line we saw a dude who had brought his boa constrictor out for the day. The snake seemed pretty chill, though. Rides we skipped: The Cyclone, the 100 year old (or so) wooden rollercoaster.

View from the Wonder Wheel

And one more ride, from below:


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

kitten break


This is the smart one. If he had opposable thumbs I would be in serious trouble. As it is he can open doors and turn faucets on my himself.


This one is very pretty, and very sweet, and dumb as a box of rocks on good day. He does not have enough sense to get out of the way of fridge door when it is closing.

and here they are together in "their" chair: