Tag Archives: house

Vinalhaven, Maine

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In a small writer’s cottage tucked away on a quiet cove in Vinalhaven, Maine I spent the last week of summer with the promise of autumn quietly whispering with each rolling wave of the fog kissed shore of this tiny island that feels lost to the sea. In our modern times of fast communication and speedy travel we can blink an eye and be anywhere in the world.

But here…. here it is a journey. It takes time and you feel time change on the voyage to this sacred place. First a flight to Portland, Maine, then to a car, then ferry, with each passing mode of transportation the clock ticks a moment slower. I watched the shores of Maine while standing on the windy top deck of the ferry as they grew more distant. I looked at America, at a landscape not unfamiliar to the first settlers who came here on the hope and dreams of a new and better life. A life, to a certain extent, I was trying to escape from. The boat carried me away and I let go as land slipped away.

Maine is perfect in the summer. It’s classically American and dynamic in nature. Each hour yielded to a new exciting atmosphere.  It reminds you we are merely passengers on Earth, witnesses to nature’s show. I had to escape Manhattan’s monolithic skyscrapers that blocked sunsets to be reminded of what was out there bigger than me, bigger than my city, and beautiful… so very beautiful. While we watched the tide come in and out each day, distant lobster fishing boats bobbing in place, we took ease in the simplicity. The smell of the salty ocean, the feeling of the damp mossy forest under our feet.

Jet lagged from France, I would take rests in the afternoon with the old windows open so that I could listen to the wind in the trees and feel its coolness on my face as autumn promised itself to be just around the bend.

It is an quiet island in comparison to places like Nantucket but that is what makes it great. A place where you can turn off the noise, turn on nature and remember what it feels like to simply be alive. The kind of place with a handful of local and beloved stores, a tiny farmer’s market and one gas station where you buy the daily catch. When everything closes at 5pm and you wonder how you’ll ever survive until you discover we don’t need as much as we thought, or nearly as much as we’ve been sold. I think about this place often and when I do I’m standing right there on that cool gray rock, wrapped in mist and lost in thoughts…

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Above dress and white dress in the fog by Brooklyn designer Christine Alcalay

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A Chateau in France

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I can’t say much about this place… it was a private residence and a bit of a mystery. We were invited to a dinner at a chateau in France to celebrate CHANEL’s new interpretation of their classic No. 5 perfume. A short drive from the rose fields of Grasse, we turned up a long winding old road, climbing up the side of a hill until we emerged on a plateau of walled gardens and ivy covered archways. It was magnificent. I was never able to find out who lived here or what the history was of this estate but perhaps I enjoy it more for what remains a mystery. It is in the not knowing that my imagination can run free… and you can guess, that’s a wonderful place to be.

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Ralph Lauren silk dress and heels, Maiyet blazer, Hourglass lips

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Coffee Rituals with Nespresso

Trying out the new Nespresso VertuoLine as part of my coffee ritual

For the launch of the “Experience a cup above” with a great new campaign with George Clooney, Nespresso asked me to talk about what my daily coffee routine is and try out the lastest VertuoLine machine, Evoluo. So we packed it up and took it to the house upstate this past weekend.

I never really think about how important coffee is in my life even though it’s one of the great constants to my daily routine. In fact, considering I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a teenager (much to the disapproval of my parents I might add) I’d say on the record it is my longest dependent relationship. There was that one week I tried to quit caffeine but considering how well I did NOT handle that let’s just say I won’t be experimenting like that again. As you guys know here, nothing about my day-to-day life is constant, be it waking up in Paris or on a train to Machu Picchu, but without fail, I have to start my day with a cup of black coffee.

In the city, my husband makes me a cup of coffee every morning. It’s one of those small, sweet things that are what life is about. I sit in bed and spend about an hour “checking in with the world”. I listen to NPR, I read The Skimm and Business of Fashion and take a peek at my email before I decide it’s too overwhelming. If for some reason I’m up and about before he wakes up, he’ll always refresh my cup for me when he does emerge. There is nothing like the smell in the early morning light of that earthy, stark, foggy, richness of coffee.

On the weekends when I’m at home I’ll indulge in a second cup while I scroll Instagram or try to sit still to read a book. Trying the Nespresso was a fun experience with all the different blends and roast options and I learned that only the top 1-2% of the worlds coffee is chosen for the Nespresso Grands Crus and that gorgeous silky crema on top is in fact a sign of high quality coffee. I loved how beautiful the machine is, smaller than I was expecting which I like. I chose red, I love red in a kitchen, and according to Kevin it’s psychologically the most appetizing color. Or I just like the way it looks. They have a great recycle program too, something that is important to me. As a busy New Yorker, I do like to make things simple, less cleanup, less hassle, less time but not creating so much waste.

So that’s my coffee story. I’ve done it all from deli cups in New York to silver tray service at the St. Regis to coffee with ginger in Bali and everything else in between. But at home… this is how I like it- simple and lovely.

Trying out the new Nespresso VertuoLine as part of my coffee ritual Trying out the new Nespresso VertuoLine as part of my coffee ritual (more…)

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A Hudson Valley Weekend

 

As we begin to close in on the last weekends of summer I jumped at the invitation for a weekend upstate shared among friends. The cool mountain air, quiet afternoons for reading and home cooked meals filled my soul and recharged my batteries. We stayed in this amazingly redesigned Catskills home where nature was the framed art and dancing light our whimsical entertainment. Now the only problem I have is how to stop day dreaming of this peaceful place at the end of the road between tucked between a mountain and a creek…

A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley.

 This summer I have been reading photographer Sally Mann’s memoir Hold Still. There are some books I read on my kindle and then some I have to physically buy so that I can mark them up, make notes in the margins and revisit or even research what I find among the pages. One of my favorite underlined parts so far: 

“Because I am still that girl when it comes to developing film. There is nothing better than the thrill of holding a great negative, wet with fixer, up to the light. And, here’s the important thing: it doesn’t even have to be a great negative. You get the same thrill with any negative; with art, as someone once said, most of what you have to do is show up. The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good. And, when you get whatever you get, even if it’s a fluky product of that slipping-glimpser vision that de Kooning celebrated, you have made something. Maybe you’ve made something mediocre- there’s plenty of that in any artist’s cabinets- but something mediocre is better than nothing, and often the near-misses, as I call them, are the beckoning hands that bring you to perfection just around the blind corner.” 

A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. A group of friends spend the weekend upstate in the Hudson Valley. (more…)



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