Tag Archives: travel

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 night at the Le Bristol

A stay at the historic Le Bristol Hotel Paris.

I was so thrilled last week to attend the book launch of fashion illustrator Megan Hess at the Le Bristol Hotel in the heart of Paris. Her new book “New York through the Fashion Eye” was a wonderful walk down memory lane for me with all the sparkle and glamour that makes New York the fashion capital it is. Flipping through the book brought back a rush of memories and made me, for a moment, homesick for the city that had become my adopted hometown.  Even as I spend this extended time in France, I do still feel like a New Yorker and this book was a reminder of all the beauty she bestows.

The fashionable event was held at the historic Le Bristol Paris, a five star luxury hotel in operation since 1925 and is one of my absolute favorite Parisian hotels. The hotel is part of the Oetker Collection which has announced the Australian born illustrator as their ongoing artist in residence and will be traveling the world to all Oetker properties creating exclusive fashion and lifestyle illustrations for the luxury brand.

After the event I checked into my room on the 8th floor. Always breathtaking, the Le Bristol is classically French from the linens and drapes to the Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture and of course, the Eiffel Tower views her windows gaze out upon. What The Carlyle Hotel is to New York, the Le Bristol is to Paris…. that perfectly Parisian dream.

A stay at the historic Le Bristol Hotel Paris. A stay at the historic Le Bristol Hotel Paris. A stay at the historic Le Bristol Hotel Paris. (more…)

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A Picnic in Provence

  A picnic in Provence

Anyone who has been to Provence knows the south of France has the most stunningly opulent markets. Delicately viened melons, the softest greens and figs so lush they break open in your market bag revealing their dark red seed. Cured meats: wild boar, sun-dried tomato, olive, chèvre. And the cheese… I die for the cheese.

Today’s adventure, a picnic overlooking the ruins of a famed chateau, tucked just above the mountainous village of Lacoste. On the menu: oysters which I shucked myself, washed down with a coupe of Champagne, followed by sticky red grapes, figs, olives, saucisson, and cheese.  I arranged everything on a beautiful blue and white picnic blanket I found in the market and lay peacefully watching the sun fade off the vines of the valley and appreciating the rich flavors of Provence. Delectable. 

Un samedi parfait.

A picnic in Provence A picnic in Provence

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Roussillon, France

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If Cezanne’s heart lies in Provence as it surely must, it is most likely in Roussillon. This village, tinged in blood orange is best seen at sunset. Its earthen colors become saturated and emboldened to the point where they gleam with the warmth of a stove hearth fire in deep winter.
Charming streets wind up the mountainside to the cathedral. Stunning houses sit perched with glorious balconies overlooking the valleys below. Verdant green, speckled by ochre palisades. Complimentary colors arranged as if by chance.
In the midst of autumn harvests, apples and gourds and certainly Roussillon made me feel as if I was curled within loving arms in front of a cozy fire, sipping a fine apple brandy, on a crisp moonlit night.
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