Photos by Michele.
31 August 2010
Photos by Michele.
22 August 2010
Happy Birthday, Mrs. Parker. The original Mrs. Parker that is.
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is said of Hermia that “though she be but little she is fierce.” Shakespeare could have been describing Dorothy Parker, one of America’s great wits and a New York City literary icon.
On 22 August 1893 Dorothy Rothschild was born in West End, New Jersey (she would always regret that her parents couldn’t make it back to New York in time for her birth). An unhappy childhood (she lost her mother at four and didn't get along with her stepmother) didn’t stop the precocious little girl from developing her unique take on language and the world. Expelled from Catholic school for describing the Immaculate Conception as “spontaneous combustion,” her formal education ended at 14. A voracious reader (her favourite character was Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair), she wanted to be a writer and worked on her verse, getting a poem “Any Porch” published in Vanity Fair the magazine in 1915. A job at Vogue soon followed.
A few years later she married the first of her two husbands. While the marriage didn’t work out, Edwin Pond Parker II gave Dorothy Rothschild one of the most important gifts she would ever receive, a new name, and for the rest of her life she would be known as Dorothy Parker.
She would go on to work for Vanity Fair, eventually becoming its theatre critic. (On Katherine Hepburn: “[she] delivered a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B.”) There she became colleagues and good friends with Robert Benchley and Robert E. Sherwood. When the magazine’s editor, Frank Crowninshield, famously invited her to brunch at the Plaza only to fire her (one of her reviews had angered Flo Ziegfeld), Benchley and Sherwood walked out inprotest.
But she could write and write well. I dare you to read one of her short stories like “Big Blonde” or "A Telephone Call" and not feel moved by the plight of the female characters or read one of her poems such as “Inventory” or “Symptom Recital” and not nod your head in agreement with the truth of her words.
21 August 2010
My love of all things art deco knows no bounds nor shame apparently. Yesterday, when confronted with a dozen or more choices of bottled water at a Duane Reade, I found myself choosing the one with the deco name and shape, Aquadeco. From Canada, the water is good but let's face it, the cheaper options would have done the same job, quenched my thirst. But trust me dear readers, I will probably be buying this water again, lured once more by the design of the bottle. Good marketing Aquadeco. It worked.
18 August 2010
17 August 2010
Chelsea is a neighborhood synonymous with art in New York. Yet on a recent morning, when I wanted to visit a musical art installation I had read about, I found myself climbing the steps not to a building but to a park that winds through the air 30 feet above the ground—the High Line.
Photos by Michele.
10 August 2010
Everyone, sing along with me, “We’re just two little girls from Little Rock. And we lived on the wrong side of the tracks.” These memorable lines are from the opening number of Howard Hawk’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and on a recent hot afternoon, I escaped into a cool cinema to watch a newly restored print of the film. And boy, what a film it is.
Showgirls and best friends Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) travel to Paris via ocean liner, causing trouble and breaking hearts along the way. Onboard ship, Lorelei tangles with a diamond mine owner name Piggy while Dorothy falls for the private investigator tailing Lorelei. Throw in a frog-voiced young boy with a valet, a missing tiara, and the US men’s Olympic team, and you have nonstop fun.
08 August 2010
First three photos by Michele.