Every New Yorker -- and every person even remotely interested in American history -- should buy and memorize Ric Burns' New York. It tells our nation's history through the lens of the Big Apple and makes you wish you'd had your literature and music teachers sitting in on your childhood history lectures to add anecdotes about Whitman and fall instantaneously into song. This version of Sidewalks of New York (sung by Robert Sean Leonard -- just found that out) has always been one of my favorite scenes in the documentary.
Married to an archeologist who worked in Syria, Christie wrote some of ''Murder on the Orient Express'' while holed up here. The young Lawrence also worked on archeological digs in the area, though apparently he found time for less rugged and martial pleasures. ''These three days have been frenzied rushes and bargains for antiques (we have spent nearly two hundred pounds) from breakfast till after dinner in the evening,'' he wrote to his mother in 1912, gushing about having spotted ''the loveliest painted and lacquered gilt ceiling that I ever dreamed of.'' - The New York Times, June 24, 2007
Lobby at the Hotel Baron
Beau Brummell is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man's suit, worn with a tie. He claimed five hours to dress, and recommended that boots be polished with champagne. To wit, his style of dress was known as dandyism.
In 1794, Brummell was an undergraduate at Oriel College, and later embarked upon a military career, but resigned his commission and abandoned it when his cavalry regiment was ordered quartered to Manchester.
Brummell's downfall was caused by a falling-out with the Prince of Wales; provoked by his infamous remark, Alvanley, who's your fat friend? (about Prince George, who had earlier snubbed him in a fit of flightiness); it doomed his social prominence in that it removed the Regent's social umbrella that had protected him from creditors and the like. In 1816, he fled to France to escape social ostracism and the sudden demand for payment in full of thousands of pounds sterling owed. He lived the remainder of his life in France, and died penniless and insane from syphilis in Caen in 1840. (All from Wikipedia)
Porter's Bard classmate Patricia No has one of the best, most tasteful, beautiful blogs out there: Either the Drapes Go or I Do. She loves great glasses and classic literary references. All her choices embody a perfect hipster sensibility grounded in tradition. You must check it out (be sure to read about Patricia's imperial birthday -- what a life!). In a very flattering move, she's paid homage to the sisters Hovey! What an honor! She was very kind and picked some very flattering photos of us and our friends - photographer Brad Robotham, fashionista Liz Sapienza, stylist and world traveller Christopher Lopez Thomas, Print Magazine associate editor James Gaddy and Danish surf rockers Bjarke Bentsen & Rasmus Nybo .
Porter's Morocco travel companion, Christopher, brought over Bernardo Bertolucci's Sheltering Sky (1990) last night, which featured some amazing costumes and the strangest pair of breasts (nudity theme today, it seems) ever caught on film. Paul Bowles wrote the book upon which it's based and a couple of his letters are up for auction on Ebay (bids start at $1,000).
TWO PAUL BOWLES LETTERS ABOUT TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
PAUL BOWLES (1910-1999). Bowles was a writer and world traveler before he moved to Tangier permanently in 1947. He wrote The Sheltering Sky, Up Above the World and In the Red Room.
TLsS. 2pg. 8 ½” x 11”. December 8, 1981 and November 29, 1982. Tangier. Two typed letters signed “Paul Bowles” to Professor William Plumley. The first letter, dated December 8, 1981, states:
“I have your letter of the thirty-first of October, with its request that I contribute to your projected volume of graphic works by American writers. You mention that ‘rumor has it’ that I’ve tried my hand at line drawing. Everyone who has every made a doodle could be said to have done that. The only line drawing I’ve made is one which I did for a book of self-portraits published by Random House three or four years ago; it wasn’t particularly successful. Tennessee Williams and Gregory Corso have been painting for decades, and I can quite understand that they would respond to your call. I should like to do as much, but I have no idea how to begin. I have not trained my visual capacities over the years, having been too intent on that which is auditory. (In my writing I eschew visual description, doubtless for that reason.) If I discover that I’ve been able to make a few drawings, I shan’t hesitate to send them to you, execrable though they’ll surely be.”
The second missive, dated November 29, 1982, reads:
“Thank you for the news about Helen McDonald; I didn’t realize she was still in Key West, nor, of course, did I know that you were acquainted with her. I’m not sure what letters you refer to: letters Tennessee Williams has written to other writers, or letters others have written to him? I assume it’s the latter, since you mention the hope that he hasn’t burned them. But then you ask if I’ve kept letters from him. We’ve had no correspondence over the years; I’ve received perhaps eight letters from him in more than four decades, and what missives came from him were not in any way concerned with literature. But then, one doesn’t discuss books and writing in letters, or so it seems to me. I didn’t understand your mention of Sally Bowles, in which you say she’s on your list ‘to contact’. I suppose it would have to be through the good offices of Christopher Isherwood, who invented her for the Berlin Stories fifty years ago. He would tell you more than anyone about the original ‘Sally Bowles’, whose name was Jean Ross. I hope your work on Tennessee’s letters goes well.”
Both letters are in very fine condition with two mailing folds and the original envelopes.
It's sort of like colonialism on two wheels...or at least a perfect melding of East + West: Brooks saddle and leather handlebar tape (they sell some Brooks items at Freeman's Sporting Club) with the stick of a croquet mallet (England!) + white, yellow-wall tires, that vintage light and the little tied up package (Asia!). Available only in Japan, this limited edition is the fourth bike from 45rpm. UPDATE: Instead of just posting a billion blogs about the Brooks saddle, I've decided to actually buy one. I'm going to cobble together lots of cheap bike parts, paint the body black (or racing green) and hopefully come up with some sort of gem. I'll post my progress.
I've always loved this song, especially when it encourages Sloopy (and me, when feeling saucy) to let her hair down. An anthem for long-tressed children and strippers everywhere. Without ever seeing this video, I managed to perform that exact dance for hours in my childhood basement in Kansas City. Rick Derringer somehow reminds me of a blonde Seth Cohen -- I think it's the teeth. Sorrow's quite a great McCoys' tune, too, but not enough of a U.S. hit to garner YouTube attention.