Once again this here Wandering Eye took a tumble off the posting wagon right into a glittery, steaming, gift-wrapped pile of holiday cheer. Having now survived (relatively unscathed) far too many holiday soirees for one Wandering Eye to handle (let alone my other persnickety personalities) I must admit I have consumed my fair share of cranberry laden mystery punches.....word of advice: do not be tempted by the shiny, highly-reflective quality of the silver punch bowl (no matter how ornamented the polished rim) the liquid contained therein has been the downfall of many a Christmas-sweater wearing reveler.
So, we brush the sugar cookie crumbs off our lap and wander on toward the big day, our trembling fingers crossed, hoping one S. Claus received a letter from one W.E. who has been very, very, very, nice this year so much so that he deserves this lovely bauble available right here.
This month has started with a metaphorical big-handed slap to the face and I'm still reeling....I am not unlike an animated cartoon character running with exaggerated zeal but remaining in place. It is not unusual for my head to be firmly ensconced in the clouds but this time the clouds are grey and stormy and filled with the angry sting of lightening. So, I wallow for a moment in the murky funk of junk crowding my pea-sized brain, pondering my existence, questioning choices made, like why did I choose to walk up Madison instead of Park? And why do the widest of tourists like to walk side by side instead of single file on Manhattan sidewalks? And how did I think I could walk from Union Square to mid-town in 20 minutes? Whine, whine, whine. Then I see something that causes me to stop in my tracks, the pause button pressed.....beautiful cast iron deco-period gates....quietly regal here in this noisy city....waiting to be admired and, for a moment, that's what I do and all is right in my wandering world.
After 13 dinner guests, a house guest, more cooking than I've accomplished all year, an Academy Award worthy performance as Cordial Thanksgiving Host Number Two and a post-holiday head-cold, I'm feeling a bit turned around (could it be the cough syrup?)......so, yes, I am in a mood very well illustrated by this talented gent....of course, if I had the costume the mood would be much lighter.
When I was a gawky teenage wandering eye, I would spend hours at the mall perusing all the foreign fashion magazines in Rizzoli bookstore and thinking myself quite the cosmopolitan. Sometimes, if I was feeling extra indulgent, I would stop at the French cafe downstairs and splurge on a chocolate croissant then I would take the escalator upstairs and proceed to leaf through magazine after magazine with sticky, chocolate smeared fingers. It was here that I fell under the spell of Richard Bernstein's beautiful cover art for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine. How could I resist that saturated color, oversized format and all my favorite celebrities looking perfectly, magically delicious? To my little town wandering eyes, Richard Bernstein was one of the greatest living artists which is why my bedroom walls were covered with his Interview covers.
Great Aunt Pippa's second cousin Gustuvus (aka Earl of Dalhousie) was a life long bachelor who enjoyed building elaborate doll-houses (thus the name) and making his own "uniforms" from yards of the finest ribbon....French, of course.
I know many consider me a beacon of high-culture and while I do possess a vast knowledge of the performing arts from tap-dancing to double-dutch I must confess that, until recently, I wasn't very familiar with the work of Buster Keaton. Sure I'd seen plenty of clips and snippets but I had never seen one of his films in its entirety and, now that I have, I am officially hooked. There are plenty more films to enjoy before I've watched even half of Keaton's oeuvre but so far my favorite is a silent short from 1920 called One Week.....a sweet tale of newlyweds who attempt to build their first house from a kit. I don't want to spoil the story but I will say that it's amazing what Keaton accomplished 91 years ago (!) with primitive special effects, not a word of spoken dialogue or any sound for that matter besides musical accompaniment and all in a mere 23 minutes.
If my future home could have a bathroom filled with beautiful geometric tile as well as a hand-painted sink and shower like these by Henry Varnum Poor from his Crow House, I would be one very happy (and squeaky clean) Wandering Eye.
I was smitten within seconds....the music....Paris....Shakespeare & Company and all that wonderful literature piled willy nilly on shelves. Sigh. How could I not fall head over heels about a love story between book illustrations told through felt?!? Incroyable.
Photographer Jon Crispin is documenting the contents of suitcases discovered in the attic of the Willard Psychiatric Center in Willard, New York....the suitcases were put into storage when their owners arrived for treatment as early as 1910. I found this suitcase filled with art tools and crafting supplies especially touching....it belonged to Maude Ketchman.
I was just about to utter a complaint about having to add another layer to my ensemble this morning then I read about the Sami people who live north of the Arctic Circle and I kept my mouth shut....after seeing all that snow I think I'll forego an actual trip in the invisible jet and, instead, will keep this wander to a mere wish.....although, now that I've seen the colorful Sami national costume with that ribbon trim, ruffled skirt and booties with the curled toes (!) I may need to fire up the jet after all.
To Coach Perez who relegated a distracted (but so adorable in his uniform) seven year old to the non-covetable position of bench warmer for a greater part of the Little League season all I have to say is I don't need your lousy second place plastic prize cluttering up my award display now that I've gathered up my own bevy of impressive trophies....each and every one hard earned (note the glistening sweat on my forehead) but.....let me catch my breath.....oh so worth it.
In my thrillingly delusional existence as a world renowned designer, stylist, photographer, writer, flea-market scavenger and tap dancer my wandering eyes chance upon many items of wonder and beauty. This blog is where I share my visual discoveries. Thanks for wandering over and taking a look.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Diary of a Wandering Eye. Please do not borrow any original images without linking back to this blog and if you ask permission first that would be most appreciated.