I saw the collective envy and wonder in the eyes of the ladies around me. Mine included.
I do good to run my garbage out to the street around 2 am just hours before the garbage men roll through my street.
The houses on the Annual Central Gardens Home Tour in Mid-Town are so spotless — so perfect they seem like movie sets.
They certainly could be.
I do know Dennis Quaid stayed in a house on Belvedere Blvd while he shot Great Balls of Fire. See, you learn all sorts of useful things on the tour.
For a person who loves homes..homes with a history…homes that have been saved from the nightmare of bulldozers, this past Sunday was a dream.
A mere $15 dollars (going to some charity or something useful, I’m sure) you get to see how the other half lives. I’m struggling by no means, but these people know how to live. Most of the homes were built in 1909. The owners have the delicate task of not only keeping the homes at their turn of the century splendor, but also repairing the expensive wood work these elegantly designed homes are full of, and the gigantic project of filling the home with appropriate furniture. It would be a tragedy if the owners just ran to Ikea and filled a home. No, these homes we toured were stocked with Russian mirrors from the 1800′s, original paintings, fine furniture, oriental this and that and so much more to love admiring. Is it all my preference, no way, but I can say, the homes were all done in a way that even if not your taste you admired the time and effort (money) it took to keep the homes up in a way they deserve.
You can even take a little swing on their porch — and yes I took notes
If you drive through Central Gardens ( I don’t live there but do live in Mid-Town) you do a lot of neck stretching to catch a glimpse at the homes you pass by. You never truly get to see all the details or totally fix your eye on that speakers platform on this house in the 1300 block of Central. This house has been a frat house for the school of optomotry and the functining school house for Lausanne School. The current owners have been there since 2001.
It’s also amazing to see what people collect. I like collectors of strange things. We are all eccentric and I love people who are strange and keep it all around them. In one house the doctor owner collected these elaborate marble mantle clocks. In another more homey home the lady of the house collected these large marbles that look like paper weights. If there is a name for them I’m not sure, but they are all different colors and are filled with things like flowers and color swirls. The things were everywhere and on display. I love that she loves them enough to put them EVERYWHERE. Then there are the family photos. Some people display them in a somewhat muted way — that’s me. By that I mean a frame here and there, but others splash the family photos from 1985 on every wall and tiny space. I don’t think they love their family any more than I do. It’s just their style. I would have taken inside pictures, but it’s not allowed and I guess it would have been rude of me.
Two of my favorite homes.
This home on Belvedere. It was built in 1909 as a model home for the beautiful tree lined median street. A person could walk in and see amazing wood work in the foyer. About the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. If they took a right turn into the dining room they would find a very dressy and formal Itialian styled detailing in the wood work. If they took a left off the foyer they would find traditional arts and crafts styled wood working. Then the visitor could decide which they wanted in their Belvedere home. The lucky owners today get to have the best of both worlds.
The second home I loved most was on Peabody. It’s the old Crump home. Boss Crump himself had the house built in 1909 and died in it. His body lie in state in the foyer with roses lining the stairs, or so I was told. I’ve passed by the home so many times and wondered what it was like inside. Well, it was beautiful. Loved seeing a painting of Crump standing with other leaders in front of the New Daisy Theater. With the legacy the home has you have to keep the old man in the house!
It’s a total neighborhood affair complete with adorable little kids selling treats and cold drinks and boy scouts raising money. It was warm out there.
I don’t talk politics.
You can ask my close friends and ex-boyfriends (I usually made them mad) :: I’m very politically minded, but keep or try to keep my mouth shut pretty much ALL the time, especially at work or in public which includes facebook, twitter and my blog. You’ll notice. There isn’t a “politics” category on my blog.
1. I’m a journalist and feel seriously that my opinions must stay out of my work. Not everyone agrees. What they do is their business, though I plan to stick to it.
2. Politics can be and often is driven by emotion and passion. I know how mad I get when people walk around either telling me I’m wrong or acting as if everyone shares their political opinions. Goodness knows people do it.
However, since the media has turned our First Lady’s wardrobe into a constant human interest story the last 4 years, you know — WOW Michelle Obama loves J-Crew – Watch her ROCK a cardigan — who knew she would DARE wear Marc Jacobs to a fundraiser — OMG look at her slender arms, I feel clothes/style are free game.
So, while people are making these very immediate ruthless comments on twitter dissing Paul Ryan’s music choices, looks (can you really call him ugly?), and speech length — I’ll scratch my need to join in by focusing on something no one can realistically get mad at me over. Fingers crossed……
Here we go :: The GOP ticket wins the female style category.
Janna Ryan’s green dress. Elegant. Classy. Traditional. Perfect.
Another one ::
Not to say I don’t have detractors. This is life.
The Boston Herald calls her Wednesday night choice, “Smart but safe”
What do they want? More of a designer edge? An up and coming design star? Fishnets? More bobbles?
Then you take the very glamorous 1949 born Ann Romney. Lovely.
I’ve always thought Michelle Obama did a fantastic job representing the United States style-wise. (Really, who cares) I’ve always been curious the routine her people go through putting the outfits together. I’d like to see her team in action. It’s clear (to me) more attention has been placed on her wardrobe than with first ladies in the past. Seems like a true concerted effort.
Still, my vote is with the GOP.
There we go folks, my chance to publicly talk politics with everyone else tonight.
I have no clue who to ask.
I need a reward. Well, not yet. Not even close, but I’m working hard to achieve a personal goal which I won’t be getting into in this blog, but what I am getting into is the reward. Typical, right?
Instead of focusing on the hard work and dedication required of me to hit said goal I instead focus on the goods. Though, it’s like they say. Keep your eyes on the prize. You know?
I have a general idea of the reward. Not my typical loves travel or food, instead I want something to keep and something I can reward myself with in the next two months as that’s the amount of time it’s going to take.
I’ve decided my treat will be a purse/bag/tote.
I typically don’t believe in spending a lot on a bag because the ones I use normally get thrown on the concrete while I do interviews or stand-ups for work, but on this occasion I can have what I want.
I want one that is classic. One that when I’m old and possibly daughter-less (what a dreadful thought) a young lady will see it at my estate sale and want to love it and keep it for many more generations.
- Needs to be classic
-Would like it to be used (you know how I love things with history)
-large enough to hold make up bag and small notebook
-real, don’t do fake — well maybe just fake spray tans
-don’t want lois vuitton, don’t like looking like everyone else
So, here are my questions ::
1. What do I want? I really need help with this. I don’t follow designers, fashion or what’s really in style. Nor do I really care, but this means I don’t even know my options.
2. What are some websites that sell real designer handbags. I’m so paranoid about buying some lame knock off by accident.
In the small Mississippi town of Meridian, Mississippi there are these two men, Sean and Patrick. They are dreamers :: creatives :: brains :: and lookers. They sit around late at night talking about all the amazing things they would like to do with their lives. In the time I’ve known them they’ve had so many different ideas. Their brainstorming process is a beautiful thing. Though, they are always waiting for the right idea that would mix their personalities, creativity and talents.
I was thrilled when I heard they have finally figured out what I think is their best idea. They are starting a furniture company called Mist and Fume.
Here’s a little bit about these guys. Patrick Flannagan is a true artist in a sense I feel we don’t celebrate enough.
With Patrick on my last night in the Queen City
Sitting on Sean’s porch
He works with his hands remodeling old homes. He can do anything you need him to do, but now, at the urging of many, he will be making furniture. Furniture made of materials that have a story. Pieces that you can pass along to your family with pride and love. I can already see him working late into the night with dust in his hair and stain all over his work clothes. Sounds like I’m setting up a romance novel, right. Well, that’s because he this super handsome artisan who is capable of creating so much beauty.
His partner in crime or in this case furniture, a one time boyfriend of mine, equally beautiful, but in a more computer nerd way, is in charge of the online marketing. He is a master with design and the visual, so I fully expect the venture to be a raving success.
Sean visiting me in Memphis with his partner Patrick
Sean is in the process of finishing their website where you can get an early peek at their work. In the meantime, they have created a temporary site (link below) and are running a contest that seems specifically made for me. The more people who visit their temporary site and enter an email address, the better chance I have of winning a handmade piece of furniture.
MIST AND FUME :: CLICK HERE
Though, since they both helped move me to Memphis, I’m sure they would say I don’t need MORE furniture, I still would love to have a piece by these two men I adore. I will say, my main goal is to tell you all about these two guys and Mist and Fume. I think you’ll hear a lot more about this Mississippi made furniture and the wonderful people behind it. Can you tell I love these guys? Best of luck to you both. muah
Last Sunday my travel partner and I split up for the day. We only had a day and a half in Berlin and each craved alone time. She had a handful of things picked out to do and I was in the pursuit of something I couldn’t quite name. With that said, the last thing I needed to do was bring her along for my crazy quest.
I took the underground and just get off somewhere that felt right. I walked back above ground somewhere around Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz along Carl Marx Allee in the old East Berlin.
I wanted to see the communist architecture. I wanted to daydream about what it would have been like to live there before the wall fell. I figured I’d find a bunch of people like me walking around the streets, but I didn’t. I really felt alone. Felt silly for snapping pictures of the giant tiled apartment buildings lining the street. Hours went by and by ,though, looking around I couldn’t tell I’d moved. The dreary buildings are copies of each other. Strange.
Sure, it’s been 22-23 years since reunification, but the history is tangible. Blessed with an active imagination, I found this graffiti lined park, took a seat and assigned myself a role.
It was 1985 and I was a spy for the west. With the fall in sight, my job was clearly very important. I won’t get into specifics but Jason Bourne has nothing on me. I looked fantastic in my furry hat and long wool coat, just in case you were wondering?
Kinda spy-like, huh? Maybe I need to toss the pink. I was feeling it, though.
Camille, my favorite travel partner, and I drove from Munich, to Nuremberg, to Dresden and ended in Berlin. I’m still forming my opinions on Berlin. All the friends we met along the way told us we just wouldn’t like Berlin as much as we did “their” cities. I loved their pride, and they might be right. Though, how much of a judgement can be made when only visiting a city for 2 days? My immediate judgement. It’s a city that feels cold and spread out. Maybe that’s exactly what it is and that isn’t necessarily negative. It was just a far contrast to the culture we experienced only days earlier in Bavaria where we joined people on picnic tables holding up head sized beer glasses until we craved the bed.
Sweetest roadside coffee break :: despite the cow odor coming from behind us
In Dresden Camille and I fell in love with our little hampleman
he he he
My half day walking the streets of East Berlin fit in perfectly with what turned out to be the theme of the trip.
Facts, dates and cramming so hard you’d have thought I was going to be tested upon return.
The day before Berlin Camille and I met this fun group in Dresden.
After an intense pool game, that my partner Robert (far left) and I won, we went to some trancy dance club where, sitting in a quiet corner, Robert gave me a little history lesson. The club had these old toys in glass cases along the wall, which as Robert tells me, are remnants from the old days.
Dresden was part of East Germany. He and I are the same age, so he would have been 7 when the wall fell. He was so good to let me ask question after question. He’s still letting me ask. Isn’t skype beautiful? Maybe he could/can tell how fascinated I was, and wants more people across the world to understand what people in the east went through. Once I properly explained how obsessed I now am with the stasi he told me a movie to watch. I just finished it. It ended with me staring at the computer with tears in my eyes. It’s called the Lives of Others and came out in 2006.
It’s a beautiful/touching film that was perfect to mark one week since walking the very streets where the movie was filmed. The movie also has actual shots of the stasi files, files that those who lived in the east are sure to be found :: their names and lives documented. They can find pictures, films and notes about who they talked to and where they went.
We also went to Nuremberg where Hitler built his giant Nazi rally site. They have created a wonderful museum, in the actual greek looking coliseum structure, that tells the story of how Nuremberg was used by Hitler. This one shot took my breath away. These are our American heroes sitting on top the big rally structure once it was seized. They look so proud :: so tired.
So, this was hardly a vacation. We did take time to enjoy the great beer culture. I have many new favorites that I’m trying to find here at home :: or somewhere in the country, at least.
Being a flower/plant freak I was was in awe of all the amazing geraiums and window boxes. Germany is so green. In parts so rural and beautiful. Everything was just so plush and alive, while my plants in Memphis are fighting for life during this heat wave.
I also got a big kick out of how hot Camille and I dealt with no a.c. We’ve both done plenty of traveling, but I don’t ever remember sweating like we did. She and I would wake up around 4 a.m. every morning and just look at each other. This was the scene in every one of our rooms. A very pathetic old school fan by our bed.
So, it was an amazing trip. In Dresden Camille and I were told we had to touch this statue thing that apparently brings a lifetime of happiness. It took everything we had, but we got our hands on it. The cities we visited have been bombed to hell and back. The people, though, are strong and clearly determined to not let their past get in the way of their futures. A beautiful lesson for me and Camille while in their country searching for beauty and inspiration.