Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coffee Tawk

Full disclosure: in the States I’m a two-latte-a-day grrl. My biggest concern is whether the barista fills my cup with enough milk before adding the foam.

But on PEI my tastes have changed radically in the space of—three days. Yesterday I went downtown to a great little bakery/café (Beanz) and felt like I was the only local in the long line ordering a latte.

Such a drink seems too soft, too pampered, on this beautiful but not-precious island, so I’m preferring a morning cup of tea instead.

Of course you know that Starbucks is nonexistent on the Island (perhaps in Atlantic Canada?) and that Tim Horton’s rules. The CBC news mentioned last night that after a long ownership by a US conglomerate, Tim Horton’s will be returning to Canada.

By the way, it was mind-bending to see Peter Mansbridge, with his white locks. I remember the glory days of Peter and Wendy Mesley, way back when.

Back to my coffee: Tim Horton’s is Mr. C’s coffee of choice; I actually find it too pricey and stick to my tea at home.

But ahh—Tim Horton’s—you have created a bit of a holy grail. Your shops are peppered with glowing photos of Tim mugs, and our family wants one. (The pottery one, not the car cup.) However, they’re either considered a curiosity: “We’ll get some in by Christmas!” or are sold out: “We expect some next week!”

I will not diverge from my quest, as Mr. C’s birthday is Friday and a Tim mug would be a perfect gift!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Miss Cellany: Lupin Edition

Although today is wet, my spirits are sunny.

Went for an early morning run along the water; stopped at the wharf to watch fishermen bring in their hauls (tomorrow is the last day of lobster catching on PEI; Nova Scotia goes next, then, I suppose, New Brunswick, and PEI resumes in Sept.).

Drove downtown to buy musical theatre tickets at Confederation Centre and then headed back to the beach to pick up lunch from the wharf (hot bowls of seafood chowder, accompanied by warm biscuits).

Spent a good half hour jigging the internet connection to gain access from our remote location (annoying).

Tried to comment on blogs, only to be disconnected each time. Still, some commenting accomplished.

So utterly inspired by Island beauty that am going to embroider fishing shacks and lupins while children read library books.

Think that wild lupins, in meadows, along roadsides, are most beautiful flower in world.

Ma Jeunesse

Today, at the surprisingly well-stocked Charlottetown library, we checked out a Carla Bruni CD, partly for some car-stereo groove, partly out of curiosity.

Her first song was “Ma Jeunesse,” which referred to not such a happy jeunesse, so it was with irony that I listened to it on my happy Island home.

It’s lovely to be here, to return to old favorite restaurants (Off Broadway, the inappropriately named café that serves delightful crepes, as well as Richard’s on the north shore wharf, which serves robust lobster rolls for a fraction of a café price).

My little cottage has a cathedral ceiling and shells hanging from the beams. It’s charming and beachy and simple, just what I wanted. And it will be a treat to spend my first Canada Day at home in 19 years!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Grrl in every Portland

On Thursday afternoon, as we were driving to Portland, Maine, for some reason Mr. C and I were telling our children where we were when we heard the news that Elvis had died. (I was on PEI; he in some East Coast neighborhood.)

When we arrived at our Portland hotel around 6:00, my daughter turned on the telly to learn that MJ died. Uncanny.

Getting that sad uncanniness out of the way, I must say that I adore Portland. I thought I did last summer, but my adoration has been confirmed tenfold.

I love the hills. Walking up hills is a favorite activity of mine.

I love the port. A functional waterside is a delight. There is, of course, a hint of “tough” to any port town, but I ultimately prefer it to “quaint” for everyday life.

I love the singular boutiques. One disappointment of, say, Soho, is its preponderance of mall stores. I don’t want to see J Crew or Chanel in Soho. I do like seeing quirky places in Portland, with labels I don’t recognize.

I love the salty air. So does my hair. (Rhyme unintentional and unapproved.)

But I admit, it is difficult to wear heels in Portland, with cobblestones and hills.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New York Stories: Easing on *Up* the Road

Today my daughters and I chased my fleet-footed FIL, a long-time NYCer, around Manhattan. His nickname is Mercury.

When we caught up, we had a delightful lunch at Bricco, whose charming owner is from Capri. The wall and ceiling of the front part of the restaurant is covered with signed lipstick kisses from lassies who have dined there. (This is also charming and not tacky at all.)

But no, I didn’t.

Then it was off to the races again, with our destination a matinee of The Wiz. I loved the production—not least because Dawnn Lewis, who I remember from A Different World, the Cosby Show spinoff, was playing a very glamourous good witch, wearing what had to be a Junya Watanabe-inspired ensemble.

LaChanze, who I’ve wanted to see for some time, was a superpower Glinda. What a voice! What grace and beauty!

And Tichina Arnold, who I vaguely remember from Martin, was channeling Lil Kim in her portrayal of Evillene, the wicked witch of the west, all sequin-bustier-and-leggings glory.

There was also Orlando Jones as the Wiz, and I know him, I truly do, but not from his stage, TV, and film credits. I actually think it's from his 7-Up ads (!!!).

Ashanti, who I didn’t know so I couldn’t remember her, played Dorothy. Great voice; minimal stage presence.

And I loved the set: it was a tornado funnel cloud, with the orchestra and backup singers winding along the curves.

Tomorrow we will continue easing on UP the road to Maine. Now I *really* don’t know when I’ll be back online, but do keep checking in! I hope to surprise myself . . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Of Beads and Thrones

When I was in Oberlin a while ago, we did a little window shopping and I was shocked, utterly shocked to see the chair of my dreams in a vitrine.

In the summer of 2007, I had purchased an O at Home magazine strictly because there was a wildly colorful beaded chair inside, residing at the apartment of Canadian editor Suzanne Boyd. (You can see it in the corner of the frame.)

The chair was from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, and apparently is a throne. Its ornamentation (the chair was beaded from head to toe) thrilled me. I’ve looked at the magazine about once a month for . . . well, two years now!

No, I didn’t purchase the chair, partly because I’m off on a month-and-a-half journey, partly because I just bought a birthday chair a couple of weeks ago. And partly because something troubles me about the rather colonial activity of buying someone's throne. But surely I can admire it!

I was delighted to see this chair in real life and will keep it in my memory.

The artist Dale Chihuly has one:

And here’s a cut-out version:

(My favorite is the “one piece” version, or, in summer speak, the maillot rather than the bikini.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

On Deck?

Sometimes when I read early American literature I immerse myself in conduct books—literature that told young men and women how to behave. If Austin Powers wrote a book, his would be called Oh Behave! (but I think his days of deck are over.)

Recognize the usage of “deck” in the parenthetical phrase? According to the Hipster Handbook, a conduct book for the early noughties, “deck” is the new “cool.” (“Fin” is “uncool.”)

This usage came to mind as I was looking at Balenciaga’s updated deck shoe. It’s tall, tall, tall, with a wedge heel. It has one of those jolie-laide vibes, to my mind.

So, gentle readers, is this deck shoe “deck” or “fin”? And if you'd wear it, how would you style it?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How to Get Ahead in the Art World

The New York Times’ image of two headless women in Civil war-era Dutch waxed-cotton dresses caught my attention, long before I realized that they were pointing pistols at each other’s (non-existent) heads.

This is a 2006 work by the Nigerian-English artist Yinka Shonibare, who explores racial and cultural identity in his sculptures, paintings, and films. A critic in the London Times Standard called his work “a little last decade,” and I know what he/she means—I was doing much the same during the nineties, but I still like to see the intersection of gorgeous colors/textiles with provocative, if "dated" ideas.

And what’s wrong with taking another look, anyway? The African American artist Robert Colescott (who died, sadly, the other week) was known, in part, for his racechange paintings, like George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware, below.

I crossed the Delaware myself this morning, and while it wasn’t necessarily an artful moment, I did consciously think of both Georges. My son was also singing a song about “George”; OK, my punny 4-year-old deliberately substituted “George” for “Joy.”

Another “last-decade” artist is the marvelous Faith Ringgold, whose story quilts riff on history and women’s work. This quilt from her Dancing at the Louvre book shows significant African American women quilting at Arles while Vincent looks on.

I suppose that Kara Walker could also be seen as a little “last-decade,” with her stunning but shocking silhouettes.

I do think that Shonibare’s work stands on its, own, though. It might not have a head, but it’s got legs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Love File

Yes, there really is a love file chez Cavendish, and yes, I am (mentally) humming the “Love Boat” theme as I write this. Let me quickly adjust to the O’Jay’s “Love Train” and I’ll be much happier. There.

Mr. C and I have kept a file since our wedding, though we haven’t looked in it for, oh, sixteen years. So I guess we updated it for a year or two and then forgot all about it.

The love file holds many things, including the title to our courtship vehicle, the few cards we received for our wedding (it was happily small, remember?), some billets doux we sent each other when he lived in Iceland, and my old hair.

As Mr. C was rummaging through the love file (currently kept in a box in our upstairs linen closet) looking for the aforementioned car title, he found a little lavender paper bag from Bergdorfs and some magazine clippings. There was Isabella, above, and Annette, below (pre-Lauer, thanks).

I had ripped out these images (from Mirabella!) in the early 90s because I was thinking about getting my rather long hair bobbed, and I loved the attitude in these clips.

The piece de resistance was in the bag: my dark blonde pony tail, measuring 13 inches. And it was from the rough cut, just above shoulder length, so you can imagine how long my hair was. (Well, maybe not crazy long for you, but the longest it has ever been for me.) I remember a couple of model-y types squealing when the talented Mark Garrison (then at Frederic Fekkai) made that first chop.

I don’t quite know what to do with the pony tail, but it seems a shame to throw it out, so I think I’ll leave it in the love file for awhile. It can simmer.

On a perhaps unrelated note, I’ll be venturing forth tomorrow via automobile, eventually climbing north through Massachusetts, through Portland, Maine, through Fredericton, NB, and then to the seashore.

I may not be wired for awhile, but I’d be so happy if you’d consider saving this post in your bloggy love file, if you will, and I’ll soon be dispatching from the beach. Or en route, if the stars align.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Short, Happy Career of a Paparazza

As I’ve been gearing up for my summer travels, I’ve been feeling nostalgic, whether I like it or not. Memories keep wafting over me, entering my dreams unbidden, curling up around me as I try to read a book, punctuating my writing at my computer.

So I gave in and looked through my box of childhood and teenage photos this morning.

I was happy to find this Polaroid shot of the new Princess Diana, taken BY ME, a tender teenager, when Diana visited Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, shortly into her marriage. How did I get so close to her? I must have been very pushy.

Princess Diana was a rock star in my eyes—I’d got up early to watch her wedding; even owned one of these black-sheep sweaters:

I still have it; am saving it for my daughters, unless it’s frightfully uncool by then.

I also loved this honeymoon photo (below) and when a loden green wool trouser suit with a similar blouson jacket found its way into a local boutique, I made sure to buy it, even though I was all of 17 and probably too young for the look.

Must go now and swat the memories down with my broom! I’d rather look forward today . . .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Blogging about CFDA

Per WendyB’s request, I am not blogging about the CFDA fashion awards, just popping in to point out a typo in the official website.

(It’s in the last paragraph.) Ommmmm.

Yes, CFDA, I am available for freelance proofreading/copyediting projects.


Do check out my *real* blog post on the sea / la mer below!

Somewhere . . . Beyond La Mer . . .

Ahh—the sea, the sea; la mer, la mer. I hear its siren song calling me.

Even though I *am* going seaward in couple of days, it’s not that kind of sea I’m thinking about.

No: La Mer moisturizing lotion has reentered my consciousness and I’m deciding whether to make a break or catch the wave, if you will.

I’ve used Janet Sartin moisturizer since I was 20, until I discovered La Mer sometime in the mid-90s. (Note: *the* mid-90s, not *my* mid-90s!) First I used La Mer's ridiculously expensive cream, then changed to the lighter moisturizer when it was developed.

The moisturizer is delightful—a lovely clean scent, greaseless (of course!) coverage, and an ability to leave one’s skin glowing.

It is, however, to my mind, an indulgence in this economy, so when I ran out, I returned to Janet Sartin, and when I ran out of that, I tried *something* that I didn’t have to order. (Janet Sartin is available from her spa in NYC.)

But last night, when I had run out of my *something,* I discovered a new sample of La Mer moisturizer in my bathroom cabinet. I used it, loved it all over again, and am contemplating whether to take the plunge for a new pump bottle. Its price has risen--umm, considerably?--since I last bought it.

So I thought I’d request another small sample from my smart readers: Do you indulge in your moisturizer, or is *something* from your local pharmacy adequate? Is it a question of mind over matter? Or does super-quality moisturizer (read: pricey) really matter to you?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To Be or not To Be . . . "Pretty"?

Yesterday I read Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Pretty, which closed on Broadway today, after it didn’t win any of the Tony awards for which it was nominated.

LaBute is well known for his searing portraits of misogynists (in the film The Company of Men, for instance) as well as his not-quite-innocent women (in the play The Shape of Things, which Mr. C saw in London).

(I chatted with LaBute once, at a premiere, and was struck by how utterly affable, genial, and just plain likeable he was. He seemed like he’d be a great pal, as long as he wasn’t doing “research” during the friendship.)

Reasons to Be Pretty opens as a young woman verbally lashes her boyfriend for comparing her face to that of a “pretty” girl, and, while finding his girlfriend’s face regular” in comparison, he still prefers her overall.

Thus the play begins its riff on a number of literary texts, with the unspoken reference to Shakespeare’s "Sonnet 130"—you know—the one in which the Bard compares his very real beloved to an idealized Elizabethan beauty, and ultimately prefers someone who treads upon the ground to an unattainable goddess.

After that unnamed foundational source, LaBute has his hero (the one who made the "regular" comment to his buddy, who was, in fact, encouraged to do so in an Eve Sedgwick locker-room homosocial kind of moment) reading several works: an unnamed Poe (remember his heroines?); Hawthorne’s “The Birth Mark” (a scientist feels his bride’s beauty is marred by a facial birth mark; he chemically removes it, but the process kills her; the most beautiful woman is a dead woman?!); Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” (chap awakens after a long sleep; parallels the awakening of our hero, but also refers to Rip's freedom from “petticoat government”—the tyranny of his wife); and finally, something by Swift (Gulliver? Man becomes very small and then very large in terms of political [and moral] importance? “Modest Proposal?” Is this all satire?)

I often ask readers whether they’d like to receive or send Sonnet 130 as a love poem, and they usually say “NO!” or “ . . . Maybe, but with lots of context.” Because people don’t like to be told that they’re regular, not pretty.

So I appreciated the monologue by the one “pretty” woman, Carly (which, along with the other three monologues, were deleted when the show hit Broadway), because it examined the “pretty woman’s” plight in society: she becomes defined by her prettiness.

A former professor of mine once went to a party at the home of David Janssen, the movie actor, and when his beautiful wife Dani opened the door, my prof. was speechless; he couldn’t stop gazing at her. “It’s a burden, isn’t it,” she offered, as she knew that her beauty was another guest at the party.

It’s the Farrah Fawcett/Charlize Theron syndrome: to be taken seriously as actresses they had to deprettify; even Jessica Biehl has been quoted as saying that she’s considered too pretty for a number of roles.

So LaBute raises—but does not try to resolve—some important issues: do we want to be told we’re Shakespeare’s “regular” “dark lady” or the shiny, artificial beloved?

How about neither?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Details, Details

My eldest (who’s nine) was away at summer camp for my birthday, so she gave me her hand-made gift on Friday. She took some lovely Anna Maria Horner fabric and engaged in a bit of patchwork, using embroidery thread.

I love to see how she puts together fabric and colored floss; indeed a hand-made present from my children is my very favorite kind of gift.

However, a second-favorite is something hand-made by someone else. Yesterday, after retrieving my daughter from summer camp, we continued north to a wonderful little antique shop set in an old carriage barn.

We had bought a four-poster antique cradle (with some Pennsylvania red paint still clinging to the wood) for our children there some ten years ago and love the owner’s eye. Each baby slept in that cradle, with bumper pads custom made by me (by hand). I actually completed them during my ninth pregnant month, while wearing two wrist braces, so aggressive was my pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. But that’s another story, for a different blog.

Back to my narrative: Yesterday I found two objects that are perfect for my home: the first, a gift for myself, this 1870s hand-painted chair from Pennsylvania. I love the original brushwork, still intact, with its delicate rose-and-gold colors.

The second is more of a family gift, an early 1900s dovetail-wood grain bin from Ohio that’s compact enough to function as a toy chest. It’s sitting happily beside my Art Deco armoire from Nancy, France (I have no problem mixing continents or primitive and formal pieces).

Above it I plan to place this absolutely beautiful print by the talented Thomas D. Meyer. It is, of course, a detail from the Chanel 2009 collection, of a headpiece that I adored then and now. I brought the print to a frame shop today and will try to take a proper picture of it above the grain bin later this summer, upon its return. I found it on the Etsy site of Jamie Shelman, also a talented artist, who’s Thomas’s wife.

Who says that Chanel and antique grain bins don’t mix? I like the juxtaposition of delicate white paper flowers with sturdy wooden bin sides. And this print (not to mention the stuffed animals currently residing in the repurposed grain bin will keep that corner of the room youthful.

Friday, June 12, 2009

In Concert

Last night I went to an intimate concert that showcased a guitar player who is an heir to rock royalty. This kind of concert is not typically my thing at all atall atallllll, so I was pleasantly surprised when the lead singer did a little Curtis Mayfield.

The event was held in a grand old theatre, original light-up sign, ornate gilt work, carvings, and beautiful paintings on the ceiling and wall throughout.

I dressed for the theatre: gold-and-cream sparkly/patent shoes; deep-v, body-hugging brown-and-white dotted dress; beige linen shawl-collar short trapeze jacket dotted with matte pewter sequins.

My ensemble had a jazz-era vibe, which was all wrong for the concert, a blue-jeans event, but I don’t even own any jeans at the moment, so I did my own thing.

I truly appreciated the artistry of the musicians, though I must confess that during some of the extended guitar solos, I stretched my legs out into the aisle to watch how my sparkly gold shoes caught the light (very nicely indeed!).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Motoring About

When I moved to this country, I landed in a college town where students zipped around on motorized scooters (didn’t see Razor scooters till I went to London and saw business types weaving through the sidewalk traffic in their suits).

I thought about buying a Vespa, especially after seeing Audrey in Roman Holiday, but stuck to my Miele bike, which was better exercise.

Vespas are still close to my heart, though, which may be why, for my birthday today, my family gave me this notebook.

Mr. C says it's red to match the Prince Edward Island soil.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On the Sandalfront (I coulda been a contendah!)


Ahhh--diabolical J Crew: there's a reason why you do not show models wearing these sandals. The first strap crosses only the first four digits of one's foot. Bad, bad design!! The silver sandal below isn;t much better. Going back!

There’s a minor two-part gap in my summer footwear.

Last year I bought this pair of Chie Mihara sandals (in a softer gray than this image, immediately below), and I love them—with shorts. Try them with a dress, and the effect is almost Birkenstock-y, which is not my aesthetic.

So I’m looking for a particularly thin pair of strappy flats that will complement floaty summer dresses. That’s the first gap.

Above, at the top of the page, is a contender, from J Crew.

And the second gap is a pair of silver sandals that aren’t too pretty or too clunky. I don’t want garden-party sweetness or Frankenfoot clompers.

Well, then, J Crew just happens to have these on sale.

Perhaps . . .

Gelato Tonight

Just when I was feeling grumpy about not having any ice cream last night, the Tony Awards showed a scene from West Side Story in which the dancers wore gelato-hued dresses, with stiff tulle petticoats that crisply swished as everyone twirled.

Last night? I really should have said “Tonight.”

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Redwork Pillowcases

Here’s a close-up of the thank-you gifts I’m making my daughters’ teachers.

I like to embroider on vintage pillowcases (with white tatting trim) in what nineteenth-century embroiderers called “turkey red” floss. Obviously, everything is drawn freehand, so nothing is "perfect," but I always prefer things that are a little "off."

One pillowcase has the teacher’s name, with an apple in the middle; the other has our school’s name, with its crest in the middle.

This image is a literal scan—I placed the pillowcases directly on the scanner!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Of GOOP and Gams

Goopy legs or not (thanks, Daily Mail, for that term), Gwyneth looks fabulous in this dress that appears to be Balmain. How I covet these shoulders!

And I might even bring this photo of her choppy long bob to my salon next time. Just call this post “Covetous Fridays.”

Pippi or Peau?

Today my daughter’s entire grade dressed up as characters from Pippi Longstocking. We made her a crazy patched dress and braided her hair, but stopped short of dying her white-blonde hair fire-engine red. (I was surprised by how many girls went for it! In truth, I didn’t even think of giving her red hair. Must have been subconscious memories of this.)

Anyway, the vision of some 55 girls and boys in Pippi attire was completely adorable. The day got me thinking, though: if I were to dress up as a literary character, I think I’d choose the heroine of Peau d’ane. You all know the gorgeous film costumes, bien sur, seen here and here, but have you seen some of the fanciful illustrations from the written editions? They’re delightful, as above.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Amuse Bouche

Remember when people were making a fuss over Madonna’s LV bunny ears?

I really don’t know what the rumpus was all about;

It’s just that these became a little wrinkly so she tried lifting them . . .

to avoid looking like day-old baguettes.

Wedding Belle Blues

Longtime readers of this blog will remember that I’m not a wedding person. (I’m not dissing anyone else’s choices; just stating my own aesthetic.)

My own wedding took perhaps a few days of planning, most of it devoted to selecting our rings and to figuring out what I would wear.

I believe I’ve written here that I so very much wanted to buy a Chanel navy blue dress, but as I was a second-year graduate student, its $2800 price tag (price point sounds too MBA) was far beyond my means. And since I was a longtime orphan (cue the self-pitying violins), there was no family help.

So I shopped in my closet and wore a great Willi Smith le smoking and was perfectly happy. And then I learned that both my mother and grandmother wore black to their weddings, so I was even carrying on a tradition. I still think about the dress that got away, though.

Enter this month’s Vogue, with its photographs of Sasha and Igor’s wedding reenactment. I’m in thrall to the LV pink dress above and below, worn with an edgy black petticoat. It’s touted as a going-away dress, but I’d wear it to my ceremony with glee. Look, it’s even accessorized with bunny ears.

And, almost eighteen years later, my current wedding dress choice costs a familiar $2800 (sans petticoat).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Of Ghillies and Grrrlz

The last time I used the word “gillies” in a post, I was writing about Isabel Gillies’ Vogue piece about her cad of an ex-husband. OK—apparently he’s a good ex-husband, but he was a cad of a husband.

But tonight, perhaps inspired by Stavros Flatley,

Undoubtedly inspired by a pair of Kate Spade shoes I saw in a recent NYT but cannot find online because they’re for fall,

I’m thinking about “ghillies”—soft leather lace-up shoes worn to perform both Irish jigs and the Highland Fling (though the shoe for each dance is different. I believe).

I’ve always been drawn to lace-up shoes, though I more often than not find the laces lacking—they’re either too waxy to hold a knot or they manage to look cheap juxtaposed with the leather of the shoe.

(That was my one concern about the Opening Ceremony shoes from a few posts back.)

Although I utterly lost interest in Kate Spade yearrrs ago, I’m looking forward to taking a peek at her ghillies for fall. Her collections are still too cute for me (popped into her Chicago boutique in March) and she uses too much gold hardware for my taste, but as I’m fond of anticipation, I’ll file the memory of the ghillies away until August.

And you *do* know that I used to wear full Highland dress at boarding school, so the fit might be right. At least I won’t have to spit shine them (I think they’re suede!).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Days of Homes and Heaven

One of my favorite films is Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. Like so many other people, I adore its art direction, especially the scenes with that magnificent house all by itself on the prairie. (People have speculated that it was modelled after an Edward Hopper painting. The Andrew Wyeth painting Christina's World also has this mood.)

I’ve always loved large, isolated houses that have a great deal of character. Another favorite is Mary Mason Jones’ place, built on 5th Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets when Central Park was still called “the wilderness.”

Jones was Edith Wharton’s aunt and she was considered very brave indeed live physically outside the boundaries of polite society. This photo doesn’t show how the Jones mansion was truly all alone, but it was, until other “Marble Row” homes were built.

Now, of course, a shop occupies Jones’s once groundbreaking space. Can anyone remind me which one?

This photograph of the Don Cesar hotel in Florida has that same quality of being nestled alone among the dunes. Of course it’s an optical illusion, but one that I like to sustain.