Monday, January 26, 2015

Lola's Open Studio

Happy to be on a Hat Mission
to Lola's in Bushwick
Tonight as I sit here in my studio, all cosy, un tempête de neige grows stronger outside my window. Three feet, they say. Thunder too. Hurricane-force winds. This morning I stocked up at our local supermarket which was very crowded. But the people were quite polite. New Yorkers tend to band together in a difficult situation. We are good neighbors.

It's a good thing that I did shop, because my food delivery service, Fresh Direct, cancelled my delivery for Wednesday. Everyone is acting out of an abundance of caution. No vehicles are allowed on New York City streets tonight after 11 pm.

So it is with great pleasure, that I recall my visit to Lola, hatter extraordinaire, in Bushwick last Friday, accompanied with my two hat-loving pals, Elke and Nonnie.

Outside Lola's building in Bushwick.
Each Friday she hosts an Open Studio and sample sale.
I am wearing my Lola patchwork hat.
 Elke arrives in a splendid blue boa.
Nonnie wears a beret which suits her
perfectly. Sadly, it's one of Lola's archival pieces,
and not part of the sale.
 A display in Lola's loft.
This is a bag she had when she was 18.
 J'adore this 20's style cloche.
 Lola has a way with bows.
 Oh...parfait pour ce soir!
 Tower of berets.
These hats were available for purchase.
 I try on a satin and tulle confection.
 One of Lola's first hats.
 Come along and sing a song and join the jamboree.
 Selfie with Summer Straw.
 Elke looking very Greta Garboish in
 the Ear Hat
 Lola is laughing because we were
all oohing and aahing over
this hat!
We were simply turned on edge by our visit!!!

À Bientôt!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lazy Girl in Antigua, Episode 2

You won't believe whose 
house I found.
On my recent trip to Antigua, I had the pleasure of a day at Half Moon Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. A pristine crescent of sand meets the azure sea, while vegetation marches upward from the beach's edge.

We walked to the far end of the beach, near a secluded grove of trees where we could place our bags and towels and avoid the sun's rays. Locals had constructed rustic benches and tables there. Our driver, Marcos, told us that Paul Mellon's house was above this spot on the beach.

Half Moon Bay 
The swimming was great -- the water warm.
At the entrance to the Bay,
the surf crashed and pounded the rocks.
Returning from my swim I noticed some
steps leading up from the beach.
Intrepidly, I climbed until I encountered
Indeed, it was none other than the house
of Rachel Lowe (Bunny) Mellon, horticulturalist,
gardner, philantropist and art collector.
Femme et Fleur readers will remember that I
recently attended an auction of her belongings,
along with my sisters, Jeanne and Susan, at Sotheby's.
Photo by Dolores Barclay
Bunny's house, as see from sea.
The house and private grounds,
are part of the Mill Reef Club, a private resort.
The estate is for sale for $6,950,000. Mrs. Mellon died last March.

From Christie's International Real Estate:
Gracefully occupying more than 17 verdant acres on Half Moon Bay, this exclusive estate is ideally situated in the Mill Reef Club. A main residence, guest house of three bedrooms, staff house, music house, and multiple outbuildings, each built in classic British-Colonial style, offer a lifestyle of refined tropical luxury.

The estate's main entrance opens to reveal manicured gardens arrayed around the property. A grand double staircase, overlooking a courtyard and reflecting pool, introduce the main residence. Imaginatively designed, the home abounds with inspired alfresco living spaces creating an indoor-outdoor ambiance perfectly suited to the surroundings.

A lavish double master suite overlooks the Bay and the flower gardens. A library or guest room with views of the reflecting pool provides a quiet retreat, while the great room sets the stage for grand entertaining with a vast terrace looking out onto Half Moon Bay. Opening onto another waterfront terrace, the dining room gives way to a lovely orchid nursery. The wine cellar resides below the kitchen and opens onto a seating area with access to the pool and the garden.

Custom designed to capture the tropical trade winds blowing across the island, the house needs no air conditioning. The structure was constructed of local stone quarried on the property, and the foot-thick walls give it the look and feel of a beautifully maintained 250-year-old plantation home. A functioning water catchment facility, cisterns, and various administrative outbuildings support the residence.

A substantial pool, a poolhouse including changing rooms and a kitchen, two greenhouses, vegetable gardens, and a citrus orchard also adorn the property. The expansive grounds gently slope toward the water, affording direct access to one of the most secluded and stunning beaches in the Caribbean. Additional acreage is available.

A peek at the house as seen from the Blue Gate.
 After our swim, we had a delightful lunch of
grilled shrimp and chicken curry roti here
at Tipi's Beach Shack.
 Suzanne helped us with our orders.
My Guinness was delicious.
A tip of the hat to my traveling companion, Tobi Barclay,
who took great shots of me for
these Antigua posts.

À Bientôt!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lazy Girl in the Caribbean, Episode One

A House in Antigua
Lazy Girl flew to the island of Antigua last week for a brief vacation. The temperature was in the 80s and simply delightful. I packed a variety of summer clothes - a black shift, my green sunhat, and my Muzunga Sisters Moroccan caftan. But I took too much. Life is simple there, and even though I love to change my clothes several times a day, a few cotton shifts would have sufficed.
 American Airlines flight 1226 coming in
for a landing over the Caribbean Sea.
Relaxing on a chaise at Harmony Hall's beach,
a charming hotel, restaurant and gallery in 
walking distance of our house.
Photo by Dolores Barclay
 Me standing on the road to our house
which was situated on a jut of land
overlooking the ocean.
This was a girl friend trip and I
was with my college roommate, Dolores
(Tobi) Barclay, and another college friend,
The house and pool at sunset.
A famous rock star lives next door, and we
used his wi fi.
 I am perched on a landing where 65 steps
lead down to the pier below.
Photo by Dolores Barclay.
Each of the house's three bedrooms
opened onto the pool.
My room is on the right.
My bedroom with mosquito netting.
They were biting in the evening, but
the netting kept me safe.
I added decor (my beads and bracelets, hat
and bag).
 Both Tobi and Hermione are excellent cooks
and we had lovely appetizers that Tobi
brought from New York and delicious
meals each night.
 A large yacht anchored off our point.
 A view of the property.
Former Italian premier, Berlusconi, 
lives across the bay.
 The house and grounds.
 The pool.
Surprise! There was no hot water at the house.
Here is our outdoor shower which we
augmented with pots of water heated on the stove.

À Bientôt!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lazy Girl, Season Teaser

Ready for Antigua!
Lazy Girl is going on vacation -- to Antigua in the Caribbean. I am leaving tomorrow with my two college girlfriends for a week in the sun (covered up and properly sun-blocked, of course).

Not to worry, His Majesty, Richard Cramer I, will be properly looked after in the the manner to which he is accustomed. Her Majesty, Princess Dianna, and her consort, his Grace, Michael, will be coming from Chicago to keep His Majesty company whilst he feasts upon roasted swan and oysters. (I have been binging on The Tudors. Can you tell?)

To get ready for Antigua, I took myself to Sasoon Salon today for a color treatment. Oh, oh, the cat is out of the bag. I color my hair. How liberating to say it. Hair color is out of the closet, and I'm proud.
We had snow today in NYC.
And it's Dead Christmas Tree Time in the City.
I am happy to say that we have a tree mulching program.
 Kat greets me for my 10:15 appointment.
A bit of breakfast while waiting for Violet,
my colorist.
 Beautiful beauty products for the hair.
 Precision cuts are the hallmark of
Sassoon Salon since British-born Vidal Sassoon began
 the firm in 1965 with his Bauhaus-inspired wedge cut.
 The salon.
Tuesdays are quiet, and the snow.....
Eileen offers me a robe.
 The color room.
 Magazines for my perusal.
 The magic, as Violet calls it.
Violet has been coloring my hair at Sassoon
on and off (mostly on) since 1985.
We chat about her two teenage sons who play
squash and run track.
 Reading the Times while my color sets.
Airlines are leaving behind their colorful outfits
in favor of the Bland Look.
American Airlines, on which I am flying to Antigua tomorrow,
now has GRAY uniforms.
 Sheomara is an assistant in training.
 Jen is also in training.
Sassoon is simply the best when
it comes to training to be a stylist or colorist.
No bland looks for Sheomara and Jen!
 Pasha did my blow dry to perfection.
 After, I stop at City Bakery
to buy Mac and Cheese to take home
for lunch.
 City Bakery was founded in 1985.
They used to make wonderful chocolate tarts,
but one day just stopped.
Now they make giant cookies.
 This gentleman told me he used to have
a bakery in my Lower East Side neighborhood
in the late 1960s.
 Easter eggs in January.
Who cares? They are pretty.
 Lunch was delicious.
 Giant cookies waiting
to fatten you up.
Forget it, I already can't fit in to my pants.
Lazy Girl will see you in Antigua!

À Bientôt!