Friday, December 8, 2017

Wednesday with Carol - The West Village

I walk the West Village
We used to live in the West Village at 283 West 11th Street near the corner of Bleecker Street. We had been living on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side, but the building was being sold so we had to move. Back then you looked in the Village Voice newspaper for rentals. I found one on 11th Street but I had no idea where the place was. Richard went to look at it, then called me at work to come over. I jumped in a cab and went to look at the apartment, a 5th floor walk-up. Although it was rather shabby, and as I found out, hard to keep clean, we rented it. The view was fabulous. We looked south over the roofs of charming townhouses all the way down to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

One day in August 2001, I was standing on the corner of Bleecker and West 11th, when I had a premonition. The thought entered my mind that New York could be attacked. A month later, on September 9, 2001, a plane flew over the spot where I had been standing and crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Richard and I saw the planes fly into the buildings, and we saw the buildings crumble in billows of gray smoke. That night, we were in shock as we listened to the fighter jets circling Manhattan.

We lived in the West Village for about 10 years, and I loved it. There were antique stores, and the Parrot Jungle store across the street and a good book store on the corner. There was the Lafayette Bakery where I bought Napoleons on my way home from work. When I retired I made art in a creative frenzy in the front room of the apartment.

But since then, the West Village has changed. It is still essentially charming but much of retail shops are empty. Along Bleecker Street, for-rent signs are ubiquitous. Parrot Jungle long ago became the Magnolia Bakery. Ladies and gents, Marc Jacobs, who jumped on the hot retail scene years ago, has left the building. Still, a spirit guided me there to wander. 
It's chilly, and the winter sunshine is muted but
kind of glinty gold.
West Village icon, Bigelow's, a fancy pharmacy.
 The Jefferson Market Garden. The gate is locked,
 but I saw a gardener tidying up.
At a side window of Aedes Perfumery
dusty, esoteric elixirs.
The Diana Broussard shop on Christopher Street.
 Exquisite dresses which have been 
embroidered, then overprinted and Ms. Broussard's
resin necklaces.
Winter light in the Broussard shop
with her pearl necklaces and earrings.
 Pretty Christmas decor on Perry Street.
 I stopped at Cafe Cluny for lunch.
This is the view in the bathroom.
 It's warm and cozy inside.
 When in the West Village, I never miss the chance to
shop at Lilac Chocolates and buy French Mints...
 and a dark-chocolate caramel bar.
 At the Orla Kiely boutique
an oh-so-romantic frock.
 Classic beauty with a grass-green skirt,
at Ms. Kiely's shop.
As I walked down Bleecker, I spied Zuri.
Ever since I read the New York Times piece about the two
 New York women who founded Zuri, I have
been enamoured of their one-style tunic dresses.
It's described as the perfect dress:  wrinkle resistant,
airy and figure flattering.
The fabrics are Dutch waxed cottons purchased from
the markets of Kenya. I purchased this one called "Amplify".
 The available patterns. They change often.
 The afternoon would not have been complete without
a visit to my friend, Rosemary Wettenhall,
owner of the vintage boutique, Madame Matovu.
 Her shop is a fascinating treasure trove.
And Madame always has beautifully
curated windows.
 A village staple.
You can smell the bacon from the sidewalk.
And the rice pudding is GOOD.

A Bientot!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Wednesday with Carol: Markels in Manhattan

A Markel Meet-Up to See
Volez Voguez Voyager 
with Louis Vuitton
Just so happens that the classic French brand, Louis Vuitton, is doing some super branding in New York City at the moment. They've got an ultra-cool exhibit at the American Stock Exchange, revealing all the aspects of travel for which they have designed luggage since 1874 when Louis Vuitton founded the company.

The exhibit installation is amazing and elegant and showcases the luggage and accouterments to a Louis V.

On a warm November day, the sun shone on the Markels as we gathered on Trinity Place, to share some sister and brother time -- and see this exhibit. With me were Susan, David, Jeanne and niece, Samantha.
V for Vuitton.
L - R: David, Susan, Carol and Jeanne. 
This show is free.
 At the entrance to the exhibit, a magical, digital animation of
a subway car pulls in to the station every few minutes.
 The doors open and close, and you can virtually
enter the car.
 I had to stop this lady for a photo.
Her wonderful coat is by Dries Van Noten.
 In 1835, at the age of 14, Louis Vuitton left
his native village in the Jura Mountains of France
and walked to Paris. It took him 2 years.
 He founded his company in 1854.
Jeanne poses with a valise.
 The style of this trunk evinces the French sense of
beauty and functionality.
This luggage is not for stuffing in overhead bins.
 A gentleman's haberdashery.
 Louis Vuitton invented the
vertical wardrobe trunk.
Note the canvas bands on the drawer
which was for hats.
 Ribbons were carried in the trunk to
tie the hats up to the canvas strips 
 to suspend and secure them.
A few wrinkles? No matter, an ironing
board (and ladies maid) were handy.
 Some beautiful accessories of yesteryear.
 Shoe trunk for 30 pairs of shoes 
once belonging to Yvonne Printemps,
a famous singer of the day.
Sea travel became a craze in the
early 20th century.
Vuitton invented the steamer bag, shown above.
The exhibit designers created a yacht's
prow, and it was full steam ahead...
the wind in our hair....
 Susan and Jeanne pose with the yacht's sail.
 The aviation section of the exhibit.
 Welcome aboard the Orient Express with a passing
landscape in the window.

 Trunk specifications for famous designers.

 Katherine Hepburn's gown and trunk.
 Paul Poiret's painting smock.
It had some paint on it.
 After the exhibit, we went to lunch at the
Pound and Pence pub. Susan gave David a
pepper for his birthday, and she gave me a delightful
vintage party decoration.
 Jeanne and I shared a Guinness.
After the pub, it was off to Petee's Pie
on Delancey Street.

 Very scrumptious, indeed.

A Bientot!