Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pictures from the Oysterponds Benefit

All dressed up with 
some place to go.
Each summer, on the first weekend of August, The Oysterponds Historical Society holds its Summer Benefit. It's a marvelous soirée held in Poquatuck Park in the village of Orient. The name "Poquatuck" was coined by the Corchaug Indians who lived in the area beginning in 900 AD. Real estate was considerably cheaper back then and the tomatoes weren't called heirloom. They were just tomatoes.

In 1661, some English families heard about Poquatuck from their town crier  -- Oyez, Oyez. We hear Poquatuck is hot -- and left for the New World. Upon seeing all the oysters and clams washed up upon the beaches, they named the place Oysterponds, which sounded a lot better than Clamponds. Everything was hunky-dory until British troops arrived in 1776 to guard the land for King George III. That's when some of the original families decided they'd rather live in Connecticut.

Eventually some creative types named the area Orient because it was the most Eastern point on the North Fork of Long Island. Now the Oysterponds Historical Society keeps all this history in order and puts on exhibitions with a lot of old stuff from 900 AD to the present.
I did the drawing for the 2013 Summer Benefit invitation,
 and my sister, Jeanne, did the graphic design.
 The handwritten copy idea came from this drawing I did
when I was in Nice, France.
Richard and I arrive in style to the 2013 benefit. 
Reprising an earlier leaning photo, siblings:
Dave, Carol, Jeanne and Susan.

Original leaning sib photo
in our parents' yard in Southold.
Our portrait from the 2014 Benefit.

The Benefit photos are by Holly Mastrangelo.
See her website here.

À Bientôt!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Je peux lire en français

Dreamy French Bookstore
Opens in New York
Bonjour, mes amis.
Il y a une nouvelle librairie française à New York.

There's a new French bookstore in New York. 

It's called "Albertine" after a female character in the
 Marcel Proust work, 
In Search of Lost Time.
Last weekend, Richard and I went uptown in search of Albertine and art. Our first stop was the Jewish Museum to see an exhibition of the work of Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, two painters working in the late forties and early fifties. Lee Krasner was married to Jackson Pollack.

Ms. Krasner's abstract expressionist paintings were wonderful, and after seeing the show, we took a bus down Fifth Avenue to the French Embassy, between 78th and 79th Streets, to explore their beautiful new French and English bookstore, Albertine.
The entrance to the French Embassy
Albertine has 14,000 titles in
French and English.
The French Embassy is
housed in an elegant Stanford White mansion.
The books have been collected from
30 French-speaking countries.
The decor is quite elegant.
Note the green satin ribbon twisted
around the hanging lamp.
The rooms were designed with
the feeling of a grand
private French library.

The pink covered book,
The Little Girl and the Cigarette
by Benoit Duteurtre,
fascinated me.
So stop by when it's open and
experience la vie française
à New York.
It will be our secret, n'est pas?
After la librairie, we saw this
 magnificent display on the
way to our dinner at Cafe Boulud
in the Surrey Hotel.
The chef sent out this scrumptious
chestnut soup.
Such a pretty color.
A souvenir from this summer,
when dining at 18Bay on
Shelter Island.
Photo by Jeanne Markel

To learn more about Albertine,
look here.

À Bientôt!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Color in its Various Forms

Color + Geometry
A Blast from the Past
Today's theme, class, will be strong color and geometric shape as utilized by a French street artist, an unknown painter of walls, a Swedish artist and yours truly.
This is a fresco on a wall at the entrance to the new boutique, which just opened in Soho, New York City, of French jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann. It's by the French street artist and muralist who goes by the name of Remed. On a recent walk through Soho, it immediately caught my eye as an original and dynamic use of color and shape.
While walking on Allen Street, between Delancey and Broome,
 I spied this wonderful painting on the side of a building. 
Diagonals have always attracted me.
This is a painting by Olle Baertling (1911-1981), a Swedish artist.
It was done in 1958.
The size is 76" x 38".

In the 1970s I was looking at Baertling for inspiration for my paintings.  In 1978, Richard and I organized a show in Philadelphia called: The Courthouse Show -- Elemental Painting. It featured 15 abstract painters and was installed at the Federal Courthouse building in Center City.
Me and my paintings at The Courthouse Show, 1978.
Today I am still using diagonals in the design of my hats.
These works were spray painted with an air brush.

À Bientôt!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Advanced Style The Documentary

A Rousing Good Time 
at the City Winery
On Monday night, Richard and I attended an event for Advanced Style The Documentary at The City Winery, a performance space, restaurant and bar. It was a packed house, and anticipation was high to see Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador of Barneys, who would MC the evening, and the gals of Advanced Style.

High glam was in evidence among the Advanced Style ladies and others. 
The Sequin Girls:
Me with Jessica Bonarius,
a lovely lady from England who 
is in New York doing a costume design internship.
Simon kicks off the evening by introducing Ari Seth Cohen,
creator of both the blog and the book, Advanced Style, and
Lina Plioplyte, director of the film.
On the stage with them were the Advanced Style
ladies who star in the film.
Before going to the City Winery, we stopped by our
favorite Soho restaurant, Savore, and encountered these lively
gals who were also going to the Advanced Style event.
They had travelled all the way from New Haven, Connecticut.
Richard with jewelry designer, Diana Gabriel.
Don't you love the green and red?
 Simon lobbed provocative questions at the Advanced Style
stars, who parried them expertly.
From left: Joyce Carpati, Debra Rapoport and Ilona Royce Smithkin.
 From left: Lynn Dell, Tziporah Salamon and Jacquie Tajah Murdock.
Joyce makes a point.
Elke in a necklace of her own design.
 Val looking très soigné.
Richard with Jeri and Rory, who
we met this summer at a restaurant on Shelter Island. 
Jean and Alice
Jacquie and friend.
The evening ended with a cabaret show 
with Ilona and her ubiquitous red boa.
 It was a lovely party.

Hope you will all go and see the film,
Advanced Style, in a theatre near you.

For more information, go here:

À Bientôt!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Back in the Day

An Hawaiian Sojourn
(with strings)
Back in the day -- sometime in the early eighties, I worked for an insurance company in Philadelphia. It was called Fidelity Mutual, and they were located in center city across from city hall. I was their graphic designer. I worked there for 11 years, and toward the end of my tenure, they moved to Ardmore, in the suburbs. Up to this point, I had walked to work, and when they moved, I found myself doing the reverse commute on a rickety trolley called the Norristown Line.
Mind you, I had no formal training as a graphic designer, having followed the perfectly useless majors of art and English in college. But I am a quick study, and I needed a job -- so I learned on the job, while not letting on that I was learning on the job.

I was a kind of artsy handy woman at the company, and they asked me to do all sorts of things remotely related to being a graphic designer. For instance, I was expected to take pictures at company functions. This led to an invitation to attend the company sales conference, in Hawaii. The catch? I was to be the official photographer.

But what to wear? Richard and I took ourselves off to New York, to Henri Bendel, the hallowed hall of Geraldine Stutz. This brilliant woman had transformed Bendel's first floor -- creating a bevy of boutiques. The upper floors were awash in chic fashion too, with alcoves full of Jean Muir or Jean de Castelbajac. It was an exotic box of bons bons like no other.
Geraldine Stutz, President of Henri Bendel
from 1958 to 1986.

A saleswoman promptly took us in hand. We looked at Comme des Garcons first. Comme des what? The boutique was like a sparse store in a Russian-bloc country, with lonely items of clothing hanging at spacious intervals on the rack. I bought a white, cotton jacket.
Wearing my Comme des Garcons jacket.

But it was only when we entered that Ralph Lauren boutique that my heart started to flutter. "You are a Ralph girl," the saleswoman exclaimed. And so I was. I purchased a pair of deep-blue linen palazzo pants, a calf-length floral print skirt, a long denim skirt and a white-linen suit with a pleated skirt.
When we arrived at the Kona Surf Hotel on the big island of Hawaii, I debuted my new clothes. And it did not take long for my chic wardrobe to be noted among the chattering class.  One day I overheard a boring insurance salesman's wife remark in a stage whisper to her boring friend, "What's she got on now?" My self-esteem was only a little chipped. I knew I looked good.
Richard bought us each a genuine Hawaiian shirt.

And the photographs I was supposed to take? When the time came, I panicked and could not operate my camera, at which point, my boss said, "Oh don't worry, I hired a photographer."
Richard enjoying a cold brew.

Fidelity Mutual is long gone, but each month I receive precisely $118.22 from my pension with the company. Enough for several lipsticks from a Bendel boutique of yore.

À Bientôt!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Final Episode of Lazy Girl, Season 2

Best Scenes
from a Summer
We are back in New York City. But I cannot forget the beauty of the North Fork. Lazy Girl was part lazy and part ambitious. Just the right mix. Here are some outtakes from a vacation.
 Best dining.

Best dessert.
 Most Scenic Farm stand

 Best flowers, vase and color on a table.
Best hammock.
 Best broiled fish and fresh herbs
from our garden.
 Best food brought out on the jitney:
Mushroom ravioli with sage from our garden.
 Best tomato salad.
Best painting:
"Hi Mom" by Dave Markel
Best family picture.
Dianna Cramer, RC, and Richard Cramer
 Best girl on a bike with her puppy:
Sarah and Polly
 Best sign.
 Best floral arrangement:
at Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop.
 Best new friendship.
 Best puppy.
Best surprise visit from a Keleher
from North Tonawanda.
Our cousin, Amy Klaes.
 Mon meilleur neveu, who will be a
senior in high school, Jacques.
One of my best sisters, Jeanne.
 My other best sister,
serving the best cake.
My best brother, David.
 Best house in Orient.
 Best beautiful day in Orient.
(As if you could choose.)
 Most nostalgic farm stand.
(Where our grandma Sara used to buy peaches from Annie.)
 Most scenic old-time restaurant:
The Old Mill Inn in Mattituck.
 Makes me feel like I am dining in France.
Best sense of humor in a mailbox.
 Best old-school restaurant:
choice of mashed, fries or baked.
 Most fun resto and bar in a house.
Sophies in Southold.
Lazy Girl will be back next summer.....

À Bientôt!