Gramercy Park, This is an Emergency! Our Ellie is gone…

Where are you sweet Ellie?!!!!   You left without saying goodbye!!   What the heck?! This is not the way it was supposed to be!!  You fought so hard, for so long, you kept your cool and kicked ALS’s arse so many times that I thought you were going to be THE ONE, the freaking one to beat it! … You deserved it, You earned it !  What the bloody hell! …. YOU DID!  You know what I mean?!

I was waiting for your next stories… you said you had so much to tell us… you promised! …or did you?  I thought you did…  Your last post was so beautiful!  It took my breath away! “The Journey Home” … what a gift you gave us!  -perhaps you knew?  I’m sure you knew it wasn’t this home you were talking about, that’s why you had to come back so desperately… –  The post was magnificent,  just like you my dear, witty, naughty, irreverent you, incomparable and unique YOU, dearest Ellie…  THANK YOU!    God Bless you!!!-   I’m so glad you got to do that, I’m so glad you left France on a high note and I’m so glad you had that magic opportunity to reconciled with your beloved Provence… It couldn’t have been any other way!  You were able to have everything you always loved and enjoyed so passionately and fiercely, in one magic place for one last time … I’m grateful you made it home to your precious Santa Barbara, I’m grateful you made it to “Merica”, that’s all you wanted!

Are you running in Gramercy Park now Ellie?  Are you finally carefree, blissful, unafraid?!  Are you jumping up and down, and skipping over the cracks of the sidewalk, peering into the bottom windows of the brownstones you wanted so bad to be able to afford?  Are you doing all that like you said you would?!   Tell me you are spinning around in circles, hair floating, arms stretched as far as possible, head in the clouds like you always had, face lifted towards the sky staring into heaven with eyes wide open … Please… let us know you are!

I wonder….  If we were really careful, and would pay really close attention, and would keep really quiet … I wonder if we would we be able to hear your laughter mixed with the wind blowing through the treetops and among the roses…

I think you are in Gramercy Park right now…I can almost see you…now you don’t need to bargain with God for five more minutes of freedom anymore my dearest and bravest Ellie, YOU GOT IT … you are finally free, unbounded and limitless…You are finally Home.

Here is one of my favorite post of yours, “Don’t Mind if I Do, Gramercy Park” one that moved and touched every fiber of my soul. I want people to read it and get to know you, I want everybody to have that joy….

What are “We”, your “imaginary friends”  -like Gracie used to call us-   going to do without you?!   It seems like we were part of something special and magic that others won’t be able to understand…  I’m going to miss people I don’t even know!  I’ll especially miss   Penelope Bianchi,  Stephen Andrew,  Heather of Lost in Arles, La Contessa , Hollie of The silver Pen , so very dearly, and others I got to know over there in your brilliant, hysterical, smart, emotional, profound, refreshing, and freakingly honest BLOG  Have Some Decorum

I guess is time to say goodbye … but it seems I’m not able to do that just yet … I’m not ready…it’ll only have to be  à bientôt for now…   I LOVE YOU sweet Ellie O’Connell, and I’ll be seeing you in my dreams.

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And here you are, for those of you who don’t know you, with your husband David, the French guy.   Ashtonishingly  beautiful !

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And here You are with Gracie, Amazing Grace, like you liked to called her!

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…. and here you are with mom… “Look, I can walk!” That’s what you said about this picture!! You blew my mind !  You really never lost it….  you were the coolest chick in town, and still are,  your spirit keeps going on for ever ….

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Don’t mind if I do, Gramercy Park…

 

In Manhattan, New York there is a very special park called Gramercy Park. This park is so special that it’s private and can be only accessed by those #LuckyDucks who live on Gramercy Park. And they get a key. The golden key to Gramercy Park. Be jealous, be very jealous.

But, guess what? As part of an old New York charitable holiday tradition, the gates to Gramercy Park are open to us losers on Christmas Eve! The Gramercy Park church, Parish of Calvary St.George, will also be having carolers starting at 6 PM in the park. This is absolutely not to be missed!

You may be wondering why I am so excited about this. Well, it’s hard to even write this without crying, but Gramercy Park happens to be the last place I was before, minutes before, I was diagnosed with ALS. I thought that I would let you guys in on a chapter of my book about it. I should have my book finished by March but I thought you guys would like a preview of the Gramercy Park chapter.

Here it is…

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Gramercy Park on the lower East side of Manhattan has always held a special place in my heart. The name alone just sounds cool. Then there is the Gramercy Park Hotel designed in part by one of my favorite artists, Julian Schnabel, with its amazing color scheme of rosy reds, Fire King green and sapphire blues. Then there is the architecture of the brownstones around the park. A little village within a big city. And then there is the garden. The secret private garden to which only a lucky few hold the keys.

I always feel like a little part of me is still in Gramercy Park. Like a little bit of me is still wandering around the park… The part of me that doesn’t have ALS.

As I walked out of the offices of 1stdibs on my lunch break casually walking to the neurologist office for what I thought would be a quick appointment, I never imagined that this would be my last carefree walk. Physically it was not a carefree walk because I had a strange limp and I was worried that every crack in the sidewalk would cause me to fall flat on my face. Mentally, all I was thinking about was the beautiful park.

I walked past the church at the corner of the park and I remember saying to myself, “On my way back from the neurologist appointment, I need to stop at the church and check out their little thrift shop.” I was thinking that I needed to come back to the Gramercy Park Hotel for cocktails later that week with my girlfriends. I was thinking, “God, I wish I could afford one of these brownstones around the park.” My mind floated around thinking how beautiful and lush the little garden was and if the residents who held the coveted key to the garden could grow tomatoes in there.

What I was thinking about was just… Nothing. Now all I think about is… Everything. That five-minute walk in Gramercy Park was the last trace of who I used to be. That girl was like you… She had worries but they were just regular worries. Can I pay my rent this month? Is Gracie getting good grades in school? Does David love me more than his ex-wife? Why are my friends such bitches? Will I ever forgive my father? You know, regular worries. My days were normal…wake up, deal, go to bed. I walked around Gramercy Park that day with my head in the clouds and what I would give to go back to that day.

Sometimes I close my eyes and try to remember that moment in Gramercy Park before I walked into the doctor’s office. I can see it, feel it, smell it and almost taste it. I want to remind myself of who I was before and what it felt like to be carefree. I haven’t been carefree since that day. I want to cherish those few moments and have them emblazoned in my soul so I don’t ever forget what it was like… Before.

Sometimes I beg God to just let me have those few moments of liberty back. Let me just walk around the park again without knowing my fate. Let me be ignorant, let me be blissful, let me be unafraid. If I could just have back a few moments… I would run around that park smelling every flower letting myself get pricked by a rose thorn. I would pop into the hotel and grab a cappuccino. I would peer into the bottom windows of the brownstones. I would skip over the cracks of the sidewalk. I would walk down the tiny broken steps of the church thrift store and pick things up and put them down at my leisure. Hell, I might even stretch out my arms, lift my head to the clouds, start spinning around in circles and sing a little song. At the end of my allotted time, I imagine I would try to renege on my deal with God and I would ask for more time. Don’t make me go forward to my life with ALS. Let me just stay in this park without ALS. Just give me another few minutes… This time I will cherish it, I promise.

So I encourage all of you to get over to Gramercy Park on Christmas Eve…

 

Ellie xoxo

Empty Spaces… Good Bye Elie Wiesel

You closed those eyes that saw too much, and took with you the sorrow in them,
that hunting look, the searing pain, of someone who once was broken, stolen, betrayed, by infamy and hate.

You picked up your own pieces, in a horror nightmare like Guernica, and put yourself back together,
and those empty spaces, where the parts of you were missing,
gone in the burning hell of Auchwitz forever,
you replaced them with light and filled them with hope,
and you walked away from evil,
you left it behind,
and your wounded soul, spilled its light around the world, through the million little cracks left open and sore…

Who would fill those empty spaces, left by you now that you are gone, dear Elie Wiesel?

Rest in peace and  shine from above… Now your family is finally back together!  ….

… But the world surely feels darker without you.

There are victories of the soul and spirit,  sometimes, even if you lose, you win.

Elie Wiesel 

Pretty Pictures, Spring Edition

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves”Walt Whitman

For the love of Love, Spring and pretty pictures

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“Keep your face always towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you” – Walt Whitman
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“You are so much sunshine in every square inch” – Walt Whitman
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“To me every hour of the day is an unspeakably  perfect miracle” – Walt Whitman
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“We were together, I forget the rest” – Walt Whitman

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“Happiness, not in another place, but this place…not for another hour, but for this hour” – Walt Whitman

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“I can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of light” – Plato

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“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life” – Walt Whitman

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If nothing saves us from death, may love at least save us from life – Pablo Neruda

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“Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me” – Walt Whitman

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“I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell”  – Walt Whitman
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“I know nothing else but miracles”  – Walt Whitman
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“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves”  – Walt Whitman

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage” –  Lao Tzu

 

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“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets” – Haruki Murakami

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“How do you spell ‘love’? – Piglet  “You don’t spell it, you feel it” – Pooh
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“Will you come travel with me?  Shall we stick by each other as long as we live? – Walt Whitman
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Mindy Weiss

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In one kiss, you’ll know, all I haven’t said – Pablo Neruda

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Melanie Bennett Photography

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But I love your feet only because they walked upon the earth and upon the wind and upon the waters, until they found me  – Pablo Neruda

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We’re stronger in the places where that we’ve been broken – Ernest Hemingway

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“Simplicity is the glory of expression” – Walt Whitman

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We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together, with the windows open and the stars bright”  – Ernest Hemingway

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“Love is composed by a single soul inhabited by two bodies” Aristotle

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Mindy Weiss

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Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed it! xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Privilege of Growing Old

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I am stuck!  Don’t know what the heck has happened to me, it’s been three months already and I can’t stand looking at the last post I did any longer! I officially hate it, so I left my bed in the middle of the night determined to fix the problem. Enough is enough. I have something to say and it’s been stuck in my throat and heart for a while… My friend Ellie is dying, she is dying really young…and Aging is a privilege, so if you are aging you are so darn lucky.

My friend Ellie is dying with ALS. I’ve never met her, but thousands of us consider her our best friend. She has this crazy beautiful blog called “Have Some Decorum” -you can find it here  – and thousands of adoring followers and friends…she is young and gorgeous, with a loving french husband and a pretty teenager daughter whom she adores and calls The Brat!  Ellie is a California girl living in Paris, she’s hilarious and irreverent, tender and tough, with a dirty mouth and a mischievous brain as quick and bright as a ray of light.  All her friends around the world, myself included, can’t accept the fact that we’re losing her and are praying for a miracle… and I would be all so grateful if you could add her to you prayers too.

To understand Ellie, you have to get to know her, it’s so worth it. I promise!  But you must go way back in her blog to really get her. Don’t make the mistake to judge, just let yourself experience a lesson in life and strength that is rare and remarkable. I found her  in 2014 through Janet from the blog The gardener’s Cottage  Janet had just discovered her and  begged us to pay her a visit, she was smitten and couldn’t stop reading…and then crying…  I started reading and I was hooked. I can only tell you to be prepared to laugh out loud and cry like a child…

I don’t have images of “Real People” growing old with grace, I’ve been told in this post  “Gray is Beautiful, or is it?” that the people in the pictures are rich, famous and photoshoped.  I agree, but those are the only pictures available and until I become a famous photographer and I can produce my own material, this will have to suffice, of course that’s never going to happen, I barely know how to use my camera in automatic and prefer my iphone!

What is true  and will continue to be true is that aging is a privilege not offered to all and that there is remarkable beauty, strength and character hidden in the lines that cover us all.

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Ellie and Gracie in California

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Ellie (Left in red and rhinestones?) and husband David. Don’t know who the lady in red in the middle is.

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So let’s never forget to give thanks for the privilege and beauty of growing old

 

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Thank you for listening…

 

What makes me happy now

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Color.   Tom Ford’s Spring Collection with it’s happy disco vibe

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Gray hair and clothes full of color

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Happy vintage looks

(Tom Ford, Spring 2016 collection)

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The color of the suit my son wore for a very special ceremony, here in the Tom Ford Spring 2016 Collection.

He didn’t wear a Tom Ford suit.

Just the color.

He wore it first.

He wore it best.

(I thought it was a good idea to clarify in case somebody was reading)

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Messy hair and relaxed attitude

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He makes me happy.

Tom Ford makes me happy.

I’m lying.

Heartbroken

Just learn he is gay.

Are all gorgeous men gay? Not fair.

He looks like Adam Levine… so, Adam…  you are not allowed to be gay.

Never.

EVER.

Did I say NEVER?!

I draw the line there… (sobbing…)

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Adam makes me happy.

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Music, dancing… Discotheques! (a long, long time ago!)

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Black will always make me happy. And attitude.

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Dolce & Gabbana, Spring 2016

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Hermes scarves make me happy  (David Sims Photography)

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Etro, Spring 2016

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(Dolce and Gabbana)

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The Grace Kelly vintage look

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In love with Hermes scarves…

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Naeem Khan

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Minus the selfie (Dolce and Gabbana)

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… even in the Milan runway…. Einstein was right…

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What do you think?  I thought so… oh, wait…

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and also, there is that!

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Love all the pretty colors. Only for the runway o for Azulejos though! (Dolce and Gabbana)

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I adore the textiles, kaftan, flats and turban, but…

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I heard she was really sad about those oranges…

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And it really makes me happy to see those girls eating.  Eating pasta of all things! I really hope they were allowed to swallow…

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A whole class of kindergarteners collaborated in the making of this dress and pretty basket!

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Hermes, the ocean and bicycles

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Party is over. Last day of the weekend. What is making you happy these days?

Thank you so much for visiting and thank you for the more than 24,000 thousand visits to my blog. That makes me really happy.

Have a great sunday!

 

 

 

The colorful life of Eddie Ross, Here comes the sunshine take 2

Eddie Ross… where to start?!  The talented East Coast editor of Home and Gardens Magazine brightens any space he enters with his sweet personality, down to earth demeanor, boyish smile and tremendous talent.  He can bring light and color in a masterful way to any room using things we own in combination with family treasures and some very affordable Salvation Army or Goodwill pieces.  His spaces are definitely unique, bright and so darned positive that they can chase the blues away out of any heart in the world.

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And now, with his new book, written in collaboration with his handsome partner Jaithan Kochar, he is on a mission to help us do just that on our own.

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I find myself looking at old images of his work and realizing it has a certain timeless quality to it!

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There was no chance in hell I wasn’t going to include next picture, a tablescape he did in collaboration with Bunny Williams for Christmas!  People at this point might be sick of Christmas Decor, but this is so fresh and creative that nobody could tired of it, even after the holidays.  What an honor to work with Ms. Williams, she is one of the best and most respected decorators in the world and a wonderful and down to earth person as well. I can only imagine how Eddie must have felt working with her, I would have cried. Yes, right there and then, burst into tears!  Not just because of how talented she is but because she is a very real and classy lady who is unaffected and unimpressed with all the fluffies (is that even a word, or I just invented one?!) and pretentious stuff that comes often with the lifestyle of famous and top interior designers.   I could spend hours and hours listening and talking to her, it must have been a rare and delicious treat!  Nothing more on Bunny because of course, I’m going to have a post on her, and even if I try very hard,  I won’t be able to begin to scratch the surface of her contribution to the world of design and her fabulous work. These posts are such a treat to me, to revisit the work of all those incredible people… Priceless.

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What a joyful table…. I can’t stop staring.  Tabletop fabric by Bunny Williams for Lee Jofa, the inspiration for the whole tablescape.

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Eddie used his own antique English salad plates with  Bunny’s Gold Star collection  and his French Opaline Goblets. I love those who are not afraid of change and experimentation, opening new ways in any field and widening our horizons!

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Notice how nicely combined the flatware is with Eddie’s own vintage silver and Bunny’s Paris Flea Market collection

How gorgeous those salt cellars and shakers are as well as that pepper mill?!  It is in the little details, I’m telling you… I always say the same thing! Well, not just me, everybody. 

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I believe this is from the book and makes me just so happy to look at it, you must order the book!  After so many years of whites, browns and grays -which I ADORE-  we really need help to bring color back into our lives and this book will do it. Imagine this: Bunny Williams did the foreword. It means the book is smashing beautiful and perfectly illustrated! Every review I read is calling it: The BEST.   You can order it here:   eddieross.com/modern-mix

This is my first time including links!!! hooray !  Go me!  I hope they work because they make me feel so professional and stuff….  I apologize for any infringements with the authors of anything. If I need to remove something I sadly…not gladly… would do so!  I know, but I’m not going to lie, I love everything here and don’t want to take anything away…

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What a marvelous and happy combination! I hear Pharrel singing!

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The colors and textures, the patterns and all the eclectic goodness going on here is such a treat, it has that collected through time look, that natural and effortless feel, so hard to obtain and it’s so unassuming that will make anybody want to stay forever…

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I believe this is their guest room. I’m surprised of how restrained this room is in regards to color… that means they either compromised or Eddie can do neutrals with an accent color beautifully as well.  Of course he can!  I wouldn’t be surprised though if we find this room changed very soon, I can see orange curtains or at least the natural grasses roman shade painted orange or something like that!

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I am not a fan of the tablecloth colors and pattern but I can still enjoy the whole thing, I think the brass candleholders are lovely, and I am in love with that mirror!

That shows everybody that even things we think we don’t like can look beautiful with the right combination of elements. Very english garden and Art Deco vibes at the same time! Eddie Ross can make anything work but it takes an immense amount of skills and talent to do it so perfectly, and of course great taste and instincts.  I’m a big fan!

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I love the cutlery, those beautiful white, crisp, embroidered linen napkins and fabulous plates!

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I believe this an old photo but still, it’s so “Eddie talented”

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I absolutely adore this palette and the setting! Are those olive trees?! 

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Handsome treasure Hunter!

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Eddie’s vintage brass cart turned into a bar “fabuloso”!!!

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and a reminder that next on the list is Spring!  How can one avoid to fall in love with color with such a display of happiness and effervescent spirit?  Thank you Eddie Ross for taking the stiffness out of the Interior Design butt!

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Eddie and his partner Jaithan Kochar.  I think Eddie looks so much like Derek Hough, from “Dancing with the Stars”  What do you think?!

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Derek Hough…. WOW! right?!

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Eddie Ross … they look like twins separated at birth!

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And last but not least: Eddie and the fabulous and very smart Susanna Salk from quintessenceblog.com

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What do you think?  Are you loving all the color coming back in our lives? How do you feel about brass? Too much too soon or are you young enough that you never got sick of it?

Have a great rest of the week!

 

 

Here comes the Sunshine! Jonathan Adler and Eddie Ross, part I

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All of us who are living in the Northern Hemisphere are starting to feel the winter blues… Yes, inevitably, when the Holiday’s lights start to disappear, those moody blues begin to show up! … And what is one to do when confronted with the harsh reality of a long winter ahead of you without any prospects of skiing in St. Moritz?!

Dream!  All we have to do is dream of a world full of colour and light, full of energie and happy thoughts … and to help you do just that I am sharing these wonderful pictures of the work of two amazing designers, masters of colour and pattern, who are not afraid of mixing anything… and I mean:  Anything!

Don’t judge, just enjoy, go with the flow, let yourself float and be invigorated, I won’t say anything because I can’t, design has that effect on me, makes me really, REALLY, emotional and sometimes it is hard to do anything else but soak it all in and wonder why Eddie Ross and I are not best friends yet.  We should be, we have so much in common!  I know if he knew me he would adore me … Ok, back to reality, here we go!  -Today is Jonathan the one bringing the sunshine and tomorrow  Eddie will be the chosen one!

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Yes!   -Traditional elements mixed with modern furniture from the Jonathan Adler’s collection, totally inspired by  modern-mid century design and by the genius designers that created the best armchairs since the Klismos chair, all mixed together with my beloved dark, lacquered walls (well, these are not lacquered but they are paneled, so I love them so!) and those balloon things, so similar to Koons dogs. Jonathan is a gifted designer and an artist, he was a potter first before becoming an interior designer and now, apart from his furniture collection, he has a really cool accessory line made of brass, glass and lucite.


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Modern Pottery. Jonathan Adler malachite vases, what a bright bunch!

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We can’t deny how happy and fun this is and I love that they didn’t leave the ceiling unfinished … no idea what it is, could be tin, could be plaster, could be wood, I don’t know, but it sure is beautiful

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I’ll try to keep the comments to a minimum from this point on so I can share more pictures… (but please notice those gorgeous, colorful books inside the heart of the chimney, coolness!)

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So fresh and clean, still mid-century but with a contemporary air and refinement

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How about that?!  I love the J.A. Topanga sofa and I am finally coming to terms with the Brigitte chair. (I kind of love it. I don’t know, I need to see it in person to really know)… – It was hard for me at the beginning, when all the modern craziness started, to accept this trend.  Having grown-up  during the 70’s I got sick of seeing a lot of this period’s furniture and decor and not in it’s best versions, nothing to do with the refinement of what we see now!  On the other hand, no pun intended, I adore the lucite giant hand.

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Even the giant Sputnik chandelier has found a place in my heart. I also love all the movement and flow coming from the undulating brass base of the Scalinatella table, the Bacharach swivel chair, the sputnik chandelier, with its rays darting into space in every direction possible and the chevron pattern in the area rug…. and what about those gorgeous blue balloons that look like they are ready to fly?!

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The brass bird bowls are so cute and would look amazing anywhere, from the mantel to the bookcase, on the coffee table or in a tablescape!

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Now, I draw the line at those mongolian lamb benches! I always hated them and founded them ridiculous… but now I am so afraid one day I might find myself liking them! who knows.

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The Caracas dining table paired with his Goldfinger dining chairs, absolutely stunning!  – Check his website for details!

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The fabulous Jonathan Adler preparing a photoshoot for the 2016 catalog! Most of the last pictures I found at Jonathan’s Instagram.   instagram.com/jonathanadler

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Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa, designed by Jonathan Adler

Well, that is all for today, I think I will share Eddie Ross fabulous style tomorrow so he can have all the attention he deserves and because I am absolutely tired!  One picture of Eddie’s awesomeness to enjoy next. Thank you for visiting, almost 21,000 hits or visits to my 40 posts!!!! Thanks again, I have no idea how that compares to anything or what that means but to me it’s a gianormous amount of visits and I am more than grateful.

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The magnificent collaboration between the sweet and talented Eddie with the amazing Bunny Williams… I fell in love the moment I saw this!

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So, what do you think?  What do you feel about the Mid Century Modern revival we’ve been experiencing for a while? Do you like it or not?

 

M.T.