Thursday, August 29, 2013

School is Nigh

My teens are experiencing the existential angst of summer's ending mixed with the unspoken relief at the prospect of school resuming and being meaningfully and (hopefully) intellectually engaged. (Along with having to get up in the morning before 8 a.m.) No more laying around the house for hours at time, pissing away the afternoon with Netflix and getting caught up on five seasons of whatever. (At least my kids did the wiling away, while I mostly shredded from anxiety and the utter listless feelings that can come over me when everyone surrounding me is doing absolutely nothing.)
But I digress. Due to the Jewish holidays, school around here begins September 9th. So, to those dear and near to me, enjoy those fleetings gasps of inertia to the best of your abilities that your remaining vacation days allow.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I couldn't agree more

From The New York Times Book Review Sunday, August 25th, 2013

(Levi) Strauss described himself as a skeptic for whom all alleged answers to philosophical problems were fundamentally contestable.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My afternoon at Hudson Homes

Earlier this year I spent a busy afternoon in Tarrytown.  I photographed 13 real estate agents, one administrator (Liza) and Patricia Neuwirth, the talented owner of Hudson Homes, all to be used on their new website which launched today.  They were a lively bunch to photograph in a whirlwind kind of fashion.  With Liza's organization, a fixed set-up (mostly) while operating my camera and adjusting the lighting- you find the groove and just do it. A great opportunity for flow. (and the chance to meet a lot of interesting people!)

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I was fascinated to read the lengthy profile of Tory Burch in today’s NYTimes. She's the glamorous founder of her global brand, while mothering her three boys and residing in fabulous (and often photographed) homes. Tory also manages to maintain a long list of social activities as well as launching her own foundation. (add in succeeding late last year at closing the chapter on her years of litigation with her ex-husband and former business partner Christopher Burch.)  As Tory is friends with many other notable people, I have taken the liberty of lifting some of their quotes from the author,  Laura M. Olsen's piece to share my sense of awe with and wonder of Tory, the woman. I also loved the author's telling of Tory climbing Machu Picchu with her kids as a way to exercise and bond together. What does this wormen not do? (fyi- Ms. Holsen reveals a third of the way through  that " Ms. Burch declined to be interviewed for this article.")

“I think Tory is in the greenest pasture of her life,” said Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, who runs the worldwide literary department at William Morris Endeavor and who has known Ms. Burch for a decade. “I don’t see her on a happiness destination tour here.”

Friends say Ms. Burch, at her core, is pragmatic. “She has the ability to be very rational,” said Ms. Kotur, who also worked with Ms. Burch at Ralph Lauren. “It has allowed her not to get trapped by herself, by her own emotions and shortcomings.”

But what will Ms. Burch — who seems to have it all — move on to? “She has already branded herself,” said Ms. Wang, the designer who made Ms. Burch’s dresses for both her weddings.

“I think she has so much white space in the world,” said Byron Trott, chairman and chief executive of Chicago-based BDT Capital Partners, a merchant bank that advises family businesses and that invested in the company late last year. “She is at the tip of the iceberg.” 

More than these occasions, Ms. Burch seems to relish spending time with her three sons, which included a vacation in 2010 to Machu Picchu in Peru, which the foursome climbed together. “It took her five hours with all the boys,” said the socialite Gigi Mortimer, a friend. “She is tough on her kids. She wants them to be polite. Athletics are important, and it is hard to find sports in New York.”

So, I am resolved more than ever to proceed full throttle with my life and my goals for self and family. My favorite Tory quote, "Women should be as ambitious as men." comes from the designer's remarks on her video produced by the Stanford School of Business and I couldn't agree more.

(and to experience more of Tory's world beyond her products- check out The Tory Blog)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Way it Is

Like last summer, Krista and her family joined us at the beach club last night for dinner and a swim. The clouds provided enough cover that the air temperature was perfect. Their little girls played in the water and the sand, taking breaks for snacks before the real business of supper began. Our three progeny are too old (at 20, 17, and 15) to always show up when we gather for a meal. Many times they have plans of their own, are heading out with friends, are "not hungry", or "I'll eat later, Mom", with the caveat of "save me some leftovers!"- so I am intent on creating a new model that doesn't include their presence at the table. It does make me sad, to think how fleeting those days were, how sweet and purposeful in retrospect- you always knew what was required next. So, all you parents of small fry- enjoy your young 'ens. They will be grown before you know it and off to bigger and better things. Hopefully still interested in knowing you (and needing you when life requires).

Friday, August 16, 2013

My First (cultural crush)

This summer, a number of New York Times art critics are writing about their cultural first crushes- something I recall myself. I have vivid memories of turning the pages of one particular paperback book,  a series of photographs of Pablo Picasso taken by the famed photojournalist David Douglas Duncan and collected into a slim volume called  The Private World of Pablo Picasso that was stored on a bookcase in my parents' home.

Published when I was 6 years old, something about the ability of a photograph to define a point in time fascinated me, and I enjoyed seeing the lively images of a famous artist who appeared old enough to be a grandfather, holding a jump roap as his young children played on a summer day. These images provided a window in to a career path that became my identity- the life of a creative with all the attending hardships, adventures, success and unknowns.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Jewel along the Hudson

A quiet Saturday meant a chance for an excursion. James got the directions to the Untermeyer Gardens in Yonkers and off we went.

Located on the Hudson River these gardens, once part of a large estate called Greystone, encompassed over 150 acres of plantings, pools, sculptures, themed gardens, vistas and pathways. With the establishment of the Untermeyer Gardens Conservancy in 2010 the garden is in the process of being restored and a few of its features have been returned to their glory of yesteryear.

The setting was busy with brides and grooms making pit stops to use its location for wedding portraits while we visitors strolled the wonderful grounds wrought by Samuel Untermeyer and his landscape
architect Welles Bosworth almost 100 years ago. Remarkably beautiful and well worth the visit.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pure Bliss

I woke up to an overcast morning with the possibility of rain later, or sun. A mixed up kind of day. Determined to get to the pool for a swim, I finally made it there towards the end of adult swim. There was only one person in the pool, which had no rope and no lanes . The place was deserted except for the staff.  My fellow swimmer left shortly after I arrived, leaving me the huge pool to swim in alone. I spent 45 minutes on laps, fast crawls and stretches. Using a noodle as a floatation device I let myself relax in the water. The solitude felt amazing- a gift of undisturbed exercise in this perfect element. Swimming outdoors has been my favorite form of outdoor activity for as long I can remember. I'm a water baby for sure.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mom goes back to School

I signed up for a textile design class at  F.I.T. that begins the end of this month and I am really excited.  Ever since I can remember I have used and treasured all kinds of textiles and imagining my own designs has been an ongoing fascination. I am glad that I took the leap and enrolled.

I used my  shell image to make the fabric sample through Spoonflower . It was a fun experiment and now I'm looking forward to what I will hopefully learn (and create) this fall.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Reverie by the Pond

August is turning out to be a beautiful month- sunny, not too hot and not too humid. Dream weather as far as I am concerned. Life with my three progeny is a lot less dream-like but I don't really want to elaborate for fear of contributing to the problem (especially if I spend any more time discussing how nutty teens can be this). Better to focus on the light falling through the trees, the pleasure of being uninterrupted and the thought of summery days by a cool and watery place unhindered by the frustrations of daily life in Sleepy Hollow.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Brother #2

Garry at 19 in Cleveland Heights

We are heading off to Boston on Saturday where myself, my siblings, their spouses, nephews and girlfriend will gather to observe a significant birthday for my brother Garry. He is a charming, hard working, successful and caring individual and I wish him many more happy (and healthy) occasions to come!!