Ernest Hemingway in his Paris apartment in 1924

The Difficulty of Writing Well

Becoming a writer: a phrase rife with pitfalls, rewards, angst, celebrations, stumbling blocks, euphoria, despair and every other type of emotion one can imagine. Writing well has preoccupied my mind for more than three decades during which I’ve experienced pretty much all of these (as well as a host of others). When my quest to […]

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald before This Side of Paradise

This Side of Paradise

I looked forward to meeting Michael Berman during the Spring 2016 High Point Market when he was there to debut his Califolio collection for Theodore Alexander, and, not at all a surprise, the party was packed. As more and more people filed in, I noticed the serene setting he had created with more than 75 […]

Reception at Malmaison in 1802 François Flameng

Transitory Spaces

The beginning of one of Napoléon Bonaparte’s earliest letters to Joséphine de Beauharnais simply oozes sensuality: “Seven in the morning. I awaken full of you…the memory of yesterday’s intoxicating evening has left no rest to my senses…Sweet and incomparable Joséphine, I draw from your lips, from your heart, a flame which consumes me…A thousand kisses, […]

The lobby area of The Chatwal

The Old Familiar Faces

…I have been laughing, I have been carousing, Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces…   These three lines of verse illustrating Charles Lamb’s feelings of loss for the pals who brought intellectual stimulation into his life couldn’t be more meaningful to kick off this #DesignSalon […]

Blonde bombshell Jean Harlow on Saxon Henry

Harlow at Bergdorfs!

I stood for a while admiring the chandelier in the window at Bergdorf Goodman. There was something about its icy lozenges of light telescoping out from a brass center spindle like planets around an axis that caught and held my eye even before I learned it was called the Harlow. Bergdorfs Welcomes Harlow The tony window-dressing […]

Ally Coulter at Holiday House 2014.

Ally Coulter and the Opulent Salon

Ally Coulter’s grand salon on the first floor of the Holiday House NYC took my breath away the minute I entered the room. It was as if I’d stepped into a Romanesque nod to modernism that intermingles a smooth mix of time-honored and modern elements—Otto Naumann art and Newel antiques hold court alongside Fendi Casa furniture […]