Now that I have a little leisure — after the New Orleans/Mississippi trip there were Philadelphia and Saratoga Springs, and the teaching semester started — I’m catching up on some photos I wanted to show you. At Dunleith Castle, a mansion we toured in Natchez, one of the rooms has absolutely sensational wallpaper. Les Zones Terrestres by the Zuber Co. is what it sounds like — all the climates of the earth, shading into one another in a 33-panel spread that wraps around the room. These are details. I was hoping to find more complete photos on the Zuber website, but no. The blocks it was printed from were destroyed during WWII, so it’s not made anymore. It’s astoundingly beautiful. The White House has a Zuber wallpaper, Vues de l’Amérique du Nord, in the Diplomatic Reception Room, and another Natchez mansion has a different set, Hindustan, along the gallery walls. I’ve never been a wallpaper fan, but these knocked me out. I wish I could show you more but I couldn’t back up far enough to take wide shots. If in Natchez, though, do not miss this!
Quick post because I’m supposed to be packing to leave New Orleans and go to Mississippi, but I wanted to show you the Eye, the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award. I got this Friday night. Love to be a member of this organization, so LOVE this award. Thanks, guys.
…but the demarcation line really is Labor Day, isn’t it? I did the Facebook cover photo seasonal change, and I thought those of you not on Facebook might like to see the photo, too. This was shot late last fall from the native plant garden at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
Yesterday, the world lost a great woman, and I lost a good friend. Bea Kreloff died at 91. She was an artist, a teacher, a radical feminist, a very secular Jew, and a grand dame, one of the best storytellers I ever met. Even if she did tell you the same story a million times. She and her partner, Edith Isaac-Rose, co-founded Art Workshop International, where I teach in Assisi in the summer. She lived around the corner from me and I went over often for coffee (me) or martinis (Bea). One of her few regrets, she told me toward the end, was that she wouldn’t live to vote for a woman for President. There are better pictures of her — and certainly, ones she’d like better, with fewer wrinkles — but this is as I remember her best: on the terrace at the Hotel Giotto at cocktail time, looking splendid, laughing, and holding court. Bea, I will miss you.
And there’s more coming. This was dinner at the country home of my friends Mario and Marina. In addition to fabulous food — more than I photographed — we got the first lesson in wine that ever made sense to me; both Mario and Marina are sommeliers, amateur but certified. The house has been in Mario’s family, as has their home in Assisi, for, literally, centuries.
Table is set; Mario lights the mosquito candles. (They worked, too.)
Jonathan and Barb hang out before dinner.
Rolled meats, vegetables, and breads, skewered and roasted. Never had this dish before. Quite delish.
Cold rice salad.
Two colors of zucchini, one grilled, one marinated.
Plums, so sweet I’m wondering if these are the so-called sugar plums.
Inside the cake.
The house after dark.
Day trip to Florence starting early this morning, so cappuccino. (The first, but not the only, today.)
I know you asked for food and art, but a storm came in last night and left this morning, and I thought you’d want to see it.
Storm comes in last night.
After the storm, early this morning.
Yesterday I posted one of the sketches I did in drawing class and got this response: “Post more food pix!” Sic transit gloria. Here’s last night’s primo, which was vegetable lasagna, plus some foliage near the dining terrace and a sunset with backlit pigeons.
Okay, you guys. The food here is fabulous, so fabulous I keep forgetting to photograph it before we eat it. But I did grab some pix for you and there will be more. I’m sitting in my window watching at the layered mountains recede to the southwest and the rain clouds slide in. Dinner soon, but here’s yesterday’s. I didn’t manage the main course (grilled meats and vegetables) but I got everything else.
Campari and soda before dinner.
Antipasti, and students going for it, and statues looking on enviously.