Friday, December 30

Brooklyn Salon (Part 1)

A few weeks ago, I visited the gorgeous home of Young Adult author Adele Griffin. A writer of more than a dozen books and a two-time National Book Award finalist, she was hosting a book party for another popular author, Blake Nelson, whose novel Dream School was published by Figment in early December. 

I showed up early for Homebodies, thanks to our mutual friend, A. N. Devers, who runs Writers' Houses, the fantastic site about authors' homes. Allison, as she's known, nudged me once at a reading and whispered about her friend, "She has the most incredible home! You must go see her!" Ms. Devers knows her writers' houses, that's for sure.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I've arrived, and I'm ringing the wrong buzzer. For a few minutes. So many floors! I finally figured out to enter through the lower level, which isn't pictured. It occurred to me only later that I didn't stray far from this first-level living room: I took photos of one end, and then the other. And the little girl's room. (Apparently exploring any space too much bigger than my studio apartment is terribly overwhelming.) Sorry, but I skipped the bedrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, another floor...

While the place hands down is, as one of the guests at the party later put it, "the swankiest brownstone in Brooklyn," it's the coziest, too. Adele was so laid back, and wickedly funny, and hospitable, even as friends tore through her wardrobe for just the right outfit ("boots or shoes?") and hot curlers came out of hairs, while her first guest--ahem--poked around with a camera and rested her glass of red wine on a marble-top side table without a coaster under it. Mi casa, su casa! 

As I was saying, my photos are mostly of this room--one side, then the other, so note the two posts today.

Below: can you spot my glass of red wine? Legs & legs (I love this chair!); an elegant dusty blue sofa I wanted to faint over, Victorian-style, maybe next time; the collage above the sofa is by Arturo Herrera; the ceiling; a peek at The Other Side of the Room...

Brooklyn Salon (Part 2)

...(continued) We are now at the other side of the grand salon. Lovely Adele Griffin, above. Do you see that silver artwork on the wall behind her, on the left side? It's gunshot sheet metal by Louisiana-born artist Margaret Evangeline and I love it! It reminds me of liquid mercury. 

Below: the living room; ceiling forever; cake pops for the party; pretty leaf artwork by Philip Taaffe; swooping armchairs; swooping chandelier. Next week: the party.

Thursday, December 29

Nana's new dining room

Here's my 89-year-old grandmother modeling her dining room. And my sister's coat. Beautiful family, no? The new wallpaper is nice, too. Roses, she insisted, for here, and the hall and the kitchen and all the upstairs bedrooms...

I should add that she considered a shoe change, but I was impatient and didn't want to make it a whole thing.

Photos of the Brooklyn book party coming tomorrow!

Friday, December 23

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Evidence is seeping: I did indeed go to a fabulous party hosted by novelist Adele Griffin at her beautiful Brooklyn brownstone. I did run around in my black socks and take hundreds of photos. I did talk to authors and a gallery owner and a vintage-clothing dealer and dozens more writers while sipping a hot toddy

I'm still going through photos, and I'm in Michigan now visiting my mother, who is part of the 6% of Americans using a dial-up connection. And I downgraded to a blissfully quiet dumb phone. So until I return after the holiday, reconnect to the cables and the world, have a wonderful holiday! Crown molding and poinsettias for days.

Tuesday, December 20

Monday, December 5


I've been away--upstate, or downstate, writing, holed up, and not visiting much of anyone. But I did get away recently, and got in some fierce games of Boggle. The focused feet, above, while I stretched on the floor after a run. "Sire, lie, lies, ratty, rats..." Below: a collection of stamps, our pile of shoes. A foot model.