30 December 2008

Of pedigrees and puppets

Elsa Schiaperelli
Gogo Schiaparelli

Marisa Berenson was the elder daughter of Robert L. Berenson, an American diplomat turned shipping executive, who was of Lithuanian Jewish descent; his family's original surname was Valvrojenski. Her mother was born Countess Maria Luisa Yvonne Radha de Wendt de Kerlor, better known as Gogo Schiaparelli, a socialite of Italian, Swiss, French, and Egyptian ancestry.

Her maternal grandmother was the Italian-born fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and her maternal grandfather was Count Wilhelm de Wendt de Kerlor, a Theosophist and psychic medium. Her younger sister, Berinthia, became the model, actress, and photographer Berry Berenson. She also was a great-grand-niece of Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer who believed he had discovered the supposed canals of Mars, and a great-grand-niece of art expert Bernard Berenson (1865 – 1959) and his sister Senda Berenson (1868 – 1954), an athlete and educator who was one of the first two women elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Oh to think of a time when one could be granddaughter to a couturier and a medium and when Jim Henson's progeny were still totally weird and the clouds didn't always need to be swept away.

A gift I got, A gift I give.

Teepee was given an American Apparel tee shirt, in which she resembles Stuart Little, and a new chew toy from her puppy relations. I received Fire From Heaven, my first scent from CB I Hate Perfume. To you I give (and I argue not belatedly as this gift is really for deep winter) the gift of soup, in the form of a recipe poached from Sarah of Saipua.

Another excellent carrot soup recipe:

5-6 big carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions roughly chopped

that in some olive oil and turn on the gas. while that starts to cook (and throw in some sea salt in the pot too) chop up: 4-5 cloves of garlic and a healthy knob of ginger, add to vegetables, drain a can of chickpeas and add

spices to add: cayenne, curry, coriander, cumin ( a few shakes of each )
then 1 can of coconut milk, and 1.5 cans worth of water.

cover and cook half hour or so on medium heat.

remove from heat, process about 1/3 of the soup in a blender or food processor and then mix the puree with the rest to get a nice stew consistency. NOW squeeze 1 whole lime (or lemon) in there. This is really the key to most soups. people always forget the acid. (SARAH'S RIGHT- THE LIME TRANSFORMS THE SOUP!!!)

Salt to taste. Now you have a really healthy stew that will make you sweat (if you spiced it up enough) which is what you need in this weather. to be warm on the insides

21 December 2008

An ode to clear communication and flip top devices.

Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows

After years of muffled communiques on the cheapest phone ever created, I've upgraded and I am deliriously happy. The dusk of 2008 ushers out half-heard conversations, courtesy of Blanche, and an absent antenna, courtesy of Teepee.

update: Upon telling my Dear David about my new device he replied, "There will be fewer blanks to fill in...You would not believe how many times you've overcome sacrifice by volcano, Oxycontin busts, and wars of words with Russian Vogue. In my imagination." Dear David, I AM that colorful.

17 December 2008

The Junior Senator from New York

JFK and Caroline, 1958

After a life of famous, fierce privacy Caroline Kennedy is a contender for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. I wondered if her public reticence was swept away by the promise of Obama, or by a mother's rage at the absence of morality- true venality runs amok. Perhaps, though we are undeniably who we are and from whence we sprang, and who we have loved and been loved by, sets us on an implacable path:

Her uncle, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, is struggling with terminal brain cancer, and his illness has forced members of his extended family to contemplate the possibility that the Senate could be left without a Kennedy for the first time in a half century. Mr. Kennedy has encouraged his niece, to whom he talks nearly every day, to pursue Mrs. Clinton’s seat...Associates of the senator say he has made it clear he would not pressure her to do so. Still, they said nothing would make him happier or prouder than having his niece in the Senate, which — far more than the White House — has been the core of the family’s long record of public service. (New York Times, Dec 15 2008)

14 December 2008

My castle, my books.

Lost in and loving Moon Palace by Paul Auster.

In summation

a view of Peggy Guggenheim's Venice palazzo, 1953

a view of Peggy Guggenheim sunbathing at
Peggy Guggenheim's Venice palazzo, 1953
(images from LIFE's archives, of course)

Plundering the current issue of Vanity Fair, an article on the current state of the Plaza contained this gem that explains aesthetics succinctly and wonderfully, I think:

"I was distraught when I saw the [redesign]," says a person who lived there in the 60s. "It's neither wonderful old nor brilliant modern."

12 December 2008

Jezebel at the Bust Craftacular this Sunday!

Amazing vendor list includes Jezebel friends Digby & Iona, Erica Weiner, Loyalty & Blood, and Vera Meat.

11 December 2008

Bette and her golden gams.

Thanks to Liz, all Jezebel correspondence will now come to you courtesy of Bette Davis and the USPS.

10 December 2008

Teepee the Trapper.

Teepee's new Woolrich hand-me-down is too much to bear. Just in case I don't look slightly insane walking down the street with a 5lb shrimp in a hat, I'm laughing to myself the whole way. Yes, that's me, the mad, giggling one in a tattered fur with a pup in a cap.

Titania will kiss thy fair large ears

from Jezebel, purchase here

assorted productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream ballet, from the amazing LIFE archives

09 December 2008

Franny and Roey.

Ilyane has a super-cute new Mia in Rosemary's Baby haircut that perfectly suits her super-cute new vintage store, Franny & Roey. I suggest you go play dress up and then slip into the Roebling Tea Room for a Ginger Fizz.

Beneath the diamond sky

These bottles were unearthed from the cellar of a 19th century Williamsburg pharmacy and I transformed these vessels for a vessel.


08 December 2008

Modern Times.

British born film director posing beside fireplace at home with pet Sealyham terrier, Mr. Jenkins. ( Note Picasso painting on the wall). Photographer described this portrait as "an Englishman spending a winter evening at home," but Hitchcock titled it "A Dislike of American Fireplaces." (1939 photo and caption from Life Magazine)

Oh, what a glorious few days it has been for technology. LIFE has partnered with Google to make its photo archives available online and finally, finally, finally Netflix offers instant viewing for Mac users. I'm currently waiting for Vertigo to download.

You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you.

A Parrot for Juan Gris, Joseph Cornell

My oldest friend in the world and I were having a very emotional conversation about animals the other night. I was snuggling Teepee, he was stuck in the netherworld that is Miami this time of year. Excepting the sun and beach, I clearly was the luckier one at the time of said conversation. He told me about this obituary he had read in the New York Times, about Alex, a parrot with a 100 word vocabulary, who's last words before his death at the age of 31 were, "You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you." Heartbreaking. And, aren't parrots supposed to live forever and have to be bequeathed to unsuspecting heirs in wills? Why did the special guy have to go so young?

I was then obliged to spend quite a while on Koko.org. Koko was a childhood obsession of mine. Her response to grief and witnessing the death of one of her trainers, Mike, is also, heartbreaking.

Conclusion: Jezebel, easily, readily, unabashedly moved to tears by all creatures, great and small.

05 December 2008

Gifted, this Sunday!

Come say hello! Come buy something! Come buy lots of somethings!

04 December 2008

For your bittersweet.

I'm not particularly partial to chocolate but a chocolate in honor of Marchesa Casati might just be the chocolate for me. Vosges has whipped up dark chocolate with black sea salt and caramael truffles dusted in edible freshwater pearl dust in honor of the woman they call the moonchild of Edgar Allen Poe's darkest reveries with the help of Coco Chanel. Nova had me fixated on freshwater pearls a while back.

02 December 2008

C'est moi!

Merci beaucoup, Chad!
I'm hanging above a still life painted by my grandmother- photos will be posted when the light is better to take said photos.

Dear Emma Cassi,

I don't know you, but I would like to thank you for letting me disappear into your heartfelt world. It is a beautiful, beautiful, mindful place.

Writers' Rooms/ The ba-humbug, give me my books beat marches on.

John Mortimer
I try to write as early as possible in the morning, and aim to write 1,000 words a day.
I stop at lunchtime, have a drink and then fall asleep.

Jonathan Safran Foer
While the facilities here are vastly (and suspiciously) inferior in every way, the most remarkable difference between this library and the one in Manhattan is to be found in what's considered acceptable behavior. In Brooklyn, people regularly carry on cellphone conversations at their desks... regularly have conversations (which are regularly about illicit things), regularly fall asleep... regularly prepare and eat meals...and get in scarily heated arguments with the roaming policemen about what's acceptable behaviour. It's my best argument for why Brooklyn is the superior borough:
it's real.
(Caveat: Outside the library, I found that the seat of my bicycle had been stolen. Is this a great country or what?)

Virginia Woolf
This was where Leonard came out in July 1931 to tell her that The Waves, which he had just finished reading, was a masterpiece. This was where she struggled for months on end with The Years, trying to cut down on her smoking (from six or seven to one a morning in 1934). This was where, on Friday March 28, 1941, on a cold spring morning, she wrote a farewell letter to Leonard before walking down to the River Ouse, leaving her papers in disarray, with several revisions of her last essay on Mrs Thrale in the waste-paper basket and immense numbers of typewritten sheets lying about the room.

Presidential Tools.

This gilt metal pagoda-shaped cigarette dispenser has already been sold on ebay, but I'm sure the buyer would be happy to pack it up and send to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

01 December 2008

Ba-humbug. Give me my books.

I'm feeling annoyed and over-saturated. I want to hole up with a stack of books, coffee, Turkish breakfast, and gingersnaps. No magazines, no pictures. Just me, an old lace nightgown, a ratty fur, and all the books I can get my paws on. Looks like Edward Gorey felt the same, though I can't really speak to his desire for Turkish breakfast and lace nightgowns.