Saturday, September 20, 2008


A pattern I have fond memories of is Harebell by Coalport. My mother has a large teaservice set in this pattern that was her great-grandmothers. She would use when I was a little kid when entertaining her friends. Of course now it's in a box somewhere in their basement!
A Harebell is another name for a bluebell that you may be familiar with. This is a flower found in Great Britain and all over northern Europe that grows in the late summer / early fall. The flower is a pale blue, but in this china pattern is painted as a vibrant turqouise which is brilliant against the white background. While the teacup shape is a bit old ladyish for me (but aren't all teacups in general?) this is really a beautiful pattern! Images taken from ebay

Friday, September 19, 2008

Georgetown continued

Since it was a lovely day, I decided to take a short little walk and show you more of Georgetown, DC's most charming neighborhood. We'll start here at the 'heart' of Georgetown - the gold dome in the distance (my bank!) is at the major intersection of M street (the commercial and tourist street) and Wisconsin Ave (the street you see here with smaller stores and more local traffic). This is a sort of typical street scene on the side streets (which are numbered). The houses are smaller and lower to the ground (without the english basement apartment) on a tree lined street.
This represents one of the 'cream of the crop' of townhouses here in Georgetown located on the lettered main streets (dc is a grid - numbers running north and south and letters running east and west). An older federal townhouse with a newer addition from the 20th century probably containing a grand entertaining space and a COVETED garage. If you have a garage in Georgetown, you are extremely lucky!
Another larger townhouse on a Lettered street. This one is one of the few townhouses turned into apartments.
A pretty front garden.Another pretty side street with smaller houses. Trees make every street more welcoming, don't they?A welcoming front stoop, I love geraniums!
One of the buildings along the canal - great stonework detail -this corbel is HUGE!
This interesting old stone building has been rehabbed and has a great modern addition on the top. This is the showroom for an ID we're using on one of my projects.
This is a new 'loft' condo building facing the canal. I wish I could live here!!
It's huge!! One of the penthouses is currently selling for $10 million, a bit out of my price range (rolls eyes). Some of the units have views of the potomac river while others face the canal here.This is the opposite side and view from the condos. Beautiful! That is Cady's alley on the right which houses a lot of designer showrooms.I love this little building -it houses an architectural firm. It's built right into that wall!

Lots of terraces to add greenery.

This concludes your tour - you are back where we started yesterday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Georgetown Canal

I work in an old flour mill up against the historic C&O canal here in Georgetown -it is one of my favorite things to see here in the city. Down a level below the street, hidden from most tourist traffic, the canal and adjoining towpath is a great and charming way to get around Georgetown. Most of the path is surrounded by beautiful old stone walls with plants growing between the stones and old industrial buildings converted into architect and lawyer's offices.
the modern atop the old
This old bridge you can see here dates to the early 19th century. I love that the buildings along the canal have windows down to the water level.
Some bridges are old, others are modern, like this one. I marvel at how these old walls can hold buildings on top of them!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Getty Center - Richard Meier

While on the topic of LA, I also visited the Getty Center. This is probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited! Besides having a fantastic collection of European decorative arts from the 17th thru 20th centuries, the compound has incredible views over all of the LA area as it is perched on a big hill (the Santa Monica Mountains). Above is the compound from the approach. The collection of buildings are placed in a collection of gardens and public spaces.
This staircase really caught my eye: I love the zigzag it creates on the exterior.
View of downtown LA. Design began by Richard Meier in 1984, construction began in 1989 and the center finally opened in 1997 -it cost upwards of 1.3 BILLION dollars!!! The exteriors are clad in Meier's trademark 30" square aluminum panels and travertine marble. As there was basically an unlimited budget, Meier was able to create a perfect place architecturally. His 30 inch grid that he works off of is felt here very strongly, both on wall planes and the floor.
The gardens are beautiful. Here this trellis is painted lavendar, the color of shadows on the white walls.
As the building is on a hill, it's built down deep -here you can see just how big parts of the building are!
The outdoor spaces really are the most important here -the outdoor/indoor California lifestyle at work in architecture!
I loved the play of levels on the hilly site.
Beautiful views everywhere!
Another closer view of that lavendar trellis!

You could walk down that exterior bridge to get a closer look at the view -I love the keyhole in that wall for the path!
What CAN'T you see from here?
Lots of benches and places to absorb the view and the sun. People always tend to gather near water elements!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Women

This past weekend I went to see the remake of 'The Women' starring Meg Ryan (who even through soft-lenses has had some SCARY plastic surgery). I wanted to like this movie SO MUCH. I've been looking forward to it all summer. The original movie from 1939 is one of my favorites.the original
However, I'm sad to report they ruined it. *OH NO THEY DINT!* Poorly written and not cohesive,they took the entire point and reasoning out of the movie instead making it a pseudo carbon-copy of SATC. Now, you know I love me some SATC, but THIS IS NOT SATC. The reason the original movie is so brilliant is that it is the antithesis of SATC. That is the entire REASON and story of the movie -why copy parts of the original, keep the plot, but ignore the thing that makes the plot INTERESTING. Yes, this remake is boring. As they say on Project Runway, 'Don't bore Nina'.
the ladies at Saks
Also, this movie had the most BLATANT product placement I've ever seen in my life. It reads as one big commercial for Dove beauty products (including a 5 minute sequence that could possibly be a dove commercial) and Saks 5th (how many times can you say Saks in once sentence?) Did I just pay $10.50 to see one big, long commercial?
and AGAIN at Saks....see a pattern?
If you've never seen the original, stop reading now. You may actually enjoy the new movie. It is well filmed, very pretty and fashiony with a great cast. If you liked SATC, you MIGHT like this movie and the relationships between these women. It won't be mind blowing or make you cry, but it will be enjoyable for you.
The original movie is brilliant, because it explores the lives of 9 women and their bitchy fake friendships together and how the main character deals with a major plot twist. Nothing is touchy feely or read as true friendships except for the relationship between the main character and her mother. The opposite is true in this new version. They took out the fun bitchiness, the great comic writing and turned the same basic plot into a bland carbon copy. Interspersed throughout the movie were lame and pointless references to the original as if to say 'see, we're a remake of a brilliant movie!'. If so, why didn't they remake the things that made the original so wonderful?
One of the most annoying bits I'll mention here was to have the role of the 'countess' from the original played by the fabulous Bette Midler. The annoying part? Instead of an insane but lovingly optimistic REAL Countess always in search of 'la'mour' - Bette plays an annoyingly pessimistic hollywood agent who mentions briefly that she has the nickname 'countess' ( is that really neccesary?) who coos 'lamour' once......and is the ONLY bitchy character in the entire movie.
yes, Meg Ryan, I'm as confused as you are! why is this movie so bad after 14 yrs in the making?
Even the villain, Eva Mendes - comes off as un-bitchy and really dumb. REALLY? Did the people who directed this movie even SEE the original? Joan Crawford was amazing as the bitchiest femme fatale who also was a smart cookie.
Eva Mendes, sorry - but NOT a Joan Crawford remake of the role
Thats my review: save your $10 to buy a dvd copy of the original movie. Yes, it's in black and white from 1939, but the writing and story are 10 times more amazingly modern and entertaining than this new version. Save it for netflix.
*disclaimer* For the record, I'm not just saying bad things because the original was so wonderful -there is room in the industry for GREAT remakes. Some of my favorite movies are Great Expectations with Ethan Hawk and Gwenyth Paltrow and Hamlet (also with Ethan Hawk) are 2 of my favorite movies and both are brilliant interpretations of classics.