Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Weekend From Baltimore!

Saturday and Sunday, November 1-2
11 am - 4 pm
DIONYSUS Restaurant & Lounge
8 East Preston Street, Mt. Vernon
For details contact Laura at 443-841-9458

We arrived in Baltimore yesterday, and are staying downtown in this great neighborhood called Mt. Vernon. Our house hostess is the lovely Laura, who has an adorable apartment on St. Paul Street. This neighborhood has The Cultural Center, The Symphony, live theater, an art school, and Penn station connecting you to New York City in a mere two hours. It also has the grand Biltmore Hotel, cute bars and shops, and streets lined with beautiful brownstone row houses. I am in heaven! This is like a mini-me version of my old NYC neighborhood. The Fall weather is super fine, the trees are turning color, and I feel "home" again.
We're just here through the weekend, going home on Tuesday. Don't worry, we already voted early last week, which was an awesome experience. I have never seen people, all kinds of people, of all ages, stand in line for two to six hours to vote, and be so upbeat and excited for this privilege.
We have a free day today.
Last night Laura hosted a great tango party to introduce us to the dancers here, and it was a blast. It was at a beautiful and sexy little boite called Dionysus (where we will also be teaching our workshops), owned by the lovely Lynn, who I hope to do a post about, as she is a dynamic businesswoman and free spirit extraordinaire!
We are walking around, and now having lunch at City Cafe from whence I am writing.
It's Halloween, so tonight we are going to a Halloween milonga (a tango dance party), and I packed the perfect mask.
Of course I am going to try and see Meg from Pigtown, who should just be getting back from her fab birthday trip to London.
If she's not too jet lagged, I am going to ask her to take me the famous Book Thing!!!!!

In the meantime back home in New Orleans an interesting event is taking place tonight.
Behind the scenes of this grand event are Sally Ann Glassman, nice Jewish girl turned Voodoo Queen, and her society boyfriend Press.
Previously Sally Ann held a private Halloween night ceremony held in someone's home in the Marigny/Bywater (neighborhood where she has her botanica). You either had to be invited, live in the neighborhood, or know someone who would let you tag along.
Even though this was a celebration, everyone was cautioned to take it seriously and beware of any trickster spirits coming out to join the fun. Happenings at previous celebrations included spontaneous fires breaking out in the house, items moved or gone missing, the usual trickster antics. This year it goes mainstream, and all you need is the price of the $10. ticket HERE
Sally Ann and Press remind me of Marie Laveau and (19th century) Dr. John, two of the best entrepreneurs New Orleans has ever seen,
So Happy Halloween from my pumpkin patch to yours....
Sabina and Maya Graciela
twin daughters of Anie and Alfonso

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Know Where I Am On Wednesday Night!

Tango Tonight!



New Orleans

Class 7 - 9 PM

Dancing and Cocktails 9 PM - Midnight

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flowers Of The Week From Gary Page: Anemones And French Ranunculus

I used Anemones from Gary Page
for this bouquet





Our local farm is now producing

outstanding hybrid anemone $1.25/stem

France exporting ranunculus $1.50/stem

Please do not hesitate to get in touch

877 472 4394 or

for detailed pricing and shipping info

Ranunculus Red Pluto

Ranunculus Burgundy Red

Ranunculus Shanghai

Ranunculus Saigon

Ranunculus Cyclamen

Ranunculus Cream

Ranunculus Dark Yellow

Ranunculus Hot Pink

Ranunculus Purple

Ranunculaus Lulu

Ranunculus Phoenix


Ranunculus Solid Orange


Ranunculus Bright Orange


Ranunculus Clony Deluxe Red

Ranunculus Clony White

Anemone Eggplant

Anemone Hot Pink Orchid

Anemone Blue

Anemone Lavender

Anemone Red


Monday, October 27, 2008

Paris Tango

I first "met" Carla Coulson when I did a posting for Vicki Archer's wonderful book "My French Life" HERE.
Carla did the fabulous photography, and we exchanged a few e-mails, and I looked at her work on her web site HERE. She told me then, that her new book called "Paris Tango" was coming out in a few months.
Carla Coulson

Paris Tango! Wow! I wanted to know more, like was it really a book about tango. The hubs and I had been to Paris and had gone tango dancing there, so we know a big Argentine tango scene is there. Well, "Paris Tango" the book, is not really about the tango dance or culture, but about the tango of life in Paris, as seen though Carla's lens and experience.
Paris Tango takes us on a very personal journey into the heart of the city; from an insider's take on her local neighbourhood, the vibrant Marais and behind-the-scenes at the Moulin Rouge to the contemporary artists, couturiers and perfumers who continue upholding the legacy of Paris' reputation as being at the cutting edge of style. Carla interviews the gatekeepers of all things French, including: Moulin Rouge owner Jacki Clerico; master perfumer Frederic Malle; couture genius Francois Lesage; renowned florist Djordje Varda; lingerie high priestess Chantal Thomass; and, architect Renzo Piano, whose masterpiece, the Pompidou Centre has become part of Paris' iconography. Carla also introduces her readers to Parisian locals such as her salsa teacher, landlady and boulanger, as well as just a few of the Parisian dog owners who give Paris its reputation for being the city of dog poop.
Carla has several beautiful photos of showgirls from the Moulin Rouge on her web site, some of which will appear in "Paris Tango". I wanted to do a story about these photos then, but had to wait for the book to be a reality as per the publisher. It's now up on, so Carla gave me the go ahead to use some Moulin Rouge photos.
I have been fascinated with the Moulin Rouge since I was a little girl. I was a professional child performer. My mother was a ballet dancer, taken away from her career by my birth, and the subsequent role of mother and wife.
Not as talented as my mother, I suffered years of classes, and auditions, but somehow managed to get work due to the diligence of my mother managing my career. I did not aspire to a career as a ballet dancer.
My secret lust was for black fishnet showgirl tights I once saw an older dancer wear. I tried to wear them in my child level ballet class, and was sent from the room in disgrace, to change into the more appropriate baby pink tights.
My mother still danced at fund raisers, PTA shows etc., but not alone. She and I had a mother daughter act. Our act was a Can-Can. We wore identical costumes, she the larger sexy dancer, and myself cast as the adorable mini me high kicker.
Somewhere in there was the Hollywood bio pick "Moulin Rouge" with José Ferrer, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Suzanne Flon. This fictional account of French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec captivated me on two levels: One being the life of an artist and of Lautrec's astonishing work, and the other of the Moulin Rouge and its showgirls.
For years I secretly dreamed of the day I could audition for the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, the closet thing to the MR girls that I could get. I had no clue as to Las Vegas then. And the Rockettes were just a subway ride away.
An injury curtailed my professional dance career at an early age of 20. I managed a few jobs until I was into my 30's, but I didn't have the required chops to audition for the Rockettes.
At age 22 I took my first trip to Europe, and made a pilgrimage to Paris, and the Marais, and the Moulin Rouge. It was fabulous and a little seedy then, and I had never seen girls bare their breasts in such an artful way. I was an artist's model all through art school, and artful nudity was something I knew a thing or two about.
I fancied myself as a real life character out of a Lautrec vignette! What an imagination I had! My inner movie played with me starring in scenes of an old timey Paris chock full of artists and their models and muses and lovers.
Many trips to Paris ensued after the first one, and as the years passed the showgirl dreams were modified. I did a stint as a singer in a Rock band in the heyday of 1980's bands. It satisfied that old show girl itch, though I still always managed to catch the show at the Moulin Rouge when I visited Paris (as recently as 2004).
I also loved The Crazy Horse Saloon girls, but to me the Moulin Rouge was the epitome. I also had made it to Las Vegas by then, and saw the Vegas show girls, who I admired, but not in the same way as the French girls. The French girls always held the big magic, the cachet, the mystere.
So when I asked Carla if she would please send me some Moulin Rouge photos, I was thrilled to say the least, to have this Paris tango with her.
Join Paris-based Australian photographer, Carla Coulson as she celebrates the launch of "Paris Tango" the latest in her acclaimed series of photographic books.
Published by Penguin, and a follow-up to her hugely popular previous books, "Italian Joy" and "My French Life", "Paris Tango" is a portrait of the City of Light as you have never seen it before.
From the African street markets of Chateau Rouge to the penthouse suite of the Paris Ritz, Coulson and her camera uncover a Paris that is rarely seen.

Join Carla at this champagne cocktail party as she presents and signs her book - and show your support for yet another Aussie making a splash in the City of Light.

Thursday 4 December
WH Smith
248 rue de Rivoli
Paris, 75001
Nearest metro: Concorde

RSVP is essential HERE.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Own Domino Effect

Fornasetti Newspaper and Mariposas

I got the November issue of Domino today, and besides doing a nice feature about a dozen of the decor bloggers, the issue has some other goodies too.
There is a nice spread called Inspired Irreverence about Temo Callahan's apartment in New York City. Like many creative types, he makes his small apartment come alive in a few kooky and quirky and beautiful ways.
The thing that really caught my eye is his kitchen, and the stove!
An artist friend painted the cabinets, and Temo says he doesn't use the kitchen very much.
I am so intrigued by the stove! It looks like newspaper is glued to it! I love using newspaper to make hats, and boats, and wrap presents, etc.
I have never seen a stove decoupaged before, and here goes my own domino effect: If you can make a hat, why not cover a stove?
Pierro Fornasetti was covering Gio Ponti furniture with newspaper way back in the day, his own domino effect of a surreal art play on words. I have been a longtime admirer of Fornasetti.
His son Barnaba did up a Milan apartment, revamping his father's original design of newspaper covered furniture (and floor!) with hand painted butterflies.
I went to art school, and have a little surreal paste pot fun in me too, as you can see by my own kitchen cabinets. The ugly and worn white Formica doors were either removed or covered with trompe l'oeil wallpaper.
Where do the real plates end, and the phony ones start? Ha ha ha.
The joke is on me, because I am stuck with a really ugly stove that came along with the house. It works fine, so I just decided to make-do with it. I hate the ugly and impossible to keep clean black glass door, backsplash, and part where the knobs are. I don't think it's much of stretch from wallpaper to newspaper!
So I'm thinking about getting out the Modge Podge and slapping some newspaper on the stove! Maybe some Paris editions! I don't care about the stove at all, so if it really sucks, it may finally be the motivation to get a new one. The dishwasher is a Bosch, and is really in great shape too. I have not been able to find the replacement panel for the worn out front, so it may get a paper delivery too!
What do you think? You know I'm crazy, but....