7/31/10

Definitely not a nightmare

If you've ever watched chef Gordon Ramsay's show Kitchen Nightmares, you would probably agree with the description of his personality as fiery. I'd say he can cuss like a sailor, and yell and scream with the best of em. So, I was a bit shocked to see the interiors of his own restaurants.

Gordon Ramsay At The London, West Hollywood.
Interiors were designed by David Collins.
The British designer is a master at creating elegant, appropriate yet personal public spaces.
The color scheme might have been lifted from a box 
of French macarons ...
... but the design is reminiscent of a California beach bungalow all dressed up and glamorous.

Miles apart from Ramsay's on-air persona, his restaurants are refined and luxurious and some are, well, rather feminine. How can it be that an ex-professional soccer player has evolved into such an aesthete? The interior color palettes are sublime, and evocative of the artful and sophisticated plates he prepares in his pristine kitchens.






These images are a long, long way from Kitchen Nightmares, and the often grimy, bug-infested dives Ramsay makes over on the show, usually in sweaty, swearing and stressful episodes.


Maze By Gordon Ramsay At The London, NYC was also designed by David Collins.
The spaces are much more Manhattan chic and sleek, but just as opulent.

I can't help imagining stepping into one of Ramsay's dining rooms, walking through the quiet and tastefully dressed crowd, only to step into the kitchen and find Ramsay in the midst of one of his wild tirades.
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7/23/10

Getaway


We're off to the beach for the weekend, and hoping the storm won't catch us.

Lido Beach in Sarasota is next door to – and equally as beautiful as – Siesta Beach, which has been near the top of Dr. Beach's 10 best beaches in the U.S. for the last several years.

The 2010 list...

1. Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York (NATIONAL WINNER)
2. Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
3. Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
4. Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
5. Main Beach in East Hampton, New York
6. Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
7. Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
8. Beachwalker Park in Kiawah Island, South Carolina
9. Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii
10. Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida

(Are you as surprised as I was to see a couple of New York beaches on the list?)


We're not concerned about finding oil or tar balls here, as most of the damage in Florida has been confined to the northern panhandle (so far).

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are, and Think Peace.
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7/7/10

Think Outside the Box

 Click to enlarge.
 
The perfect window box is not just about the box. Yes, this one is planted with an exquisitely wild jumble of colors and textures, but would it be as charming without that wonderful little window opened up to reveal pots of topiaries inside ... or the espaliered apple trees providing a leafy framework outside ... or even the carefree garden planted beneath, with its multi-colored blooms reaching up with abandonment to meet the tumble of flowers from above?

I wish I had the courage to paint my house that perfect shade of pink.
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Photo from Southern Accents, Mar-Apr, 2004

7/5/10

Art Saves The Day

Pierre Mabille's art came to my attention during a recent show at Bleu Acier Gallery, in Tampa.

The consistent theme in his work, the elongated oval, one might think could be a short-lived fancy, that would run its course pretty quickly. But, take a look at his website and browse through the images of his gallery shows and installations – I think you might be enthralled and exhilarated – like I was – by his seemingly never-ending flow of ideas and creative variations on the theme.





Seems like French artist, Pierre Mabille, has taken a simple shape to wonderful conclusions. I find his work to be witty, optimistic and upbeat, the perfect antidote to life.
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7/1/10

Boundless Hope

If you missed Keith Olbermann's show last night, the conservationist John Wathen was a featured guest. He has been flying over the Gulf of Mexico shooting videos that show more effectively than anything I've seen, the extent of and devastation from, the oil spill. It was so sad, I couldn't bear to import the video directly onto this page, but go here if you're up to watching ... we've done a terrible thing to our beautiful waters and the innocent creatures who live there. Dolphins are some of the most lovable of those creatures - they smile, they laugh, and they seem to be filled with eternal exuberance. I don't think they are laughing much these days.

Let's just hope for an end to this misery and an end to the dominance of the oil industry over our government and the best interests of the planet ... soon, soon.

Photo: A pair of dolphins cavort, in happier days.

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