Thursday, April 10, 2014

My favorite buildings designed by the same man??

Appreciating architecture definitely creates a few favorites... being in NYC I am lucky enough to see some of the best... I recently discovered one of my favorite architects was the designer of one of my first favorite buildings! The IAC building in the Meatpacking district was oddly also Frank Gehry's first visual gift to NYC:

"It’s been said that IAC Chairman Barry Diller suggested that his riverside headquarters have 'something to do with sailing up the Hudson' and, indeed, the building is the embodiment of that sense of motion and movement.'"

The waves give 'the impression of a tower whose shapes have been created by the strong blow of the wind'

The second favorite of Gehry's work is the Beekman Tower located at 8 Spruce Street in the Financial District. He wanted the waves in the building to look similar to our Statue of Liberty's skirt ripples.

Images and info from: Imamuseumm.dual-art

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Best Known Speakeasy...

...was Chumley's, named after its founder Lee Chumley - bought in 1926, established in 1928(up for debate since Wiki states 1922). Originally located at 86 Bedford in NYC's West Village and now gone.. My favorite facts: The new Mr. and Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald had their wedding reception here! Also, "Posted on the walls of Chumley's were the covers of books supposedly worked on there" and finally the speakeasy was mentioned in Mad Men as "a place where the creative staff were going for after-work drinks". Formerly a "small two and one-half story structure", Lee had the front building and rear stable joined, then remodeling the front to look like a garage - the new unmarked location threw everyone off. So through the fake facade/Garden Door, through Pamela's Courtyard (and secret stairs to trip the police) and on to a historic pub and speakeasy liked by some of the most famous writers and artists from the Lost Generation Era. In 2007, the dining room chimney shattered, not surprising being that it was built back in 1831 and closed possibly be continued.

86 Bedford - where the known restaurant term '86!' was made

The former days

Scott and Zelda pictured in the top right

Chumley's in blue

Info via Sheila O'Malley and Wikipedia, photos via NY Dailynews

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I wish I was Annette Hoyt Flanders

No idea who she is? I didn't either until about 30 minutes ago..

Grounds designed by Annette Hoyt Flanders -  Sunken Orchard

She lived in France while serving with the American Red Cross during World War I and studied design, architecture and architectural history at the Sorbonne (earning her B.A. in Botany earlier). If that's not enough, after becoming famous through landscape architecture, most known for the McCann Estate French Gardens [located in Oyster Bay, Long Island - called Sunken Orchard], which received the Architectural League of New York’s Medal of Honor in Landscape Architecture in 1932, she moved into one of my favorite buildings in NYC - 185 West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. Described as looking " like a slice of old London transplanted into New York". These two buildings have always made me so curious to knock on the door and become friends with the current owners (not creepy at all, I know). I am referring to 183-185 West 4th. 

No.185 on the left

As many did, no. 185 built in 1910 (the smaller of the two), first started out as a Carriage House belonging to townhouse owners on Washington Place - not too far away. In 1917 no. 185 was converted into a residence and construction started on no. 183 to be built into a “one floor studio with mezzanine.”

It was in 1962 the wealthy art dealer Armand Hammer discovered both buildings and bought them in order to create a single family home. This was considered his downtown getaway home, in order to be close to the Jazz clubs - smart man ;) He owned the estate for four decades. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day and Al Capone you ask?

Well.. only since you asked ;) 

Easily the most well known gangster and main man behind the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929, Al Capone. The massacre was part of a Prohibition-era issue in Lincoln Park, Chicago on February 14th. After Mr. Capone and his gang murdered all 7 men of the North Side Gang, what is most impressive to me is even after 7 of his men had been murdered, once Frank Gusenberg was "stabilized, police tried to question him but when asked who shot him, he replied, 'I'm not talking,' despite having sustained fourteen bullet wounds." All your friends gone... refusing to talk... and fourteen bullets?? Wow.

Anyways, Pre and Post his 8 year stint in Alcatraz and the Terminal Island Prison in Southern California as well as where he also died - Mr. Capone aka the original "Scarface" lived in a stunning Miami Beach Mansion on Palm Avenue, formerly owned by Clarence Busch of Anheuser-Busch brewing. According to Huffington Post:

Venezuelan architect and developer Luis Pons recently restored the 1922 Spanish Mediterranean style estate that has seven bedrooms, seven baths on a 30,000 square foot waterfront lot complete with a guest house and pool cabana.

In case you were interested, this house is now on sale for eight million. Any takers? I will definitely bring the only appropriate whiskey to your house warming, in honor of Al - of course..

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DIANA - nix the bad reviews

Gracefully of course :) I could not wait and saw the movie last night. The film covers only the last two years of Princess Diana's life and mostly her relationship with Dr. Hasnat Khan. Personally speaking, this movie opened my eyes to a side of Diana's life I never realized before, that being the most famous woman in the world - especially during 1995-97.

Princess and Dr. Khan

The life of the famed. We know they are swarmed with photographers, untrue stories are told, they can't go into the public without someone bothering them.. however it gives you a more in depth look into that life. One that looked completely horrible from what I saw. It is going to sound silly, but they are human too - with problems, insecurities and fear. On a lighter note, the film also highlighted the lovely kind and caring heart we all knew and adored.

Diana stood in on a live surgery performed by Dr. Khan

Finally, the film makers also graced us with a taste of the fashion icon's wardrobe.. showing the auction the Princess hosted, upon request by her son Prince William - raising over 5 million! 

The trailer.. Enjoy!

Images from coventrytelegraphtelegraphmirror and video from youtube

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Great Quote from Dad

"The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know" 

~ Harry Truman

Vintage shot, (top to bottom) 
Uncle Ricky, Pops and Grandpa Santucci in Wildwood
circa 1960.

Friday, November 1, 2013


"You can't be that kid standing at the top of the water 
slide, over thinking it. You have to go down the chute."

 ~ Tina Fey

Quote from Mashable

12305 5th Helena Drive

The only house Marilyn Monroe owned and the home I aspire to live in one day. In 1962, Marilyn moved into the 1929 Hacienda in Brentwood California but very sadly was found dead in her bedroom only 6 months later. Still to this day, it is one of the largest residential homes in this neighborhood.

About 7 years ago, a good friend and I visited this house, as a huge Marilyn fan this was a must see. As we were there, in the cul-de-sac dreaming and starring, the gates started to open! The owner came home and was not happy that we were there, understandable of course - however you did move into one of the most famous houses ever. Anyways, my charm did not win us a private tour as I hoped and we were told to leave. Oddly a few years later when I was working in Barneys NY - I befriended a lady who was from California, my dream land, after talking for awhile we both put it together that she was the same woman who pulled up to the gate years before! After having a good laugh and being that we were friendly now, she so kindly offered me a tour of the house the next time I was in Cali! Dreams do come true :)

Images and info from Go California