Monday, July 21, 2014

Harry Devert - An anomaly of a person

Harry Devert. He was a man who I was lucky enough to cross paths with for the first time in 2008 on an unexpected trip where I would unexpectedly meet a wonderful and inspiring person.

a·nom·a·ly

  1. 1.
    something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected

I use this word to describe Harry because that is exactly what he is - an anomaly. As I write this, I find it interesting that we had only a few encounters as friends - however his energy, kindness and warmth as a person are unforgettable. 

I visited Miami with a friend years ago, we needed a place to stay last minute and (through a mutual friend) we met Harry the night before we were stranded. He willingly and happily took us in the following night and showed us an amazing weekend. He asked for nothing in return and was still was so kind and full of life. He took me to his 'office' which was at The Ritz Hotel on the beach in a cabana overlooking the ocean. He had his computer and while he worked I stared into the gorgeous blue sea. He was funny and so happy.

When you meet someone only a few times and they appear happy - you never know if that is truly who they are or maybe you caught them on a good day. When I heard the shocking news of his disappearance in January, I began to read all of the loving words coming his way on his Facebook page. Words asking to bring him back, showing love and hope. However what stuck me most, as I was reading all the stories of others experiences with him - I found it was so similar to my story. I began to realize - I didn't catch him on a good day, it wasn't a one-off but this person, this man was actually indeed full of life, energy and kind-non expecting-love for others. Harry and the stories that were pouring in every few minutes - opened my eyes to how life should be lived. Life should not be taken granted for, people should be respected and shown the unexpected with warmth. Ann - Harry's mother - whom I never had the pleasure of meeting, but it is transparent that she held a major hand in the person Harry became. Watching her drive in finding him, never giving up - as any mother would - but the spirit she continued on to have for her son's life... it is clear as day where his unconditional love for all came from.




Life is short. We need to be kind to all, show the unexpected - for if you don't then who will? Live every day with high energy or in the least, with gratitude and selflessness. I am thankful that an unexpected event lead me to meet Harry. I am still speechless and in disbelief of the way his life came to an end.

Harry - I am forever grateful for the light you brought into this world, the adventure you lived and showed others, as well as the kindness you showed me that I will carry on with you in mind. To a special person. Thank you.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Has there been anyone as passionate as Hemingway was??

Sadly I fear the answer is, no. Fitzgerald is a very close second - but no one comes close that I can truly think of in our modern day. Lucky for us Hem fans - a documentary is now being made in Cuba (one of the first US films to be fully shot there since 1959). Even The Godfather Part II, set in Cuba was really shot in the Dominican Republic.

Ernest Hemingway

Minka Kelly.. Giovanni Ribisi.. even Mariel Hemingway, Ernest's great granddaughter, are appearing in the newest film, Papa. Appropriately named after the 'Nobel Prize-winning novelist's nickname'. Shot on the real locations where Hemingway lived, wrote and his favorite as well as infamous watering holes. Hemingway lived in Cuba from 1939 - 1960. Coming out in 2015, this is definitely a film I can not wait to see... as well as a trip I am dying to take!


Hemingway's Havana Home


Info and image from: hollywoodreporterprojectcastingwsj

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 permanently...to 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