July 2, 2020

TINY LOVE STORIES: "Do You Think We're Compatible?" (100 words)

"Do you think we're compatible?" 
This is what I'll ask my husband at any time, out of the blue, 
because I marvel 
that we've been together for 34 years. 
But I never imagined that when we got married 
we'd be stuck inside together for 90+ days straight. 
During the quarantine, he's commandeered the dining room with three computers and a printer, 
and I'm upstairs in my office. 
We hardly see one another during the day. 
Then at dinnertime, we'll watch a movie, laugh, and sit very closely on the sofa. 
"Do you think we're compatible?" 
Yes. I do.

June 26, 2020

New Yorkers Are Tough. Smart + United

I am so proud to be a New Yorker! After three months in quarantine and WEARING MASKS, we not only flattened the curve, WE BENT IT. It's not a political thing, it's people's HEALTH. Texas, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and 12 other states are seeing an explosion in coronavirus numbers. We are not! We've worked together to bring down the numbers. Sure, I'd love to go to the beach, or a big party, but there's a frickin' pandemic going on. As NY Governor Cuomo said, "New Yorkers are tough, smart, united, disciplined, and loving."
Be smart ... WEAR MASKS!!!!!!!!

June 17, 2020

COVID Fashion Show: A Pooch During Quarantine


I overheard ACB (our daughter) talking to Maggie (our 3-year old Cavapoo) one day while we were in Stay-at-Home mode for three months, March through June. ACB was home studying for her medical exam and the 14-hour days/nights of focused learning called for distraction. “Wanna play dress up?”

During study breaks, ACB styled Maggie, who patiently modeled anything. You’ll notice a medical theme to the outfits, along with a few other doozy looks sure to amuse.

"Dr. Fauci said."
  "Dr. Brodnick here. How can I help you?"
"Just 'cause it's quarantine, doesn't mean we can't dress up a little. I decided to wear a lacy blouse, 
red skirt, and the red bag for a little pop. Raise your paws if you dig the look."

"I'm scrubbed and ready for surgery. Has anyone seen my stethoscope?"

"I can dream, can't I?"

“I feel sorry that the 2020 graduates didn't have the pomp, romp, and circumstance this year.”

"Here I am channeling Little Edy in 'Grey Gardens.'"

"Me working at my home office in the dining room. Double-screens, a printer and 
I'm good to go. I don't even have to wear shoes to work."

"Wearing a sports bra can be tricky when you have 6 nipples,
but that doesn't stop me from working out every day. No excuses!"

"Do you like it with my glasses like this ..."

"... or on my head ..."

"... simply without?"

"I know what people will say for this shot. 'Awwww ...'"

The antics of ACB and Maggie clearly kept quarantine lively during the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic.

June 5, 2020

ZOOM ... Save Us "Sunday Evening Gatherers"

The pandemic and being in quarantine since March 16 was bad enough, Then came the news of George Floyd being murdered by Minneapolis policemen and WE ACTUALLY WATCHED HIM BEING MURDERED. Then came the utter ridiculousness of Trump's photo op in front of the Episcopalian church and holding a Bible, then watching the police shove and shoot peaceful protesters. On top of more than 107,000 souls, to date, who have died from Covid-19, millions of people are without jobs and children are going hungry. 

America has surely reached the nadir of moments. I can't breathe.

Since the beginning of quarantine, a group of dear friends has gathered around Zoom and created
"Sunday Night Gatherings." It is my anchor at the end of the week and a distraction/respite from all of the horrors that the world is going through right now.

Each meeting has a host, and we choose a topic that is our favorite artists, buildings, culinary delights, cocktails, trips, buildings, movies, paintings, poetry, trees, etc. We download these favorite things on share-screen on Slack. 

So ... what are some of my favorite things? 

Horse Chestnut, perhaps because it played such a prominent role in my Maplewood childhood. In a piece I wrote in 1988, "Maplewood Summer," I say, "Because Curtiss Place (the name of our house) was built by a painter, the many rooms were laced with windows that looked out on trees that fully expressed every season’s bounty. In fall, two horse chestnut trees, which stood for hundreds of years both next to my window and at the foot of the drive, spit porcupine-like balls that stuck to the soles of our shoes. In spring, the branches held forth deviled-egg candelabras in bloom. In the summer, cicadas shrilled the Curtiss Place mornings. On moonlit nights, secret faces in the leaves smiled against the July night sky."

The Glass House, by Phillip Johnson. Built 1948-49, it has perfect proportions and simplicity. It's a 56x32 feet glass rectangle on 47 acres of his private estate. He lived here from 1948 up until he died at 98 years old in 2005.

"M," Fitz Lang's first movie to use sound to advance the story. Starring Peter Lorre (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsVproWjN6c) Outstanding example of film noir.

Favorite photos we've taken:

1. We were sitting in the square in Sienna and all of a sudden a parade of people walked by. Wedding gowns, elegant dresses, men in tuxedos ... it was wild.

2. Murano

3. Striking reflections on glass building while waiting in a cab at a stop light in Chicago. 

4. Haunted house outside Saratoga Spring, New York. (I swear there's a ghost in the top right window.)

For Mother's Day Sunday we posted shots of our mother. Here's mine, elegant comme toujours. (And who's the babaceous chick in the foreground wearing a snappy leopard bathing suit?)

"Chilmark Chewies" from my illustrated recipe book that I kept as a little girl:

Tangueray + Tonic: Take a high ball glass, fill with ice, add jigger or so Tangueray, tonic, lime juice, and throw a few limes on top.   Always a peaceful moment, and now a sweet memory, of drinking a Tanqueray + Tonic while looking at my beautiful garden in Pound Ridge on a summer's eve.

I can't wait until next Sunday's gathering in Zoom. I forgot the topic. Where am I? I feel like I am living in some alternative universe. If you don't know what I mean, you are living in a bubble.

May 6, 2020

Celebrating Leadership & Entrepreneurship: Libby Mattern

When Covid-19 hit, one thing was blatantly clear: the stockpile of PPE (personal protective equipment) was desperately low. My daughter-in-law Libby Mattern, production director at Malia Mills (swimwear and ready-to-wear designer and domestic manufacturer) is also founder of Course of Trade, a registered 501c3 dedicated to providing industrial sewing training to New Yorkers in need — no previous sewing experience necessary.
As the pandemic continued to spread, it was obvious that the time was right to revive the declining garment industry in NYC. The racks of Malia Mills swimsuits and clothing took a back seat so that Course of Trade could shift the company’s focus. They are now producing over 2,800 isolation gowns every week for front-line hospital workers in NYC.
“Coronavirus is an important time for small businesses, large businesses, and the government to band together to help in whatever way we can. This is what makes NYC manufacturing, and people behind sewing machines, so incredible — we can nimbly move to address the supply chain issues and bring goods to market rapidly,” Libby said.
The isolation gowns are level one with very specific specifications and fabric secured by the Mayor’s office. Course of Trade is working with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) who works directly with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to distribute the gowns to public hospitals across the five boroughs. Along with Course of Trade, Libby is managing five other garment factories in South Brooklyn. The city is providing the materials and paying the factories for their work.

Mayor DeBlasio and the Course of Trade team

Bill DeBlasio, Mayor of NYC, recently visited Course of Trade, where the sewing machines have been socially-distanced, and reinvigorated workers are hard at work, doing their part, to help protect those who protect others. “Such a short while ago, you were a swimwear factory, right here on this floor, making swimsuits for the summer season. And now you are a war-time factory making isolation gowns to protect health care workers.”
“None of us would’ve imagined that trying to find isolation gowns would be nearly impossible for our front-line workers,” the Mayor continued. “This is an amazing industry — the heart and soul of New York City.”

Truck loaded and ready to deliver 21,700 isolation gowns to our frontline workers

The Course of Trade team 

The total contract with Course of Trade and its cohorts, which expires on July 1, is for 65,000 isolation gowns. 

“We’re moving heaven and earth to get this done,” Libby said.

* Follow @courseoftrade for updates.

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