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.

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