133-so-les-suites-photo01-item-fr  Just In Case The Raphael is Booked

                                                     by Jerry Bowles

                        

                                              

There is nothing quite as deliciously self-indulgent or decadent as a great hotel. Hemingway wasn’t whistling Dixie when he said “Whenever I dream of afterlife in Heaven, the action always takes place at the Paris Ritz.” Papa loved the place so much that he personally “liberated” it upon arrival into Paris with American troops in World War II. Coco Chanel lived there for years. Walking into an opulent lobby and being greeted by an army of minions whose only concern in life in your comfort and well-being is a heady experience, indeed, for the very rich and those us writer/photographer types who mastered expense account stealing from wealthy corporations before the Internet came along and ruined everything.

My favorite hotel is located a couple of hundred yards and a world apart from the Ritz. The Hotel Rafael opened in 1925 as a refuge for people who favor a smaller, more intimate approach to luxury. With its 86 elegant and tasteful rooms—some of which have balconies that look onto the Tour Eiffel—the Rafael is perfect for people who prefer privacy and understatement over obvious flash. I’m not sure the hotel is particularly proud of this but when Hitler visited Paris on June 23, 1940, he ate at private dining room at the Rafael with his military commander of France, General Strumnagle. The place is so romantic, they probably held hands.

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On my first visit I arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport for a photo shoot with a photographer of my acquaintance and we discovered that the baggage handlers and the airport taxi drivers were on strike. These were the days when photographers carried around strobe lights and all kinds of cameras and equipment. With our own traveling bags, we had somewhere between 150 to 200 pounds of stuff waiting for us on the tarmac under the plane. Somehow, we manage to drag it to a Metro stop, get it piled up in the middle of the train, rode to the Gare du Nord, unloaded, dragged it little by little up four levels, to the street. (At some point, we passed someone who looked like a baggage handler and I offered to buy him a condo in Miami if he would help us and he said something in French that sounded like “I am French. I don’t carry.”) Got our stuff into a city taxi which was not on strike.

Ten minutes after we settled in at the Rafael exhausted, I realized that somewhere along the way I had left my small shoulder bag which contained my passport, plane ticket home, and wallet. Dragged myself back into a taxi and back to the Gare du Nord and started retracing my steps. Three levels down, I found my bag, untouched, sitting at the top of an escalator. It was as close to a miracle as I’ve ever experienced. The whole thing took more than three hours. Any hotel that can survive that kind of introduction and become a favorite has got to be doing something right.

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I have asked one of my dear friends to discreetly bury my ashes somewhere under the floorboards at the Rafael if he outlives me. I believe I asked someone else to scatter them in Puligny-Montrachet. Just in case the Rafael is booked.

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Hotel Raphael, 17 Avenue Kléber, 75116 Paris, France

 

 

JamesStBasils0629Moscow Redux

                    …by James Broder

 

 

 

 

 

In November of 1991 I worked for a week in Moscow on the television production of the Kremlin Cup ATP Tour tennis tournament. It was a crazy, chaotic time in Russian history. Boris Yeltsin had recently outwitted an attempted coup, climbing atop a tank parked outside the Russian “White House” at one point to give an impromptu press conference. Both the Hammer-And-Sickle and the flag of the Russian Republic flew atop the Kremlin. I know that to be a fact because one day I was invited to a reception at the Kremlin, and saw for myself. From inside the Kremlin Walls. As I walked to the Kremlin Palace of Congress. After the reception, I made a deal with the Kremlin coat check girl. I tipped her a dollar and she allowed me to keep my plastic coat check claim, with its Cyrillic writing. I kept it for 15 or 20 years, but ultimately somehow misplaced it.

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The television crew was housed at a Penta Hotel across the street from the Olympic Stadium. Penta Hotels flew food and supplies in every day from Germany for hotel guests, because in the chaos of Moscow, food (or any consumer good) was almost impossible to come by. One day I went wandering through Moscow with a colleague who spoke fluent Greek (at least he could read the street signs). We decided to venture out to try to buy food. Any food. We were unsuccessful. None of the dozen-odd stores we visited had anything to sell. Not a loaf of bread, not a potato. We spent almost 5 hours wandering around the heart of Moscow, and returned to the hotel with nothing. Then I went upstairs to my room and switched on the TV to EuroSport. Whatever I started watching was interrupted by Magic Johnson’s press conference from The Great Western Forum announcing he had contracted HIV and was retiring from the Lakers.

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About 10 years later I was invited back to Moscow to work on the television production of a UCI World Cup track cycling event, indoors at the Krylatskoye Velodrome (world’s only indoor 333m track!). I checked into a giant, spooky-looking Soviet-era hotel next to the Moscow River called the Hotel Ukraina. I arrived after dark. Atop the hotel was a 50-foot-tall electrically-lit red star. After stashing my bag in my room, I went back outside and had a walk around the neighborhood. EntranceToKrylatskoye

 

You might say things had changed. There was a Porsche dealership across the street. Down the block was a SBarro. On the first floor of the hotel, around the side, mid-block, was a medium-sized supermarket. I walked inside to find huge bins of fresh produce, a well-stocked dairy section, and anything else one would find in a typical SPAR in Germany or a Sparkasse in Austria.

Capitalism had come to Moscow. God help them.

 

Zaha’s First Hotel

                         …by Andrew MacNair

 

ArtHotel Billie Strauss

ArtHotel Billie Strauss

In What Seems Like the Middle of Nowhere…
On and off for a year I lived in the Billie Strauss Art Hotel. It is the first hotel designed by my friend Zaha Hadid in the early 1990’s.  This first hotel, commission by Billie and Mano Strauss for Zaha, was the result of a direct line of friends of friends to friends – Nicola Walter in New York to her mother Maya Walter in Stuttgart to Billie Strauss in Stuttgart and Nabern. Billie Strauss ran an avant-garde gallery in Stuttgart where I was doing an exhibition of “Egg City.”

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Billie Strauss and her architect husband, Mano, run an extraordinary country restaurant in the old town hall, the Weinstube Altes Rathaus of Kirchheim unter Teck, Nabern, Germany.  Mano is the great chef and Billie the sweet and always cheerful boss. Zaha made in one way a fairly practical renovation inside the barn with a few Zaha touches and in another way what was then its own kind of radical thing – a wild, swooping curvilinear gallery ceilings punctuated with broken diagonal walls and a tectonic insertion, a kind of fallen fragment jammed into the middle of the new tiny exhibition space downstairs in a sub-basement sunk half below ground with facing the back side towards the town brook. Two kinds of musical scores: Zaha’s Futurist Symphonic Cacophony versus the Sublime Babbling Brook.

I lived in a room for the year with trips back to Rotterdam and New York was small white and blue sheetrock box with a two shiny side tables and a small pointy bed.  It was actually “the nice” room. Quiet. Clean. Simple Modern. Bright. I liked it.

One part of Zaha’s original design that was not built was a small, steel-frame tower attached to the hotel with three levels of extra super rooms. The image of this little avant-garde tower like an abstract tree for me was always part of my view, vision – and now memory of living, being there. The constancy of living between memory and imagination is who we are and a major part of how we live.  Also, for some architects, the world of “unbuilt  architecture” is a major part of our constant production making buildings clients or no clients – both for Zaha and probably even more-so for me.  I have a 45 year architectural practice of over 500 buildings never built.  So Zaha’s unbuilt tower of rooms is a very important part living there and now in memory of that journey.

There were a few things that were always in my view of what was essentially country, farming town living. The side tables were slightly sloped and shiny, so things would keep sliding off. And there were pointy corners of the frame of the bed that kept jabbing my shins.  And then it was almost too suburban, too nice – an endless aura of ennui – but that was soothing to me while it seemed out of character not only with Zaha and her design aesthetic – but more with the divide from the rustic beauty of the barn and Rathuis, the small farmer’s village and the flowing rural landscape of streams, fields, horses, cows, and the nearby Schwabian Alps.

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Ironically I was working during that year in Stuttgart with Mano and a local architect’s office on a design for a health hotel nearby in Beuren – a famous and popular hot water springs. Buses packed with Germans, Italian and even Japanese tourists came to this tiny town to bathe in the springs. I was there in Billie Strauss Art Hotel designed by Zaha while designing a Health Hotel up the road and over the mountain.

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The most interesting aspectual hindsight far-far away from  New York 20 years later is what I call the “Shifting Contextual Frame” – or a kind of “Traveler’s Zoom” – where we hover between memory and imagination – in a zoom from the Buzz of Stuttgart to the picturesque outdoor Pastoral Landscape of the Schwabian Alps to the to the Rustic Farming Town and Wild Curvilinear Yellow Koolzaad flower fields to the antique buildings of the Restaurant and the Art Hotel to the interior abstract spaces of the gallery disrupted with an inserted, crashing Zaha Fragments and the finally up  to a quiet, carved refuge of my tiny blue and white room, an Aedicule of Peaceful Refuge – which thanks to Billie and Mano gave what-was-for-me a neccessary and rare space, time and calming experience.  It was an avid, manic New Yorker living in a rural place that seemed and seems like a dream in Nowhere yet is very much Somewhere – special oasis, a clear place and bright memory I still cherish – with relish.

Arthotel Billie Strauss, Weilheimer Straße 20, 73230 Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany

Weilheimer Strasse 18, Kirchheim – Teck/Nabern, 73230 Kirchheim unter Teck, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland

 

 

celal2      Living Like Royalty in Istanbul

                                             by Sally Steele

 

Many of the Boulevardiers are very low maintenance when it comes to hotels. Others are not. Traveling with our Publisher often yields nicer rooms due to his penchant for “haggling.” I would not always call this haggling, I would just say it is taking advantage of the gift of exacting memory combined with the gift of gab.

On a trip to Turkey, we had quite the adventures. We started in Istanbul, landed at night, headed to an airport hotel, woke up at 4:00am to a windy rainstorm, had the window of our room bust open spilling rain onto the carpet and knocking over end tables we had stacked up to keep the window from blowing open in the first place, quickly dressed and headed back to the airport in the damp dark. You might be wondering why we put up with this? Our Publisher who was shooting for The New York Times Sunday Review, Exposures series was given the exciting opportunity to shoot at CERN, during downtime for the ATLAS & ALICE colliders, right before CERN was due to close for weeks around the holidays. When approached by The New York Times, we said, “sure we can detour right after landing in Istanbul and go from there to Geneva, across to CERN, down 700 meters to Atlas, shoot, then head to Alice, and get back on a plane to Istanbul and restart our vacation!”

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So…back in Istanbul, we checked in to our real hotel, the Celal Aga Mansion, and toured Istanbul, from an average but nice room in this hotel, with a quirky but friendly staff. Two weeks later, after heading via a bus in a Christmas Eve snowstorm through the Taurus Mountains to Antalya for a week, and then back to Fethiye, Izmir,bharain,  we returned to Istanbul. Before leaving Istanbul, we booked another room at Celal Aga Mansion, for the nights before we returned to the U.S.

Unfortunately, after a very active and full time in our other Turkish destinations, we arrived at Cel Aga Mansion to be told that we had not indeed booked a room, and they were also sold out as it was New Year’s and rooms anywhere in Istanbul were at a huge premium, and only certifiable dignitaries would get one arriving after dark on December 31. I became fretful and was figuring out how to contact someone, anyone, to get a room in Istanbul, even if we had to go back to the wind tunnel at the airport. Our Publisher, assuring the check-in staff that we had secured a room, invoked the name of his crony in reception from the prior visit, and insisted that they had not only guaranteed our 2nd booking, but that we would have to be given a room, any room, as we were not leaving. After about 5 minutes of haggling, which felt like an hour, the clerks told us they did have a room, only one which we figured was a closet next to the kitchen…but actually was their Royal Suite. Apparently a Bahraini Prince had his eye on it, but had not arrived in to Istanbul or confirmed, so as it was almost New Year’s day, out came the luggage cart, and up we went.

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Splendid is the only way to describe the suite, multiple gilt baths, a huge living room with bar, a kitchen, and a glorious bedroom with all kinds of built in luxuries.  We reveled in the sumptuousness, then headed out to dinner, told multiple times that no reservation on New Year’s Eve=no dinner, so we settled for cheap takeout at the joint around the corner, and headed back to our royal suite for the evening.

A vendor in the Istanbul Bazaar once amused me in epic fashion, “Madam, how can I part you form your money?” Basically don’t try, and now that I’ve had the Bahranian royal suite for the same price as a Queen room, I’m insufferably not able to be parted from my money.

Celal Aga Mansion Hotel, Kemal Paşa Mh., Şehzadebaşı Caddesi No:5, 34130 Istanbul, Turkey

 

 

du cap1       Nothing remains the same

                …by Marilyn “Greenie” Abrams

 

 

 

It was around 1971, when we first visited Cannes and were staying at a hotel on the Croisette. Fielding at that time was a great travel book and recommended the Hotel du Cap in Cap d’Antibes as a must see. We booked a reservation for lunch. We drove up to this astonishingly beautiful villa and walked in the front door which opened up to the most magnificent view of the Mediterranean imaginable at the end of a long path surrounded by incredible gardens.Hotel-du-Cap-Eden-Roc-French-Riviera

 

 

 

If I haven’t used enough adjectives, suffice it to say that after an impeccable lunch (another adjective) we checked out of our Cannes hotel, moved to the Hotel du Cap, canceled our Paris hotel and have returned every year since. The biggest change has been that the guests at that time were all European while now Americans have discovered the charm.

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Nothing remains the same, but I still can’t sleep the night before we go and we plan our first lunch and luxuriate in the anticipation of the luxury ahead of us. It is an other world, a paradise.du cap 5dAntibes

 

 

 

 

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Hotel du Cap, Boulevard JF Kennedy, 06600 Antibes, France

 

 

savoy 4                Not THAT Savoy!

                                       …by Kim Steele

 

 

Upon arrival at Heathrow, I was greeted by a dapper gentleman in a Jaguar to transport me to The Savoy Hotel in Central London on the Thames. The House of Savoy was the ruling family of Savoy, descended from Humbert I, Count of Sabaudia (or “Maurienne”), who became count in 1032, who broke original ground on the Strand in the City of Westminster. It passed through many royal hands before becoming the property until impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte bought it in 1880 to build the Savoy Theatre expressly for Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Having seen the opulence of American hotels in his many visits to the U.S., Carte decided to build the first luxury hotel in Britain ( Peck, Tom. “Savoy refurb: rather fine, guests agree”. The Independent, 11 October 2010). , which was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.

In 1890, Carte hired the hotel’s first famous manager, César Ritz, who later became the founder of the Ritz Hotel. Ritz brought in his partners, chef Auguste Escoffier, and maître d’hôtel Louis Echenard. Ritz put together what he described as “a little army of hotel men for the conquest of London” Ashburner, F.”Escoffier, Georges Auguste (1846–1935)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, May 2006, accessed 17 September 2009

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I was surprised by this development, but since the corporation for whom I was working, made the reservations, I was in good hands. Arriving at this esteemed institution, we were greeted by many bows and proffered hands. I have never seen such quality swaggy goodies in the room in my life. Also in a promotional effort there was a gift certificate for food and wine at the hotel that was part of the room price. I am sure, even in the nineties, this room fare was over $500 US. The writer and I luxuriated over the grounds, woodwork and rugs and planned our work. This lobby set the standards for all my future hotel experiences. We were both surprised at the accommodations but the welcome was so enthusiastic, we waited until the next day to contact our client. WHAT???? He bellowed, not that Savory but another one with a slightly different name… Too late, unfortunately, to check out that day, we had to endure all the fineries of the upper class: custom made beds by Savoir Beds, sheets, towels, soaps, petit four and antique furniture for another day before moving out with the riff-raff to more pedestrian accommodations.savoy 1

 

 

The list of clients include the most luminary, from Queen Elizabeth Coronation Ball, to King Edward VII, Sarah Bernhardt, Enrico Caruso (who sang with a baby elephant while the lobby was flooded for a gondola party), Lillie Langtry, H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Nellie Melba, Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, Errol Flynn, Fred Astaire, Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Barrymore, Harry Truman, Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland, Josephine Baker, Cary Grant, Babe Ruth, Ivor Novello and Noël Coward. Chruchill would often take his luncheons there complete with his daily bottle of champagne.savoy 3

 

The hotel is now owned by a US equity firm, Blackstone, and operated by the Fairmont Group. As to have laid my head down on that sumptuous custom bed for two nights, twas Heaven!

The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EU, United Kingdom

 

 

WP 4                    You Have Arrived

                                       …by Kim Steele

 

 

Heralding a consummate list of guests, including Egyptologist Howard Carter, who in 1922 discovered the intact tomb of Tutankhamen, The Winter Palace was the winter residence for Egypt’s King Farouk hence the name, it sits atop the Karnak at Luxor, on the Nile that cannot be traversed, but must be circumnavigated, like so many things in life.

Sofitel Winter Palace Louxor

 

Rising up those few steps into the entrance, off the busy, street crowded with child beggars and horse carriages, and in short distance along the majestic Nile, the felucca catch the breezes in their picturesque sails. WP 3

 

 

 

 

 

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Lovely details from, hangers, to sheets and stationery, this hotels says, you ‘have arrived!’ I sat on the back terrace overlooking the garden, writing in my journal about the important impact that Egypt had on the the Western world: astrology,(discovering the leap year), geometry, our calendar, our counting system, and architecture system. Nearby is Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, one of the most memorable sites in the world. It is an elegant beaux arts structure enveloping the Nile.

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Winter Palace Hotel, Kornish El-Nile st – beside Luxury Temple – Luxury, Luxor, 11432, Egypt

 

THANK YOU to Jerry, James, Andrew and Greenie for sharing your travel tales with The Boulevardiers.

First hand recommendations from our Publisher:

Hotel Hassler Roma, Italy

Le Sirenuse Hotel, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Taj Bengal, Kolkata, India

Brown’s Hotel, London, UK

Grand Hotel et de Milan, Italy

Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, Egypt

Hotel Majestic, Saigon, Vietnam

Chateau Marmont, bungalows, Los Angeles

The Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico

Hotel Arts Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand

 

 

William Randolph Hearst ~ Boulevardier of the Year

by Kim Steele

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WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, your readers might like it. ~WRH

 

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Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA, photograph by Kim Steele

One of the most telling descriptions, for better or worse, is the fact that his Senator father, George Hearst, willed his entire fortune upon his death in 1895 to his wife, Phoebe, stating that his only son, William, was a “hopeless spendthrift.” He was not entirely wrong. He in fact assumed the control of his mother’s property in Pleasanton, California in the same year, to begin his first major construction project, the Hacienda del Pozo de Verona. He was twenty-seven at the time and building his career in newspapers, radio and film. She “re-possessed” it from him soon there after.

William (WRH) was born into wealth. His father was a gold miner, U.S. Senator and engineer. His great-grandfather emigrated from Ireland to South Carolina to acquire a land grant. He was properly reared at the best of schools, St. Paul’s in New Hampshire and then Harvard College. He was expelled for sending chamber pots painted with his instructor’s faces inside, and sponsoring beer hashes in Harvard Yard. He floundered for an occupation, and landed on publishing. His father owned the San Francisco Examiner, which he gained in exchange for a gambling debt. He poured money into modern equipment and had the good sense to hire some of the best writers of the time, including Mark Twain and Jack London. He succeeded in dominating the market.

The Examiner printing exhibit, at San Francisco's 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition

The Examiner printing exhibit, at San Francisco’s 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition

Although William Randolph Hearst already owned the San Francisco Examiner, inherited from his father, he was intent on tackling New York. With $7.5 million from sale of Anaconda Copper stock, he purchased the New York Morning Journal. Sold for a penny a sheet, therefore called a ‘penny paper.’ Hearst tackled the challenge with his usual zeal –  competing head-on with Joseph Pulitzer, owner and publisher of the New York World, from whom he “stole” Richard F. Outcault, the inventor of color comics, and all of Pulitzer’s Sunday staff as well. (The Press: The King Is Dead, Time, August 20, 1951)

There were sixteen competing papers in New York at the time. Hearst succeeded in trumping the others by his generous pay scale, providing bylines for the writers for the first time, and maintaining a dignified manner.

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The art of the deal, William Randolph Hearst, Winston Churchill, Louis B. Meyer, Boulevardiers and Freemasons, 1930

Hearst changed the face of journalism. He created ‘yellow journalism’ which denotes scandalous headlines, spurious sources and lavish illustrations to capture the readers’ imagination. The name was derived from a cartoon starring bald babies in yellow nightshirts, titled Hogan’s Alley. Circulation peaked at 150,000. His sensationalism reached the height of audacity by allegedly starting the Spanish American War, when after receiving a telegram from the artist Fredric Remington claiming there was no war in Cuba, he responded: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst even sailed there to report on the mistreatment of Cubans by the Spanish in an exemplary manner.

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It was at this time that Hearst dove into Democratic politics. He ran for mayor, Senate (even backed by Tammany Hall), Governor of New York, and even President. He did succeed to hold two terms as a Congressman from New York’s 11th district. His empire grew to Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles, and Seattle with the ownership of the Seattle Post Intelligencer. By mid 1920s he had twenty-eight publications under his leadership. In 1924 he opened the New York Daily Mirror, a racy tabloid boldly imitating the New York Daily News, Among his other holdings were two news services, Universal News and International News Service, or INS, the latter of which he founded in 1909. He also owned INS companion radio station WINS in New York; King Features Syndicate, which still owns the copyrights of a number of popular comics characters; a film company, Cosmopolitan Productions; extensive New York City real estate; and thousands of acres of land in California and Mexico, along with timber and mining interests. (Wikipedia) The Hearst empire still owns a popular magazine, Cosmopolitan, and created a now dead publication Connoisseur in which this author published an article on the famed Aubusson tapestry.

Hearst did return in frustration in 1919 to the West Coast, and began to expand his empire in Los Angeles as well, with a Julia Morgan designed Examiner Building there. This began his life-long relationship with Ms. Morgan as his lead designer, culminating in the tour de force of the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, along the central coast of California on a ranch his father had acquired years before. He was a very mercurial and demanding client. The project began in 1920, and was never really ‘finished’ but work was halted in 1938. Hearst left there in ill health to reside in Los Angeles, and sadly never returned to his beloved residence. Morgan visited almost every weekend, a distance of two hundred miles from San Francisco by train and car. She returned by night train on Sundays and appeared devotedly to her office every Monday morning. Her engineer was not as stout. William was eventually forced to move to Los Angeles by his health.

In 1903, Hearst married Millicent Veronica Willson (1882–1974), a 21-year-old chorus girl, in New York City. He envisioned a place where his family of five sons could enjoy the great outdoors. This was his greatest enterprise, and remains to this day one of the magnificent homes in the U.S. His propensity was for frequent mind changes, often to aggrandize the properties, sometimes lacking the necessary immediate funds. WRH collected antiquities voraciously his entire life, concentrating on Medieval Spanish design which formed the core of San Simeon. Most notable in his collection were his Greek vases, Spanish and Italian furniture, Oriental carpets, Renaissance vestments, an extensive library with many books signed by their authors, and paintings and statues from all over the globe. He took frequent trips to Europe to acquire his beloved objects, sometimes beyond his means.

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Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hearst Castle pool, San Simeon, CA, photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearst holdings included a million acres in Mexico, the Babicora Ranch. Hearst’s father, U.S. Senator George Hearst, had acquired land in the Mexican state of Chihuahua after receiving advance notice that Geronimo – who had terrorized settlers in the region – had surrendered. His mother expanded the holding as early as 1886. He wrote to his mother,  “I really don’t see what is to prevent us from owning all Mexico and running it to suit ourselves.” (David Nasaw, The Chief: The Life of William Randolph, Hearst, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001)

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The Hearst Building, San Francisco, CA

The Hearst news empire reached a circulation and revenue peak about 1928, but the economic collapse of the Great Depression and the vast over-extension of his empire cost him control of his holdings. He never recovered nor did his holdings. He carried on as Publisher even visiting Berlin to interview Adolf Hitler. When Hitler asked why he was so misunderstood by the American press, Hearst retorted, “Because Americans believe in democracy, and are averse to dictatorship.” Hearst’s Sunday papers ran columns without rebuttal by Hermann Göring and Dr. Alfred Rosenberg.

Meanwhile Hearst had purchased the Welsh Vale of Glamorgan property, St. Donat’s Castle, and revitalized it in 1925 as a love gift to Marion Davies, the Hollywood comedic actress who became his life long mistress. This included building thirty-nine green and white marble bathrooms. Hearst and Davies spent much of their time entertaining and held a number of lavish parties, the guests at which included Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Winston Churchill, and a young John F. Kennedy. Upon visiting St. Donat’s, George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying: “This is what God would have built if he had had the money.” Hearst’s wife never visited the castle.

Late in his life, WRH planned another project, originally the Milpitas Ranch near the Mission of San Antonio de Padua, to be an elaborate hunting lodge to accommodate his romantic idea of guests riding on horseback, about thirty miles inland to Jolan. Today, it’s located inside Fort Hunter-Liggett and operated as a hotel. It was a great concrete reinforced Mission style hacienda complete with massive columns. The apartments linked to a grand dining room and a spectacular second floor domed receiving room.

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The Hacienda, Milpitas, CA

 

 

 

Morgan continued to work for the family after his death, including for son George, who requested her to rework the Hillsborough home just south of San Francisco. But her most memorial work for him, aside from the Castle, was the corporate headquarters of Hearst Publications in San Francisco which begun in 1937 and stands to this day on a prominent intersection.  His spirit  lives on to this day with twenty-nine titles, including the important imprints of  Esquire and Town & Country, receiving nine nominations for the National Magazine Awards in 2015.

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Marion Davies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In suggesting gifts: Money is appropriate, and one size fits all. ~WRH

 

William Randolph Hearst was a Boulevardier in the truest sense of the word. He followed his beliefs, creatively shaped an industry and exhibited gorgeous taste while leaving behind a legacy that lives to this day. His eccentric tastes included a world renowned armor collection housed at his residence at 137 Riverside Drive, just up the street from this publisher’s NY home. The stately mansion, titled The Clarendon, had a Mansard top floor to present the pieces which he eventually bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum which displays them dramatically today.

William Randolph Hearst… a legend, and an inspiration to us Boulevardiers…

How to be Successful in the Arts 101… Shear Madness

by Sally Steele

 

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“I’ll never forget my first words in the theatre. Peanuts. Popcorn.”

Henny Youngman

 

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What happens when 2 actors from upstate New York decide to pursue their dreams, buy the rights to a murder-mystery written in German, by Swiss playwright Paul Portner for $50,000, turn it into a comedy, and spend another $60,000 to stage the play in Boston … well, actually, 35 years of creativity, delighting audiences, highs, lows, learning, a lot of hard work and money in the bank.

The Boulevardiers were on a trip to the Galapagos Islands, and out for a day trip of snorkeling and reveling in the surrounding beauty. With one Boulevardier in the water, and one on deck, a chance meeting with a brand new, petite, funny, successful, artistic Boulevardier has resulted in a fabulous new friendship, and the telling of the following tale.

 

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Marilyn Abrams, “Greenie”, and Bruce Jordan are the sole partners in the creative giant that has become the longest running play in the U.S., Shear Madness. Marilyn (MA): “I decided I was going to be an actress when I saw Ethel Merman in Annie Get Your Gun…shooting out light bulbs while spinning around on a roulette wheel.  Never got to do that.”

The comedy opens in the hair salon, with the owner, Tony giving a haircut to Mike, an undercover police officer. The rest of the cast is introduced in witty one-liners. Each member of the cast complains about the mean-spirited second-floor tenant, an old concert pianist. The first act closes with her murder. This is where things get unusually interesting; the audience becomes the audience and actors in the play by asking questions of the four suspects. The cast keeps the dialogue ever-lively with wit creatively colored by humor of the day which is rewritten every day before the performance and specific to the city or country where the performance is happening.

 

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Shear Madness breaks down the traditional “fourth wall” in theater. The “fourth wall” is a theatre term referring to the imaginary line, or wall, between the actors on the stage, and the audience.

 

Why is Shear Madness different?

MA: “Shear Madness was literally, the first time that the fourth wall ever came down. What happened when we were in the play, at that point in the second act was the house lights went on, the audience became unexpected actors, and there was an audible gasp from everyone.”

“It isn’t the same now, people are so much more used to being a part of the show. I never say audience participation because if I read that I would never buy a ticket!”

 

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“You enter the Shear Madness salon, but you enter it today. It takes place in whatever city you see it in, local humor, national humor. The structure of the play unfolds as the daily activities in the salon, then the murder is committed, and BANGO, in come the cops. The audience then needs to reconstruct the crime. And that‘s where all the laughs come in. You see how eyewitness perceptions are so wrong…how people are right and wrong in how they perceive the crime.”

“During intermission, the audience can ask questions of the detective. The interesting thing about the end is that it gets fairly dramatic. There was a theatrical producer who desperately wanted the show, she said, ‘the ending of it is like the coda to a musical piece because it becomes so different at the end.’ “

 

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“Every night we change the clues, people come back to see Shear Madness many times, all the time. Whatever is current that day in that location is going to be in the play that night. It makes the show ever-green, Shear Madness is never going to become a has-been, it is of the minute. When the actors come in every night they say, ‘what happened today, where can we put this, how can we make this happen?’ “Shear Madness has a beginning, a middle and an end and each changes every day…that in itself makes it very unusual.”

“Being our own bosses has made us able to do so many things, so many firsts. Bruce and I are the creators and the investors; we didn’t have to consult with anybody along the way. When we opened in Boston we had a handful of people in the audience, and we were in the play. We knew they were loving it. We said, we gotta spread the word of mouth! Having the luxury of losing all the money we were losing, we took everything in hand, followed nothing standard, we just did what we thought was common sense.”

 

What was your most unanswerable question?

MA: “OMG, what if nobody in the audience asks a question…the answer is that never happens.”

“Barcelona came to us. That was our first international production of Shear Madness, Bruce & I went to Barcelona, they came to Chicago to train with us. They said, ‘this will never work in Spain, these people are used to the Franco regime, they’re never going to question the police.’  “Well, the Spanish audience leapt out of their seats, yelling, screaming, and having fun!”

“We’ve had very good runs in Spain despite Franco.”

“Our Paris production just won the Moliere Award, the equivalent to an American Tony Award. I think in Europe it’s even more popular now than in the US. They’ve never seen audience involvement, whereas in the US that’s a little more common.”

 

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How did you get audiences into an unscripted play with no stars?

MA: “Our 35th anniversary is January 29, 2015, in Boston, our original intention was to stay open for 8 weeks. My indentured servitude! We’d make $100 per week, lose $200 a week, we never opened on a shoestring. We have always had first class actors, a beautiful set, the best publicist, and the best advertising agency.  When we use our trained actors, we liked to use the experienced head cop and the flamboyant hairdresser.”

“Our advertising agency in Boston said after we had run for a few months, ‘you guys have given this your all, but we think you should call it quits.  Summer’s coming and all of the Boston theaters shut down.’ ”  Bruce and I simultaneously said,”great we’ll stay open and be the only show in town.  That turned the corner for us.”

“We realized that we needed the groups to buy tickets. We hired an outside group sales agency. Annie was playing at that time and all the calls were for Annie. We had mixed reviews but no acting star. We realized early on that we had to take groups in house, that was a huge, huge thing to do. But first we had to find the groups. Then we made the decision that we were never going to try to sell them. We begged and borrowed to get the group leaders in, and then would follow up, and say, how’d you like it. Every single one loved it and they all booked & booked & booked. That was the modus operandi we’ve used in every one of our group sales locations.”

“Now everybody has this. It was revolutionary back then. We had so many things happen because we did everything ourselves. I would poll them next morning from my office/bedroom, ‘well I know you were at the show last night how’d you like it.”

“I have a fond memory of a group leader from the GenRad company who I called the morning after .  He loved Shear Madness and said he would like 200 tickets.  I almost fainted but regaining my aplomb I told him I would check our availability.   Availability?  We had nothing BUT tickets!”

“We called Harvard Business School, and asked them if they would like to do a study on targeted advertising. The Professor brought his graduate class to the play, he said, ‘we can’t figure it out because everybody loves it.’ Every concierge in every hotel was in our network and sent us tons of business. We would ride our bikes around Boston to deliver the flyers. The concierges all knew us. We never waited for the phone to ring, we followed up. No play owners ever belonged to a convention bureau, we did. Eventually we didn’t have to sell Shear Madness, we just had to get the people there.”

 

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Do you ever call what you have accomplished “redefining” what a play is?

MA: “Redefining is an interesting word. This summer I was speaking to a young fellow in his 20’s. He said, ‘I love Shear Madness and want to bring all of my company to see it, we are a tech company, we are disruptors, you’re a disruptor too.’ “  “How do you like that? What is it, a disruptor? It’s a brand new word, somebody who takes an existing business and goes about it in a different way. I realize that’s what Bruce & I have done, we had no previous knowledge of what to do, we just did what made sense to us. It was our money and we were committed to making it a success! We did so many new things, it was like opening a store, every time we opened a new Shear Madness we considered it opening a new company store.”

“We had computers very early on, we never used ticket agencies. Our own systems told us who bought tickets, how many, what class of tickets, that was another first. Everybody else used ticket agencies. A few places we can’t do this, like Kennedy Center. We were our own entrepreneurs. We had this wonderful freedom to try these things. Someone said, ‘you have to get all the hairdressers in.’ We did get all the hairdressers in.  We thought it was a great idea.  It never sold a ticket. We didn’t even get a free haircut. Not everything thing we did was pure genius.”

 

Did you ever see yourself taking as the one to take on the business side of Shear Madness? Did you ever get jealous because Bruce was doing the creative part?

MA: “Never, Bruce is a fabulous director, I was never a director. We’ve had a fantastic relationship because we both picked up what had to be done. I didn’t know I was going to do this money in the bank side of the business. I was the one who talked to the customers. I loved it because I absolutely LOVE the customers.  When Bruce and I did all these other jobs we still played eight shows a week for years and years and years. Bruce & I always jointly handled the PR.”

“When we saw the airlines were doing advance sales, we thought, we can do this! If it works for the airlines maybe it will work for us. It’s a lot of fun thinking about the things you can possibly do. When we learned more, we realized we couldn’t rely on local groups, we had to branch out to national and then international tour & travel operators. This is a big part of our business. You just kind of fall into these things somehow.”

 

When did Cranberry Productions come about? MA: “When we opened Boston.”

Why is it called Cranberry Production? MA: “What else do you put on a turkey?”

MA: “Another non-standard thing we did was that, we never had a general manager. We still do that out of our home base in Albany, NY, and all the accounting we do ourselves. It’s a lot to learn. We have a foreign language agent for international productions.”

 

What keeps you and Bruce creatively in control?

MA: “We insist that every adapter & director come to train in Boston or Washington, DC with Bruce & his assistant director. Also all licensed companies in the U.S. do this too. In the US & Canada, we also send our own directors. It’s very hard to keep Shear Madness artistically the way we want it.”

“Many years ago Mike Nichols & Buck Henry came to see the play, I had dinner with them, poor Bruce had to act in the second show. They loved it. Mike said, ‘pick up that little theatre and take it all over the country, the biggest challenge you will have is how it how to keep it artistically the way you want it.’ We learned early on that artistically you have to keep control.”

 

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How do feel when you sit in the theatre and watch Shear Madness today?

MA: “Well I love it, if it’s something I’ve never heard. Bruce & I don’t understand the foreign language but we always know how it’s going because we know where the laughs should go.”

“We’ve had terrific actors over the years who have invented many things. The challenge to Bruce is how to recreate the things that happen in the world that are so great for Shear Madness.”

“Sometimes the audience comes up with things that are really funny, and we think how do we put this in?  That’s why we like to use our trained actors, particularly the head cop Nick, he knows how get the audience involved and try to recreate the things that happened before that are so funny.”

“Sometimes I feel great and sometimes I say OMG does this show need work!”

 

Is there anything you would want to say to Boulevardiers everywhere? How do you inspire artists in an age where it is so hard to be an artist?

MA: “It’s hard to answer because everybody is different. If you want to do it and you love doing it and it’s something that you have a passion for and you’re always thinking about it, then do it. Particularly for actors I understand how incredibly difficult it is. There are so many more actors than jobs. It’s an unanswerable question really. Everybody has to find an answer for themselves. My husband and I have 4 kids and not one a serial killer. They’ve taken pride in the fact that their mother is an actress and not home a lot. Artistic ventures are not steady incomes. Ask yourself, how happy are you doing what you are doing? I have a very supportive husband. He always encouraged me.”

 

What keeps you interested in the 21st century?

MA: “I’m interested in your online artistic presence, The Boulevardiers. That’s a whole new world that we are becoming more acquainted with. People are turning more & more online. I see how differently the actors are prepared in such a new way, everybody comes in with instant videos, and what they need to sell themselves.”

 

What you have done embraces every day. The business of what you do is very strong. You & Bruce have been able to combine the extemporaneousness of art with a business model that you invested in built & enjoy. What do you say to young Boulevardiers?

MA: “You can’t let fear overtake you. I remember when Bruce & I first saw our theatre at the Kennedy Center, and we said this 300 seat black box would be perfect. It took us about a year to get Kennedy Center to come see Shear Madness and then say ‘Go.’ They said go and we panicked, how can we do this, it’s such a big place, we don’t know how it going to work. Buyer’s remorse. I was driving to NY, and I stopped at a payphone, I told Bruce we ain’t gonna sit on the porch of an old folks someday home wondering what we would have done if we went to the Kennedy Center.”

“I have a very rare partner, when we rarely disagree we say, how important is that to you? Be brave, and do it! The only things I’m sorry about are the acting opportunities I did not accept, those are the things I didn’t go for.”

 

You’re still laughing, smiling, and so humble. I guess that’s part of the joy of your success. You have a very true appreciation of what makes you & Bruce different, what you didn’t think you were going to do. It has been a labor of love, of bravery, common sense and reading the tea leaves. When you had the big gulp moments, you said we’ll make it work. You’ve controlled your beginnings & endings; you knew how to undo something that wasn’t to your standards. Is this how you see yourselves?

MA: “The decisions…that’s the big thing. Sometimes were not all that smart. We always get down to the basic things, we say, ok if you had nothing else to consider, if it had nothing to do with money, what do you really want…and you take it from there, scale it back, and sometimes it works! It’s pretty simplistic.”

“Who doesn’t love a happy ending? Isn’t it great to be an artistic inspiration rather than a disruptor?”

 

Shear Madness

Boulevardiering — the verb

by Sally Steele

 

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The Boulevardiers are proud of and bemused by the mileage and velocity we are encouraging via our use of the term Boulevardiering (our Twitter name). We are Boulevardiers, indeed Chesterfieldian, flâneurs, fops, walking-stick nuts, so are most of our friends, and garnering that curiosity and energy is the reason we started this publication over 2 years ago. We are in world-class company here: Irving Mansfield, John Garfield, Leo Lindy, Walter Winchell, even Ethel Merman. As our readership grows, and our reach extends internationally, we are humbled and empowered by the statement we make.  We encourage all to Promenade through life, from the Great Promenade in Central Park to the various promenades along the water fronts world-wide, Cannes come to mind.  A tradition hundreds of years old in Europe, and we have experienced it.  Sit and watch the strollers go by in the hour before dinner, then join them while others watch.  This occurs even in the small towns, like Lucca, Italy.

 

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Some recent Boulevardiering references we have seen, human, animal, and worldwide…for your reading pleasure.

 

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T. G. Lewis, Book of Extremes: Why the 21st Century Isn’t Like the 20th Century, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2014: “Boulevardiering is one of the most endearing customs of urban Italians–parading up and down major thoroughfares of Rome and other Italian cities in one’s finest clothing. It is largely and extrovert’s sport played by social animals with an abundance of self-confidence. Boulevardiering regularly breaks out among the Neapolitan natives near the Castel Nuovo off Via Nuovo Marina Boulevard or most anywhere the stylishly dressed Italians happen to go in the cool evening after siesta and before dinner at 9pm. Italians love to be spontaneous, but with style. The fondly call these spontaneous exhibitionists, “Boulevard Animali”–parading animals.”  The term has been elevated to an adjective in a New York Times article describing a new bistro in Manhattan, Buvette, as a “flaneur-magnet.”

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Boulevardiering has spread to other, more uptight countries like the USA. Southern Methodist University students in Dallas Texas have been doing it for years. Typically the SMU Mustangs parade around campus prior to a big game against the rebel Black Bears of the University of Mississippi. It started in 2000 as a kind of extemporaneous celebration in honor to the new Gerald J. Ford Stadium. SMU needed something bigger and better than the Black Bear tailgating parties in Mississippi. So they turned “boulevard” into a verb–an act of one-upmanship over the University of Mississippi. It must have worked, because SMU students have been boulevardiering ever since.

Boulevardiering holds wonderful nuances . As the day wind dies down, and the Italian sky turns august, people turn out gradually at first, and then in droves – linked arm in arm, all ages and sexes. When dinnertime arrives the crowd fades just as orderly and smoothly as it gathered. Whether parading around in one’s fashionable attire in Italy or baseball cap and war paint in Texas, the ritual is a predictable one–smooth and rhythmic as one would expect from a civilized and sophisticated people.

 

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Forest and Stream, Volume 83, By Charles Hallock, William A. Bruette: “Nor were these the only feathered people that come to our cabin. One spectacular being clothed like a boulevardiering cavalier and having the mein if a finished chesterfieldian gentleman was noted seated in an oak near the cabin one day. It did not take more than one sweep of the eye to place him. I smiled grimly and called Fred’s attention to him.”

 

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A Review of, A Flâneur for All Seasons, by James Guida: “Of all the instances in literature of direct advice, there can be few to rival Peter Altenberg’s: “Get thee to the coffeehouse!” This is the fin-de-siècle Austrian writer’s prescription for a host of life’s ills. You’re broke, there’s a rip in your boots, you have a fickle lover or no lover at all, you want to do yourself in, or you just “loathe and revile people and yet can’t live without them”? Altenberg is unswerving: to the coffeehouse. Rilke might impress on us the urgency of changing one’s whole life for the better—some excellent self-help, provided it can be glimpsed how. While waiting for enlightenment to take hold, Altenberg is your man.”

“Peter Altenberg, or “P.A.” for short, was the pen name of Richard Engländer, born in Vienna in 1859 to a well-to-do merchant family, and a Jewish convert to Christianity, Engländer walked out of courses in law, botany, and medicine before, in his thirties, giving himself over to a life of thorough and eccentric bohemianism. He is reputed to have spent most of his adult waking hours in coffeehouses, and the sleeping ones in a hotel that was little more than a brothel. As for writing, his chosen medium was a feuilleton-style prose poem of anywhere from a sentence to a few pages in length, and he did wonders with it. Though far from the only painter of modern life, Altenberg seems singular even when compared to his nearest literary kin: less austere and allegorical than Baudelaire, and more involved with society than Robert Walser, his short prose approaches form in ways that are uncannily relevant now.”

“Altenberg was central in his time: a friend of Berg, Klimt, and Loos, he had a large audience of female readers and a roll call of admirers that included Kafka, Kraus, Mann, Musil, and, yes, Rilke. Even the writers who quarrelled with him were ready to contribute funds when he was in trouble. Perhaps alone among authors who answer to the description of “walking-stick nut” and who sell their own handmade jewelry in cafés, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize.”

 

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Dancing at Ciro’s: A Family’s Love, Loss, and Scandal on the Sunset Strip, by Sheila Weller “Helen’s antic childhood friend Irvie Mandelbaum was now Broadway’s “boy genius” publicist. Borrowing a page from John Garfield (nee Garfinckle) and Ethel Merman (nee Zimmerman), Irvie had renamed himself Irving Mansfield, and he was living, like Herman, in a Broadway hotel, boulevardiering with all-the-rage bandleader Richard Himber and stopping in at Leo Lindy’s with Walter Winchell and Dave’s Blue Room to jostle the showgirls, many of whom Herman directed.”

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Time Out, 1000 Great Holiday Ideas, edited by Chris Moss: “It’s almost unbelievable anyone still flies or ferries to France, when you can go by Eurostar for less that 60 quid. For that quick romantic getaway, a weekend in the city of love, especially in spring or autumn, still delivers in terms of candlelit bistros, afternoon in cafes, and boulevardiering in the Marais. Get yourself in the mood by having some bubbly on board the train.”

 

A review of The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, by Edmund White: “White’s Paris is seen on foot, as a flâneur, a stroller who aimlessly loses himself in a crowd, going wherever curiosity leads him and collecting impressions along the way. Paris is the perfect city for the flâneur, as every quartier is beautiful and full of rich and surprising delights. But this is no typical tour of monuments and museums; it is much more intimate and surprising. As a flâneur of Paris for 16 years, White knows where to find the very best of everything–silver, sheets, plum slivovitz. He can tell you where to get Tex-Mex surrounded by a dance rehearsal hall, where to rent an entire castle for a party, or even where to get Skippy peanut butter. He eschews the pearl-gray city built by Napoleon and roams the places where the real vitality lives, the teaming quartiers inhabited by Arabs and Asians and Africans, the strange corners, the markets where you can find absolutely anything in this city that accommodates all tastes. White’s Paris is a place rich in history with a passion for novelty and distractions.”

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In Praise of the Flâneur, Paris Review, by Bijan Stephen: “The figure of the flâneur—the stroller, the passionate wanderer emblematic of nineteenth-century French literary culture—has always been essentially timeless; he removes himself from the world while he stands astride its heart. When Walter Benjamin brought Baudelaire’s conception of the flâneur into the academy, he marked the idea as an essential part of our ideas of modernism and urbanism. For Benjamin, in his critical examinations of Baudelaire’s work, the flâneur heralded an incisive analysis of modernity, perhaps because of his connotations: “[the flâneur] was a figure of the modern artist-poet, a figure keenly aware of the bustle of modern life, an amateur detective and investigator of the city, but also a sign of the alienation of the city and of capitalism,” as a 2004 article in the American Historical Review put it. Since Benjamin, the academic establishment has used the flâneur as a vehicle for the examination of the conditions of modernity—urban life, alienation, class tensions, and the like.”

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Arnold Newman – Master Class in Portraiture

November 25, 2014

Arnold Newman, Sir Cecil Beaton, photographer and designer, Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, 1978.

Photography of Photographers   Portraiture is about revelations.  Either for the subject or the artist.  So often in painting, El Greco, or Singer Sargent – exemplified by his most famous portrait, Madam X, the subject is somewhat incidental, especially out of the cultural context of the era.  But in photography, the subject is paramount.  Some […]

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The Era of AREA ~ New York’s most revered club

October 31, 2014

AREA partygoers, from Photos from Area--1983-1987, by Eric Goode and Jennifer Goode, Abrams Books, photograph by

In 1983 a nightclub opened in Manhattan unlike any before it. Minimally named “AREA,” the club would set a new precedent not only in the nightlife world, but also in the art world. More precisely, during its relatively short reign from 1983-1987, AREA represented a heady commingling of these two worlds. While its chronological precedent […]

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“Nothing should be noticed.”

October 12, 2014

Marella Agnelli, Truman Capote, and Bunny Mellon, with unidentified man, lunching at Lafayette the day after Capote's Black and White ball

“I don’t know what I’ve done that has made people so interested in me, more than anyone else.” Imagine being Bunny Mellon. From Listerine heiress, to Paul Mellon’s wife, to designer of the White House Rose Garden, to age 103 and upon her death 1000+ items from her collection donated to the National Gallery of […]

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Elwood Smith – Today’s Dagwood

September 28, 2014

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    Elwood H. Smith is an illustrator who speaks a language that appeals to various strata of readers.  I can remember my father laughing out loud at the comics. I have read The New York Times for thirty-five years, and they deign to include the ‘comics’ for it’s low brow aesthetic.  That is fine […]

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Italy: Non abbastanza monete nella fontana…

September 11, 2014

La Dolce Vita, and the Trevi Fountain

  Non abbastanza monete nella fontana…not enough coins in the fountain! Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, currently 75. In a country which bleeds culture, history is an irreplaceable natural resource. We have seen first-hand that Italy is crumbling. To the rescue come some legendary names in fashion […]

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Portrait of a Photographer as a Young Man

August 26, 2014

Self-Portrait, Monument Valley, Utah
1958, Photograph by Ansel Adams, Collection Center for Creative Photography, © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

  ANSEL ADAMS FORMATIVE YEARS     Born at the turn of the century, Adams grew up in the hinterlands of dunes and beaches of the City of San Francisco.  Descending from Maine stock, originally from Northern Ireland, the Adams Family created a niche in the physical and social scene of San Francisco.  Ansel could […]

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