Ed’s been in the news lately, and not for his intimate friendship with Taylor Swift but for his intimate relationship with pot. His latest release, “Sweet Mary Jane” gives a few clues as to how much he enjoys this particular pastime, and it’s been suggested that he wrote the love song to be “cool”. Well, we’ve always thought Ed was cool enough, so here’s a flashback to season 4 with Ed and Kennedy, weeks before the Grammy’s and a duet with Sir Elton John.
Boston’s annual Party in the Park was held last week to benefit the Justine Mee Liff Fund and the theme this year was “The Fascinator”. Since 2005, this party has been taking place in the Emerald Necklace, one of the many greeneries throughout Boston, which the fund helps maintain and restore. 700 of Boston’s most beautifully dressed women and a handful of gentlemen came out to celebrate and raise money for the parks.
Thankfully, we were graced with sunny, beautiful weather for the first time in a few years and raised approximately one million dollars, a great gift for the city of Boston. This money will work nicely alongside the 4.1 million dollars committed by Mayor Marty Walsh at the event on behalf of the city. Hats off to the guests and to Boston for helping to take care of our parks!
photo credit: Lisa Richov, The Social Stylist
I had the pleasure of meeting hat designer Susan van der Linde and her husband yesterday at a trunk show to benefit the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for Party in the Park. But before I sat down to look at her beautiful hats, I was greeted with a friendly smile from owner Nicholas Penna and the lovely staff at Salon Capri. I was treated to a beautiful blowout and styling by expert stylist Graziella Lembo. I’ve never been to the salon, but was immediately taken by the inviting decor and comfortable clean sleek feeling. The atmosphere–distressed wood paneling juxtaposed with the clean white cabinets, was like being inside a Philippe Starck hotel. I asked for something simple as to not overpower the hats, and Graziella styled my locks with ease and speed and made “making waves” seem like a piece of cake (although I know trying this at home would definitely not yield the same results!).
I walked over to chat with Susan and her husband Tom in the beautiful makeshift boutique and discovered that Susan and I had a lot in common. In addition to an eye for style, we shared a love of France; we had both lived in Neuilly while in Paris. Upon returning to the states, Susan eventually apprenticed with Don Marshall, the ultimate hat designer who had designed hats for Grace Kelly in his day. After his death in 1995, Susan started her own business to keep up all the trade secrets she had learned from the master.
Named by Vanity Fair as one of the top 10 Milliners of Fascinators, Susan describes her style as classic styles with a twist or pop of color or texture. I sat down with Susan to see what’s hot in hats.
Fascinator vs a full hat?
Fascinators have their place and should frame the face of the woman. But hats are beautiful and more dramatic – a woman needs to be certain of her ability to handle the attention wearing a full hat will give. If you are not confident enough to wear a full hat, then a fascinator is a very good option. They can be fun and whimsical and just as dramatic as a full hat too, worn by the right woman.
Trends in hats ?
Go big or go home!. Women want to go for drama. Hats seem to keep developing in materials, shape and how it frames the face of a woman. I am also seeing a lot of developments in texture and color. A Texan wants to look good from head to toe, so she is making sure her hat matches perfectly with her outfit, whereas a New Yorker is more concerned about being the perfect fashion plate, and about what others are wearing. Boston has a very polite crowd of hat wearers, who appreciate the beauty of other women’s hats.
Hat Etiquette-Europe vs. America?
There are very strict rules about wearing hats in Europe, such as, if you are going to an event after 6pm, you would NEVER wear a hat. It makes sense because there is typically no longer bright sunlight after this hour. Europeans, especially the French, who I have the most experience with, are more sedate, they will wear a single color from head to toe–very monochromatic. It isn’t as exciting for me as a designer, so I spice it up by adding a fun color to a classic shape, or vice versa and a crazy shape in a more sedate color like taupe. I always enjoy giving a little bit of a wink too, like a bumble bee, or other jewel attachment–something the client provides, but I will certainly direct them as to where to pin it on the hat. In the US, rules are more lenient, and you can be more adventurous with your hat. Americans can easily change up the color of the hat, and don’t need to be dressed in a monochromatic palette. I like the flexibility of that, and find it very satisfying as a designer.
I had a great time with Susan trying on her hats, she had a way of placing them on my head in positions I would not have thought of myself. She tilted the hats more forward and worn this way it gave a sense of allure, as the eyes just peeked out slightly under the brim. I could use her help in my hat placement on May 13th, wonder if she’ll be in town? She helped pick perfect pieces to complement my face and body and I am confident she chose the perfect hat for me. I highly recommend stopping by to shop her collection and at the very least to try on some of the most gorgeous hats of our time.
Susan will be taking walk-ins to shop her hats at Salon Capri until Thursday at 7pm, and will ship any special orders to arrive in time for The Party in the Park. 15% of the proceeds from trunk show item sales will be donated to the Justine Mee Liff Fund for the Emerald Necklace.
Party in the Park attendees are invited to book hair blowout and/or styling appointments for the morning of Party in the Park (May 13th) at any of SalonCapri’s three Massachusetts locations and the salon will donate 15% of the cost of services to the Justine Mee Liff Fund. Hair appointments can be booked via phone by calling: Boston/617-236-0020, Newton/617-969-1970 or Dedham’s Legacy Place/781-320-0900.
Photocredit: Lisa Richov
Sean Flood is a former street artist turned fine artist and somewhat of a local celebrity in Boston. His dynamic paintings of urban scenes and cityscapes are a reflection of his roots in construction and graffiti art. Flood harnesses the inherent intensity of graffiti, using line and form to build his paintings like the high-rises he depicts. Fresh off two very successful solo exhibitions at Kobalt Gallery in Provincetown and Childs Gallery in Boston, Sean sat down with us to discuss his art, his experiences, and his musings on how he got started as an artist.
HOW OLD WERE YOU THE FIRST TIME YOU PICKED UP A PAINTBRUSH? AND A SPRAY CAN?
I was a pencil guy from an early age – drawing as young as 8 years old – because painting scared me. I actually had my first show at 9! The Priscilla Beach Theatre [in Plymouth, MA] hosted a show – so it was coffee and hors d’oeuvres and then my doodles and cartoons on view.
I picked up a paint brush and a spray can – both probably around 15 years old.
WHAT WAS THE MOST EXCITING ASPECT OF BEING A GRAFFITI ARTIST?
Oh, definitely the rush of trying not to get caught. Then seeing it the next day, knowing you had gotten away with it. There’s a speed to graffiti art.
DID YOU EVER GET IN TROUBLE WITH THE AUTHORITIES FOR YOUR GRAFFITI ART?
Yes. I’ve been arrested three times, spent a couple of nights in jail, paid fines, had a probation officer, etc. One time I was painting the pier on Old Orchard Beach in Maine, during a camping trip, and I’m painting away and don’t notice a cop next to me until he taps on my shoulder.
I had to do community service sometimes. One of the best punishments I got was painting a mural for Boston City Lights – a dance studio in the South End. That was a great gig for a graffiti artist.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE FROM GRAFFITI ART TO FINE ART?
It was really about getting caught, and I moved to painting to try and stay out of trouble. I was good at graffiti art, bad at getting away. Graffiti art continues to influence my technique though. At first, I would try to include hidden graffiti in each of my paintings, but now I just take inspiration from the quick technique and shapes of graffiti.
WHY CHOOSE THE CITY AS THE PRIMARY SUBJECT OF YOUR ARTISTIC IMPRESSION? AND HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN CONSTRUCTION INFLUENCED YOUR ARTISTIC VISION?
I’ve always been interested in buildings. My dad has been a builder in Boston his whole life. For me, growing up with that and working with him over the years has really drawn me to architectural subject. The perspectives and deep space alone excite me. In school, I tended towards figurative painting, but nowadays, I’m more drawn to cityscape paintings – there is more room there for me to develop ideas than with figurative painting, for now….
DO YOU PAINT FROM OBSERVATION OR IMAGINATION?
When I started out doing graffiti, I was focused on using the alphabet, and these raw, expressive marks. With my cityscapes, I’m trying to infuse some of that same expressive abstraction into my observed settings. Actually, right now I’m working on some paintings that are much more of a fleeting glance of a scene, a quick impression. There’s more room for imagination there.
WHERE WOULD YOU SAY YOUR ART IS GOING NOW?
In the short term, I’m hoping to get some inspiration from an upcoming trip to Europe. I’m headed to Rome, Naples, Venice – for the first time, Umbria, Basel and Ireland. I’m going to see the shows while I’m travelling – the Biennale for example, but also I’ll hopefully get a chance to paint some new places for me.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE HISTORICAL ARTIST?
In school I always liked Giacometti [Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966], because of his expressive lines. He builds up forms through all of these different lines.
This is a tough question though. I mean I saw Van Gogh’s work in person in Amsterdam, and I was like “holy shit.”
Watch below to learn more about Sean: Video courtesy of Chris Engles
For the full interview watch here:
Winter may be officially over, but there is a very vibrant, energetic group of people still skiing and they will be until the lifts are turned off. Okemo Mountain Resort has always been one of my favorite places to ski, they groom to let you zoom and when mother nature doesn’t deliver on the snow, the team at Okemo always does. From an alpine fashion standpoint, the sophisticates who make the quick trek up from the greater New York area always makes it a treat. The best people watching and style scouting can be found in the Jackson Gore area, where I always see the most interesting on-mountain looks. Once the aprés action starts, the Jackson Gore Lodge is teeming with well dressed people and I believe owner and fashion fan Diane Mueller must have had that in mind when she and husband Tim expanded Okemo and built this lodge. Here are some of my favorite looks from the always outstanding Okemo:
Where’s the party? Bet he knows! From his K2 special edition Rolling Stones Side Show skis, to his multi color gridlock print outwear by Sessions, this gentleman hit the hill ready to rock and roll. Mick Jagger said “Don’t you think it’s sometimes wise not to grow up?” Mick was right and everybody who skis and rides isn’t completely grown up when they play in the snow at Okemo. Just ask this guy…if you can catch him.
Snow board or musical instrument, on the slope or on the stage – either way Ashley Cox just kills it. Her infectious energy can’t be contained and her choice of Aperture’s Peak to Creek printed jacket and pant is perfect for shredding it up on her Feather Snowboard by Burton. Check out her band Professional Victims and their new album “Fathom the Cosmos” because chicks that ride and rock rule.
When Laura Aman strode into the Jackson Gore lodge, everybody noticed and I did a cartwheel. How I love seeing a gorgeous woman carry herself with such confidence and grace! Her beauty caught my eye but it was her incredible accessories that hooked me. Her amazing fur bomber hat and to die for Chanel bag, paired with basic black was aprés perfection. As warm as she is striking, Laura is a fashion executive with NSR Nina Runsdorf, the exquisite high end jewelry line favored by celebrities and style setters.
Sporting yellow that is anything but mellow, the fabulous Victoria K. from Washington DC brought some elevated ski style to the top of the run. Her yellow and white Nautica ski jacket works like a charm with these super flattering, 3/4 zip pants by Marmot, and her pom pom hat brings the vibrant colors together perfectly. Victoria works in an interior design firm that specializes in luxury hospitality and loves to ski because she finds it the perfect medium of personal expression.
GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN
Ali and Helena are uniform wearing students from Connecticut during the week, but once school is out it’s all about colorful jackets with printed ski pants. Popping with color against the snow, they don’t want to just look good, they demand performance from what they wear and mix brands to create their own unique looks. Ali’s Eider fuchsia jacket is nicely matched with her blue, swirl print Zoe technical pants by Sunice. Not to be outdone, Helena is giving us some tropical thunder by pairing her purple Patagonia jacket with farrow jungle print pants by North Face.
Our very own Daniela Corte just reached one of the career pinnacles of swimwear designers across the globe–to have her bikinis featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue–an iconic read that has been around since 1964, generates upwards of 35 million dollars in ad revenue yearly, and has featured supermodel greats such as Tyra Banks, Paulina Porizkova, and Elle Macphearson on its covers.
Initially, the idea for the issue came about by then managing editor, Andre Laguerre, as a way to fill the magazine with content in the winter months, when sports reporting was slow. Who knew that this “filler” would take off to become the backbone of the entire magazine and create revenue and promotional opportunities for several new industries? So tops off to designer Daniela, who spoke to me a few days ago on being chosen for this coveted issue:
IT MUST BE SUCH AN HONOR TO BE CHOSEN FOR YOUR SWIMSUITS IN THE MOST HIGHLY RATED SI ISSUE OF THE YEAR— HOW DID THIS PARTNERSHIP COME ABOUT?
They approached us, it was love at first sight
YOU’VE BEEN DEVELOPING YOUR SWIM LINE FOR THREE YEARS NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE FOR THE LINE?
It’s difficult to choose one, it really depends on the market but a style we always have and repeat is a one piece, deep V!
AS IN THE ONE I’M MOST OBSESSED WITH, THE WINE COLORED FRINGE SUIT. WHERE CAN PEOPLE BUY THESE?
The fringe suit is available via special order at danielacorte.com or via phone 617-262-2100
I SEE THAT SI WENT SIMPLE BUT SEXY WITH THE ACCESSORIES FOR THE SWIMWEAR. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON HOW THE STYLIST ACCESSORIZED THE LOOKS? DO YOU CARRY THOSE ACCESSORIES AS WELL?
I always love seeing what talented stylists do with my suits. And yes, we are on the same page at DC, we have a gorgeous line of jewelry called “Lexi” that we offer at our studio. Lots of body chains and multi-layered necklaces.
HOW MANY STYLES OF SUITS DID YOU SEND THEM AND HOW MANY ENDED UP IN THE MAGAZINE?
We sent tons of suits! Three images ended up being chosen for the Sports Illustrated website.
We are in the middle of collaborating with some great designers, creating really captivating, unique prints while always exploring new suits and techniques and different ways to tie suits. There will be a suit for every body type but, as always, I love curves!
Paris, Texas and Chicagoland is Where It All Starts for this band. Magic Man is a five-piece, major label, synth rock band from Boston. Formed in 2010, they released their first EP You Are Here in September 2013, followed by their first major full-length release, Before The Waves on July 8, 2014. In February 2014, their song Paris debuted at #39 on the alternative charts and in March 2014, Alt Nation debuted Paris at #1 on the Alt 18 countdown. Also in March, they decided it was time to take things to the next level and perform at the well-known Austin, Texas festival (SXSW) alongside other bands such as Smallpools, Grouplove, New Politics and more. Shortly after opening for these bands, they embarked on their west coast US tour, headlining for the first time alongside Panic! At The Disco and Walk the Moon.
If you’ve listened to these guys, you’re probably familiar with their Passion Pit vibe. They released their first music video (PARIS), which debuted on VH1’s Mid Morning Buzz with Nick Lachey, and in a few days they sold out their first concert in NYC. Signed to Columbia Records, this band is a must see.
Happy to say that I’m friends with such a talented band. Make sure to see them this year as they headline a show near you.
All eyes are on the energetic – and telegenic — Andris Nelsons when he bounds across the stage of Boston Symphony Hall to take his place at the conductor’s podium, his sheer physicality a performance unto itself. At 35 years old, Nelsons is one of the youngest and most electrifying conductors on the international scene today and the youngest music director to lead the BSO in more than 100 years. He might also be the only one to have ever been a student of martial arts. Prior to his arrival in Boston, the Latvia native was music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), where he earned critical acclaim. Born in Riga to a family of musicians, Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying to be conductor. He is married to the internationally renowned soprano Kristine Opolais, who joined him on stage for his first opening night leading the storied Boston Symphony Orchestra.
AS A YOUNG CONDUCTOR, WHAT DID THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MEAN TO YOU? WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS?
As a music student growing up in Latvia, I was aware of the leading position of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), one of the world’s greatest orchestras. I followed the careers of several BSO‘s legendary music directors, especially Serge Koussevitzky, Charles Munch, Erich Leinsdorf, and Seiji Ozawa, and more recently, James Levine. I remember listening to many BSO recordings and feeling overwhelmed by the extraordinary performances. I never imagined that I would become this orchestra’s music director!
WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE ABOUT BOSTON AUDIENCES FOR YOU SO FAR?
The enthusiasm that the Boston audiences has shown to me, has touched me deeply. I have always heard that the Boston audiences were passionate music lovers—and it is very true! They also are generous in expressing pride and love for the orchestra. The BSO has been a great inspiration and joy for many of our patrons. My hope is to do all I can to continue to inspire them to ever greater levels of satisfaction and reward.
IS THE ORCHESTRA DIFFERENT TODAY THAN WHEN YOU FIRST GUEST-CONDUCTED IN 2011?
I don’t know that I can speak to how different the orchestra is today than it was in 2011. When I conducted the orchestra for the first time in March 2011, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and power the orchestra displayed in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. It is a very difficult piece of music, but we developed quickly a good connection and were able to make incredible music together. My joy nearly four years later comes from getting to know the orchestra better. I enjoy meeting and getting to know each individual musician, knowing them by name. This helps us work better together and make some great music.
WE’RE IN THE AGE OF “NEW” MEDIA. DID YOUR TRAINING AS A MUSICIAN AND A CONDUCTOR PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR NEW ROLE AS HOLOGRAM AT SYMPHONY HALL?
I have never participated in the creation of a hologram before, so it was fun to see how they created the 3D image. It’s both strange and exciting to stand next to your own talking and moving hologram – and I was happy to see that I have lost some weight since recording the image last July! I hope our wonderful patrons enjoyed this technology, and that the hologram and overall exhibit communicated some interesting and new information, especially to newcomers to the BSO.
IS THE ROLE OF CONDUCTOR OF A WORLD-CLASS ORCHESTRA OF THE 21’ST CENTURY DIFFERENT THAN IT WAS FOR YOUR HISTORIC COUNTERPARTS?
I would say that it is a faster moving world today, of course it is, and this pace applies to all aspects of modern life! However, in contrast, the fundamental role of the conductor has not changed so much at all on the podium. This profession is still based on personal communication and it rather stands the test of time in this sense. It’s such a magical and of historic profession.
BOSTON HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING A FAIRLY TRADITIONAL CITY. CAN YOU GIVE US A PREVIEW OF ANY EXCITING, NEW WORK YOU’LL BE INTRODUCING?
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has always presented many new interesting compositions with major composers as Bartok, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Babbitt, Birtwistle, Carter, and Saariaho, and many others, and also significant premieres. So there is no doubt that with the great repertoire that we all love so deeply—music of Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc.—we will also explore works by new composers and go back to some of the works of the 20th and 21st centuries that have made the recent history of classical music. Sophia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium is a great example of bringing back a late 20th century work that is now considered a masterpiece of our field—and Baiba Skride’s recent performances captured the extraordinary sound of Ms. Gubaidulina’s composition. This season we’ve also programmed works by Boston composers Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, and Michael Gandolfi, as well as works by Australian composer Brett Dean and my Latvian compatriot Eriks Esenvalds. Our audiences have responded very enthusiastically to what we have performed so far. We will continue to explore new works and bring the very best of music to our wonderful patrons.
For further information about the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a complete spring schedule, visit Boston Symphony or click here for complete programs, ticket information, photos, press documents, and artist bios.
Falling in love is all about fateful timing: being in the right place at the right time.
Like most native New Englanders, I suspect, I’ve always enjoyed visiting Kennebunkport in the summer. (Warm days and fresh lobster on the Maine coast — how can you not swoon?) But as anyone in a relationship can tell you, it’s during life’s little storms – not under its fair skies – when love really reveals itself. Kennebunkport was walloped with a winter storm this Valentine’s Day, while me and my other-half were celebrating with an off-season weekend getaway. It could have been a disaster — but as fate would have it, it was just what we needed: a reason to slow down and soak in the sweet charm of a quintessential New England resort town. The place has a lot of heart.
If you haven’t bothered to visit Kennebunkport in its quieter season, now’s a good time. (In fact, during the weekend of Friday, March 13, the town is hosting a series of “Valentine’s Do-Over” promotions and events. More on that momentarily.) Kennebunkport in the off-season is quiet — very quiet. That’s part of the appeal, of course, though we didn’t expect it would be entering such serious hibernation mode when we checked in to the Kennebunkport Inn on Friday, February 13. As unluckiness would have it, a major winter storm – predicted to dump about two feet of snow amid hurricane-strength winds – was swiftly moving in, scheduled to hit Saturday night. The inn was ready to receive overnight lovebirds: a sparkling red “Valentine’s” tree (more tasteful than it sounds) glowed in the parlor, and a stack of souvenir pins reading “Love KPT” awaited at check-in. But several guests had already cancelled their stay, said the front desk clerk as she processed our arrival; hopefully, she added, we won’t lose power.
The good news was: if there was a place to be snowed in – it was here. The Kennebunkport Inn is part of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection, a portfolio of properties with distinct identities but a common, contemporary sheen that runs throughout. The Kennebunkport Inn is housed in a stately, rambling structure built in the 1890s but recently renovated. Our room – 214, perhaps not coincidentally for a Valentine’s getaway – had a casual elegance, as though Ralph Lauren had signed on board for an HGTV-aired interiors makeover show.
A vibrant palette of reds, white and blues made it a warm and welcoming space to nest after a filling dinner at One Dock, the inn’s restaurant and lounge housed in what feels like an ample living room. We dug in to contemporary American plates of mussels, bourbon-glazed pork belly and red wine-braised short ribs as a fireplace flickered to one side and a pianist tickled ivories to the other. After fighting Friday evening traffic out of Boston, this is just the right way to unwind.
Winter might be overstaying its welcome, but at least that allows for extended opportunity to enjoy some of New England’s snow-filled fun — and the Kennebunkport Inn can help guests make arrangements for everything from snowshoeing to sleigh rides. With a blizzard about to bear down, we weren’t in the position to take advantage. But there’s plenty to do and see even while keeping it low-key, from ducking into adorable art galleries and shops that line Dock Square (check out Minka and Abacus in particular for art, fashion accessories and gifts) to taking a sip from the area’s craft brew scene: upstairs from the Kennebunkport Brewing Company is Federal Jack’s, a casual neighborhood eatery for grabbing topnotch chowder and clam rolls alongside a pint of suds. Afterwards we took a quick drive to neighboring Kennebunk for treatments at The Spa at River’s Edge. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a spa snob, but I indulge often enough to offer strong context — and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my facial was one of the best I’ve had, period, in or outside of Boston’s higher-end Back Bay spots. (And at a predictably lower price point too, even if you add on the extra eye treatment. You should, by the way.)
By the time we slipped out of our robes and back into street clothes, the storm was starting to pick up the pace. So it was back to the Inn for a quick sip of bubbly before our dinner reservations at David’s KPT, the sleek, modern American at sibling property The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, just across the Dock Square.
The three-minute trudge through swirling snowflakes was just long enough for a laugh before battening down in the window-lined riverside dining room that bustled with cocktailing couples (younger, compared to some of the other restaurants) for the standout meal of the weekend. The New England-inspired fare included a tender filet mignon with a perfect cauliflower-parmesan mash, skewers of citrus- and truffle-inflected shrimp and scallops, and plenty of fresh oysters from the raw bar. Outside the window, inches accumulated on a docked ship; it looked like something phantom Arctic pirates might hijack. But inside we were warm, rosy from wine and five years of Valentine’s Days. We hadn’t been counting on this interfering snowstorm, but in a world of constant digital connection – buzzing phones, rapidly refilling email inboxes – we were suddenly grateful for Mother Nature imposing upon us a moment to stop, slow down, and appreciate what was right in front of us. The timing was just right, and I found myself in love with Kennebunkport in a whole new way.
Visit DestinationKennebunkport.com to check out winter packages and special rates. Try to make it up for the “Valentine’s Do-Over” weekend on March 13-14, which also coincides with Maine Restaurant Week.
If you love books, you’ve really got to like Newtonville Books. First, let me just note how much affection I have for any bookstore that keeps a separate area for Europa Editions. Yes, I’m judging a book by its cover (they are wonderfully designed) and by its content. Europa is the publisher of dozens of notable novelists including Fabio Bartolomei, Seth Greenland, and Elena Ferrante, whose “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” has become a book club staple since its release in September 2014. (It is the third in a series.)
Speaking of book clubs, Newtonville hosts a half dozen book clubs. The store runs and stocks a number of books that are favorites of area book clubs. The selection is well-curated to reflect a broad taste – both popular and new and titles that have been on shelves for a while and might just be gaining a following.
But back to the task at hand: The Staff Picks. This bookstore’s staff clearly has as much love for fiction as it does for non-fiction (something that appears to be rarer than I might have guessed.)
Some of the staff choices that I’d like to point out:
David Peace’s “The Damned UTD,” which The Times of London called “probably the best novel ever written about sport.” The book was originally released in 2006 and was made into a movie. (See The Guardian’s review here: I would suggest, Peace’s book from last May, “Red or Dead” but I do so with a warning. It is a 700-page experimental novel about a soccer coach. Yeah, I know.
Notable in the non-fiction category is Eula Bliss’s “On Immunity: An Inoculation” from Gray Wolf Press that was released last fall. This title was among the “Buzz Panel” titles from last spring’s Book Expo America, which means that the industry and stores had a head’s up about the its release. What I can’t figure is that why a book about how humans are afraid of vaccinations hasn’t prompted even more discussion. Even if this book weren’t as well written and researched (and, I hate to admit an easy to read and share 216 pages), it should be a book all parents are required to read.
Newtonville Books, 10 Langley Road, Newton Centre, MA
Our dear friend Bill Brett shared these photos with us of a very special night. I have known Cathy and Rob Griffin for many years and I knew their son Corey from the time he was born. He had a big heart, embraced everyone and is missed every day. Through this foundation his memory and spirit lives on.
More than 900 guests attended 7’th annual Winter Ball held this year to support the Corey C. Griffin Charitable Foundation, named in honor of Corey, who died in an accident last summer. Corey’s family launched the foundation as a vehicle “to continue Corey’s great philanthropic works and loving spirit – with the mission to improve the quality of life for children in need through healthcare and education programs.”
The 87th Academy Awards was a night of pearls, embellishments, simple high ponies, lots of red, strapless downward turned necklines, and statement necklaces.
LUPITA NYONGO, custom Calvin Klein Collection
FAITH HILL, J. Mendel
DAKOTA JOHNSON, St. Laurent
MARGOT ROBBIE, St. Laurent
JENNIFER ANNISTON, Versace
ROSAMUND PIKE, Givenchy
ZOE SALDANA, Atelier Versace
SIENNA MILLER, Oscar de la Renta
REESE WITHERSPOON, Tom Ford
JENNIFER LOPEZ, Ellie Saab
FELICITY JONES, Alexander McQueen
NAOMI WATTS, Armani Privé
JULIANNE MOORE, custom Chanel
KERRY WASHINGTON, Miu Miu
VIOLA DAVIS, Zac Posen
GWYNETH PALTROW, Ralph & Russo
JESSICA CHASTAIN, Givenchy
NICOLE KIDMAN, Louis Vuitton
EMMA STONE, Ellie Saab
SCARLETT JOHANSEN, Versace
Valentine’s day is just around the corner so I thought I would make it easy for you guys and feature a few great gifts in every price range.
These days, my favorite thing in jewelry is personalization. I love being able to give people meaningful gifts, and what better way to do this than showing some love with an engraved pendant. A favorite of mine is the Melene Kent single letter pendants. A great gift idea is the use of the initial of the person’s child, or pet, or first letter of their name. I love to shop local and this company is based in Massachusetts.
Three Sisters Jewelry Design makes gorgeous hand engraved name plates. I was lucky enough to get one with the names of both my children and my husband’s and mine initials “B M T”, all on three separate pendants layered in a single chain. I love the idea of layering, so if you really want to splurge, consider more than one.
In the medium tier price range, but also sticking with the personalization theme, I found these gorgeous GV Gemvara customizable stacker rings:
These are very cool when worn on the knuckles of the younger set. I love the idea of birthstones for every family member, and adding a fifth one for your anniversary date! My ring would be 14K yellow gold with ruby, aquamarine, smoky quartz, sapphire and amethyst. Depending on the size of your family, there are one stone, two stone and five stone options. There is also the option of customizing necklaces the same way. This is another local company started right here in Boston, which makes it a more meaningful purchase.
Also in the medium tier price range is the new T Square bracelet from Tiffany in rose gold. Their new boutique at the head of Newbury Street in the Taj Hotel, has a wide range of pricing, from $100-$10,000.00 And who doesn’t love getting the teal blue box with a neatly tied white satin ribbon?
If your price range teeters on the luxury end, I have also recently fallen in love with Mimi So’s diamonds. I first met her when she came to town for the MGH Storybook Ball, where she had donated a $25,000 package of her baubles. Don’t worry, there are items below $25,000 in her collection. What I suggest for a gift from her collection, are the stacker bracelets, though I LOVE the unexpected nature of the split rings and bows which are a huge signature item of Mimi’s. However, rings are often a dicey gift item unless you are already married…(according to my hubby). For the stackers, try a single one in rosegold, and add on the white gold stacker at a future birthday and the black diamond one at Christmas. Here are a few more favorite looks from Mimi So.
In any event, if you are late with your shopping—as we all often are!– some of these, such as Gemvara.com have a very quick turn around for customization. But you could also order it, and give a romantic handmade card with a “token” or “coupon” for the item, which will be coming in at a later date. Simply attach this to the bouquet of flowers you are getting your honey and you are guaranteed a smash hit.
When you think of the synthetic rubber-like substance Neoprene – developed by chemical giant DuPont – you likely conjure up things like laptop sleeves, knee braces or electrical insulation. But not any more – the form fitting fiber is now the fabric of choice for some high-end designers including Clover Canyon, Ted Baker and Alexander McQueen. And here’s the deal, it’s much more forgiving than you might think. I know – when you grab hold of it while the dress is on the rack, you are thinking, “No way – I’m not wearing a wetsuit to a cocktail party.” But the truth is the thickness of the fabric smooths and conceals a multitude of body sins – it’s almost like pulling on a full body “Spanx” but much more comfortable.
Clover Canyon – a Los Angeles based company – first burst onto the scene in 2011 with its bold Neoprene shift dresses that look like paintings. The line first started showing up in niche boutiques around New England more than a year ago but now it’s mainstream and can be found almost anywhere including Saks, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. In fact the problem with Clover Canyon is that its designs are too recognizable and the dresses have become common to the point where you might find yourself at that destination wedding next to a gal from Dallas wearing the same piece.
Now though, other designers are taking a crack at the synthetic rubber scene with more subtle designs. I wasn’t crazy about the Ted Baker pieces, but Alexander McQueen knocked it out of the park. Look at it this way, if you don’t like it, cut it up into round circles and give it to aspiring musicians, I understand Neoprene makes a great drum practice pad.
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