Baby Duke

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Throwback to Baby Duke. Summer 2013.

Alameda Point Antiques- July 2015- William's Antiks and such

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It has been a really long time since I've made a blog post for myself! I've been doing a lot of that at work and the skills I taught myself here have made great opportunities to update and work with the new web designers and the PR firm.  Adding news to our business website is keeping me busy, I don't have as much time for my own blog.

So, I'm going to try to keep this up. It feels like getting a brand new moleskin notebook and being afraid to write average things on the first page- like it might set you up for an average accounting of this life on every page (I usually start writing 3 pages into a new notebook, so I can place wild and wonderful things on the first few pages later...)- when really, just write. No need to be so silly about it.


with HM

We did find some treasures today:

 It was 11 o'clock somewhere, but in Alameda it was 8:47am and we were already to row "H" to see our wonderful friend William Berg of William's Antiks. William was once a cook in the Navy and I would hire him in a second to cook for us! His beautiful wife Katie and his three handsome young sons are so lucky. William can also fix clocks (and just about anything else), speaks fluent French, has a never ending supply of jokes to tell and travels as often as he can to Paris where he buys French antiques, treasures and vintage leather club chairs, which he repairs and refurbishes and sells in America. If you haven't stopped by his booth, you're really missing out.
Fun facts: William never misses a Burning Man and his Katie used to work on the production side of Jaques Pepin's cooking show on PBS. They are a formidable team, raising handsome and charming boys in a huge and lovely warehouse in the artist/live/work district of Benicia, CA. Every now and then they have a Warehouse Sale and we try not to miss it!
They have another business called Dharma Door that sells wonderful baskets and linens, you should probably check it out.

 The treasures from William's Antiks are authentic and one of a kind. ALWAYS.
 Coat racks from Parisian homes and Bistros....

 The "smalls" are favorites of mine too. I love the little treasures...
 This little escargot was super lovely.... I should have bought him. Tant pis, maybe next time.
 (unfortunately I don't like escargots! I never could bring myself to eat them in France, which HM couldn't believe- so he once arranged to take me to Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, CA, where we ate them together...and I still didn't love them)

 A small shop sign. An exquisite flask (flasque? flacon?)
 Various small pieces...
....for the wine. Maybe for the wine we carry to Pizza Antica every Friday night!
 Bright blue enameled kitchen canisters....
 Small champagne buckets and a confitures pot....

And this is what we came home with:

This tiny treasure from the late 1800's or very early 1900's is 1 1/2" tall and only 3 1/2" long. It's solid cast bronze hand painted. It's stamped with a name on the bottom that I cannot make out. It is something HM and I have never ever seen before in our lives.....incredible really.
 Very little wear and all the arms, legs and toes are still there. Not bad for 120 years.
HM has a very good eye.
This was from the guy across from William today.
 I'm crazy for the printed confiture pots and mustard pots from France, so HM bought this one from Terry Littman (Row G). Terry arranges trips to the southern parts of France, near L'isle sur la Sorgue. She will take you shopping and feed you and show you all the best antiques shops. My Aunt Carolee and Uncle Bob have taken this trip with Terry every year for two or three years now. They bring back amazing treasures for their Christmas House on Bainbridge Island, WA.
We always try to buy a treasure from William and Terry when we go to Alameda.
We forgot to buy at William's today, we owe you one WB.
 And the back....
 So we came home with boots for me and boots for HM (Lucchese's), a green horsehair brush from I can't remember who, the mustard pot & the little yellow confiture pot (from Terry Littman), the boy with the alligator and a fascinating metal duck clip. The duck came from the Alligator man across from William on row "H".
 Kind of a dark picture of the green horsehair brush, the duck and the yellow French confiture pot....
 The duck is a clip- you press the top and the beak opens, it hangs on the wall. I have a similar clip near my front door that I put outgoing mail and important papers (used to be signed permission slips for the kids, etc.)

It was a pretty fun day.
We left Lafayette at 7am and walked to row X (the market goes to Z and then double letter rows until past GG I think!). We got hungry and left at 11am. And had breakfast at the Village Cafe in Orinda on the way home. Best breakfast in Northern California if you ask me. Kathy and Kurt Bellows run the place. Kurt makes the BEST corned beef hash HM has ever had (that is a supreme compliment!) Their son went to school with my daughter Paris.
I love our area. And I love our outings.
Happy Sunday!


As if she were the sun

Sunday, July 5, 2015

He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Paris and Life

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lots of memories of my Paris trips this week. I named my oldest daughter after my favorite city.
She is strong, elegant, enduring, beautiful with a classic elegance and a palate for all new foods and adventures. In the past I have sent her to Paris, with her French class in High School. And she on her own has studied abroad in London, visiting Scotland, Ireland and who knows where else in the 4 months she was there. Paris Gray, that's my girl. Life is not made of things. Life is made of experiences.

Paris (the city) has always been an escape for me. Once, a daring freedom, insisted upon, bought for a big price, and sacrifice (defiance even!). A treasured adventure with 5 of the most amazing women I've ever encountered. Chickie, Janey, Sandy, Corrine andCatherine (Dr. Mac!). Those wonderful days, trading roommates each day, dinners of steak pommes frites, a sip of Calvados, a tiny paper umbrella tucked behind an ear after a saucy night out, always diligent journal entries each night. 

We rented a car and drove around France, clockwise of course, Paris being 12 and Lyon 1:30, Roussilon being 6, Limoges being as close to 9 as we could afford this trip (parking was quel horreur and it was pouring rain),  Ending at Mont St. Michelle and Versailles before Charles De Gaulle heading to San Francisco International. We had our ups and downs, (who could think 6 independent, determined, strong minded women would travel two weeks in a foreign country without a difference of opinion now and then?) oh my, did it end up being the trip of a lifetime.....

My dearest friend Karen and her new husband Jon are on their honeymoon (18 months delayed) in Paris as we speak and they are posting diligently their daily adventures. I am so thrilled to say to myself as I read those posts, "Lara! (my other me says to myself in my head) We've been there! We know exactly what they are talking about! We have SAT UPON COLETTE'S grave at Pere Lachaise, JUST LIKE KAREN is now!" I am revisiting an old friend (Paris) with an old friend (Karen, since we were 11), right now as we struggle with this life and these challenges...I suddenly am 32 (and 38) visiting Paris again. I am there. It's almost enough that I have been and that I know and can live it again now.


Again when I was 38, I returned to Paris for my birthday. Paris in May is lovely! However, my birthday (May 1) was FĂȘte du Travail (everything is closed) and I could not go to the top of the Eiffel Tower and throw my wedding ring over the edge as I had longed to do (2006- 18 years= divorce for me). *trying to find image on Google of this sign is actually futile!* The only sign I could come up with is this:

I assure you , I had no desire to climb the Eiffel Tower.  Well, I did climb it, there are some stairs to the top. But please believe me when I tell you that there is a sign that says something close to "you will go to jail if you throw things off the Eiffel Tower". As a law abiding citizen, I of course could not  continue my plan. Tant pis. But I only had 4 days in Paris and I was not keen on spending ANY of them in the hoosgow- French or otherwise....

Sadly and undramatically, I left my wedding ring in my little red coin purse with my Euros. But every now and then I do think "what if I had thrown it?" (A poor starving artist may have found it and hocked it and was able to buy a few more pages of Arches Watercolor paper that would have allowed him/her to paint the picture that he/she sold to the honeymooning tourists -not unlike Karen and Jon-, that paid his/her rent and allowed him/her a few more months in Paris"). 

This trip I rode the train through the "Chunnel" from England to Paris. A first class ticket to Paris, with lunch and wine. I was so happy, so excited and feeling so very spoiled, a birthday gift from a very special person who had lived in France and been to Paris and had places to introduce me to, but who also paid attention and made reservations to stay at my favorite little hotel in the 5th arrondissement, the Hotel Europe St. Severin. Oh not fancy or 5 star, but in my neighborhood. ( My mother always told me- the least expensive place in the best neighborhood!). Yes, the 5th arrondissement is the best neighborhood. St. Michelle Metro station....the life on the street is my favorite.

The perfect birthday gift.
The sad thing is how different technology is now. Well, it's not sad that it is the way it is now, but then. My first trip to Paris (not France, my first trip to France was to the Cote d'Azur in 1988) was with a little camera who's greatest claim to fame was that it could print panoramic photos. They are beautiful photos, I still have them. They must be scanned and uploaded and inserted and added to the cloud etc.
This second trip to Paris (38), was with the photographer. He is so talented. Unfortunately all photos of that 4 day trip had crashed shortly thereafter with his hard drive (it was 2006). And all we have are memories.

Which brings me to my conclusion. It's not the things you have. It's the memories you make. Those are the real treasures.

So. A post with no pictures. A first? For me? yes. Use your imagination. If you cannot. Go to Paris. Wander Pere Lachaise. Have an espresso at a little cafe. Some raclette at the place across from the Hotel St. Severin. Ride the Bateaubus down the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. Climb the stairs. View the view.   Buy a book at Shakespeare and Co., A Pernod at Cafe Flore. Aside from the births of my three children, these are some of my fondest memories.

It would be so sad if you couldn't see what I have seen. 
It is truly a beautiful life. I'm ready for more.


The one with the Equipment silk snakeskin blouse. From France.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Someone invented Pinterest.  For a visual girl like myself, this is a way to catalogue who I am and what I love. When I was young I spent  my hard earned babysitting money on fashion magazine subscriptions- I was the only girl I know who had a subscription to WWD. I would cut out my favorite images and tape them to my bedroom wall. My friends had Adam and the Ants, The English Beat and Billy Idol posters, I had the seasons runway shows cut from WWD and Vogue and Vogue Paris. Taped to my wall. Floor to ceiling. With scotch tape.

I'm still the same. But I can't find the tape half the time and thank God for Pinterest. It feeds my soul.

Looking through my "My Style" page on Pinterest and I found the below picture from years ago. Something about this outfit just says Lara, even though I've never owned white trousers or a snakeskin blouse!

I found this amazing silk blouse. Made by Equipment. In Paris. Just this weekend at my designer consignment store in town. It's the only thing I bought. I loved it at first sight, though it is a little daring for me. It's luscious. Beautiful. And it fits me. I'm calling it the find of April 2014. I think I'll wear it to work tomorrow....

I'm sorry I've been absent lately. Work really takes a lot of time! But 45 days until Hawaii and summer is really just right around the corner. We have such a fun year planned, the girls and I. Life is good and we're enjoying all of the minutes.

Hello to you, thanks for reading. 
love, me

One of my favorites

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nude Descending a Staircase

Toe after toe, a snowing flesh,
a gold of lemon, root and rind,
she sifts in sunlight down the stairs
with nothing on. Nor on her mind.

We spy beneath the banister
a constant thresh of thigh on thigh;
her lips imprint the swinging air
that parts to let her parts go by.
One-woman waterfall, she wears
her slow descent like a long cape
and pausing on the final stair,
collects her motions into shape.

I have been very busy at work. Neglectful of my little blog, but am determined to keep it up when I can so my kids can see what I like when I'm not around someday. 
xoxox love,
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground