January 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
We were again transported to another time and place—three fabulous and current films, in three weekends. Our wonderfully transportive film nights began with My Week with Marilyn, which takes place in 1956 and was shot in and around the outskirts of London,The Descendants, filmed in present day Honolulu, and last night we saw The Artist, which takes place in Hollywood, from 1927 to 1932. The Artist is a comedy and drama about George Valentin (Jean Dejardin), a silent film star, and Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), a rising “talkie” star, who meet just as the silent film industry is collapsing. The film is partially silent and filmed to look like a black and white silent film. The costumes are to die for, the interior set designs are predominately Hollywood Regency, and the acting charming and sweet and utterly engaging. Uggie, the terrier, will steal your heart.
From an interview with Michael Hazavanicius, director and writer of The Artist, “I had many deep motivations for wanting to make a silent film. As a member of the audience, I absolutely love the way stories are told to me in a silent movie. It’s not a cerebral response. It’s more a child-like response. Because there’s no spoken language, the way the story engages your heart is special. It’s hypnotic, sensual, not at all cerebral, and I love that sensation as an audience member. My motivations as a director were much more selfish. For me, it was a great experience. It’s what cinema is about, in my opinion. I’m telling a story with images and music. With images, you have the actors, you have the sets, you have the costumes, the lights, everything, and that’s how you’re telling the story. You don’t need words for that. It’s the ultimate experience for a director to make a silent movie. I really wanted to try to do it.” Link to the full interview with Hazavanicius.
Jean Dujardin and Uggie
Techno notes for Joey and Marty: The Artist was made in the 1.33:1 screen ratio commonly used in the silent film era. Though presented in black-and-white, it was shot in color. All the technical details, including lenses, lighting and camera moves, were calibrated to get the look just right. To recreate the slightly sped-up look of 1920s silent films, the film was shot at a slightly lower frame rate of 22 fps as opposed to the standard 24 fps. Courtesy wiki.
Images courtesy Google search.
January 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The point of the Aftermath video is to showcase the litter, not who owns the pond. Thank you Daniel for pointing out the litter and thank you Anonymous for sharing that Niles Pond has Massachusetts Great Pond Status. And thank you to all who wrote comments-it just goes to show how much we all care about our beautiful Niles Pond and surrounding environment.
Irrespective of who owns the pond, let’s all please not litter, and if you do see trash left behind, clean it up, and if you can’t manage the job yourself, email the wonderfully good eggs Donna Ardizzoni and her One Hour at a Time Gang for the really tough jobs.
From the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection website: Chapter 91 comprises four basic areas of geographical jurisdiction. Any activity that takes place in one of the hot link areas listed below requires Chapter 91 authorization. The areas are:
Flowed Tidelands – Any project located in, on, over or under tidal waters seaward of the present mean high water (MHW) shoreline. Jurisdiction in this case extends seaward three miles, to the state limit of territorial jurisdiction.
Filled Tidelands – The limit on filled tidelands is: A.) Outside Designated Port Areas, the first public way or 250 feet from mean high water, whichever is farther landward and B.) Inside Designated Port Areas, the historic MHW shoreline (i.e., all filled areas).
Great Ponds – Any project located in, on, over or under the water of a great pond. A great pond is defined as any pond or lake that contained more than 10 acres in its natural state. Ponds or lakes presently larger than 10 acres are presumed to be great ponds, unless the applicant provides unequivocal evidence to the contrary. Ponds 10 or more acres in their natural state, but which are now smaller, are still considered great ponds.
Non-Tidal Rivers and Streams – Projects located in, on, over, or under any non-tidal, navigable river or stream on which public funds have been expended either upstream or downstream within the river basin, except for any portions not normally navigable during any season by any vessel. Additionally, the Connecticut River, the Merrimack River and portions of the Westfield River are within jurisdiction.
Chapter 91: An Overview and Summary ~ Read more to find out how Great Pond Status directly affects Niles Pond: « Read the rest of this entry »
January 26, 2012 § 2 Comments
Isn’t Niles Pond gorgeous? I posted the photo below on Good Morning Gloucester blog on Sunday; the pond looks especially pristine and sparkly in the snow and ice.
The following day Good Morning Gloucester follower and Eastern Point resident Daniel D. wrote to say, “It does look beautiful, and as a Resident of Eastern Point, I love when others can share in the beauty of our neighborhood. Unfortunately, the picture for today should be all the cans, boxes, and trash left behind by these people when they finished skating that day, all glaringly standing out as the snow melts in that exact spot… Hopefully they read this comment and then quickly come and clean it up before the ice melts this week and it all sinks to the bottom of our lovely pond. I’m Just Saying….”
Hey guys—it looked as though you were having a great time, but then had to leave very suddenly—with trash, half a dozen pucks, and even a shovel left behind. Perhaps there was an emergency—whatever the case—could someone who was playing hockey at Niles on Sunday please come and clean up the mess. I picked up much, of what I could reach, but the embankment is muddy and slippery and you will need tall waders to reach the plastic bottles and shovel. Thank you for your consideration.
As Daniel D. correctly stated, all the trash is going to sink to the bottom. Many species of waterfowl dive for vegetable matter and the seeds, stems, roots, and bulbs of submerged aquatic plants. They can easily became entangled in trash. The last shot of the bird’s nest is meant to symbolize the pond’s fragile ecosystem.
Clip of the stunning Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) at 3 minutes 45 seconds.
January 25, 2012 § 3 Comments
Antennae for Design The Descendants
Saturday night we went to see The Descendants. I found this movie enjoyable on many levels. The cinematography, of lush Hawaiian landscapes, was gorgeous. Lingering close-up shots of the actors and dreamy transitions added to the telling of story. Interesting, too, were the clips of suburban Honolulu neighborhoods. Never having been to Hawaii, the film was an eye opener—I don’t imagine Honolulu neighborhoods as a typical L.A. hillside suburb, nor downtown Honolulu with eight lane highways jammed with choking traffic.
Vintage Hawaiian Quilt
The set designs by Matt Callahan mirrored the story beautifully, and I found much inspiration in the furnishings and fabrics, including vintage rattan furniture, appliqué pillows, and bark cloth curtains. Several authentic Hawaiian quilts added a unique touch, and one quilt in particular played a leading role in the telling of the story. The main characters comprise a modern day family descended from a Hawaiian princess. Early in the film, we see a sunny golden yellow and white, slightly tattered and homey, quilt arrayed over the mom, who is lying in a hospital bed, in a coma and dying. The quilt has been brought from the family home to the hospital to provide comfort. In the final scene, the father and children make their way one by one to the family sofa, and eventually all are cozy under the same Hawaiian quilt, watching television together, and sharing bowls ice cream.
What we think of as the classic Hawaiian quilt is characterized by a bold, radial symmetric design (similar to that of a snowflake) or bold, stylized design drawn from nature. The motifs are often times cut from one piece of cloth, unlike patchwork quilts, which are assembled from many smaller pieces of fabric. The design motif is then appliquéd to a contrasting background. And, unlike patchwork quilts, with quilting stitches worked in parallel diagonal, straight, or circular lines, Hawaiian quilters practice “echo” or outline quilting. The stitches follow the inner and outer contours of the design motif.
Images courtesy of Google search.
The Descendants is based on the book of the same name, written by Kaui Hart Hemmings.
January 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
January, February, March, and for we who dwell in New England, oftentimes well into April, are ideal months for interior home improvements. During these more homebound months I am actively looking for home and garden design inspiration. And, too, with projects that were shelved during the summer months because of seasonal work and summer guests, winter is a great time of year to focus on home improvements. I was inspired to write this weekly series after a recent visit to our home from Joey, Jill, and their two darling daughters. The family stopped by for hot chocolate and story time and Joey was non-stop with investigative questions and curiosity. It got me thinking about the impetus for writing my book, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!, which was originally conceived as a guide for young couples and new home owners (and someday, hopefully, for my children when they will one day have gardens of their own). My book grew to be more than that, but I am again thinking of the couples with young children that have recently moved to our East Gloucester neighborhood.
To think of it, we are following in an old Gloucester and northern seacoast tradition by tending to the interior of our homes during these winter months, in that of “house-pride.” The town’s carpenters, many of whom were master shipbuilders and shipwrights, would have had more free time during the winter months. Fine carpentry details are evident throughout our house, which was built in 1851. And, like many of Gloucester’s older houses, our home is graced with details created by the skilled plasterers that emigrated from Italy and settled on Cape Ann. Although a modest house, particularly by today’s “starter castle” standards, I wouldn’t trade our lovely 19th century home, with its quirky and elegant details (along with it’s many foibles) for all the world’s McMansions.
I propose Antennae for Design will encompass home and garden design inspiration, home improvement tips, feature interviews with local business owners who specialize in art and design, and after visiting local well-tended homes and gardens, sharing information found there. Let me know through the comment section or by emailing at email@example.com of your thoughts and any topic that you may find particularly relevant or of interest.
January 18, 2012 § 2 Comments
My friend Joey’s daughter Madeline, also known as Snoop Maddie Mad, created and posted this video on her blog. She is four, I think. Amazing. Note how she politely directs her sister. Dad Joey is preparing her to be the next media magnate in the family.
Joe at the Good Morning Gloucester Art Gallery
As you may or may not know from reading my blog and newsletters, I am a daily (almost everyday) contributor to my friend Joey Ciaramitaro’s blog, Good Morning Gloucester. I am planning a weekly column for GMG titled Antennae for Design, which I will then post on my blog and also email to my readers (more about that later), but I first want to tell you a bit about Good Morning Gloucester. I was a fan before I was a contributor. The blog is the brainchild of Joe Ciaramitaro. Joe grew up in East Gloucester and he, along with his cousin Frank, own the family business started by their grandfather, Captain Joe and Sons Lobster Company, located on Gloucester’s working waterfront and off East Main Street (yes, you can purchase your fresh lobsters there, at the dock, retail—but at wholesale prices!) Along with his family (wife Jill, daughters Madeline and Eloise, and large extended family), Gloucester is Joe’s passion and his blog reflects his deep love for all things Gloucester. Through his writing, films, and photography, Joe works tirelessly to help and to support and to grow local businesses, local arts and music, and community spirit. And with the help of his contributors he accomplishes this everyday, seven days a week, twenty-four seven. Never a dull moment, GMG is filled with hourly postings of upcoming community events, video interviews and human interest stories about local people and events, news and commentary about issues that affect the fishing community, full video and photo coverage of community events, stories garnered from local historians, photos of our surrounding natural beauty–the thoughtful and thought-provoking coverage is continuous. GMG is wholly unique–as far as I know there is nothing like it–and it is founded on one man’s passion and abiding love for his hometown. If you want to know anything and everything, not just about Gloucester, but the Cape Ann region, visit GMG. I subscribe to GMG and read it every morning with my coffee, and then often times check in again later during the day if I need to search for the time and date of a scheduled community event or activity.
January 15, 2012 § 2 Comments
Photos of our daughter Liv taken by her photographer friend Dave Krugman. Dave says “My favorite way to shoot is to wander through the streets with a close friend, follow the good light, and let the world show itself. Give it a try…” Liv is a graduate student at NYU Steinhardt, studying opera and vocal performance; Dave is a professional photographer based out of Boston. They met while at Boston University. Click the last image to see their Brooklyn album.
Click last image to see Liv and Dave’s photo album
January 15, 2012 § 1 Comment
Filmed at Oakes Cove, Rocky Neck, November 7, 2011. “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars, from the album Doo-Wops and Hooligans.
Oakes Cove is a small, protected cove located on the southwestern side of Rocky Neck within Gloucester’s Inner Harbor. The “best friends” were unaware they were being filmed. I loved that they were so familiar with the ledge that they knew the exact location of the perfect perch for watching the setting sun together.
Total length 6 minutes, 20 seconds
January 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
On that balmiest of all January Saturday’s past, Tom and I walked along the Rocky Neck beaches. The Flynn’s Beach (at Oakes Cove) swan did not at all appreciate the interest shown by our curious pooch.
The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is native to Europe and Asia and is an introduced species to North America. Called “mute” because they are less vocal than other swan species, the Mute Swan is also distinguished from other swan species by its prominent knob atop the bill. The male swan is called a cob, the female, a pen, and the young, cygnet. The female is slightly smaller than the male, and her knob is less pronounced.
Sand Bath ~ Note the grains of sand around the swan’s bill (click photo for larger view) in the above photo; the swan appeared to be using the sand as an aid in cleaning it’s feathers.
January 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
January 8, 2012 § 1 Comment
A recent find for one of my design clients is this pair of sweetly hand-painted Czechoslovakian lamps, with coordinating shades trimmed in blue silk cord, discovered at a local vintage shop.
I love the challenge of searching for and finding one of a kind (or in this case, a pair of) treasures for my design clients. And I partuclarly love one of my ongoing design jobs for a simply delightful family, with three lovely and lively daughters, each with their own very distinct personality and style preference. The eldest daughter is zippy and lighthearted with a definite flair for the modern; the second daughter is gently refined and ethereal (I think of watercolor hues for her); and the third daughter is possessed of a warm and sunny character—a radiant sunflower. The pair of Czechoslovakian lamps will add a charming touch to the middle daughter’s bedroom. Whether you are searching for special plants for the garden (the most highly scented specimens, for example) or rare and/or out-of-the-ordinary objects of art and decoration for the home, thoughtfully selected accents create the most welcoming sort of home.
Important Safety Note: Although these lamp bases are in near-perfect vintage condition, the cords are not. Judging from the overall poor condition of the cords, I would guess they were last wired in the late 1950’s or 1960’s. We will re-wire the lamps with soft gold-colored cord, which will better blend with the décor, as opposed to the dark brown or stark white wire. Always, and always very thoroughly, check the wiring when purchasing vintage lighting—for obvious reasons, I cannot stress this enough.
January 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
January 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
2012 Rocky Neck Plunge with a pre-plunge breakfast hosted by Passports Restaurant and rally at Sister Felicia’s home. Featuring The Ciaramitaro Family, Donna Ardizzoni and her daughter Erica, E.J., Ed, Mayor Kirk, Nicole, Alicia, Paul, the van Ness Family, and too many more brave souls to mention all by name. Cathy McCarthy and friends set up boxes by the entry to the beach and a truckload of food was collected and donated to The Open Door Food Pantry.
Included is a postlude video short titled New Year’s Day Bath ~ Swan Style.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Filmed at Flynn’s Beach on Oakes Cove Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Beethoven Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Opus 68 Pastoral
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Opus 125 Choral Finale (Ode to Joy)
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra
January 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
New Year’s Day was spent photographing and videotaping the annual Rocky Neck New Year’s Plunge and cooking a festive dinner for my family. The snapshots are of the beautiful Ciaramitaro family, taken at the Good Morning Gloucester pre-plunge rally breakfast, which was hosted by Passports Restaurant.
Click last photo to see slideshow
HAPPY NEW YEAR!