For all the yogurt, oatmeal with fruit and chia seeds that are the run of the mill at my breakfast table, nothing beats an old-fashioned cappuccino and croissant enjoyed standing at a coffee shop counter in Italy. Old habits die hard. In fairness, cappuccinos are different in the land where they were invented: much smaller and much creamier, their portion making them easier to digest. And the croissants are not a French uber-buttery affair but are more cake-y and deceptively light.
Out with the old..
For the first few years I lived in Los Angeles, I missed “old”: old buildings, piles of ancient rocks, crumbling plaster. Now, when I go back to Europe, I admire the forward looking attitude of many city planners that so successfully have integrated a venerable past with the best contemporary architecture has to offer. Here are Renzo Piano’s Shards and one of the skyscrapers that huddle Piazza Gae Aulenti in Milan.
Maybe it’s because I have a black thumb, or that I live in a sun-soaked and dry land where plants need to be sturdy or, just maybe, my constant re-reading of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden” when I was a child left a dent, but I love rambling gardens that look like no one has been paying attention. Most English gardens qualify, like this little patch in the middle of London.
A bit of a cliché, I know, but travelling does have the power to slot things into different perspectives, shift points of view and knock down the limitations we impose on our everyday life. Especially when traveling is done alone. I came home from my wanderings with a better attitude and a more positive outlook on life. We all know it won’t last but I am planning to milk it for as long as I can. And if you are looking for reasons to plan a solo trip, read no further than here.
I look at jewelry far more than I wear it, or indeed buy it. My tastes veer towards extremely simple or vintage. This caught my eye on Arlene Gibbs’ blog (Arlene is an American decorator transplanted in Rome with very good tastes). Francesca Amfitheatrof is the new Design Director at Tiffany’s and this bracelet is part of her latest line. Divine simplicity. And, as Arlene points out, doing “simplicity” well is much harder than it looks.