put on your red shoes and dance the blues

earlier this year,
i saw a refurbished "the red shoes" at the film forum,
and i was charmed beyond words.
the film took me right in,
and i wondered why i'd waited to see it.
i remember i had planned to wear my red shoes,
but it was wet out,
and alas dear reader,
the red shoes are suede.
this accident-waiting-to-happen was not an option,
so the red shoes remained home.

a close up of vicky's dangerous ballet slippers in "the red shoes."
photo courtesy of (pilfered from) verdoux,
whose post is informative and features some great photos.

"time rushes by, love rushes by, life rushes by, but the red shoes dance on."
- lermontov of "the red shoes"
diana vreeland was obsessed with red;
according to her,
the best shade can be found on a child's cap in renaissance painting.
the color has long been a symbol in literature and film and art,
used as a marker,
whether a letter of adultery or a riding hood or dancing slippers.
often times,
it's a harbinger of impending trouble,
but it also means that an adventure is implicit,
and that's the exciting part.
i think that's why people are attracted to it.

case and point,
danger and adventure.
i only discovered kate bush's song a year or two ago,
but now whenever i see a pair of red shoes,
i think:
"oh the the minute i put them on,
i knew i had done something wrong."
but i also think:
"put them on and your dream'll come true."

most likely,
the world's best known red...
or um,
should i say,
ruby hued shoes.

in the oz series by l. frank baum,
dorothy's slippers were actually silver.
according to film lore,
the silver notion was dismissed,
in favor of a more technicolor friendly color,
something vivid and striking,
which would translate well.
that something was red.

just imagine,
if the film had been done in black and white,
with shirley temple as dorothy,
incessantly tap-tap-tap-tapping in silver shoes,
"the wizard of oz" would've been completely different.
millions of children wouldn't've grown up with "over the rainbow."

life imitating art.
(shoes are the artist's own.)

i looked for a pair of perfect red shoes for years -
literally years -
it wasn't just that they're different or striking,
it's the idea of fantasy behind them.

in one story,
they danced the girl to death,
in another,
they took her home.
maybe mine will take me on an adventure,
and then to the opposite side of the hudson.

with my luck,
they'll throw me in front of a train...


reading material

stack of books on the nightstand.
not always my favorite,
not always what is currently being read,
but always an interest -
something to be read up on -
or a story to be kept close.

on some level,
conscious or subconscious,
the books represent whatever i'm channeling,
or in the case of "alex,"
something i'm trying to channel.
kinda hippy dippy,

from bottom to top:

a biography of the ballet dancer moira shearer,
who played vicky in "the red shoes,"
(more on that subject later);

a birthday gift from a close friend,
the unfinished novel "answered prayers" by tru heart;

a wonderfully interesting book called "children of the sun,"
about the generation between the world wars,
the bright young people in england,
about their heady youth and bedraggled ends.
found this one somewhere in boston,
what a superb title as well;

a biography about conde nast editor alexander liberman,
a man of incredible struggles and incredible chic,
signed by the man himself.
co-written by calvin tomkins,
i found this at the left bank bookstore,
before they moved to 8th avenue;

and lastly,
the book of poems "a shropshire lad" by a. e. housman,
the others will surely come and go,
but i think this one will remain.


hats and gloves and shoulder pads, oh my.

care of http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/04/mildred_pierce_on-set.html#photo=11x46268

at the end of april,
i read hbo was filming a mini-series remake of mildred pierce,
with kate winslet.

they must still be filming.
meandering downtown tuesday night with a friend,
and feasting royally on our grom gelato,
(dark chocolate and raspberry),
we noticed bright klieg lights off of 6th avenue.
being naturally curious,
(read: nosy),
we decided to casually stroll by...
three times.

i asked a small group of waiting extras,
if this was the mildred pierce project.
judging that they were in full vintage bregalia -
i figured it was a safe assumption -
and was right.

photo care of friend's camera phone,
(please forgive subpar quality.)

hats and gloves for sure,
but it seems as if the film is set in the thirties,
perhaps in the midst of the depression,
so let's not count on those shoulder pads.
joan crawford may be rolling over in her grave.


pie, pie, pie

"pie pie pie" from 2010 by me.
life imitating art.

recently went for lunch at a favorite eatery in town,
called raymond's,
on church street in downtown montclair.
funnily enough it is named after it's owner,
i've been going since i was a little boy,
and it was a few stores down,
the shape and near proportions of a shoebox.

i've been awaiting their fresh blueberry pie since last summer.
i asked in vain in november,
then in january,
then in march.
i then asked last week,
but to no avail.
it is finally the season for it.
the piece is a generous portion,
as is apparent,
and is also $6.50 worth of heaven on a plate.
i was so concerned they'd run out,
that i ordered a piece before ordering the actual meal!

what a lovely way to start the summer;
what a lovely way to spend the summer;
and what a lovely way to end the summer.

something tells me,
i'll be having a vast amount of blueberries this summer.

"pies pies pies" from 1961 by wayne thiebaud.
art imitating life.

a progression from start to inevitable finish.

that is,
as they say,
the plate.



today's letter is brought to us by c

i believe that c is for coolbirth.

this lithograph is by william nicholson,
it's one of a set ranging from -
you got it -
a to z.

a single one ranges anywhere from $130.00 to $200.00;
it will remain on my wish list...
or rather,
my covet list.
(see below.)


it may be a cardinal sin to covet,
but if it indeed is,
don't show me the way to righteousness.

interesting dish (partial) set found at the hell's kitchen flea market.
perfect for that "starter" apartment;
but since i have no apartment to start,
i left them for the next starter upper.

beautiful parrot green adam kimmel scarf in barney's window,
with sign for clarification below:

a witty and funny print,
found whilst loitering on the home floor of bergdorf goodman.
still smarting from the $25.00 gotham salad though,
i neglected to enquire about the price.
another time,
another life.