This week, feelings of uncertainty, hesitancy, and worry seem to have become the norm for many Americans. Even a year or two ago, summer was about getting the family and pooch all packed in the station-wagon for a fun-filled fortnight at the beach; the absence of workers meant less time spent on the highways during morning and evening rush-hour commute; summer barbecues extended far into the evening as frothy concoctions proved more potent than anticipated. DJ’s, producers, and musicians all jockey to capture the zeitgeist of these precious weeks before Labor Day and the end of summer; this week the retro grooves on Horse Meat Disco’s double CD perfectly captures the sensual euphoria of the discoteque just before 1 or 2 when it seemed that a rhythmic nirvana was magically present—and the dancers responded in sustained adoration until closing time at 4 or 5.
Today I had the opportunity to visit Old Town Alexandria, a place of quaint shops, side-walk cafes, and historic homes enhanced by charming formal gardens filled with boxwood, ivy topiaries, carpets of pachysandra, and statuesque urns overflowing with geraniums, ferns, and trailing annuals. Quick stops at my favorite haunts proved quite enjoyable as treasures were plentiful, as was ample parking on un-metered streets. Verdigris Antiques on King Street must be visited in order to experience the visual cornucopia comprised of coral objects, chinoiserie, bibelots, mid-century lamps, tramp art, and Ash-can style paintings. A Mexican tin mask proved irresistible and now joins my growing collection; a lenient lay-way plan by the owner allowed me to finally acquire a brilliantly carved Zulu bowl that I had coveting for quite some time. Next stop was the Prevention of Blindness thrift shop where once a week or so, the surplus inventory from chic clothing boutiques and local home-furnishings stores are graciously received and generously discounted. The turnover rate is very high, and a Jacobean-style shaving mirror glimpsed earlier last week was gone. The second floor galleries were filled with brimming racks of coats, suits, and other apparel, but I was in no mood for thinking of winter necessities. After a quick lunch at my favorite osteria -- A La Lucia, run by the charismatic Michael Nayeri, I headed for Trastevere Antiques on Cameron Street where the inventory is small, yet carefully selected to the owner’s discerning eye and Continental sensibilities. Wendy Abbruzetti’s shop is filled with lamps, Oriental carpets, chandeliers, and English furniture. I was most interested in her collection of garden containers and statues which are displayed to great effect in a small courtyard garden, where I found a pair of stone grey-hounds in repose, which are perfect for flanking the front door, and now at the top of my want list. Now, if only one of my devoted peeps could remember that next month is my birthday, and ….
The continued popularity of Ruth Bolduan’s art, its relative scarcity, and her imminent move to Quatar forced me to break from lazy beach days and drive to Richmond, VA on Wednesday afternoon. I did find a few prints for patiently waiting collectors, but many of the drawings I had hoped to procure had already been sold by her California dealer. Still, the trip was not wasted. One of my favorite paintings now hangs temporarily in our foyer, awaiting delivery to its new owner. Whenever I see it, my mood almost immediately improves, and my spirit lifts. And I like this (feeling) a lot.
PS: Thanks for being a devoted peep and hope you enjoy today’s visual treat by artist Ruth Bolduan.