"You can't go back...to your childhood...back to places...back home to things that once seemed everlasting..." THOMAS WOLFE
............and yet some things defy time and remain as they were in our memories
This little guy- the iconic symbol of my childhood hometown of Brussels
has been taking a leak in the Grand Place for over 400 years
which looks very much as it did years back
(YES- these are very real and very poisonous)
and roaming deer is
sadly paved over now
New classrom buildings have sprouted haphazardly of need ,
surrounding the Grande Dame
without thought for design integrity
are not so grand as I remembered
and the Belgian bluestone floors in the "dungeon"
where we ate lunch are now mostly
covered in mismatched linoleum
but the trumeau fireplace with marble surround in the salon
that was my first grade classroom is still there
SO is Thomas Wolfe right ... ???
The Belgian aesthetic has become very influential in interior design
Bluestone is used both as flooring and counter material
My new Belgian friend
Greet Lefevre with Ralph
We became friends the modern way- electronically-
via the internet and our blogs
My husband Don and I recently met Greet and her husband Jan
the old fashioned way...
L'Idiot de Village
We talked for hours like old friends
forming bonds over commonalities
...from love of our dogs, to the love of great food and wine,
to love of design
INTERIOR DESIGN-GREET LEFEVRE
Don't miss Greet's blog
Her point of view is charming and refreshing
Greet's family has owned and operated a millwork facility for over 100 years. She and Jan
have just embarked on re-doing their own salon and lining it with Lefevre custom panelling
follow the process through her blog.
Greet- when we come back to Belgium we want to see the real thing please.
Belgian antiquarian and designer
If you know the artist PLEASE let me know
I discovered this oversized oil painting recently at
JOHN DRUM ANTIQUES
The scene is as I remember it when we docked on
The Cunard's Queen Mary
On a recent trip to NYC I drove out to New Rochelle
to see my other alma maters
Theodore Roosevelt School
has been turned into apartments
Our youngest ever president
was sworn in at the age of 42 upon the assasination of
so speaking of Roosevelts...
I have now seen the new movie..
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON
interesting story but slow to be told..
I love Laura Linney
but she is way better as
First Lady Abigail Adams
then as a mousey doudy
Bill Murray does a great job portraying FDR, the paralyzed president
(and cousin of Theodore- quite a family )
the script makes Roosevelt little more then a charming philanderer at a time in history when he was obviously much much more
PHOTO-THE NEW YORKER
Only the exterior of New Rochelle High School remains-
(originally named Woodrow Wilson-poor guy had no staying power)
the beautiful original interiors were totally gutted by fire
set by a deranged student, only to be replaced with cinderblock walls
The lakes in the front have been filled in for new athletic fields.
How did we manage to survive with
athletic fields in the back-
allowing the glorious French Gothic structure
designed by Guilbert and Bettele
to proudly overlook Lake Huegenot ???
I was priviledged to go to school in beautiful buildings;
buildings that demanded respect and inspired the imagination;
buildings that spoke of longevity and substance-
buildings that called me back
Maybe they inspired me to go into design.
Sadly it's more then lack of architectural vision that now has
gripped schools across the country where the safety of
children and staff is certaily of primary important
TIME MARCHES ON