Monday, October 29, 2012

Caryl Reports: Still Standing

Satellite view of Hurricane Sandy
Here in lower Manhattan footsteps away from evacuation zone (aka Battery Park City), I am waiting out Hurricane Sandy, the alleged perfect storm that is coming my way. Maryl is stalled in the Caribbean on a cruise ship that’s been trailing the hurricane for several days. New York Harbor is closed so there’a no telling when she’ll reach port.

My plan today was to tell you about the wonderful show I saw at the National Academy of Arts: Her Own Style: An Artist’s Eye with Judith Shea.  But Mayor Bloomberg has other ideas for how I spend the next two days. Before I get into that, here’s a brief description of this eye-opening exhibit I saw a couple weeks ago.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Second Look: Penny Marshall

Most of us know her as Laverne (She predicts that’s all they’ll carve on her tombstone!), some as the first female director of a $100 million grossing film (“Big”, “They didn’t give me the money!”) and the second female director of an Academy Award Best Picture nomination (“Awakenings”), others as a Cancer survivor, former druggie (It was the 70’s!), a Pro-Choice advocate and a few as devoted friend (She declined directing “Forrest Gump” to support a friend just diagnosed with Cancer.). 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Caryl relives: Crazy Salad, Scribble, Scribble and Nora Ephron

The Nora Ephron I loved to read didn't hate her neck. It was her breasts that bothered her: Their non-existence.In one of the first essays she wrote for Esquire in 1972, she wrote more than "A Few Words About Breasts":

My first brassiere came from Robinson's Department Store in Beverly Hills. I went there alone, shaking, positive they would look me over and smile and tell me to come back next year. An actual fitter took me into the dressing room and stood over me while I took off my blouse and tried the first one on. The little puffs stood out on my chest. "Lean over," said the fitter. (To this day, I am not sure what fitters in bra departments do except to tell you to lean over.)

Nora Ephron died last June, and there was a flurry of tributes  ranging from Tom Hanks in Time Magazine--(who can forget his performance in 'You've Got Mail" which Ephron wrote and directed)---to Lena Durham who memorably memorialized her in the New Yorker(Some say Durham, who is the creator and star of HBO's Girls is the heir-apparent to Ephron. The 26-year-old Durham just received a $3. 6 million advance for a book of humorous essays.)

Ephron not only captured the essence of a generation of women (mine and, I suspect, yours) but she also nailed the state of the media at the time. She wrote about the former subject in Crazy Salad, which was published originally in 1975. And, she made notes on the latter in the next book, Scribble Scribble, which came out three years later. Those two books were fixtures on my book shelf during my twenty-something years, read and reread, marked up and down, a repository for my deepest desire, my unrealizable dream:  If only I could write like that . . . .

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Caryl Reprises: Virginia Woolf's Writing Shack

A few years ago, I traveled to East Sussex, England--a  short train trip from London-- to visit Monk’s house, Virginia and Leonard Woolf's country place and, specifically, to see her writing shack.  Called "The Lodge", the weather-boarded building (shown above) was built in 1934 to replace her previous writing room: “There will be open doors in front; & a view right over to Caburn. I think I shall sleep there on summer nights’. It was here that Virginia Woolf wrote Mrs. Dalloway and other books and essays. It was here, too, she labored over The Years.  She had given Leonard Woolf the manuscript to look over as was their custom. When Leonard finished reviewing the work, he walked down the path from Monk’s House to The Lodge to congratulate his wife on her "masterpiece". Gazing through the double doors, he could see her writing desk (a drop-leaf table, really), her pencils neatly aligned on an ironstone platter, and stacks of the blue writing paper she favored—but no Virginia. I presume you know the end to this particular story.

When I bought "The Beck", as I sometimes call my country place, I was more enamored with the little shack hidden away in the wild English garden than the house itself. Visions of a writing room danced in my head. All I had to do was clean out the gardening tools and detritus, paint the floor, knock out some windows--and the muse would land. I was lucky the place already was electrified, and the river's shore was too far away to walk to. That shack--it might once have been be a pre-fab tool shed-- has become my secret hideaway, a sanctuary within a sanctuary, a literal room of my own. It’s where I go to think and read, to daydream and plot, and to muse and be amused (for example, by the muskrat—I thought was a cat—that ate my 18th century rag runners over the winter). I think I shall sleep there some future summer night . . . 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Second Look: Candy Crowley

Tomorrow night Candy Crowley will be the first female moderator of a presidential debate in 20 years. Let's hope she won't be remembered as just the “lady holding the microphone” the day after.  Candy was selected for the second debate which is a town hall meeting format (questions come from the audience and not the moderator), similar to Carole Simpson’s role in 1992 when Clinton, Bush and Perot were the candidates. Apparently, the Obama and Romney campaigns have set some strict terms for how active a participant the town hall moderator can be. Was a woman chosen to play this more limited role? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Maryl's got: Seven Easy Fashion To Do’s for Fall

What’s new and fresh this fall? I’ve got it….seven easy ways to be in style right now. The temperature reached 80 degrees here this past week, and I'm heading off on a Caribbean cruise next week.  So I admit I haven't pulled out my fall clothes yet but I have checked the fashion web sites, magazines and shops for this season’s trends. Here's the seven to do’s I plan to consider that will easily incorporate into anyone’s wardrobe: 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Who Has Winning Hair? And, who won our giveaway?

Let's be honest--the stars are nothing like us. Neither are political spouses or even politicians for that matter. Not even newscasters. Most of the women in the limelight have professional advice when it comes to how they look, especially their hair. Still sometimes a new set of eyes can improve on what others might have missed. We asked Eva Scrivo to look at Nine Public Faces who range in age from mid-fifties to over 70 to offer her advice on their hairstyles. (You remember Eva Scrivo from Everyday Eva: the five posts we ran here packed with useful tips, sound advice, and how-to lessons customized for women our age?)

She agreed with us that they all look great but Eva suggested ways they could look even better. What actress did Eva urge to keep her roots dark--and why? What grey-haired artist did she say needed a younger, choppier haircut? (She didn't recommend changing the color, by the way.) Who did she suggest to let their hair go even longer as she approaches 60? And was it a Republican or a Democrat who got Eva's vote for best hair? Finally, who does Eva think could be a real "bombshell" in the next stage of her life? Don't forget to see who the lucky commenter is at the end who has won Eva's book with all the DIY information she needs to rethink her own hair. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Caryl announces: Finding Her Voice at 80; Hear Ann Petre read

A few years ago, when I first read . . . and fell in love with . . . and was deeply moved by. . . Journey Into Solitude,  I saw a life clearly bifurcated by a single decision author Ann Petre made in 1976 at age 52, a decision perhaps some of you are thinking about right now. I want to tell you more about her life-changing decision; how it shook her physically, emotionally, and spiritually; how it reverberated through her own life and the lives of others, and how she courageously navigated the bumpy road of unexpected consequences that followed.  But first I want to tell you where --if you are lucky enough to be in Soho TONIGHT October 4 from 6pm to 8pm at  Meg Cohen Design Shop, you can hear this extraordinary voice read from her works.