August 31, 2015


It was just before I went to bed one Saturday night that the news came on that Diana had been in a bad car accident in Paris. There were jumps to Paris, to London and back to NYC. imageAll of this interspersed with bits and pieces of Saturday Night Live. It was hard to understand whether it was real or not. We knew the news way before our friends in the UK, many of whom were devastated by the news.


I always thought that this series of photographs by Mario Testino was among the best of Diana.imageimage

She just suspended in time in these images. She’ll never grow old in our minds.

August 27, 2015

Thursday Night at the Disco

When I was younger, Thursday night was the night everyone got together to go dancing. We’d drive down to Washington, DC sometimes and go to the Chinese Disco, which was a Chinese Restaurant by day and a disco at night. So when I was invited to a huge party earlier this evening, it brought back memories of those days.

This event was given by Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (!)in their 100,000 square-foot space. To say it was amazing would be a vast understatement. When we arrived, there were several gorgeous vignettes to greet us, and one included this amazing orchid – encased in ICE! It was stunning. IMG_4777

The theme of the party was Tassels and Tattoos, and as we entered the massive warehouse, there was a tattoo parlour set up and people were actually getting inked! IMG_4874

We opted for a less permanent alteration and got sparkled!IMG_4788

As we moved from vendor to vendor the scene continually changed. The whole point of the party was to show off to corporate and other event planners what they were capable of doing and what they had in their warehouse to make your party one-in-a-million.IMG_4793

Everywhere you looked, there was someone mixing up custom cocktails.
IMG_4799 IMG_4800


And the food was amazing! Everything you could think of, from freshly smoked cedar planked salmon, IMG_4779

to a candy bar IMG_4811which was served by gals whose tops were literally painted on!IMG_4808

To white truffles hanging from the ceiling,


to voodoo doll pancakes and DIY jambalaya, IMG_4864

to gnocchi and pulled pork!IMG_4869

And since that was a farm-to-table caterer, they even brought along two baby goats!IMG_4867

In one massive room, there were tables with buckets and buckets of fresh flowers and you could make your own arrangement in a “silver” julep cup!
IMG_4803 IMG_4804

There were several bands, lots of dancing, some serious schmoozing, a silent disco and much much more!

IMG_4829 IMG_4865

Such a fun party, and such a fun way to spend a Thursday night! Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, indeed!

August 23, 2015

#ThisIsBaltimore August Edition

I am prepping for the walk & talk lecture I am giving in October, so I took advantage of today’s low humidity and beautiful weather to go shoot some images of Baltimore. These are some of the shots I put on Instagram along with others from the past two months.

This is the old North Avenue Market. It had been vacant for decades and now it’s being revitalized.image

Here is another view of the North Avenue Market. It looks like South America to me. Just waiting for the dictator to come out and say a few words to the assembled masses!image

Not many people will see this part of Baltimore – it’s a friend’s front porch and is the most perfect place to sit and talk on a nice summer evening.image

They are a little hard to see, but I spotted these gorgeous windows on a townhouse in Baltimore.image

This is the spectacular Peabody Library. It’s one of the most beautiful public(ish) spaces in Baltimore.image

This building is my reminder to always look up!image

Anyone who lives in Baltimore knows these two iconic TV towers. You can see them from almost anywhere in the city.image

This is a little 1/8 mile stretch that I drive on my way home. The temperature usually drops two to three degrees between the start and the finish. image

I adore this building and a friend and I are plotting a way to see the interiors. If you look at the building on the right, you can see the French doors are open to catch the breezes off the lake which is across the street.image

Are you on Instagram? If so, share your feed!

August 20, 2015

My New Toy… Er, Tool!

One of the parts of my job is managing our extensive archives, which date back to the late 1700’s when we were founded. As the in-house historian and archivist, as well as the curator of our art collection, I am frequently called upon to search through our medical journals, most of which are not digitized. image

As simple as it sounds, it’s actually quite time-consuming. Our offices are actually two buildings which were both built in the early 1900’s, and then combined in the 1980’s. My office is the 4th and 5th windows from the right on the top floor of the building on the right.

image image

Both of the buildings have 16-18 foot ceilings, resulting in double-height staircases. So when I need to hunt up a journal, I leave my office, walk down a double flight of stairs, across to the other building and then I either stop in the reading room (the Palladian windows in the building on the left), or head up four flights (single) to the Stacks.image

Then once I find the item I need to scan, I head back down the stairs, across to my side of the building and back up the stairs to my office. Finally, I scan what I need and then repeat the process. Gawd forbid if I haven’t gotten the right volume, or the box I thought had the information I needed actually didn’t have it.

I recently heard about something called a wand-scanner, and started to investigate. After some research, I found exactly what I needed.image

This wand is about 12 inches long, about an inch and a half wide and tall. It’s got built-in Wifi, a micro-card and can scan at 300, 600 or 1200 DPI. It is nothing short of amazing. Now when I go look for something, I can just take it along with me, find the pages I need, slide it along the page on its tiny rollers, and save the scan as either a JPG or a PDF in colour or black and white!

Here’s an old medical advert I scanned in – these old advertisements are so hilarious! And a bit scary at times.image

The wand can scan up to about nine inches wide and 25 inches long. We decided to try it out and rolled it down one of our paintings! The detail is pretty good, and this is just at 300 DPI.image

The model I bought is an Avision MiWand Mobile Handheld Scanner. It was about $70, which I think is a huge bargain, considering how much time it will save me. I call it my Magic Wand!

August 17, 2015

Bits & Bobs, Odds & Sods, All Up for Auction

Christie’s in London is hosting their third annual “Out of the Ordinary” auction on September 10th in their auction rooms in South Kensington. I wrote about it last year, here, and always find the most amazing things there. The auction has been a smashing success for the past two years, and features items that just don’t quite fit into a defined category. image

Here are some of the items that caught my eye!

A silver mounted seed pod, the largest in the world. Estimate $7,000 to $12,000image

Four small Victorian “Sorcerers” Mirrors. Estimate $1,200 to $1,800image

Original poster from the Grateful Dead show at the Avalon Ballroom. Estimate $9,000 to $14,000image

Animal Kingdom stereograph images with viewer. I have a TON of these at the office of body parts. Much more interesting than these and I have hundreds. This lot is for ten! Estimate $8,000 to $12,000 (maybe I should sell ours!)image

19th Century French automaton of dancers. Estimate $7,000 to $12,000image

19th Century chastity belt entirely of IRON! (Owwwwwie!) Estimate $1,000 to $1,500image

Rare 1920’s Louis Vuitton “Malle Secretaire” canvas trunk. Estimate $23,000 to $39,000image

Set of 21 novelty tole biscuit tins. Estimate $3,000 to $6,000image

A felt crown worn by Kate Moss (not pictured) on her first photoshoot at age 14. Estimate $7,000 to $12,000 (!!!)image

Floris “Royal Arms” Diamond Jubilee edition for HM QEII. Half carat diamond on a gold chain. Hand-poured. Estimate $4,000 to $8,000image

A pair of gilt-composition and ostrich feather lamps. Estimate $7,000 to $12,000image

To see the entire list of lots, please click here. And then come back and tell me what you’d buy!