Monday, November 11, 2019

SEARCHING FOR SENSATIONAL SCULPTURE


BY JANET STEINBERG
  
Back in the 1980s, when I first visited the Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove, Florida I fell in love.  Not with a man, but with an outstanding sculpture.  I was mesmerized by ”WINDWARD”, the late Alexander Liberman’s red steel work of art soaring skyward in front of the Grand Bay Hotel.  From that moment on, I dreamed about what it would be like having a sculpture like that in front of my home.



ALEXANDER LIBERMAN’S “WINDWARD” AT GRAND BAY HOTEL IN COCONUT GROVE, FLORIDA

Monday, October 21, 2019

NEAT SEATS…AND WHERE TO PLOP ON THEM


BY JANET STEINBERG

My love affair with chairs began back in the 1980s when I spotted a Hanes hosiery ad with a gorgeous ballerina, hose-clad leg extended, and seated on a black leather chair with a single aluminum leg.  I later learned that the ballerina’s J. Serie Lang lounge chair was designed by a Frenchman named Philippe Starck, one of the most famous architect/designers in the world.  Next thing I knew, I was sipping coffee at the Café Costes in Paris, seated on a perfectly balanced and beautiful 3-legged chair.  Much to my surprise, I learned that the aforementioned Philippe Starck had also designed the cafe’s chairs.

Starck captured my interest me from that point on.  I no longer had to search for unusual tchotchkes in my travels.  I had a new mission…the search for unusual chairs.  As I began pursuing the world for more of Starck’s designs, I developed an obsession for all kinds of seats from chairs, settees, and chaise lounges, to pews, benches, and booths,  It no longer mattered who designed them, as long as they were interesting or fun.  Wherever, and whenever, I spotted a neat seat, I would not only learn about it and photograph it.   I would also plop down in it. 

Allow me to share some results of my global chair-affair that has been going on for decades.  And, what better place for me to begin than with the chair responsible for my fascinating search for neat seats?

PARIS, FRANCE/CAFÉ COSTES: Philippe Starck’s famous Café Costes chair, with its curved beech lacquered back and black leather cushion, was originally designed for the Café Costes in Paris. It was designed with three legs so that waiters at the cafe would not have as many legs to trip over.  This hip café is known for its traditional French cuisine and celebrity patrons.  

THE 3-LEGGED PHILLIPPE STARCK CAFE COSTES CHAIRS HAVE FOUND THEIR WAY INTO AMERICAN HOMES

Monday, September 30, 2019

BERLIN, GERMANY…AND THE WALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN

BY JANET STEINBERG

In November, Germany, and the world, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Overnight ‘The Fall of the Wall’ not only changed an entire nation, but it also changed the rest of the world. The reunification of Germany ended 28 years of terror that tore apart families, friends and neighbors.   A visit to Berlin reveals a rejuvenated city that is no longer divided…a free city that that is celebrating reunification and democracy…a city that has confronted its past and is forging ahead to the future.

FORMER BERLIN WALL…NOW THE EASTSIDE GALLERY

Monday, September 9, 2019

PORTUGAL: EMERGING HOT DESTINATION FOR 2019


BY JANET STEINBERG

BEWARE! FADO FEVER IS CATCHING. 

Fado is the national song of Portugal.  This melancholy singing expression of the state of the soul (from the Latin word fatum) signifies prophecy or fate…a life commended by the oracle…one that nothing can change. Wherever you may travel in Portugal, you will be mesmerized by the dialogue of emotions between a round Portuguese guitar and a sad voice singing fado

Come along with me as we tour Portugal, the country that borders the Atlantic Ocean on the west, Spain on the east, is one of the warmest countries in Europe, and is the country some predict will be one of the top travel destinations of 2019.  

LISBON: Bom dia (good day) is the friendly welcome you’ll receive as you arrive in Lisbon (Lisboa), the scenic capital city located on the banks of the Tagus River.  It has long been argued whether the Tagus River, a winding silver ribbon that mirrors the city, ebbs up to meet the city or whether Lisbon extends down to meet the river.  Whatever the case, the seven hills of Lisbon and the wide mouth of the Tagus form a perfect picture postcard that is illuminated by the extraordinary amount of light that is reflected off the massive expanse of the river.  Little wonder that the Tagus River is said to be a large natural mirror that amplifies the aurora of the sun. 

The Torre de Belem (Belem Tower), built in the year 1521, looks like a miniature castle on the banks of the Tagus River.  It was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1983, and is one of the most popular attractions in Lisbon. 
BELEM TOWER ON THE BANKS OF THE TAGUS RIVER

Monday, August 12, 2019

ICELAND: A NAME OF DECEPTION


BY JANET STEINBERG

“People are always asking me about Eskimos,
but there are no Eskimos in Iceland.”
Bjork

They shouldn't call Iceland “Iceland”.  The misnomer of this Scandinavian island dates back more than a millennium (874 AD) to Ingolfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking frequently credited with discovering the island.  By naming it Iceland, he hoped to discourage future voyagers from settling on this green and appealing island.  Throughout the centuries, unsuccessful attempts have been made to rename the country. 

Once thought to be a cold barren place sans people, this Arctic land that has no snow and ice in the summer has been ranked second on the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) list of the ten hottest destinations for 2019.  Berries, vegetables and flowers grow in many places and from March to September the sun shines on the entire region for at least part of the day.  At the onset of summer, the sun never sets and white nights illuminate the annual Arctic Open Golf Championship that begins at midnight sometime during the month of June.   To quote Jack Nicklaus: “There’s probably more golf played in Iceland than most places in the world. They play 24 hours a day in the summertime and the northern part is warmer than the southern part.” 

Iceland, just 625-miles west of Norway, is a craggy land of fire and ice...where steam and snow are side by side...where erupting volcanoes, boiling geysers and bubbling hot springs lie next to glistening glaciers and ice fields.  This land of pure untamed nature is etched with craters of slumbering volcanoes that pockmark an eerie landscape so lunar-like that America's moon-mission astronauts trained there.     


ASTRONAUTS TRAINED ON ICELAND’S LUNAR-LIKE LANDSCAPE