Sunday, May 16

In Bloom! Bill's green thumb...

Wow. The garden. When I visited, many of these plants were sitting in trays on the floor of the adjacent bedroom. Now, look! Bill sent me these pics, and I don't normally post other people's photography, but for the picture-happy editor-slash-gardener whose home I've visited, why not?

Saturday, May 15

Bill's Kitchen

This is Bill's kitchen. Above, canisters and another Life cover, of course. His son found the butter churn on the top shelf. Below, the red-glass lamp sans shade is from his childhood bedroom. The smoothie-making operation! Neon-stickered berries. When I buy neon-stickered stuff, I have to peel off the price. It's so harsh to look at, and I feel like I'm getting yelled at every time I open the refrigerator. Just me? Other people I've talked to for Homebodies, including Chef Seamus, don't seem to care.
This corner is so perfect: the molding, the light, the window, the color. Out another window, Bill's son practiced dribbling and had some pretty impressive moves. On the day I visited, the day's plan—after a soccer game and a birthday party and a basketball game—they were going to plant a garden.

Thursday, May 13

Bill Shapiro, Brooklyn

On a recent Sunday, I took the F train to Brooklyn to visit Bill Shapiro, whose book Other People's Rejection Letters hit shelves this week. (On the sweeter side, he also edited the popular Other People's Love Letters.) This new collection of rejection letters ranges from the romantic to the professional; from Jimi Hendrix to moi (I authored two, and contributed a photo). Fittingly, the F train —the FU train—went unexpectedly express once I left Manhattan, leaving me feeling a bit rejected myself when I realized I was completely off-track. A town car and an unplanned tour of Brooklyn later, I was hanging out with Bill and drinking a nerve-calming breakfast smoothie while the birds chirped in the garden and his kids played games on the computer and made butterfly mosaics on the floor. What snafu? I love Brooklyn.

I know Bill pretty well, considering that I'm the third wheel to the Bill-and-Naomi unit. This is what happens when your best friends have cool boyfriends. We do a lot together, i.e., I tag along.

This was my first visit to Bill's new home, and I love it! It's three stories and has shiny wood floors and gorgeous fireplaces and has a warm kitchen painted bird's-egg blue. In the kitchen are smoothies. On the walls are some fantastic pictures: Bill, a longtime editor at Time Inc., was the founding editor of He's got some great shots of Marilyn Monroe, random antique daguerreotypes, old Life covers, and lots of photo paraphernalia. Taking snapshots for Homebodies at the home of such an expert? No sweat.

Below, between the kitchen and the living room, is the mosaic room, and for adults, the office area. The desk: where book-magic and bill-paying happens. The Life poster was designed by Bill's friend Carin Goldberg, the legendary graphic designer behind those Kurt Vonnegut titles, a Madonna album, and a slew of other things (I got sucked into her website. Check it out).
On shelves along the opposite wall are more photographs and cameras. Below, the Feb. 2, 2007 Life cover featuring Sienna Miller during the Factory Girl blitz. I think that's a spring from a sofa cushion. The Marilyn Monroe series was shot by the great Life photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. She called him over to her house in Santa Monica and vamped in the backyard, says Bill. Bill vamped for me in the reflection of the daguerreotypes. I was admiring the framed faces when he appeared and became superimposed. Creepy!
The charcoal on paper behind the TV is by Tim Clifford, who happens to live a few blocks away. I love this rug. I think Bill said it's from his mom? I'm looking for a flat weave myself. And is that a mini tri-pod on the windowsill, next to the pocket watch? Next up, the kitchen. A preview, with the boy, from the mosaic room.

Sunday, May 9

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom called me last night at 12:31 am and woke me up. Her voicemail: "Good morning, it's your mother. I can't believe you're not out and about. I thought you'd be up. Probably in bed. How am I ever going to have grandchildren if you guys go to bed so early? Get out there and meet men! Heavens! Love you, bye."

Last time I was home, we had tea at the kitchen table, above. Antique lace tablecloth. English garden teacups. Pressure to have babies. Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 3

The foyer

Pardon my lack of attention recently to Homebodies, but I'm finishing up a huge load of work for school, and between that and my awesome new full-time gig at WNYC, I haven't had a spare minute to update my blog! Big deadlines loom, which means there's a clearing soon to follow, so until I get there, I thought I'd upload a few photos of Nana and Papa's foyer.

It's always looked like this, for as long as I can remember. The pink walls are warm and inviting, there are usually uncles and aunts and cousins crowded around as soon as you walk in the door, and the red telephone has been there for decades--as kids, we used to think we could pick it up and call Russia.

Many paths into the home lead from the foyer: straight ahead to the kitchen, right to the parlor, hard right to the living room, upstairs to the bedrooms.

"I dare you to call Russia!" "No, it'll start World War III!"

Below, Uncle Ed and Sadie, the dog.