VanIvey Ceramics





Kristen Ivey van Diggelen started VanIvey Ceramics earlier this year, aiming to create “fewer things of greater quality that are made locally and beautifully.” Not a bad catalyst to starting your own company, and the results are truly stunning. Kristen works out of her San Francisco studio, hand-making each piece out of stoneware clays. “In an age of mass production, we aim to provide a truly unique alternative to dinnerware that can be passed down from generation to generation.” All the pieces are dinnerware, dishwasher, and microwave safe, but I don’t know if I could ever be brought to using them. They’re just too pretty. Doesn’t that last shot remind you of a Severin Roesen still life?

A Monochrome Apartment in Paris








This apartment, for sale through Feau Paris for a hefty €3.5 million, is just begging me to move in. No, it’s taunting me, with its fantastic herringbone floors and gorgeous crown moldings. That bedroom! Did anyone else spot the antique stained glass window in the hallway off the dining room? Why don’t they make houses with details like that anymore? This apartment is in the 7eme, near the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower. Because it wasn’t perfect enough already, let’s add its proximity to Paris’s most iconic landmark to the list, oui?

I’ve been reading a book on the renovation of Paris in the late 1800s, titled “Paris Reborn” by Stephane Kirkland. It’s a great non-fiction follow-up to the historical fiction I read earlier in the year, “Haussmann, Or the Distinction.” I adored that book beyond words, as I’m unsurprisingly fascination with the Haussmann era of Paris. “Paris Reborn” shifts the majority of the credit from Haussmann to Napoleon III, who really set things in motion with his rule over the city (and that whole story, how he imprisoned an entire government and turned the city into his empire, is so bizarre and interesting). It’s a wonderfully written book, and not at all stuffy or dry for an historical non-fiction. And there are photographs showing what the city looked like before and after full neighborhoods were demolished to make room for the grand boulevards and zinc-roofed buildings everyone is familiar with when they think of Paris. If you need a good book recommendation, look no further.

Art Heist


A new scandal has rocked the art world in the past few weeks: contemporary artists Jasper Johns’s former assistant of 25 years, James Meyer, was recently charged with fraud, after it was discovered he’d been secretly taking works from the artist’s Connecticut studio to an unidentified gallery in New York and selling them for a combined total of $6.5 million, of which Meyer kept half (a paltry sum, given that Johns’s “False Start,” above, sold in 2006 for $80 million). Beginning in 2006 and continuing for six years, Meyer is alleged to have taken 22 pieces in all, some of which were not even completed works, and none of which were authorized by Johns for sale. Meyer even went so far as to create “fake inventory numbers for the stolen pieces and forged pages in a loose-leaf binder that served as a register of all of Johns’ artwork,” providing them to the unknown gallery as proof of authenticity.


Meyer and Johns in his studio

Aiming to keep his perfidy a secret for as long as possible, Meyer negotiated with buyers of the pieces an “agreement that the buyer would not exhibit, loan or re-sell the works for at least eight years,” according to a U.S. Attorney. How that did not raise red flags for the mystery gallery or the buyers is beyond me. That is a ballsy move if there ever was one, and here I was thinking betraying someone you worked for for nearly a quarter of a century was as bad as it got.

Earlier this month, Meyer was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property (it should be 22 each, in my lawerly opinion). If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. Regardless, it’s safe to say he’ll never work in the art world again.

The Perfect Trench

Is it fall yet? Is it fall yet? Is it fall yeeeetttt? Come on, fall! I am looking forward to sleeping with the window open, chilly weather, crunchy leaves, scarves, boots, apple picking, and eventually winter. And now, I’m even more excited because I’ve finally found the perfect trench coat:


I bought a trench coat at Target last May for our trip to Belgium in a pinch of last-minute packing anxiety, and it filled its role fine. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it worked. I should have splurged and spent extra to get one that was waterproof and had a hood, though, and as a result I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for one that fit all of my criteria. It’s worth spending a little more to get a good investment piece that I’ll have for a few years versus one season. So when I saw this Calvin Kelin trench at Nordstrom a few weeks ago, I bought it immediately (after texting my mom for validation; she wrote back in all caps, “DO IT”). Waterproof, removable hood, zip-out fleece lining, mid-thigh length, and the perfect khaki color. I’m really picky, I admit, and this one is about 3x the price of the Target one, but it ticked all the boxes.

Now I just need the weather to dip about 25 degrees and we’ll be all set.

At The Movies


Until ‘Midnight in Paris’ came out two years ago, I reveled in being able to tell people my top three favorite movies all started with the same letter: ‘Clue,’ ‘Closer,’ ‘Cinema Paradiso’. It had an agreeable ring to it, not that I’m blaming ‘Midnight in Paris’ for anything. I feel like I’ve inundated you with references to that movie, so it’s high time to share my original three favorites.

First up: ‘Closer.’ Starring Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, and Natalie Portman, who is so young and captivating and breathtaking in this movie it’s alarming. Have you seen it? Director Mike Nichols adapted the script from play of the same name by Patrick Marber. It focuses around two nebulous couples in London, who fall in love, cheat, break each other’s hearts, lie, curse, and generally make you hate them and life in one fell swoop. The men are English and the women are American, the conversations are real and honest and raw and painful, and if you’re not feeling emotionally bruised by the end of it, you weren’t paying attention. My friend Lyndsey confiscated my copy after a breakup many years ago, but I’ve since bought another one. Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the stomach from a movie (you know, when you’re wallowing in a particularly self-loathing state).


I won’t spoil it with plot points for you, but there is some amazing dialogue in ‘Closer.’

Dan: I fell in love with her, Alice.

Alice: Oh, as if you had no choice? There’s a moment, there’s always a moment, “I can do this, I can give into this, or I can resist it”, and I don’t know when your moment was, but I bet you there was one.


Dan: You think love is simple. You think the heart is like a diagram.

Larry: Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist, wrapped in blood. Go fuck yourself, you writer! You liar!


Jude Law is slimy and terrible, Julia Roberts is an absolute mess, Clive Owen seems to be the only character aware of how awful he is to others, and the only person you end up feeling remotely sorry for is Natalie Portman’s ingénue Alice Ayres. If you haven’t seen it, I think you better fix that immediately. Just be prepared with tissues.

A Farmhouse in Sweden







This Swedish farmhouse southeast of Malmö is for sale for just over $1.2 million (7.9 million kronor). A small price to pay for absolute perfection, I think (though I’d love it even more if it I could pick up the house and move it 1,000 miles north to the top of Sweden, obviously). The combination of white and pale stone everywhere is so beautiful, not to mention the white floors upstairs and the catwalk under the attic. I can’t tell what my favorite piece is; maybe that blue painting in the living room. It’s rare that I find a home where I wouldn’t change a single thing, but this is definitely an exception.

Café de Flore




1 / 2 / 3

One of the most iconically Parisian cafés, Café de Flore was an St-Germain old haunt for the likes of Hemingway, Sartre, Camus, and countless other creatives and intellectuals. Opened in 1885, it’s one of the oldest and most famous cafés in the city. I’ve never been. How is this possible? I recently learned they have a small boutique just up the street from the café entrance, where they sell official cups and saucers, tea pots, and other essentials. Needless to say, this will be an important stop on my next trip back.

I know that realistically, there is no perfect spot in which to write. You either write well anywhere or not at all. There isn’t a magical seat in the world where some creative vortex opens and voila, your book pops out at you, complete and perfect. I know that. But it doesn’t mean I can’t daydream about sitting at a table under the cream awning in the early morning chill of a quiet spring day, scribbling away furiously having been divinely inspired by the ghosts of writers past, ordering cup after cup of tea and basking in my own genius. Une fille peut rêve.

Fall/Winter Basics



Sweater / Scarf / Boots
Sweater / Scarf / Boots
Sweater / ScarfBoots

In case you were curious: yes, I’m still on my winter kick. I cannot wait for boot season (even snow boot season!). Here are three sets of basics to get you through October to January in style. I had a pair of those cognac leather boots for three years before I finally wore them to death. It goes without saying that I’ll be purchasing another pair this fall. And if you live in the northeast like me and need good snow/rain boots, I cannot recommend those duck boots in the middle highly enough. I had to break them out yesterday during a torrential downpour, and I forgot how much I loved them since last winter. What are your winter staples?