Friday, May 7, 2010


Grades are done and posted, the vacation begins today and there are two trips to look forward to. The first to New York to meet up with my mother-in-law coming in from Scotland, and later in the month together with an old friend flying in from London, volcano permitting, to Pittsburgh for Falling Water and Kentuck Knob and back to New York for theatre and fun.

A more immediate occasion to look forward to, and I so wish my new blazer was ready, is breakfast this morning at the Ainsworth Noah showroom to meet the designer of this room from 1983, Mr John Saladino. I don't think this room was the first interior of Mr Saladino's I'd seen way back when - there was another with a large square column shaft, green in my memory, doing duty as an elevator hallway, that impressed the hell out of me - however, first or not, I found this room magical and to a great degree still do. It is of its time and yet timeless.

All the elements of interiors created by him over the last nearly thirty years are in place: the classicism, the relish for the antique, the understanding of architecture, the apprehension of light, the enlistment of baroque form and texture, the acknowledgement of proportion and, quite simply, the erudition of it all.

I already have his new book, Villa, and am a bit self-conscious about schlepping it to be signed, so I probably shall not. If you haven't got the book in your library I recommend you put it there. It's not a book that will fit a shelf easily, large and squareish, bumptious even, that it is, it really requires a place on a table - preferably a table draped to the floor with a large oriental carpet.

The carpet draped table is something straight of a Johannes Vermeer or Gabriel Metsu painting, something I had not seen in years, certainly outside of the Netherlands, until last week when visiting an acquaintance I saw his large work table covered to the floor in a large carpet and topped with a large Apple machine and keyboard. That juxtaposition of modern technology with an artifact of such ancient provenance was immensely stylish. In fact, the whole place was full of interesting adjacencies - a bust of Pallas Athene atop a glazed medical cabinet in use as china storage, for example - so much so, that it was obvious he had decorated, curated is probably a better way of looking at it, only for his own visual enjoyment and I found it both ritzy and rakish. They were rooms that, if one took the time to understand, said so much about the owner - a rare quality, I feel.

Apropos ritzy and rakish, I found this recipe tucked away in the cocktail cabinet this evening.

Negroni sbagliato

1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth
1 ounce dry spumante
orange slice for garnish

Over ice but added in this order - Campari first, then the vermouth followed by the spumante. Stir gently.

For the second time this week I cannot attribute the photographer, though I do know the photo is from a 1983 issue of Architectural Digest. I shall seek the name of the photographer.


  1. The drink sounds pretty fantastic.
    Pittsburgh: my hometown! You can't miss Clayton house either -have you been? I think you'd enjoy it -it's the Frick Mansion in pointbreeze not too far from the carnegie museum. I've blogged about it before. You'll LOVE kentuck knob -magnificent especially for the private collections of lord Columbo. Fallingwater is a knock out of course but wait for those collections!

  2. what fun and well deserved. love visiting AN, what fine gents! I will be in Atlanta in June at some point. so, We will meet I think. pgt

  3. There is something delicious about closing that grade book and knowing another year is "for the books." Enjoy your time off and your travels.

  4. Stefan, thank you for the suggestion about Clayton House. You cannot imagine how pleasant it will be to go to a new city and find what it has to offer. I am looking forward to Kentuck Knob very much. I know of Lord Palumbo from home, of course. Can't wait!

    little augury, the event was superb. Mr Saladino gave a much appreciated illustrated talk for about an hour - erudite, amusing and totally impressive. We're here in June so let me know.

  5. home before dark, thank you. A break is always good and refreshing.

  6. It was a lovely morning, wasn't it? Mr. Saladino's lecture was every bit as good as I anticipated, and perhaps even better.

    I always marvel at NYC spaces - where there are so many more walls, and far fewer opportunities for light. I thought it was interesting that Mr. Saladino compared his NYC apartment to a ancient Pompeii.

  7. Things That Inspire, I found Mr Saladino's lecture totally fascinating. He warned it would be about an hour but frankly it seemed only a minute or two. The ancient world is clearly his starting point and his major reference.