Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Market Stock

The French writer François de La Rochefoucauld said, "To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art."  I think, especially presently, this quotation holds great weight.  One doesn't have to be Top Chef to cook fantastic dishes.  The most important aspect in cooking is using the freshest ingredients, preferably organic.  And there are hundreds of farmers markets across the United States (this website is a great resource for locating one) in which to find those fresh ingredients.  One of my favorite New York activities is quite simple . . . go to the Farmer's Market in Union Square, which is close to my office and store, and not only buy the freshest produce, cheese, meat, and bread, but also get inspired by all the wonderful colors, textures, and shapes.  Sometimes a stroll through the market makes me quite envious of visual artists.  Before coming back to Turkey, I had a day in the market and wanted to share some photos with you.  Enjoy them, and then take some time to find a market that supports local farmers.  Your body, the environment, and, quite possibly, your creativity with love you for it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bathed in Light

I love being in my apartment during sunset . . . the glow is both dazzling and serene, and the energy of the rooms seems to fluctuate between the two.  While awaiting a small group--including my friend Fernanda Killigan, who's on her way via London to Kate Shelter's Tuscan wedding--for drinks, I decided to take a couple of shots of my apartment with my lovely Blackberry camera (still need to take that leap to a new phone).  Yes, I'm back in Istanbul and looking forward to showing my friends the town. While I'm a huge fan of entertaining at home, I know visitors want to see the sites and sounds.  But looking at these photos really makes me want to stay in tonight.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunglasses at Night

Last night my friend Katrina Pavlos invited me to the opening of the exhibition “Persol Magnificent Obsessions: 30 Stories of Craftsmanship in Film” at Center 548 in New York.  Persol is one of my favorite sunglasses brands, so I was super excited about this event.  The evening included a beautiful exhibit, rooftop cocktails, music spun by DJ Ryan McGinley, and plenty of celebrities like (and some personal favorites) Sir Ben Kingsley, Terry Gilliam, Mira Nair and Rupert Friend.  The exhibition is open to the public all this weekend and celebrates the stories of obsessive craftsmanship behind some of cinema's most iconic on-screen moments.  Just as it takes 30 manual steps to create the perfect pair of Persol frames, Persol Magnificent Obsessions showcases how each instance of cinematic perfection takes painstaking research and craftsmanship to develop.  Some really fantastic films are featured in the exhibition, including Blue Velvet, Gandhi (model of the palace below), Marie Antoinette (I took shots of the amazing jewelry and accessories), The Darjeeling Limited, and Vertigo.  If you’re in New York this weekend go check out this outstanding event at 548 West 22nd Street.  Entrance is free.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Inhabited Sculpture

Since being back in New York after Istancool, I relish being in my store.  It's really like coming home after a long journey.  We held an event here last Wednesday, and I found myself proud of the objects and furniture meshing with the beautiful crowd, especially Chuck Pryce's sculptures, which people couldn't help but pick up and touch.  I'm very lucky to have been introduced by a close friend to Chuck, and since then he and I have become good friends and colleagues (just recently in fact he sent me those amazing eggs from his Hamptons farm).  His pieces are sensual yet, because of their weight, masculine and sturdy.  One can appreciate the substantial quality of the objects, especially because, I think, they invoke a presence, which seems to vibrate with joy, either when resting or whilst being held  My first and favorite that I fell in love with is the wishbone, available in so many sizes and colors, but there are many other shapes to have and hold.  I'd love for you to stop by the store and experience the magic of Chuck's sculptures for yourselves.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Being with You

Earlier I posted some images of Karaköy, where the welcome dinner for Istancool took place.  My hope was to share some photos from that night, but because of lack of time that day, I was unable to photograph anything decent to post.  Instead, you can visit the Billy Farrell Agency website and see some pics from the dinner, which was super relaxed.  We wanted to keep it simple and low key for all the celebrities who would be participating in the weekend's exhilarating activities.  It was a perfect spot to eat and relax after a buzzing art opening for the charming and serene Sandro Kopp, who my friend, photographer Daniela Federici, and I had the opportunity to meet.  I look forward to seeing more from this very talented man.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Light Ascending a Staircase

I'm very proud to finally present some photos from the Istancool 2011 gala dinner, which included celebrity guests Kirsten Dunst, Michael Stipe, Stephen Jones, Terry Gilliam, and Tilda Swinton.  Cem Hakko, owner of Vakko company was the generous sponsor.  The stunning location was chosen a long time ago, so upon seeing it, I knew that I had to bathe the space in candlelight.  The mood was quite extraordinary.  Held in one of the oldest institutes of higher education in the world, Istanbul University--which has helped shape the cultural landscape of the city--the space, the design, and the event truly meshed well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Palace is Burning

One of the best parts about having a home in Istanbul is being the occasional tour guide.  The beautiful architecture, paired with a very long and extravagant history can be overwhelming, so when someone visits me, I'm able to slow down and take in a few details.  Yesterday I spent some time with a friend and visited the Çırağan Palace and took a few snapshots with my phone camera. 

Built between 1863 and 1872, the palace was the last in a long tradition of sultans building their own palace instead of using one of their ancestors.  In 1910 a great fire destroyed most of the palace, and it wasn't until 1989 when it was bought by a Japanese company, which restored the structure to its days of glory and added a modern hotel next to it.  The scale of the palace is staggering: rooms with 8 meter tall ceilings and 5 meter tall windows.  When visiting, one can sense the life of the Sultans who lived here . . . the traffic of the boats on the Bosphorus, the opulant costumes and food, and the lush gardens that once surrounding this beauty of architecture.