3.30.2015

wanted: iranian art expert

Coffee house painting
A friend is interested in loaning or selling this piece of folk art. She bought it in Iran in about 2000. A coffee house painting is typically a backdrop for traveling theater companies in Iran, and apparently they have become quite valuable and collectible. The question is—to whom? She is looking for that collector because she is selling the house she bought specifically because it had a wall that would accommodate the 12-foot canvas. Also, the newlywed said, "I like it better than my wife." I had to read that sentence twice.

3.27.2015

the car life

Those of us who live in New York City don't typically think in terms of automobiles unless we're obsessing about parking. But for people in other places, especially parents, the car is a second home. I babysat in mama's car while she had a haircut, and we had snacks, a meal, playtime and naps during that period. And then I picked up my car, which I had about forgot how to drive. Since I am departing New York, I will be living in it for the foreseeable future. But all I need is a cooler, some bananas and a bunch of stray chairs.

3.26.2015

3.24.2015

babysitting

Sorry, can't write! Rain Rain go away. Wait. It's not raining, that's just the song! Make a fort! Be a slide! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

3.23.2015

leaving nyc

 It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but I'm outta there. Gotta go see the funniestgrandson and the mostwonderfulgranddaughter. And so begins the hospitality season. Dowling Intercontinental is booking fast, with cousin Avery staying there now and three others expected within the week. I will just be there for a flash now and then until—November?

3.20.2015

birth pangs

Ali and Matt head off to the hospital.
Can you feel it yet? The newness? The beginning of something else? The tabula rasa?
Yes folks, it's the vernal equinox, the solar eclipse and the new moon all in one day!  Never mind the snow, it's spring! It's also my stepson's birthday. And Max's birthday! Yes, Matt and Ali had a baby with all ten toes and a lot of hair at 3 ayem-ish. It's all about new beginnings.
But, there's more!  It's International Day of Happiness, too!
So share the love.
Oh and if you missed the eclipse (which I bet you did), you can watch it here.

3.19.2015

fly your learjet




A very, very rare (maybe never before) total eclipse of the sun occurs on the vernal equinox beginning at 4:30 ayem tonight. You can only see it from Northern Europe, but you can live stream it here. What this means in astrology, hell, I can't figure it out. But here's one take. And another.

st paddy's week

Toby held St. Patrick's Day dinner a day late, and I made the above Irish soda bread from Doro's recipe. I'm sure hers was better (and her photo was better too), but mine was good enough that the Reilly recipe has been requested. It's going to snow tomorrow, so plan ahead! Feel free to take the rest of my buttermilk, or you can use yogurt mixed with milk.
Also note that corned beef has gone on sale.

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Kilkenny Irish Soda Bread Doroʼs favorite (and only) ISB recipe  
Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees 4 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, pinch of salt

1 T caraway seeds Toss all that together

Crumble in 1/3 cup room temperature unsalted butter and work in with your hands or a pastry blender until the consistency is like cornmeal. It doesnʼt take long.

Add 1 cup raisins, light and dark or all dark - whatever your preference.

In separate bowl, combine 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 egg. Mix it all up.

Pour buttermilk combo into the well of flour mixture and combine. I donʼt like to kneed too much - just until you have your dough formed.

Now you have two options.

Leave dough whole and make one large bread or split in half to make two. I always make two and sometimes three from one recipe.

Handle with floured hands and place one, two or three breads in buttered pyrex or glass casserole. Cut a criss cross on top, and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Test by inserting knife in center and gently picking up out of dish to see that bottom is golden - you know.

- St. Patrickʼs Day, 2015

3.18.2015

bleak island

Johnny took this picture en route to or from Disney World. He probably should have stayed in Florida. The daffodils (or jonquils, as seems to be the local locution) are blooming in the Ozarks, and I'm thinking about hitting the road.
   For female journalists who have an international project in mind, there are a few more days to apply for a large sum of money.
Sorry, Chien-Chi, you can't. But as consolation prize his was picked as one of the top 10 booths to see at Art Basel Hong Kong.
And speaking of planes and Hong Kong, watch your stuff on the way. Apparently, on long trips thieves go through your hand luggage in the overhead compartment when you're not looking. Traveler, beware.

3.17.2015

company matters

Annie and wife Nancy

Ed and friend Tommy
In my continuing and mostly futile effort to take pictures of people rather than things that hold still properly, I submit two pix of recent dinner parties. That both soon devolved into alcohol-fueled hootenannies we can only deplore but, in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, chin chin!

3.16.2015

pure as the driven

The remains of winter.
Not so fast! You think winter is over? Not quite. there's more snow in the forecast, and boy we sure could use it to cover up the old and the emergent trash piles.
And speaking of trash, here is a Smithsonian film about out own Aymar's project to make art out of the trash choking Lake Titicaca.
If you are looking for a project, perhaps you'd like to enter an essay contest about why you'd like to run an inn in Maine. The woman who had it won it years ago and is ready to pass it on. Entry fee is $125.
Some interesting photos from former People photo editor Joyce Seymore.
And in case you believe you are one in a million, you can check "how many of me" on this link. I found there were something like eight Claudia Dowlings in the U.S. Now, I do have several addresses, so some of them could be me. . .
And anyway, I know YOU are one in a million!

3.11.2015

summer dreams

I know you all will deplore this photo program, but it's so fun!
It's that time of year. One hint of spring and people are trying to book summer houses—for 2016. Nothing this year left between June 19th and September 4th. I wonder what the spring will be like after this tough winter.

3.10.2015

round 'em up

My inbox is getting full, so that means it's time for another roundup!
Investment opportunity awaits for Calm-A-Mama (above, spokesgirl not included). Hannah wants to go wide and is looking for investors.
"Duang," a word Jackie Chan invented some time ago has apparently gone viral. In China, anyway. Here is the shampoo commercial where he first used the word, which appears to mean something like voila or ta-da.!
If you haven't heard enough about the weather, you can read about gardening in the Ozarks in a blog by an acquaintance of mine who appeared as herself, a musician, in the film Winter's Bone.
Enjoyed this story about NYC buildings that become dormlike since I've been living in one since 1977. Now, if everyone didn't want to be my roommate. . .
A podcast from horror screenwriter Wesley Strick.
A nice bunch of portraits for International Women's Day from some National Geographic friends.
Word on the work of Molly Price, actress and Block Island resident, with storytelling by foster children and the elderly.
A link to Chien-Chi Chang's moving picture oeuvre on Magnum in Motion.
OK there's more, but that's enough from Claudia's Clip Service for the moment.