luck or money?

me at the museumWould you rather be rich or lucky? My favorite museum provides the answer. Haunted by great wealth and heartbreaking tragedy the beautiful Musee Nissim de Camondo is a Paris treasure.

Conte Moise de Camondo had it all.  He was the scion of one of Europe’s wealthiest banking families.  Sephardic Jews, they had fled Spain in 1492 to escape the inquisition. Settling in Constantinople, they owned one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire.   After a stint in Venice where they picked up their titles, the Camondo’s moved headquarters and families to Paris 1868. Continue reading

wowed by the woman, wowed by her art

under the signs of duality (twins from a first marriage, second wife, baby from second marriage, second home) I met the ultimate cool girl. Isabel Miquel Arques. You know the type. Has no idea she’s the most desirable woman in the room. And not because she’s the most beautiful, but because she is the most interested. In everyone else and in everything. Of course, she has a great story and great style. Not surprisingly, she an artist. Continue reading

aloette: diner heaven

the counter at aloetteA jersey girl knows her diners. I spent a lot of late late nights (aka early, early mornings) sitting on a stool eating fried eggs, drinking milk shakes and sobering up.They were all over the state. Diners have their roots in horse drawn lunch wagons and were particularly popular in the northeastern US. The iconic shape that defines diners to me, dates from the 20’s. A long counter, kitchen in the back, a couple booths and fixed spinning stools.

charred chorizoPre-fabricated, they were long and narrow for easy transport by truck or train. They were also an inexpensive way to start a business. A quintessential symbol of America they were often family run, owned by immigrants and open 24 hours. They are the hangout of after school teenagers, shift workers looking for a meal at odd hours and people who aren’t quite ready for the night to end. Continue reading