Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day

Bill and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend Christmas Day with some of our oldest friends. Look at this inviting, comfortable living room, with it's lovely snacks. I can highly recommend the sausage rolls!
The table in the dining room says, "You have been invited to dinner!"
I peaked out into the back yard. Just enough snow to make it look like Christmas.
We were going to have a gift-less Christmas this year, but the gifts crept back in on their own. How does that happen?
It was so much fun to be with friends old and new,
enjoying the snacks, and catching up.
Soon it was time to fill our plates
and take our places at the table.
Bill and Harriet in Christmas Cracker crowns.
And here is our traditional Christmas dinner. Roast turkey and stuffing with roasted potatoes, steamed brussels sprouts, mashed yams, green beans fried in butter with garlic and slivered almonds, and the whole plate set off by a home-made pomegranate chutney. It is here we become mindful of our many blessings.
[2 Jan 2011] Here is a postscript -- a photograph taken by one of our Christmas hosts: a welcome reminder that their back garden will flourish again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

David Sedaris

Nancy heard David Sedaris read at Massey Hall last year and after the show asked him to autograph a book for her friends Bill and John. Sedaris asked Nancy questions about her friends and then inscribed the book she gave us.
 Please click on the picture to enlarge. Lovely!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Good Looking

This past November, I showed 28 new photographs at Arcadia Gallery. The pictures in Good Looking: Photographs by John Elmslie were taken in Toronto, New York, San Francisco and Rome.
Rob Gray designed the invitation. Rob also designed the invitation to my first show, The Floating World, in 2005, and the invitation to the show Bill and I had in 2007, The Phone on the Beach at Cefal├╣.
Lori Fox Rossi took this picture at the opening. Thanks, Lori! That's Bill in the green shirt.
Here is the long wall of the gallery one Saturday afternoon before I put the lights on. 
The motto for the show is by American painter Charles Burchfield: "Astonishment and wonder are the keynotes of this picture -- Eliminate all else - ".
We had a steady stream of visitors to the show on the three weekends. A few people booked private views on weeknights.
I enjoyed spending time with my pictures. It made me want to run out and take millions more pics!
Find all twenty-eight Good Looking photographs here.

Decorating Nancy's Christmas Tree

Every year Nancy invites her closest friends over to help her trim her tree. An indispensable ingredient of this party are Nancy's Poinsettia cocktails. Here are the ingredients all set out for the party.
It's a secret recipe, so I'll just say that to a base of chilled Prosecco
Add vodka, Grand Mariner liqueur, and pomegranate and cranberry juice.
Bill and I hadn't seen Nancy's son, Cal, in a while. It's always nice to see him.
This is Rebecca's first Poinsettia of the year. No-one is allowed near the tree until they've had at least two drinks.
We have Stephen to thank for putting up the enormous tree.
And so Bill and Rebecca begin.
This decoration found its way to the heart of the tree.
Nancy has an incredible collection of new and vintage ornaments.
We love this party.
A tremendous amount of care goes into getting the ornaments hung just right. Here's Nancy making last minute additions.
This house is one of my favourites.
Toronto bassist, Terry Wilkins, dropped by to say Hi and see the tree on his way to a gig.
Work done, we all tore into the highlight of the evening, Rebecca's legendary apple crumble. It was even more delicious than it looks. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kensington Party

Annellie and Dimitri had Bill and I and Harriet over on Saturday to meet some of their friends. That's Annellie, our hostess, with her back to us at the left.
Here's John. He and Mark are film editors like Annellie.
Our host, Dimitri, illustrator and animator.
Dimitri, Mark and Harriet.
Mark.
Bill took this picture of yours truly. The Christmas Season is officially open.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NYC Photobooth

John and I got a great momento of our visit to New York City last October. Levi's had a workshop on Wooster Street demonstrating the latest digital printing equipment and they had a free photobooth at the entrance. Once you turned it on it was impossible to tell when the booth would snap your picture so we were guaranteed to look silly -- honestly, it's not our fault!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Upper East Side

Since John and I tend to stay in funky Chelsea at 23rd and 8th, going up to the classy Upper East Side is always a fun change and it's here that we find the big museums like the Met and Guggenheim. 
Above, at Park Ave and 70th, we find Yoshitono Nara's sculpture, White Ghost, temporarily sitting in the boulevard near the Asia Society where Mr Nara's fab retrospective show, I'm No Fool, is on until January 2, 2011. If you visit Manhattan be sure to put it on your itinerary.
When we head up to this neighbourhood, we love to catch a Madison Avenue bus north to our destination. It's great people watching on the fancy street lined with upscale shops. Here we we see the identical-twin security guards at the Gagosian Multiples Retail shop at East 77th St. How cool is that!
John also fell in love with the Ursus Books and Prints shop at 981 Madison above the famous Cafe Carlyle where Woody Allen likes to play his clarinet with the house jazz band. The Ursus shop has a great selection of rare art books that drew John to 2 visits before we left town.
You'll see some well-heeled and glamourous locals when you wander Madison.
Although like everywhere else these days, some shop windows are sadly empty.
We love the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum at 5th Avenue and 91st Street for their special exhibitions in what was originally the mansion of Andrew Carnegie. They're planning an extension that will allow one to see much more of their permanent collection. 
We usually find ourselves wandering downtown again along 5th Ave and Central Park when our museum visits in the neighbourhood are finished. Pure pleasure!