Lifestyle

The Dutch Bike

Everyone on the Main Line drives a fancy car, but what I really want is a Dutch bike. I’ve been dreaming of a life where exercise comes easily and real food can be bought at less-than-Whole-Foods prices. Walking or biking to and from the local market sounds ideal.

The Omafiets, which has high handlebars, a wide saddle, and a step-through frame, is designed to be ridden upright. It’s built for comfort, not speed; no workout clothes needed. The Omafiets complements whatever outfit the rider has deemed most appropriate for her destination. (The male version of the Omafiets has a crossbar and is called an Opafiets, but men ride the Omafiets too.)

Works Sighted

Cortina U4 transport ladies bicycle // Rains A-Line jacket // COS sweater // Scotch & Soda skinny pants // Smaak Amsterdam bag // Veja Campo

Further Reading

No helmets, no problem: how the Dutch created a casual biking culture

Why Dutch Bikes are Better (and why you should want one)

How to BIKE in THE NETHERLANDS? … These foreigners survived the Dutch bicycle!

The BEST things to do in Amsterdam | handpicked by the locals

The 10 things to eat in Amsterdam | WHAT & WHERE to eat, by the locals

In Pursuit of Rare Books

I celebrated the conclusion of my most recent research paper by watching The Booksellers (2020), a documentary featuring sellers of rare books primarily based in New York. Ironically, the seller who has the least airtime is most memorable. Elizabeth (Lizzy) Young appears on screen in a crisp, white button-up. The owner of a rare bookshop in Newport, RI, Lizzy, like myself, is interested in the history and culture of food and drink. Her business’s logo comprises a sketch of a whisk and a cocktail glass above an opened book. Cooking, cocktails, & culture, her slogan reads. A woman doesn’t need much more than that in life.

Works Sighted

Chicote, Pedro. El Bar Americano en España (1927).
M. F. K Fisher. With Bold Knife And Fork (1969).
Julia Child. The French Chef Cookbook (1968).

Kara Newman. Nightcap; More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening (2018).
Jessie Sheehan. The Vintage Baker; More Than 50 Recipes from Butterscotch Pecan Curls to Sour Cream Jumbles (2018).
Henry McNulty. Drinking In Vogue (1979).

Neil I. Rosenthal. Reflections of a Wine Merchant; On a lifetime in the vineyards and cellars of France and Italy (2009).
M. F. K Fisher. Map of Another Town; A Memoir of Provence (1964).
Jancis Robinson. How to Taste; A Guide to Enjoying Wine (2008).

Paperless Post

A collage of digital thank-you cards

I caught up on my thank-you notes last night, and I used Paperless Post for six of them. I’d spent some time searching for attractive paper cards without any luck and strongly preferred to send out my correspondences before the beginning of the new school year. Once we’re in la rentrée, I’ll have more people to thank. Cards from Paperless Post are paid for with credits called coins. Ten coins magically appeared in my bank after I created an account, but I purchased 100 more for $20 once they ran out. Having thank-you cards on hand has taken on new meaning. I still believe in paper, but going paperless makes sense when you aren’t sure if the recipient is working from their office address, don’t have their mailing address, or are hesitant to entrust your words of thanks to the mail service.

Works Sighted

Dahlias Horizontal // London Skyline View // Spring Shade (Felix Doolittle)

Eureka Bower (Felix Doolittle) // Ellis Hall I (Kate Spade) // Paris Skyline View

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote: Art Supplies Repository

An extra-large L.L.Bean boat and tote

It’s official: I now own at least one L.L.Bean Boat and Tote in all four sizes. The extra-large tote (my first) has arrived to help me return to my creative roots. As a child, I was fortunate to have a playroom that encouraged my artistic expression. I painted on paper affixed to my easel but also on the walls—only on the walls of the playroom, not on walls in any other part of the house. I don’t have a room set aside for the purpose of art now, and, until recently, my supplies were stowed out of sight in closets and woven seagrass baskets. Out of sight, out of mind. Eventually, I realized that my art supplies needed to be stored in a highly-visible place if I wanted to use them more often. The extra-large Boat and Tote personalized with Editrix provided a viable solution.

The dimensions of the extra-large tote are 17″H x 19″W x 10″D; it’s imposing as totes are concerned. Its capacity is 56 liters, substantial enough to hold an array of watercolors, watercolor pencils, sketching pencils, colored pencils, pens, Sharpies, pads of paper, a calligraphy instruction book, a Paris-themed coloring book, and whatever non-art-related book I am currently reading. The tote, filled to the brim, sits beside one of my bookshelves. It’s impossible to ignore. The title, Editrix, embroidered on the front reminds me daily of my artistic purpose and encourages me to fulfill it.

Works Sighted

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

The Main Line

A collage of essentials for summer in the country

Hello from the Main Line, where women begin their mornings with an outdoor run or exercise class, go to lunch midday, and entertain at home in the evenings. I’ve become fond of Soul Cycle lately, which I usually follow up with a salad from Sweetgreen. Whenever I visit my sommelier, V., at Di Bruno Bros., I go to The Silverspoon for lunch. So far, we’ve successfully hosted one guest for dinner. (Family members don’t count as guests.) I wouldn’t say we’re ready for a dinner party just yet, but a little more practice may be enough to change the tide.

I spend more time at home now than I did when we lived in Philadelphia. I enjoy swimming in the recently-renovated outdoor pool, barbecuing burgers and Hebrew National hot dogs on the charcoal grill, and drinking canned wine on the balcony at night. But one can only swim so much, grill so much, and drink so much wine.

Due to distance, it’s no longer convenient to take advantage of the social events (Artsi), art (the PMA), and vibrant restaurants (Parc and Zahav) Philadelphia has to offer. However, not having to constantly look over my shoulder and worry about excessive crime frees up my time for other things. A few more suburban pastimes: stocking up on Hippeas chickpea puffs and Hu chocolate from Whole Foods, seeing a film at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, eating a black bean burger and side salad at Mom’s Organic Market, and date night with my husband at Otto by Polpo.

Although I go into the city often, it is not likely that I will ever live in Philadelphia again. I’m convinced that I’ve seen everything the Main Line has to offer, but perhaps time will tell if this statement is true.

Works Sighted

swimsuit // acrylic stemless wine glass // melamine accent plates // seersucker napkins //  tunic // canned sparkling rosé // movie poster

lounge chair // pool ring // wicker clutch // visor // tank

wine tote // paleo chocolate bar // vegan chickpea puffs // book // tennis set // 21 oz Hydro Flask // align 25” // cycling shoes

Window Shopping at Smythson

Writing paper, envelopes, and other desk essentials

When I lived in London, I’d visit Smythson quite often without the intention of buying anything. You’d find me at the Sloane Square location…right near my beloved Peter Jones and The Botanist. Shopping online doesn’t compare to an in-person experience at one of the brand’s London stores, but browsing the website is the best way to keep up with the latest developments in merchandise whilst living stateside. We’re in the middle of what the French call la rentrée, and many of the items I’ve selected for this post were inspired by my return to my desk.

Works Sighted

A5 writing folder // correspondence cards // desk mat

writing paper // jewellery box // envelopes

photo album // photo corners // travel notebook