Country Living December/January
Last month I took a trip to Patoutville, Louisiana to visit the family farm house of Peter Patout. He was wonderful host and I met some true Louisiana characters
I got down to Louisiana last week to see my family. It was also another opportunity to make pictures with Suzonne Sterling. I’ll post photos of our adventure to Patoutville, LA later this week!
October Country Living
Tomorrow marks the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast. These images are of my parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents homes in Lakeview, the neighborhood in New Orleans where I grew up. They’d been sitting under up to 10 feet of water for 14 days.
My love goes out to those who have stood by New Orleans, in high and low water, loved it when it couldn’t love you back. Who dat! Ya’ll come a long way since August 29, 2005. Be proud of that.
And if you are lucky enough to be standing in Southern Louisiana tomorrow please raise a cold Abita and say a little prayer for Jersey and the Rockaways and Staten Island. They still need it.
Jerry Glynn lived most of his 85 years at 629 Royal Street. His family probably signed their first lease with my great grandfather. Always charming and flirtatious, Jerry was one the reasons I loved visiting the property. He was my connection to the French Quarter of the past, when my family actually lived there, not just on weekends or special occasions.
Jerry died this past spring and I felt a huge sense of loss. 629 Royal would never be the same. I had always wanted to photograph Jerry in his home but felt it would have been too intrusive. By the time I got back to New Orleans, the apartment had been emptied to prepare for it’s first new tenant in over 70 years. I begged my father not to renovate until I could photograph it.
It was beautiful. I thought it was move-in ready just the way it was, especially if it came with Jerry’s spirit.
My good friend Megan hosted an adventure in New Paltz last weekend. Megan, Sharon, Donna, and I hadn’t gotten together since my wedding in October. The impetus was my search for a beautiful, old kitchen table.
There is something to be said for hunting through lots of dusty old stuff and finding treasures that speak to you. I love it. Megan knew all the right spots and drove us to lovely shops all over Ulster County.
By Sunday afternoon, I had found the table and spent time with some women I really love and admire. xo
My parents live near Bayou St. John in New Orleans. They have a wonderful neighbor named Greg Picolo. He is a chef, an artist, and a good friend to my family. Greg has a beautiful wild garden behind his house. This Spring I photographed some of his beloved specimens while my mother and nephew Harrison visited the turtle pond.
This week, it’s been hotter in NYC than it is in New Orleans. I’ve been lucky to be shooting in very chilled photo studios all week so I haven’t really felt it. However, I would take this weather in a second over a freezing winter day. I guess it’s my Louisiana blood.
When I visited New Orleans in May my friend Suzonne Stirling introduced me to Mary Cooper and Tomio Thomann. She is an expert on chair caning and color and he is a wood worker and artist. I photographed the Bywater Creole Cottage that they lovingly restored just as it would have been in 1860. That means no air conditioning. An uninsulated roof lets the hot air escape, while breezes pass through opened doors and windows.
Sometimes when I am in New Orleans my sense of place becomes so strong it zings through me. My whole family is there but it’s also the landscape, the climate, the smell, the light, the architecture. While I was in Mary and Tomio’s house, I felt this zing because I was in space that could only exist in New Orleans. It was so simple and beautiful and I was very moved by what they had created.
After I left Italy, I joined my husband and his sons in Ireland. They were on a journey to the birthplace of Ted’s great-grand father, Michael McGuinness. He was born on a sheep farm in Portnacross, County Donegal. Ted’s cousin, Martin McGuinness, lives there with his lovely wife Breda and their three children. There are over one hundred sheep on the farm and Martin shears them himself. The property is breathtaking and is right next to the harbor. There are cottages to rent, which makes sense because Martin and his wife Breda were wonderful hosts. The boys got to feed the lambs, climb the cliffs, and skip stones. It was an amazing day!