Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The surrounding environment

An evening scene along the Reservoir. 5:30 PM.
Wednesday, September 13, 2016. Nice late summer weather here in New York yesterday. Temps hovering in the low 80s and dropping into the mid-70s by early evening. The city is very busy suddenly. My neighborhood, with the two girls’ schools in session and construction going on on more than one block, is bringing a multitude of trucks along with the school buses jamming much of the avenue throughout the middle of the day.

This week has been light on the events scene outside of the worlds of fashion which are changing with the times. Vanessa Friedman, the fashion editor/ columnist for the New York Times, is covering it daily and gives you a pretty accurate idea of what is going on and what it all looks like. Because it’s not all about clothes anymore; the collections are more and more becoming a merchandising entertainment. The industry seems to be taking a different tack in promoting their collections including big parties where they are actually selling their merchandise before it’s even in the stores (or on the runways).
"There were ball gowns in denim and ball gowns in gingham, ribbed poor-boy sweaters paired with ball skirts in striped silk and khaki mixed with metallic brocade. "Easy glamour," she said backstage, the Herrera version of high/low, which it was, absolutely. Though maybe a little too easy." — Vanessa Friedman
Ellin Saltzman, who has been covering the shows for NYSD for the last several seasons, decided this year to do it via her computer to avoid endless cab rides, broken sidewalks, and traveling to multiple locations all over the island – especially lower Manhattan. We’ll have that for you when it’s over at the end of the week.

In the last ten days I’ve received several new books including some beautiful coffee table books from several New York designers which we’ll get around to covering in the next few weeks. But last night, Peter Pennoyer and his wife Katie Ridder hosted a reception for their book “A House In the Country” at Peter’s architectural offices on 136 Madison Avenue.
Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder with a copy of A House in the Country. Click to order.
Peter and Katie co-signing a copy.
The house of the subject is the house the couple built and decorated for themselves up in Millbrook. So it’s a book about architecture and interior design but the clients are their own architect and designer. It’s a beautiful book, written with Anne Walker and photographed magnificently by Eric Piasecki.

The house and interiors are beautiful but so is the surrounding environment of gardens, woodlands and lawns, so there is a quality of a real life to it.  The opening shot inside, next to the first page of Peter’s “Introduction” is of the couple walking through the autumn foliage, its shadows dappling the ground they’re walking over and it sets the tone of this “dream project.”
The architect and the interior designer stroll through the woodland of property on which they built.
Their dreamhouse in the country.
Katie and Peter on the back cover.
Peter’s introduction goes right to the question many people would have about such a husband-and-wife project, and how they cooperated to create an environment that reflects many things about the couple including their warm family life. I wrote about Peter’s family last Spring in a very affecting memoir his father Robert Pennoyer wrote (“As It Was”). “House in the Country” left me with a sense of that family energy for another generation following the powerful tradition of a family house.

Jeff and Danielle Hirsch attended Peter and Katie’s reception last night and Jeff got a picture of the couple for us. Both Peter and Katie have been interviewed separately in the past for our HOUSE section, which are still available in the archives.
The Pennoyer/Ridder party was called from 6-8. This was the scene at 8:30.
Also for the books of beauty, this past Monday there was a book launch just a few blocks south at Rizzoli on Broadway and 26th Street for “Sidewalk Gardens of New York” photographed by Betsy Pinover Schiff with text by Alicia Whitaker and attended by a variety of New Yorkers involved in both City endeavors as well as public and private garden and art associates.

Ms. Schiff has been photographing urban plantings and chronicling the “greening” of the city for nearly two decades. Once limited to private spaces and elite neighborhoods, these plantings now proliferate throughout the boroughs, enhancing the streetscape throughout the city. 
Mitchell Silver, Commissioner of NYC Parks Department and Betsy Pinover Schiff, author/photographer of Sidewalk Gardens of New York. Click to order.
Sidewalk Gardens of New York presents the range of possibilities: tree beds, planters and flowering baskets, lush medians that mitigate the frenzy of the street; plazas and pocket parks offering respite to pedestrians; building plantings that create a transition between public and private; community gardens; and the major parks and gardens that are newly planted along the waterfront. Horticulturist Alicia Whitaker describes strategies for successful planting and garden design in the harsh urban environment.
Some of the bountiful spring planting throughout Manhattan featured in “Sidewalk Gardens of New York” ...
The NYSD is a big fan of the efforts and work of people who awaken and amaze us year round with the beauty they create in this great brick, glass and concrete canyons of the metropolis. This is affordable, lushly photographed gift book for anybody who loves New York.  It is also the first book to celebrate the interstitial spaces that lend all the pleasure, color, and humanity to New York City streets.
Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development, The Trust for the Public Land.  Adrian wrote the foreword to Sidewalk Gardens of New York
Kent Berwick, founder of the Municipal Arts Society, Jeanine Kiely, and The Monacelli Press editor Elizabeth White.
Susan Lacerte, Director of the Queens Botanical Garden, and Gregory Long, President and Chief Executive Officer, The New York Botanical Garden.
Joyce Pommery Schwartz, founder of Public Art in New York and Pat Schoenfeld, a found and trustee of the ICP. Dan Biederman,President, Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership and Deborah Marton Director of the New York Restoration Project.
Mike Gould, former head of Bloomingdale's and his wife Sara Moss, general counsel for Estee Lauder.
 

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