Tuesday, February 1, 2022. A sunny, cold day, yesterday in New York with temps in the 20s. Cold enough to keep most of the snowbanks to continue as New Yorkers begin to shovel out (the snowbanks into the roadway) their cars.
First. It wasn’t much of a snowstorm, compared to many I’ve seen in New York. But it briefly did the trick and turned everything into a beautiful piece of art as confirmed in JH’s photos of After The Storm. And then we finished up with a sunset (last Saturday night) taken by Ellen Easton from her Upper East Side apartment. The orange-pink skies at this time of year are new to me. Were they always like this (and I never noticed?). Anyway, they look like the work of a great artist.
Secondly. As cold and inconvenient and slushy and freezing as it was, in another part of the world, namely Palm Beach, our friend and Arts and Architecture contributor, Augustus Mayhew, sent us evidence of another world in photos taken while he was “checkin’ on the surfin’” along Reef Road. Cowabunga Palm Beach!
And while we’re in Palm Beach. Last Thursday our contributor Paige Peterson went down to hear her friend Priscilla Rattazzi speak at the Society of the Four Arts about her photography.
The following is Paige’s report of the visit and the lecture of her great friend:
When New York is an icebox, you don’t need much of an excuse to fly to the sun. Mary Pfaff-Stengel, Susan Calhoun Moss, and I didn’t have an excuse. We had a reason, the best of reasons — Priscilla Rattazzi, our friend of thirty years, was giving a lecture at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach.
The topic of Priscilla’s lecture was her long and distinguished career as a photographer. Her listeners marveled at the range of her work, which began with intimate portraits and, in her recent pictures of natural shapes in Utah, is intimate on a spiritual level.
There’s another lecture Priscilla could have given, and it might have been even more impressive. That subject would be friendship, which may be the hardest art of all to master. It comes naturally to her — no one makes you feel more immediately at home.
I’m not talking about her Palm Beach cottage, with its peaceful walled-in garden, or the fruit bowl on the kitchen island, or the soft pastels of her rooms, or the way light rests gently on the bamboo furniture, though all of that sets the scene. And I don’t mean the way she shows you to your room, checks the pillows, teaches you how to turn on the television for the Australian Open, and then says, “I make the best Sea Breezes — who wants a drink?”
Those are the hallmarks of a great hostess. Priscilla’s real gift just begins there. Hers is the art of friendship, which is all about empathy — listening without judging, accepting you as you are. I’m told that the Dalai Lama, takes as much time as each person needs. He never cuts anyone short or interrupts. As we know, he’s had many lifetimes to perfect this way of being. Priscilla has mastered it in just one.