The Atlas

North America

9 Dec

CUBA: Letters to My Sons – #4

Day 4   What a delicious day!  This place, I will start off saying, is beyond fabulous.  There is more potential here, more latent beauty, more intelligence and thoughtfulness, more passion than anywhere I have seen at any time.  It is a stunner…  We left early for the airport and picked up my colleagues.  They had an hour ordeal, nothing like...

9 Dec

CUBA: Letters to My Sons – #3

  Day 3   I thought it would get light out earlier but at 6:30 it is still very dark.  One of the things you notice here is the lack of lighting..many of the roads – and main ones at that – do not have street lamps or, at least, only very sparingly.  And there is little light coming from the buildings.  Gives one a sense of emptiness –...

9 Dec

CUBA: Letters to My Sons – #2

Il Capitolio from my window at Hotel Saratoga Day 2 I am back after another long but very good day.  We headed out this morning and picked up the ex- head of the National Museum of Fine Arts because it was pouring.  The street where she lives hardly looks habitable or fact, as you pass these gorgeous buildings you peer quickly through...

9 Dec

Cuba: Letters To My Sons – #1

  <a href="http://lisalindblad cymbalta”>   Arrival We arrived in to the charter airport, which is for the American planes, but 5 flights arrived together and each piece of baggage in the hold has to be x-rayed before it hits the belt.  The place was crawling and, because...

25 Oct

MIMI Restaurant & Bar

It’s so new, this 9-table, village restaurant that its website features only a menu and an address.  It’s so stylish that even these two offerings are presented, color blocked, in an attention-holding way.  Or maybe, I considered, as I saw the home page photo change with each login, the evanescent presentation of MIMI is intentional....

17 Oct


Must be getting old…In 1969 I moved to SoHo, a neighborhood inhabited by artists and (still) factory workers.  I was married to a painter, and we moved in to a loft on Broome Street that was so cold, in spite of its space heater, that we wore coats indoors.  For me it was an experiment in living, guided by a man I loved — a creative genius...

15 Oct

A Jaunt To Points South

A floatplane ferried me from Florida to the Exumas, a beautiful flight that left me with two overriding impressions:  just how beautiful the water and sand is in this chain at my doorstep and just how vulnerable these pancake-flat islands are. Flying over these cays, large and small, is a bit like taking a tour bus through the Hollywood Hills; the...

30 Jul


I love restraint which is probably why I love most things Japanese.  On Thompson Street, within a few doorways of a favorite Japanese restaurant, Omen, is Hirohisa. With the proportions and aspect of a village house, Hirohisa is marked only by a discrete plaque bearing its name.  I was already hooked. The interior is as spare as the exterior –...

17 Jul

BONDST Restaurant

Situated in an historic, Soho-style brownstone, BONDST offers guests  three, distinct levels of enjoyment.  The ground floor houses BONDST Lounge, an intimate space with its own sushi bar and banquettes set amidst a soft, textured space.  On the main floor, the restaurant presents a festive seventy-five seat dining room with a lively sushi bar,...

30 Jun

Chefs Club

Located in the Puck Building on Mulberry just off Houston, Chefs Club is a masterful, innovative dining experience.  The daily menu is created by four chefs drawn from Food & Wine Magazine’s choice of the year’s best, but prepared by two permanent chefs; that is, until the four celebrated chefs make limited engagement star appearances...

28 Jun

Bags – To the Market

Waxed cotton, light as a feather, baby change purse as charming as its parent…hails from Paris (natch), but designed by Bess Nielsen of Khadi and Co who finds inspiration in simplicity, soul and India.

10 May

China Through The Looking Glass

The most wonderful show, China Through the Looking Glass, has opened at the Met Museum and will be up until August 16.  It is a stunning, meandering journey through a (mostly) Western fantasy of China. The marvelous mannequins – with heads and headdresses designed by milliner Stephen Jones – inhabit three floors, the second of which...

20 Dec

Kin Shop

The first review I heard of Kin Shop was from a Thai food blogger who takes our clients out on incredible foodie excursions in Bangkok and Phuket.  When I asked her what her favorite Thai restaurant was in NYC, she told me about Kin Shop. A “reinvention” of Thai cooking by Chef Harold Dieterlie and Alicia Nosenzo, Kin Shop is a simple affair...

9 Dec


I had no idea, when I climbed the narrow steps to Estela located on Houston and Mott, that chef Ignacio Mattos was Uruguayan born.  That information would have made me well-disposed to the food if all else failed.  But my dinner was such an overwhelmingly delicious affair that no provenance was needed. Impossible to get a reservation in this narrow,...

7 Dec

Puerto Rico

The Rockefellers always had a genius for building their homes in beautiful surrounds, and their Puerto Rican estate from the 1950’s  was no exception. Dorado Beach Reserve, on the north coast, is a magnificent stretch of property that incorporates beachfront as well as farmland.  Today, it has been turned into a Ritz Carlton reserve that...

26 Nov

Meditations #60

In time, old frontiers become the new frontiers, and old values reassert themselves. Penetrating the middle of nowhere, finding silence, space and loneliness, these are the imperatives of our time.  Photo by Isaac Coles Location:  Zapata Ranch, Nevada

21 Nov

Kappo Masa

I love good food, but I am no foodie.  I look at the aesthetics, the noise levels, the service, the comfort of my seating – even the mien of my fellow diners – as well as the food, and that is why I find our UES restaurants mostly so hopeless.  And so, when Kappo Masa opened downstairs in the Gagosian street level space – which...

6 Nov

Lake Kora

Set on 1,000 acres deep in the pine forests of the Adirondack Mountains is Lake Kora, formerly Kamp Kill Kare, one of the “Great Camps” built over a century ago in Upstate New York. From the turn of the century to the Depression, extremely wealthy families (Rockefellers, Astors, Vanderbilts) headed north of New York City to these lavish...

5 Oct

Acme Restaurant NYC

I often go on line to read about a new restaurant I am going to dine at, but, this time, I came in cold. The atmosphere was lively (read loud), very busy, and happy (read cozy).  We were given a tiny table and, after extremely attentive service (read slightly pressing) we turned to our menus.  We were advised to share plates; Amanda pointed out...

24 Sep

A New York Day

Phase 3 of the High Line opened on Sunday, and the September 19th review by Michael Kimmelman in the NYTimes was so evocative that I had to get there.  At 7:00 on Monday morning, I met my friend Mary and we cabbed down to the new leg of New York’s latest and, some say, finest public park.   With tea in hand, we took a leisurely stroll along...

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Kusama’s piano
Rabbits (huge  French rabbits), squirrels, hedgehogs and beavers all together in this animal cafe
Wonderful Art Deco house built for Prince Asaka’s family in 1933. After the war the Asaka family was demoted to commoner status and the house became a State guest house and now a museum. The demotion of Asaka and other princely families is part of a current discussion regarding the current Imperial succession line which is tenuous. One solution would be to allow females to succeed. Another is to reinstate some princely families to strengthen the succession options
And, finally, the sword guard which a metalworker might spend a year making. Each depicts miniature worlds reflecting the artist’s soul
Next is the hilt, made from a core of magnolia wood, wrapped in the skin of Asian stingray, and then bound with threads, generally In a diamond pattern to provide a firm grip.
I ended my very warm day (94F feels like 104F) in the sleek, cool, new Japanese Sword Museum. Who would have thought it would be so pleasing to the senses?  Here are the sword story pieces In separate postings as the photos look better singly. The katana, with blade curved upward (first photo) was carried by Samurai on horseback. The Tachi, blade curved downward, was carried by Samurai on foot and usually had a groove carved into the blade to lessen the weight.  They are forged, tang and blade, in one piece. These are prize winners from “jewel” steel and signed by Masters.  It is the tip, I am told, that is the most challenging part of the blade to make.