Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Antique Flâneur and The Petite Flâneuse Stroll Through the City- 9 November 2011 Edition

elephantunionsqGran Elefandret” in Union Square by by the Spanish artist Miquel Barceló.  Made of bronze, it weighs five tons and stands 26 feet tall.

On Wednesday morning 9 November 2011 at 9am I was receiving the delivery of my new (and by new I mean new to me, but old to everyone else, probably 1930’s in date) walnut bookcase to be placed in my bedroom.  The giant 7 foot tall bookcase in the drawing room has been overflowing with books for months now and there was simply no place to put a new title- a condition that to me was unacceptable.  Without new books one stagnates.


I found my bookcase in Long Valley, New Jersey.  It is not only beautiful with its 3 glasses doors with wood tracery, but it will hold many books and will hopefully for awhile contend with my literary overflow.  What will happen when this bookcase is filled is anybody’s guess.

Until I need it. I decided that the center area of the bookcase will be dedicated to the display of  objets d’art which as you know dear readers I have plenty of things tucked away in cabinets far from the light of day ready to have their moment.  Stay tuned.

Since I had the delivery at 9, I was going to take care of my goddaughter for the day starting at 10.  I met her and her mother in Union Square where A____, her mother and my non-blood sister, had a meeting.  From Union Square Nora and I set out for Bryant Park to ride Le Carrousel.  What follows is what we saw along the way…what an adventure…

We first saw the giant bronze elephant standing in great defiance of gravity on its trunk in Union Square.  Nora was thrilled by the site of it and I must admit so was I.  It is a wonderful and whimsical piece of urban public art.

From Union Square, we headed up Broadway and stopped in at ABC Home where we were dazzled by the sparkling Christmas display.  Of course, my favorite ornament there was a blown glass polar bear.  I should be a polar bear, but it’s impossible…


On our way up Broadway, I noticed some lovely architectural details on a building around 18th or 19th.

cartouchebdwy A corner embellishment with a blank cartouche.

bellflowersdetbdwy A neoclassical bell flower motif around a doorway.  It reminded me of the “Medallion” teapot by Reed & Barton also with bell flowers, circa 1865-68 in my collection.

P1000294 Neoclassical “Medallion” silverplate teapot by Reed & Barton, circa 1865-1868.

P1010326 Bellflower detail on Medallion pot.

Our next stop was Design Within Reach.  I must admit that I was a little out of my element here, me being a 19th century kind of fella, but I could certainly appreciate all of the fab pieces in the store.

resinstringchandelierdwr Chandeliers made out of resin.

ghostchair Ghost chair.  I find these chairs really appealing and there is part of me that would like one for my drawing room.

silveredwoodtable Side table made of wood dipped in pure silver.  Gorgeous and pricey.

After Design Within Reach, Nora and I stopped into Restoration Hardware as I wanted to look at their Christmas ornaments.  Don’t go- their Christmas stuff is sh*t.  I did however like:

restorhardbirdcagechan Giant birdcage chandelier- wacky and makes you feel like you are living in a dollhouse.

restorhardwingchair Mannerist Wing Chairs- Expensive distortion of a classic.

restorhardthrow Faux fur throw- I should be a polar bear, but it’s impossible…

The highlight of our trip to Bryant Park was a stop at the Showplace Antique Center.  On our way there we passed this intricate gate.


bearrug If only the drawing room had a fireplace…

brasselephant Nicely priced brass elephant.  It would be fab as a centerpiece on a glass dining table with a pair of chandeliers and this trumpeter in the center.

duckheadbench Brass duck head detail on red metal bench.

duckheadchairs More duck heads on metal harp/shield back black chairs.  These chairs really appealed to me.

giantporcat Anyone need a giant porcelain cat for the living room?

zebrastool Nora really liked this zebra footstool.  Elvis Presley jungle room anyone?

sphinxgarden Stone garden Sphinx.

skybridgeover32st Sky bridge over 32nd Street.  Still think these would make fab apartments.

Finally, Nora and I arrived at Bryant Park and headed to Le Carrousel.  When we boarded the ride, “Je ne regrette rien” sung by Edith Piaf was playing.  Soundtrack of my life…Nora decided to ride the lone frog instead of a horse.


I stood next to her, so she would not fall off the amphibian.  The ride started and it goes a bit fast for little kids and even me.  Nora became scared and since we were the only people on the ride, I made the operator stop it.  (Well, even if it was full of people, I would have made him stop it.  What my goddaughter wants, my goddaughter gets.)  So, we moved to the sedate bench decorated with peacock feathers and enjoyed the rest of the merry-go-round.





Bryant Park has a wonderful French feeling and that day it was teeming with cute boys- office drones let out for lunch.  Delicious.  Our last stop before heading back downtown was the Library lions on Fifth Avenue.  Nora thought they were fab and growled her approval.


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