I’m hooked on HBO’s The Gilded Age. I adore peeking into the late 1800s and the opulent lives of America’s shipping, railroad, and coal mining magnates. I love the history, fashion, architecture, and those over-the-top homes.
Many of the industrial tycoons and their families lived in New York City. But for the summer season—all six weeks of it—they packed up their trunks and gowns and escaped to their “cottages” in Newport, Rhode Island.
During the pandemic, Lynda Loigman’s daughter and her Harvard roommate came home to upstate New York. “Like everyone else, we all worked during the days, had dinner together, and congregated around the television at night,” says Lynda. One evening, after they’d watched Indian Matchmaking, the roommate mentioned her grandmother had been a Jewish matchmaker in New York.
A few years ago, I had lunch with an author who was in Nashville to promote her new cookbook. I wondered, after a late night flight, how she’d organized and prepared the dishes she’d cooked on an early morning television program. “Oh no, the food stylists do all that,” the author said. And I wanted to learn more.
Not long ago, I began reading a book by one of my favorite authors. But, because of characters with names I couldn’t pronounce and descriptions that rambled on and on, I couldn’t get into the story. As much as the subject matter intrigued me, I gave up.
In 2009, when Rachel Marks and her husband married, the young Jewish couple struggled to find the perfect ready-made ketubah. “There weren’t many options back then, and the artwork was more traditional than we wanted,” says Rachel. So, the trained landscape painter designed a ketubah as a keepsake of their special day.