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.
Recently, my husband and I slipped away for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. Our first getaway in a long while with no traveling partners, business calls, or grandchildren. Just us.
We began in Boston (although Providence is a good starting point also) and meandered our way down to Newport—a 1 ½- to 2-hour drive through quaint towns and seaside villages. Newport makes for the perfect couples’ or girls’ trip, and it’s easy to explore on your own too. Another bonus? In summer, the hydrangeas are in full bloom.
For lovers of history, architecture, good food, and beautiful scenery, Newport offers something for all…
Hassan Sharaff had “no gardening experience whatsoever” when he and his dad built a greenhouse in their suburban New York backyard. While he experimented—on a small scale—with growing crops in water, he researched hydroponic farming and developed his business plan.
Gaili here, and I’m excited to tell you about a couple of summer reads I’ve enjoyed! I love the phrase summer reads; the light-reading books to read as you sip a cold drink or listen to on a morning walk.
Years ago, sandcastle-building kids in Sunset Beach, North Carolina nicknamed Hunter Gibbes. His moniker? The Maze Man. A celebrity in this part of the world, Hunter is a big part of the Brunswick Islands’—a chain of five barrier islands—charm.
Years ago, it seemed easier to shed an extra pound or two when the bathroom scale numbers crept up, or the jeans grew harder to zip. I’d cut back on snacks and sweets, and the weight would fall off. Ha! Not any more. When those excess pounds latch on, they do not want to leave—no matter how hard I try.
I’m always excited when restaurants include signature mocktails on their menus. Although I enjoy a good drink with alcohol, sometimes I’d rather skip the spirits. Yes, I can order sparkling water or soda, but a colorful drink in a pretty glass seems more festive.
I love Boston. The city is small-ish, walkable, clean, and loaded with interesting sights, great food, and history. Recently, I tagged along with my husband on a work trip. It was a perfect time of the year to visit—sunny spring weather, blooming tulips, flowering trees. I cannot wait to go back! Here are a few fun things I discovered…
Meet Gaili Schoen, a new contributor to Who I Met Today!
A native Southern Californian and UCLA alum, Gaili spent two dreamy years songwriting, exploring Europe, and playing piano in a London rock band. When she returned home to LA, she composed music for film, commercials, and documentaries (like “Life: Through A Lens” featuring Annie Leibovitz) in her home studio, complete with soundproof chambers.
The Orchid Series
A collection of interviews featuring inspiring women over 75 years young. Curious, engaged, active, interesting. The sort of woman I want to be when I grow up!
Assuming decent health and a side of good luck, what can we do to enhance our older years? How do we stay sharp so we can continue doing what we love to do? I’ve talked with some remarkable women, and their common denominator—their secret sauce—is curiosity. In their 70s, 80s, and 90s, these women maintain a zest for life and all that surrounds them.
For decades, David Sipress’ cartoons, depicting what most people think and laugh and worry about, appeared in “almost every magazine and publication.” Except The New Yorker. He “couldn’t crack the tower on the hill.”
Years ago, as I lounged on the beach, I watched a handful of silver-haired women make their way down the wooden stairs to the sand. Clad in white pants, pastel tops, and big smiles, they asked if I’d mind taking a few photos of their group. As they put their arms around each other, laughed, and admired the sunset, they told me they had attended college together. And now, in their late seventies, they meet at the beach every year.
A girls’ trip is the best, whether driving or flying, traveling with a friend, mom, daughter, or daughter-in-law.
On a recent getaway with a girlfriend, a stay at the luxurious Breakers Palm Beach resort didn’t fall within our budget. Instead, one afternoon, we popped into the Italian Renaissance-style hotel to grab a drink and marvel at its majestic architecture. Lucky for us, we met Maria Ospina.
I thank Alex Snodgrass for coaxing me back into the kitchen. Through the recipes on her blog, The Defined Dish—which utilize pantry staples and other items I might not otherwise try—I fell in love with cooking again. Her first cookbook debuted at the end of 2020, right before the world shut down. The Comfortable Kitchen, her latest collection of recipes packed with flavor and wholesome ingredients, is the ideal gift for Mother’s Day or your spring holiday hostess.
I’d love to see the mass of penguins and Antarctica’s pristine, rugged landscape. But, I know myself. For various reasons, I won’t make the rigorous trip to the coldest, highest, driest, windiest continent on earth. And so, I must live vicariously through Lynne Warne.
As tough as the preteen and early teen years are to navigate, can you imagine spending the entire workday with dozens of middle-school-aged kids? And, often, their parents?
In The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, the main character joins a mudlarking tour in London. She discovers a bottle along the shoreline, etched with a bear, and sets out to determine its provenance. I loved the novel and also the idea of scouring the River Thames for historical artifacts.
A few weeks ago, a college friend and I discussed those cookbooks we owned and used. She mentioned it would be nice to test drive a cookbook before taking the plunge and buying it.
When I spoke with Alexandra Mosca, I learned a new word. Taphophile— one intrigued with gravestones, cemeteries, and the art and history that goes along with them.
At 82, Sandell Morse skis down snowy mountains, hikes rugged trails, and hops on planes to explore new cities. Married more than sixty years, she and her husband used to be partners in those adventures. But not anymore. “He and I began to age very differently,” says Sandell.
And so, to accommodate both of their lifestyles, they reside in separate homes.
Long before we met, Anne Byrn’s face was familiar to me. In 1999, The Cake Mix Doctor, featuring Anne’s smiling image and flavorful ways to create magic with a box of cake mix, sold in Costco, Target, bookstores, and—well—most everywhere.
Life can change in an instant. The death of a husband, no matter how strong or capable the surviving spouse, leaves us shocked and overwhelmed and incapable of putting one foot in front of the other. Especially when young children are involved. David Doyle, and his wife, Anita, know this first hand.
In 2019, I had more time than ever to cook and experiment in the kitchen. I enjoyed my new hobby and, when my birthday rolled around, I announced I was treating myself to a food processor. Never mind I only cooked for two people, and my husband is a most willing chopper and dicer. Hands down, it may be the one item I’d grab in a fire. And, if it
Decades ago—when Marda Stoliar was much younger—women wore heels and dresses. Everywhere. As hard as it is to imagine now, women’s sneakers did not exist.
Last November, Katie and Greg grew restless and bored. With colder days, a raging pandemic, early darkness, and a one-year-old, each day mimicked the one before. They’d fallen into a rut.
At Solbar, inside the stunning Solage Resort in Napa Valley, bartender Kelly Dallas placed a concoction in front of me, unlike anything I’d ever seen in a cocktail glass. With swirling bubbles and black specks and basil leaves, it reminded me of the lava lamp my teenage friend had on her bedroom nightstand.