Thursday, November 16, 2017

American Dream: Living in Brooklyn

Doesn't It Get Your Creative Bug Jumping?

By Norma Hopcraft

Lots of great singers, artists, writers were born and raised in densely populated places like Hoboken, NJ (Frank Sinatra) and Brooklyn (there's a bunch). There's something about lots of people, living shoulder to shoulder, that gives artists energy to draw on. 

I get a jolt of creative juice when I think of how cool the spaces are inside old brownstones like this. Probably artists' studios!

These shots are all of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where I used to live. Sunset Park is applying for status as an historic district, just as Park Slope has already done.

Here's a sampling of interesting rooflines to get your creative juices flowing.

Say, would you RT the tweet that brought you here? Thank you!

I included this because I liked the color of the bricks.

Here's the view from the park in the Sunset Park neighborhood. The park is aptly named Sunset Park. 

Same shot, different day and time. Please comment below: would you like to try living here?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

American Dream: A Brownstone in Park Slope

An American Dream of Living in a Fabulous Brownstone

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

The thing about great old houses is that moving from room to room feels so human, so humane, in the proportions that that designer gave the spaces. So these places look great on the outside but they probably also feel great to live in.

This row of terrific brownstones is footsteps from the 7th Avenue subway station, which I chug through every day.

Oh man, I could write terrific stuff in the corner room!

Look at the beautiful door, and the beautiful frame around it.

Here's another one. My heart is pounding, it's so beautiful!

Here's a great door with a great bay window above it.


Here's a small part of a big stone house on a corner. I love the upstairs balcony covered in plants!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Today in Brooklyn

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Today I was walking in Park Slope and came across Community Bookstore at 143 7th Avenue. Very charming. Please visit.

At the back of the store, doors and stained glass at the entrance to the garden.

In the corner, a water feature, an ivy feature, and a cement wall feature. But this is Brooklyn. We do our best with cement walls here.

Here's the bookstore from the garden.

Then I proceeded past other brownstones. This one is ready for Halloween.

So is this one. It's a bit more to my taste.

Here on 9th Avenue is a glorious residence overlooking Prospect Park.

It's the far left one in this row of spectacular brownstones. I definitely have brownstone envy! How about you? Comment below! 

Monday, September 18, 2017

My American Dream? To Live and Write in Paris

American Writers Dream of Paris

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

How is it possible? Yet it's true! I lived in Paris for a year on a creative writing sabbatical. It was great! I went to the Louvre from time to time. The former palace is in itself a work of art. And then there's the priceless art on the walls. Yes, I saw the Mona Lisa. Here she is:

Possibly the most famous piece of art in the world.

I asked someone in the huge crowd waiting to see the painting to take my picture, "her and me together." Just then my eyes closed, of course. But here is one of my happiest moments.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

American Dream: Haute Couture

American Dream of Owning "the Best"

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

I wandered past Bergdorf on Fifth Avenue that night and found more high-end retail shops with fabulous-looking stuff.

I enjoy great design. I'd even say the world needs great design, of clothing, everyday objects we use to cook and to keep ourselves going.

But do I, personally, need high-design clothing and accessories?

No, but it sure is fun to look at. And poke a bit of fun at too.

What space ship did you disembark from?

So when the bad guys chase me and the fringe wraps around my legs and trips me, it's all going to work out okay?

Just the sort of brooch I need. Guaranteed to make my life better.

The jewels-leather-and-fluff combo is from Miu Miu.

High-end sign design.

I like the green leather handle, with orange on the reverse, from Fendi. How about you? Which is your favorite? Comment below! 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

American Dream: Fabulous Design

What Is Going On Here?

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Bergdorf Goodman caught my eye last week (though not my wallet, thanks to my superior powers of clutching it to my heart).

I don't buy it, but I enjoy it -- the high-end design, that is.

Would I feel fabulous wearing this, or ridiculous? My mother taught me not to wear different patterns. Hmmm...I think I'll stick with my mother on this one.

Where did the window designer find these fabulous balloons? I want some!!

And this blouse keeps your boobs covered because you glue it?

Your chance to look like Truman Capote, all in white.

Kinda like this one. Though it's unwearable for anyone over 25.

A clutch that looks like a bit of Spanish tile. I enjoy my snarkiness! I hope you do too! Please retweet the tweet that brought you here! And answer this question: What does high-end design do for you? Comment below!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

American Dream: High-End Design

High-End Design: unless it makes you look ridiculous

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

I was waiting in midtown for a movie, The Midwife, with Catherine Deneuve (so wonderful), and the windows of Bergdorf Goodman caught my eye. Just as they are designed to do.

Bergdorf's windows are ALWAYS fabulous, so I thought I'd share these bonkers designs with you.

Love the silk! The gray shaggy fur---not so much.

Cookie Monster coat, anyone?

A man's purple bathrobe as a blouse....makes sense (sort of)

My favorite

A see-through raincoat and fluff around the ankles. 

I swear I made this jacket in 7th grade. But my mother wouldn't let me charge $750 for it. How about you? Do you sew? Do you shop? What do you think of what the top designers create? Comment below!