Saturday, February 25, 2017


Known affectionally by locals as "The Bean," Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by the British artist Anish Kapoor. It is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in Chicago. This photograph shows a view standing underneath this work of art, looking up at our reflections.

A few summers ago we took the kids to Chicago. What an incredible city. So much vibrancy. I love the contrast of the old and the new. Chicago in the summertime is the best.

Every time we travel we are exposed to new things. Artists look for inspiration in new things. When traveling, everywhere you look there is art and inspiration.  Mirrors can reflect back to us a different perspective. This, in turn opens us to new possibilities.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I have always loved taking photographs to remember the experiences we've had. 

In our family of artists sometimes a photograph can inspire a new song, sometimes even a new novel, but at the very least, powerful new memory.

This photograph was taken on the streets of Venice, a few years ago. The elderly priest is such a part of the atmosphere; it gives the photo a timelessness. In Venice, the lack of cars and wheels, the slower pace, the personalities, and the amazing architecture add to the timelessness. Every alleyway tells you that you are in a historic city. Venice first became a city over a thousand years ago.

Lately it seems like life is moving very fast. In Venice, time has a way of stretching out over a long beautifully paced day.

If you saw this photo, what story would it tell to you? What emotion what it evoke in you?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

lac d’annecy

A few years ago, for the second time, we took our children to France. We stayed in Annecy, in a hotel right on the lake. We awoke the first day to thousands of people stretching their strong bodies in preparation for a bike race. That day we walked around the lake. The air was crisp and clear. The water was peaceful, covered in some areas with brightly colored boats. People were happy, they were on holiday, it was summer.  Every day, for the five days we were there, was an opportunity to see something new.

We travel to get outside of ourselves and find new perspectives.  We travel to see and experience new things, to be exposed to different cultures and ideas. We travel to see something beyond our daily norm.  We travel to connect to the rest of the world.  And when we return home, we are inspired to take some of the magic and expansiveness of having seen something else, and keep it in our hearts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


My husband loves Paris, even in the rain. He first took me there in 2009 when our children were young. Paris is a city of artists and dreamers, where the old meets the new and people on the streets are relaxed yet very sophisticated.

The pastries in Paris are the best in the world. Everything is made fresh daily.  We enjoyed chocolate and pistachio croissants, fruit tarts, baguettes of course, and my personal favorite, meringue.

The parks in Paris are so beautiful and expansive. Children sail boats in manmade lakes and ride old fashioned merry-go-rounds. People relax in the sun on wooden benches and old men play chess.

The museums in Paris are places to get lost in. Be sure to visit the main ones such as the Louvre, the Musee d' Orsay, and the Musee Rodin, but also the smaller ones such as the Musee Marmotton Paris.

Friday, February 26, 2016


I'll never forget the first time I stepped foot in Monterosso. It was my third time in Italy, in 2011, the second time we brought our children overseas for a vacation. The family had taken a long train ride to Cinque Terre and we were all really ready to get to our destination.

We stepped off the train and were surprised to immediately see the sea right in front of us. It was brilliant blue and welcoming, and so peaceful. We all took a deep breath and smiled.

We walked along the main street for about five or ten minutes to our hotel, our suitcases bumping rhythmically over the stone street, the Liguiran Sea to our left, in this sleepy yet vibrant town.

We arrived at our hotel, a medium sized soft-yellow building along the main road, overlooking a local beach. Hotel La Spiaggia. The owner Andrea greeted us, and over the next week we would come to befriend both him and his young daughter Maria, who also worked at the front desk.  Every day after breakfast they would ask us what our plans were, and make suggestions of places to see, where to eat. To this day we have never experienced this kind of personal service in any hotel we have ever been to.

Monterosso is part of the region in Italy known as the Cinque Terre, or five towns. These small towns hover the sea, many simple homes built into the craggy rocks, high up with incredible views of the ocean. In summertime kids that grow up in the towns run barefoot down the carved stone walkways to the local beaches. They play soccer outdoors til the sun sets. They sit on small rounded multi-colored pebble beaches and talk to their grandfathers in Italian, while anchored boats rock in the distant sea.

I have been to many beautiful places where the earth meets the ocean. Monterosso, with few cars driving on the roads, is perhaps the most beautiful seafront town I have been to. It feels like you are going back in time.  Monterosso is one place where artists will have no shortage of inspiration.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


After our wedding my California husband took me to the place many Californians go in the winter, to Hawaii. He chose his favorite island, Maui.

Maui, to a small town girl from Penfield, New York, was magic.

In the open airport the moment I arrived I felt the warm balmy air on my skin. I remember the brilliant blue ocean, a color I had only seen once when I visited Catalina Island.  I remember eating fresh papaya with a lime juice drizzle every morning, the peaceful expansive green hills upcountry, cows and sheep grazing for miles. I remember the exotic fish meals we had, with macadamia nut crust, and purple potatoes on the side. I remember walks on the soft sand that stretched for miles.

But mostly, when I think of Maui that first time, I remember the flowers -- the sweet subtle smell of plumeria, and the brilliant pinks, oranges, and red colored tropical flowers growing everywhere, just bursting with joy to be alive.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

dreaming up a journey

Mt Tamalpais, Mill Valley California

I married a man I dreamed up in high school. 

As a freshman I was part of a huge cast in the school play, and there was this cute senior named Rick. He was so sweet to everyone and he played the piano. Everyone would gather around to sing with him. I decided then and there that I would marry a man like that.

Eleven years later I was living and working in Washington DC and I took a trip to visit a friend who had just moved to Berkeley. She showed me all around northern California. I loved the beauty and spirit of the area – biking in the mountains, exploring the secluded craggy beaches.   From her house I could walk to the enormous Whole Foods Market on Telegraph Avenue, and wander around the famous U.C. Berkeley campus.  

I didn’t know why but I felt so at home there. Being a small town girl I was usually a little anxious in cities. But not Berkeley. I felt so welcome there.

I don’t know if it was the fragrance of the eucalyptus trees, the warmth of the friendly sun, the vibe of the people, or something else. But the atmosphere in northern California permeated my being and made me want to stay.

A year passed and I decided to revisit my friend in northern California. During this trip I met my piano man who was living in Mill Valley amongst the redwoods. I fell in love with him and was already in love with California. So I decided to move there to see if the relationship with California and my piano man would last.

I'm so glad I did. Two years later we were married in our back yard in Mill Valley.