Movie Monday

liberal arts images
There is just something about this film that resonates with me. I first saw Liberal Arts, written by, directed by and starring Josh Radnor of How I Met Your Mother fame, at last year’s Nantucket Film Festival, a favorite island event. The story addresses the underlying tension between young and old, fiction and reality, innocence and experience. Jesse, a 35 year-old college admissions officer in New York City, returns to his alma mater in a small Ohio town to attend his favorite professor’s retirement party. While there, Jesse is introduced to Zibby, a 19-year old bright-eyed sophomore, played by Elizabeth Olsen, whose zest for life awakens Jesse, a man who loses himself in books to combat his loneliness.

The film opens with a simple quote from Ecclesiastes: “He that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow.” Jesse is proof of this. Life’s answers aren’t found on the pages of books but rather in experiences. And thus Zibby, the youngest, becomes the heroine of this beautiful film through her simple life tenet, an improv rule: say yes to everything. Never stop exploring. And maybe it is this that keeps drawing me back to this delightful film. So, here’s to the journey and to my favorite line “Nobody feels like an adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret.”

Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home

I’ll be honest. I never thought I was quite “hip” enough for Brooklyn. But after reading “New York Now” in Travel & Leisure last August, I knew I had to get over myself. For it was in this article that I was introduced to The Wythe Hotel, a former textile factory situated on the Williamsburg waterfront that was converted into a 72-room ever-so-chic eco-friendly hotel. Lucky for me, I was able to score a room after the NY Gift Show a few weeks ago and my expectations were blown away.

From the moment I walked through the door, I knew I belonged. The lobby area, designed by Workstead, a Brooklyn-based firm, was effortless. The wood floors, wood benches, floor to ceiling windows and columns throughout the area were reclaimed from the original structure dating back to 1901. I was greeted by an ever-so-hype gentleman (with thick tortoise glasses, of course) who checked me in to my historic queen room on the 5th floor with views of Brooklyn. Upon opening my door, I was struck by the “less is more” design aesthetic. In reading a review, the owners/developers claimed that by “doing less allows the natural essence of the building to shine through.” And shine through it did. The wood bed, again made from re-claimed wood, was simply dressed in white linens, my favorite. What caught my eye though was the nouveau toile wallpaper designed by Dan Funderburgh and printed in Brooklyn. (Just love how Brooklyn shines throughout the hotel). Nothing like seeing a pair of New Balance in your toile wallpaper to make you feel oh so hip.

My night ended at Ides, the rooftop bar on the 6th floor, oddly enough named for the owner’s daughter, and a play on the old adage “beware of the ides of March.” Sipping my cocktail with a dear friend and taking in the views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline, I knew my head may hurt a bit in the morning, but it would be well worth it. All in all, I plan to return to The Wythe again and again as I realized being hip really comes down to embracing yourself and the surroundings around you.

“Step with care…

“Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act just never forget to be dexterous and deft and never mix up your right foot with your left.”

Wishing Dr. Seuss a very happy birthday and many thanks for all the life lessons along the way!