Inventing Elsa Maxwell
By Sam Staggs
St. Martin’s, 340 pages, $29.99
Elsa Maxwell knew everyone, specializing in royalty and achievers—Cole Porter, Duff and Diana Cooper, Elsie de Wolfe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Gary Cooper, Mussolini, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Maria Callas. Elsa (1881-1963) was everywhere, from Venice to Hollywood. And she did everything: She played the piano, published (“Elsa Maxwell’s Etiquette Book”), took on public relations assignments, ran a gossip column for the Hearst press, appeared in films, introduced wealthy unknowns to society, served as a television talk-show guest and was Seen in the right Places.
Above all, she threw parties: come-as-you-are parties, come-as-your-opposite parties (Fanny Brice showed up as Tosca), gambling parties, cooking parties, scavenger-hunt parties. For the last 30 years of her life, Elsa was one of the best known women in the world, yet, among the millions who recognized her name, very few could have told you what it was that she did. She wasn’t famous for being famous, however. She was famous for being Elsa Maxwell.
In Sam Staggs’s lively biography, Elsa emerges as someone who rose above dreary beginnings with a vague determination to . . . well, rise above dreary beginnings. Born in Iowa to a middle-class family and originally named Elsie, she was raised in San Francisco. She moved to New York in 1907, but in truth she never really “moved,” because for most of her life she scarcely put down roots. Her life was like an old adventure play, the kind Broadway produced before movies came along, with a pile of episodes incoherently bonded.
Tiny homes pose a dilemma: How can you make a pocket-size space comfortable and stylish? The issue has special relevance in San Francisco right now, as the Board of Supervisors gears up for a November 2012 vote on a proposal to allow the construction of microunits as small as 220 square feet.
Small-space living can be an economical choice, but it’s also a lifestyle choice, says Felice Cohen, who has lived in a 90-square-foot apartment in Manhattan for almost five years. “If you adjust your thinking on what is ‘enough,’ you’ll find that you’ll enjoy having the city as your backyard,” she says.
Here, professionals share strategies on how you can live a full life in the tiniest of spaces.
Look for Opportunities to Customize
JPDA Creative Director Darrick Borowski applauds density and supports living on a smaller footprint. “I don’t think the microunits necessarily have to equate to a reduction of living standards,” he says. “It can certainly lead to that, but it doesn’t have to. Although the skeptic in me is concerned how these units will benefit landowners and people with money, another part of me looks at this as an opportunity to create small homes that are bespoke and reflect the way people are living in cities like San Francisco.”
Borowski points to Michael Pozner’s studio, here, as a great example of a space with hardworking multiuse and disappearing furnishings. “His desk space determined so much of the design around it and really reflected the client’s needs,” he says. “He worked there, had meetings there, but its professional function could also disappear, and the space could turn into an entertainment center, a bar for food and drinks.”
IT’S the app that promises to tell you whether the next bar’s full of kittens or cougars – or too many blokes – just by scanning faces at the door.
And while real-time updates on crowd size, age and gender could be useful for some, critics in at least one US city are threatening to boycott any venue that uses it.
“Dear San Francisco,” Mr Harper, 28, posted after critics branded the app an invasion of privacy and a “creepy” tool for “men to hunt down women”.
“We’ve taken a lot of heat in the past few days and I can completely understand the concern.“I realise there are aspects of our technology that could appear to be controversial and raise serious red flags for people, and I assure you I’m not taking it lightly.”
Mr Harper said the company had ruled out “facial recognition” technology, which could identify a patron, in favour of “facial detection”, which could generate data but did not store identifying images.
The app works by relaying pictures of patrons taken at the door that are mapped onto a grid. An algorithm then matches the facial dimensions to a database of averages for age and gender to make a match.
It also lets venues decide on business rules to “cap out” what statistics would show, with the percentage of males never exceeding 72 per cent and females 58 per cent – in case of a swarm of males showed up as a “correction”.
Despite the outcry over privacy, Mr Harper said the tool was supposed to be a “lighthearted app for consumers and one that would help venue owners with their marketing efforts”.
Strange Random Scanning Quote:
- App attacked: Bar outrage over face scans (news.com.au)
- SceneTap App Scans Faces Of Bar-Goers To Guess Age, Gender (brandtstandard.com)
- SceneTap App Scans Faces Of Bar-Goers To Guess Age, Gender – Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com)
- App scans faces of San Francisco bar-goer (mercurynews.com)
- App scans faces of bar-goers to guess age, gender (technology.inquirer.net)
- App scans faces of pub patrons to guess age, gender (cbc.ca)
- App scans faces of bar-goers to guess age, gender (staradvertiser.com)
- App scans faces of bar-goers to guess age, gender (seattlepi.com)
- App scans faces of bar-goers to guess age, gender (onlineathens.com)
- App scans faces of San Francisco bar-goer (mercurynews.com)
Eadweard J. Muybridge (born April 9th 1830) was an English photographer who spent much of his life in the United States. Eadweard J. Muybridge is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion which used multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip.
Eadweard J. Muybridge emigrated to the US, arriving in San Francisco in 1855, where he started a career as a publisher’s agent and bookseller. In 1866 Eadweard J. Muybridge rapidly became successful in photography, focusing principally on landscape and architectural subjects.
In 1872 a businessman and race-horse owner, had taken a position on a popularly-debated question of the day: whether all four of a horse’s hooves are off the ground at the same time during the trot. Up until this time, most paintings of horses at full gallop showed the front legs extended forward and the hind legs extended to the rear.
Kevin MacLeod – “The Chase”
Strange Random Photography Quote:
While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see. – Dorothea Lange
- Who is Eadweard J. Muybridge? (arhg.net)
- Google Doodle Celebrates Eadweard J Muybridge’s 182nd Anniversary (itproportal.com)
- Google Doodle celebrates galloping Eadweard Muybridge (slashgear.com)
- A Muybridge homage done with stock photos (blogs.adobe.com)
- ‘The 100′ #5 – One Time. (johnclinockart.com)
- Eadweard J Muybridge’s 182nd birthday Google doodle (invitationsbyfrescoes.wordpress.com)
From the Victorian inns of San Francisco to the teahouses of Kyoto, the world is full of romantic destinations. Although Paris is the obvious choice, there are many other cities domestic and exotic where the vistas, architecture and food can inspire passion and even marriage proposals.
Slideshow: See which cities are the most romantic cities
The qualities that make a city romantic are subjective. For some people, nothing surpasses Buenos Aires’s tango clubs and cutting-edge restaurants. Visitors can stay in the Palermo Soho neighborhood at 1555 Malabia House, which was originally built as a 19th-century convent and is now considered Argentina’s first designer B&B.
For dinner, the unmarked entrance to Tegui is hidden by graffiti, but once inside, you’ll find ambitious, locally sourced cuisine from hotshot chef German Martitegui.
Other travelers may be seduced by Fez. Morocco’s ancient fortress city has maze-like alleyways lined with mysterious windowless shops, tiled mosques, tea gardens and souks overflowing with fruits, spices and nuts.
Strange Random Romance Quote:
A true man does not need to romance a different girl every night, a true man romances the same girl for the rest of her life” – Ana Alas
- Spotlight: Medianaeras (Sidewalls)  (skepticalhero.wordpress.com)
- The 20 Most Romantic Looks From Film (bellasugar.com)
- France Roundtable: Romance in France (francetravelguide.com)
- Four Florida cities voted the most romantic in the US | British Airways – Travel Industry News (travelnews.britishairways.com)
- The Most Romantic Restaurants In Major Cities Around The Country (businessinsider.com)
- South America’s ‘Paris’ – Buenos Aires; the City of Love, Fashion and Tango (arkohoondert.wordpress.com)
- Valentine’s Day Fashion: The Perfect Shoe (stilettojungleblog.com)
- 27 Romantic hotel suites across the world (gadling.com)