Thursday, November 15, 2012
November 12, 2012 Issue
Call me a hedonist, peg me as hopelessly bourgeois – I don’t care. What I enjoyed most about this week’s issue is Judith Thurman’s description of Betty Halbreich’s apartment, particularly her bureau and closets:
After the cheese course, we started with the drawers in a massive bureau, where silk flowers and scarves, Bakelite “bug pins,” wooden bangles and beads, evening bags in toile sleeves, gloves from Florence and Paris, monogrammed handkerchiefs, chunky stone necklaces, silver pens and pillboxes, clip-on earrings, and her mother’s jewels all have separate compartments. Then came the clothes. Each of her closets (perhaps a dozen – I have lost count) is a deep stall with high ceilings, sturdy poles along both sides, and, above them, shelving. The larger stalls might accommodate a Lipizzaner, with its tack. Their heavy doors are fitted with custom-made wooden shoe racks that open like a steamer trunk.
I readily confess that I’m a sucker for description such as this. Like a rich, seventeenth century Dutch still life, it conveys pleasure in the representation of pleasurable things. The passage is from Thurman’s delightful “Ask Betty” – this week’s Pick Of The Issue.