Category Archives: sixties

Mixology (4)

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Perfume:  Valentino Eau de Parfum – Garavini / Room: Zin Home wing bed frame Master Bedroom

Perfume: Prada Candy by Prada / Room: Venice by Turquoise , LA. 

Perfume: Benefit Garden of Good & Eva Fragrance / Room: Casa Paralea by JMA INTERIOR DECORATION. Photograph by Ron Rosenzweig.

Perfume: NANA DE BARY – GREEN from Liberty / Room: Phyllis Morris Showroom  – Trousdale Bed, Trousdale Nightstands, X Bench and the “SuperStar” wallcovering — all from the Phyllis Morris Showroom in West Hollywood, California. Photo by Lee Clower.

Silver Screen Scenes (2)

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I remember my first love. It was a summer in the 1960’s. I was on holiday. We met in the Catskills. He was a tough, misunderstood, ne’er-do-well dance instructor with great hair. I was a naive, privileged, daddy’s girl who wanted to take a walk on the wild side. Wait, Wait, Wait, that wasn’t me.  That was Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) in Dirty Dancing. I have watched this movie an uncountable and incalculable number of times – case in point – I used to have “CRAZY FOR SWAYZE” sleepover nights with girlfriends.

Keep Calm and Carry a Watermelon (Screencaps Here).

Dirty Dancing is meant to capture a time in American history before families vacationed at Disney World or took International Cruises, before people were heading to the Bahamas or Cancun, families wholesomely vacationed in New York’s Catskill Mountains. From the 1920’s until the 1960’s, families often traveled to now mostly defunct summer camps – colloquially termed “Jewish Alps” or the “Borscht Belt”. The movie is scripted to take place during the decline of these camps and the onslaught of commercial airline travel. Well-known resorts of the area included Brickman’s, Brown’s, The Concord, Friar Tuck Inn, Gibber’s, Gilbert’s, Grossinger’s, Granit, the Heiden Hotel, Irvington, Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club, the Nevele, The Laurels Hotel and Country Club, and The Pines Resort.

c. 1940s postcard of the Pine Tree Villa, a primarily Jewish resort at Kiamesha Lake, New York in the Borscht Belt of the Catskill Mountains!  Finely detailed image, showing layout of many of the resort’s buildings, including the casino and tennis courts to the left.  Was run by Greenberg & Son. The unused postcard can be purchased HERE.

GROSSINGER’S: The resort’s huge pool in the 1950s (Here).

The indoor and outdoor pool at GROSSINGER’S, dilapidated and in disrepair as of 2008 (Here).

My mom remembers a time when she used to visit these summer camps! She told me that such comedic legends at Woody Allen, Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, Carl Reiner, George Burns, Mel Brooks, Fanny Brice, Bea Arthur and Joan Rivers got their start at these hotel resorts. Amazing actresses and entertainers such as Carole King, Shari Lewis, Mel Torme, Barbara Streisand, and Joel Grey also performed yearly at the establishments. These establishments were also some of the only places wherein African American performers were allowed to frequent (before Civil Rights) and was referred to as “The Chitlin Circuit”. The Supremes, Duke Ellington, The Four Tops, Etta James, Cab Calloway, and Smokey Robinson are some of the famous acts who frequented east coast resort towns. Clearly the performance halls and boarding houses nestled in the counties of Upstate New York have had an everlasting effect on the landscape of entertainment. However, has anyone yearned for the decor of this time period?

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The Factory

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From 1962 to 1968, Andy Warhol’s original New York City studio was known as The Factory (although his later studios were known as The Factory as well).  The rent was reported to be about $100 a year at the time.  The space was loft-like and in a bit of disarray, it was originally a hat factory. The original studio was often referred to by those who frequented it as the Silver Factory. It was covered with tin foil and silver paint, decorated by Warhol’s friend Billy Name, who was also the in-house photographer at the Factory. The original space was located on the fifth floor of 231 East 47th Street – across the street from the YMCA and below an antiques place called Connoisseur’s Corner (Gerard Malanga, Archiving Warhol: Writings and Photographs (NY: Creation Books, 2002).

Bond New York, Silver Factory Perfume (Here). The Andy Warhol Monument near Union Square, NYC (Here). Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds, 1964 (Here). Colorized photo of Warhol in The Silver Factory (Here). The entourage at a party in the original factory (Here).

Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol at The Factory (Here).

“Billy Name furnished the Factory with trash he found on the street, including “the huge curved couch that would be photographed so much in the next few years – the hairy red one that we used in so many of our movies – Billy found right out in front of the “Y”. He was also responsible for covering the crumbling walls and pipes in silver foil, spraying everything with silver paint, ‘right down to the toilet bowl.” (Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett, Popism: The Warhol Sixties (NY: Harcourt Brace, 1980)

Mostra Sesc de Artes, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  © The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute (Here).

Edie Sedgwick answering phones at The Factory, Stephen Shore (?).

Billy Name “gave the impression of being generally creative – he dabbled in lights and papers and artists’ materials. In the beginning he just fussed around like the other A-heads, doing all the busy stuff, fooling with mirrors and feathers and beads, taking hours to paint some little thing like the door to a cabinet… and sometimes he was so high he wouldn’t even realize that he’d just painted it.” -Andy Warhol

One of Andy Warhol’s first checks, signed originally as his Polish name – Andrew Warhola and sometimes as André Warhola. During the sixties, through the various iterations of The Factory, such visionaries as Truman Capote, Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Paul Morrissey, Lou Reed, Betsey Johnson, and William Burroughs were known to frequent the space. Warhol would often bring in silver balloons to drift around the ceiling. Warhol first saw the decorating style at Billy Name’s apartment and asked him to replicate the space age colors and metallics in his new loft space. To Warhol, the silver represented the decadence as well as the frivolous “glamour” of the early sixties. In fact, it was sort of a joke – to have a room covered in crumbling pants, glazed over with a shellac, and pretending to be something it was not.  The studio was filled with fractured mirrors, spray paints, and tin foil. Warhol preferred to block the natural light in the studio as well, giving the space a strange reflective lighting.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and so can your interior designing, after the jump:

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