Water is the theme of today’s post – we’ve recently completed (or nearly completed) a couple of hydrology-related improvements at the SoHoToHo. In honor of those, I decided to post a pic of the fountains at the Summer Palace in St. Petersburg (although there is no telling what will appear to those of you seeing this on Facebook – just click and go to the WordPress site for the pic). Dancing fountains can be found many places, of course – Barcelona and Las Vegas come immediately to mind – but I found the obvious popularity of these (see the crowd gathered on the other side of the reservoir?) affecting. During the communist regime, these fountains were still and silent, the grounds and magnificent buildings used for storage. They’ve been beautifully restored and dance daily during the summer months to strains of classical music – and to the delight of throngs of visitors, natives and tourists alike. It’s quite a sight.
This is just a picture post. We recently asked the inimitable Trey Freeze to take some shots of the kitchen, powder, and library at the SoMoToHo. I thought you might like to see them. My camera work just doesn’t do justice to Debra’s vision. Trey’s conveys it much better. Hope you like them.
Fireplaces have been a part of warm, inviting environments for thousands of years – probably since shortly after humans discovered that fire was not simply something to be feared and avoided. The one above is from Inchcolm Abbey, on Inchcolm Island in the Firth of Forth just outside Edinburgh, Scotland, and dates from about 1100 c.e. We’re lucky to have a couple of them in the SoMoToHo – one downstairs that is two-sided and one in the upstairs master. This short post is about how we completely changed the look of the one upstairs. Continue reading “Back to SoMoToHo for a Brief, Warm Visit”
This picture is blurry but I think that’s appropriate. Debra titled it “Strong Thighs” and it depicts what is sometimes not-so-affectionately referred to as a “squatter.” This one is in Hong Kong in a public restroom. Hence, its cleanliness. Most of Hong Kong’s public face (including, startlingly, its subway stations) is spotless. But clean or not, aren’t we glad that squatters are not de rigueur in the good ol’ US of A? Which brings us back to the SoMoToHo powder bath.
How lucky we are to live in an age – and a country – with indoor plumbing. This picture was taken a couple of years ago in Bruges, Belgium. The well didn’t have any dating information on it, but the surrounding buildings had date plates from the mid-1600s.
The SoMoToHo has plenty of bathrooms, all of which need updating. Downstairs, there is an en suite in the master and a guest powder, or half bath, across from the library. This is how it looked when we bought the place: Continue reading “Progress in the Powder – Part 1”
This picture is apropos of nothing as far as the SoMoToHo kitchen is concerned. But it reflects our thoughts for Paris – a city of indescribable beauty and charm, suffering in the wake of senseless and deplorable violence. We took this picture while strolling near the Eiffel Tower one foggy evening in 2009. The beacon has been darkened, temporarily, but we join the fervent hope of the entire world that it will glow brightly again – soon and forever. Nous sommes Paris.