Privilege Blog

Gallivanting Through Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Hudson River Valley, And Short Hills, New Jersey

(Reminder, Professor C., James Joyce, and The Dead on Thursday)


I’ve been gallivanting.

First to Brooklyn and Manhattan to visit my son and others, then up to the Hudson River Valley for the extreme pleasure of staying at Reggie and Boy Darling‘s house, then down to New Jersey to see my best friend. It has been a wonderful trip. Highlights are perhaps in order?

I arrived at my son’s apartment Wednesday night. We went to dinner. He’d bought an air conditioner to make my stay comfortable. Adult children, for the win. The next day he worked, so I took the F train into Manhattan. First stop, serendipitously, the Jefferson Market Garden. A small public garden, pretty much defining the term, “jewel box.”

Jefferson Garden

Next stop, Buvette, for lunch with Susan Champlin, writer, author of the blog What Would Katherine Hepburn Do. She’s a Twitter friend, and all-around-lovely-person. Planned, but on short notice, so I was very happy she was free. Here’s our selfie. We were searching for the perfect profile. Susan says she’s still looking but I think she’s awfully close.

Selfie With Susan

Then I scooted uptown to see the Jeff Koons exhibition. Serendipitously passing an extraordinary shop display on the way, I had to stop in to admire, briefly, what is essentially a museum of beautiful china. Quite something. The shop is called Bardith. Ring the bell, and smile at the proprietor to be let in. Some of his pieces are from the atelier of Marie Antoinette’s ceramicist. I know.

China Shop, Bull In

And then on to the Whitney for Mr. Koons. Jeff Koons is Jeff Koons, mostly monstrous, never pretty, highly annoying. The exhibit, however, is brilliant, and illuminates American cultural history in a way that I did not predict, drawing a clear line from early pop art to social media overexposure of today. Besides, Koons stumbled onto beauty with the balloon dogs and we will not forget. You might have to see the “balloon” polished surfaces in situ to believe me on the beauty thing. The porcelain sculptures of “Banality” are only monstrous.

Jeff Koons

A few hours later, revived by some caramel ice cream at the Sweet Shop, I met my son, @kidchamp, and her husband for ramen at Ippudo. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and then more wonderful.

The next day, the boy and I meandered around Brooklyn, where I bought him a blue t-shirt. He needed it. Then we made our way back to the Upper East Side, to meet the author of the great blog Reggie Darling and his husband, for a trip to their gorgeous house in the Hudson River Valley. The Architectural Digest article shows it off to best advantage, here, so I captured just a few details. The side entry, for example.


After a drive full of entertaining conversation, we enjoyed a late dinner at Swoon, in Hudson.


The next day, I had the distinct privilege of following Boy Darling, Reggie’s husband, on his sweep through a few antique and “picker” stores, again in the town of Hudson. A quite tony designer by trade, he can can spot a find in an instant. I was distracted by everything.


Or perhaps my focus is taken by this young man, caught in a serious moment of post-prandial contemplation. Lunch was pasta and he said it was delicious. I told you he needed a blue t-shirt.


Back at Darlington House, we rested on the screened porch. Some beautiful sunflowers assisted.


We had to rest up, you see, as Reggie and Boy were throwing a dinner party. What a table. What food. Most of all, what guests!

Dinner At Darlington

We retired afterwards, again, to the screened porch. Sunflowers look even more beautiful at night.

Sunflowers In The Night

Spent the next day touring and exclaiming over the house and its extraordinary details. Then, almost overwhelming us with hospitality, Reggie grilled some chicken and vegetables for lunch, and served them on this table. Chamomile flowers by Boy Darling.


One last look down the view before we headed back to Manhattan. Much as I love California, the green of an East Coast summer cannot be denied.


And from there, I was off to see my best friend, who has returned from Belgium to live in Short Hills, New Jersey.

I’ve been gone just long enough to enjoy every minute, and now I’m ready to return home and and see Significant Husband. I miss him. However, lest I have not yet clarified, this trip has been a veritable paean to gallivanting, and I thank everyone who has hosted me so graciously. Never to be forgotten, thank you notes to follow.



45 Responses

    1. @HHH, He’s not just handsome, he’s hot! Probably a tad young for me, but not scandalously so, were I not happily married… :)

      Glad you’ve had a lovely gallivant and welcome back!

      1. Of course, my son is gay, but a little cross-orientation admiration is never amiss:).

  1. Thank you for including us on your adventure. I agree that your son is very handsome.

    LOVED seeing the screened porch!

  2. There is such celebration and rapture in your telling that I feel that post-holiday giddy joy myself. I’d be jealous if not for the pleasure of living vicariously through your glimpses.

  3. Gorgeous home. Is it a private residence or a B and B?

    Handsome son…pensive eyes.

    1. Oh, it’s a private residence. The Architectural Digest article really showcases its beauty.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Your son is very handsome (as others have said) and looks so sweet as well. How nice that he was included in your Hudson River trip. I tried to see the Jeff Koons exhibit when I was in NY a few weeks ago, but the lines were around the block. My “take” on him as an artist is the same as yours, but I always love a good retrospective, for the cultural impact.

    So glad your son bought the A/C for you!

  5. Wonderful recap of a whirling few days — crazy good how much you fit in! And your son should probably always wear blue, thoughtful air conditioner-buying young man that he is.
    (btw, have always loved the word “gallivanting” — thank you for using it liberally…

    1. Yes! Am trying to get some photos, but my life is not aligning with good light and a good outfit! It is the most comfortable bag I’ve ever owned.

  6. I smiled at your description of Jeff Koon’s work. It’s never overwhelmed me, I must say. But I never turn down the opportunity to visit a museum.
    Sounds like it was good eats, great friends, lovely digs, and best of all….air conditioning!
    P.S. Son has the profile down pat. And he does need a new blue T-shirt

  7. I’m so happy to have been a part of your gallivanting–what a delight to discover that the person you’ve long admired online is only MORE charming in person! The rest of your trip looks heavenly, and you do have magnificent offspring. xo

  8. Really handsome son. Love that shade of blue. I’ll have to find a shirt that color as my eyes match his.

  9. It looks like you captured a beautiful trip. Your son is so handsome, with your eyes, I think. I don’t know if the Jeff Koons exhibit would be on my summer 2014 museum short list so much as the FIT lingerie exhibit and the Charles James one at the Met, but that’s just me! The Westside Ippudo now has gluten free ramen (koshihikari) so I must stop by…


  10. P is even more dapper in person, but man, so abrasive! ;)

    i described our night of ramen to a coworker beforehand and he said that you and i should hold our respective men above our heads like baby simba in the lion king. i’m not quite up for that sort of power-lifting, but i was honored to meet part of your family, and to introduce you to part of mine. as we say, i’m so glad you (and P) exist. (he has the best laugh.)

  11. A whirlwind of gallivanting indeed!
    Meeting and greeting and lots of good eating…pretty sunflowers too.
    Your trip sounds delightful and to see the Darlings home and your son must have been a fabulous experience.

  12. Beautiful photos (son especially – you are right about the shirt), enticing descriptions, joyous mood! And thank you for mentioning Jefferson Market Garden – it’s a couple of blocks from where my daughter lives, so I’ll be able to visit it in the fall. A wonderful travelogue!

  13. What a wonderful action-packed trip you share with us. I melted upon seeing the ceramics you photographed and know I could do some damage if let loose in such an establishment.

    How very fortunate that you and your handsome son were hosted by such elegant hosts in their splendid home.

    As you say, the lush green shades of the east coast are much missed by this ex-Brit (from similarly lush climes), and last night’s unexpected rain was a welcome relief.

  14. Ahhhh… Bardith! I am always a little afraid to venture in there, lest i turn to quickly to see something and take out a whole century’s worth of porcelain.

    And isn’t the Hudson the most beautiful! I was there in May of last year when the lilacs were in full bloom. It was incredible!

  15. Gallivanting is one of my favorite words! It seems apt for this lovely whirlwind visit. Your description of Koons work made me smile, as did your thoughtful assessment of the retrospective. And how lovely to spend time in Hudson with such gracious hosts. The photo of the porch is especially calming and inviting.

  16. Hi Lisa, I am coming from Jane’s blog. I enjoyed reading your adventure. I used to live in NYC and still go up frequently for visits. I never get tired of NYC (although I dont’t think I want to live there now). I went to Vassar College so I am a little familiar with the Hudson River Valley. Your post brought back many fond memories. I will be visiting your blog in the future. You bought your son the right color t-shirt. It brought out his beautiful blue eyes. A very handsome young man, you have there Lisa. He looks very sweet too.

  17. Good heavens, a visit with Reggie and Boy, at Darlington House itself, in person!? This is the Ultimate Galivant and I am spring green with envy. (Their silver would be safe, but they might want to recount the table linens upon my departure.)

    Koons is a kook, of course, but you more than made up your museum time by the visit to the museum-quality ceramics shop!

    And the young man — are we now allowed to say a man is beautiful? He is.

  18. What a fantastic trip. Blogging, what a wide world it gives us.

    Loved every minute of this.

    xo J

  19. Sunflowers in the dark!

    Quite a revelation, love the photo with its intimate, a little mysterious mood.

  20. I guessed that’s where you were from some instapeeks :)

    Your son is devastatingly handsome.

    So cool to see a restaurant as urban as Swoon in the HRV. So different from the olden days.

  21. Dear Lisa it was a Privilege and an Honor to have you and your dear Son as our guests, and what a treat, too! Your company was a delight, and such wonderful and thought-provoking conversations we had. I love how your mind works, your command of language, and the perspectives you bring to conversation–so refreshing. Thank you for giving us and me such pleasure, for being so present and engaged, and for the memories of a special visit that I now shall cherish. With fond regards, Reggie

  22. Lovely trip. How fun you got to stay with Reggie. I love the house! Must have been hard not to take more photos. The Hudson River area is so gorgeous and I haven’t been for so long. I hope to get over there next summer. Seems like there is so much to do. Your son is a handsome guy.

  23. Wow, what a great trip, and Reggie’s house is just amazing. You are right, your son does need a blue top to match his eyes, what a good looking chap! Bxx

Comments are closed.