You can say what you want about social media, but it has its perks.
- It keeps you connected with family and friends around the world.
- It keeps you connected with high school and college classmates. I’ve attended my past two high school reunions because of Facebook. My class has its own Facebook page. It’s updated regularly and keeps us abreast of events and news about classmates – the good and the bad. It’s an invaluable tool for keeping us connected.
- It’s a wonderful way of publishing my blog, and having people weigh in with their own experiences. I love when people read something I’ve written, and tell me how it relates to their own life. You rarely get this type of feedback in newspaper reporting. Good news reporters keep professional distance between themselves and a subject, trying not to insert opinion. In blogging, you can let it all hang out and let the chips fall where they may. (Yea, that’s a cliche. I know, and I’m using it anyway.)
- It’s a unique way of communicating with your childhood best friends, in this case Lizzie and Robin. I met Lizzie when she moved into the neighborhood in third grade, and Robin when she moved into the house across the street a year later. I guess you could say we were the best of friends. I mentioned something in passing about Lizzie’s wedding in a blog post yesterday, and here’s the photo today. Talk about instant gratification.
This photo was shot at Lizzie’s wedding in the late ’80s. I was thrilled that it was at her parents’ home because it’s my all-time favorite house. Located on a rocky bluff above Long Island Sound, it features wall-to-ceiling views of the sound. What makes it so cool is that it looks like a traditional sprawling Colonial from the front, but features an open floor plan. It’s the perfect marriage of old and new, traditional and modern.
My favorite part about the house is everything. It features broad expanses of slightly off white walls filled with her father’s stunning photographs. My favorite is a huge black and white photograph of a group of boys on the streets of London in the ’60s. It used to hang over the fireplace in their old house in Orange, CT. Now, it occupies a wall just off the living room.
Lizzie’s father Ronnie was an accomplished amateur photographer, the kind of guy who would take three weeks every May and spirit off to Europe with her mom to take pictures and tromp around the countryside. Her Grandma Tamarkin would come in from Missouri, and hold down the fort for Lizzie and her brother David. I don’t remember much about Grandma Tamarkin, just that she was tiny and always wore her hair pulled back.
I love the floors in the house too. Wide-planked and probably original to the house, they’re stained a deep dark brown, lending richness and warmth to the gallery-like space. The main floor is devoid of walls, supported only by columns. Area rugs (Oriental, as I remember) anchor various seating areas. My favorite is the living room overlooking the sound. It’s as close to feeling outside while you’re sitting inside that you’ll get.
Lizzie’s wedding was a traditional Jewish affair held in the backyard. It was relatively small, so I was honored that she invited The Curmudgeon and me. It was a beautiful day, and the sun sparkled off the water. I don’t remember much more, just that the setting was glorious and I loved the house.
I’ve always dreamed about living on the water, and I get that chance once a year when we go to South Carolina for a week. It’s not nearly enough, but I’ll take it. The rest of the time I get by with my sound machine tuned to ocean waves.
What makes this house so charming is its understatement. Unlike many palaces built near the water, it doesn’t scream wealth, power or privilege. You get the sense that the occupants of this place have their priorities in order, that they subscribe to the theory “less is more.” Don’t get me wrong, it is a stunning house, complete with a dock and a guest house. It just doesn’t shout it from its rooftop like some other places I’ve seen.
Simplicity. Class. Elegance. Attention to detail instead of square footage. I wish we could see more houses like this in Architectural Digest instead of Fifth Avenue penthouses where a single chair costs $7,000. Most of us operate in a world where $7,000 is a huge deal – a new furnace or used car for the kid who just got his license. I don’t know many people who can or would shell out that much for a chair. Reading about people who do is more off-putting than inspiring.
Of course, not everything about Facebook is hunky dory. Here are just a few of my pet peeves:
- People (friends) who like everything certain people post, and never throw you a bone. Ever.
- Friends who post pictures of parties or events that you weren’t invited to attend.
- People who scroll through your feed and never make their presence known. As in, never contribute to the conversation.
- People who brag about everything their kids do.
- People who don’t like your initial post, but then join the conversation when someone else comments on it.
- People who are not on Facebook, but ask you for information from Facebook because as you know, they’re not on Facebook.