October 11, 1987 |
Do hotels float? They sure do, every day between Finland and Sweden. Plush is the word for most of these giant cruise ships - don't dare call them ferries - that ply the Baltic Sea between Helsinki and Stockholm, day in and day out, the year-round. The overnight mini-cruise is a popular trip for tourists, because these vessels are really deluxe cruise ships, built by Finland's renowned Wartsila Shipyard, with the finest of amenities. The impressive, marble-lined lobby of the Viking Line's Olympia, for example, boasts a huge crystal chandelier that weighs in the tons.
June 27, 2003 |
The spike-heeled, postfeminist pajama-party sisterhood that is Charlie's Angels is back, and it's serious dress-up time. In Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Natalie, Dylan and Alex (Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, respectively) get to pose - and strike poses - as nuns, strippers, crime-scene technicians, motocross demons, ship- welders, surfer chicks and, if you hang around for the end credits, car-wash babes, getting down and sudsy for the sake of a dirty automobile.
May 1, 2004 |
Too many years ago, at a delightful event in the south of Sweden, I met Ingvar Kamprad, recently named the richest person in the world. For shelterish reasons the wealthy instinctively understand, that assertion of rank may not be exactly correct. But he certainly sits at the Gates and Buffett table, because Ikea, which farm-boy Ingvar founded in 1943, is worth more than $50 billion, the largest furnishings store anywhere. At the time of our meeting, the first Ikea branch in the United States had opened in Plymouth Meeting, and its quirky catalogs were furnishing bathrooms all over the Philadelphia area.
October 24, 2008 |
Even collecting seems to be accelerating in this fast-paced world of ours. Midcentury-modern pieces are tried-and-true stars, with great 21st-century furniture already being resold at "design" auctions. Philadelphia dealers Gary and Janet Calderwood are best known for the high-end French art deco furniture they exhibit at major antique shows and their Spruce Street gallery. But, moving with the times, they opened a new 3,500-square-foot space this week to showcase design material from 1950 to 2000, with a focus on the '60s and '70s.
August 13, 2010 |
On first glance the name Cuddle Magic sounds yucky, suggesting a fuzzy pink bear in an "I Heart U" T-shirt. But hear out this truly distinctive, Philadelphia/Brooklyn, N.Y.-based ensemble, and you'll understand. The name fits in a wondrously whimsical, imaginative yet decidedly grown-up way. Cuddle Magic is avant-garde lite, densely constructed yet playfully accessible. Many of the talents in this huge (like 12 strong) ensemble trained at the New England Conservatory, which is why this pop ensemble deploys strings, clarinet and vibraphone in such delicately finessed ways, alongside the more predictable guitars, keyboards and percussion.
November 5, 1989 |
The well-dressed living rooms of 1990 will be sporting animal print fabrics and tapestry patterns, deeply cushioned sofas with curvy lines, and a well- chosen 18th- or 19th-century reproduction or two. To anyone who has paid attention to interior design in recent seasons, none of these things will come as a surprise. The message that what's old is new was repeated in showrooms throughout the International Home Furnishings Market, the semiannual exhibition of furniture designs here that ended Oct. 27. An estimated 30,000 retail buyers were in town viewing and placing orders for goods that will arrive in stores next spring.
April 26, 1996 |
There's nothing pastel about Louise Manzione. Dark-haired and dark-eyed, she favors vivid lipstick and lean-lined black clothing set off with single, striking pieces of jewelry. Manzione's kitchen and breakfast room - the heart of her family's life - are equally dramatic, with bold walnut arches and columns, hefty handmade tiles, elaborate spigots at the sink, one-of-a-kind drawer pulls, creamy wallpaper with deep green and burgundy stripes, and antiqued cabinets. The atmosphere is rich, detailed and earthy.
September 25, 2003 |
"It's Brooklyn, 1938. We are all 13 years old ... and my mother said that I can have my friends over top make knishes. ... You can call my mother "Mrs. Grabel.' Feel free to participate and ask questions. " It isn't really pre-World War II New York, of course. A dozen of us are seated around my dining room table in West Mount Airy. But with those words, my wife, Susan, sets the scene. We and some friends are preparing to watch unfold the fears and hopes of a middle-aged immigrant caught between her dream of a better life in America and the grim realities of the Depression and the rise of Nazism.
June 26, 2011
By Jo Nesbø Alfred A. Knopf. 400 pp. $25.95 Reviewed by Peter Rozovsky The next Stieg Larsson was once in demand as a teller of ghost stories. "I thought for a while it was because I was a great storyteller," Jo Nesbø says. "Later on, I think it was my big brother who told me the reason why they wanted me to tell the stories was because when I told them, they could hear the fear in my voice. " Fear and suspense have much to do with the best parts of The Snowman , fifth of the star Norwegian crime writer's novels available in the United States.
December 3, 2008 |
Those twinkling lights and front-lawn Rudolphs may suggest that Christmas is already here. But at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church in South Philadelphia, the holy season of Advent comes first, ushered in by St. Lucy and her candlebearers lighting up December's gloom. For 71 years, this historic church on Columbus Boulevard has celebrated the birth of Christ and the triumph of light over darkness with a series of luminous, centuries-old services called Lucia Fest. Mostly sung, in Swedish and English, and repeated eight times over three days, each service is capped by the arrival of a young Sankta Lucia.