You’ve Got A Friend still Going Strong!

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James Taylor is one of my all-time favorites. For those of you not in Boston, I thought I would share this article in the Globe this morning. FYI- there is a new Sirius station for James Taylor -channel number 17!

WASHINGTON, Mass. — James Taylor hasn’t released an album of original songs in 13 years, but he certainly hasn’t been idle.

The legendary singer known for “Fire and Rain,” “Sweet Baby James,” and “You’ve Got a Friend,” who has sold 100 million albums, won five Grammy awards, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is explaining what he’s been up to in anticipation of the release of “Before This World,” which comes out June 16.

Taylor, 67, settles into a couch on the screened-in porch of his spacious contemporary home nestled in the woods of Western Massachusetts. His loyal pug Ting lounges by his side. Unfailingly affable, gregarious, and accommodating, Taylor offers a visitor a fruit plate and silences some wind chimes, and at one point he even stops to gently pluck a caterpillar off his leg and release him back into the wild.

So why so long?

To begin with, Taylor has toured nearly every year in the United States and sometimes abroad. “I get a huge sense of gratification from playing music and from being in a room with an audience that is there to hear it, [where] there is some kind of a connection that happens,” Taylor says.

He’s hosted events at Carnegie Hall, crafted a series of guitar lessons available for free on his website, and appeared on awards shows. And in the 13 years since his last original release, he has made five other albums, including a Christmas disc, two collections of covers, and two live recordings.

Of course he’s also been spending time with his family — his wife, Kim, and their twin 14-year-old sons Rufus and Henry, doing homework in the next room — as well as his two adult children, Sally and Ben, from his marriage to Carly Simon.

But every time he floated the idea of making a new album, other obligations popped up. So he finally took decisive action: He sequestered himself in a friend’s apartment in Newport, R.I., one week a month for several months in 2013 and 2014, so he could focus on writing lyrics.

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“I’m glad to know that’s what works now, because the next time I have to write I’ll start off that way,” he says with a chuckle.

Taylor acknowledges having felt some trepidation: “I wondered if I still had anything to write about, and how the songs were going to turn out.”

And even after nearly 50 years of success, he knows his music isn’t for everyone.

“Some people hear my music and are just put off by the fact that it’s pretty. And there’s no doubt about it, primarily I’m interested in singing pretty,” he says. “There are people, it occurs to me, [for whom] if it doesn’t sound gritty and raw and slightly painful, it’s not genuine. And I’m not of that opinion.”

Lately, Taylor has been mulling a documentary he saw about Japanese traditional artists, recognized in their country as “living national treasures.”

“These are arts that people give their lives to, and at a certain point they become masters of, and maybe they will affect it three percent or something,” he muses. “They’re repeating an art form and recapitulating. . . . It’s a useful way for me to think of my music. It is not all things for all people. It is something that I was partially born with and partially given and partially discovered on my own. . . . I learned it from other people. I stole it from other people. . . . And people in turn take it from me.”

Taylor remains grateful for the generations of fans who have embraced it, and for the good fortune he has experienced along a path that for many years was bumpy because of depression and substance abuse — a topic addressed on the new album in the sprightly “Watchin’ Over Me.”

“There’s the luck of being in the right place at the right time. There’s the luck of having survived some serious demons that killed so many people. There’s also the luck of having an audience that sustains me, that feels like a community,” he says. “My overwhelming feeling generally these days is gratitude, for how things have turned out. For the life in music that I’ve been allowed.”

“Before this World,” which features guest appearances from Sting and Yo-Yo Ma, is the 16th chapter in a story the Boston native has been telling since he was signed to Apple Records in 1968 and met the Beatles.

For the casual fan, all the Taylor hallmarks are there: the richly textured vocals, the elegant finger-picked guitar, the lyrics that range from poignant and meditative to playful and cheeky, the unfussy production.

But for close observers, there are also fleeting moments — names, phrases, musical motifs — that trigger a sense of recognition, hearkening back to earlier songs.

“I’m re-encouraged that I can still do this and it still works,” Taylor says of such tracks as the moving piano ballad for his wife “You and I Again,” the Latin-flavored “SnowTime,” and the wistful “Stretch of the Highway,” a paean to the twin pulls of a musician’s life, the road and home. (“Getting that balance right is life’s work,” he says.)

“Before This World” was recorded primarily at the Barn, the recording studio and offices right down the hill from his home, with his longtime backing band and producer Dave O’Donnell.

“James just keeps on growing and getting better and better,” says drummer Steve Gadd, who has also played with Eric Clapton and Paul Simon. “It’s just a pleasure for me to be around him, not only him as a friend but as a leader and a musician, too, he’s very inspiring.”

Even after the long hiatus, O’Donnell says, “from the moment the band showed up and he sat down and played the first tune. . . it was pure joy.”

Taylor is eager to extend that joy to the concert trail, including his annual Fourth of July show at Tanglewood and a concert at Fenway Park Aug. 6 with longtime buddy Bonnie Raitt.

Taylor’s band will also play “Before This World” in its entirety at a performance presented by Sirius XM at New York’s Apollo Theater on the day of the album’s release. And the satellite radio company is hosting a James Taylor channel through June 21.

Taylor acknowledges having received lots of advice over the years on what exactly his next album should be, from country to standards. But in the end, he said, it came down to this: “If I have a couple of more James Taylor records in me, I should make those.”

 

In Boston Globe Tuesday June 9,2015 by Sarah Rodman

 

Architect Francis Fleetwood

 

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This style of house is certainly very popular-I thought the perception of why this seems to be true is interesting.

 

NEW YORK — Francis Fleetwood, who drew on the work of Stanford White to transform the architectural aesthetic of the Hamptons on Long Island from the relatively modest, minimalist beach houses that reflected postwar modernism to the shingled Victorian behemoths that evoke the Gilded Age, died May 8 at his home in Wellington, Fla. He was 68.

The cause was a blood clot, his brother, Blake, said.

After opening his own firm, Fleetwood & McMullan, in 1980, Mr. Fleetwood designed more than 200 homes in the Hamptons, many of them encompassing tens of thousands of square feet, costing tens of millions of dollars and commissioned by clients who did not blink at the price.

Among them were celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Lauren Bacall, Calvin Klein, and Paul McCartney, as well as private-equity investors and commodities traders who would let Architectural Digest photograph their trophy habitats on the condition that the magazine not reveal their names.

Architects of the angular, flat-roofed houses that proliferated on the East End of Long Island in the 1950s and beyond also catered to the wealthy. But those buildings — made of wood, stone, poured concrete and glass — were unassuming by comparison. Mr. Fleetwood’s shingled, sprawling creations, produced for a more extravagant moneyed class, suggest a kind of homey grandeur.

“The shingle style is the only truly indigenous architecture of the United States,” Mr. Fleetwood told The New York Times in 1991. “Every other style, including modern architecture, had its roots elsewhere.”

“People are looking for roots,” he said in another interview. “They’d all love to be born into a grand old house that had been handed down through the generations. So would I.”

Francis Freile Fleetwood was born in Santiago, Chile. His father, Harvey, was a banker. His mother, the former Maria Freile, is a psychoanalyst.

Besides his brother and mother, he leaves his wife, Stephanie; a daughter, Catherine Newsome; a stepson, Michael Orhan; three grandchildren; and two sisters, Carmen Paul and Charlotte Fleetwood.

After moving to New York with his mother and older brother before turning 2, he attended the Dalton, Fessenden, and Riverdale Schools, graduated from Bard College and earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973.

At Bard, before deciding to pursue a career as an architect, Fleetwood had different designs on the kind of capitalists who would become his clients.

“I was a Marxist back then,” he told the college’s alumni bulletin, “and we would hold secret meetings every week, planning the overthrow of the school, the government, the world.”

Before establishing his own firm, in East Hampton, he worked for an architect in Aspen, Colo., and for Philip Johnson in New York on the AT&T and Neiman Marcus buildings and other projects.

In 2001, Forbes magazine put Mr. Fleetwood on its list of leading architects, calling him “the architect for the A-list in the Hamptons.”

His asymmetrical style featured gables, turrets and expansive porches that connected the interior of his houses to their typically spacious grounds and vistas. Another hallmark was a low, sweeping roofline with an Oriental curvature and red-brick chimneys that rose well above it.

By Sam Roberts NEW YORK TIMES  MAY 27, 2015

Window Boxes in Edgartown

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Summer may be over for this year but you can certainly start dreaming about next summer ! Here are some ideas for window boxes that I saw in Edgartown….Happy Labor Day!

Edgartown on the Vineyard

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One of the greatest moments of summer for me is to take my rental bike on our annual anniversary trip to Martha’s Vineyard and just ride around Edgartown and look at the houses,gardens and incredible views….Obama was there on the island as well but it really did not affect the traffic or us tourists!

The Charlotte Inn Gardens

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The Charlotte Inn in Edgartown and it’s gardens are spectacular-I felt absolutely inspired from my weekend there for when I get back home!

The Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship

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We went to see this on Martha’s Vineyard in July-very interesting story. If you live in New England,check her schedule!

The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat – only the USS Constitution is older.

Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages between 1841 and 1921, most lasting three years or more. Built for durability, not speed, she roamed every corner of the globe in her pursuit of whales. She is known as a “lucky ship,” having successfully navigated crushing Arctic ice, hostile natives, countless storms, Cape Horn roundings and, after she finished her whaling career, even the Hurricane of 1938.

 

The Morgan was launched on July 21, 1841 from the yard of Jethro and Zachariah Hillman in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She typically sailed with a crew of about 35, representing sailors from around the world. The whaleship measures 113 feet, with a 27-foot 6-inch beam and depth of hold of 17 feet 6 inches. Her main truck is 110 feet above the deck; fully-rigged, and she is capable of carrying approximately 13,000 square feet of sail. The huge try-pots used for converting blubber into whale oil are forward; below are the cramped quarters in which her officers and men lived.

After her whaling days ended in 1921, the Morgan was preserved by Whaling Enshrined, Inc. and exhibited at Colonel Edward H.R. Green’s estate at Round Hill in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, until 1941. In November of that year, the Morgan came to Mystic Seaport where she has since dominated the waterfront at Chubb’s Wharf.

The whaleship was designated a National Historic Landmark by order of the Secretary of the Interior in 1966, and she is also a recipient of the coveted World Ship Trust Award. Since her arrival at Mystic Seaport more than 20 million visitors have walked her decks. Where once she hunted and processed whales for profit, her purpose now is to tell an important part of our nation’s history and the lessons that history has for current generations.

 Restoration and Preservation

 

At Mystic Seaport the Charles W. Morgan has been given a new lease on life; however, her future vitality depends on continual preservation. A major program of restoration and preservation was begun in 1968 to repair her structurally, and during the course of this work, it was decided to restore her to the rig of a double-topsail bark, which she carried from 1867 through the end of her whaling career. She appears as she was during most of her active career.

In January 1974, after removal from her former sand and mud berth, she was hauled out on the lift dock in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard for inspection and hull work as needed. Her hull proved to be in remarkably good condition, with only a new false keel, shoe and some planking being required.

The 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan on the Museum's shiplift awaiting her launch. July 21, 2013In November, 2008 the Morgan returned to the Museum’s shipyard for restoration. The project renewed areas of the vessel from the waterline down to her keel and also addressed the bow and stern. The whaleship was re-launched July 21, 2013 and left Mystic Seaport May 17, 2014 to embark on her 38th Voyage to historic ports of New England. The nearly three-month long journey seeks to engage communities with their maritime heritage and raise awareness about the changing perception about whales and whaling. Where once the Morgan’s cargo was whale oil and baleen, today her cargo is knowledge.

When the vessel returns to Mystic Seaport in August 2014, she will resume her role as an exhibit and the flagship of the Museum.

Lovely Lake Living

 

 

 

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I finally got the chance to see the finished house I had decorated up in New Hampshire last year.It is on a beautiful lake-perfect setting for relaxing summers! We had a lot of fun picking out the fabrics and I think the client is delighted with the result-it is a very happy house and fun to spend time in,especially on beautiful summer days.

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