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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Availability Up Date

Between Christmas and New Year's, a lot of people seem to, shall we say, overindulge.  And as a result, they get engaged.

If you are one of these happy people, and are just diving into the mad rush to find a wedding location, we are happy to report that Saturday slots in both June and August have just opened up.  (Amazingly, at Onteroa August is an even more popular than the traditional June.)

Click on the Wedding Calendar link at the top of the page to learn more. And have some black coffee.

Winter is Here

The great blizzard of 2010 has come and gone.  It was not as bad here as I hear it was along the coast, in the Big Apple and other big metropolitan areas.  Just  6 inches of snow and high winds that have whirled that snow into mounds up to 3 feet.

It's days like today that I remember overtime someone calls and asks, "why don't you do winter weddings?"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Photo Shoot

People are always asking "Where is the cocktail hour held?" This picture by Erik Ekroth answers that question beautifully.( Except of course when it's raining and everyone takes shelter in the house)

He also captured this shot of the pavilion during a mid summer night's festivities. You can see more of his Onteora Work Here

Friday, November 12, 2010

An Ode to November

The leaves are falling fast and the empty branches and cluttered forest floor always brings back this old poem:

by Thomas Hood
No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--

No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bob Speaks: Of Thermostats and Dining Tables

In 1953 the legendary industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss was asked by the Honeywell Company to redesign one of their most popular and humble products - a thermostat.

I am sure that, no matter what your age, you have run across it: round, and dull-gold and you turn it left or right to set the temperature you want. It took a year to design and hundreds of test models. Just because Mr. Dreyfuss wanted it round.

Years later I met someone who had worked in Dreyfuss's office. He told me, "Whenever we were to re-design something that happened to be originally square, he wanted to make it round. And whenever we were handed something that was round, we were ordered to make it square."

I am convinced that this same perverse philosophy of design is at work every time a visiting bride says, "I really want to have rectangular tables. Don't you have any?"

This obsession to be different for the sake of being different, is no doubt thanks to the nagging of the Wicked Witch of Katona (you know, the one who owns a magazine and way too many other things). Of course, the irony is, as soon as everyone succumbs to her hypnotic suggestion, rectangles won't be "different" anymore, and the World's Foremost Authority will declare round tables the "in" thing once more.

But let us rise above the trendiness, and ask ourselves: where are rectangular tables the norm? Prison dining halls (See Jimmy Cagney in White Heat as he jumps all over them; in Army messes (remember Mash?); and - most recently - Harry Potter's Hogwarts. All the epitome of the regimented, militaristic, mass-production dining experience.

And should I point out the fact that rectangular seating arrangements are the death of human interaction at the table? Who can you relate to except the two or three people you are closest to? King Arthur was on to something.

And should we add that half the guests will have to crick their necks to see the speeches and antics on the dance floor? Or that they will be forced to walk 30 feet out of their way to get to the buffet?

That venerable Honeywell thermostat should live on - I like it. It's a perfect example of form and function.  But I can only hope that this mania for rectangular tables will eventually pass, and we will return to civilized, and somewhat elegant dining floor plans.

But that dishwater-blonde crone from Katona may have to croak first.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A June wedding in subtle shades

Sometimes colors don't have to come out and shake your hand to be effective. Like this photo by Kimberley Coccagnia of a June wedding here.
See more of her fine-toned work here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bob Speaks...

The Anthropology of Weddings

Social anthropologists lump weddings into the category of "rites of passage." Like baptisms, funerals, graduations, and - alas - circumcisions.

All these varied rituals, they say, are designed to "signal both to the individual and the community that a member has undergone a 'change in status' and he/she is supposed to feel different, and be treated differently, after the ritual is observed.

Claude Levi Strauss, the great French anthropologist, said that all rites of passage have one thing in common: they produce in the subject "sweat and wonder." It probably sounded better in French.

So the little Aborigine boy sweats over being eaten by the big monster hiding in the forest, while the bride sweats about "will I fit into this gown?" or "will it rain?"

And at the funeral, the grieving widow wonders if she will ever be able to cook for just one from now on, while the bride' s father wonders "will I ever pay off the bill?"

Are all these thoughts bad? Not at all! If it weren't for that residual dose of "sweat and wonder", weddings just wouldn't do their job as rituals.

Years ago we had a wedding where the couple and most of the attendees spoke nothing but Korean. A local priest conducted the ceremony in complete English. I went to him afterwards and said "Well?"

His reply: "I think they feel married."

So it wasn't the words said. I'm sure, in essence, it was the sweat and wonder.

More later. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 21, 2010