The MAR Blog

Up close and personal.
Where I've been, what I'm doing, what I’ve seen and what I’m up to next.

Penthouse please

Welcome back to my blog!

Last Saturday I returned back to New York to visit with my dear friend Lisa, recovering from surgery in style as she is lucky enough to have a friend who lives at the St. Regis. Violet joined me. A nice walk for me from Sutton Place and a wonderful lesson time for Violet to get familiar with the city’s hustle and bustle as we took to the streets for ambitious walk for Violet. She arrived tired and ready for a nap but cocktails and food would soon arrive as we learned that Susan, had an elaborate spread ordered for us. We celebrated the success of the surgery and the buffet that awaited us—just a little Caviar, champagne and some colossal shrimp. A feast for the eyes and the tummy. I know Violet was also delighted, as she made herself right at home on the ottoman. This was the first time I met Susan, so I was delighted to make her acquaintance as I heard so many wonderful things about her. I was quick to accept an invite for lunch on Monday – this time in Darien.

I returned to Connecticut for work and did break away for a landscaping design lesson for Mary, as she wanted to start a new herb garden and asked if I had any ideas. What was the sudden urge to create a new garden? Well, nothing better for getting through a breakup than getting back into the garden–even if it is a break-up that is long overdue, and even if you initiate it yourself. That said, gardening and relationships have a great deal in common as both require work. Tending to a garden requires time and energy and the more time you put into the garden the more results you will get. As such, a relationship should provide you with the same results, but for the heart.

I told Mary not long ago my analogy: she needed to visualize herself in an elevator, pressing the “PH” Penthouse button, and was not to get off till she reached that right floor. I say: Men will always try to enter your elevator–some will make it and some will not, but if they make it on you will always have the choice to get off the wrong floor or stay “waiting” for your PH floor. You’re worth waiting for the right man, but also worth waiting for the right floor! Although many will persuade you to get off on their floor you should always remember why you’re waiting for the Penthouse: that’s the man of your dreams who holds all the qualities you have been looking for. Anything less will not do. It’s worth waiting–if you don’t wait for the penthouse it means you are jumping into relationships that you know deep in your heart will not work. Why a penthouse in my analogy? Not really about the money that it implies, but because penthouses are on the top floor–and who’s seen a marvelous penthouse that didn’t have a rooftop garden!? Check your ego at the elevator door and listen to your gut.

Okay, enough relationship advice, what about this new garden? I looked at the planned site, gave my directions and then we each went our separate ways: Mary to the nursery and me back to work. I returned later that afternoon to check her progress only to find that my circle design was more kidney shape. “Could you not see it?” I asked. I then quickly changed my shoes and began to remove all the new plantings and re-lay the bricks, this time in the circle pattern I suggested originally. I removed the new plantings and dug new holes so she popped the plants in their rightful places. She loves to garden so this gave her a much-needed distraction and a sense of accomplishment. I love you Mary–you deserve more–and now you can spend more time in the garden playing in the dirt. Next job is expanding the side garden. Wish me luck.

Mar-Fest continued as Wednesday night my CFO took me out for a birthday dinner (yes, I’m cashing in on all the offers for dinners–I can stretch Mar-fest till the end of June if necessary!) I was in New York filming during the day, and we went to my favorite Mexican restaurant, the Rosa Mexicano on First Avenue at 58th street. Well, Paul announced it was my birthday and our favorite barkeeper Manuel didn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate me–in fact, since the restaurant was not as crowded (it was a late dinner), every staff member came over to sing me Happy Birthday. Paul knows that this is something I try to avoid whenever possible, so he enjoyed it a great deal, joining in and singing at the top of his lungs. Afterwards I gobbled up the amazing chocolate dessert they offered me, and Miguel gave me some amazing el Jimador Tequila–the smoothest I’ve ever tasted (followed by a lesson in how to tell the difference between the many, many different brands of premium Tequila: a bartender who likes to educate people on his craft, hmm, is there any wonder why he’s my favorite?) Guess what, I’ll be stocking tequila at my house now.

Speaking of gardens, the unexpected happened to me this week! I was visited by a fan who had just purchased my book and wanted me to sign it as a gift to her friend. I was head to toe in mud, working in the garden, when I noticed a someone calling my name walking towards the garden studio. I looked up and she quickly introduced herself to me as a big fan and told me she owned several copies of the book, and wanted to get her latest copy autographed. My heart was full as I could see that she was taking a big chance to find me at home, no less working in the garden. Her comment was, “At least I know you really do tend your own garden and I love that”. I signed her copy and offered the same to any other friends or neighbors–all they had to do is show up with a new book in hand.

Friday I was back in New York with Violet, this time by the way of the Bronx for the 17th annual Antique Garden Furniture Show and Sale at The Botanical Garden. I was there signing books among some of the most breathtaking booths I have ever seen. Violet was a hit as she sat on the table meeting and greeting people as they waited for their book.

Violet, now at 20, weeks was the perfect co-host of the event and she knew it.

The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 and now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world and the largest in any city in the United States, distinguished by the beauty of its diverse landscape and extensive collections and gardens. we were honored to be part of this prestigious event. Thank you to the staff for making us feel at home, and because it was a feast for not only the eyes but for all the senses I must show off some of the photos I took while I was there.

Enjoy–these do not even begin to show off the display of color and beauty that was taking place. I love this job!

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