Misplaced Photo Caption of the Day


Explanatory note about the picture:

A few weeks ago, I posted a tiny spoiler about the new season of Downton Abbey, currently running in the UK, and due in the US next January:   In an unfortunate case of bad timing, we learn that the dog in the opening sequence is named “ISIS”.   Since the issue is now being discussed in the mainstream American media, I no longer think it merits a “spoiler” warning.  However:

New spoiler warning:

In last night’s episode (S05 E06), several characters mentioned that Isis isn’t looking so perky these days. (DUM DUM DUM.)

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

pre-2 b

“Botticelli’s Studio”, by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale

As part of an auction of 19th Century European Paintings, Bonhams is offering a painting by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, sometimes known as “The Last Pre-Raphaelite”.  The work, entitled “Botticelli’s studio: The first visit of Simonetta presented by Giulio and Lorenzo de Medici”, is usually simply called “Botticelli’s Studio”, for obvious reasons.

The banner at the top of this blog, btw, is a detail from one of her works, “The Deceitfulness of Riches”.  I posted about another of her paintings earlier this year.

Fortescue-Brickdale’s artistic career began in the late 19th century, after the original Pre-Raphaelites (except for William Holman Hunt) had died.  She lived during much of her career opposite Leighton House (see last Sunday’s posting), where she held her second exhibition in 1902.  Like many of the Pre-Raphaelites, her work was frequently inspired by Shakespeare, Browning, and Tennyson.

Victorian painting, particularly Pre-Raphaelism,  fell out of critical favour in the early 20th century, but Fortescue-Brickdale was active until a stroke ended her career in 1938.

The Last Pre-Raphaelite  died on 10 March 1945.

The auction will be held on 5 November 2014, and the estimate is between $200,000 and $300,000.

Pier 2934 — Lunch on 21 October 2014

A beautiful warm October day!  I headed over to Pier 2934 in Georgetown, planning to have an al fresco Cajun lunch.

Pier 2934

Pier 2934

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail

I’ve noticed that I’ve been pretty retro the last week, posting items about 80s fashions, 2001, spring rolls appetizers, and Sweeney Todd.  But what could be more retro than starting lunch w/a shrimp cocktail?  Bring back the 1950s!

Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll

Couldn’t resist the lobster roll, which was excellent.  But lobster rolls and shrimp cocktails aren’t Cajun, so next time, I’ll order some oysters and a po boy, for NOLA authenticity.



Actually, the beignets were the only really hardcore New Orleans part of lunch.  The little cup contains a melted chocolate dipping sauce.

New Eye Candy from One Direction

I genuinely love One Direction videos.   A new one came out today.

It opens w/a shot of a trailer parked in the desert, vaguely reminiscent of Breaking Bad’s iconic RV meth lab.  The five members of One Direction are waiting for their man—“the greatest artist of his generation, apparently”—who will be directing their new video.  A convertible pulls up, and out comes….  Well, ya gotta watch the video to find out.  Before you know it, the video brings on the sumo wrestlers, a monkey (in sunglasses), a marching band, and much more.

There’s a word that perfectly describes it:  “Felliniesque”.  You can easily imagine Fellini himself directing this circus.

And then there’s the music.  It’s standard, throwaway pop, part of the grand tradition that dates all the way back to the first British boy band to gain massive international success, despite bland and forgettable lyrics like “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” and “I wanna hold your hand”.  I  don’t remember what that band was called, and whatever happened to them, but we’ve come a long way.  One Direction’s lyrics are obviously vastly more sophisticated than the pedestrian efforts of their ancient predecessors.

But it’s not about the music.   It’s about the look.   And it looks phenomenal.