Courtney and Gev: Growing on Me

Courtney.jpg Gev’s solo last night was amazing, followed by Courtney’s. There’s isn’t a lot to say about last night’s eliminations. I think Comfort or Jessica (she is really pulling Will down) should have gone before Kourtni, but it was just a matter of time for Kourtni, so okay. Matt, well, there’s so many good guys it’s just going to be painful from here on in. I’m not hopeful for Thayne, because he has Comfort for a partner, but I really hope they get a decent routine. I think part of Thayne’s problem has been one bad routine after another. The choreographers have completely let him down time and again.

Summer Movies. I’ve been going to a lot of movies and I have to say, nothing is blowing me away. The closest so far is WALL-E, which I loved. I saw HANCOCK the day it opened and I was so looking forward to that, the premise was so perfect, and although Will Smith was entertaining as always it was just okay. KUNG FU PANDA — I read that some interviewer cried. Not cry-worthy. WALL-E was superior. It was good though, better than okay. So far the SEX AND THE CITY movie and WALL-E are my favorite movies this summer.

What’s coming up? Oh, MAMA MIA (I’m looking forward to it, I admit it). The X-FILES movie … oh and am I the last to know how ridiculously smoking hot Daniel Craig is?? Good freaking lord.

Kitty in a Drum Bag

Drumbag.jpg You know how cats love boxes? You leave a box out and a cat jumps in it? Well, to a cat, drumbags count as boxes.

Yesterday, while I was researching the building on 5th Avenue I came across a October 9, 1851 story that went: An Infant Found Drowned. At an early hour Tuesday morning while Patrolman Houston of the Sixteenth Ward [the Chelsea area] was patrolling his beat, he discovered the dead body of an infant floating upon the surface of the water, off the foot of Twenty-Third street, North River [the Hudson] which he brought to shore and fastened to the dock to await a Coroner’s inquest. The little creature was wrapped in a woolen blanket, and had a large stone tied around its neck, which was evidently done by the inhuman mother.

Hello?? America? Innocent until proven guilty!! Although it probably was the mother OR THE father (the writer was sexist on top of it). Ah, life can be so sad. We’re all living the Wisconsin Death Trip.

Anyway, I hope to see the movie Hancock today. I also started a lovely little book called “The Secret Life of Bees.”

Ruined Splendor

Walking down Fifth Avenue I couldn’t help noticing building after building that just looked kind of sad. You know they were once someone’s fabulous residence. I took a quick snap of one group and focused on 603, (this is between 48th and 49th streets). Then I did a search through the Times. There’s a rundown after the photograph.

Photo lost! I don’t know where it went, alas.

What I found doesn’t really get interesting until March 5, 1925, when there’s an article about a woman named Mary Desti who fights with a thief who was trying to steal shawls from her. They both fall down a flight of stairs, and he takes off and gets away. Tough lady (she was 54).

Then on April 14, 1930, there’s an article about Eleanor Hutton, granddaughter of C. W. Post, who “Elopes With Playwright; Weds Preston Sturges Over Parents’ Protest.” Preston Sturges is Mary Desti’s son! (I didn’t know he started out a playwright.)

Not one year later, on April 13, 1931 there’s an article, “MARY DESTI IS DEAD; DUNCAN BIOGRAPHER; Succumbs at 59 to Illness Which Began Soon After Death of Dancer in Nice. FATAL SHAWL WAS HER GIFT Was Visiting Isadora at Time of Last Auto Ride–Son Is Preston Sturges, Playwright.”

Turns out Mary Desti was good friends with Isadora Duncan, the famous dancer who died when her scarf got tangled in the car she was in and she was strangled to death. From Wikipedia:

“Before getting into the car, she said to a friend, Mary Desti (mother of 1940’s Hollywood writer-director Preston Sturges), and some companions, “Adieu, mes amis. Je vais — la gloire!” (“Goodbye, my friends, I am off to glory!”); however, according to the diaries of the American novelist Glenway Wescott, who was in Nice at the time and visited Duncan’s body in the morgue (his diaries are in the collection of the Beineke Library at Yale University), Desti admitted that she had lied about Duncan’s last words. Instead, she told Wescott, the dancer actually said, “Je vais — l’amour” (“I am off to love”), which Desti considered too embarrassing to go down in history as the legend’s final utterance, especially since it suggested that Duncan hoped that she and Falchetto were going to her hotel for a sexual assignation. Whatever her actual last words, when Falchetto drove off, Duncan’s immense handpainted silk scarf, which was a gift from Desti and was large enough to be wrapped around her body and neck and flutter out of the car, became entangled around one of the vehicle’s open-spoked wheels and rear axle. Duncan died at the scene.”

A year after Mary died, Preston and Eleanor were separated. She was his second wife, he would have four before he died.

After that all the articles are real estate articles, and soon the building, like most around it, turns commercial, a shoe store mostly, it seems.