The Cool House: long island
Showing posts with label long island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label long island. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

View from the hill

Coindre Hall, Long Island. Thanksgiving weekend 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Making of a Movie

When Friend of The Cool House, documentary movie maker, historian and writer Jake Gorst, asked if we would mind him filming our house (designed by his grandfather, noted architect Andrew Geller, we were thrilled. I had assured him the weather would be beautiful, skies blue and absolutely, positively, no rain, guaranteed. That turned out to be a promise I couldn't deliver but at least it was warm, dry and bright inside. Our house is the last of the houses to be shot for the movie, which is now officially in post-production. It's scheduled to be released Spring 2012 - tomorrow in film making time - and I can't wait to see all the fabulous Long Island modern architecture featured. Until then we'll have to make do with a few shots of the shoot...

Jake Gorst on the last day of shooting for an upcoming Long Island Modern Architecture film

Lenny Marks checking the shot, lighting and a million other details

Tracey Gorst, Jake Gorst and Lenny Marks reviewing the Martini Shot

The final, final shot of the day, starring Cassis the Cat. I guess this is the Pousse-café shot!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Man v Bird(s)

A plan to take breakfast at Northport Harbor, NY goes horribly awry...
There might have been other shots, many whirling birds, much flailing of arms but I was too busy laughing hysterically to shoot straight. The Palmier cookie from the Copenhagen Bakery was sacrificed in the name of self-preservation.
Man 0-Seagulls 1

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spooky Tree

Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay, NY. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Neutral Layers

Peeling bark

Hen of the Woods - the mother of all mushrooms

Tropical plants

All photographs taken on a beautiful Fall day at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY one of Long Island's famous Gold Coast Mansions, now a New York State Park.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Looking outside

Warm days, cold nights, falling leaves, rain showers and the occasional tornado - the transition from summer to autumn on Long Island.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Feeling Creative? Support Seatuck!

When Long Island schoolgirl Olivia Bouler heard about the Gulf oil disaster she set out to help and she did it big time raising over $175,000 to help affected wildlife. Now she is fundraising again - this time locally. She and her family are holding a fundraiser on September 4th for the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Islip, New York. She is asking all artists - and would-be artists - to submit a 5x7 postcard-sized bird image (painting, drawing, photograph, collage, mixed media) which will be displayed at the center and sold for $5.
The event will also include a concert by The Sea Tuckers a group of jazz musicians that includes Olivia, her brother Jackson and their friends. Not only is Olivia a "decent drawer" she's also an extremely talented saxophone player and Jackson will wow you with his cool! More information here

Olivia's Fundraiser
Saturday, September 4th
12:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Suffolk County Environmental Center
550 South Bay Avenue, Islip
Admission - $5

Remember artists of all abilities are welcomed so send your postcards in advance to Seatuck, PO Box 31, Islip, NY 11751.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Escape to another island

There's always a point in a construction or renovation project when you feel yourself snapping - maybe months of backorders have put you over the edge or the carpenter being a no-show six times in two weeks has you raging incoherently about his work ethic. At this time it's good to have friends who call with offers of wine and a shoulder to cry on and others who invite you to take an inspirational break and go see what the pros are doing.

So it was with great joy, after the most frustrating day on the kitchen renovation front, that we packed up and headed to the South Shore for a site visit to three new homes on Captree Island.

Bouler Design Group had been commissioned to build this group of houses for an extended family to enjoy. Stylistically each house is quite different but with their rough-hewn cedar shake roofs and siding they form a cohesive whole. The largest house is a Cape Cod shingle style with a wraparound porch and the signature James Bouler barrel roof - this time with swoop reminiscent of a Dutch girl's bonnet - a nod to the Dutch colonial architecture of a neighboring home.

The centre property has a craftsman feel, its deep porch with double posts on solid pillars invites you to sit and spend long days watching the ducks in the reeds and the boats bobbing in the water.

The third home is the original beach house, now an extended rambler with a simple two-storey addition. It has an organic feel, as if it grew to meet the changing needs of past (or future) occupants.

The three homes have been designed to take advantage of the amazing situation. Although the lot is relatively small, the position of the properties along the waterfront feels spacious and open. From the upper decks the residents will be able to take advantage of glorious views (360 from the roof deck of the Cape Cod style), drinking in spectacular sunrises and beach sunsets, or watching the egrets and plovers on the marsh.
To read more about this unique project and see some great interior shots visit Bouler Design Group's blog. Thanks to James and Nadine's hospitality (and their kids too!) we relaxed immediately and could have stayed on this island forever... in fact The Guy felt so attached to this project that he left a little piece of himself behind...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Backed Up Beauty

Remember those storms that hit the north-east in March? They came a couple of weeks apart and each dumped 6-8" rain right on Long Island. Roads flooded, basements flooded, cesspool overflowed; people are still pumping water from the houses and parts of particularly swamped roads are still under water.
Here on the beach the erosion was substantial: steps washed away; bulkheads compromised and fields underwater. Yesterday we walked along the beach (carefully negotiating the damaged wooden stile) and waved to owners of beach front properties who were hard at work digging out their drainage pipes, trying to give the sodden lawns some relief. Some of the flooded areas, though, are beyond the scope of one man (or woman) and a shovel. Willow Pond backed up, flooding the yards of many residents; there's little sign that it will drain anytime soon.
The fence in the photo marks the boundary between two properties; it's the first time I've seen it under water for more than a day or two. Some residents blame construction in the area, others the loss of a large portion of the reeds that covered much of the pond. I'm sure the sand and beach stones that were forced up inside the drainage pipes have formed an effective stopper that needs to be uncorked. Whatever the underlying cause and however great the inconvenience it's quite beautiful to walk the strip of sand between the extended pond and Long Island Sound.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In Vino Veritas: Verace

photo courtesy Nadine Bouler

We were very excited to meet the stylish Nadine Bouler and her husband, leading Long Island "green" architect James of Bouler Architecture, at Verace in Islip New York, the latest addition to the Bohlsen Family restaurant group. We had read such great things about it and knew that the design - by Bouler Architecture - was going to be stellar but we had no idea how exceptional it was going to be on both fronts.

the Architect looking over the second-floor balcony

The restaurant has a mix of traditional architectural details - lots of reclaimed wood, brick exterior, mahogany window frames - with cutting-edge elements: oxidized steel wall surrounds, a concrete patio water feature and a swirling, abstract vaulted ceiling. Retro orange tiles in the open kitchen and mushroom pendant lamps in the bar give it a groovy vibe while the softer elements, an upholstered wall on the second floor dining room and long drapes in the main room reduce the noise level and add a warm, cozy ambience. It's a knock-out. We were lucky enough to get a guided tour of the place by the architect himself. For the project history and all the before-and-after photographs - a de-facto virtual tour - visit Nadine Bouler's site.

photo courtesy Nadine Bouler

As for the food, Italian chef Francesco Torre is in the kitchen and here, too, there is a mix of rustic and modern. My Crab Ravioli on a Green Chard puree not only matched my shirt but had the right balance between the sweetness of the crab and the tart tang of the chard. Both The Guy and I opted or the Roasted Pork with Sweet Italian Fruit and Mustard Sauce as our "Secondi", which was deliciously moist with a real pork flavor. Props too for the authentic bolognese sauce and the better than traditional crunchy tiramisu! The wine, from both Italian and New York vineyards is custom-blended and stored in eco-kegs, then pushed with nitrogen to deliver a pure, unspoilt glass or carafe per order; no danger of corked wine here. Verace is also committed to delivering the best tasting, most environmentally-sound table water. To this end they offer only their own state of the art filtered water - flat or carbonated - served form reusable bottles.

Artist & Author Nadine Bouler, Manager Joe, The Architect, The Guy

Verace is a fabulous restaurant and I'm planning a return visit for one of the regular Monday Wine Dinner Events. And if they ever start a Facebook Fan Page, I'll be the first to join!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tonight: A Taste of Summer to Beat the Winter Chill

Hey! Who's that man and what is he and his friend doing at The Cool House? That's Richie Saccente of Young Rebel Goombas, with fellow Goomba Cosmo Mallardi, drinking coffee at our old kitchen table and getting ready to go out in the pre-remodeled master bedroom. Also starring in this video: the huge pink sectional!
A few things have changed at The Cool House since this was filmed but the music stays the same - tropical rock, filmed in the heat of a Long Island summer, to cheer up this freezing December day.
Download the free mp3 here and pass it on to your friends. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Ripe Art

Big art, small art, insects and of course, houses at Nadine Bouler's show, part of the current exhibition at Ripe Art Gallery.

Part of the House series - just prior to the red stickers going up.

House in Flight

Some of the Big Girls

The Alphahouse series

Despite the appalling weather the room was packed: The Loyal Blog Reader, the Artist, The Guy and the Awesome Designer in front of some of the House series of paintings

the Gallery owner and artist, Cherie Via met up with some old friends.

It's an awesome collection; besides Nadine's beautiful and haunting work, Triple Deuce Jewels was showing some rocking silver jewelry; there were ceramics and felted scarves and some fetching blue and pink Pet Semen globes that invited closer inspection. In fact I'm going to go back mid-week for a second viewing. The show runs from today until the end of December. Unfortunately after today you might not see Nadine's fabulous vintage dress but you should go anyway:
Ripe Art Gallery
67 Broadway
Greenlawn, NY 11740-1302
(631) 239-1805

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Keeping it old school in a digital world

Young Rebel Goombas (l to r) Richie Saccente, Cosmo Mallardi, Uncle B Johnson and Richie Cannata keeping it real at a special event @ CW Post, Long Island University.

The live sound is being videotaped by Jake Gorst for their youtube channel. Awesome jamming - that's one way music is made in 2009.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

::Musical Update::

The Goombas Special Show at Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus on Thursday September 3rd (1:00 - 2:30 pm) just keeps getting bigger: Richie Saccente, Cosmo Mallardi and Richie Cannata will now be joined by Uncle B Johnson. They'll be performing songs old and new as well as explaining the process of making an indie record. Here's a musical taste:

Get your tickets now! To register download this form. Registrations can also be taken over the phone using a credit card. Phone number is 516-299-2580.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sad Kitty Needs a Home

Found in the hood of a car (just like Hermes) this adorable kitty cannot live with his rescuers (there's a no-animal policy in their apartment) and the local shelters are full of similar fluffy bundles. (Though obviously none are as cute as Sad Kitty).
We would foster him/her but we're already known as the crazy people who take a train of kitties out with them when they walk the dogs... and I've found there's a three cat happiness metric that we are already exceeding. I don't think it would be good to add an extra bundle of cuteness to the dynamic!
Look at those beseeching eyes... that expression that says "I just want to love and be loved".... Won't someone take Sad Kitty to his/her forever home?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Birds, Jellyfish and Sushi

Thursday wasn't just a successful day in terms of house maintenance, it was also the day I overcame one of my irrational fears.

I'm pretty sure my lunch partner had no idea I'm scared stiff of these things. After all, I managed not to do what I usually do when I find myself in close proximity to flying, flapping, feathered animals: scream loudly and run away as fast as possible.

I was sitting four inches from this scene so it was impossible to ignore mama bird feeding her babies. Every time we tried to take a photo she'd fly off but return a minute later with a tiny worm or caterpillar. It was just so darn cute I was fascinated and, because the nest is in a window box, protected from too close an encounter by the glass.  I have no idea what kind of bird it is but I'm guessing a warbler. Anyone know? Here's a couple of really quick videos of her hopping in and flying off. If you want to see them in person you'll need to go here for sushi.

We were supposed to be snapping shells and sea glass but between spending hours cooing over the baby birds and the earlier thunderous downpour we had to put those plans on hold. Despite the persistent drizzle we stopped at Huntington Harbor for a quick photo shoot.

There's always something to see, boats of course - or pedalos. This time the water was teeming with jellyfish. I'm not worried by sea critters (especially when I'm on land and they aren't) so I wasn't afraid to lean in close.

Of course no photo shoot is complete without a few shots of The Cool House and the yard in the rain. Lousy weather but a pretty successful day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Green Beach House

The first full day of summer 2009 is the date homeowner Jill Kornman has set to be lounging on the porch of her newly-built green beach house. The determination she shows to finish construction in the next six weeks is a tribute to her vision, the design plan of architects Bouler Design Group and the skill and dedication of her team of builders.

Situated on a strip of land where the Atlantic Ocean meets Long Island's Great South Bay, the house with its geo-thermal heat pump, solar panels, extra insulation, and use of green building materials, is a premier example of sustainable architecture. I've been following its progress since I first heard that BDG was building a modern house with a zero carbon footprint in Oak Beach, NY. I was lucky enough to be invited by Creative Advisor Nadine Bouler (seen here on the right with Jill on the left) to see the house at 90% complete.

BDG worked with the owner to create an energy-efficient beach house that fits the scale of the surrounding properties on this barrier beach. Although the house has a unique design, traces of the original cottage can still be seen in the north side of the building - in the remains of the screened-in porch, the arches and of course the ubiquitous shingles.


Superimposed upon the original footprint are two soaring towers. One of these, with its tapered walls and clerestory windows, gives the playroom/library/zen retreat (the purpose hasn't yet been finalised) the feel of a monastery within and a lighthouse outside - and superb views of the bay to the south, east and west.

Facing south the angled roofs are covered in EPDM, a non-polluting synthetic rubber roof that will support enough solar panels to provide for all the electrical needs of the 2000 sq ft house. Naturally the design of the house takes full advantage of the beautiful site. Huge sliding glass doors with transoms above allow 180 degree views of the ocean to the south, while to the east a wall of windows will flood the house with light at sunrise. But Jill goes that extra mile: mindful of the aesthetics of the building and the surrounding shore, she is having the power lines seen in this photo re-routed underground.

Although most of the finishes are chosen: polished concrete floors with inset stone though out the house; reclaimed white oak treads on the staircase and bamboo on the barrel ceiling in the living room, some have yet to be finalized, including the kitchen cabinets and guest bath. All are sustainable, but perhaps the best examples of environmentally-friendly fixtures are the banister posts made from reclaimed pilings.

Jill has been hands-on throughout the process. She interviewed several architects before finding one she believed truly shared her dream of building green and she's been able to keep a close watch on the construction, renting the house next door while her dream house is built. She chose BDG because they believe in efficient design; building smarter, not necessarily bigger, houses. For more information on the Oak Beach house and other sustainable designs visit the Bouler Design Group website.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lobster Day

"Is it lobster day, today?" was the first thing I asked when The Guy brought me coffee in bed. (Yes, he brings me coffee every morning. I know what you are thinking: spoilt cool house owner! Not really, I suffer in other ways.)

The reason I sounded like an excited six year old? Well, Saturday evening should have seen us eating lobster on the south shore of Long Island with friends but Music Guy hurt his back and didn't feel he could sit on a hard bench at the Shack, let alone wrestle a hard carapace to get to the delicious sweet flesh within. So I was denied, at least for the weekend. We made plans to go here today instead.

I haven't been to the Lobster Roll this summer but it's not for the want of trying. Back in early May on the return leg of my trip to Boston I dropped in for lunch but an absence of vehicles in the car park revealed that it was only open weekends until Memorial Day. Then there was a frustrating trip out to Riverhead in the season where I learnt that the are NOT OPEN ON TUESDAY. But today is Thursday, I have double-checked the opening times and I can see only one possible problem: Puffers are on the menu.

So should it be lobster, lobster roll or puffers? Decisions, decisions. It's really too hot for all this brain work.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Leisurama Wine Event

Mid-century architecture and wine. Two of my favorite things. And they've thrown in cheese. Another fave. Then there's a personal house connection - the architect of the Leisurama homes was Andrew Geller, who designed our house. Plus I've been desperate to see the film since I first heard about it. It sounds like pretty much everything I want from an evening's entertainment. And of course I can't go.
I could go if I was sure I wouldn't cough all the way through it but I've attended enough concerts, plays and speeches to know how super freakin' annoying it is when someone starts hacking and how much I've longed to pelt them with Halls Mentholated Cough Drops when they JUST WON"T STOP.
So this is payback for my years of intolerance. Karma caught up with me. I guess I'll have to catch it when it airs on PBS, just like everyone else. Sob, cough, snivel.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Beach Condo

This was the view that greeted us when we walked into our friends' apartment in the Hamptons yesterday. Except that the pool was closed it was drizzling and the waves were 10' high. It was still spectacular, and much closer than it seems on this photo.
We'd gone out to have lunch and drive around Amagansett and see other houses designed by the architect responsible for our house, Andrew Geller. It was only when we reached Southampton that I realised I'd left this list behind. Again. It wasn't as big as a disappointment as it might have been, the visibility was so poor we wouldn't have seen much anyway.
So we hung out with our friends, and friends of theirs, had brunch at Babette's and went bowling in East Hampton. A really enjoyable way to spend the Xmas to New Year's void. And not a paint can, hammer or screwdriver in sight. Perfect.