Life has been uphill this summer----tightly scheduled, hot and muggy, and played out against an unenthusiastic economy.   However, one occasionally steals a moment here or there---an hour spent with cousins too seldom seen, mussels with bright amusing friends, likewise too seldom seen (have I remembered to send a thank-you note?  Is September too late?).   This weekend, was especially crowded with people and events, but one was able to steal a happy hour from packing for an Antiques show to visit with a cousin too seldom seen, and then, in the evening, dinner with friends also too seldom seen, up for the week.

I'll soon be back to posting about antiques, architecture and the usual subjects, honest, and if DPC is still speaking to me, I'll finish four pieces I've been working on for him.   In the meantime, three of the nicer minutes of my weekend---for which I had to pay by working Sunday to catch up.  No fun goes unpunished up in the Puritan air of eastern Maine: 

  Here is the Dilettante having sunset swim with friends before dinner, a fog bank rolling in  to take off the heat of the day---Thanks Wendell, dinner was delicious!

And here is the Dilettante having a glass of wine with another friend, admiring her lovely late summer garden and watching boats go by, after both of us spent a twelve hour day working at an Antiques show for benefit of a museum whose boards both sit on.  The shadows are growing longer....

Back soon, with the usual tales.  In the meantime, a preview of things on my mind:

A Lost Garden

Fletcher Steele Down East

A grand house that saw many lives

 Chicago spends the summer Down East

Greater Down Town Head Tide, Maine

Lord Kavanaugh's Mills

 Down East Real Estate Highs & Woes

The Genius of Place

Columns along the Kennebec

 Columns beside the Golf Course---A Temple for the Arts Down East

Republicans are not always ungrateful

A Federal Case

Elsie Does Regency

Looking at Color Theory

When the Dilettante went green

An artisan's bungalow
Rich Down East Dilettantes & their personal museums
(Not to be confused with poor Down East Dilettantes & their personal blogs)

Mr. Rockefeller & Mr. Atterbury channel Hansel & Gretel

See you soon.



I was flipping though the September 1922 issue of Town & Country---ever up on current affairs, the Dilettante---when this demure debutante caught my attention.  Understated to the point of plain, who would guess she would one day advise mothers to wash their children's hair in dead champagne, let alone commission for herself a garden in Hell?



The Dilettante is completely flattened by projects at the moment, leaving  no time to blog, and I probably miss all of you more than you miss me, as I thrive on feedback (as the guy said, I don't care what you say about me as long as you say something).  I am happy to report, however, that so far this summer there have been no exploding cars, although the heat, with barely any rain, has been almost unbearable, reducing the lawn to dust, and the Dilettante to a sweaty puddle (am I supposed to say 'sweat'?  It seems so non-u).

Pictured below is a house in Castine, Maine, designed by fashionable architect William Lawrence Bottomley for Miss E.K. Branch,  a banking heiress from Richmond Virginia,  related to writers James Branch Cabell and Ellen Glasgow (who herself summered in Castine).  For my article about this fascinating house, in the current of issue of Portland Monthly, please click HERE.

There have been a few interesting developments in Dilettante Land.  Bloomberg News wanted to take my picture for an article in which I'll be quoted, but the photographer didn't show up.   Guess he was busy photographing the Mayor's new house in Southampton.  Just as well.  One is not completely fond of being photographed.

 In addition,  I'll be back soon with a major announcement (fingers crossed), or at least some interesting gossip.   Now, if you'll excuse me, it's hot, it's nearly 5:00 PM, and I know there's a martini with my name on it somewhere.  Sidekick?