BRENDA COFFEE REFLECTED IN HER POWDER ROOM MIRROR. PHOTOGRAPHS © JENNIFER DENTON, 2017.
This time last year I took you on a video tour of the house I bought. That was the “Before.” Now I’m going to show you some of the “After.” Even though the house had been “flipped” before I bought it, the bathrooms were a disaster. On my first walk thru, the instant I saw the master bath and the powder room, I visualized what I wanted to change, and that’s never wavered.
Except for things like flooring, most of the pieces in my new bathrooms, I already owned, and each piece has a special story.
If you’ve read Doreen McGettigan’s blogs on 1010ParkPlace then you know her life hasn’t been easy. She was sexually abused by a priest when she was eight; raped at 13 by her mother’s boyfriend; her house burned down when she was 14; she married and had her first baby in her teens, and her youngest brother was brutally beaten—by an angry mob—in a random road rage incident. He was left for dead, suffered severe brain damage and died a few days later. It was an unspeakable act that divided a town as well as Doreen’s family.
Instead of succumbing to what could have taken down the strongest of warriors, Doreen became an outspoken advocate for victim’s rights and the homeless.
FACING CALENDAR PAGES. CALENDAR, NAME, CONCEPT AND PHOTOGRAPHS ©BRENDA RAY COFFEE, 2004
Writer and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, referred to Napa Valley as “bottled poetry.” In 1880, Robert and his bride, Fanny, spent a two-month honeymoon in the Napa Valley area and fell in love with it. They would be heartbroken to learn of the raging inferno that rained destruction on their beloved valley. I, too, am devastated for everyone who loves Napa and who lives there.
My love for Napa Valley has nothing to do with the $100,000 bottle of cabernet the late, Robert Mondavi, opened for me… Although I drank $50,000 worth!
BECAUSE BLUE, BLOOD VEINS WERE CONSIDERED BEAUTIFUL, RENAISSANCE WOMEN WOULD MIMIC THE "BLUE BLOOD" LOOK BY APPLYING CRUSHED LAPIS TO THEIR FOREHEAD WITH A TINY BRUSH.
When I was in Florence last month, a British historian gave me and my friend a tour of the Uffizi Gallery, one of Italy’s most important museums. The Uffizi contains a priceless collection of paintings and sculptures from the Italian Renaissance. Our guide shared a treasure trove of knowledge about art and history as well as some “odd” pieces of trivia. While many of them don’t surprise me, others are beyond strange.
I’m just the messenger!
21-YEAR-OLD BRENDA AND 33-YEAR-OLD PHILIP. PHOTOGRAPHS ©BRENDA COFFEE, 2017
One of the things I like best about reading blogs is getting an insight into how other women live; a sense of who they are, what troubles them and what lights up their world. Blogs have also underscored something I already knew… how out of the mainstream my life has been.
I’ve also realized, for the most part, the life we have is the life we choose.
THE VIEW OF TUSCANY FROM OUR VILLA All Photographs ©Brenda Coffee, 2017
My recent trip to Italy was the best trip I’ve taken in a long time. Perhaps it was because my traveling companions were women approximately my age. Whether we talked about cultural references, age-related issues we’re all facing, or went gaga over the scenery, this group of women was an easy-going sisterhood.
Next September, 2018, my friend and professional guide, and I are talking about a 1010 Park Place trip to Tuscany! Are you interested in coming with us?
All photographs @Brenda Coffee, 2017
If you saw the video tour I did, last year of my new house, then you may remember my favorite food is prosciutto. Just the mention of the word ‘prosciutto’ is akin to food porn foreplay, and when I’m actually in the presence of thinly sliced prosciutto, I’m more than ready to go all the way and indulge myself with wild, orgiastic abandon. On my recent trip to Italy I not only ate copious amounts of prosciutto, I indulged in fresh pasta, figs—straight from the tree—and gelato. Lots and lots of gelato.
Every time I’m in Italy, I’m reminded of how much better and how different the food is from the Italian American food we find in our neighborhood restaurants.
All photographs ©Brenda Coffee, 2017
Like an Italian Woodstock, people of all ages and nationalities, wearing Rolling Stones t-shirts, poured into the walled Renaissance city of Lucca, Italy, to see what might be the last tour of the Rolling Stones. A reported 55,000 to 75,000 people made the pilgrimage for their #NoFilter European tour. I was one of them. It’s always a great day when I get to see the Rolling Stones. They’ve been part of my life since I was 12 and had a front row, center seat to their second U.S. performance in San Antonio, Texas.
It’s an even better day when I get to see the Stones and meet an angel.
Photograph by Chris Seriale
Peter Cincotti’s grandmother couldn’t have known that her gift of a toy piano would create the stage for her then, three-year-old grandson, to someday be a performer and a recording artist. Now over 30 years later, Peter Cincotti is releasing his fifth studio album, Long Way From Home, on October 13.
He’s been called a virtuoso pianist and the rebirth of cool.
This was my little man, Sam. If you look closely, you can see fur peeking out from between his toes, a sure sign he was a house puppy, which was fine with me. Being an indoor dog made it easier for me to give him hugs, rub his soft silky ears and tell him how much he was loved and adored.
Sam captured our hearts the second we saw him. James said Sam was the only dog he knew who’d read and memorized the “Puppy Handbook.”