Friday, May 11, 2012

A Marble Lamp

You may remember my lamp from my Living Room Post.  This lamp traveled many miles to end up here on my side table.  A few years ago, we went on holidays to New York city.    I LOVE NYC!  I fell in love with her years ago watching movies on a rainy Sunday afternoon.   There are so many films set in New York - I've seen a LOT of them!  Before I travel anywhere I always like to read a novel and see a film that's set in the country I'm going to, it gives me a feel for the landscape and people.  Here are a few of my favorite films set in NY:

 An Affair to remember ... Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr . . . a tearjerker . . .

Breakfast at Tiffany's . . . the iconic Audrey Hepburn in that little black dress . . .

Annie Hall . . . Love Diane Keaton . . .

The Goodbye Girl . . . Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss - he won an oscar for this role!

When Harry Met Sally . . . the infamous diner scene made cinema history. . .

My first visit to the Big Apple was on my honeymoon in Summer!  I'd never been to the US so we had the trip of a lifetime.  Sometimes when you have a picture in your head of a place that you've seen in a film the reality can be a disappointment, but thankfully New York was everything I expected it to be - and more.   We loved every bit of it.  Our second trip back was two years ago in Winter when we took our eldest son Aran on his first trip.  On both visits we stayed at the Inn New York City.  

The little gate to the right of the steps leads to a little self-contained apartment called 'the Vermont Suite' which is one of four suites in the building.  Our little apartment had it's own front door, with a living room, kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom.   The suite is charming, cosy and very comfortable.  The decor is homely, quaint and has an old world feel.  The owners Ruth and Ellen are soooo nice, lovely and warm and greeted us on arrival and were so welcoming which was greatly appreciated after traveling from Ireland.  They offer the right blend of presence and privacy, they are there when you need them and the rest of the time you have your privacy - perfect for us!  The suites are cleaned daily and restocked with breakfast, breads, juices, wine and they always leave some surprise treats, cakes and crisps.   The brownstone itself is a restored 19th century building on a quiet tree lined street on the Upper West Side.  Around the corner is a lovely boardwalk down by the river with beautiful views, perfect for an evening stroll.   Nearby are two excellent markets , Fairway and Zabar's both pretty legendary in this area.  It was such fun to go shopping and then make our way back to the apartment, it really felt like we were living there, like real New Yorkers!!!  

 The Opera Suite

 The Vermont Suite . . .

 cosy with lots of books . . .

romantic bedroom - perfect for honeymooners . . .

Also nearby is the Natural History Museum which we really wanted to show Aran (our eldest son) as this was his first trip.  So, we set off one morning to visit the museum and stopped in a deli on the way for bagels and coffee.  We visited in early January and while it was romantic as it still felt Christmassy, it was bitterly cold.  It was snowing as we left the museum (which was fantastic by the way) and then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a "FLEA MARKET" sign!!  I stopped in my tracks and pointed to the sign, my husband and son just nodded and we all crossed the road into what looked like a school yard and into the building.  By accident we had stumbled into one of the best markets in Manhattan.   Called 'GreenFlea' this market which has both open air and indoor vendors, has been running for just over 25 years.   There's a real mix here too, antique, vintage, retro, collectibles and handcrafted stalls jostle for space.  Furniture, home accessories, jewelry, clothes, shoes, bags, pretty much anything you can think of is sold here. 

Like any market, you can be lucky or unlucky and you have to root around to unearth the good stuff.  The three of us strolled around happily browsing and then I saw it.  A white marble lamp sitting quietly on the table surrounded by mismatched plates and vases.  I almost didn't ask the price thinking it would be too expensive!  So when the lovely lady vendor said that it was $25 I couldn't believe it, but of course feigned disinterest.   I found Niall and Aran and we had a quick "what do you think? should I get it?" conversation.  But alas, they were not as enthusiastic as I.

". . too heavy . .", they said,
"it will break on the flight home" they warned,
". .you buy it, you carry it . ." they muttered!!
 "there won't be enough room in the suitcase . . . blah, blah, blah!"
". . I s'pose . . " I sighed.

We walked around the market one more time, I looked wistfully at the lamp one last time as we walked out the door.  We got as far as the gate in the schoolyard when I stopped and tugged at their arms to go back.
"I can't leave it behind, I'll carry it . . . it's not that heavy!!"

They smiled at each other and shook their heads at me and followed me back in to the market hall. They should have known, when it comes to me and white marble, resistance is futile! I prayed it would be still there as I hurried back to the lovely lady vendor.

It was.

I got it for $20. 

The light snow turned into a dazzling blizzard as we walked the few blocks back to the apartment.  My husband went to take my package to carry it but I clutched my bubble wrapped parcel to my chest and stubbornly carried it the WHOLE way back to the Inn saying "its actually not that heavy (it was!) . . . ".  As you can see my purchase also made it in one piece back to Ireland on the plane.  Niall re-wired it for our Irish sockets and to my surprise and delight it worked perfectly!  I was VERY happy!!

I love that my $20 lamp has a little story, like so many pieces in our home.  Wherever we go on our travels I always end up in some sort of flea market or antique shop.  It's lovely to have a memento of our New York adventure.  Good times!  We will definitely go back to New York and stay at the Inn and no doubt we will find our way back to Greenflea and all it's treasure! 


Kifus said...

Ohhh your lamp is a dream, Sharon! And such a lovely story behind it. I will be going to NY next month and I hope I find this flea market. Do you happen to have the exact address and opening hours? I should google it, perhaps.

Thanks for sharing, and I also love NY!


Leslie said...

Sharon! This is so great! I love marble :) I've NEVER been to NY.. how embarrassing is that?? When we go to Paris at the end of June we will stop there to change airplanes. I told my husband I wish we could spend time there however our schedule is very busy and there is no time :(


Susan T said...

The lamp was certainly a good bargain. A lovely story of your visit to New York, it made me want to visit. The films you have mentioned are some of my favourites, especially The Goodbye Girl.

Mrs. Sutton said...

Oh Sharon - what a marvelous story! And boy is that lamp absolutely gorgeous - I LOVE it! It's such a perfect pure marble - white with grey veins - just how I like it.
I'm totally with you on the old films set in New York - and yes, they remind me of rainy days from my childhood, watching old black and white films with my mother and Aunt Helen (funny how memories can come flooding back!.) I LOVE New York - I used to go regularly for the fashion shows when I worked on a magazine, but alas, those were in the days when flea markets were not on my radar - it was all about clothes and shoes then! The last time I went I was secretly pregnant with my twins - I say secretly because I hadn't yet passed the 3 month stage, and I remember going to parties and drinking sparkling mineral water pretending they were G and T's so as not to give the game away - yes - I was KNOWN to like a tipple or three! I'd LOVE to go back as a 'grown up' and visit your market. The apartment sounds/looks divine too! Lovely post! Have a great weekend. Paula xxx
p.s. Thank you SO much for your lovely comments on my blog - they make my day!

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Hi Sharon - I love your lamp! Looks beautiful with the the gold lining. Sharon, I think it might be carved alabaster, and most likely Italian from the 1920-40's?? I have sold a few of these beauties.

What a great story. Good for you for bringing it home, despite others ;-)

I've brought back, via plane carry on, my share of "heavy" treasures: Moroccan pottery, French terra cotta roof finial, etc. Those are the special pieces I really cherish....brings back memories of the various trips.

Your hotel / apartment looks so charming. I love the stone wall in the bedroom.

Have a wonderful weekend!! Talk soon, xo

-Lisa said...

Hi Sharon, My next trip to NY I know where I will be staying! What a beautiful Inn. NY is 4 hours away from where I live and I absolutely love it in the city. If I had it to do all over again, I would have spent many of my earlier years living there.
When I first saw that lamp in one of your other posts I am pretty sure I thought it was alabaster (which is a new found love of mine). Your lamp is absolutely gorgeous. Even more so with the back story.
Have a wonderful mother's day Sharon!

LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Kifus, excited for you, I'd love to be going again! The web address for the marekt is:

Happy Shopping!!


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Leslie, when you do get to NY you'll love it! In the meantime you've got Paris!! You must be so excited!!


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Thanks Susan and yes The Goodbye Girl is a cracker - I must get it on DVD!


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Paula, thank you! Working in fashion on a magazine and trips to NY sounds SO glamourous!! You'll have to do a post on that! Must have been REALLY hard being there and not drinking cocktails - it's such cocktail kind of place! And thank YOU for all your lovely comments here! Makes my day too!!


PURA VIDA said...

I love all those movies...rain predicted all weekend here..maybe a nice tangy mimosa, a late spring fire and a good NY movie!

LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Loi, thank you SO much for the info on the lamp! I presumed it was marble as it is very heavy and just feels like marble. I have a new love then - Italian Alabaster lamps! Lovely to know where it comes from and lovely to know that I'm not the only one who carts heavy items on to planes!! :)


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Hey Lisa, thank you and yes Loi and yourself both agree I have an alabaster lamp - now I want a collection of them!! You're so lucky to live so close to NY! I agree, I would have loved to live there for a while in my younger days!! Ah well! at least we can visit!!


Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

You, my dear, have quite the eye for a treasure at a bargain price, and of course you carried it home! It is perfectly elegant and will always remind you of that special trip.

I grew up with grandparents at W82nd and Amsterdam which I think is pretty close to your Inn. They had a 3-bedroom apartment and I felt sorry for them that they had no yard. Now that they are gone, I have fond memories of glass doorknobs on curtained French doors, wishing that we had kept it.


Karen said...

That's such a cool story Sharon! I love NY as well - I have very fond memories of my adventures there. Wouldn't it be nice if we had the "story" of everything we find in brocantes or antique stores? Who bought it first, why, was it a gift? It would be something to pass on.

French Grey said...

I love the lamp... I have two. Must get another one to follow the rule of three's :) I too, love NYC and movies that take place there. I have a very good friend who is a chef there and have stayed with him.... must make a trip back, soon!!

Have a great weekend, I'll be working the garden, how about you?


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Thank you Genie, yes an apartment in New York would be so cool - especially with the special memories you have!


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Karen, totally agree! it would be soo good to know the 'story' of every find. It would be fascinating!


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Hey Cindy, nice to know someone who's living there- they know all the good spots! Yes, I'm hoping to get out in the garden and also make a trip to my favourite garden centre as they have a big day of events tomorrow with talks and demos - should be fun!

Happy Gardening!


Sara Louise said...

I can't believe you brought that marble lamp with you all the way back to Ireland! But then again, I don't think would have left it behind either :)
And oh NYC! It has my heart! I was born there so that makes me feel like one of the luckiest people on the planet because no matter where I live, I'll always have a little bit of the Big Apple in me x

Mrs. Sutton said...

Hi Again Sharon! Just replied to your comment on my blog, but thought I'd better leave one here too!
I can't wait to hear your chicken thoughts - I'm swaying towards a definite yes for this Summer, but I need safety in numbers, so definitely let me know if you're getting them too - it could be the push I need. My logic here is that if you, with your immaculate house - and garden I'm sure - can do it, then I surely can! My e-mail is
Paula xxx

The Snowdrop Project said...

Hi Sharon,
I don't know how I missed this post. What a fabulous story. I love your lamp.
The apartment in New York sounds wonderful. What a better way to 'go native' than staying in an apartment on the Upper West Side. Note to self for future visits.
Hope you have a lovely week.

Maison de lin said...

Hello Sharon,

I love your lamp and also NYC. I can't believe you buy this only for 20 dollar, you lucky one :)


Maureen at The Inglenook Decor said...

isn't it amazing to see something you love that speaks of memories? I love it & it's so cute that you remember all the lovely details of ur NYC trip!

LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Sara Louise - you're so lucky to call NY home!!! such a cool place!

Liz, Jerome and Maureen, thank you for your lovely comments - love your visits!!


The Silver Bunny said...

Love that lamp ; $20 well spent !

Dee Sewell said...

Wow, wow and wow! What lovely memories. Love those old movies too and used to like nothing better than curling up on the sofa on a Saturday afternoon and watching them. Those days are long gone but you've just reminded me of them, thank you.

Louise said...

Wow I can't believe that lamp was only $20! :O I'm so jealous xx

miss b said...

What an interesting post! A lovely story (and photos) about your gorgeous lamp. I just popped over from 'Sara in Le Petit Village' having read about the teabags you sent - how kind!

LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Hey Dee, I know I don't get to watch old movies anymore either!! I might just have to rectify that . . .


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Hi Liz, I know it's quite a challenge to keep up with every blog post you want to read - some are bound to slip through the net!!!


LA VIE EN ROSE said...

Hey Jerome, Maureen, The Silver Bunny,Louise and Miss B - thank you for your lovely comments.


Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

Hey Sharon, I love the stories that you share about the different pieces in your home. This post made me remember the post about that beautiful mirror you got recently :)

classic • casual • home said...

THAT is a great story AND a beautiful lamp. Your photography is inspiring.

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