Ghost Hotels, Healing Waters, and a Lucky $20,000: The Resilience of Sharon Springs

Ghost Hotels, Healing Waters, and a Lucky $20,000: The Resilience of Sharon Springs

By his mid thirties, Doug Plummer had given up on acting in Manhattan. In the spare afternoon hours that he had once spent chasing auditions, he now sat on the stoop of an abandoned brick building in the middle of Upstate New York and stared across the street at an abandoned wooden one. “I want to save you, but you have to show me how. You have to help me,” he said, taking a coin out of his pocket and throwing it up onto its second-floor porch.

Plummer and his husband Garth Roberts had first spotted the building in 2000. They were in the car on their way to buy a run-down dairy farm, which they planned to transform into their weekend home, when they stopped to look over the dilapidated structure. As soon as Plummer saw it, to his own surprise, he was enamored. “I really am the idiot that can stand in front of a supermarket shelf with sixteen different kinds of peanut butter and have almost a breakdown because I can’t decide,” Plummer says of himself. But as soon as he saw the American Hotel, he knew he would someday save it.

How to Spend a Day in Montmartre (Condé Nast Traveler)

How to Spend a Day in Montmartre (Condé Nast Traveler)

Montmartre brings to mind numerous beautiful clichés: The perfect Parisian café, Moulin Rouge, and, of course, countless scenes from Amélie. It's hard to shake those romanticisms when you first arrive in Paris's 18th arrondissement, up the long and colorful climb from the Abbesses metro stop. Why not chase some of those Montmartre visions down, camera in hand? This neighborhood on a hill might have even more on offer than you’d think (and some grunge around its sparkly edges, too).

How Elle Decor, IKEA, and the Rising Cost of Healthcare Decimated Antiques Dealers (artsy.net)

How Elle Decor, IKEA, and the Rising Cost of Healthcare Decimated Antiques Dealers (artsy.net)

My first interactions with Patrick Bavasi involved hunting for lions. He had come to work as my father’s assistant at Dillingham and Company, my father’s antique shop, in the early 1990s before my twin sister, Caroline, and I were born. He was always friendly, competent, up for any job, much better at anything having to do with technology than my father. But the days the two of us happened to be in the shop, as my father talked to clients, or shuffled papers, or otherwise hovered within a four-foot radius of his big, heavy, wooden desk, in the midst of his shop full of treasures, Bavasi would entertain us. He had us find and count all the lions, including lion paws, a popular 18th-century English feature on chairs and tables. A bluish-grey wooden statue of a lion in the window, right paw holding a ball, its little tail curved upward playfully: One. A brass doorknocker in the shape of a lion’s head, mounted on one of the walls: Two. One chair, two chairs, three chairs with lion’s feet. Four, five, six.

The Power of Poetry

The Power of Poetry

On Oct 31 at Bowery Poetry, two typewriters sat facing each other on a small, dimly lit stage. As Halloween-costumed audience members raced to and from them, a jazz duo — one on the drums, one on a saxophone — played along to their frantic typing. The room, which doubles as a burlesque club Tuesday through Saturday — black-and-white wallpaper made to echo the architecture of a seventeenth-century French palace, drooping chandelier, white-table-clothed tables — was a hive. The audience’s task was to improvise feminist-themed haikus and to read them aloud at the tall microphone facing the cabaret-style room. Some, too embarrassed to read their own work, simply handed their poems off to the hosts of the affair — the Haiku Guys — and walked back to their seats to sheepishly listen to their own words being read from the stage. Others spoke their written words proudly into the microphone, mirroring with their bodies the female power they wanted their poems to convey.