Welcome to Urban By Design Online! This blog is a notebook of my travels as a city planner, historic preservationist and nonprofit advocate. It's a virtual collection of the many things that I adore, featuring cities, the arts, architecture, gardens, interior design, and retail. Enjoy! - Deena
I ♥ to daydream- inspirational city images


The state of grace

"Grace brought beauty and intelligence to Monaco, but it was anchored in reality." -Honorable Maguy Maccario Doyle, the Consul General of Monaco in New York

To commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Princess Grace of Monaco, Sotheby's held a 10-day pubic exhibition at their New York gallery. More than 500 pieces of clothing, jewelry, letters, and photographs belonging to the Academy Award winning actress, will be auctioned off to benefit her charity. The retrospective showcased her Philadelphia childhood, as well as her film career, marriage to Prince Rainier III, and rare home movies featuring the couple's three children.

Yes, there was an orchestral accompaniment piped in throughout the exhibit. It very much transformed one back into time. The la-la-la-la soundtrack still dances in my head.

My favorite item? The 10+ carats of BLINDING ice in the form of an extravagant emerald cut engagement ring. The ring also made it's screen debut in High Society.

Enjoy the lovely decadence of the photos provided by Sotheby's.

Oscar Night 1955 , Best Actress in The Country Girl, Edith Head, Designer
Source: Sotheby's

Helen Rose, designer, worn by Kelly in High Society
Source: Sotheby's

Dress worn to Civil Ceremony Wedding, April 18, 1956, Helen Rose, designer
Source: Sotheby's

Lunch with President and Mrs. Kennedy in the White House, 1961, Givenchy, designer
Source: Sotheby's

Hermès bag, which was famously called the Kelly Bag after it concealed her pregnancy in Life Magazine in 1958.
Source: Sotheby's


Carlos Jimenez at the MVPL


[Mount Vernon, NY] Mount Vernon residents were treated to the tropical sounds of Latin Jazz flautist Carlos Jimenez.  The extraordinary entertainment was part of the Westchester Arts Council's Free Arts Day.  Jimenez, a Yonkers-based musician, led a talented ensemble of musicians on piano, bass, congas, timbales, sax, and percussion.  The set included several well-known compositions by the legendary Dizzy Gillespie: Night in Tunisia, Manteca, and Con Alma.  The electrifying afternoon concluded with Getty Square, an amazing original piece written and arranged by Carlos Jimenez.

Staff from the Mount Vernon Public Library indicated that they want to have even more community programming in 2008! I had a wonderful time.  Check out Carlos Jimenez online here.





Kiku Debuts at the New York Botanical Garden


In November, I had a chance to visit a very special exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx. Nestled throughout the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyards was Kiki: The Art of the Japanese Chrysanthemum. Kiku, which is a display of meticulously cultivated chrysanthemums, a traditional Japanese art form, was shown in the largest display ever outside of Japan.

Here are some of the gorgeous highlights:


Ogiku- a single large blossom balanced atop a tall stem, are displayed in the traditional tazuna-ue style, recalling the colors and pattern of the bridle of the emperor's horse.

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