Mother’s Day May08

Mother’s Day

When it comes to parenting, I’ve always loved Kahlil Gibran’s beautiful poem on children – “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts…” I’ve been reading the autobiography of Katharine Graham, the legendary publisher of The Washington Post – and when I came across this passage, I immediately thought of my mom. It was part of a letter sent to Graham by her father. Like Gibran’s poem, it’s a beautiful way to look at the relationship between parents and their children – a simple precept for parents to live by. “What parents may sometimes do in a helpful way is to point out certain principles of action. I do not think I would be helpful in advising you too strongly. I do not even feel the need of doing that because I have so much confidence in your having really good judgment. I believe that what I can do for you once in a while is to point out certain principles that have developed in my mind as sound and practical, leaving it for you yourself to apply them if your own mind grasps and approves the principles.” Mom and Me Newport, Rhode Island...

Eccentric Mar09


I would be remiss to discuss Infamous, and not mention this fantastic quote from the late, great Diana Vreeland. I’m not certain whether she actually spoke these words in real life, but I’d love to think so. Merriam Webster defines ‘eccentric‘ as deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways. Personally, I adore an eccentric woman – but here’s what Diana had to say about the word… “Here’s a word I loathe – eccentric. Eccentric is a word that boring people use to describe someone I think of as interesting. A great many people think of me as eccentric simply because when I have my shoes polished, I have the entire shoe polished – top, sides and soles. Some people think it eccentric that every morning I have my maid iron my money. When I told Truman I had my maid iron my money, you know what he said? Here’s what he didn’t say – ‘How eccentric.’ Here’s what he did say – ‘How wonderful.’ You can forgive a person a lot who really enjoys...

Presidents Feb21


President’s Day is a tad confusing, in my opinion. I mean, technically it’s George Washington’s birthday – yet it’s marketed as a day to commemorate all Presidents. Either way, I know that a lot of people are happy to have a day off – especially a cold and snowy one like today! I saw this graphic a few years ago, when President Obama was first elected – and it still packs quite the punch, doesn’t it? To look at our history in these simple terms, shows how special the last election really was. Also, who could ever forget this moment – talk about special! It still brings a tear to my...

Welcome Feb14


Welcome to John About Town! I’m John – a 30 year old interior designer who lives in New York City. Nearly fourteen years ago, I left small town Pennsylvania for the big city of New York to attend Columbia University. As an undergrad, I majored in art history – graduating in 2002. Following college, my career took a slight detour for a few years, during which I worked a very corporate consulting gig. It didn’t take long to realize that I desperately needed a creative outlet. I took a year off – I traveled, started a now defunct blog, and took some art and design classes. Eventually I returned to school full-time to study interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, from which I graduated last year. So what is John About Town? Well, I’ve been meaning to start another blog for a few years – a place to discuss the things from which I draw inspiration. My interests are fairly wide, but as trite as it may sound, I am most inspired by beauty. I have always romanticized the past, and consider myself to be an old soul – a bit of a preppy grandpa, some of my friends might argue. In fact, my personality is more A-type than even I care to admit. I justify margins, straighten crooked picture frames, and abhor tardiness and sloppy handwriting. I collect (hoard) art and design books, watch more television than I probably should, and sometimes feel the call to move to Paris (part-time). If I could have a fantasy dinner party, my guest list would include Katharine Hepburn, Luisa Casati – actually, I don’t think that I could take much more excitement – so I would probably stop there. Can you imagine the conversation?...