Over the weekend, I was helping a friend sort through decades -- actually almost half a century -- belongings of a woman named Doris. I never met Doris. But I learned a lot about her life and personality by spending hours in her $130 a month rent controlled fourth floor walk-up.
Elizabeth Taylor once said that every wrinkle tells a story. Fine. When I was young Taylor's words of wisdom seemed great, but not now. Not to my generation who truly believed "all you need is love," not face cream.
From candid photographs of the young queen laughing, holding her own umbrella and having a cup of tea, to more radical silkscreens by Warhol, we notice the departure from a traditional, elevated image to that of one more ordinary and down-to-earth.
It's a must-see exhibition for its historical significance, for the powerfulness of the queen's figure, her attitude, her poses, her smiles and her inimitable gaze, as well as for the importance of Cecil Beaton as a photographer.
If one is known to be a lover of fine books, one of the best times of the year is quite near. Thanks to this short list of selections from Random House's Monacelli Press, we can happily enjoy some of life's finer pleasures.