Monday, September 19, 2011

Paper Fixation

I have fallen head over heels for the Off Duty section of the weekend Wall Street Journal.
(Coffee + Off Duty Section = A Perfect Moment.)

It's only been a few months, but the symptoms of love are all too familiar.

1. When I open my eyes on Saturday mornings, I feel an instant rush, thinking of it laying on my front path in its little cerise wrapper. This is immediately replaced by tender concern. Is it safe? Is there a teeny perforation in the plastic again? Did the sprinklers drench it?

2. My concentration is shot. By the time Thursday rolls around, I find myself unable to think about anything else.

"David Netto (a dad at my son's school) mentioned going on some crazy train trip with his family. I wonder if his article's coming out this weekend? Oh crap. I just burned the pizza."
(Photo by Jessica Haye and Clark Hsaio. Article HERE.)

2. Every vapid little thought that flits through my head leads directly back to it.

"Whoa, this sink could do with a good scrub. Oh swoon. Remember when Rita Konig wrote about kitchens with character?"
(Photo by Staffan Johansson. Article HERE.)

"Now where did I just put my book? Oh, who cares? How about that article Sara Ruffin Costello wrote about the well-stocked library?"
(Photo by James Merrell. Article HERE.)

3. When I am holding the Off Duty section in my hot little hands, all else pales into insignificance.

"Yes, Luca, I will help you look for your soccer cleats -- just as soon as I learn how to wear a scarf like Jackie Onassis in Capri."
(Photo by Settimo Garritano. Article HERE.)

"Piero, I would give you a hand with all those grocery bags, but I'm feeling light-headed. You see...The. Off. Duty. Fall. List Is. Here."
(Gloriously all HERE.)

4. At random moments, I find myself thinking about all the beautiful times we have shared together. Of course, we'll always have Paris (HERE, HERE and HERE), but the memories go far beyond that.

There was that time we travelled to English decorator Nicky Haslam's eccentric country house.
(Photo by Simon Upton. Article HERE.)

And got giddy over Alice Water's crazy simple Stone-Fruit Salad with Sugared Berries.
(Photo by Justin Walker. Article HERE.)

And felt that adrenaline surge for Ahmad Sardar-Afkhami's hand-embroidered wool rugs.
(Photo via WSJ Weekend. Article HERE.)

Oh, the list goes on and on. I have special feelings for you, Off Duty section. You are eccentric and fascinating and erudite and approachable. You are a romantic rainstorm on a boring sunny day. You make me want to be the best possible version of myself.

* * * * *

And now, if you people will kindly excuse me, I desperately need to get back to Jeffrey Bilhuber (HERE.)
(Photo by LBG.)

Have an inspiring week, everyone.


UPDATE: A commenter alerted me to the fact that Deborah Needleman, ex-editor of Domino, is the creative force behind the Off Duty section. Of course she is and how oblivious of me not to mention that. Thank you Deborah, for the miracles you have wrought!


Grant K. Gibson said...


Hope that all is well with you in Los Feliz.

xx from SF.


sushisistah said...

We are definitely on the same 'page'.
I discovered Off Duty a couple of years ago with the WSJ and I have kept every issue in a bag under my desk. I carry it around the house with me to peruse in case I missed something or to read again. I am a doodler and have found that the best subjects for my creations come from Off Duty. I will post them on my blog or website soon. I was thrilled this morning when I read your post!
Au Reservoir! (I adopted this from Mapp & Lucia).
Yours in delicious reading,

a lovely being said...

Words could not have expressed how excited I was when I found out that Deborah Needleman was heading up their off-duty section. And when she brought on former members of her Domino team?! Pure joy. The way you describe your Saturday morning excitement is hilarious... your thoughts are my thoughts exactly!

x fallon

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I have always thought it should be me and not Nicky living in that glorious John Fowler house. One of my favourite houses on the planet.

Anonymous said...

So funny! Since I jumped on the bandwagon through an initial Groupon buy myself, I've been hooked. I used to feel the same way about the FT Weekend (especially when it was raining. You really captured that.), but I now grab the WSJ first. Did you read the wonderful essay on Italian garden design? Like minds in cyberspace- M.

Kim said...

The WSJ Weekend Edition is always on my desk Monday morning. Off Duty is dessert. Love.

The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

Do you believe in synchronocity? So funny you should write about Off Duty today as Carolyn and I are having tea with Ruth Altchek, Off Duty's editor (well, there will be a few other people...) at the New York Design Center tomorrow. It's pretty much a love fest here when we get to read it - love the variety of articles and beautiful images!

Pigtown*Design said...

Found it in the train station on the way home from NYC about a year ago and have been HOOKED ever since. The range of articles and the quality of the writers is top notch.

I look forward to Saturday mornings when I hear the paper land on the porch. Nothing better than a cup of coffee, and reading through the Weekend paper.

How could you not love a paper that shows Bryan Ferry's London digs, and comments that while most rock stars trash their hotel rooms, Ferry redecorates his!

Anonymous said...

Love this!! Also loving that teacup and saucer! So chic for your morning tea!
Hope you're having a great start to the week.
xo E + J

Anonymous said...

I am so with you on this, except I can't get it on paper and have to settle for the online version....which is not quite the same!

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

I feel the same about getting the Toronto newspapers every saturday morning. Permission to read uninterupted for several hours.....heaven. I would love to read Off Duty though doubt I could get it here in Canada. Though I could try, right? XO

materfamilias said...

Even though I will never have Off Duty land on my doorstep, I'm de-lurking to say how much I love the way you put words and images together to inspire. What a fabulous ode to the joys of weekend newspaper-magazine reading.

P. M. Doolan said...

But at least it hasn't kept you away from your blog completely.

24 Corners said...

Well now, I see I've been missing out on some spectacular reading (and viewing!). Thank you for the heads up...I've been looking for something else to drive me to distraction.
xo J~

Linda said...

I love it too. On Saturday morning it is delivered and greeted with joy. The "Sunday" Washington Post comes at the same time and is a blah. Always.

Linda said...

I agree. It is greeted on Saturday with cries of joy. The "Sunday" Washington Post comes at the same time and is blah.

Jamie Herzlinger said...

Looks like a great read! Looking forward to it this Saturday. Thanks for the tip!

Jamie Herzlinger

Heather Taylor said...

This is fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing.

Slim Paley said...

Dear Lisa
I cannot tell a lie...
I was getting a wee bit miffed that you hadn't posted in so long, but now,
All is forgiven!

I'm not familiar with "Off Duty" so I thank you once again for introducing me to yet another fun diversion!


Karena said...

Lisa what a luxury you have introduced to me!! I would indeed treasure reading this every weekend!

Art by Karena

AMK said...

Have been a fan from day one. And funny how this section inspires the same feelings among so many people. Deborah Needleman always seems to work magic. It used to be Thursday Home and Sunday Style with the NYTimes....but like the rest of you Saturday is it now. Love Off Duty!

Anonymous said...

Hi! it's so nice to meet you here!

I am a special ya wanna know why?

Because when I clicked HIT 1000!

your blog is awesome! I can't wait to dive in tomorrow...for now it's off to bed!
so I'll subscribe via email and read you with my morning coffee!

Stop by and visit me too....

ciao bella
Creative Carmelina aka 1000

Hels said...

What a great title - Off Duty :) Love it.

By the way, the trembling is not just for the paper itself. There is a complete ritual that _must_ be gone through.
1. Get dressed and get the children out. It doesn't matter where they go.
2. Take newspaper and its weekend supplements to your favourite espresso bar.
3. Select quiet table near front window.
4. Order espresso, bagels, salmon lax and cream cheese.
5. Read every line of the supplements carefully. Cut out those sections you want to keep.
6. Order more espresso.
7. Reluctantly pick up the children from soccer or.. wherever.

Beauty, Naturally said...

Oh, I love that! I thought it was jsut me! A new book or recipe everytime!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

Lisa, you would make reading the instructions to my the new facebook breathlessly interesting! Hmmmm, that's a thought - want to give it stab?

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Grant K. Gibson:
I knew you we were the same. :)

Of course you love that house...I do too! xx

Michelle from Boston:
Loved that article.

Diane James Home:
Please tell them they have a huge fan in Hollywood!

OMG, Bryan Ferry's living room. Don't even get me started.

Can I tell you how honored that you stopped by?! xx
Online is better than nothing. :)

A Gift-Wrapped Life:
See above comment.

Slim Paley:
Don't be miffed, my darling. I'm going nowhere. :) xx

Creative Carmelina:
Loved your comment! And wow, what a thrill to have hit the 1,000 mark! I will indeed stop by and visit you soon. xx

Beautifully put!!

Julie Anne Rhodes: Ugh, Facebook. Why does it keep getting more and more confusing? It kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?! xxx

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

I too look forward with great fervor to this section each week ;)

Cheers, Alcira

lisa walsh | allied ASID said...

The weekend WSJ + the weekend FT (Financial Times) = ideal Saturday breakfast reading material.

Off Duty and the House & Home section of the FT (particularly the Secret Agent column), and the Life & Arts section of the FT (particularly Vanessa Friedman's fashion column and Tyler Brule's lifestyle column) are a great combination!

And, even better if it's a WSJ Magazine or How to Spend It (FT Magazine) weekend!

A Mungo said...

My ideal weekend roaming around the farmers market on Sunday in Marlebone High Street, London, and then pop into one of the cafe's for a lazy morning read of the sunday papers. architectural design


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