For the love of it
Robert Genn October 20, 2009 Dear Rodney, I'm laptopping you from Table 6 in an intimate restaurant in the Carlisle Hotel in New York City's Upper East Side. Just a few feet away there's a small stage where seven seasoned musicians, including Woody Allan, are energetically belting out a Dixie version of "Midnight Train to Georgia." We're getting the moisture from their instruments all over us. We've just emerged from the adjoining bar; a genuine period piece if there ever was one. Here are the murals and decorations of Ludwig Bemelmans--the adventures of Madeline--a character from seven of his books written for children. Bemelmans, born in Austria, was a restaurateur and gourmet. He had a compulsion to decorate every bar and restaurant he ever entered. This one, right down to the table lampshades, was a commission executed in 1947. The dark corners of the Bemelmans Bar has become a crossroads for the literary and artistic glitterati. Decades of smokers have not dulled the charm of his decorations. Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) took to writing children's stories rather late in life. The "Madeline" books, first published in 1939, all began with, "In an old house in Paris, that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls, in two straight lines. The smallest one was Madeline." Propelled by love and as an entertainment for his daughter, Bemelmans parlayed his passion into green feedback. Plays and movies followed. He became a serious painter and was represented in both public and commercial galleries. The rich and famous sought his childlike fantasies. So you can get an idea of Bemelmans' work, we've posted a few at the top of the current clickback. http://clicks.robertgenn.com/attention-focus.php Bemelmans was not attached to any of his works. Like food, they were to be enjoyed in the making and eating. Creative people often build their steam in a private and current world of their own devising. Complexity and difficulty demand focus and attention, modifying personality. Passion is the coal that becomes the greater part of talent. The locomotive is unstoppable when powered by love. Best regards, Robert PS: "I don't keep my books around... they would embarrass me. When I finish writing my books, I kick them in the belly, and have done with them." (Ludwig Bemelmans) Esoterica: Woody Allen and his colleagues are swept up in the joy of Dixieland. Living a lifelong passion, Woody is a picture of humility and vulnerability. With charming internal repartee and knowing glances among band members, he toots his clarinet tolerably well. Why is he here? He certainly doesn't need the money. In a way, it's a private jam with a few chosen guests. The room feels his love. In the current clickback we've also put up a few shots I took during this remarkable evening.