Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Bedford," generally

Bedford, New York is, or, er, was a small town. It is comprised of three hamlets: Katonah, Bedford Hills (aka, "the hills"), and Bedford Village ("the village" - now you are in the know). Only a few short years ago you would never have heard of Bedford. It was not the sort of place which relished attention, let alone publicity, of any sort. If you were famous or infamous, no one cared. If you were a smidge eccentric and your tweeds always reeked of camphor, no one stared. If your oil coat and field boots were a bit born, you belonged.

That is where we come from. I am proud of the town it was and the fine people I knew growing up there. I will defend them to the teeth, even in of jealous, angry, Westchester-haters. That is where I am from and the people who molded my understanding of community. They, and the bones of that great town, are precious to me.

Time passes, things happen everywhere you go. Bedford is not immune. Let us say things have changed a little. And it is not just the loss of elegance and privacy. It is not just the traffic, and the traffic light on the village green.

It has to do, sadly, with greed and jockeying to be something one is not; what happened in our once sweet Bedford. Never mind Martha Stewart. She is neither an example nor a cause of the pervasive issue which caused a systemic degradation of open spaces, grace, and manners. It happened long before she left Westport. I think it began, while possibly unrelated, around the time Glenn Close moved in, though (don't get me started on that whole hideous Saturday Night Live skit of hers which thoroughly lampooned a small, decent rural town). Anyhow, we live in a town now, only up the road from Bedford, where they are hanging on, through unbelievable generosity and high taxes, to open land and the things we once cherished in a Bedford now long gone. I would tell you about this place but I don't ever want to see Glenn here... you understand.

Once in a very great while, I run into a new piece or a collection which reminds me of Bedford and the inside of the homes we knew as children. While the "Bedford Manor" collection is a bit more polished and less patina'ed than it would have been had I spied it at Sunnyfield Farm when I was coming up, there is still something comforting about it for me. I will not mind having a few of these pieces on the bar and in the bookcase. You know, in the case where I keep A Privileged Life, and Once Upon a Time, the books which hold photos of our old Bedford, should you ever want to remember along with me.

Ralph Lauren, Bedford Manor Fox and Hound Bottle Stopper Set.

Ralph Lauren, Wellington Fox and Hound Bookends.

This photo is a nice throwback for me to a home once known as Bedford Honour. A lifetime ago, it was filled with a spray of prints, tweeds, and old family art. Such a great, real, mix, no? Ralph Lauren Knit Throw Pillow.

While you would be unlikely to find the cocktail napkin in old Bedford, you would certainly have found the tumbler (or several scattered about the house) on a tweed ground. This room smells of good pipe smoke, I just know it. Ralph Lauren Wellington Cocktail Napkin Set.

I found these items at Ralph Lauren Home. And Bedford can be found at Latitude: 41.1852 Longitude: -73.6409, see it before it's gone...

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