Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A COASTAL HALLOWEEN
Several years ago, Dan and I were on a photo shoot in Bluefields, Jamaica in late October. No pumpkins (except in the soup bowl), no scary masks, no Halloween hoopla, at all.
Since Halloween is one of Dan’s favorite holidays (he always designed clever and elaborate costumes and took amazing photos to send out as Halloween cards), I knew he was going to miss being in NYC on October 31st.
Halloween morning, I asked the staff at San Michele, the villa where we were staying, if they could get me a small pumpkin. When I explained why, they were puzzled. They asked if I could use something else, perhaps a tomato or a mango. Since it was obvious that a pumpkin was not going to materialize, I thought, why not try something tropical?
That evening, while we were having dinner on the patio, I excused myself to run and get a shawl. It was windy, so I said I was chilly. I quickly snuck into the kitchen where the only knife available was about 2-feet long and the only pineapple available stood six inches tall.
I carved the pineapple as best I could, put a tea light inside and surrounded it with skull candles I had brought with me in my suitcase.
I ran back out and resumed eating dinner. A few minutes later, the staff marched out bearing my creation. Dan was amused and appreciated the effort it took to celebrate Halloween in a country where the holiday was virtually unknown. I wonder if carving pineapples has become a Bluefields tradition?
Unlike Jamaica, Halloween is big in Venice, California. It’s just done a little differently.
In keeping with the spooky nature of the season, Fred took us to see the new Dali exhibit at LACMA (the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art).
Even before Dali fled to America, after the outbreak of WWII in 1940, he had collaborated with Luis Bunuel on two feature-length surrealistic films and produced illustrations and storyboards for several never-produced movie projects. Despite being a fan of Dali's paintings and sculptures, I hadn’t realized that the world’s most famous surrealist had collaborated with the Marx Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, Walt Disney, and Cecil B. De Mille on Hollywood movies.
The exhibit was horribly crowded and badly laid out but it WAS an eye opener. In the courtyard of the museum, the atmosphere was no less chaotic.
Museum staff members were trying to avoid mowing down art lovers as they frantically set up for a Halloween party .
I snapped a few photos of the table centerpieces.