Those Bumpy, Tumbly, Cobbly Cobblestones

Those Bumpy, Tumbly, Cobbly Cobblestones

If the shoe fits (into the cobblestones) wear it.

Women do it in Italy, in France, in Canada and in the USA. In fact, I saw them do it in Portugal last summer. They do it all over the world. Yep. Women walk in high heels on cobblestones.

My good friend, Gigi, grew up in Portugal, and her Mama and family are still there. So I asked what it was in her feet that kept her from twisting her ankles when I, even wearing sneakers, couldn’t keep my ankles from turning and bending to the bumps and lumps of the cobblestone streets.

Gigi’s said, “All the streets are paved this way, I don’t even think about can I or can’t I.” I even watched her run on those historic cobbled hills. The whole situation seemed odd to me, but she took it in stride, her heels never once caused her a tumble on the cobbles or in the spaces between.

London Cab 1823

You probably know that cobblestones replaced the dirt and muddy streets here in the U.S. in the 19th century. The idea was for the horses to get a good hoof hold.

Later, at the beginning of the 20th century, asphalt became the norm. In the East where the fluctuating temperatures cause freezing and thawing, the roads develop unbearable pot holes, upkeep is messy and expensive.

Boston has the top spot in cobblestones on Acorn Street, measured in terms of cattle—in this case, two cows wide—this is paved with true, ankle-breaker cobblestones and lined with vintage red brick row houses. The beacon Hill neighborhood in general is known for its well-preserved architecture and romantic gaslit streets, the most expensive and desirable area in Beantown.

But cobblestone streets were not meant for cars and trucks. Yet some of our big cities still sport those cobbles, they add a charm.

Should we repave with those stones and bring back the horse?

For more history about these stones:
For 10 most adorable cobblestone streets in the U.S. take a look:

If you are curious about the name Beantown—Boston’s Beantown earned its name from molasses, rum and baked beans.
Here’s a link:

Gail Ingis is an author, artist, and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in summer 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

A work of art




This is a blog about beauty, buildings, dance, décor, design, dogs, food, graphics, health, history, makeup, music, painting, style, writing – you name it. Hello, I’m Gail.

Guess where I’ve been?

Mixed tulips, my fav




So, guess what? I’m never lost, about what in the world to write for my blog. Except, after I took Jane Friedman’s workshop on writing blogs, I thought that focusing on one subject would be a great way to grow my readership, get some comments other than spam. I did that for a couple of weeks and realized that there’s no way I would have fun anymore. I love writing my blog. Why? Because I have had a lifetime of fun. Like dating, marriage, babies, grandchildren, school, interior design, architecture, oops, you are probably bored, really, who cares what my fun has been. But, no not me, never lost, never bored.

Yup, I did that too! Danced on roller skates at Park Circle Roller Rink that was located on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Oh that organist played some pretty cool dance music.

There’s more, like roller skating and dancing on those wheels. Like ballroom dancing on my own wheels. You’ve all seen that picture when I won a dance competition last November at Foxwoods, right? Like gourmet cooking and baking fancy cakes and cookies, you should taste my lasagna.

Ronnie’s Bagels, Hillsdale, NJ My watercolor. Hubby Tom and daughter Linda are sitting on the bench.

Like painting in watercolor and oil, like writing a book, and then writing more of them, like beautiful choirs at church, like helping young couples to fix up their houses. Like working with architects designing buildings, like learning, like teaching and sharing, like car trips, like going on safaris in Africa.

Happy elephant under that waterfall

Like walking through Antonio Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia Church and his wicked buildings and apartments in Barcelona with dragons on the roof, or Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. Like the tulips in Holland, so beautiful and on every street corner for a thimble full of change. Like walking across that Bridge Ponte-Vecchio in Florence, Italy, and be dazzled by the jewels in every little boutique. Like springtime in Paris and Monmarte with artists everywhere.

Bison on the road in Yellowstone . . .

This email message and bison photo came from our son Todd Claus and family who were on a car/trailer trip:  “Thought I’d share some pics of the bison we ran into in Yellowstone when exiting the park late (9:30-ish) one night. We sat parked for about 8-9 minutes while this herd of probably 300+ Bison took over the road on their way to somewhere! As they passed and we took pics, we also laughed like little kids at the sight- just amazing creatures. We were so lucky to have this experience, could have reached out and touched several, they were that close.”

Springtime in Paris



Clarence House Fabric

Clarence House Fabric

Clarence House is considered one of the foremost style-setters in the decorative fabric industry and is the first choice of many of the world’s top interior designers. Many of their fabrics retail for well over $400 dollars per yard.

Headquartered in New York City’s famed D&D Building, Clarence House has been at the forefront of the decorative fabric industry for over 40 years. They were founded in 1961 by New York designer Robin Roberts, who envisioned a company that would fill a void in the decorative fabric industry, a void that was created by the vast majority fabric companies refusing to take the necessary design risks to move the home decor business forward. Since the very beginning, Roberts has filled Clarence House’s line of decorative fabrics with imported fabrics never before seen in America. It wasn’t long after that that Clarence House decided to get involved in all aspects of the creative process by starting their own in-house design studio and making the now famous Kazumi Yoshida their head art director. To this day Kazumi still controls the evolution of each design from its conception to the finished product.

Clarence House Fabric

Clarence House Fabric

Not long after becoming involved in the decorative fabric industry they were quickly becoming world renowned for their extremely unusual and opulent designs. Although they are most famous for their hand screen-printing of fabrics and wallpapers, Clarence House also offers the highest quality velvets, brocades, damasks, silks, cottons, linens, sheers, trimmings and leathers. Throughout their years in the decorative fabric business they have supplied the fabrics for some of the world’s most famous museums, residences, and historic sites. Their name appears in every issue of any important interior design magazine available– including Architectural Digest, Florida Design, and Veranda.

Ideas for left over fabric

Ideas for left over fabric

With 16 showrooms throughout the United States and additional showrooms in South Africa, Canada, and Australia—Clarence House is on a well-earned course to achieve world-wide design dominance.

Unfortunately, unless you are an Architect or an Interior Designer you cannot buy directly from them.

That is, of course, only true if you don’t know the Design Diva. Having known the people at Clarence House for over 15 years she is able to purchase large amounts of exclusive decorative fabrics from them and bring them to you at extremely discounted prices.

Now isn’t that Divalicious?

Close up for use of leftover fabric-fun

Close up for use of leftover fabric-fun

Designer Fabrics Below Wholesale

The people who run Design Diva Fabrics have been involved in many of the design communities most prestigious organizations for over 30 years. OUR LOVE of interior fabrics fuels us in our worldwide search for the most unusual fabrics and trims available. From the luscious Velvets of Belgium and the magnificent Brocades of Italy to the intricately Hand Embroidered Silks of the Far East, we have it all. And as if that was’nt enough, almost all of our fabrics are normally available exclusively to designers and architects.

Now you would think that the fact that we are able to acquire these fabrics at all would be impressive enough to be our claim to fame, but it’s not. Not only do we get our customers fabrics that are normally not available to them; we get our customers these fabrics for a fraction of the price that a licensed Interior Designer would pay for them.

Have you ever shopped at the D&D Building 979 Third Avenue, NYC?




There is no separation between art and architecture. Except for movement through space . . . visual or physical.

Biltmore Gardens in springtime

Yesterday in my art workshop, David Dunlop’s lecture and demonstration was about portals. David is an amazing artist, scholar,  purveyor of dreams. He inspired this blog.

Everyday, every time we move through a space, it is usually through a portal, a doorway, an opening, a defined path, all perhaps leading to the light. We are drawn to the light.

In Alberti’s S. Andrea edifice below, the entrance is a Romanesque portal with its typical rounded arch. All portals have a shape of some kind, relative to the era and country. The Romanesque period was from actually approximately 800 A.D. to 1100 A.D. The portal with its rounded arch was used throughout history, as you can see here. This one, in Italy, was created in the15th century.

S. Andrea in Mantua, Italy by Leon Battista Alberti 15th century. Portal arch is Romanesque

I think a portal could also be an obvious path leading somewhere. I couldn’t resist the picture of the Biltmore Gardens in springtime above. And the light . . . look at the light. The light pulls you into the garden.

Have you had any experience with portals? How many have you seen or walked through that changed you, your views, or your life?


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