raspberry delight – a dress that caused a sensation at the Isabella Gardner

featured at youth organized aids awareness event

copley square


Photography by: Armanda Sylvester

The Story:
the outfit, rather, the costume:
i dressed in that hot pink skirt i made with the red lining, a red beaded clutch with silver embroidery and a silver sari blouse with a cropped white pointelle wrap sweater… and let’s not forget the silver ram’s horn coming out of my head that i fashioned in fifteen minutes 😉

as i was just finishing my dressing, i got a delivery of what now i understand to be gorgeous fragrant purpley peonies from me Morgen. now, she’s a classy one- that dame 😉

and ate Armanda’s wonderful falafel dinner with red pepper mango sauce for my birthday lunch… omg it was just what i wanted… something different something fab and something filling 😉 like me 😉

out in rains:
the two of us headed out at 5 to meet up with Loreto and company at Symphony Sushi at 5:30 sharp. well, our table of twelve ended up being a table of four. barely. firstly, because everyone was stuck in traffic. i didn’t even make it and those who did, stuffed their mouths and ran to meet us at the Gardner. Michelle and Loreto brought me salmon take out.

awful planning me. i was planning by my pedestrian jaunts from back in the day when I was decidedly not a driver. anyways, Armanda and i fidgeted in traffic for and hour and a half! almost running down traffic cops.

and of course we couldn’t find parking. so of course i called Sandeep. who very generously guided me to park at the MFA and walk over to the gardner (from Dallas… who needs onstar when you have a Sandeep?)… we ran into the three who made it to sushi as we were pulling up on museum road… so cute! Lore, Debbie and Michelle looked adorable as they hopped in.

we parked. then ran the heck out of the car…. and literally skipped to the gardner

at the Gardner (a review of sorts)
there, i was greeted with umbrella docent who told me, “ma’am, no umbrellas. you need to check in that (my bag of art supplies) too” i replied that i thought we could sketch and showed him my junk. he nodded in reluctant assent. and i checked my red raincoat and van gogh umbrella. Kathir and Rudi tugged at my horn in greeting.

Loreto was full of enthusiam and decided we would participate in the museum’s scavenger hunt. our reward if we found the painting would be a docent whispering all secrets of said painting. Kathir found the painting (i suspect he knew already and let us search good-naturedly until we looked frustrated)… and it was a Rembrandt self-portrait in a gallery where two paintings were recently stolen (another one of his and a Vermeer)!!!

we trapsed around the galleries hovering to check in with the band docent whether there were any open seats for the middle eastern band that was sold out… meanwhile, my getup caused quite a sensation 😉 Loreto said, “look Pampi! there’s the sound proof gallery where the band is playing” you wouldn’t be able to tell it from a seminar… everyone in the audience was faced in one direction with their hands politely pressed on their laps. suffice it to say, i much preferred the courtyard where a violinist and guitarist were playing while i fantasized about dancing in their midst.

it was time to learn the secrets of the painting. we shuffled back into the gallery. the docent was late and didnt seem to know much… my crew was the most vocal and observant when answering the questions she broached… yay! you could tell we were the kids that sat in the front or very back row in grade school. so so proud. anyways immediately afterwards, i got buzzed by Bunty… i was about to text him back, when the cell phone docent was on me and said ” no phones” shaking her head with attitude. so Loreto texted inconspicuously and informed Bunty of our coordinates.

we headed out of the gallery onto an open hallway with an open view to the courtyard for some hot, i mean, fresh air in the mean time. it looked really pretty from there. i thought since i brought my art stuff and since we couldn’t take pictures, i should perhaps draw my pals. as i reached into my bag for pencils, Payali, Jennifer, Ben, and Bunty showed up. after much hugging and birthday blessings, i pulled out crayons and sketched Debbie and was almost done with Kathir when the crayon docent came up and said “pencils only” like i could cause less damage with a sharpened pencil… and mind you, my crayons are eco-friendly soy ones.

At that point, Jennifer suggested we get drinks… so we went downstairs and she got me a white wine… i got tipsy after a quarter glass. and happily greeted Frankelface who’d brought me mango roses and dark chocolate. classy these broads in my coterie. we went back up for the sights and decided to head out for desserts. as we entered the gallery in search of our remaining friends, the cell phone docent informed me “no flowers.” at this point i laughed in disbelief. we retreated into the hallway in preparation to descend the stairs to the acceptable zone, where the crayon docent approached us and said “ma’am no flowers. you need to check them in”

Kathir teased, “Pampi, maybe you should check yourself in” and i responded laughing “we should check ourselves out!”

Loreto swears there was a third docent talking into a head set as he watched me. whereby, by the time we walked down to the acceptable zone, we were greeted at the foot of the stairs (i kid you not) by a fourth docent who snariky commented to a fifth docent “we can’t just let people in with flowers, because then everybody will be bringing in flowers.” Frankelface responded, “as if so many people will be coming to the gardner bearing random flowers” i tell you, these docents were stemming a chronic epidemic of flower bearing before it gets out of hand. preventative measures.

that fifth docent i remembered as the pleasant umbrella docent fellow, was now hovering around me nervously as if we were on a bad first date. a bit buzzed, i was engaging in quite a bit of hip swaying (i’ll blame my flowy skirt), taking my time and being giggly. Armanda was now decidedly upset. I could see she was uncomfortable, so at that point, we all left.

just desserts:
We ended up at Diesel Cafe in Davis where Chaitali joined us. They had great lighting, great seating but no cake… So Loreto, Bunty and I went in search of chocolate fudge (which i was craving). We forgot our umbrellas. and that’s when it poured. it was hysterical! we came back with said chocolate fudge and mango mousse (from Mike’s pasta of all places) and washed it down with a tall glass of milk, hot cocoa and cappuccino… yum!

after dropping everyone off, i passed out restfully fitfully and glowing with warmth.

my compadres were the sun in my day. and thank you all for your birthday blessings.
my cup raineth over ;”)

so it rained cats and dogs, awful museum docents and traffic cops, but i still had me a wonderful bithday!!