West Greets East: A Week That Changed The World

written by Robyn Wyman-dill

How fast time travels as it heads into the final days of the month. Before we begin a new chapter, let’s reflect and be enriched by occasions worth remembering again. Among those bookmarked is the ‘Wedding of the Century’ on July 29, 1981. On that day, the lovely Lady Diana Spencer wed Prince Charles – bringing a fresh persona to the Royal Family. In turn, the Princess spoke to the hearts of the public around the world. Everyone seemed to agree for once. Diana was love. Four years after the Princess stepped into the public eye, she crossed the pond on her first official visit to America with her husband, Prince Charles. That’s when royal fever broke out in Washington DC.

The ‘Diana’ appeal was so highly infectious, everyone wanted an invitation to dinner. Meaning the White House dinner. The not-so-lucky ones? They traveled abroad. Henry Kissinger, Oscar de la Renta and Ahmet Ertegun, Co-Founder and President of Altanic Records, took their wives to China. In case you didn’t know it, Henry Kissinger is a really big deal in China. Really big.

What prompted me to go to China at exactly the same time was a photography book, Eve Arnold: In China, that I kept on my coffee table. An American photojournalist, Arnold’s images of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits (1961) and photograph of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy arranging flowers with Caroline(1961) had already cemented her reputation as a superb shooter. But, when she turned her lens on China, defining its beauty with pictures that spoke to your soul, I felt compelled to buy a camera(my first) and booked a tour to China. Read the rest of this entry »

A Queen, A Prince and His Beautiful Pharaoh

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

With the calendar now inching deeper into fall season, I would like to bid adieu to my favorite month of the year in the western hemisphere – September.  Which I remember ended on a good note.  Thank you. Read the rest of this entry »

I Wonder at a Wonder of the World

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

There are seven wonders of the ancient world, medieval world and modern world made by man. There are seven wonders of the industrial world and – seven national wonders of Portugal, Wales, and Serbia plus seven other countries. In 2001, the New7Wonders of the world list would join  the wonderland ranks. Another list with the internet came later.

I saw my very first wonder when I was eight and it made me smile.  All because it looked like a gigantic, collapsed wedding cake, titling to one side.  (Which I thought was representative of an individual, leaning away from the norm.)  Waggish in appearance, it stood eight stories high – surrounded by blue Tuscan skies – which seemed hugely impressive from a little girl’s perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

Art Attacks

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Coming back from pleasurable Palm Springs into the high-wired pockets of Orange and Los Angeles countries has put me in a funk – as I struggle with my soulless surroundings.  Here territories of monotonous tract housing cast shadows of malaise – dulling the breathtaking beauty of the terrain. And native plants – like California Chalk Dudleya – are readily uprooted to make room for non-native English gardens and Cape Cod mansions. Turning landscapes – ripe with character – into manicured perfection.  Maintained by a monopoly of Mexican gardeners.

A marine layer of conservative thinking now hugs the shoreline.  Erasing signs of individualism with Botox injections.

My unsettled senses remain vulnerable to my discontent.  Especially with the people.  Here rudeness is the new polite. Embraced by a stronghold of self-centered, clipped to perfection residents.  And, I ponder…  am I one of them – rude, rushed, self-absorbed and superficial – or is my parachute a completely different color?  

To lighten my funk, I turn my focus away from this republic of rude people to seek the greener pastures of artistic expression here – starting with the Along the Coast Artists Studio Tour.

Read the rest of this entry »

You Should Be Dancing

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Express yourselves. Shuffle to the left. Slide to the right. Shake, shake, shake.  Yield. Push. Tilt.  Shake, shake, shake. Shall we arabesque?  Under curve.  Shake, shake, shake.

It’s a dance renaissance.  Made possible by the genius of Reality TV.  With shows like Dancing With the Stars(see our post and So You Think You Can Dance. Followed by spinoffs like –  Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition and Dance Moms. Dance has tapped into an international TV audience.  Who have roots in popular culture. An audience suddenly eager for artistry and the avant-garde in classical, modern and ballroom dance.

Now hear this.  Year after year, world-class dance companies come to the southern California shores and perform their programs with charisma.

Read the rest of this entry »

On Point In Orange County

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

While I am waiting for my friend’s recipe for chunky guacamole with cilantro, chopped red onions and lime juice(It is also made with green onions.)a plane with 239 passengers ‘went missing’ over the Indian Ocean. Bringing lots of tears and fears and uncertainty to everyone. To temper the terror of the unknown, I step into a darkened room full of strangers. My movie of choice is Gravity in 3D.

Suddenly, I am at one with the stars looking down on earth.  In awe of my new perspective. As I leave the theatre, I feel authentically high on the universe.

There is still no sign of the missing plane with 239 passengers on earth. There is also no email in my inbox with a recipe for guacamole.  There is an invitation to OC FASHION WEEK, however, and it looks inviting.

I’m just in time to catch the last three show events of the five days. So, beam me up Scotty, ‘cause I’m headed for Prowl, House of Style and Couture.   Read the rest of this entry »

For Heaven’s Scents

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Just before Christmas I received a Neiman Marcus gift card in the amount of fifty dollars.  How was I going to spend all that money? I didn’t have an answer.

It poked at my brain throughout the holidays until my friend Sarah came to visit.  Arriving two days before the 25th.

Our friendship brings out the creative muses in all five senses. Read the rest of this entry »

That Which Sparkles Deep in the Heart

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Like diamonds deep within the Earth, Nelson Mandela sparkled deep within his heart.  Bringing a sense of beauty to a higher ground.  In many ways, these two inspiring phenomenons are very closely tied.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Difference A Plate Makes

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

We’ve all been there before.  Be it at a backyard barbecue or the event of the century. You’ve got a drink in one hand.  A plate of food in the other.  And you’re trying to figure out how to eat with both of your hands already occupied when suddenly your boss appears and introduces his wife. Awkward.

You search for somewhere to set your drink down but the nearest high top is across the room.  You vacillate between downing your drink or whipping out a few dusty waiter skills. Sensing a dilemma, she smiles and tries to make it better, shaking your pinky finger.  It’s humiliating.

A stay-home-mom with no business experience decided to fix that problem.  She was so determined to find the right solution, Homemaker Nancy Kerr set out to research the entire world. While balancing a remodel and a family. Read the rest of this entry »

Boo Time in Ghost Towns

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-Dill

From mid-October to mid-November – the stars, planets, goblins and ghosts come out in full regalia.  Read the rest of this entry »