Skullcap-shatteringly brilliant blogger Diane Dorrans Saeks just posted what could possibly be the most important lifestyle piece you will ever read. Why? Because it's about Denise Hale, that's why. And yet? It's also about so much more. Or not.
A supple and silky love letter, Saeks (a best-selling California-based author, editor, design lecturer, and feature writer who focuses on interior design, architecture, style, gardens, travel and fashion, OK?) published raves and loving quotes about the society grande dame, and also chats her up in her Russian Hill pied-a-terre. "You may be surprised," teases Saeks. Which, yeah, no kidding. No kidding, DDS. For starters, Hale lives with fucking cows. Hand to God, the lady lives on a "cattle ranch in a remote hilly outpost of Cloverdale" with a buttload of dirty-ass, malodorous cows in her goddamn backyard. Gross. Yet...intriguing.
And that's just the beginning. Here are a few of our favorite excerpts:
"When she heads back to the city, seldom do her Emma Hope embroidered silk pumps stand still, as she’s been hopping over to London to dine with Charles and Camilla at Highgrove."
We have no idea what that even means. But we love it.
"She has given the rooms at the ranch her European style with Frette sheets, antique Persian rugs, marble obelisks from Florence, stacks of books everywhere, contemporary paintings, silver candelabra..."
" 'I'm an enigma to many people,” said Hale. “I grew up in Europe, I fled certain death in Yugoslavia, so I think differently.' "
In the abrasive yet accurate words of dear Birdie, "What a story. Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end."
"Among my single male friends: Michael Tilson Thomas, Ken Fulk, Greg Lopez, Dr Seth Matarasso."
Single male friends? Got it. We're picking up what you're putting down, Denise. Also, kudos to you for having successful "single male friends," and not the usual set of smarmy, fey sycophants that typically surround S.F. society ilk.
"DDS: Favorite restaurants?
DH: Boulevard and Gary Danko in San Francisco, for grilled fish. Gary Danko and Nancy Oakes are fabulously talented. I’ve recently discovered Marlowe founded by Anna Weinberg in San Francisco’s South of Market. Voltaire in Paris, for haricots verts and foie gras."
Marlowe, like you, Denise, is nothing short of savory divinity across the street from a Caltrain station. Oh, you know what we mean! You're rad just like Marlowe! Speaking of which, you should give them some of your cattle. Maybe Anna can have them make a Hale stew. Or something like that.
"I think I took more photos of Denise Minnelli than of anyone except my wife and my daughter," said Dunne, now a beloved contributor to Vanity Fair.
It doesn't get much better than a choice quote from a dead man whose daughter was in Poltergeist and then strangled to death.
"...trekking through St. Petersburg, even slipping semi-incognito into the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Shanghai. “It’s Denise Minnelli Hale” (no explanation required)."
Correction. If you're a Minnelli, sometimes an explanation is required.
"DDS: Best dermatologist?
DH: Dr Seth Matarasso in San Francisco. Simply superb. He’s talented, has fantastic knowledge, and is always up to date."
Well, no shit. That's just common knowledge.
Beth Spotswood, -- who brought this morally passionate, David Foster Wallace-ian tome to our attention -- also posted a series of her favorite quotes. It would be well worth your time to check it out, too