Favorite Relief Effort
Design2Share has a New York City and a Pennsylvania office; we have the best of both worlds. On weekends, we work out of Pt. Pleasant, PA, in beautiful Bucks County. On Sunday, April 13, we had a terrible fire in our village, and it destroyed the studio, tools, and work of award-winning artist and blacksmith, Ray Mathis of Tutto Metal Design. Check the Matarese Roche website to see how a community of artists have come together to help Ray rebuild. It's truly heartwarming. Matarese is creating a series of paintings being auctioned on eBay each day called Rising from the Ashes; each has a low opening bid of $100 and all shipping charges are being waived, with all the proceeds going to benefit Ray. Check out Today's Oil Painting, Matarese's blogsite, and you can also link to the auction from her homepage. The photo below is Pansies, #10 in the Rising from the Ashes series.
Favorite Reader Submission
There is little need for decorating the Dans le Noir? restaurants in Paris and London; the main eating room, seating 60 people in several hour-and-a-half seatings a night, is in total darkness. Our D2S reader Pam Pappas Stanoch writes to us from Paris. Her email made our week.
Tonight I was invited to dinner with my client and the 19 people I worked with today. We went to a restaurant in Paris near the Pompidou Center called Dans la Noir? which means, “in the black.” The restaurant is totally black inside and the waiters are all blind! You arrive in a lit lobby and you are offered a drink of fruit juice and they ask you if you want alcohol or not; that is the last choice you make for your meal.
They give you your drink and line you up, seven in a row; you put your left hand on the shoulder of the person in front of you and your blind waiter leads you in total darkness to your table. You know I am totally claustrophobic, and just upon entering, two Spanish women come tearing by us screaming and clawing! The waiter was trying to get them out without them taking us out in the process. I was a bit freaked out to say the least.
We got to our seats and our waiter explained where the napkin and silverware were located. Of course I am a germ nut, so I held onto my silverware for dear life so that noone else would eat off of it by mistake. So here I am sitting in the pitch black, concentrating on my breathing and Hamid, my waiter comes by to check on us. I asked him what I should do if I started to freak out, and he said, “scream my name.” I now had a plan!
The first course arrived and I had no idea what it was -- well you know how adventurous I am with food. I smelled it, touched it, and decided to pass on that one. The beauty of it was, no one knew I didn’t eat anything. It was quite nice actually. The waiter came by with water and wine and we were told to stick our fingers in the glass while we poured so that we knew when we were at the top! The wine was white; I stuck with water.
Our senses were heightened in the blackness. We were unable to block out the sound of those around us because we could not make eye contact with the people we were speaking to. My eyes got extremely tired searching for light. The main course arrived and I figured out it was beef. I ate some of it, and left the rest. Dessert followed without any event; it was finally time to leave and they escorted us out the way we came in! It was, to say the least, an amazing experience.
From The Daily Telegraph, March 2006