July 17, 2012

Café de Oriente, Habana Vieja, Cuba. February, 2012

Some colors that seem so natural in warm-weather places just don’t fly in, say, New England. No matter how hard we try to make them fit in. Look at this magnificent tangerine stairwell with lemon trim here in a fancy Havana restaurant. Bright, vivid, citrus-flavored colors work so easily here. Just as they do in Tucson, in parts of Italy. As I type this, I’m in a small room of my house in Massachusetts that’s painted in Ralph Lauren’s “Driver’s Cap.” Kind of this burnt tangerine with some terra cotta, some grey to bring it down a few notches. The outside of my house, stucco, is painted in “Goldenrod” because I wanted to remember the Roman ochre walls in autumn sunlight. Especially when I was climbing my hill after a long walk home from work in winter. But I have to admit, I’m compensating. I’m forcing things. Foreign-speaking colors like this really need year-round warmth, light clothing and the ease that comes from both.

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