I’ve just returned from Copenhagen, where I indulged my love all things Danish: furniture, design, and the hygge culture. There’s so much about the Scandinavian vibe that we as American travelers can take home. For starters, the Danes are by and large a humble population. In fact, it is considered extremely rude to stand out from the crowd by bragging or being showy. Everywhere I went, I experienced a sense of community—people let others pass first, bus riders pick up trash after themselves, and all-around, everyone seems to have a sense of hygge.
Maybe it’s because I’m slightly fatigued by the outbreak of Gordon Ramsey fever here in NYC, or maybe it’s because my husband took me to London to celebrate the fact that I am now a year older. Whatever the impetus, I am suddenly finding inspiration in all things with patina, character, and moreover, age. On this recent trip, we eschewed the new and shiny in search of ye goode olde services and products with the distinction being awarded royal warrants–even if we are just hoi polloi.
Heidi Ewing has produced and directed documentaries for The Discovery Channel, Britain’s Channel 4, the BBC, A&E Network and Arte. Previously, Heidi produced and co-directed a one-hour film for the Discovery Channel on the ancient origins of tribal and religious body modification, a documentary shot on location in Sri Lanka and Ethiopia.
More recently, Heidi and her Loki Films partner Rachel Grady were aboard an early morning United flight from NYC to Santa Barbara when the captain announced that their documentary film Jesus Camp was nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. The entire plane went crazy with applause. I caught up with Heidi in between Oscar-nominee lunches and meetings to glean her perspective on seeing the world through the eyes of a filmmaker.
I staunchly believe that smoking is a vile, wretched act. Raised in L.A., I was aghast when I moved to NYC and spied spandexed crowds huddled outside of gyms, puffing in between Pilates and mat classes. I’ve since abandoned my SoCal sanctimony, preferring to make like a New Yorker when I travel internationally. My When in Rome… ethos gives me license to smoke when I’m off gallivanting in places where cigarettes are as fundamental as bread and coffee. It’s a sacrifice I “selflessly” make for cultural immersion, which is why I am so confounded by France’s ban on smoking in public places, which was announced this week. Quell horror!
As if it wasn’t bad enough that subway delays made me late for work this morning, en route, I got BlackBerry’d that British Airways’ cabin crew have backed a strike plan to ground service over the dates when I’m scheduled to go to London and Copenhagen next week. I know the world doesn’t revolve around me, but come on, but it’s my birthday!
As you can imagine, I’ve been busy dealing with this, so I haven’t had time to dig into the specifics of why the union is striking (something about sick leave and pay), and I haven’t had a minute to formulate an opinion. What I can tell you is that I have an eight o’clock reservation at Wilton’s next Tuesday night, and I’ll be damned if I have to miss it.