The Telephone Seat: More then Meets the Eye

Photography & Design: Unknown

Photography & Design: Unknown

I used to watch my mom sit and talk sometimes for hours late in the evening at her telephone seat with coffee in hand, and an occasional cigarette. Our telephone seat was nestled in a corner of our long hallway, situated close to the piano. The piano was an upright, allowing for some privacy if necessary.

I have always liked the idea of a place solely made for talking, a place that became an island of alone time. Once that receiver was in hand, the world would fall away, or at least that was what I felt I bore witness too, as we were not to disturb my mother when on call, for all intensive purposes my sister and I ceased to exist in those moments.

There was something so organic about the connections made over those wires, it was the next best thing to seeing her friends in person. It was a moment that didn’t require multi tasking (walking with your cell, or folding laundry with your cordless) the telephone seat and landline rotary phone plugged into the wall made certain of that. They were simpler times made more beautiful by the furniture designed for its utilitarian purpose.

I don’t recall the actual year or day that my parents got rid of the telephone seat (it was taking up too much space) and replaced it with just a telephone table whose perimeter would eventually come to be known as our shoe dispensary, but I remember that soon after that, our telephone cords were extended, doors were closed for privacy, and conversations no longer came with coffee, or cigarette rituals.

Change is inevitable, and design is consistently reinventing itself, but with every technological advance comes a loss of a simpler time.

I still have that rotary phone, sitting in my closet. I keep it as a memento of what once was and no longer is.

Ah, nostalgia, it can be so bittersweet. -tM

Curtain Play

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

When architects began to design homes and spaces with large windows, curtains became an important element of interior design and architecture.

However, lately there has been a shift away (at least here in N. America) from curtains and a push toward blinds. I miss the romance and ritual of drawing the curtains closed. I miss the sensuality of the sun peaking through mid day; curtains swaying in wind, encouraging the merging two worlds.

Another time and place, saw me draw the sheers open and closed, depending on the sun, and often of the positioning of the moon, as this became standard, so did the stories of disillusion, fear, promise, and hope. There were always lessons to be learned at the edge of the window sill and in the rustling of the curtains. —tM

In Appreciation of my Roots

Photography: Simon Watson | Sicily, Italy

Photography: Simon Watson | Sicily, Italy

I don’t remember much as I was only a child of 11 at the time, but there are certain details of that trip that became important to me; sewn into the fabric of my being. Like the fresco faded walls of my grandmothers house in Serbia, the wall details and decorations that despite poverty, made a home more then just a place to rest your head. The plates, the cutlery, and the food that sustained and gave life.

There was strength built into both of my grandmothers homes. I felt it, even as a young child. Perhaps that is why I chose to remember these very specific details, because against all odds, they were survivors of a life that was difficult, and they did the best they could, making the most of what they were given. -tM

Stopping by the Parking Lot on a Sunny Morning

Photography: tM

Photography: tM

Inspired by what surrounds me, the simplicity and quiet of the moment, I stopped to take the photo above.

It captures a feeling of universality and nostalgia, for who hasn't (living in a city) spent days as a child playing in empty parking lots (learning how to ride a bicycle), hanging out by the local gas and sip as a young teen,  wrestling with parking as an adult, and on occasion even baring witness to its demolition only to have another condo go up. 

Parking lots are full of memories for me. I have an affinity toward the vintage ones. -tM

The Eye of the Mind

Photography: Unknown | St. Tropez, France

Photography: Unknown | St. Tropez, France

I have two great seductresses in my life, Beauty and Nostalgia.

Nostalgia's capacity for seduction rests in the power of our memory versus experience, a looking back with longing, a desire to linger in a moment or person that is now nothing more then an apparition. 

While Nostalgia may be a temptress, Beauty can be said to be our raison d'etre. Without its grace, its harmony of purpose and form, life as we know it would cease to exist,  no reason for living, nothing to inspire and fuel the soul. Beauty is grace, and grace is life. 

Beauty if sought after can be found everywhere, there is no escaping its allure, as it holds within its core the ecstasy of life.

I should know, because for good or bad there have been times where Beauty has kept me there. -tM

The Way We Were


I equate this feeling to firsts and new beginnings; when kissing your lover makes time stand still, dissolving the world around you.

Or to that of nostalgia; when so much time has passed that all that is left is the beauty of what once was. 

Either way, sometimes all that matters is the way we choose to remember things, don't you agree? -tM


Photography: Luigi Ghirri

Photography: Luigi Ghirri

Universality vs. Locality.

He was a pioneer in removing these geographical and psychological barriers. His photography speaks to the universality of the human life lived and his control of colour awakens a feeling of nostalgia; urging it to take root in becoming part of our story, it’s a world where the present & past collide.

Total genius. -tM

A Longing

Photography: Paul Outerbridge | Hand, Shell, and Leg

Photography: Paul Outerbridge | Hand, Shell, and Leg

...we were young and beautiful and still making our way, the world still had magic and we had more time to create.

I once read somewhere on a plaque in a garden: “Ce qui sera, c’est ce qui fut”- “what will be, is what was," and this day was perfect.  (Paraphrased from something I read long ago.)


Part of the Sizzle

What ever happened to the art of seduction?

In this instant gratification of the take me here and now, and throw away culture, there is little room or time left for enticing someone into sexual activity. 

A proper seduction needs obstacles, it needs resistance, it cannot proceed without them.

It's about engagement and feeling emotionally alive. Things have become too easy. 

The creativity, mystery, and intellect of the art and maneuver have been lost.

A sign of the times? I certainly hope not. 

What do you think? Is seduction a thing of the past, lost on the generations to come? -tM

Photography: Helmut Newton | Polariod's, 1970's



Photogarphy: Uknown

Photogarphy: Uknown

As we age, anything in particular can usher in the feeling of nostalgia.

This piece of furniture, aside from its fantastic design, does just that for me. 

This is how my family lounged on our concrete deck in the hot and bothered city in the 70's and 80's. Surrounded by potted tomatoes, like any good immigrant family, eating watermelon and finding relief from the summer heat became synonymous with family gatherings and simpler times.

It's a reminder to find your tribe (whoever they may be) and love them well. Make that connection, it's an important one. -tM


This is really beautiful.

Nostalgia: It's delicate but potent, perhaps at times, even a seductive liar.  In Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a throbbing in your heart far more potent then memory alone - a feeling of a place where we ache to go again.

The older you grow the more you become philosophical about such things. -tM

Now and Then

Photography: Unknown

Some day's I really miss smoking.

I miss the beauty of the unpredictable patterns the smoke creates, the crackle and burn of the tobacco.  Its scent has become a living reminder of moments celebrated, moments lost, and the growing pains of my youth.

I miss the first inhale and exhale, the weight of the cigarette between my fingers and the caress of the filter against my lips. It was a secret romance, nothing short of a wild passionate love affair, until it wasn't.

In private, and on occasion I wish I could go back. -tM

A Place of Cool

Photography: tM | Port Antonio, Jamaica

Photography: tM | Port Antonio, Jamaica

The place of cool. That was my dad's shop. It wasn't just a place of business but also a place of gatherings. This photograph reminded me of just that.  Friday nights, and Saturday mornings, his small shop in the hood,  turned locale, openly became a place where friends would assemble,  talk politics, life, and women. It became their version of the lounge about town, immigrants welcome, no VIP status required.

The tunes were always spinning, the air was full of smoke, and the coffee was the elixir of choice.

It was definitely no meeting of the minds, but it was a place where everyone knew your name and welcomed your voice, well, until they didn't. People were shoved out just like in any good lounge and told never to come back if they overstepped certain boundaries.

It was an easy like Sunday morning kind of a vibe until it wasn't.

I feel like places and gatherings like that in our society are very far and few between these days as are small businesses.

The photograph is a reminder of simpler days. Nostalgia always has a way of slipping in. -tM


Photography: Bruce Davidson | NYC, 1980's

Nostalgia sets in when I look at this photograph. It reminds me of simpler days, probably because I was a lot younger and was fortunate enough not to have had the knowledge or forethought of what the future may bring.

When you are young, you dwell in the "what might be," you are not acutely aware of the present, or the past, the future is where you exist. You are always looking forward. That is the beauty of youth. There is so much life in that hope.

As you progress in age you become nostalgic, more philosophical about existence, and even the commute home becomes a place where you observe faces, hands, mannerisms; reflective moments find there way into even the mundane moments in ones life.

I always go back to a poignant moment in my life when riding the subway between these two particular stops. It was something I gave no thought to many years ago, and now it has become a place I visit Monday-Friday.

Even in the remembrance and the philosophical meanderings there is now presence of mind. It is no wonder that as time passes the more beautiful life becomes.  -tM

"Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been."             -David Bowie

(only if you continue to evolve, grow from the lessons, and continue to work on yourself, then yes,  I totally agree with Mr. Bowie).