A Week in Culture: Rita Konig, Part 2


The Culture Diaries

This is the second installment of Rita Konig’s culture diary. Click here to read part 1.


7:00 A.M. NPR. Turns out it is pledge week. That explains the intolerable service! I can’t retain any information other than the stuff they are giving away.

8:00 A.M. New York Times story on children’s menus. Nicola Marzovilla hates them.

7:30 P.M. Times dinner at Bill Keller’s house. Walk into a room of faces I don’t know. See one I recognize across the room. Phew. Can’t think why I know him. Am seated next to him at dinner. Penny drops. I have been watching him (quite a lot) making stew on the screen in the back of my Jet Blue seat. He is Mark Bittman, food writer from the Times. So I tell him. “Sigh, Yes, I get that a lot.” Pretty much end of conversation. Ben Brantley, theater critic, on other side. Heaven. Realize this is my moment to ask about the shark fin in the Obama picture. So I ask: did they choose it on purpose? Was this a big joke at the Times? No one had noticed! Bill goes off to find a copy of the paper. Apparently, it is more likely to be a dolphin. Think I hide my disappointment reasonably well. By the end of dinner conversation has turned to Real Housewives.


9:00 A.M. Flight to Savannah for art classes at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Last April, sitting on a panel during their Style Week, I told founder and president Paula Wallace that I really wanted to learn perspective drawing. Presto! Am on my way for three days of private tuition.

10:00 A.M. Plane is TINY. Actually, I find that small planes are less scary than the big ones. We are jammed in like sardines. Read The Far Cry and eat mini pretzels. I am now loving the book. Read it all the way to the end. It is such a Persephone book.

1:00 P.M. Get picked up at airport. Keith Johnson was on my plane and is also going to SCAD to shoot for his show “Man Shops Globe.” Arrive at Magnolia Hall and start lessons, almost immediately, in the Carriage House with Peili Wang. He has two HUGE plastic bags filled with art materials. The most exciting is a box with a grid of every color of marker pen! I feel about eight years old.

9:30 P.M. Back from dinner and get into bed with new iPad. Watch “Real Housewives Reunion.” Kelly Bensimon is so stupid, she is like Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda. Move on to Glee pilot. It is so cheery after all those bitching women. Want to break into song—“Don’t stop believing”—and I hate musicals! I do LOVE Jane Lynch, though. And she just got married. It was in the Times Style section.


8:00 A.M. Savannah. Electronic crisis. Breakfast with a computer, an iPhone and an iPad. The wireless connection is not connecting. Feel pretty silly: I am surrounded by equipment and I still can’t get the news. My new Times app is the size of my iPhone in the middle of the iPad screen. Give up on news and go to class.

10:00 A.M. Class. I have not been this focused on something for, maybe ever. Trying to sketch a room I have designed for a model apartment at Manhattan House.

1:00 P.M. Go to see a friend at her shop, One Fish Two Fish. She has just got back from Alabama with her family. The last day they were there the oil arrived on the beach.

10:00 P.M. In bed with iPad. Have Friday Night Lights waiting to be watched. Have been resisting it: a plot line involving Texan teenagers and football? I once quit a book group after they assigned End Zone, by Don DeLillo—possibly my least favorite book ever. It was like reading something in a foreign language. But my friend Amy says that she can hardly watch the show since she finds it hard to feel that much in an hour. I start the pilot. Watch three in a row.


9:00 A.M. Take computer down to breakfast working on “Culture Diary.” But end up going online to try and watch Fergie interview on Oprah. Enjoying a couple of Sloanes dueling in the comments section of my Wall of Fame blog post.

1:30 P.M. Gryphon Tea Room for lunch with This Side of Paradise. I am on page seven. I find books so hard to start.

6:00 P.M. Leave for New York. Watch another two episodes of Friday Night Lights on plane.

Rita Konig is a decorator and style writer.