Truths and lies

"Ngoc Minh Ngo aime capter l'esprit des lieux. Née au Vietnam, elle vit ensuite à Paris où elle fait des études à la Sorbonne, poursuit son cursus à Florence à l'Istituto dell'Arte, s'envole pour le Japon, puis San Francisco où elle devient photographe. Parallèlement aux intérieurs lumineux et spacieux qu'ell aime portraiturer, elle réalise des natures mortes sur lesquelles plane l'air du temps. Résidant à New York avec son mari et sa fille, dans un immeuble de la fin du XIXe siècle, elle travaille pour Elle Décoration anglais, Martha Stewart Living et Real Simple."

This is my biography in this month's issue of French AD. Although the basic elements are true (except I no longer live in a Beaux-Arts building), it is in many ways spectacularly wrong. I hardly recognize myself in the glamorous portrait it paints of me. There is a whole life left out in between these seemingly blithe travels around the world. But there it is, printed and preserved forever, my life captured in a few brief sentences. It's rather strange.
It reminds me of the conversation last night with George Vellonakis, the embattled designer of the new Washington Square Park. In the hugely controversial re-design of the park, George has been portrayed as the arch-villain, and many falsehoods have been written about him in the press and on the internet. "In 100 years, people will read all that about me and believe it all to be true," said George sadly. It is a real shame because his design for the park is absolutely stunning. Incorporating all the best elements of the park's previous incarnations since 1827, updating all the structural framework like drainage, fencing, and lighting, and meticulously restoring the original fountain, George is giving the park a much needed facelift. Every detail has been carefully researched and thoughtfully designed so that the new park will be a beautiful place that serves a large number of people with many different needs. 

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