Karina’s late father surely is looking down upon her today, bursting with pride. I believe I feel just as proud: my dear friend Karina Gentinetta’s feature is published in The New York Times.
Joyce Walder’s words moved me to tears—a tough thing to do when you already know the story. With the images from Japan so fresh in our minds, it is easy to imagine poor Karina walking around the mud pit that used to be her beautiful home. One needs the strength of a supernatural being to get through that, but to me, her chutzpah during her three-year struggle to rebuild awes me more. The crises in her career, marriage, and a hideously long commute in a broken New Orleans is the sort of tortuous agony that the day-to-day marathon of strength really is needed.
New Orleans gets its magic from its people, and, like the twist of bittersweet humor in a jazz funeral Karina marched on. With the infallible work ethic of the American immigrant she shoved her shoulder into rebuilding.
I thought now would be a great time to share pictures from the 1stdibs opening reception at the New York Design Center in February. Karina was so nervous the first time she went to Manhattan to set up her booth she had a panic attack before boarding her flight back to New Orleans. Of course, I made sure I was at the airport to pick her up (in sweats, sneakers, no makeup, who cares?) to circumvent a reoccurrence, but I had to use subterfuge because like all strong people she said she'd 'be fine'. I looked her flight up online and just showed up. I went to the Garment District to research fabric wholesalers and when I returned two hours later Karina was gorgeously turned out in a little black dress and super high heels.
Karina graciously put me on the list, and everyone there was quite kind, all smiling and handsomely dressed (including the small doggies). I thought some faces looked familiar, and Karina said designers like Alexa Hampton and socialites were there. Naturally, I thought Karina’s booth was prettiest, especially since it seemed most dealers sold modern decor. Karina fit right in, dressed in all black. We New Yorkers say we like fashion but wear the same uniform anyway.
But the story is about Karina’s house. Read about Karina here, and at her blog here, and view her art—I mean—her antiques—here at 1stdibs.
Until next time, stay shabby!