Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On Writing, Laser Beams and the New Year

You know, that’s one thing about writing, or at least the craziness of being a writer -- the story rarely seems good enough to consider done. There’s always something to tweak.

Here below is the revision of a vignette I wrote earlier.  It's a perfect example. The task for a writing workshop was to write about a challenge I had to overcome. My response was as follows:

As part of a job application, I was asked to write an essay.  The writing prompt could have been lines of Latin, for all it mattered.  I was instructed to write a passage about the stated topic-du-jour: excimer lasers.

Huh? Exa-what? Neither my high school chemistry class, nor my college “Physics for Poets” lectures had prepared me for this.

I read the passage over and over, then closed my eyes for a moment to 
quiet my mind and calm my fears. I began to write. I wrote and edited and wrote a bit more about the virtues, the features and the benefits of cold versus hot lasers when applied in heart surgery.

I wrestled with the words and  struggled to make sense of the morass. My essay seemed to morph into wholly different narratives with each successive rewrite.  Finally, I surrendered. I turned off the computer and succumbed to the notion that the task had been insurmountable.

A few days later the phone rang and a Ms. Kaminski said succinctly: “Hello Valerie. We 
have reviewed your application and would like to offer the staff writer position.”

I got the job!? Stunned and thrilled, I accepted.  

Somewhere in all that writing and editing, I overcame the seemingly insurmountable challenge to understand complex new concepts, and landed a medical/health care writing position with Medical Data International. I worked for the company from 1996-98, until my position was ultimately eliminated when the workforce was downsized following the company's acquisition by IHS, Inc.

This yarn was originally written for Visible Ink, a therapeutic writing program sponsored by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I have been participating in the program throughout my cancer treatment.  It has helped me manage myriad micro and macro challenges that have accompanied my life through my diagnosis and treatment.

In this way, my writing has mirrored my life -- a constant effort spent working to get it right, manage change, perfect when possible, and eliminate incongruity.

Since writing the laser story, I am again, on the dawn of a promising New Year. Now cancer-free, I am open to opportunities.

It is time to again rewrite my story.

(c) 2013 Valerie Williams-Sanchez. All Rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Fish Tale

[UPDATED for FIGMENT NYC 2014 at Governor's Island, New York]

There’s more than one way to tell a tale. This, my latest vignette, is an interactive, multi-faceted and multi-media journey that involves a fish, one brave koi fish in particular: “Valory” the Koi of Courage.

Before the final treatments in my breast cancer journey, I chose to give power to my creativity – instead of giving over to anxiety and fear -- to build courage, power and community, and to manifest another sort of tale. This one, I hope will start a conversation of empowerment. Won’t you join in?

Please share your story of valor and courage (of any length) here on my blog, and a symbolic scale will be added to Valory’s fish body. A journey that began as part of Figment Philadelphia 2013, this time, your scale will become part of the Figment story and exhibit to be held Saturday, June 7th at Governor's Island, New York.  

To learn more about Figment log on to:http://figmentproject.org/about/why-figment/

A Journey and a Challenge.

"Valory" the Model.
In Japanese legend, a koi that succeeded in climbing the Yellow River, past the falls at Dragon Gate, would be transformed into a dragon. 

Similarly, “Valory, the Koi of Courage” invites you to be part of its journey into being, asking you to recall and remember a challenge you have overcome to lend the fish a bit of your power.

This Figment Philadelphia 2013 art installation calls on the power of our collective consciousness to help Valory come into being, to become a symbol of transcendence, strength, unity, and peace.

Tell Your Story, Lend Your Power.

Can you recall a transformative life challenge, one which gave you a sense of power when it was overcome? Share your power by indicating that challenge in writing on a paper fish scale of courage.

Choose an ink and scale color to reflect your family identity and the type of challenge, respectively, that you select. Then write a date, keyword, name or even a descriptive sentence or phrase about the challenge you met. Last, add your personal “scale of courage” onto the fish body. 

While in progress, the fish’s nose faces the sky, indicating its upward journey. Once the body has been covered with scales and the challenge has been met, the fish's nose will dip downward, in the opposite direction. This will signify that its journey is complete.

Who Are You? How Have You Been Challenged?

Choose an ink:     Choose a Challenge Scale:
 Fathers-Black      Asagi-Education, knowledge-Blue, orange
 Mothers-Red        Ogon-Economic, financial-Gold, orange
 Sons-Blue            Bekko-Health, physical-White, yellow, red

  Daughters-Pink    Kohaku-Love, relationship-Red, white

The Fish in the World.

In Japan, the fish has become a symbol of worldly aspiration and advancement. Moreover, in world cultures and religions, the fish has symbolic meaning and is a timeless icon.

African Myths - Fertility and creativity, embodying a new phase of life
Buddhism - Happiness and freedom
Celtic Culture - Knowledge, wisdom, inspiration and prophecy
China - Unity and fidelity
Christianity - Abundance and faith
Eastern Indian Mythology - Transformation and creation
Greco-Roman Mythology - Change and transformation
Norse and European Cultures - Adaptability, determination & life
Pagan Traditions - Femininity, fertility and an attribute of the Goddess

The Tale Grows!

© 2014 Valerie Williams-Sanchez. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day Trip Destination: Rockland County

An Artists’ Enclave in Manhattan’s Backyard
By Valerie Williams-Sanchez

(NYACK, New York) June 12, 2013 – Balmy days, when sunshine glistens on leaves, are among the best for summer road trips. Ventures into neighborhoods and communities not-so-far away can provide affordable, otherworldly escapes from the day-to-day.
     Sight-seeing begins outside your window travelling in the country where nature flaunts full foliage, fragrant blooms like roses and jasmine, and light dances on rivers and lakes.
     Just a stone’s throw from Manhattan, Rockland County is a thriving community of artists, an enclave brimming with history and interest. Set against a backdrop of natural beauty, there are myriad sights, sounds and tastes to explore, as well as restorative departures that won’t bust your budget.
     To plan your excursion, a first stop should be the county’s website, www.rocklandtourism.com. Complete with a driving map and details on the area’s most renowned points of interest, Rockland Tourism-dot-com offers a thorough lay-of-the-land.
     Worth adding to the itinerary, the following short list includes a few suggestions (from a local’s perspective) on how to enjoy a few low to no-cost destinations that are slightly off the beaten path, or squarely in the mix of things, presented in a fresh way:

1. Just Buns Bakery – Specialty Bakery, Congers, NY

·WHEN TO GO:Dana Reyes bakes her signature Swirly Buns daily. But on weekends, 8 AM on Saturdays is the hour when her sweet little shop at 33 Lake Road, fills with the rich scent of freshly baked, Mallorca sweet bread-style pastry.

· WHAT TO EXPECT: This venue makes the list as a culinary destination worth trying for its artisan quality, yeast-based pastries. Hand-crafted of all natural ingredients, Just Buns’ new world ensaimadas have a light-as-air texture and delicious flavor.

· ON THIS DAY TRIP: Bring and fill a basket with Swirly Buns – they come in more than a dozen flavors, including top selling cinnamon and chocolate -- to enjoy along the way. Even mix-in a few savory flavored buns– like pesto, roasted garlic or roasted onion --for a tasty and inexpensive lunch that travels well. A dozen Just Buns’ Swirly Buns costs $23, and leaves room and cash to enjoy dinner dining at one of the areas finer restaurants.

· GETTING THERE: Cross the Tappan Zee Bridge into the county, exit in Nyack (the first exit across the bridge) and follow Route 9W north to Congers. Turn left onto Lake Road and continue a ¼ mile to the shop on the left. Visit www.justbunsbakery.com for details.

2. Catherine Konner Sculpture Park -- Rockland Art Center, West Nyack, NY

·WHEN TO GO:Open sunrise to sunset, year-round, this destination will be a favorite among early birds and late-comers to the grounds of Rockland Center for the Arts, (ROCA). Serene and often provocative, the space at 27 S. Greenbush Rd., and the works featured offer a high-art escape, anytime.

· WHAT TO EXPECT: Free to the public, the outdoor walking paths offer distinctive modern art installations by local, Rockland artists, including: Bill Hochhausen, Pomona, NY (www.billhochhausen.com); Elaine Lorenz, Hawthorne, NJ (www.elainelorenzart.com); Rodger Stevens, Nyack, NY (www.rodgerstevens.info); James Garvey, Piermont, NY, (www.distraughtart.com); and Grace Knowlton, Palisades, NY (www.graceknowltonart.com)

· ON THIS DAY TRIP: Bring your morning cup-o'-Joe, or better -- your hot cocoa, to sip while you stroll through Catherine Konner Sculpture Park’s two, scenic walking trails. Pack a sack lunch, or gnosh a few Just Buns’ Swirly Buns on one of the benches while you take in the sights and breath in the beauty.

·GETTING THERE: To get there from Just Buns, head back on Route 9W, to Nyack. Follow the signs, once past the Palisade Center. Also visit www.rocklandartcenter.orgfor details.

3. Downtown Nyack and Edward Hopper House Art Center – Nyack, NY

·WHEN TO GO: Nyack is home to more than a half dozen street fairs during the summer months. So, time your trip to coincide with one and enjoy a Nyack summer tradition, just one of the sweet charms of this quaint, riverside village founded in 1883.

·WHAT TO EXPECT: Crowds will await you on festival or fair days. But the hustle and bustle that typically intersects at South Broadway and Main streets, in Nyack’s Downtown, adds to its charm. Set against the backdrop of centuries old buildings and distinctive architecture as demonstrated by the Nyack Public Library, and U.S. Post Office buildings on South Broadway, Nyack is simply a refreshing place to be.

·ON THIS DAY TRIP: Spend the better part of the day exploring the shops, like Chocolaterie at 6 S. Broadway, Archive Home at 9 S. Broadway, and Colin Holmes at 13 S. Broadway, or visit the childhood home of iconic American, realist painter, Edward Hopper at his residence located at 82 N. Broadway.

·GETTING THERE:From ROCA, head due south on Rte. 59 into the heart of Nyack. There is ample metered parking, but bring plenty of change. The Nyack parking authority is prolific and unforgiving! Visit www.edwardhopperhouse.org or search any of the shops listed on Facebook for details.

4. Piermont Flywheel Park – Piermont Landing, Piermont, NY

·WHEN TO GO: Bountiful spring and early summer blooms make for magnificent views mid-year. Noon through early evening, the sights and scents along River Road, the two-lane swath of roadway connect Nyack to Piermont come into full focus, with a lesser need for maneuvering past the hordes of cyclists who come to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

·WHAT TO EXPECT: Piermont is not known as a budget-shopper’s destination, but it does offer experiences that range in price, including world-class dining and art. Many of Piermont’s indulgences are worth the splurge.

·ON THIS DAY TRIP: Enjoy a leisurely walk on Piermont Pier; fly a kite at Flywheel Park (at 554 Piermont Ave.) alongside the venue’s namesake, an authentic rotating mechanical device used more than 100 years ago to store energy for Piermont’s first factory, The Piermont Paper Company. Visitors to commercial galleries at Piermont Landing, including the Piermont Flywheel Gallery at 223 Ash Street will enjoy local artists’ work and imagery, including collections by Catherine Minnery (www.catherineminnery.artspan.com), Sueim Koo, and CarlStoveland (www.artisticbalancebycarl.com). Relax and unwind with a viewing tour to end your day. A sampling of small plates at celebrity Chef Peter Kelley’s Freelance Café, or in his five star dining room Xaviar’s are among places to dine (reservations are recommended for the latter). O lar Restaurant, (reviewed in the New York Times Dinning section on Feb. 24, 2013), also offers memorable epicurean diversions. Follow your meal with a stroll along the pier. The views of the Hudson are a feast for the eyes!

·GETTING THERE: Take River Road from Nyack and drive through Grand View-on-the-Hudson, following the run of the River, into Piermont. Visit www.piermontflywheel.com for artists’ bios and a calendar of events, including details on the recently held Piermont Art Walk, June 22, 2013.

5. The Market and the Filing Station -- Palisades, NY
·WHEN TO GO: At days end, once the cyclists have gone and traffic has begun to subside, make a final pit-stop that offers a little something extra. The 9W Market and the Filing Station are ideal locales in which to catch your breath before beginning your journey home, or to simply keep in mind for your next tour of through the area.

·WHAT TO EXPECT: A favorite among neighborhood locals, this community watering hole is a great place to be among friends. Locals lounge in Adirondack chairs or picnic tables and enjoy beer, wine and casual dining on grilled or bistro-style fare. The 9W Market and neighboring eatery, Filling Station (not affiliated with the Filing Station in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market), are located at 243 Route 9W, Palisades, NY.

·ON THIS DAY TRIP: Indulge in specialty entrees, fresh bakery items and pizzas, salads, sandwiches or other favorites, and desserts, as well as Jacques Torres Hot Chocolate offered year-round (served frozen in the summer months), coffees and espresso. Or, share a bench outside the Filing Station and make a new friend while you savor a scoop of Jane’s Ice Cream, a Hudson Valley favorite since 1985, made locally in Ulster County, Rockland’s neighbor to the north.

·GETTING THERE: From Piermont, follow River Road to the intersection at Route 9W. Drive south to the Palisades Parkway. Continue across the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan. Visit www.the9wmarket.com for menus and directions.

(c) 2013 Valerie Williams-Sanchez. All Rights reserved.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Haute Cocoa Bijou

Love hot chocolate but not all the calories? Why not treat yourself – or perhaps Mom for May 12, 2013, Mother’s Day -- to a hot cocoa luxury that won’t go straight to the hips.

Haute Cocoa Bijou, a term coined by Valerie’s Vignettes, refers to bijou – small, elegant jewels and gems -- that come in delicious chocolate hues. The term references a multitude of precious and semi-precious gems including smoky topaz, chocolaty brown garnets and quartz gems, as well as semi-precious stones like burnt new jade, brownish wooden jasper, chocolate opal and fire agate. However, increasingly popular and distinctive in their own right, both chocolate pearls and brown or Chocolate Diamonds, a word mark owned by LeVian Corporation, reign supreme.

Chocolate Pearls are derived from Tahitian black pearls which come from the black pearl oyster, or Pinctada Margaritifera. Exceptionally sensitive to climate and water-temperature, Tahitian black pearls largely reject attempts to be artificially stimulated to create pearls. This characteristic means Tahitian black pearl cannot be easily mass-produced like cultured white pearls. This also accounts for their rarity and value. In chocolate brown pearls, the rich color is achieved through a bleaching process that transforms the naturally occurring black nacre (that is pearly substance from which pearls get their name and distinctive look) into deep, cocoa and caramel tones.

Gemology Institute of America credits New York-based import-exporter, Ballerina Pearl, Co. as the creator of the technique. Founded in 1985, Ballerina Pearl, Co. generates between $1M to $5M annually moving and manufacturing its variety South Seas pearl products, according to data from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Introduced in 2000, Chocolate Pearls have shown a steady growth in popularity.  Most recently, their popularity has been fueled by the zeitgeist, style and Art Deco fashions seen in the film, Gatsby, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 masterwork, The Great Gatsby

More than a one-hit wonder, Chocolate Pearls make regular appearances on red carpet occasions worldwide, and are often selected and promoted by stylist to the stars Erica Courtney. Also worth note, women of substance and international esteem ranging from the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama to fashion trailblazer Sara Jessica Parker have been spotted and photographed wearing simple and stunning stands of the modern classic.

Diamonds or Pearls --
Which has your favorite style icons been spotted wearing? 
Chocolate Pearls
Cocoa Diamonds
Michelle Obama
Jacqueline Onassis
 Sara Jessica Parker
Halle Berry
Eva Marcille
Jennifer Lopez
Hilary Swank
Kelly Rowland
 Keira Knightly
Katy Perry
 Sandra Bullock
Taylor Swift
 Katherine Heigel
Ariel Winter
 Jessica Biel
Jessica Alba
Kim Kardashian
The most common color, brown diamonds aren't all created equal. 
Golden Jubilee Diamond -- South Africa -- 545.67 carats
Star Star of the South -- Brazil -- 128.48 carats
Lesotho Brown -- Lesotho -- 601 carats

Chocolate Diamonds -- All diamonds are considered rare and can span the spectrum from green, yellow, orange, red, black, and of relevance here, a tone of hot cocoa.  Contrary to conventional wisdom and the “4-C” scale of diamond grading (cut, color, clarity, and carat) system, which sets colorlessness at a premium, colored diamonds are rarer. Though, naturally occurring brown diamonds are among the most common and get their color from impurities, or inclusions. Historically, these diamonds which possess all the properties of white diamonds were reserved for industrial use.
These days, though, more vividly colored and named Chocolate Diamonds, are upping the game – and value – of the gemstone workhorse into a different category. Capitalizing on proprietary designs and techniques developed and perfected by Persian Master Jeweler Abdulrahim LeVian, LeVian Jewelers that also use the moniker “LeVian Chocolatiers”  has created a signature niche of confections inspired fine jewelry and gems which use black rhodium to intensify the deeply saturated chocolate tones of its characteristic diamonds. According to the company's website, the children of Mr. LeVian continue in their father’s proud tradition and family heritage of producing distinctive, richly colored original and quality fine and popularly priced jewelry.

But let’s face it. Even the most modestly priced diamond or cultured pearl can be out of reach for some. Alternately, others like the variety and  novelty of semi-precious stones. Beautifully natural, polished stones and crystals can offer everyday alternatives for jewelry-lovers of all budgets. Quality crystals can offer just as much “bling” as the quintessential girls’ best friend, diamonds. Whether striking a subtle or dramatic note in chocolate, these Haute Cocoa Bijou make a rich addition to any wardrobe for any occasion.

© 2013 Valerie Williams-Sanchez. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hot Cocoa & Hotter Cars

A Cocoa & Conversation Vignette, by Valerie Williams-Sanchez

One of the most rewarding parts of whipping up a batch of premium hot cocoa is the visual treat of seeing cocoa powder release its chestnut color and rich scent into milk. Valrhona cocoa powder in particular creates deep, vibrant and ruddy hues that emerge and merge, signaling the true luxury experience at hand.  

The sumptuous color exudes decadence.

Lush and luscious, varied tones of the chocolate spectrum are finding their way into other facets of upscale lifestyles, particularly on U.S. and international roads and highways.

Awash in an automotive field of S.U.V.s and sedans offered in mind-numbing arrays of grey, a few models of various makes stand out for their rich exterior color, tones evocative of velvety smooth experiences with cocoa, both hot and cool. 

But such hues for car coatings don't suit everyone. Saturated earthen tones, including brown, claimed less than 10% market share of the automotive paint industry, according to reports from PPG Industries, a leader in pigments and color coatings.

Each year the Troy, Michigan-based company hosts the Automotive Color Trends Show and publishes statistics from and for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). In 2012, PPG released report data that quantified and reinforced the status quo. As in years past, more colorful tones came up woefully short against perennial, global favorites white and black, which rank #1 and #3 respectively.

Top Automotive Exterior Colors
  • White -- 22%
  • Silver -- 20%
  • Black -- 19%
  • Gray -- 12%
  • Red -- 9% 
  • Natural -- 8%
  • Blue -- 7%
  • Green -- 2%
  • Other colors -- 1%
(source PPG Industries media release www.ppg.com,  2012)
Rich and luxurious tones of brown, nonetheless, are making gains. A precursor for concept and production cars to come, some 19 of the 64 new colors PPG introduced in 2012 were in the brown spectrum, including Chocolate Brown (RAL 8017), Chestnut Brown (RAL 8015) and Terra Brown (RAL 8028).

“The palette being developed for the automotive segment continues to be influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, color popularity and new pigment technology,” according to a release from PPG Industries following the show.

In the world of automotive, hot cocoa hues seem reserved for refined palettes which, more and more, are turning luxury touring cars and active Sports Utility Vehicles into chocolate-dipped chariots. Just peruse offers in the luxury automotive competitive set and findings will confirm, hot cocoa color is top-shelf special, included in product offers which can and do demand premium pricing.

Great chocolate of any type ain't cheap.

Earthy, organic tones appear on models which can hover in the highest pricing echelons of the luxury segment. Often offered as a custom coating, spangled, glossy and shimmering cocoa tones can fetch from $475 to $720, or higher, depending on the model and automaker.

“Our consumer research has clearly shown that color is critically important to car buyers,” said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive OEM coatings. The translation to auto makers: exterior color can be a deal-breaking proposition for many, according to PPG statistics.

In 2011, PPG surveyed consumers and found that 77 percent said exterior color was a factor in their automotive purchase decision. And, nearly half, 45 percent of respondents said they would prefer a wider range of color choices, data which could be driving OEM's investment in succulent colors, despite recession-driven dips in industry sales.

Color to Cruise and Savor
Like choosing a beverage to sip or swig, those shopping for large luxury cars and larger, premium SUVs – more frequently than those looking for high-performance coupes, compacts and sub-compact sedans – have more than a few chocolate tones from which to choose.

Mocha Match-ups by Make and Monikers (listed alphabetically)
  • Acura – Amber Brownstone
  • Audi – Teak Brown Metallic (for Q5 and Q7 only)
  • BMW -- Mojave and Marrakesh
  • Infinity – Midnight Garnet and Dark Currant (QX only)
  • Jaguar – Caviar and Caviar Metallic
  • Lexus – Fire Agate
  • Mercedes Benz – Cuprite Brown and Mystic Brown
  • Volvo – Terra Bronze (XC60) and Twilight Bronze (S80)

A sampling of luxury automakers' offers suggests that while cocoa connoisseurs enjoy performance, more chose to cruise in cocoa, rather than race. The indulgent tone is often concentrated on offers for full-sized sedans and more substantive SUVs. Typically, sports suspensions and racing performance product lines eschew cocoa-tones.

"A pit stop en route to New York Auto Show for City Bakery Hot Cocoa in my XC60. Volvo calls the color Terra Bronze. To me, it is hot cocoa."

On the other side of the cash register, Judy Ray of Crevier Motors BMW, in Santa Ana, Calif. said she has observed that brown tends to attract a more subtle customer than those looking for status grey.  

Ray said, chocolate tones "seem to be preferred by those looking to please their own palette, lifestyle and emotional preference."

Climate, culture -- which can effect the way colors are regarded -- and gender, a determining factor in color-blindness, can affect the way colors, including brown, are perceived. They are but a few factors that impact popularity and take-rates.  

In the BMW line-up, brown is reserved for larger, touring models and is altogether absent in the "M" line racing performance brand. Ray said this could be attributed to the idea that those who buy brown, value luxury over aggressive, sporty performance.

This could also be true at Mercedes Benz. Brown turns up as an AMG custom color, one to be special-ordered. It is not a color typically shown as a demo. At Infinity, their largest SUV, the QX is shown only in brown-wannabe, Dark Currant. Similarly, Audi has corralled its cocoa offerings in one series. Teak Brown and its heavy metal sibling – Teak Brown Metallic, seem to account for the label's brown option, colors only offered on the Q5 and Q7.

"Exotic colors [are] for exotic cars," according to Leslie Kendall, curator at Los Angeles-based, Petersen Automotive Museum. Antique cars hold their design integrity in their original colors, enhancing a car's design personality, according to Kendall. This is most important when color is part of a car's I.D. This is also when color can dramatically affect the value of a vehicle and impact the authenticity of a restoration.   

Petersen also described how auto coating palettes can and have taken cues from most anywhere, including trends and movements in culture and art. Petersen pointed to eras of industrialism and modernism, as well as artistic movements like art deco which served as a catalyst in the 1930s for car design and their complimentery colors which, in the instance of shades of gold and brown, were pulled directly from military palettes, drawn from tones associated with flight, and metropolitan factories and buildings to, later, their antithetical muse, nature.

The Petersen collection is widely and most popularly known for its antique car collection as well as historically and anatomically correct historic restorations. When talking about restored cars, Kendall said, color authenticity is key, and color correctness is an element worth tending to and maintaining when addressing the artistry of any automobile.

Car collecting enthusiasts pay big money and lots of attention to such details.

Renown for their eccentric extravagance, Concours d'Elegance autos and their owners go all out, presenting their cars -- and themselves -- in full regalia, hoping to grab the attention and win admiring glances and the approval of judges who rate restored cars for their authenticity, Kendall said.

In such an environment, tones of milky chocolate and darkest, bitter mocha color are synonymous with sophistication, according to Kendall who pointed to the museum's founder and namesake as an example.

Mr. Petersen himself, Leslie recalled, counted a 20-story brown skyscraper, an opulent personal airport terminal and private jets replete with chocolate accents and brown décor, and even a chestnut brown Bentley, among his prized possessions. Kendall said, "brown is a color of maturity." It's clear, in these applications, brown is simply the color of sweet indulgence.

© 2013 Valerie Williams-Sanchez. All rights reserved.