Nell Boeschenstein



Designing woman

I am preparing (once again) to relocate. Once again I will not be bringing any furniture with me, just some clothes, a decorative pillow or two and some chutzpah. Naturally, there are upsides and downsides to the state of extreme brokenness that prevents one from taking one’s furniture with one when one goes. Con: No […]

Variation on a theme

This being the "Best Of" issue and all, I got to thinking about all the many wonderful things about Charlottesville that make it The Best Town of All Towns in The Universe to me. I love Charlottesville. Probably more than is healthy and certainly more than is necessary. The list of what makes Charlottesville rock […]

Fur balls

The other day a girl I know came up to me and asked, "Are you still writing that column about websites?" I said that indeed I was, flattered and astonished that she even knew I wrote a column about websites at all. She then proceeded to tell me about this website she had started about […]

Leaf by leaf

Two thoughts on the subject of trees: First, when I lived in Aspen, my constant argument against all those people who kept gushing over how beautiful Aspen was amounted to, “Beautiful? But it only has three kinds of trees!” (aspens, cottonwoods and pines). I would then treat these poor people who were so unschooled in […]

Homing in

Last night, I was sitting around drinking a pinot grigio that tasted like a chardonnay (does that sound obnoxious?) with a few of my favorite people, when our idle chitchat turned to one of my favorite topics of conversation: real estate. This discussion, however, differed from previous conversations about real estate in that this conversation […]

When celebrities blog

O.K. So. Everyone knows that Rosie O’Donnell blogs, right? Everyone has heard tell about her weird blogging style that often involves what some might refer to as “poems” (e.g., “a book is not a blog/a book has very few strict rules/so does singing/and comedy too/you never know to…what?”), right? Well, you may have heard that […]

Raves for rants

I think I’ve spoken before in this forum about my childhood wish to go into advertising. How, thanks to ads like Play Station’s 1998 classic pedaling Metal Gear Solid and the Tiny House ad for Geico, I am convinced that the advertising business is full of the coolest, smartest, funniest people in the world. While […]

Feeding me

Vague memories from the Food & Wine Classic that recently wrapped up here in Aspen from where I write: the girl at the table next to me telling her companion that she used to have sex with Bobby Flay in the bathroom of the restaurant at which we were dining; me getting so drunk on […]

Dig this

The thing about the Internet is that it keeps getting more and more ambitious. Bigger and better and more and lots more. This is what we call “progress” in cliché moments of cynicism when we are using that word to denegrate that same word. I, however, am not using the word in this way in […]

Reading into it

At the risk of sounding like a whiny, pretentious brat, I’m going to go ahead and say that—English major that I used to be (still am?)—I miss some of that high-falutin’ book talk I used to get in college. Gone are the days of debating Hardy over the cafeteria table, replaced with albeit more timely […]

Sick days

In the past two years, my aunt has had first breast cancer and then cancer of the stomach lining. No one said so, but I’m pretty sure everyone thought she was a goner—including herself—especially that second time the diagnosis came up positive. But she was incredibly lucky: The doctors performed a procedure in which they […]

Shelter Sites You Don't Want To Miss

Back to basicswww.realsimple.com Unless you haven’t ventured anywhere near a grocery store in the past five years you are probably familiar with the proud housewife’s almanac: Real Simple, the magazine that takes life and makes it easier…or at least more manageable. It’s a relative phenomenon that has expanded from the traditional magazine format into television, […]

Stranger with candy

The typical definition of “blog”—simply put, some random person’s online journal of wandering and, more often than not, useless thoughts—usually holds little to no interest for me. I’m in the business of “me” (aren’t we all when it comes right down to it?) and so I have no time for other people’s hopes, dreams, friends, […]

Getting out of Dodge

As I write this, Memorial Day weekend is upon us. I have Monday off and I fully intend to “call in sick” on Friday. Four days of freedom meant it was imperative that I get the hell out of here; I haven’t left town since Christmas, everything in Aspen is closed for the off-season (including […]

Listen close

One of the easiest things to do in Charlottesville is get on with your bougie self. It’s the old latte, stroll the Mall, linger over lunch, get another latte, drink some bottled water, go to yoga routine that this town is so adept at fostering. And I’m certainly not knocking it: Lattes and long lunches […]

Book smart

In case you hadn’t already guessed, dear readers, I was a huge nerd back in the day as I shuffled through the Charlottesville City Public Schools. I blame my parents in part for this distinction—they who did not let me watch TV (except for PBS, natch), scoffed at cartoons and made me read books that […]

Getting all handsy

If there’s one word I hate in the English language (besides “moist” and “cellulite” and “pasty” and “luxe” and all the other obvious choices) then it’s the word “craft.” A small word with none of that discernable sexual innuendo that would usually qualify a word for a mild case of the “ews,” it calls to […]

Book club

I like it when people do my dirty work for me. Like the dishes, my taxes, or buying gas. I don’t know if this constitutes dirty work (because it hardly needs to be done at all), but some journalist in Philly has taken it upon himself to read the entire Left Behind series so that […]

After the Cook shooting, now what?

On August 21, 2004, a resident of Friendship Court called the police for assistance in a domestic dispute. When the officers arrived on the scene, the suspect, Kerry Cook, though unarmed, resisted arrest. The subsequent scuffle ended when one of the cops shot Cook, a 31-year-old African-American man, once in the stomach—resulting in a coma […]

The House of Stewart

O.K., ladies, who out there wants to marry Jon Stewart? And ladies, who out there has had a wine-induced bitchfest with your girlfriends about the fact that the Jon in question done gone and got married to some lady vet without having ever even met you? I would pretty much bet cash money that about […]

School me

My concentration in college was poetry, a concentration that shelters its students from the real world perhaps more than most college concentrations. When I graduated and found myself suddenly out in the cold reality of this “real world,” I was hit pretty hard. One of my coping mechanisms was to distance myself from that thing […]

Everything you always wanted

Back before “Seinfeld” made it a house-hold name, I was a total sucker for the J. Peterman catalogue. I would read those pages like I would read a book, imagining trips to Tangiers, Australian cowboys, Hemingway’s cufflinks, that kind of thing. I was in seventh grade then. Now, I think back on that catalogue and […]

Craft singles

I am pretty much convinced that I have one of the worst periods known to womankind. Cramps, headaches, joint aches, mood swings—the whole she-bang (pun intended, of course). I dread my time of the month the way other people might dread nuclear war, and when it comes, nobody better mess with me (although it’s hard […]

A fond farewell

When I was graduating from college and moving back home for a bit, I did a fair amount of research into the various Charlottesville outlets to which I might be able to offer my meager services (read: skills) and thus keep my mind sharp and my creativity alive. It was during this initial exploration of […]

Feelings, nothing more than…

I’ve always been the person in my family accused of being the most in touch with my feelings. This is not a good thing in many cases, given that the phrase is usually offered as an excuse for some unwarranted emotional outburst I’ve just let fly. However, it’s hardly an insightful remark to say that […]

Jab fest

I am a lucky girl. Not because my mother looks 10 years younger than she is or because I was blessed with reasonably straight teeth. Rather, because for the past week I have been making my way through events at the HBO Comedy Festival and thus have had the privilege of sharing the company of […]

Death’s doorstep

Ask any one of my close friends or family members to name my biggest neurosis, and they will undoubtedly come up with one of two answers: airplanes or diseases. I can’t get on an airplane without major sedation, and about once a month I am convinced I’m dying of a tragic illness. For example, once […]