Friday, June 1, 2012

The allure of the rural: From Oklahoma to Oxfordshire

I could not help chuckle yesterday when I read in this New York Times feature on Amanda Brooks, fashion director at Barneys. The big news is that she is--to use the British expression--"quitting New York" and moving with her husband and children to live in rural Oxfordshire for a few years.  Here's an excerpt:
[Brooks] announced that she was not just quitting the Barneys position, but leaving Manhattan itself and planning a yearlong move with her family to a farm in Oxfordshire, England, that is owned by the family of her husband, the artist Christopher Brooks.  
Journalist Bee Shyuan-Chang speculates in the story about the motivation for the move, floating such possibilities as Barneys' disappointment with Brooks' services.  But this quote from Brooks then sets the record straight on this weighty matter (well, this feature is from the Fashion pages, after all):
"It was because of Ree Drummond's blog, The Pioneer Woman," said Ms. Brooks, who has recently returned to a blog,, that she started after publishing the 2009 book, which had the same name.  Reading a New Yorker profile last year of Ms. Drummond, a mother of four who lives on a cattle ranch outside Pawhuska, Okla., and posts prolifically on subjects like how to make cornmeal pancakes (using catchphrases like "yahoo, yippety") "got me really fired up,"  Ms. Brooks went on. "It's the idea of having a career on your own terms, anywhere."  
Shyuan-Chang goes on to highlight the differences between Brooks and Drummond, which is--of course--what had me chuckling.  She describes Brooks as "a consummate urbanite with coolly styled looks, [who] could not be more diametrically opposed to Ms. Drummond."

This post about Drummond assists in the "compare and contrast" exercise.


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