THE MOTHER of
JA interviews his Mommy and his Mommy interviews him.
Mother’s Day makes me think of one thing: me. And how amazing it must be to be my mother. JK! Or am I? But seriously, my mother Cynthia is irreverent, creative, and wickedly funny. Plus, her ebullient sense of color inspires me to this day.
So, we sat down together to chat about some of our favorite people—ourselves.
Jonathan to Mommy
Q. When I asked for a pottery wheel for my Bar Mitzvah, you happily obliged – why? Most parents would say no. The expense! The mess! The bad teenage-pottery scattered all over the house!
I was terrified about the footprints of clay dust on our gorgeous white carpet. And I was correct (as always). But I also saw the passion in your eyes, a passion I had only seen before when you were battling your brother and sister for the prime TV viewing seat in the family room, the Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair. You wouldn't take no for an answer.
Q. After college, what did you think when I told you I wanted to be a potter?
I thought you were insane. I always assumed pottery would be your hobby, not your job. But Dad and I always said that you were willful. Also I've thought you were an artistic genius and I'm not just saying that because you're my son!
“I was terrified about the footprints of clay dust on our gorgeous white carpet.”
Q. Obviously, I am your favorite child. Why?
No comment. But if it were true, perhaps it'd be because you were a daredevil and I was constantly taking you to the emergency room for broken bones and cuts and, of the three kids, you were the most "at risk" as they say nowadays.
Q. And, finally, what was the best Mother’s Day gift you’ve ever gotten?
I don't know if you've noticed this, but you haven't been terribly consistent with the gifts. But I don't care—you three kids are the best gift of all.
Mommy to Jonathan
Q. What was your favorite piece in our house growing up?
I was obsessed with the dining room table, which was an incredible bit of organic modernist walnut hippie crafty majesty. Even though I seemed like a blank simpleton who was only interested in watching TV and playing tennis, I was actually a closet aesthete who was taking it all in. The Marimekko window shades, Dad's incredible sculptures, the sublime Pat Lipsky painting in the living room, the Design Research sofas—I studied all of it and developed a sensibility.
Q. What was the piece you hated the most in the house (and don’t say your siblings)?
I loved our house. Even when I was a little brat I recognized that there was something really great and spesh about the architecture and design. My siblings were the only blight.
Q. And, finally, when are you going to redecorate my apartment?
Whenever you want! You're my favorite person and I'll do whatever you want.