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Shades of Green

John Patrick Shanley Apartment Wall

John Patrick Shanley Apartment Wall

American playwright John Patrick Shanley loves to throw down lavish dinner parties. Guests are greeted by bold, unabashedly colorful walls in his Manhattan apartment. Mr. Shanley has had a lifelong fascination with color and its ability to elicit responses and reminiscences. He is particularly drawn to green, a constant aesthetic in his homes throughout the years. The specific shade he chooses is closely tied to his emotional state-of-mind at the time, be it an unsettling acid green or a vigorous kelly green. He correlates the particular success of a recent gathering at his Gramercy Park apartment to the living room walls, which are painted with a peppermint leaf green. “I find that green is comforting to people,” the award-winning stage director recently told The New York Times. “It makes them want to stick around.”

Green is much more than a relentlessly raging marketing catchphrase. Green is abundant and plentiful, conceptually possessing more tints than any other color – from sea-foam to emerald to viridian. Green represents tranquility, fertility, financial vigor and growth. Conversely, it describes jealousy, illness or inexperience. Not unremarked by Mr. Shanley, it is also the national color of his ancestors’ Ireland. Green owes its strongest identity to nature; however, in particular the seasons of Spring and Summer.

As the earthy crispness of fall approaches, we should rejoice in the virtues of green as they fade. Take time to appreciate the calming and centering effect on our psyches during your time outside. You will not witness its natural grandeur again until next year. Unless, that is, you are inspired by Mr. Shanley to pick up a paint brush.


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