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Famous Pools author Kelly Klein gives Aspen Magazine a peek into to her favorite local hot spots, while reflecting on discoveries she found for her new book, Pools: Reflections. Join her for a book signing on Dec. 23 at James Perse from 4 to 6pm.

TAKING THE PLUNGE This photo by German artist Sandra Senn appears in Kelly Klein’s new book, Pools: Reflections.


City for Display: 

You used to visit Aspen a lot. What are you looking forward to most upon your return?
I have been vacationing in Aspen for 30 years. I first started to come in the late ’80s and ’90s, and the parties were incredible. It was very decadent and so much fun. I stopped coming five years ago because I had a child. Now my son Lukas is 5, and I think he’s ready to learn to ski. I really look forward to having a white Christmas with tons of snow. I am a skier—I tried snowboarding, but I just couldn’t get used to it. I tend to ski at Snowmass or Ajax, but I prefer Snowmass. It’s a little less aggressive, and I hear it has a lot of new hotels and restaurants.

What are some of your favorite spots in Aspen?
Cache Cache has great food. I also love Matsuhisa, and the ribs at Hickory House. The Caribou Club is so fun, with consistently great food. You can have a private party in the wine cellar downstairs. I love Lee Keating’s Performance Ski to get fitted! I go to the James Perse store for flannel sheets and great blankets. For children, Brunelleschi’s is great for pizza and pastas, and Little Annie’s is the place for burgers and desserts. I always love taking the sleigh or cross-country skiing to the Pine Creek Cookhouse up above Ashcroft for lunch; it makes for a fun day! Woody Creek Tavern is great; Ajax Tavern for truffle fries.

I have been lucky enough to have great private instruction on the slope. I personally like the Argentine ski instructors. I have experienced Aspen two ways, renting private homes or staying in all of the great hotels. It’s fun to stay in the village and walk around to enjoy the great shopping. I never went to nightclubs. I always went to friends’ homes to party. Aspen is timeless! It’s a charming old village with history. It’s a bit like going back in time… especially during a winter wonderland snowstorm over Christmas.

What drew you back to pools?
I did my first Pools book 20 years ago and thought it was time to do the sequel. This book is different than the first in that it’s all modern contemporary images of pools. I have incorporated more art in and around the pools, and there are no vintage images at all in this new book—very colorful, not many black-and-white images. It was another way to make this book different than my first. I have included many very important architects, as well as art photographers and fashion photographers. There are a lot more people in this book, which brings more lifestyle into this project.

What have you noticed has changed in the style and design of pools since you last took up the subject?
Pool architecture has become much more contemporary, more modern, more interesting. The pool is now as important in design as the house. Pools are like sculpture in the ground—they almost become a work of art. The color of the water becomes so important, as does the shape and the design. I have noticed that more people are placing sculptures in and around the swimming pools. My favorite pool in this book—that represents a work of art or an installation in a swimming pool—is the James Turrell-designed pool. The trends today seem to be the invisible edge, the European edge and the trough pool—inspired by watering troughs for horses.