Monday, May 3, 2010

Beautiful McCloud Falls

Yesterday my friend, Patty, and I made pilgrimage to Lower, Middle and Upper Falls. Thanks to a better than typical snowpack, I've never seen the falls looking better.

It was a perfect nearly cloudless, sunny day in the high 60's. Despite the worrisome woes of our shrinking world, it was wonderful to get a respite.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lenticular Sighting

Watched a shape-shifting lenticular cloud this morning as it sailed toward the mountain. Lovely.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Museums and Old City Day, Pt 3

After our brief fling with history, we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where Nick works and took a tour of the Picasso exhibit. I especially enjoyed seeing Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) and Marc Chagall's Half Past Three (The Poet) and a self-portrait of Picasso at 25. Nickopedia joined us as we visited the American wing and other wonderful galleries before heading home: Shaker Furniture, Asian Arts including the refurbished Tea House exhibit, portraits by Thomas Eakins, armor, glass and so much more.....

Dinner was at Zorba's Taverna on Fairmount where we all feasted on wonderful Greek cuisine (my calimari was so tender and tasty), then home and off to bed so we could get up at 5:00 am and head for PHL.
It was fun, fabulous and fast and my only wish is that we could have seen more. Thank you Casey and Nick for making it the best of times. Love you both.

Museums and Old City Day, Pt 2

While in Old City we decided to have lunch at the wonderfully historic City Tavern. Originally built by subscription in 1772, it was the unofficial meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774. Nearly burned to the ground in the mid 1800's, it was demolished in 1854 then, as the nation's first Bicentennial approached, an historically accurate replica was constructed and opened in time for the Nation's big birthday celebration in 1976 .

We also stopped by the Curtis Center across from Independence Square to view Maxfield Parrish's Dream Garden glass mosaic mural--the Curtis Center was once the home of the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, etc. The mural is 15 feet high and 49 feet across. The mural and the magnitude of labor are astonishing.

Museums and Old City Day

Our last day packed in lots of walking, art, walking, food, walking . . . Nick had gotten tickets for us to see the 'Picasso and the Avant Garde in Paris' exhibit at the PMA. But first, Casey, Celise and I started the day at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia--one of many venues hosting the Philagrafika 2010 art experience. (Philagrafika 2010, five years in the making, is an "international festival celebrating print in contemporary art" featuring more than 300 artists exhibiting in more than 80 city-wide venues. Most exhibits run through April 11, 2010.)

I'd been longing to see some of this wonderful work for many months. My interest in the book arts, historical buildings and a tight time budget, helped narrow the choices down to the Athenaeum which was exhibiting the work of six book artists.

The Athenaeum and the Philadelphia Center for the Book put out a call for book artists to respond to one of ten selected works from the Athenaeum's legacy research collection of architecture and design. The artists whose proposals were chosen each received $500 to complete their book.

My favorite was a book sculpture by John Magnan titled Diorama. He created each 'page' of the 'book' from two curved tree rings. His piece was a response to The Young Carpenter's Assistant by Owen Biddle (1805). The Athenaeum itself is a lovely American Italianate Revival style building--one of the first in the United States--and a National Historic Landmark--the first subscription library of the United States, located at South 6th Street near Walnut in Old City and well worth a visit.

Philadelphia Trip Day 3

Mar 4, Nick and Casey drove Celise and I up to Manhattan--a first for both of us. 'Nickopedia'--with great love and affection--gave us his best Driving Tour Light because sadly, we didn't have time for more. Museum Row was some of the best--just thinking about what might be inside. And yes, honey, New Yorkers are different--maybe they eat chutzpah bars for breakfast? The best story from the trip is when we stepped into a little shop to buy some postcards. One of the clerks asked Celise if she was from California and she replied, "Well yes, and how did you know?" He managed to chuckle and grin without rolling his eyeballs at us. Gee, did our good manners and smiling, lightly tanned faces give us away????? As Arnold so aptly put it--"I'll be baahk." Thanks Nick, you maneuvered us around most expertly.

2010 PHS Flower Show

2010 PHS Flower Show and ICA

March 2, 2010 my good friend, Celise, and I flew to Philadelphia to spend a few days in the City of Brotherly Love with Casey and Nick. Our raison d'etre was to attend the Horticultural Society's weeklong 2010 flower show, an annual event first held in 1829. This year's theme was "Passport to the World." The show was a combination floral fair and trade mart with several room-size professional, themed botanical exhibits, local member and group exhibits, individual 'best of species' competitions, and booths for vendors filled with just about anything an admirer of plant life might need or want. Poor camera work on my part doesn't do justice but a few shots will serve nicely as memory aids.

After the show we met Isaac in Chinatown for lunch then zipped on over to the U of Penn Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) where we thoroughly enjoyed Maira Kalman's show Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World). Proudly I report that Casey hung the show and did an exquisite job. It didn't look like it was easy as the pieces grouped on every wall were abutted frame edge to frame edge and centered along a constant horizontal midline. Congratulations Casey for a show well hung.

The piece shown here is Maira Kalman's "Self-Portrait With Pete" (2004-5). Ms. Kalman has been making art for more than 30 years. I first became acquainted with her from reading the NY Times for which she is currently creating a monthly visual blog about American democracy. I guess what I most enjoy about her blog, The Pursuit of Happiness, is the thoughtful, self-aware and accessible way she communicates her impressions.

Viewing the Various Illuminations show I enjoyed again and again her saucy sense of humor. She really made me laugh--a happy thing as there seems so much less to laugh at as self and perspective age. One of my favorite pieces was a souvenir-style sheet of dead presidents' heads which she had irreverently adorned with big hair, pigtails, and other cheeky doodles. Simple but effective. She also makes time to collaborate with her son and others on community projects that expand, embellish and lift lives.

Maira was born in Tel Aviv in 1949 and moved to New York City with her family at the age of four. She has no formal art training but enjoys what looks to be a satisfying professional life blogging for the NY Times, illustrating for New Yorker magazine, she has written and illustrated at least a dozen children's books and illustrated an edition of the classic, Elements of Style. She teaches graduate classes in design at the School of Visual Arts. Maira Kalman shows at the Julie Saul Gallery in NYC.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Trip to the Oregon Coast

Spent a long weekend at the N. California/S. Oregon Coast with Casey & Nick who flew out from Philadelphia for a year-end get together (a stand-in for birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas). We were fortunate to have decent weather and set off to do some beachcombing but even the low tides were very high so there was no beach. The alternative attraction proved to be the waves cresting at 35 feet and smashing on the sea stacks all along the coast. The sight was so stunning that people just went to the shore to see the wave action.

Later we took a leisurely drive through the Stout Grove redwoods near Jedediah Smith S.P. and were amazed (yet again) by these ancient giants and the misty, mysterious and mossy Jurassic environment they inhabit. There's a damped quietness that fills the surrounding space; even as the cars and visitors trickle through in turn. Rosey had a serious attack of steelhead fever whenever we passed near the wild and scenic Smith River.
For the coastal portion of our holiday we stayed at Whaleshead Beach Resort and, as luck would have it, it was the perfect place to stay.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bathroom Remodel Almost Complete

All that remains is the over-sink mirror which the glass people are cutting down from an existing piece. The shower glass install took five hours and was a real nail-biter. As luck would have it, nothing went awry, or was fixable. They did a great job. Was it all worth it? Yes. Do it again in this lifetime? I hope not!