Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rhododendron garden, memorials and tribute

- The Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens in Hiawassee, Georgia. Planted along a mile-long pine bark trail on the shore of Lake Chatuge, more than 3,000 plants are in bloom from early April to late May.

- It sounds easy enough to get to, but the garden is relatively hidden at the top of a multi-tiered parking lot of a music and event park. I discovered it a few years ago and use those paths as a good place to get my walks in when I am staying at my sister's vacation home nearby.

- The garden is home to numerous memorial benches like this one - so touching to think of this couple walking together in the afterlife.

- The Bonnie Day Quiet Area leads to the little covered pavilion pictured below.

- A quiet place to reflect and think about what this Monday day off represents. As I was leaving town today, I noticed that all of the neighbors in the little mountain village - all of them - had an American flag displayed at their homes.

- The American Legion in Hayesville, North Carolina has this lovely tribute every Memorial Day to its fallen soldiers - so many for such a tiny village.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Saturday in the park, a good walk and more

Lots of photos today of last Saturday and Sunday in New York. Thanks for indulging me and looking at all these photos. :)

- Saturday in Central Park. Lots of (attempts at) sunning and street hockey that day.

- Not to mention music!

- And festively adorned horses...

- The United Nations addition building in progress (partially hidden) with no flags flying today in front since the UN was not in session. My niece's husband works within the UN and tells me that the flags are hung in alphabetical order when flying. The Turkish flag is hung right next to the United States flag.

- Out walking on Sunday. A book I read as a Young Adult (a while back, that) talked about the lions in front of the New York Public Library. A proud one there.

- Beautiful Bryant Park where they used to hold Fashion Week events (now held at Lincoln Center.)

- A bit of media frenzy - not a good thing, but still an interesting part of our walk. We heard on the news that there was a collective cheer at 6pm in Times Square when there was no Rapture. :)

- Guess who used to live on this street???

- I can just imagine her on the steps of one of these brownstones, saying "The calla lilies are in bloom again..." I loved that film of hers, "Stage Door." :)

Thanks for taking this walk with me. As you can see - I loved my time in New York. Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In the rain, Times Square and 15 seconds of fame

Friday, part II. Remember - you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

- So having been to the top of a building where captains of industry continue to do business, sister and I wandered into Times Square to have lunch and buy theater tickets. John's Pizza: oh yum. And the line for tickets - well, we stood in the rain, but it was all good. The young lady behind us was a citizen of France and the United States, but currently lives in Switzerland. So interesting. And we got our second choice of tickets to the Broadway show "Rain." Oh the irony.

- A blogger and her sister are displayed onscreen in this live shot of people in Times Square.

- This band was playing some jazz tune nearby - fun even in the rain. Later, we wandered off to our Broadway show "Rain" - featuring The Beatles. Lovely.

That show makes you feel as if you are in the middle of a Beatles concert. The "Beatles" perform the songs and there are screens off to the side that show the fans that appeared in audiences of The Ed Sullivan Show and other live concerts of the 1960s. They intersperse it with screen shots of people in the current audience of "Rain." And yours truly made it onto the screen - mouthing the words to "Let it Be." There will be an answer - let it be...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Looking up, beckoning and urban jungle

So much happened on Friday, that it will be divided into two posts. Remember - you can click on the photos to enlarge and see more detail. Friday, part 1:

- On Friday, we gamely slogged through some rain to go to the top of the Empire State Building. I've always had a thing for this building, beginning with a favorite film, "An Affair to Remember." I thought about Deborah Kerr running across the street toward it, "looking up", as I carefully watched traffic signals. According to David Letterman: "Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines." It would seem so!

- The Statue of Liberty beckoning in the harbor. There was no wait to get up to the top (maybe because of the rain) - although that took awhile. A guard wanted to know where I am from - I guess my accent gave me away. :) Standing there - I thought of another favorite film, "Sleepless in Seattle" and the young actor who played Tom Hank's little boy looking through the viewfinder.

- The Brooklyn Bridge is up to the left. Something I read in the map I purchased seems to be true: "We are told that Manhattan is an island, but we experience it as a jungle. One can be here for weeks and never get near the water. Manhattan, you see, was built looking inward, with its back to the water."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New York, NY, beacon and other view

I'm back - with lots of pictures to weed through. I'll post some this week in chronological order, beginning with my arrival in New York City on Thursday night. Remember - you can click on the photos to enlarge and see more detail.

- The flight was delayed and so I was around 10pm getting into Manhattan on an unfamiliar shuttle. So having been dropped off in a spot in which I couldn't get my bearings, I asked for help. A very nice lady pointed me in the direction of East 43rd and 2nd Avenue. This familiar landmark was like a beacon lighting the way.

- The view from inside the apartment, where sister, niece and niece's very nice husband waited with dinner.

- The view from the other side of the apartment of Tudor City. I love that rooftop garden you can see there and have never seen anyone in it. It was lovely to sleep in a little on Friday morning and play with a very charming 16-month-old little girl who was sleeping when I got in the night before.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Freedom, Better World Books and personal note

- My book came in the mail from Better World Books - a great place to buy books inexpensively. I still advocate the library, but my (suburban) book club is reading this next and the wait list was too long. So this hardback book only cost $9 and shipping was free.

- A bar at the top of the web page has this wonderful message: Funds raised for literacy & libraries: $ 9,612,975.23.

- Most of all, though - I love the email that came with the personal message from my book (pictured above):

Hello Lynn,

(Your book asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)

Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world!

I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

See you soon -

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

This is the post that disappeared on Black Thursday last week. It never did come back - it must have been having a good time floating around the blogosphere. :) So I copied it from Google Reader. And speaking of good times: I am off on a trip to New York City for a long weekend. I'll be back posting next Tuesday and I hope you have a great weekend. I might see if I can get on a computer somewhere to check in on you before then. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not Tony, they did that and sides + dessert

- A fun theater evening with the Fun Girls at the "fabulous" Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Hint - we saw one of the shows pictured on my less-than-award-winning photo above. Extra hint - not Tony Bennett.

- Hair - the musical, was exciting, fun and involved lots of people with a lot of hair. I wondered at some point if the vague memory that they all shed their clothes during the play would still be true. Yes - they did that. Lots of giggling from the Fun Girls to my right. :) Love them.

- Dinner at the grand restaurant across the street prior to the show was pretty good, but next time I'll just skip the protein entree and just get the grilled asparagus, hand cut fries and the flourless chocolate cake with panna cotta and coffee ice cream. Yum.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vacant, half the sky and fruit flies = not fans

- This cottage sits on busy Collier Road near my office - it is vacant right now, but just waiting for the right commercial tenant who might appreciate those beautiful roses.

- Women hold up half the sky. - Chinese Proverb. A quote from the book I am currently reading: Half the Sky - Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

- A politely worded note on the trash cans back in the printing plant, asking that the remains of any fruit should be tossed into the weeds outside in the back - the way nature intended. Too many flying visitors have been buzzing about inside.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Live the dream, the bus and cure for insomnia

- Mr C's pokes fun at itself. A self-described "dive bar" - the Yelp reviews are pretty funny themselves. My favorite still: "It reminds me of the bar where The Blues Brothers played "Rawhide" behind a fence."

- Giving blood on one of those traveling blood mobiles just before church service. The funniest moment, when friend Steve hops on board and asks if this is the bus to Akron.

- Getting to eat Nutter Butter cookies after giving blood and sitting by a solumn young adult waiting to give, who tells me that she never sleeps. I get an involuntary laugh out of her when I tell her that my orthodontist friend offered to bring by some orthodontic journals as a cure for insomnia. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Make way for ducklings, out of time and return

- I love this little film about a banker who takes care of a mama duck and her babies, as the news commentator says, just like a real life version of "Make way for Ducklings."

- Doing a double take when a man wearing a snappy straw fedora and a crisply ironed white shirt with tie, rides by on the sidewalk on a decidedly one-speed bicycle. He looks as if he stepped out of the 1950s or so.

- Having Blogger back, even if my Thursday post seems to be lost in the blogosphere still. I liked my Thursday post, so I hope it returns safely and tells of its adventures. :)

So it is Friday, lovely Friday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Mitchell house, better view and the book

- The Margaret Mitchell house, in midtown Atlanta. I snapped this from my car window while sitting in traffic - isn't it a great photo? Ha! Yes - the trees obliterate the view of the front of the house that Mitchell referred to as "the dump." :) A better view of the back of the house is below.

- The house used to sit on nearby Crescent Avenue - a more appropriate setting for a house like this (I think), rather than busy Peachtree Street. They moved the house when it had deteriorated and was purchased by The Atlanta History Center, with the thought of opening it as a museum. Someone set fire to it and there were news reports showing people pilfering its bricks as souvenirs, but the history center persevered and it is indeed a museum now. You can view the apartment, her desk and typewriter, if you take the tour.

- It is the 75th anniversary of the publication of Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. All sorts of events are planned as tribute. She reportedly had read all of the books in the library and her husband said she would have to write one herself. And so she did, within that apartment house pictured above. Time magazine (online) has a very good article about the book and its anniversary, with a contemporary perspective: "Gone with the Wind seems genteel, but it is actually an unrelenting tale of how honor gives in to greed."

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Looking for food, finding food and wee neighbor

- This guy and a friend were looking for something to eat at 7:30am in the small patch of grass in front of the printing company. Odd that they picked this spot. It must have been a big migrating day, because some geese flew overhead later in the afternoon, honking away, during my walk at Stone Mountain park.

- Needing Monday comfort food, I had those sliders for lunch at Hankook Taqueria around the corner from my office. Cholesterol on a plate, but so good!!! My favorite part was the cucumber kimchee, which added a cool crunch in the middle.

- This is the little bird who has made a nest in the fern hanging by my front door. She flew out as I approached after work. The zoom feature of my camera caught her looking bigger than she is (and more red than I knew before.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Glisten, south Georgia and like

- From Friday walk, these trees are still blooming around the park near my office, the scattering of blossoms make the tree glisten. The markers below the tree give a detailed account of the Civil War battle fought on this spot.

- In south Georgia on Saturday, where there is bright sunshine, amazingly friendly people and always the faint scent of barbecue smoke in the air. Mom and I try a barbecue restaurant for lunch called "Granddaddy's Barbecue" - she critiques the pulled pork as not being quite smoky enough. I ask how many stars she would give it out of a possible five. "Three stars," she decides.

- Telling my mother on Mother's Day that I like her. She smiles and says she likes me, too. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Budding artist, fav food writer and Cinco de Mayo

- Exiting my church through the preschool/afterschool entrance/exit after an evening meeting, I am struck by this wonderful artwork by young Madeline. What an exacting young lady with her free spirited artwork and excited words.

- My very favorite food writer, David Lebovitz, and his facebook update: "...is heading up the Swiss alps to taste Gruyère. And they may need to roll him back down afterward." He is an American pastry chef living and working in Paris and is most witty.

- Taking the long way home from my afternoon walk in the park and getting caught in Cinco de Mayo celebration traffic all through town, from the city into the 'burbs. Everyone looked so happy with the cool weather and excuse to sit on outdoor patios with cervezas. ¡Salud!

I hope you find lots of things to celebrate this weekend, my friends! Have a great one!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A good thing, I ♥ our weather and fun at the park

A beautiful blossom from the garden I visited on Sunday.

- Asking my mother, during our daily call, if anything good happened to her that day. She thinks about it and says she loved having her feet soaked. A good thing! I say.

- My afternoon walk was under a lovely blue, cloudless sky with the temperature around 70 degrees. I ♥ the weather we are having this week.

- A studious looking Bulldog trots by going in the other direction at the park, a red ball in his mouth, intent on his destination; his smiling owner close behind. I see them later at the dog park, the dog lying in the grass chewing on the ball; the owner trying to get it from him to throw. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exercise stars, afternoon tea and surprise song

- So proud of all my stars for the month of April, that I photographed my calendar at work. I give myself a star for each day I exercise.

- Scrounging for change at the bottom of my purse so I can pull through the drive through at Wendy's for an afternoon iced tea, only to find that they are out. I sadly report this to coworker Joanne, who thinks iced tea sounds pretty good right then and drives up to the better supplied Chick-fil-A to get some for both of us. It hit the spot.

- A high school chorus holds their Spring concert in my church sanctuary - we can hear them singing as we have a meeting in a nearby room. As we depart - about 60 alumni are waiting quietly in the hallway around the corner. They have prepared a special song as a surprise for the long-time music teacher who is retiring.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Green house, veggies and they had me at tomato

- Visiting an organic farm - a peaceful moment in a busy day. A friend misunderstands me when I make a remark about the green house. "Where's the greenhouse?" Not that kind of greenhouse, but a house that is painted a vivid color green.

- The very nice owner points to lettuce growing and to raised beds of spinach nearby. He loves to make a spinach cheese soup and his description makes us all want to run home to make it.

- Another visitor snaps photos of beautiful red poppies growing amid herbs and other flowers. They make CSA boxes that require only a week to week commitment and you get whatever is in season that week, with the promise of tomatoes to come. I tell him I want to start with a small box, having been reeled in with the mention of the tomatoes.

This visit preceded my suburban book club's discussion of Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal Vegetable Miracle" - an account of her family's vow to buy only food raised in their neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our flag was still there, for another day and award

- This flag was lovingly and protectively draped over the side of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It now hangs at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC.

- Once again, getting big news from facebook first. So this seems like a fitting day to post a picture of our flag. Oddly - my memory card became full while I was visiting a lovely organic garden yesterday and then the camera battery pack needed charging this morning, leaving those photos for another day.

- Thanks to Riot Kitty for giving me this award:

She had this to say about my blog: You inspire me to see the beautiful and pleasant in the every day, where I would usually miss them. Thank you, my friend, this is what it is all about. And I admire you for your fearlessness. (I am supposed to pass this on, but I say that all of you should get this. Just know that if I read your blog, then you inspire me.)