Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NYC Summer

As I said, we didn't spend all of our time in NYC eating. We also spent time waiting in line, which is also a NY thing to do. After dinner one evening, I suggested a stroll through Central Park, just a few blocks from the lovely apartment where we were staying. I knew there was a performance of Shakespeare in the park that evening, so we thought we might find out if there was even a remote chance of getting one at the last minute. We were directed to the standby line, which was pretty long. We waited patiently for a little over half an hour and were amazed to be given tickets! I had always wanted to go to Shakespeare in Central Park, but imagined that you would sit on a blanket on the lawn and be entertained by a passably good troupe of actors.
How wrong I was! The Delacorte is a beautiful open air theater, and the actors are top notch. This ensemble was made up of several actors who have appeared on TV series, and we were on the edge of our seats the entire time, held spellbound. As we left the park at 11 pm, there were hundreds of people lined up, sleeping outside the park. At first I thought they were homeless, but soon realized that they looked a little too upbeat to be homeless. I finally figured they were already in line for tickets to The Merchant of Venice for the next day! Al Pacino was in that cast, so he was a big draw. I will say that miraculously, I also got a ticket to that play, but when the lightening and thunder and a downpour occurred, I turned tail and left the sea of undaunted New Yorkers sitting huddled under their umbrellas...
This is one shop that I made an effort to find, after several failed attempts. John Derain has long been a favorite artist of mine, making exquisite decopaged plates. Why I did not buy one of these beauties, I don't know. Maybe the heat had gotten to me...
The store was filled with fanciful decorative objects, a lots of lovely vignettes. Just my kid of place! Another find in the East village area.
Finally, I stopped by one of the Sunday flea markets in Hell's Kitchen on East 9th. These enameled pins brought back good memories of childhood for me. It was fun to look, but the prices were too high for me.

Best eating NYC

Last time I was in New York I wrote mostly about my favorite haunts for good shopping. This time I was there, we tried some memorable taste treats that are worth mentioning, most notably Lukes, a simple hole in the wall place that makes the best lobster rolls I have ever eaten. If you don't like lobster, you can stop reading right now, but if you do, this is the place to go. I ate some pretty good lobster when I was on the East Coast, and this was by far the best lobster roll, full of the freshest claw meat. My mouth waters as I write this, and if this was my last meal on earth I would be happy. Luke's has two locations, at 242 E 81st Street and 93 E 7th Street in East Village, the happening part of town.
,Speaking of the happening part of town, here's another great spot, tLaboratorio del Gelato also a hole in the wall place on Orchard Street close to Chinatown. However, they are soon to move into a new space around the corner that will be much more spacious, with later hours. Go here for unusual gelato flavors, or just plain good vanilla.
Maybe after you have gelato, you might want to stroll over to Doughnut Plant for some of the best doughnuts around. We saw this on "The best thing I ate" and had to check it out. I recommend the coconut glazed doughnut, filled with more oozy coconut filling.
Or perhaps you might enjoy the peanut butter and jelly doughnut, or the blueberry. This place is hot, hot now, and we even got to see Mr Doughnut Plant himself, as he was being interviewed.
This is all the art that I have on this post, the tiles in the front window of Doughnut Plant. Gotta love a place that even has doughnut tiles! Doughnut Plant is located at 374 Grand between Essex and Norfolk. After we made the pilgrimage to D P I discovered that Joe's coffee also carries DP doughnuts.If it sounds like all we did in NYC was eat, that is pretty close to the truth. But we also did some other cool things, which I will share later.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coming back to Providence, Rhode Island

In this last week that our family was in Providence,Rhode Island, I felt like I learned more about my mother in law than I ever knew during the 35 years she was in my life. This is my journal spread from our day at sea, on the Sea Princess out of Wickford, RI, where my mother in law, Ann Aldrich spent summers in the house by the sea, pictured on the top.
She and her sister Edwina lived and played only a few blocks from here, and probably celebrated many events with their family in this beautiful little bandstand.
This tiny library was where Edwina had library card number 7 and Ann had number 13. They probably spent many happy hours here, too. This seemed to me to be a pretty idyllic place to grow up. And Summers were spent by the shore, just a short drive away in the village of Wickford.
This life all came crashing down, like the waves that descended upon them on the afternoon of September 21, 1938. While spending one last beautiful fall day at their beach house, a terrible storm raced up Narraganset bay, sweeping their house out to sea. Their mother could not swim and she told her two girls to save themselves and live each day. The girls, age 11 and 16, did just that, riding on the roof of the house until they could swim ashore and be rescued.
These two lived amazing lives and had wonderful families, and we knew for many years that they wanted, eventually, to return to the Narraganset bay. So on a beautiful Summer day last week, we gathered again aboard the Sea Princess with Captain Doug, to fulfill their wishes
This is the wreath I created to be cast along with the ashes that we spread through the water, and each person threw a red carnation which followed the wreath, drifting on the waves. Soon, a large yellow butterfly flew up alongside the boat, and hovered for a few moments before flying off. The captain was captivated by that, as he said they rarely fly out so far to sea. This was a fitting end to the day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lucky, lucky me

I feel lucky for so many reasons lately. For one, the rain seems to be over and summer is here , which is good, since it is the middle of July already. Where does the time go? I have the best of intentions for posting here, and think of it constantly, as I appreciate all of you who look at this periodically and make nice comments. I know you won't keep coming back if there is nothing new to look at. I just feel like time is flying by. I decided that I will include some of my art on each posting, even if I have more photos than art. That is my goal, anyway. Summer makes me happy, and it is my favorite season. This is a cheery bouquet of flowers that I purchased at the farmer's market, another one of my favorite summertime things.
This is another reason that I feel lucky. I looked out my window after being away for the weekend and spotted these gorgeous lilies blooming in my garden. My sister gave me the bulbs years ago and they have bloomed a couple of times, but never this spectacularly. I am happy that I got to see them before I went away again.
Another of my favorite summertime flowers, sweet peas. But look at the deep, rich purples in these! And I love the combination of colors. Also at the farmer's market.
I feel extra lucky to be part of a wonderful group of artists and friends, the Portland Art Collective ,and we kicked off summer aboard Rhapsody down at the riverfront dock. Dayna and Howard are gracious hosts, indeed. I am the featured artist on our PAC blog this month, so hop on over to take a look at more of what I have done recently and see some more of our art and fun activities.
This is a collage of mine titled, "Good Fortune" which is one of several for sale this month at the Multnomah County Library store, main branch downtown. I am also the featured artist there this month! I have a variety of pieces for sale, as well as a nice selection of photo cards.. If you have not been there, it is fun to see, as it is chock full of wonderful art that is very affordable.
Now you can see why I feel so lucky. Thanks for visiting.