Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tonight was the second night of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year and the start of the high holidays. Sonia and I went to her cousin Laurel's tonight for dinner and to celebrate the new year. Laurel's table included the traditional round challah bread representing the cycle of the year as well as apples and honey, to symbolize a sweet new year. The dinner and company were as warm as this photo.
Monday, September 29, 2008
It usually isn't too long after I get home from work that I see Pistachio and his "girlfriend" Hazel hanging out on the patio looking for dinner. Pistachio (red collar) is a sweetheart and has welcomed Hazel into his world. Unlike P who is a real mush, Hazel still is scared of people and won't let me touch her. They were both born feral (different mothers, but the same father I think), but I have had them fixed and made sure they have their shots. Every morning they are waiting for me on the patio and in the evening they look for dinner. Food is a small price to pay for the pleasure I get watching them play and cavort in my backyard. And one day I hope I will be able to hold and pet Hazel as I do Pistachio.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
In the late afternoon my Aunt often find pleasures in strolling on the beach and feeding the birds leftover bread. As I watched her I thought my life is really for the birds. It has gotten much too complicated, running from one task to another and jamming too much into one day. I need to slow down. The simple life (especially one on the beach) is really a gift. That said, tomorrow it's back to work.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Today was a day for sitting in the sun, swimming in the Gulf and drifting in the pool with colorful pool tools. A day of pretending it is still summer when faced with returning to rain and cool autumnal temperatures tomorrow. I'd love to remain in the land of the sun where it is always a technicolor kind of day. I know that day will come, but tomorrow it is back to reality.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
They said their "I dos" late this afternoon with the Gulf of Mexico as their witness and some uninvited folks strolling the beach catching a glimpse of the festivities. The pelicans flew overhead and I watched from the balcony. It occurred to me that I see at least one wedding on the beach every time I come to Lido Key. What better place to get married then here in paradise?
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sarasota is my personal paradise. I have been coming here for at least fifteen years and it just feels right. As soon as I head over the bridge to Longboat and Lido Keys I feel at peace. Today we settled into the gulf-front resort we have been staying at for at least ten years. From our balcony we had a late afternoon toast to paradise found.
Monday, September 22, 2008
There are penthouses and then there are penthouses in paradise. Life is really good when you have a penthouse in paradise with a breathtaking view. It doesn't get much better then this. This is the stuff dreams are made of and I am dreaming about a penthouse with a view....one of these days.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
It occurred to me today that when you are looking for light, you are looking for shadows as well. Sometimes I think the shadows lead me to the light. There really is something special about the quality of light in Florida It seems crisper, the edges more defined and the shadows so much richer. Light and shadow, it is as basic as that.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon found Florida while searching for the fountain of youth. Maybe he was on to something because here life looks brighter and the possibilities, like the water views endless. Life at the beach is special. Maybe it is the shadows of the Royal Palm trees or maybe it is the promise of finding a special shell or just maybe it is the ability to dream about retiring to the beach.
Friday, September 19, 2008
When the new automatic timed food dispenser went into place today Slugger looked very unhappy. In the past we have left him with a gravity food dispenser that allowed him to eat as much as he wanted. In keeping with his diet we bought the high tech dispenser which can be programmed for a precise feeding time and the amount of food to be released into his dish. Not so fast... the noise of the food dropping into the dish scared him and he is having a hard time warming up to his automat. It could be a rough week for Slugger. I bet he looks thinner when we get back!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
What struck me about this scene was how all these people were in rather close proximity but they were all doing their own thing. Half of them are either on the phone, text messaging or using blackberries. They are reaching out and connecting with other people, just not the people around them. I keep hearing that the world is getting smaller, but as the world narrows the gulf between those closest to us (not only in distance, but in some cases emotionally) seems to widen.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The days are getting shorter and cooler, a telltale sign that summer is saying goodbye. As I watched the pink and orange tones punctuate the sky tonight.. that magical time just after sunset, I thought about how many things I didn't do this summer. I'm not going to indulge myself with platitudes like "there's always next summer", but I am going to try to slow down so that I see more sunsets. No regrets, just a wake-up call.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So often when I am in Manhattan I am sitting in traffic. My eyes tend to drift upward and I look at the different types of architectural styles, the juxtaposition of buildings and of course period details. This particular building appeared to have gotten a face lift. I was stuck in traffic for quite a while and wondered if this little fellow was suffering from a bad case of narcissism or was tilting the mirror in his hand toward the pedestrians below. But then again, this is New York so it is probably a cleverly concealed security camera.
Monday, September 15, 2008
As I sat at my kitchen peninsula this afternoon transmitting photos, I glanced up to see late afternoon light streaming in through the window. The shadows and reflections in the granite caught my eye. Such a simple picture made interesting by the light. Yes... still looking for the light.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The House That Ruth Built looked alive and full of life tonight as night fell. This legendary stadium has been center stage for some of baseball's greatest moments. In less than a week the Yankees will play their last home game and Yankee Stadium's doors will close. Next year they will play in a new stadium across the street, but still in The Bronx. The current stadium holds so many memories for me. I have been here countless times and it will always have a special place in my heart.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
For years I have driven past Russ and Daughters on East Houston Street in lower Manhattan. I remember the first time I saw "and daughters" I did a double take because "and sons" is common, but I had never seen a business named to included daughters! Joel Russ opened this legendary New York appetizing shop in 1914. He and his wife had three daughters, all of whom worked in the store. In 1940 the progressive Mr. Russ made his daughters partners and so Russ and Daughters was born. Today it is still a family owned business and the Russ' great grand-daughter works at the store.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
When I was a kid I remember the magic I felt as I watched a black and white print come to life in the darkroom developing trays. In fact I still remember the first contact prints I ever developed. After that I was hooked. As I got older, black and white gave way to color photos and then of course it became a digital universe. Sometimes I miss the black and white days and on occasion I take a picture and muse about how it would look in black and white. In fact, I believe color covers a multitude of sins and it is easy to get wowed. It's harder to make a strong picture in black and white. This picture is a Photoshop grayscale version of a color digital file. It just wasn't as interesting in color. The picture has more depth and interest in black and white. Sometimes I miss tri-x, but the digital darkroom is a lot cleaner!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I was taking pictures of a vintage sugar bowl today and just really liked the detail and design of the lid. The bands of color lends a sense of depth and movement and then I cropped it to make the circle fit into a square. Maybe I learned a little more than I realized in that high school geometry class.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Long Island got a good soaking today with periods of torrential rain. It was a good day for staying at home, which is exactly what I did. What a luxury. Tonight as the day gave way to night, I meandered outside and saw clear skies. Tomorrow promises to be a better day at least weather-wise. But sometimes a rainy day is not only good for watering the plants, it can offer people a chance to breathe.
Monday, September 8, 2008
In search of a cure for the pain in my leg I went to yet another doctor today... this one specializes in a holistic approach to health care. I answered a number of questions and then after a number of muscle resistance tests this doctor proclaims that he believes the acidity in coffee is weakening the musculature in leg. He told me that coffee was the culprit. He suggested I eliminate coffee from my diet for two weeks! I was speechless. I don't know if I was more stunned by the idiocy of his suggestion or the thought of giving up coffee. Clearly he didn't know to whom he was speaking. I was so unnerved by this consultation that when I left I headed directly to Starbucks for a latte. I draw the line at giving up coffee. So much for that doctor! Just call me a java junkie.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Today was a glorious day in New York and the perfect day to see Jeff Koons sculpture pieces on display at The Metropolitan Musuem's roof garden. This piece is called Sacred Heart and at first it made me think of the "I Love NY" advertising campaign. It's easy to love New York on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when you are on the roof surrounded by spectacular vistas and whimsical sculpture pieces. But to really love New York you have to make peace with the traffic, the crazies and all the roadblocks that being in New York presents. Sometimes I think this is the test you must pass to call yourself a New Yorker. My father was born and raised in San Francisco. After he married my mother he moved to New York. His favorite song was Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". Although I hope to spend my golden years in Florida, I know a part of my heart will always belong to New York.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Tropical Storm Hannah came through Long Island today and brought with it heavy rain and high winds. It was the kind of day where most people choose to stay inside. Of course there are those few intrepid souls drawn to the center of the storm who keep watch on the waves and hope to catch a glimpse of Mother Nature's fury.
Friday, September 5, 2008
The summer before I left for college my Mom and I took a trip to Canada. It was there that I first learned about the legendary Hudson Bay point blanket. Made in England, this 100% wool blanket has a heritage that goes back more than two hundred years. Mom told me that the blankets were so highly prized by Native Americans that they became important articles of trade - each short line or "point" woven into the edge of the blanket indicated the number of beaver pelts to be exchanged for the blanket. That summer she bought me a blanket to take away to college with me in the fall. Since then that blanket has been on every one of my beds. I have slept under a Hudson Bay blanket regardless of the season or temperature. Friends joke that it is my security blanket and I suppose in a way it has become just that. Of course with all the possible places he could sleep, Slugger's favorite is on that blanket--- at least he isn't under it.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
My mother's mother was the only grandparent I knew and we used to see her at least twice a week. Behind her house was a small pond that she had made long before I was born. The pond although quite small and shallow looked enormous to me and she used to stock it with goldfish. I was the youngest of her seven grandchildren and the only girl. My older cousins used to challenge me to jump over the pond. Invariably I fell for the "dare" and wound up landing smack in the middle of the pond. My mother would scold me, but Nannie always took my side and would talk to the boys in her gentle way. The one thing I remember about that pond was the beautiful water lilies growing on it. I had never seen water lilies before and of course whenever I see them now I remember my grandmother.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
On weekends when I was a kid my Mom used to take me to a local family farm for fresh vegetables. I remember how sweet the tomatoes and corn were. That farm is long gone as are many of the family farms on Long Island. A few remain and fortunately one is not too far from where I live now. I don't get there as often as I wish, but when I do I remember those Sunday afternoons with Mom. It was at that farm where she taught me how to pick the perfect ear of corn without opening the husk and other produce selection secrets! Years later the corn and tomatoes are never quite as sweet as they were so many years ago, but it is still worth the trip for fresh local produce.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The pain in my leg persists, it radiates down the outside of my left leg into the top of my foot. Any kind of prolonged walking is extremely painful. Physical therapy has strengthened my leg, but doesn't seem to address the pain at all. Desperate to find a way to end my pain and reclaim mobility I decided to try acupuncture. Acupuncture has helped many of my friends and it has helped me in the past. The needles are placed in trigger points to release muscle constriction. Today I could actually feel and SEE my muscles jump as a needle was placed in my shin and in the top of my foot. Acupuncture isn't covered by my insurance and it isn't cheap, but hey I am willing to do whatever I have to do so that I can walk without pain.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I watched this dragonfly feeding near a pond for several minutes. As with many things, the appearance of the dragonfly is deceiving. It looked so delicate and fragile, yet it is considered a predator and preys on small insects, particularly mosquitoes, flies and bees. In college I studied Shakespeare for a year. One of the recurring themes my professor drilled into us was "appearance and reality". Note to self... all things are not as they appear in nature or in life.