Wandering Wednesday … a few fun NY things

I traveled to NY a couple of weeks ago, anticipating the arrival of my 5th grandchild. While we waited for the big event, the older girls were at camp and I had a few days to go into the city. I primarily wandered and read in Central Park, but I found a couple of things that I wanted to share, in case you’re going to NY in the next few months.

Public art is described as a reflection of how we see the world – the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are. I love public art because it’s just randomly placed where you might stumble upon it as you go through your day. New York has an “arts in the park” divison, a collaboration with the parks dept and various organizations. You can check out a list/map of places to see current exhibitions here. There’s an exhibition by artist Willie Cole on Park Avenue at East 69th and 70th Streets that I thought was so cool. Cole contructed “four monumental chandeliers made of thousands of plastic water bottles as a way to draw attention to single-use plastics.” What an interesting juxtaposition to the mansions in the area that, most likely, contain enormous, expensive chandeliers. They are on disply until November 5th. Here you go ….

“3000 Buddha Chandelier” imprinted with little Buddhas on each bottle
“Soul Catcher”
“Dirt Devil”
…and my favorite “Liberty Lantern” with the statue of liberty imprinted on each bottle.

I continued my stroll a few blocks over to Central Park where I stopped at Bethesda Terrace to read … and of course enjoy some, only in NY, people watching. As I was sitting there I overheard a dad talking to his kids. He seemed to be a native New Yorker and he suddenly said to his kids “… look at those intricate pictures carved into the columns. I’ve never noticed them before!” So, of course, I turned my head and, sure enough, the colums had the coolest pictures carved into them. I walked around and checked out the other columns and found these six …

look at this cool “Halloweeen” theme
owl and bat
a little fairy garden
a pigeon? a rooster?
landscape with sun

The Central Park Conservancy website states, “On the Terrace’s upper level, piers have scenes representing night and day. The grand staircases leading to the lower level, as well as additional piers, are adorned with carvings that depict the four seasons with detailed renderings of fruit, flowers, plants, and birds.” I didn’t see all of them, but loved these.

The moral of this blog post? Don’t forget to look around, keep your ears and eyes open, and look up from your phone, to stumble upon random, interesting details that are right in front of you.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday … Beautiful Music

“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” … Elton John

I was lucky enought to enjoy a weekend of music at the Clare Island Folk Festival in Ireland!
Looking forward to next year!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday … New Beginnings

“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” … Josiyah Martin

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.” … Tony Robbins

I decided this was the perfect post for two great beginnings this past 2 weeks … welcoming grandbaby #5, Molly: and my sister returning to college (Columbia University). What an amazing two weeks in NY it’s been with the Fab Raabs and JoAnn.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday … Rainbows

“The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you, may not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language, but be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.” … Maya Angelou

This reminded me of a book club selection we read a long time ago … “The Rainbow Comes and Goes” by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, his mom. “…Anderson’s darker outlook on the world is a brilliant contrast to his mother’s idealism and unwavering optimism.” If you haven’t read it, I recommend!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday … Change

Change is kind of like a potato …

Hard at first
Messy in the middle
Gorgeous in the end.
(from the Irish Times Women’s Podcast)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Wandering Wednesday … LA Staycay!

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I really enjoy the planning process of traveling and figuring out fun things to do wherever I’m going. Since I recently retired I can travel whenever I want to, so I decided to stay home this summer because I live in a beautiful area near the beach, and Europe (or anywhere for that matter) is so hot and full of tourists. Why not plan some fun things closer to home?!

I’ve been on the email list for Rooftop Cinema Club for what seems like years! Every time I go to NY I look at their website to see if a movie night might coincide with my trip, but it never works out due to a conflict with other plans or for whatever reason. When the list for LA came out at the beginning of the summer I thought “this summer I’m going to do one of those!” and found The Devil Wears Prada was going to be playing. I love that movie! I’ve also had the Huntington Library and Gardens on my “to-visit” list forever. This was the summer to cross both off my “bucket list!”

My friend, Jan, and I timed our drive up to LA to minimize traffic and arrive just in time for lunch and a stroll around Grand Central Market, a cool multi-vendor food emporium that’s been in existence since 1917.

My friend, Courtney, has an awesome loft in DTLA Arts District that she generously offered to me for an overnight stay. We dropped off our stuff and went up to the rooftop to read and enjoy the view.

The movie venue is on the rooftop of a “new-ish” industrial complex called Row DTLA, with a mix of restaurants and shops. It’s a quick walk from the loft, so we went over a bit early to grab dinner before the movie was to start at 7:30. I was curious how they were going to do an outdoor movie at 7:30 in the summer, when the sun would not have set yet. Well, I don’t know what sort of screen or technology that they use, but it was a sharp, crystal clear picture.

I loved the experience of sitting outside watching a movie as the sun set over LA. The movie choices are older, but I’d recommend it if you want something fun and different to do. They have popcorn, snacks and a bar too!

The next day was a scorcher, so we headed out at 9:30 to get to The Huntington in order to beat the heat. The extensive 130 acres are a beautiful mix of various themed gardens … japanese (with a tea ceremony demonstration), extensive rose garden, camellia, and desert, to name a few … as well as sculptures, stunning pergolas & pergodas, and of course art.

…. but one of my favorite things at The Huntington that day was the exhibit in the European Art building of the famous Blue Boy painting, (c. 1770) originally titled “A Portrait of a Young Gentleman,” juxtaposed with a painting by the talented Kehinde Wiley also called “A Portrait of a Young Gentleman.” He reimagined Blue Boy as an African American young gentleman in modern day clothing. The Huntington holds a special place in Wiley’s heart, as it is where he fell in love with art, but didn’t see anybody that looked like him. As it says on their website, “It is at once a love letter to art history—and a critique of it.” Just brilliant!!

identical dimensions and frames at opposite ends of the room

Here are a few other pics I enjoyed …

It felt so good to be a tourist close to home and take advantage of a couple of the many opportunities that are available to us as Southern Californians. Hmmmm, what to do next?!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday … Keep Going!!

Kind of cool to think that someone somewhere is having the best day of their life today.
Someone is hearing “I love you!” for the first time.
Someone’s going to get the job of their dreams today.
Someone received great news today.
Tomorrow could be YOUR best day … so keep on going!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!