Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chelsea Art Galleries

I recently visited an art exhibit in the Chelsea gallery neighborhood of Manhattan. This particular exhibit  is called Foodist Temple. One must remove one's shoes to enter  the exhibit. The food art is way oversized, resplendent with gilded framing. I laughed and thoughly enjoyed the cleverness of the concept. I especially enjoyed the boxes of Bon bons. 

Chelsea Market: beautiful food in a restored industrial site

Chelsea Market is a rewarding experience in Mew York City: a delicious meal at Giovanni Rana and some very
cool shopping. I love the old industrial setting, which is the former bakery of Nabisco cookies. 
Spices by the scoop
Industrial fountain, above
The main hallway, below

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Garden Week in Virginia

Garden Club in Alexandria, floral pillow, so clever!
A table cleverly conceals an outdoor HVAC!
Oatlands in Leesburg
Oatlands garden

Water garden in Warrenton
Back yard water lilies in Warrenton
Back yard of the founder of Garden Club of Virginia in Warrenton

I love gardens, home decor and architecture!
And my expectations were exceeded by this week's Virginia Garden Week. Virginia is blessed with stunning bulbs, flowering trees and a somewhat rolling topography.
I enjoyed seeing stunning vistas in the rolling hills of Warrenton, Fredericksburg, and Leesburg, and charming gardens in  Old Town Alexandria. All the properties were bedecked with gorgeous lush floral arrangements, which showcased the considerable talents of the various local garden clubs.
You had to be there!
Your imaginary friend,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Pepsi, Pepsi!

John Belushi made the Billy Goat Tavern famous on Saturday Night Live. Today, I walked inside, and was greeted warmly by the Greek owner. Truth be told, the Billy Goat Tavern is a dumpy greasy spoon that has not seen an update since  1945. Nonetheless, hidden beneath an overpass on Michigan Avenue is a piece of history. 

Frontera Cafe: Desserts for the Gods

Dear Imaginary Friends,

While in Chicago, you may wish to lunch or dine on Mexican cuisine. Rick Bayless and his wife Deann (and Jennifer Jones, who is the fabulous pastry chef) have won numerous James Beard awards. 

What is so stellar about this place? For me, it was the chocolate pudding cake with intense chocolate ice cream, topped with chopped mango, candied peanuts and a viola. Ms. Jones, keep baking ! 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

German U Boat: Museum of Science and Technology in Chicago

Only one German U boat was ever taken down by the United States military during World War II, and it is on display in Chicago's fine Museum of Science and Technology.  The capture was kept secret, so that the Germans would not know that we had taken possession of the two invaluable Enigma machines onboard. Also, 600 pages of classified papers were recovered. The prisoners of war were squirreled away in Louisiana for the remainder of the war, and the Uboat was hidden in Bermuda. This American military coup was part of the turning of the tide in the Allies winning the war. 

U Boat madness: bunks were occupied by two men at a time, and were only long enough for those who are 5'8" and under, and were stuffed in among a torpedo and cans of food. 
The men drank apple juice instead of water. Rare fresh water was needed to cool the batteries. 
Fifty nine sailors shared one latrine. 
It was called hot bunking because the sheets never cooled between the shifts of men. The air temp in the sub ranged between 90 and 120 degrees. There were no baths or showers. Ceilings were low and claustrophobic. 
Not that I have any sympathy for the Nazis. 
Radio room
Bunks with torpedo

Captain's quarters
Engine room

Enigma model
Engine room
Genuine Enigma Machine, recovered from UBoat

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The National Portrait Gallery: Time Magazine and The 1960's

In Washington, DC, cherry blossoms are generating the big buzz. And so is this show of images of news makers from the sixties in America. 
Below: Johnny Carson and R. F. Kennedy

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Today's Foray

Today: what made life meaningful? Simple things--Oil, pigment, a board, a daffodil, and a pitcher.