Monday, March 31, 2014

The "Circa 1890 Pub"...better than these photos.

In the neighborhood of Wayne State University, near the "museum campus", we found this nice little pizza and sandwich bar. Long established in the area, the casual food was very good, pizza delicious and drinks very reasonably priced. It was nearly the only lunch and dinner choice we had within walking distance of our hotel. It's like a throw-back to college bars in the 1960's. A contrast from the high-tone art museum and the fancy B&B; the staff was very friendly--you go there once and you are a "regular". Nice.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

An Older Look at George Washington by Rembrandt Peale

While Bierstadt painted evocative landscapes by the hundred, Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860) painted lots of life-like portraits--many of his subjects were "US Founders".

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We Learned about Albert Bierstadt, a Famous Landscape Painter.

The artist lived from 1830 to 1902; he must have spent most of that time with a brush in his hand. He painted hundreds of lush, colorful, sweeping yet detailed views of 19th Century wilderness and rural America. (and some in Europe and the tropics, too.) He seems to have captured visions of the entire country. Hubsy liked this one: "Wolf River, Kansas" as much as any of the paintings we saw.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekend-Getaway, New Photos and Lots of Fun....in Detroit.

It was a long time since I'd visited a great art museum; I had to see Detroit's Institute of the Arts (DIA). Before you even get in the door, you get to see a casting of the iconic "Thinker" by Rodin. The museum has other works by Rodin inside. We found a historic hotel, the Inn on Ferry Street, just around the corner, past another iconic building formerly called the Wardell Hotel (now an apartment building). We were able to walk in the area around our hotel and the museum; a chance to do some street photog., even if the weather was chilly.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Book I Discussed Reminded Me of the Twins!

"Micah" and "Molly" turned 5 in February. The photos are borrowed from their Mom's FB. Beautiful, brilliant kids!

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Multi-Dimensional Literary Treat!

Only last week, I finished reading "The World to Come" by Dara Horn; I highly recommend this modern Judaica thriller, fantasy fiction, love story, family saga, inspirational story. The imaginative plot was inspired by the real-live theft and later return of a Marc Chagall painting. Two central characters are a set of grown-up twins, one male and the other female; this brilliant young writer provides interesting insights into boy-girl twin sets. The prose is lush, the observations on life are spot-on; we get to learn about Marc Chagall and the circle of his contempory artists and writers (most of whom were killed by Stalin in the 1950's). In the concluding pages, Dara Horn paints us a picture of Heaven where newly conceived and soon-to-be babies are mentored and coached by those who have already lived and died. The babies are fed art in the heavenly restaurants and they get to drink books in the celestial cocktail lounges. And so much more! If this book was made into a film, there is a perfect role of Natalie Portman as Rosalie.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Bittersweet Transition....

A dear friend of ours provided perfect care for this handsome cockatoo for 30 years; and the bird, named Nike, adores her! He doesn't take well to others, including the couple's nearly grown son, who Nike regards as an interloper to be shooed away. But mostly, Nike was a member of the family; although sometimes loud! My favorite memory of Nike was seeing my friend tuck him into his sleeping-roost near their room for the night; it was hilarious. Nike had to be cuddled for a while--maybe she had to read him a story and kiss him good night?--it was so cute. But alas, all those years of caring for the bird made our friend develop serious allergies! What to do? (Keep in mind, cockatoos can live for 75 years if cared for properly.) Happily, a bird santuary was found to take him; he seems to be doing fine, so far, in his new home. But missing a pet is hard--imagine having a pet for 30 years! I feel very sad for her.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Over-Built...with good reason.

At this rail bridge on a quiet road in our town, there were two freight train derailments the the past-say, five years. Both were classic "train wrecks", with freight cars and their contents spilled helter-skelter. The first was a few years ago, a grain train: thank goodness no injuries. But the second was a coal train on a hot 4th of July in 2012. An unlucky couple, on the way to family celebrations that evening, were caught under the bridge and killed instantly. They were not even found for several days! The railroad company has been busy ever since, creating a strong new bridge here and reinforcing other similar bridges in the area.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Last Novel: The Swansong of Barbara Pym, "A Few Green Leaves"...

Photo by Barbara Besler for "A Few Green Leaves" As a reminder, a theme of my reading is to catch up on the works of writer...