Monday, May 30, 2011

Ode to the Soldiers and the Graduates

Sage Hall, Johnson School of Business, Cornell University

McGraw Tower, Cornell University, host to 21 bells, 3 concerts per day Chimemasters

'I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.'
Ezra Cornell, 1868 , Ithaca NY

Cayuga Lake, longest (38 mile) finger lake. Farewell, Ithaca!

Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, commemorates those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for Freedom. It was first observed on 30 May, 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., with flowers placed at Union and Confederate soldiers' graves. As time marched on, the significance of this day was lost on many of us and it took a Declaration by Congress in 2000 to pass the National Moment of Remembrance so that 'at 3 PM all Americans voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence...'

It truly is the least we can do.

I will make a sincere effort to appreciate these unseen and unknown souls as I celebrate my son's graduation from college. The emotions will take hold and flood my being for the swift passage of time, the pride of accomplishment, the selfless sacrifices made. For it is because of these unsung heroes who have gone before us that we have the freedom to live our lives. As Reverend William Havard (1889-1956) so eloquently said: 'The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.'

Pay homage. Be grateful. For 'there is just one life for each of us' (Euripides, 480-406 BC) and though we cannot direct the wind, we can adjust the sails. Good luck, Good life and God Bless!

Justin, we are so very proud of you. Your future is in good hands; your own.

Monday, May 23, 2011

C is for China

China in this context refers to a type of fine pottery/table ware made from kaolin clay heralding from the Kao-ling area of China. This region set a standard for its exceptionally fine translucent porcelain that was unsurpassed until the late 18th C. Porcelain China can be one of three types based on the minerals which are added into the kaolin base: Hard Paste (from China for Centuries, grey/blue color, easily chipped), Soft Paste (from Europe to simulate Chinese porcelain, creamy color, fragile), and Bone China (Stoke-on-Trent, England by Josiah Spode, 1770, white color, translucent, durable). Wedgwood, founded by Josiah Wedgwood in 1765, imitated hard paste porcelain and joined the ranks of Staffordshire manufacturers in producing fine china. In 1771 the Limoges region of France became noted for its beautiful, soft paste porcelain known to this day as Limoges.

Hard Paste China was imported by the boatload into the US during the late 19th C, via the East India Company of England. Pieces known as Canton and Nanking Ware were popularly decorated in the Blue Willow pattern and were affordable alternatives to the exquisite Bone China manufactured by Josiah Spode. As a ceramicist and chemist, Spode is credited with perfecting Fine Bone China as we know it today. Ox bone is incorporated into the kaolin clay mix, creating the whitest, strongest, most translucent china in the world. Spode China is still manufactured and graces the homes of heads of state, Royalty and Presidents.
Vintage pieces abound for the keen eye. Why not gather a few for your lovely home?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cerca trova

The Lehman Gates, 1961, by Paul Manship, Central Park Landmark

'He who seeks shall find.' And that is exactly what happened two weekends ago while on a visit to the city that never sleeps. New York erupted in elation as breaking news was going down in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The size of the city and the world suddenly felt small, suddenly felt connected, suddenly felt a little safer...It is a time of reflection; a time of celebration, a time of year when graduates embark into 'real' life. And so I say: Cerca trova - Seek and you shall find! Good luck, Good life! And, find A Heart in New York.

Chrysler Building, 1928, considered one of the finest buildings in NYC. Tallest in world for 11 months, surpassed by the Empire State.

Early 20th Century Tile Mosaic, NYC Subway

Gramercy Park
Fantasy Fountain, 1983, cast bronze by Greg Wyatt

Washington Square

Madison Square Park
Echo, 2011, fiberglass resin (44 feet ), by Jaume Plensa

Flatiron (Fuller) Building, 1902, Manhattan Landmark


A heartfelt thank you to Craig....Congratulations on your well earned accomplishment. Good luck to you! Good luck to Chelsea!

Monday, May 9, 2011

B is for Bristol Glass

Bristol Glass Barber Bottles, c 1880's

Although the name Bristol Glass refers to the town in England that originally produced this type of glassware during the mid 1700's, it became known as a form of 19th C Art Glass which was replicated across England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United States. It is mold blown, semi-opaque opaline (white), relatively thin glass. Bristol Opaque White Glass has a satin-like powdery feel to it, is rather soft to the touch and light weight often with a visible pontil (nip on bottom from the blower's tube). The world witnessed an explosion of this elegant type of glass during the Victorian era, from the 1840's through the 1930's or so. The glass is always hand blown, hand decorated and quite fragile. Due to its popularity and the abundance with which it was produced, Bristol Glass can be had today at fairly moderate prices. It affords a beautiful way to bring vintage art glass from long ago into your home. Use it, love it, enjoy it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bridal Advice for All the Rest of Us

Now that the Royal Wedding of Katherine and William is behind us, take heed all you Commoners as you plan for your special day...

As expressed by Carla, a Bridal Consultant:
"Big busted bridesmaids can't handle taffeta or acetate, ruffles, scoop necks, wide sashes about their waists that halve their bodies into have and have plenty.
Keep your veil out of the toilet...Keep the photographer away from the bar."

Keep your sense of humor, I might add, and, SMILE!

Bridal Advice

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