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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Grand Central Station Holiday Light Show, NYC

There was a light show in Grand Central Station, projected onto the walls and ceiling and it reminded me of the light shows we saw in the Rocca Paolina in Perugia and I had to stand and watch and made this little film. Happy Holidays everyone!

Christmastime in New York City 12.8.07

Bob and I drove up to New York to spend the weekend with my brother and sister in law and we thoroughly enjoyed walking all over the city with them. They really know the city and they took us on a walking tour that included Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, the Village, all the shops around 34th Street - including the delightful Macy's window decorations among others and the fantastic Chelsea Market. We had dinner with them and my cousin Jim and his wife Evie at an Italian restaurant on Saturday and in Chinatown on Sunday and drinks in Pershing Square. We stopped in Rockefeller Center to meet up with friends of ours from Phoenix who were vacationing there. The drive up took about 3 hours and on Saturday morning there wasn't much traffic so it went smoothly. It was a lot of fun and we hope to do it again while they are still living up there, before my brother decides to retire! Here are a few of the sights we enjoyed:

The Chelsea Market in the former bakery complex of Nabisco (visit: www.chelseamarket.com to read all about its history and transformation into an upscale market)

Little Italy is getting littler all the time but it's still fun

Macy's does an amazing job of decorating for the holidays

One of New York's shop windows decorated for Christmas

One of my favorite window displays

New York City at Christmas

There is a temporary ice skating rink in Bryant Park

A view of the Empire State Building as beautiful as ever

Goodies from the market inside Grand Central Station

More goodies for the holidays

The Penny Harvest at Rockefeller Center. Visit www.commoncents.org to find out why school kids collected more than 100 million pennies!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanksgiving in Milwaukee 11/2007

We awoke to a dusting of snow on Thanksgiving morning

Taking the stuffing out the turkey - a small one this year, 11 lbs. Bob says next year we have to make a bigger one so there are more leftovers! In fact, the turkey was so small it barely made enough pan drippings for me to make gravy and we sent Nick out for a back ups just in case! (I love the expression on his face as he watches her work!)

A visit to "The Domes" at Milwaukee's Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, all decked out for the holidays

Toledo's Cathedral

Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral was completed in 1931 but looks much older. It has the elegance and attention to detail we found in many of the beautiful old churches in Europe. We were allowed to go inside only because they were expecting a funeral to arrive and the doors were open. It has been disappointing to travel through American cities and not be able to visit the churches as we used to do in Italy. It is not that we are religious, we view these places as works of art and admire the craft and workmanship we find inside.

Toledo's Historic Old West End

Just a few of the homes in Toledo's Old West End

Cathy and her restored Toledo mansion

The Glass Pavillion of Toledo Museum of Art

The postmodern Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art was designed by the Tokyo firm of SANAA ltd and has a very low profile across the street from the Museum of Art building. But its simple exterior belies a dramatic interior filled with curving glass walls creating a very transparent sensation that "blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces" to quote the museum's website. It houses over 5,000 works of art in glass from ancient to contemporary and in the center, you can watch artisans blowing glass or take part in a workshop. It's a stunning space and we learned all about Toledo's history as the glass capital of the world. Glass giants such as Libby and Owens Corning have their origins in Toledo and many fortunes were made here. Toledo also provided glass for the auto industry and has suffered a decline in recent years with manufacturing moving overseas and to Mexico. We were fascinated by the city's Historic Old West End, a 25-block neighborhood of late Victorian, Edwardian and Arts & Crafts Homes, that date back at least to the 1800s, many in dire need of restoration. We were lucky enough to meet the owner of one of these jewels who was kind enough to take us on a tour of the home she and her husband have painstakingly restored. Cathy told us that some of these huge mansion homes are on the market for around $200,000 or less - a bargain for what they offer. Of course the cost of restoration would probably be astronomical but for someone with time on their hands, it could be a labor of love that will pay off in the future.

Our time in Toledo was too brief and we really only spent the better part of the morning exploring the city after our museum visit. Jessica and Nick and Thanksgiving were waiting for us so we said our goodbyes to this really interesting American city.

The Glass Pavilion

Art Deco glass display

More glass from the museum's collection

Work of art entitled "Vitrana" created in 1969 by Dominick Labino, an American artist. It consists of 33 cast panels and weighs around 1,000 lbs. Visit the website at http://www.toledomuseum.org/Collection/Vitrana.htm

A glass blowing demonstation

It's Snowing!

This is our first snowfall in Delaware! It's so beautiful and turning into a winter wonderland. I'm just grateful we don't have to shovel it!

p.s. I haven't had a chance to post the photos from our recent trip that took us through Toledo, Ohio and some interesting things we saw there. So check back again!