Friday, May 31, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Sixteen

Taking a break from my youth to revisit one of best places I ever lived, lovely downtown Northampton, MA. Lived in various places in the downtown for about 15 years or so. I worked just up the street from this corner for almost 20 years. It was a magic town in the 1990s. By the time I left in the mid 2000s, it was starting to gentrify and losing it charm. But this painting captures the spirit of the place in its golden years. We called that bridge, the truck eater because big trucks would regularly ignore the clearance warning and get stuck under it. [Sophie Theroux painting]



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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Movie Classics

Loretta Young, 1931 edition. [graphic via]



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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Coffee art

I don't drink this fancy coffee, but I keep seeing these photos of fancy foamed milk art. Not even sure this is real but if it was, I don't think I could bear to destroy it by drinking it. [photo via]



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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Put on a happy face

No idea about these orchids. These days you never know, it could be a photoshop. But if they're real, I want them in my dream garden. [photo via]



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Monday, May 27, 2013

Bogged down

Not sure where this was taken. I had it saved as, Swamp azalea in Belmont. Sadly I lost the link to the photographer but she said they smell really sweet. I don't recall ever seeing them in this color, but I want to say I used to see white ones in the woods in New England. Old memories. Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm making them up.



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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Fifteen

This was one of my favorite buildings in the downtown where I grew up. It was the offices of the local newspaper. Never actually went into it, not ever. But I always really wanted to and look out of those top windows. I love a building with a tower.



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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spring in New England

This was always one of my favorite flowers. I like the wild ones best. They're red and yellow and not as showy but the cultivated varities are rather nice. Pink columbine. [source unknown]



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Friday, May 24, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Fourteen

This was our private playground when I was a teen, long before they turned it into Tarywile Park. It was a private estate at the time. My boyfriend in high school was related to the family who owned it. They were the poor relations. His father ran the dairy farm that was part of the estate. So we got to roam those hundreds of acres of woods and fields by ourselves. There was a big pond where we sometimes had bonfires. There was a ruined castle but we never went inside it. It was dangerous even then. This photo reminded me of those golden years. [John Andrew Zanzal photo]



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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hanging by a thread

It looks like a seascape but it's actually colored threads hung on a wall and what looks like a moon is a nail head. One of the entries in a National Geographic contest. More photos at the link. [Aditya Vardhan Tibrewala photo]



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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Thirteen

This the corner of West St and Main in the little city where I grew up. I want to say that monument was still in the middle of the road then, but I may be making that up. I'm sure the Greek pizza place was in that modern building on the right. The building on the left was the City Hall. The police department was in the basement.

I was in that PD twice. The first time was when I was about 11 years old. My friend and I found a handbag left in a payphone booth just up the street. The wallet had $80 in it. That was a lot of money then. We turned it into the police. The woman who lost it was very grateful. She didn't give us a reward. We were okay with that.

The second time was when I was 13 and hanging with Vicky Lawrence. The girl who taught me to smoke. We were hanging with her friends, a gang of ruffians. She had a crush on one of them.

We were walking through the big cemetery and a couple of the guys got rowdy and knocked down a gravestone. I was aghast. I told her her I was going home. She walked with me.

All the ruffians scattered in another direction. They got away. We got taken to the station by the cops. We were questioned. I had to call my mother to come take me home. That's the only time I remember my Dad being really pissed at me. I didn't hang around with Vicky after that. [photo via]



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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Twelve

There's a new one now, a big sleek white building, but when I was growing up this was my library. The kid's section was on the first floor. You had to be 12 years old to get to the second floor. While I was waiting to get old enough to get up there, I read fully 90% of the books downstairs. Used to bring home six at a time, more than once a week. I read every book in the mystery section first. Then I moved to the litte room with the biographies. There was one series I especially liked. They had orange covers with a black silhouette. My very favorites were Molly Pitcher, Luther Burbank and Stephen Foster.

This building is still on Main Street. It's a music center of some kind. They renovated it so it doesn't have all the fabulous frills on the roof. This is more what it looked like back then. [photo via]



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Monday, May 20, 2013

How does my garden grow

More odd flowers for my dream garden. I don't think I've heard of these before. Echeveria. They look like some kind of succulent that belong in a rock garden.



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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Foreign flowers

I'm told these are wild orchids from Spain. Didn't know orchids grew in that climate. Didn't see any when I traveled there. [Xema Romero photo]



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Saturday, May 18, 2013

In my secret garden

If I ever manage to settle down somewhere, in my garden I would grow these flowers. Monkshood. Don't believe I've ever seen growing anywhere in real life. They're selling them at a local flower sale here in June.

Monkshood is originally from Europe, but has now naturalized in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of North America. It’s a stately, upright plant with thick, leathery leaves and beautiful helmet-shaped blue flowers held high on erect spikes. Although it will take some sun, it is perfect for the back of a shady border. In Europe, it was used to kill wolves and mad dogs, hence its other common name "Wolfsbane."



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Friday, May 17, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Eleven

Before I-84 was built we drove past the Pink Dinosaur many times. Even after the highway was there, I would make a point to drive on the slow road just to say hello. Sometimes I went into the store. It was a small little mineral shop run by old guy who really loved rocks as much I do. It's gone now, but I still have a gem I bought there around 1970. It's basically a small bit of tumbled smoky quartz. Think I paid a nickel for it, but maybe it was 25 cents. It was called an Apache Tear.

I think the low white building was a bowling alley. I bowled there a few times but mostly we went to the Bowl-a-Rama in town. They had the best pinball machines ever.



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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grin and bear it.

Would love to see this in person someday. Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens, Austria. [photo via Amazing World]



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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Valley

One of the things I miss the most about living in New England is the woods with all their cold little streams and tiny waterfalls. This is Hop Brook. Belchertown, MA. [Steve Toutant photo]



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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Ten

This postcard says it's the high school, but by the time I went there they had a built a new, bigger one outside of town. So I went to this school in the eight grade. My homeroom was on the right hand corner of the building, third floor. The state college was right next to it.

When I was four years old we lived a block away from here. I remember walking past the school to play on the stairs to the college campus while we waited to meet my Dad.

Across the street was an elderly woman who was my mother's friend. Don't really remember her but recall she gave me Vienna cookies. And I can still envision the massive front door with a big oval glass window and lace curtains. [photo via]



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Monday, May 13, 2013

Cool runnings

These days you never know if a photo is real or photoshopped, but I'm pretty sure this is a real thing. Never seen anything like it. Spiral iceberg, Antarctica.



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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sign of the cross

The history of this flower is rooted in Christian symbolism. Not that religious myself, but when I lived up north I always wanted to grow it. When I moved to the south I discovered they grow wild in vacant lots though the wild variety isn't quite as glamorous as this cultivated one.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A secret garden

Love natural gates into beautiful places. I think this is in Portland, Oregon. Photo by architect41 via this site.



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Friday, May 10, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Nine



This place doesn't look like much but it was the closest market to our house. It was a store when you could buy everything you needed in a hurry. When I was nine years old my mother would often send me to the Henry Street market to pick up milk or lunch meat or pork chops for dinner. They had a big rack of candy bars. For a nickel you could buy a giant Hershey bar or a Sky Bar or maybe a really big Baby Ruth. All the soda came in returnable glass bottles. The 36 oz were worth a nickel, which we traded in for said candy. And they had spinning racks of comic books from Archie, to superheros to true romance. But they wouldn't sell you cigarettes there if you were underage. You had to go to Harry the Gyp for that. He'd sell them to anybody.

The store was about six blocks from my house. You had to cross two busy streets. Nobody thought anything about letting a nine year old make the trek alone.

And right across the street, back then, was Demo's Dry Cleaning. It belonged to my neighborbood friend Geraldine's father. Sadly, I don't have a photo of that.

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Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Virgin Mary's tears

These have always been one of my favorite flowers. They smell so sweet and a little bouquet of cut flowers will last a long time in a tiny vase.



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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

You can keep your hat on

I learned to love horse racing at annual Hampshire County Fair but the Kentucky Derby has always been more about the hats than the horses for me. Lots more hats here.



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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Magic Bus

More than a little disappointed this future as envisioned by Science and Mechanics magazine in 1950 didn't come true. [via Roger Wilkerson.]



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Monday, May 06, 2013

Let a smile be your umbrella

Saw this on the internet. It's a great idea to stay dry in a downpour but I can't quite imagine how you close it when the car arrives. [Photo via Guts McTavish]



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Sunday, May 05, 2013

Down on the bayou

I've been to New Orleans. It's an amazing town. Had some incredible experiences in the few days I spent there. Some were incredibly magical and fun. Some were too horrible to relive. But this painting by Diane Millsap reminds me of the magic.



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Saturday, May 04, 2013

Baby you can drive my car

Science and Mechanics magazine in 1951 envisioned this aluminum car as the ride of the future. Kind of wish it had come true. [photo via Roger Wilkerson]



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Friday, May 03, 2013

Here there be dragons

No idea where this is but I want to find it and visit these dragon trees in person. [photo via]



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Thursday, May 02, 2013

Red tulips mean believe me, I love you

Couldn't find a source for this image and can't quite read the signature of the artist, but love this graphic as much as I love all you faithful readers.



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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Scenes from my past - Part Eight

When I was young, they used to hold teen dances in the St. James Espicopal Church. It's in the center of downtown. Only a few storefronts off the Main Street. After the dance we would go to the Greek pizza place a few doors down and crowd into the booths. The pizza was very greasy.



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On a desert highway

One of my oldest childhood friends spent many years here teaching on an Indian reservation. I've never seen this in person myself, but someday I'd like to go here. "The Mittens" in Monument Valley, Arizona. [photo via My Better Me]



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