Month: September 2021

A Cape Cod Farewell

Thanks Les! Let’s talk about the food since shopping, cooking, eating, cleaning up was 80% of our days.

And it was GOOD.

Les and Cinthia did all the cooking. Dinner Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner Breakfast-Lunch. The dinners were especially splendid fresh fish Feasts! And all the FABulous side dishes. Oh my!

We went out for the last dinner, pictures below, and then out for breakfast on our last morning.

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Bleu, the most delicious restaurant dinners on Cape Cod. Although dinners back at our place were a competition I’d say.

That’s our table there at the far right.
Here’s our place above the garages, and the views left and right below.

So long lovely Cape Cod, catch ya next time!

A Cape Cod Welcome

Too bad I didn’t get any of the lightening flashing across the sky and I didn’t get any pictures of the dumping rainstorm that followed. We did get a nice drive and walk-about in before the big dump.

But first, here we are, good morning! John, Cinthia, Les, and Elizabeth, arms out covered in baking soda hoping for some poison ivy relief.

Four university academics enjoying a coffee and some pastry.
Les and John

Maybe cormorants and an egret.

Cinthia and John. “Yes” says Cinthia, “my dear mother spelled my name with an ‘i’ bless her heart.”
Another inlet with more boats in the distance.
Elizabeth and Cinthia and me and Elizabeth (thanks Cinthia for the picture), and wind in our hair.

You Can Look

You can look but you’d better not touch!

Poor Elizabeth has been in considerable discomfort for the last week having, before I got here, worked in her garden and not noticed all the poison ivy. Her forearms from wrist to elbow, covered. Her torso and toes have got it too. Hourly moans emanate from her sad weary soul.

And with all the walks we’ve been doing lately I see that stuff everywhere.

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Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

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The picture below is from Elizabeth’s garden. Flowers planted this year, perennials, and volunteers, her garden is a coat of many colors. There are at least six different plants just in this little patch.

After our walk at Great Meadows we went for a tour of the Louisa May Alcott Orchard House where she wrote “Little Women”. They had made some interesting covid accommodations and it was very fun, very original house and furnishings without refurbishments, but no pictures allowed. So after dinner we watched the latest of oh so many versions of “Little Women” on tv.

A Farm Stand and The Woods

Below we have Welcome to Lexington Community Farm…

…where they grow what they sell.

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In the afternoon we had a beautiful outing on a boardwalk and we all know how much I enjoy a boardwalk.

Look Who Came to Boston Too

It’s Victoria, one of my zoom call Persian Poetry Pals! Victoria lives in Vermont but comes to Boston often and was able to work it out so we could have lunch together. WOW!

We met at Harvard Square and took a very short stroll through her alma mater, below, and then ate at a white tablecloth Italian place where the waiter took the picture, above.

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What’s coming next is back in Lexington, Elizabeth and some pictures of her garden (as per Les, “her pride and joy”) and their house in the near dark.

Then we continued on for a fairly long walk through a most beautiful part of Lexington. The below is the only picture I took because I spent the rest of our delightful walk in the muggy dusk swatting at mosquitos.

Then Les, who is making daily accommodations to his advancing Parkinson’s, fixed us a feast, as usual!

Taking the Train to Boston

I rode the Amtrak luxury train Acela from New York to Boston. Les picked me up at the station and then we had a Thai feast with Elizabeth and their neighbor friend Jim.

I had a whole double row in the Business Class Quiet Car all to myself. It was a dream ride.
The scenery was so splendid and I didn’t take a single picture. It was gorgeous with mostly handsome forests and boat filled harbors. This is just leaving New York.

MoMA the Morgan P&G&D and Farewell

I’m traveling tomorrow to Boston and might have time to get a few pictures together to tell the story of this day. Here’s the main thing though, if you are a museum person you have to buy a ticket to New York. After all this time of looking at our walls imagine how it feels to look at objects that make your heart beat fast.

Now it’s the day after tomorrow and I haven’t got to this last day yet, but I WILL when I get home!

Above is the hot dog stand I have never yet missed when visiting New York.

COPIED from the The Morgan Library and Museum website, so I won’t forget the glory of the “Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities” exhibit and be reminded of the unfathomable vocabulary of art-speak. (I also enjoyed the original building, the library, and the gorgeous display of early bookbinding.)

“Born and raised in Pakistan, Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969) gained international recognition in the 1990s for her pioneering role in bringing painting traditions from South and Central Asia into dialogue with contemporary practices. Her work interrogates cultural identity, racial narratives, colonial and postcolonial histories, and issues of gender and sexuality. Through multivalent narratives layered across time, geography, and tradition, she shatters established hierarchies, norms, and stereotypes, using her imagination and playfulness to conjure extraordinary realities.

“This exhibition explores the first fifteen years of Sikander’s career, from her formal training in manuscript painting as a student at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, where she enrolled in 1987, to her early years in the United States. Sikander moved to Providence in 1993 to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. She then lived in Houston for two years before settling in New York in 1997. Her work during this period reflects a new openness in the United States toward artists working outside of commonly accepted models as well as a dramatic shift in the perception of Muslims following the events of 9/11. The potent vocabulary of Sikander’s early work continues to permeate her oeuvre today, and the subjects she confronted then have only become more relevant to contemporary discourse.”

And COPIED from wikipedia.

“As an undergraduate student in Lahore, Shahzia Sikander studied the techniques of Persian and Mughal miniature painting, often integrating traditional forms of Mughal (Islamic) and Rajput (Hindu) styles and culture The traditional form of miniature painting requires equal measures of discipline, gesture and expression in order to execute a careful layering of color and detail. Compositionally, miniature paintings exhibit an extensive display of colorful imagery including, human forms, animals, patterns, shapes, dots and connecting lines. Miniature paintings often engage in contextual complexities such as, religious narrative, scenes of battles and court life. Sikander has integrated the techniques and forms of traditional miniature painting, relying on the layering of images and metaphor to drive her work. Her forms and figures exhibit a quality of continual morphing as transparent imagery is layered, providing a complexity with endless shifts in perception. Sikander’s complex compositions “dismantle hierarchical assumptions and subverts the very notion of a singular, fixed identity of figures and forms.” The increasing approach of continual morphing explains Sikander’s relationship to an ever-changing world where opposing societies coalescently interact.”

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Paul joined me for a visit to MoMA, the highlight being acres and Acres and ACRES of Cezanne drawings. SO many rooms of drawings. I hadn’t been in this version of MoMA’s life with yet another expansion, everything moved around, and more more rooms, it was disconcerting actually. I think I’d have to visit several more times before my longtime affection will return.

It was entertaining to turn the corner and exclaim “More!” at the Cezanne exhibit, and I did hunt down Matisse’s “Dance” and stroll through the rooms of Greatest Hits, so yeah, they’re still there, YAY.

Food-Transportation-Misc 16th-21st

Feelin’ it for the ‘hood.

Paul and Gretchen turned Lill on to this Swedish Candy store. Those are the folks running the store and with whom Lill could chat in speedy Swedish. Oh yes, I do enjoy the Swedish salty licorice.


We shared a delicious dinner at an Argentine place a few blocks down the road.
The Lower East Side/East Village parks I’ve visited: Tompkins Square Park, East River Park (my favorite), Hamilton Fish Park, Roosevelt Park, Seward Park. The best part about them is that they exist at all.
I thought this looked a little like a Disneyland version of a New York street.
Yes we did, we went to Katz’s deli and that sign says When Harry Met Sally Hope You Have What She Had…Enjoy!
We took the bus once, Lyft twice, 15 or so rides on the Metro, and miles and miles and miles on foot. I was concerned at first about the Metro stop near me, did it have enough trains, but it turned out to be perfect!

And speaking of transportation, citi bike seemed extremely efficient and well subscribed. We were sitting in a cafe across the street from this stand and watched a couple dozen people return their bikes and others take them away.
A spot for a salad/soup/sandwich just off the High Line.
A yummy snack at the tippy-top of the One World Observation Deck.

This is Scarr’s Pizza where I had two pieces of pizza, one glass of wine, and one bottle of water. Wanna guess the cost? I’ll tell you: Thirty Five Dollars. Shocking! The outside seating was full too. But was it good? I wanted to have the topping on the square piece put on the thin-crust triangle piece, but no, not possible unless you get the whole pie, which ok, I can understand.

These guys opened in the middle of 2020, just in time for lock down.
Biggie’s Cafe. It looked good but I’m not going to have time.
Chinatown, this was fun! We got a good meal and entertainment from the staff and guests at the Chinese restaurant. Then we walked to the end of the block where the Festival of San Gennaro was raging in Little Italy. We didn’t take even one step into that crowd!

Lill’s Last Morning

Lill’s last morning and we’re out for a 4-5 mile stroll. Oh my we have been walking a lot. I knew I’d have the afternoon free when at last I would spend many many hours not taking even one step so ok, let’s go. We walked around the East Village and then down to the East River Park.

Above, according to 6sqft.com: with 39 community gardens blooming between 14th Street and East Houston Street, the East Village is the Emerald City. The neighborhood boasts the highest concentration of community gardens in the country thanks to a proud history of grassroots activism that has helped transform once-abandoned lots into community oases.

Nice.
Urban wildlife.
You don’t often get a view without cars.
A pedestrian bridge to cross the FDR Highway, and under the Williamsburg Bridge.
Here’s a handsome park, 57.5 acres, along the East River and quite the opposite of Little Island. There are tennis and basketball courts but mostly it’s paths, grass, and trees, for running, games, and picnics. All the trash from the weekend was neatly bagged up by the fence. It was all remarkably lovely.

One World Observation Deck

You can see to the curvature of the earth..or so it seems anyway. Above are three of the four bridges to the east, from the top, the Williamsburg, then the Manhattan, and then the Brooklyn Bridge.

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We had tickets for Friday but since the visibility was Zero they were giving re-bookings and we got new tickets for Sunday.

They’ve been checking vaccination status and keeping the numbers down everywhere we’ve been. No excuse-me excuse-me to get a chance at the window.
We passed through the 9/11 Memorial..
..and past the Charging Bull. This is the line of people waiting to get a picture with the bull’s face. There is a line twice as long to have a picture from the back..

Lady Liberty and Ellis Island

We did what needed to be done: ‘All ferry ticketing is run through Statue Cruises, which is the only vendor authorized to provide tickets and transportation to Liberty and Ellis Islands.’

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Lill has a picture of herself in this pose from so many years ago.
I know, my hair, always good for a laugh.

Here it is below, Ingalill herself, circa 1987.

The visitor’s center was very good, with interesting displays about the history and construction of the statue.

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The arrival building at Ellis Island.

When talking about Ellis Island we mostly hear numbers, how many passed through this hall, from where, how long did it take, how many were turned back, and how many were sent to the hospital. The displays here tried to personalize at every turn. We saw images of individuals, the things they brought, the clothes they wore, pictures of their families back home.

And for $10 you could use their computer for 30 minutes to try to find your relatives. Is this my grandfather? We thought he came in 1910, we thought he was 17, we thought he came from Ukraine but then google has never heard of Hamentz, Russia.

We three sisters remember the story differently so I’m going to tell my version! Grandpa told me that when he was coming to America, when he first caught sight of the Statue of Liberty he jumped off the ship and swam the rest of the way straight to New York City. But then he was the kind of guy who might very well make up a city to be from…

Inside our 30 minutes I couldn’t remember the first and last name of my other grandparents, all immigrants who would have come through Ellis Island. Lill couldn’t remember the full names of any of her relatives that came during the time frame (1892-1954) either! I think this resource is available online and you might not even have to pay the 10 bucks.

The below is a photo from the screen.

UPDATE Sep 26!