Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a christmas minute

Yesterday evening, my daughter-in-law, two friends and I attended "A Candlelight Christmas" in its Fiftieth Anniversary season at the Kennedy Center. We were lucky enough to have front-row seats, where we could hear and see the full effect of the massed choirs and the National Capital Brass Ensemble, including the handsome young tuba player. :) We loved seeing all the happy expressions of the young singers from W.T. Woodson High School Vocal Ensemble, who were this year's guest performers. Especially jolly was their breathless rendition of "Christmas in a Minute," words and arrangement based on Chopin's "Minute Waltz" by Jeffrey Biegel. Imagine singing these words, as printed in the program, as fast as you can say them (at Chopin's piano pace)!

Christmas in a Minute
Jeffrey Biegel

Christmas is a comin' quickly you can't stop it, all the busy people busy buzzin' round the mall,
a buyin' lotsa presents since the fall the advertisers stop at nothing!

Little Johnny, Sammy, Suzie, Jack n' Lucy in a tizzy don't know what to buy for them on time,
perhaps it's easier to go on-line! They have enough already!
So I have a lot of cards to write to everybody, when I'm finished it's time to drink a toddy! (hands raised)
Then I have to get the dinner ready for the aunts and uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews!

Everybody thinks that Christmas is so jolly, it's a lotta work for mistletoe and holly.
After I am finished with this Christmas minute I would like to take a rest!

(sing slower, in waltz tempo)
All the pretty candles glow, they simmer, glimmer over the Christmas snow.
Frosty moonlight, chilly air;
Skaters are gliding and tourists are riding in the horse-drawn coaches through the park;
Angels whispering messages sweetly; church bells ringing overhead; children are in their beds.

(sing fast again)
I got lost in all the shuffle, now it's time to find the recipe for making chocolate truffles.
Here we go again, another Christmas season's comin' up, it seems another year gone so fast,
I can't keep up, I don't think I can last another minute, so I guess it's time to buy the decorations,
Trim the tree with lotsa lights and lotsa tinsel, hurry up!

The phone is ringing, answer it! I know the tone, it's Auntie Penny, "Can I bring another guest for dinner?"
That makes twenty-three, I need a ton of food to feed an armory!
The turkey needs a stuffin' bake a batch of muffins!
Oh I just forgot to hang the stocking stuffers!

Carolers are singin', mailmen are bringin' packages and cards and gifts of wine for drinking!
Oh, it's getting very hectic in my house preparin' for the busy bees!
The lines at all the shopping stores are getting longer; websites on the internet are selling stronger!

Where is all the simple meaning, charm and reason that we celebrate together for the season?
All the television stations are a burnin' many Christmas advertisements they're a churnin'!

Now my time is up, I've nothing else to say, but "Merry Christmas one and all!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

streets of new york city, part two

Posing in silver for silver (and green)

Debby Schuh, me, Michelle White at Balthazar's

streets of new york city, part one

The weather in New York City this past weekend was just beautiful for walking. The unveiling of holiday window decorations had begun, and shoppers (including this window shopper) thronged the streets, stood in lines, paused for photographs, and did it graciously. I was in the city to join Debby Schuh for her class at Tinsel Trading Saturday evening. Meanwhile, along with lunching at The Plaza on Saturday, breakfasting at Balthazar's on Sunday, and checking out the Apple store for my youngest son who now works for Apple, I took a few photos of my own.

Kenneth Cole doorway needs no gift wrap

Saks Fifth Avenue windows still under wrap

"I believe in the . . . right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty;
in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand,
that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living;
that thrift is essential to well-ordered living,
and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure,
whether in government, business or personal affairs . . ."
do we each still believe these things,
or just take it for granted that someone else will shoulder the responsibility?

Men in uniform (above & below)

Replica of this year's 9+1/2-foot tall Swarovski Star,
on ground-level view while the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was still in scaffolding.
The real star is made of 25,000 crystals and 720 twinkling LED bulbs.
Rockefeller Center's first tree in 1933 was also covered with 700 lights.

Anthropologie at Rockefeller Center

more coming . . .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

wall painting in bavaria

Maybe it's my painting background, but I was excited to see how much effort was being put into preserving this very Bavarian style of fresco. As we drove around southern Germany, we noticed so many buildings surrounded with scaffolding as painters renewed and restored the allegorical frescoes painted on homes and commercial establishments alike. I didn't think to take photos of the scaffolding. But we chatted briefly with a proud young man who accommodatingly climbed down from his perch where he was working on a home with mossy green walls and terrific window and door surrounds. And the main street in Bad Tölz, where I lived for a while with my young children, had several sets of scaffolding dotting the old facades as the frescoes were being renewed. I hope you enjoy this sampling along with me.