Friday, February 27, 2015

Colorful Flowers to Brighten This Winter

I don't know about anyone else, but I am really getting tired of that four letter word S N O W ! I do not remember a winter quite like this one, snow every week and lots of of it too! I feel so bad for those in the New England states, as they have just been hammered with the white stuff. We have not had quite as much, but enough to cause lots of school delays and tricky roads when driving to work. I decided on this Friday, we would look at some gorgeous flowers! To get our mind ready for spring because it really should be here sooner than later. Lots of great events coming up like the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show,  2015 Architectural Digest Home Design Show,  and the Macy's Flower Show, which should bring us out of our doldrums! Enjoy and Have a GREAT Friday !!  

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday "Blossom Restaurant 1935"

This very cool photo was found at the NY Public Library website. They have an amazing collection that can be viewed online.

Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery, Manhattan by Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991 -- Photographer.

Changing New York: Photographs by Berenice Abbott, 1935-1938 Collection History

The Library's Changing New York archive contains more than 2,200 duplicate and variant prints representing about three-quarters of the 302 images contained in Abbott's definitive version of the project. The Library's holding also contains images that continue the project's negative numbering but fall outside its scope. These anomalous images are included here for historical and pictorial purposes. The Library's archive contains contact and enlarged prints, primarily from the 1930s, from several sources within NYPL that were united in 1989, supplemented by occasional purchases and generous gifts beginning in 1988.

Photographer Berenice Abbott proposed Changing New York, her grand project to document New York City, to the Federal Art Project (FAP) in 1935. The FAP was a Depression-era government program for unemployed artists and workers in related fields such as advertising, graphic design, illustration, photofinishing, and publishing. A changing staff of more than a dozen participated as darkroom printers, field assistants, researchers and clerks on this and other photographic efforts. Abbott's efforts resulted in a book in 1939, in advance of the World's Fair in Flushing Meadow NY, with 97 illustrations and text by Abbott's fellow WPA employee (and life companion), art critic Elizabeth McCausland (1899-1965). At the project's conclusion, the FAP distributed complete sets of Abbott's final 302 images to high schools, libraries and other public institutions in the metropolitan area, plus the State Library in Albany. Throughout the project, exhibitions of the work took place in New York and elsewhere. After decades of lapse, the founding of the National Endowment of the Arts in 1965 revived the FAP's ideals .

Abbott was born and raised in Ohio where she endured an erratic family life. In 1918, after two semesters at Ohio State University, she left to join friends associated with the Provincetown Players, in Greenwich Village. There she met Djuna Barnes, Kenneth Burke, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Little Review editors Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, and other influential modernists. From 1919-1921, while studying sculpture, Abbott supported herself as an artist's model, posing for photographers Nikolas Muray and Man Ray. She also met Marcel Duchamp, and participated in Dadaist publications.

Abbott moved to Paris in 1921, where she continued to study sculpture (and in Berlin), and to support herself by modeling. During 1923-1926, she worked as Man Ray's darkroom assistant (he had also relocated to Paris) and tried portrait photography at his suggestion. Abbott's first solo exhibition, in 1926, launched her career. In 1928 she rescued and began to promote Eugène Atget's photographic work, calling his thirty years of Parisian streetscapes and related studies "realism unadorned. "

In 1929 Abbott took a new artistic direction to tackle the scope (if not the scale) of Atget's achievement in New York City. During 1929-38, she photographed urban material culture and the built environment of New York, documenting the old before it was torn down and recording new construction. From 1934-58, she also taught photography at the New School. During 1935-39, Abbott worked as a "supervisor" for the Federal Art Project to create Changing New York (her free-lance work and New School teaching commitment made her ineligible for unemployment relief) .

From 1939-60, Abbott photographed scientific subjects, concluding with her notable illustrations for the MIT-originated Physical Sciences Study Committee's revolutionary high school physics course. In 1954, she photographed along the length of US 1; the work never found a publisher. In 1968, Abbott sold the Atget archive to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and moved permanently to her home in central Maine (bought in 1956 and restored over several decades) .

1970 saw Abbott's first major retrospective exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art. Her first retrospective portfolio appeared in 1976, and she received the International Center of Photography's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. She died at home in Monson, Maine in December 1991 .

We are so lucky the library has these amazing pieces of New York City history for us to enjoy. Be sure to support them when visiting, and again, you can always check out their great website HERE.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hat Fashion at the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show has much fashion for those attending. These hat creations were just really so fabulous, and I didn't have time to show you them last year. Since the 2015 show is coming up in a few days, I thought this would be a good time to display for you. 

The details in them are just mind blowing! So beautiful ! 

I think anyone would be thrilled to wear any one of these creations! Here is some information for you about the 2015 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show:

The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is an annual event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in March. It is the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show, attracting more than 260,000 people annually. The Show features large-scale gardens, elaborate landscapes, and over-the-top floral creations.

Visitors to the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show are treated to fabulous design, live entertainment, culinary demonstrations, gardening how-to workshops, and lectures by experts. Show week begins with an exclusive black-tie Preview Party and After Party, one of Philadelphia’s premier events.

Proceeds from the Show support PHS, particularly the City Harvest program, which feeds more than 1,200 families each week during the growing season.

Dates & Times
The 2015 Flower Show opens on Saturday, February 28 and will close on Sunday, March 8. The Preview Party will be held on the evening of Friday, February 27.

Show Hours
Friday, February 27 (PHS members preview) 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday, February 28 (PHS members preview) 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, February 28   11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday, March 1   8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Mon. - Fri., March 2-6 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday, March 7 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday, March 8 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday's Quote of the Day for February 24, 2015

This is a really profound quote for me. I really hate joining the "crowd". I grew up an only child, so I have been always comfortable with being alone. I love traveling to New York City alone. I found out I had great strength when my Mom passed handling the arrangements alone. It may be hard to do at first, but mastering standing alone can be the greatest gift you can give yourself. It allows such freedom, and the ability to do things your way, not the crowd's way. 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Farewell to Mad Men, NYC Mad Men Events and The Smithsonian Museum

Set in 1960s New York, the sexy, stylized and provocative AMC drama Mad Men follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.

AMC’s award-winning drama Mad Men made history as the first basic cable series ever to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in four consecutive years. Created by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning executive producer Matthew Weiner and produced by Lionsgate, Mad Men has riveted audiences with the seductive and intriguing world of Sterling Cooper & Partners. 

Created by Emmy and Golden Globe winning executive producer Matthew Weiner, Mad Men is anchored by an award-winning ensemble cast, including Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Jessica Paré, Rich Sommer, Aaron Staton, Robert Morse, Kiernan Shipka, Jay Ferguson, and Christopher Stanley.

The Premise: The series revolves around the conflicted world of Don Draper (Hamm), the biggest ad man (and ladies man) in the business, and his colleagues at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency. As Don makes the plays in the boardroom and the bedroom, he struggles to stay a step ahead of the rapidly changing times and the young executives nipping at his heels. The series also depicts authentically the roles of men and women in this era while exploring the true human nature beneath the guise of 1960s traditional family values. (information from AMC website
Jon Hamm as Don Draper from "Mad Men." (Michael Yarish / AMC)

For those of you who are Mad Men fans, in the next month we are sad to say goodbye to one of the most fabulous dramas from AMC. If you have never watched the show, I suggest start with Season 1 on Netflix ASAP. I have been watching since the start, in 2007, I can't believe it has been 8 years since it began! I really love period dramas, and with this starting in the 1960's, it was just pure gold. I embraced the fashions, the amazing storylines and the actors who really poured themselves into their characters. It was fun to see them go from each year, the changes that came about in the business and fashion world. The fact that they won the Emmy for outstanding drama the first 4 seasons of airing, tells you something. Their costume designer, Janie Bryant, has won numerous awards for her outstanding design. The final season begins April 5, 2015 on AMC at 10pm. 

I have had The Smithsonian Museum on my list for a while, to see Archie Bunker's chair and our best lady, Julia Child's kitchen, but now with some Mad Men memorabilia on it's way, I must get to the museum very soon! 

AMC has recently announced  that iconic props, costumes, set décor, scripts and research material from Mad Men, including Don Draper's grey suit and fedora(pictured above), and his often-used office bar cart, will join the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History at a ceremony in Washington on March 27, 2015. 

The museum, the national repository for American cultural history, also will receive creator Matthew Weiner's original script for the seminal episode "The Wheel" (Episode 113) with an alternate ending that was never filmed, AMC said.The ceremony will take place about a week before the Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-winning series kicks off its final seven episodes, on April 5.
Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) 
Don Draper (Jon Hamm) 
Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) 
Bertram Cooper (Robert Morse) 
All Photos Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

A number of fabulous events are planned for "Mad Men's" fictional home of New York City. An exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens running from March 14 to June 14 will feature "Mad Men" costumes, sets & props as well as Matthew Weiner's personal notes with research material. 

The Museum of the Moving Image will also hold a public conversation with Matthew Weiner on March 20 and "Required Viewing, 'Mad Men's' Movie Influences," a series of 10 films selected by the show runner including Billy Wilder's "The Apartment," Arthur Hiller's "The Americanization of Emily" and Claude Chabrol's "Les Bonnes Femmes." It runs March 14 to April 19. A two-day film festival is also on tap at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 22 and 23.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center will host a conversation with Weiner and cast members Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, John Slattery and Vincent Kartheiser on March 21. Fans can also take part in a free marathon screening of key "Mad Men" episodes selected by Matthew Weiner on March 20 and 21 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

The New York Public Library will plug its "Mad Men Reading List," a collection of 25 titles read by characters in the series, at its three largest branches. 

Matthew Weiner will be appearing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on March 29 to speak about Jewish identity in advance of an exhibition, "Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism," opening March 31, 2015. 
Betty Francis (January Jones), Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) and Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC
Betty Francis (January Jones) 
Roger Sterling (John Slattery) 
Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) 
Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) 
All Photos Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

This photo of Jon Hamm from Vanity Fair magazine is just too much! 

Roger Sterling (John Slattery) Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels /AMC
Did you know John Slattery did a Sex and the City episode? 
These barbie dolls were just too darn cute! 
Don Draper (Jon Hamm) 
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) 
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels /AMC

I am so thrilled that the show introduced us to some great actors such as Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Elizabeth Moss, and the girl who grew up on the show, Kiernan Shipka, who has become a very classy young lady. I feel we will continue to hear from these great actors in the future, Jon Hamm has a great sense of humor, he was so funny in Saturday Night Live. I am excited to see how this show will end, and maybe I will start to watch all over again from the beginning. This type of show allows you to see different things each time you view an episode, which is so fabulous! 

Are you a fan of the show? Are you sad to see it leave? Who are your favorite characters? 

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels /AMC

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