Thursday, December 23, 2021

Christmas in New York

 As Covid and its cousins lean into our daily lives like unwanted houseguests, never leaving and really stinking, sometimes we have to get out and see the things we love. Vaxed thrice and following up with a test upon arrival home we journeyed to the Big Apple for a couple days of Christmas cheer. 

It's a wonderful city for that. This year though, you could feel a difference in the air. Far less people than the usual crowds. Sidewalk extensions of restaurants with heaters and the masked waiters showed the change of the days. It is still a great place to be.

A journey to the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx displayed a wonderful miniature train show in and out of the mature plantings of the Conservatory. Walking around the city showed the typical surprises of architecture and eye candy of the Fifth Avenue store windows. It's mostly all there although I was disappointed that Tiffany had no displays at all. They were usually quite creative. Of course Bergdorff Goodman never fails to disappoint as the window shots below show.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Trattoria

Of course you can enjoy food in Italy in all shapes and forms. We have found it is often more interesting and healthier to an older physique to dine a main meal at lunch rather than dinner. You still have time to enjoy the afternoon and the cost is generally lower than dinner fare with no loss of
Here is an editted list of some dining possibilities from (

  • Aperitivi/stuzzichini:  In brief, in the late evening (usually around 7pm) many bars around town will lay out sumptuous spreads of free finger foods—canapés, cheeses and meats, fried things on sticks, sometimes pastries. 
  • Bar: An Italian bar, although it does indeed serve liquor, is more what we'd call a cafe. It's where workers pop in for their morning espresso and cornetto (croissant) or brioche (sweet roll) on the way to work, return for a cappuccino at the 10am break, and stop on their way home for a Campari-soda at the end of the work day 
  • Caffé: Pretty much just another name for a bar, though there may be more of an emphasis on the coffee, and on outdoor tables.
  • Tavola calda: A very informal (and sometimes self-serve) eatery where you usually choose from a pre-prepared selection of hot dishes. Great for a quick, light meal.

    • Pizzeria: A casual restaurant where you go to eat pizza. Again, pretty obvious, but here are a few Italian quirks. Traditional pizzerie are open only in the evenings, and they don't serve much beyond pizza. 
    • Gelateria: An Italian ice cream shop—though calling Italy's thick, creamy, flavorful frozen treat something as banal as "ice cream" is deeply insulting to gelato.
    • Osteria or hosteria: Usually an even simpler, down-home local's eatery than a trattoria—though sometimes fancy restaurants use the word to try and evoke a simple, trendy charm.
    • Ristorante:  Eateries which call themselves "ristorante" usually have pretensions to haute cuisine status—or at least high prices. By far not a hard and fast rule

    This brings us to my favorite- The Trattoria
    Often a family affair the Trattoria offers a wide variety of choices done with a simple approach. No fancy bites or sculptural cuisine here. This is often just good food by the owner/chef.
    This trip introduced us to a memorable trattoria in S_ not far from our first inn.
    The owner/chef had run it for 40 years spoke no English and was a delightful host. We sat in the sun of the modest trattoria, enjoying the fence of wine bottles past and sampled whatever he brought out

    Looking for America

    It has been a challenging couple of years. Despite the restrictions I am lucky to live in a not crowded state so that getting outdoors has been enjoyable. But I was still restless so this Spring I bought a small caper van. I explored Maine first and then farther afield to the Finger Lakes of New York. Just recently a Southland loop as I was drawn down initially for a wedding in Va. Here is a slice of what I saw in this beautiful country of ours. I wish we could come together a bit better...


    New York

      Watkins Glen 

    Taughannock Falls

    Looping Through the Southland

    A wedding venue ambassador
    The Smithsonian Castle in Washington DC

    North Carolina beach in Duck

    Whirligig park in Wilson, NC
    Household scenes at the Biltmore in Asheville, NC

    Crossing over a bridge in NC near the Appalachian Trail


    Mammoth Cave, KY

    Kentucky, Bourbon and horses

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    A New Perspective

     Clearly it has been a  long time since the last post. Somewhat because of Covid and some because life seems to go quickly and then grinds to a halt and then speeds up again. 

    It is Fall in Maine, and although there are other things to also write about this section will talk about how beautiful Maine is in the Fall. I have been walking the dog a lot. I forget about the madness of the world and can just enjoy the Nature around me with my rascal dog.  The quality of the air takes on a fresh tone, especially from the heat and humidity of the summer. Some leaves have begun to turn and the evenings turn jacket cool. Layering is the way of the day with the mornings starting out needing sweaters and by midday you are down to sleeveless tanks.

    As the birds begin to migrate I think of traveling too....

    Here's what I am talking about-