Antlers on an Airplane?

Live country music at Albuquerque International Sunport.

I’ve flown in and out of Albuquerque International Sunport many times but, on a recent trip, I entered the airport to twangs of live country music. Yeehaw! I thought, “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen at an airport.” I was wrong.

Moose antlers that were shed naturally for sale on the side of road in Maine.

Waiting to board our flight was a man carrying a rack of antlers about 5 feet wide! The tips were outfitted with cut up pieces of hose stuffed with foam. Why? Because antlers are weapons!

It begged a lot of questions.

Passenger: “How did you get them through security?”

Man: “They told me to bring them to the gate.”

Passenger: “Did you buy extra seats?”

Man: “Nope.”

Passenger: “Where will they go on the plane?”

Man: “Dunno.”

Mind you, you can’t bring scissors longer than 4 inches on a plane.

Once boarding started, the ticket agent was apoplectic.

First, he said. “Whoa! Where do you think you’re going?”

Second, “If you read what cannot come on a plane, antlers are on the list.”

To his colleague, “If I see one more pair of antlers today, I’m going home.”

Then the ticket agent made a phone call.

“Calling Security! We have a pair of antlers to check!”

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Roof Garden Art, The Theater of Disappearance

Stork.

Baby.

A visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the roof. Not only do you get an amazing view of Manhattan, you get to explore changing exhibitions. On view until October 29, 2017 is sculptor Adrián Villar RojasThe Theater of Disappearance, a “performative diorama, where banquet tables occupy an oversize black-and-white checkerboard floor punctuated by sculptures that fuse together human figures and artifacts found within the museum. The resulting juxtapositions put forth a radical reinterpretation of museum practices.”

Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas has transformed the Cantor Roof with an intricate site-specific installation that uses the Museum itself as its raw material. Featuring detailed replicas of nearly 100 objects from The Met collection, The Theater of Disappearance encompasses thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures, and fuses them with facsimiles of contemporary human figures as well as furniture, animals, cutlery, and food. Each object—whether a 1,000-year-old decorative plate or a human hand—is rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a thin layer of dust.

The artist has reconfigured the environment of the Cantor Roof by adding a new pergola, a grand tiled floor, a bar, public benches and augmented planting throughout the space. The Met’s own alphabet has even been incorporated into the graphic identity of the project. To realize this extensive work, the artist immersed himself in the Museum and its staff for many months, holding conversations with the curators, conservators, managers, and technicians across every department who contributed to the realization of this installation.

Hidden woman.

Traveler.

Kissing couple.

Man with eels and rock.

Masked man.

In honor of my love of art, and especially Impressionists, check out new Edgar Degas exhibits on Artsy. In addition to Degas’s bio, over 200 of his works, and exclusive articles, you’ll find up-to-date Degas exhibition listings such as The National Gallery in London exhibit Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell, and an upcoming show at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Related post: Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty

Happy viewing, hon.

Spring’s Secret Garden

Monarch feeding on a Butterfly Bush.

The Secret Garden was one of the classics I read to my children. We spent many hours in the car driving to Maryland and Long Island to visit family (hon, trust me, we know every rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike), and made the time pass quickly by learning language, discovering stories, discussing characters and predicting plots. I only found out later that “brain imaging has suggested that hearing stories evokes visual images in children’s brains, and more strongly if those children are accustomed to being read to.” (The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children  by Perri Klass, M.D.,The New York Times)

Wait! What? Something I did was good for my kids? Woohoo! Hopefully, that balances out the other stuff that might not have been, ummm, as advantageous.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Glass Tea House, Venice Architecture Biennale

View from the bell tower of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

Another view.

Sign in the bell tower.

Last summer in Venice, my daughter and I discovered something beautiful and peaceful behind the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. We had taken the vaparetto, or water taxi, to the island of San Giorgio to see the views from the bell tower. We spotted a bright blue rectangle and we were curious. 

The hidden gem turned out to be a teahouse at the museum Le Stanze del Vetro. Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto designed Glass Tea House Mondrian for the Venice Architecture Biennale.

The ‘Glass Tea House Mondrian’ by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto unites wood, glass and water as a pavilion, holding the traditional japanese tea ceremony within its transparent walls. The temporary structure consists of two main elements: an open-air landscape courtyard and an enclosed glass cube.

The garden follows a path leading along a forty-foot-long reflecting pool completely covered in Bisazza mosaic, guiding the visitor to a lucent space, inside which the cultural ritual is performed. The pavilion hosts two visitors at once, together with the master of the tea ceremony, while the other spectators can take part by watching around the perimeter of the reflecting pool.

Relating to its surrounding environment and the historical context of the site, Sugimoto’s ‘Glass Tea House’ suggests a subtle analogy between the ancient tea ceremony practice and the art of venetian glassmaking.

Glass Tea House Mondrian by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Click here to read an interview with Sugimoto. Click here to see how the tea house was assembled.

Happy exploring, hon.

Source: Designboom.com

Art Materials in Italy

IMG_0344 (1)In Italy, art is everywhere. I expected to see art in museums and galleries, but I was surprised by the materials. On display, pigments, glass rods, silk cords, paintbrushes, metal, work tables and weaving looms become their own sort of art. They beckon creativity to come out and play.

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Off the Grid in Italy

Morgan and me in Tuscany.

Mom and daughter trip to Tuscany.

Tuscany is Bellissimo!

I haven’t posted in awhile for a very good reason…I was in Italy! I was practically off the grid with unreliable Wifi and no phone plan. My daughter became our navigator with her grasp of Italian and her own data plan. Look forward to lots of pics and posts about Venice, Bologna, Siena and Rome.

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. Where to next?

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Love In Art, Lovin’ Art

Spray paint cans.

Spray paint cans.

Spray It. Say It.

In a previous post, Steel Pop-Up Books by David Kracov, I visited the Eden Fine Art Gallery in Soho where colorful book sculptures drew me in. Walking further into the gallery, I discovered a room covered in work by Queens-born graffiti artist Hoacs. It was a blast of immersive, colorful collages, concepts and tags. Click here to read an interview with Hoacs where he dishes about No Days Off, his First Solo Exhibit.

Calling all writers! You know how “voice” is a magic word in Kidlit? Click here to hear Hoacs’ distinctive voice. On the website Neighborhood.com he says,” I started doing graffiti in the mid to late 90s. Back then NYC graffiti was on smash, from highways to track spots to street spots, all crushed.”  He’s got voice covered!

I’ve included pics of two more pieces displayed at the gallery. Love in Art.

How true.

Hoacs says he has no days off. Neither do writers.

Surprising work by graffiti artist Hoacs.

Surprising work by graffiti artist Hoacs.

Dorit Levenstein, hand painted aluminum.

Dorit Levenstein, hand painted aluminum.

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Sisterhood of the Traveling Bracelet

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I have a bad habit. I put things down in odd why-would-I-ever-look-there-again places and then promptly forget where I put them. I’ve devised many strategies to overcome this habit. Baking supplies are in a designated “baking section,” my phone is, generally, in the kitchen, and my keys hang on a key hook (genius, right?). But, when I travel, strategies go out the window, and I waste a lot of time looking for misplaced items.

Hon, you know the expression, “you are your own worst critic”? It’s true. I am. Maybe I should give myself a small break. The latest thing I lost was a bracelet. I was wearing it and then I wasn’t. This happened while visiting my mom in a hospice facility in Baltimore. Talk about distracted! I was that, and agitated and sad and many other emotions. But, still!

The bracelet was a birthday gift from a friend. It was made in Mexico, sold in New Jersey, traveled back to Mexico, returned to New Jersey and then lost in Baltimore. The bracelet was initially too small, but the artisan made me a really nice offer! He said he was visiting family in Mexico and would take it with him, add a couple of links, and then bring it back to New Jersey. He did, and then I lost it!

In Baltimore, I dug through my bags, re-traced my steps, left my name and number at the places I’d been, and then had a thought. To keep the environment sterile, I had to wear a gown while at the hospice facility. Maybe the bracelet had gotten caught on the cuff of the gown? Maybe it was in the garbage?

I called the facility and, when I visited my mom again, searched for the bracelet to no avail. I was annoyed with myself! When did it fall off? Why hadn’t I noticed earlier? Where could it be? I even considered ordering another one but didn’t want to ask for another bracelet to take another trip.

A few weeks later, while emptying a knitting bag, guess what fell out. My bracelet! I couldn’t believe it! Yay!

Either it fell off and into the bag without my realizing it OR is it possible I took it off before gowning up? And if I did, why-oh-why would I drop it in the bottom of a knitting bag and not put it somewhere I might remember? Oh yeah, I know why…because I have a bad habit!

I’d love to hear your lost-and-found stories!

Related Post: Losing things may be genetic. Click Found In a Fishing Boot to another lost-and-found story.

Shout out to Lucy who lent me her tail for the photo. (“Woof!”)

 

 

Top Ten Cool Elephant Seal Facts

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When Hubby and I went to California in October, we stopped at Elephant Seal Beach in Big Sur and saw these fascinating sea mammals.  I could have watched them all day! If you want to read why I Turned Into an Elephant Seal click hereI hope you enjoy the slideshow of my photos, along with…

Top Ten Cool Elephant Seal Facts

  1. Types: There are two types of elephant seals:  Northern seals are found in California and Baja California; Southern seals populate the waters of Antarctica.
  2. In the Sea: Seals spend months at sea diving deep to forage. Southern elephant seals can dive over 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) deep and can hold their breath for over two hours, which is the longest of any water-based mammal.
  3. Food:  Seals hunt for squid, eels, octopus, small sharks, rays and bottom dwelling fish.
  4. Lifespan:  Northern seals live an average of 9 years while Southern seals live about 20 to 22 years.
  5. Size:  The largest Southern seals grow up to 20 ft (6 m) and weigh up to 8,800 lbs (4,000 kg).
  6. Noses:  Seals aren’t called “elephants” because of their size. They take their name from their trunklike inflatable snouts. The seals we saw on Elephant Beach were young males whose snouts hadn’t grown yet.
  7. Staying Warm: To keep warm in freezing cold water, seals not only have thick skin and fur, there is a thick layer of insulating blubber under their skin. Since their skin molts every year, the seals have to find land in order to molt.
  8. Aggression:  Males battle each other for mating dominance.
  9. Alpha Males:  Male seals claim breeding territories and defend them.  They collect huge harems of smaller-sized females–about 40 to 50 females to one male.
  10. Birth:  After an 11-month pregnancy, females give birth to a single pup. In the one month that the pup nurses, mother seal doesn’t eat—mom and pup live off the energy stored in mom’s reserves of blubber.

What did I tell you?  Fascinating! Hon, have you ever seen elephant seals? Have you seen any fully grown with trunk-like snouts? 

Sources: National Geographic, a-z animals

Stunning Short Film–Terror and Resilience

Dome of the Rock, also know as Al-Haram al Sharif, Jerusalem, Israel

Dome of the Rock, also know as Al-Haram al Sharif, Jerusalem, Israel

Arab souk (market), Jerusalem, Israel

Arab souk (market), Jerusalem, Israel

The two times I toured Israel were intense, emotional, amazing experiences. The Dome of the Rock, or Al-Haram al-Sharif, stands head and shoulders above Jerusalem while the Arab market’s sellers, locals and tourists scurry like mice under the watchful eyes of Israeli soldiers.

Although I usually add upbeat lifestyle posts to Bmore Energy , on occasion I add serious ones.

After I viewed Vitals, a 5-minute documentary filmed in Jerusalem, about Hananel David, an Israeli who survived a knife attack, I knew I wanted to share it. The film, directed by friend Jake Oleson, a talented filmmaker whose work I’ve featured before, is stunning.

I hope you’ll watch it.

Wishing you–and our world–peace in 2016.

Naomi

Directed by Jake Oleson, Cinematography by Todd Martin, Produced by Alon Simcha, Animation by Casey Drogin, Original Music by Matthew Kidd, Commissioned by Magen David Adom.