Conversation of a Sunday

Filed under:It's My Life,Mothering,Photoblogging,Religion — posted by Anwyn on November 16, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

Son: I like that stained-glass window.

Me: Yeah, me too.

Son: What’s it of?

Me: Well, there’s a cross in the middle there.

Son: I think it’s God’s eye.

For You, New York

Filed under:Cool,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on October 6, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

Photos, taken on my recent Indiana trip, of what’s commonly called the Empire Quarry, near Oolitic, Indiana, where Indiana boys dug out the Indiana limestone to build the Empire State Building. More of the same is now being used on the new Yankee Stadium. To get to the vantage point where these were taken, you cross through a hilltop graveyard. A lot of this same stone built most of my university and a lot of others in Indiana.

Colorful ID, NYC-style:

The ID from the other end of the pool:

In Flight

Filed under:Cool,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on July 11, 2008 @ 8:57 am

Pretties from the balloon adventure. Photos by me.

Indiana horizon at sunrise:

Balloon interior:

Burner in action:

Balloon shadow just after landing:

Partially deflated balloon in cow pasture:

Balloon Ride

Filed under:Cool,It's My Life,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn @ 8:56 am

My sister, who comments here as Bumble, and I were taken up in a hot-air balloon yesterday morning. It was absolutely as fantastic as you always thought it would be. Silent, still, views like the ones off the Sears Tower but without the heat, noise, grime, smells, and concrete. There are photos below the fold, but if you want to skip the narration and go straight to the in-flight pictures, they are here.

I was nervous before we went; not about flying or the height, but since I became a mom, reasonable fears of accidental death have blown up into an occasional, irrational near-certainty that because I’m so careless and rude to my child as to actually take an adventure that has a small chance of possibly going horribly wrong, it will actually happen that way. I tried to wrestle this down with the assurance that our pilot, Dave Bobel, has been flying balloons for more than thirty years and is certainly not about to crash himself just to validate my midnight fears. You won’t catch me going skydiving, though. Details and photos after the jump. (more…)

The Real Reason I Like Mr. Sippican Cottage

Filed under:Cool,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on July 10, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

We both take pictures of the doors.

Of course he can tell you lots more cooler stuff about them than I can. All I can offer is that both of these doors used to belong to John Adams.

Rally ‘Round the Flags

Filed under:History,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on February 12, 2008 @ 11:09 am

Flags at Fort Sumter. Plus park ranger:

Plus moon:

Plus honor (the flag that was flying when Beauregard opened fire on the fort, which Major Anderson later had hauled down and carried away when his men were permitted to march out):

Just plus–from left to right, an earlier version of the American flag, the first Confederate flag, the South Carolina flag, the current American flag, the second Confederate flag, and an earlier American flag:


Filed under:Cool,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on February 9, 2008 @ 8:22 am

There’s nothing like going someplace, taking a batch of pictures, then seeing pictures of several of the same subjects turn up on the blog of a pro photographer. Makes me think I’m somewhat on the right track in improving my shots. Charleston, South Carolina:

Then He Climbed the Tower of the Old North Church

Filed under:Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on January 18, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

More Boston photoblogging: The steeple of the famous church, looking up from the ground:

The same steeple as viewed from a hill up the street:

The flag in the rigging of the U.S.S. Constitution:

Boston Photoblogging

Filed under:Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on January 8, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

I realized I haven’t posted any Boston photos. Here are some of the Day of John Adams.

The house in which John Adams was born, bordered on the left by the house he and Abigail later lived in and in which John Quincy Adams was born:

Over at Peacefield, the larger estate where John and Abigail lived much later and where many of their descendents lived as well, the beautiful library Charles Francis Adams built to house his father’s (John Quincy’s) books:

The grounds of Peacefield:

And some butterflies thereon:

In the Cannon’s Mouth

Filed under:Cool,History,It's My Life,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on November 28, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

A little vacation photoblogging. A casemate with cannon at Fort Sumter:

The same cannon (I think) from inside the fort:

And an empty casemate looking out to the ocean:

Scenes, Day Two in New York, Part the Second

Filed under:9/11,It's My Life,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on June 21, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

Day two was the day of the subway system. I dived down into the station two blocks from my hotel, snaked my MetroCard out of the machine, and proceeded to slide it through the slot to the left of my turnstile rather than the right. When I realized my error and slid it through the correct slot, the computer naturally thought I was trying to game it (at $7.00 for an all-day pass, it doesn’t account for individual rides but for more than one use of the same card within 18 minutes) and refused me entry. I pleaded my case to the attendant, who let me through the gate. Down the island, first stop Trinity Church as aforementioned, then onto the ferry for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I didn’t get off at Liberty Island; only took some pictures from the boat. Exhibits at Ellis Island were quite moving. My feelings on the current immigration hoo-ha can be summed up in a few sentences: I am in favor of allowing in almost any sound, sane, upstanding, law-abiding person who wants a) to become a U.S. citizen or b) to be educated at one of our universities. But the fact that our immigration policies in the past have stilted this ideal is no excuse for circumventing them. Secure the border first. Decide what to do about illegals afterward. Make the whole process more streamlined for future applicants. And screen the immigration status of all those who are arrested for any reason and deport immediately all such who are here illegally. But Ellis was a grand sight and quite moving in its depiction of those who came here seeking both to stay and make a better life.

After a brief stop at the Fraunces Tavern Museum, also as aforementioned, where you can see the Long Room where Washington said goodbye to his officers, I visited St. Paul’s Chapel. Impressive, but its native architectural beauty is marred by the ugly pink and powder blue interior decorating scheme.

St. Paul’s served as a rally point and aid-and-comfort zone during the atrocity of 9/11, located as it is adjacent to Ground Zero, my next focus. Ladder/Engine Company No. 10, also adjacent to the WTC, which took multiple hits in personnel and building that day:

My favorite sight at Ground Zero is the new WTC 7, rising serenely over the rather tortured landscape of whatever construction is evidently taking place, though not very quickly, on the site of the Twin Towers:

Finally, my last church of the day: over the threshold into St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

While I was inside this awe-inspiring structure, the sun came out:

The day ended with a trip up the Empire State Building at about 11 p.m., after I’d found my Italian restaurant from the previous night and, if you can believe it, was let through the gate again by a subway attendant after scurrying into the station, swiping my card, and realizing I’d left my cell phone back at the hotel. Back to the hotel, back to the station, where again the computer thought I was trying to cheat the subway out of $7. The attendant wasn’t as forgiving as the morning one, but he let me through eventually, thinking: Rube.

Scenes, Day Two in New York

Filed under:It's My Life,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on June 14, 2007 @ 10:51 pm

Trinity Church, in whose graveyard lie buried Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton:

Scenes, Day One in New York, Part the Second

Filed under:It's My Life,Photoblogging — posted by Anwyn on June 13, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

The Met. My guidebook advised me to “pick one or two galleries and just see a few other things on your way to and from them so you don’t get burned out.” It’s good advice though disheartening if you ever want to see the whole or even most of the museum. I saw the Temple of Dendur:

and the American Wing, where I liked Winslow Homer somewhat less than I expected to and totally fell in love with one Elijah Boardman, as painted by Ralph Earl. The other American painters were uneven for me–no one painter got my unqualified recommendation, but I liked several of the individual works very much. I was amused by the information card for Washington Crossing the Delaware, though the blurb in the link is different from the one on the wall at the Met–did you know that painting was a success because it appealed to the strong feeling of nationalism in the country at the time? Silly me, I thought that sectionalism was by far the stronger force in the country in 1851, the time of the painting, and that its success might be due to the fact that nobody didn’t like George Washington, North or South.

My favorite painting may have been, ironically for the American Wing, of Queen Victoria, by Thomas Sully. Again the blurb in the link doesn’t match what’s on the wall, and the wall blurb was interesting. Paraphrased: “Sully chose the moment of her physical and literal ascension [in the finished painting, she was climbing the stairs to the throne] to show her humanity and femininity”–she looks beautiful and delicate, but strong.

What I really liked in the American Wing was the furniture, especially a little Greek Revival chair called a “klismos chair.” Greek Revival furniture was quite the thing during the Revolution and for a while afterward, and I enjoyed seeing the chairs again when I visited the Fraunces Tavern Museum the next day:

More tomorrow …

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace