Sunday, May 31, 2009

So this weekend's travel-log... Philadelphia

Thor and I went to Philadelphia PA this weekend for the Avett Brothers concert. I love going away! We got a later start than we would have liked (due in large part to my hangover...LOL.)But I finally got moving and we got out of the house and into Philly with plenty of time for the show and dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Sunset View from our Room


The hotel was lovely, and we had a suite with a view... it was gorgeous!
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The Trocadero


Our ultimate destination, where the Avett Brothers played.
Rather unimposing venue, isn't it?
And yet, Pearl Jam played here when they were first starting out.
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Sweet Dreams.

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This morning we walked around looking at the City.

One of the best things about Philadelphia is all of the public art. Everywhere you look, there is something to see. There are many friendly people as well. It's known as the "City of Brotherly Love."

On the other hand, I also noticed that there seemed to be way LESS people than NYC, and a larger portion of homeless people were noticeable -- which lends to a slightly scarier feeling. I'm never very happy with any interaction with the homeless, it is very uncomfortable. If I give them money, I feel that I'm enabling the problems that lead them to homelessness in the first place, and I could clean my bank accounts out and still not solve the problem. If I give money to this one, there is another person on the next corner or on the next bench who also needs money. On the other hand, when I don't give them any money -- which, honestly, is usually the case -- I worry about passing them by, wonder if I'm being uncharitable, wonder if I could have made a difference by actually bringing them with me to McDonalds and buying them an egg mcmuffin and a coffee.

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Well, we looked at the art, in any case. I love public art projects.


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More Murals!


They are fascinating, I could look at them for hours!
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We've been to Philly before...

...when the boys were little.

Actually, Nick's hair is just like this again. I'll have to post the haircut later. :D


This time, we didn't get room service.
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This was the view we had, last time we stayed in Philly. It was FREEZING that weekend, and a huge snow storm came in - we just made it home in time to get snowed in.
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The Liberty Bell - (Years ago!)

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Philly History Drive-by

This time, we didn't stop to see any of the historical sites. It was a quick trip, but we plan on coming back soon.
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Art as we Drive

Even just driving out of town, I caught glimpses and took quick pictures of art everywhere!

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We headed back across the river and went home.

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You tube comes through!

We just got home from Philadelphia, and someone has already posted a video of the Avett Brothers concert we went to see!

I hope more videos pop up soon. Anyway, here it is... it was a great show.

We had a pretty "creative" location. It was a general admission show, which means that there are no assigned seats, and we headed upstairs to the balcony because I'm so short I usually can't see over everyone else's heads. The balcony seats were all full, but we squeezed in against the back rail, in the bar area, and had to sit on the floor so we could see underneath the low ceiling. We didn't bring the camera, but I took a cell phone photo, which of course is terrible. It was much better than it looks here.

The concert itself was great; the Brothers alternately rocked out and harmonized beautifully. It was also notably nice because it was the most friendly concert I've been to in a long time. We had conversations with a lot of the people sitting around us, which doesn't usually happen; usually, there is very little eye contact. Our seats could have been better, but they were very atmospheric. I only had one beer spilled down my back; I actually thought it could be worse, I was afraid for a few minutes that this guy who sat next to us for a while was going to be sick -- that would have been horrible...
People say " dance like nobodys watching...." but they laugh at you when you do!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm thinking about all those famous sayings that really apply, like if you can't be a good example you will end up a terrible warning. :-)
In the cautionary tale of the grasshopper and the ant, i am SO the grasshopper...

Friday, May 29, 2009

An Article about the Avetts.

I know no one else (except Thor) is interested, but ... well, I really do write this all for me ultimately, right? So if you are interested, or wondering about why I like the Avett Brothers, here's an article and two videos for your viewing pleasure... or just skip it, I won't be hurt. :D

If you want to feel less alone, say you're having a rough go and you've decided you are the biggest ass to desecrate this planet, or any planet, and you're wondering just how you're going to live with yourself and the consequences of your imbecilic, seemingly reflexive behavior, take a moment and listen to the Avett Brothers. Actual brothers Scott (left) and Seth (far right)--Southern hillbillies with goosey voices and at least one Civil War beard--sing with unflinching frankness. About bad choices. About fear and need and other sticky emotions men like to bury along with their shame, something the Averts unabashedly say they possess by the "boatload." Old-timey and intimate, the brothers are not cool or provocative in any modern way. They care about things. If they are sex, they are sex with the lights on. With your wife.

Their songs, written equally by each brother and augmented with banjo, stand-up bass, piano, guitar, and the occasional hand clap, are free of anything resembling irony, venturing instead into the tricky terrain of bare-knuckle love and romantic loss, faith and family, and unpolished, unexceptional human failure. Miraculously, they are also a shit ton of fun. They are Richard Thompson crossed with the Louvin Brothers. Daniel Johnston without the mental illness. Kings of Leon without the hard-on. Folk, country, rock, and roots--all wrapped in the best campfire, hootenanny sing-along tradition. They warble the ugly truth, but they do it with flair and enthusiastic, chest-rattling conviction. Seen live, they jump up and down on their heels like schoolkids.

And then there's the writing, in "The Greatest Sum," they sing: "Not even the sun, a bullet from a gun, no nothing that this world can bring or anything someone could do, could hold me back from you." "When I Drink" sees the brothers weakly wrestling with their limitations and frailties, concluding: "Maybe I don't have to be good but I can try to be at least a little better than I've been so far." They return, in many songs, to the refrain that they are doing their best, acutely aware that their best effort isn't always going to be enough. Not for them. Or for any of us. Shame and honesty are indivisible, and the Avetts, wise to this, hold the mirror steady, staring down the face of their misdeeds, not reveling in or celebrating them, just laying them out, plain as line laundry, for everyone to see.


By Allison Glock

Esquire; Apr2009, Vol. 151 Issue 4, p78-78, 1/3p



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How does your garden grow?


There is something very hopeful about a garden in early spring.
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Pole beans

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I FINALLY went to see Jan!

One of my very best friends moved to Pittsburgh, about four years ago, and I FINALLY got around to seeing her! Hi Jan!

It was really nice seeing her, and at least from my perspective we still have a really great friendship in spite of the river flowing and time passing :) I hope she thought so too... I had a really nice time, she and her husband and children were lovely about making me comfortable, showing me around Pittsburgh, and it was just so much fun to be with them.

So, of course I've got tons of photos to post... (are you surprised?)
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We went up the Duquesne Incline


and caught the view of downtown Pittsburgh, which was really beautiful. One of Jan's kids told me "It's a little scary, but just a little." I know exactly what she meant. It wasn't really SCARY, but... just a little, because I started thinking -- what if the brake doesn't hold when you get to the top? What if the cable snaps? Yeah, I know, but...
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Another thing we still have in common


It was kind of funny, the two of us would drop everything and start shooting photos like crazy. Her camera kick's my camera's butt. She's got some great shots and some really interesting photography projects that she's done. I'm thinking about stealing one of her ideas... but that doesn't seem very artistic of me, does it? She's photographed a lot of trees that form individual letters. It's a great challenge, but I've gotta put my own spin on it, I think.
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The View of Pittsburgh


... From the top of the Incline.
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We went to the Strip


...and had lunch and browsed. I love artsy districts. This one is very food oriented, which is unique from other places I've been.
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