Happy Groundhog Day (belatedly)! and . . . January news round-up

or . . . a backwards look at January sights and travels, beginning with a shot of the Washington Mews, taken on January 31st (it hasn’t changed much since!):

Snowy Mews

pebbly river

I’d returned to NYC ten days before (and ahead of this most recent storm) by way of Boise, visiting Steve and Cate and Ben. The former two and I went for a great walk along a pebbly river (nameless for now!), enjoying expansive views of distant hills and lacy branch patterns against pale blue skies. From Ben I learned about “steampunk” (fascinating!) — an aesthetic he’s working with these days. Read a New York Times article about it here. Maybe a photo of one of Ben’s steampunk productions will turn up in The Boomerang one day!?

still life with wonderful crab . . .

Before Boise I was in Seattle for a stretch of days (see post on 1/11/11 for some reporting on that). The evening I arrived (after seeing the Picasso museum), we had wonderful Pike Place market crab, pictured below; then on Saturday, we went to see The Barber of Seville — wonderful!!

Moving still further back in time, Leslie and I were in Los Angeles for the annual Modern Language Association extravaganza! We stayed in the gigantic J.W. Marriott downtown and learned (in other news) that there is a “there” to “downtown LA”! I learned that especially well, having the pleasure of being led on a tour of downtown LA public art by someone who leads such expeditions regularly for the Sierra Club, Margaret V! Accompanied by Kayley! High points were the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (read about its alabaster windows here), the Frank Gehry Disney Concert Hall with lovely fountain in a mosaic of Delft china, many enchanting sculptures by Robert Graham, a great big orange Calder (read earlier Boomerang post on Calder here), the LA Public Library with inspiring word sculptures (see “Lucid” below), and last but not least, Angel’s Flight, the shortest incorporated railroad in the world!

Los Angeles Public Library

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Christmas report

This Christmas report courtesy of Nancy (thanks!):

Christmas started early with the arrival of Steve, Cate, Ben and Maggie the dog on December 22. We had Crab Bisque waiting for them on their arrival. Amy and Lib came over the next night to decorate the tree that Dick had cut down from the side of the house. I made a big batch of Mexican luncheon for the group. Ben seemed more interested in the computer, so Amy. Lib and Cate did the decorating. Christmas Eve dinner was at Amy and Lib’s and included David, Janice and Alexa in addition to the Boise family. Alexa brought her guitar and we managed some singing after dinner. Julia had to work on Christmas Eve so they didn’t arrive until afternoon on Christmas Day when the rest were off on the traditional walk to the beach. There were 14 of us for dinner including Cate’s brother Mark and his girl friend Ann. So we had a little table set up giving me a chance to use the table cloth embroidered by Auntie Bea.

The weather cooperated as it was cold but sunny so during the week after there was time to meet with David, Janice and Alexa for a walk in Discovery Park. Alexa, just turned 16 and Ben, almost 12, had a good time together during the times together so that was happy. Cate’s birthday is December 27, so Steve and Cate met friends for dinner and we took Ben to the Black Nativity that has been a Christmas specialty for the last several years. Lots of drums, dancing and gospel singing, audience clapping, gorgeous costumes. Ben told Cate it was awesome. Steve and Cate had time while here to see the Michelangelo drawings and the Calder exhibit, to see friends and more of Cate’s siblings

They left the morning of January 30, Dick worked at his part time job and we went to Lopez on the 31st to celebrate the New year with Mike and Julia. We decided Boise time was late enough to stay up. So the 2 of us had a long lazy weekend spending more time with M and J, then with Mike after Julia went to work, coming back home on Monday, stopping for oysters at the Edison Tavern.

As Nancy explained (or re-explained) to me later, Autie Bea was one of GG’s sisters, so she was Beah’s aunt. Nancy said she was single and worked in a bank I think, maybe  in Chicago. When Betsy and Sid’s parents died–who were Beah’s cousins and children of the children of one of GG’s brothers–Auntie Bea moved to Seattle to take care of them “and stayed here to be their Mom.”  While Frank and Beah were in Berkeley, Beah spent a lot of time with Auntie Bea; that was the year before Nancy and Dick were married, which is what led to Auntie Bea making the beautiful tablecloth and napkins for her.

A Calder Mobile