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Pink Saturday Celebrates Manet and Degas

A wonderful exhibit opens on Sunday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I happily got a preview on Friday of a fabulous new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For many people, Degas is synonamous with ballet dancers, and Manet is frequently confused with Monet. I knew there was more to both of them, but until Friday morning I didn't realize the richness of both of their works. 

Edmondo and Therese Morbilli, 1865
Degas' sister and brother-in-law

The selection of paintings, mostly from the permanent collections of the Metropolitan and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, was extraordinary as was the commentary about the artists and the paintings. Some of the paintings, e.g., Manet's Boating, I'd seen many times, but others were new to me. I wasn't familiar with  Degas' portraits and they were among my favorites of the exhibit. I loved the depth and insight in the painting of his sister and her husband, seen above. 

I also loved the "Parisienne" paintings of women of Paris, especially this milliner at her craft.

There were some wonderful discoveries among the paintings by Manet, but Boating continues to hold a special place in my heart. I've shown in on the blog before and I'm happy to feature it again. 

Some of the paintings I've seen dozens of times and some were new to me. I came away with a renewed appreciation of the works of Manet and Degas. Thank you, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre. 

I hope you've enjoyed this week's Pink Saturday museum visit. Tonight Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins and tonight and tomorrow are times for fasting and prayer. My fasting days are over -- I take medications that require food -- but appreciate the time for extended prayer and thoughtfulness.  For all who are fasting and observing Yom Kippur, wishes for a meaningful fast and a year ahead of good health and peace.

As ever, thanks for visiting and every good wish for the week and year ahead.  

Pink Saturday Celebrates Wildwood Days

Two of our new friends, BeBe and Violet

In a time long ago before the internet my family spent a week in Atlantic City, though I have no photos to remind exactly what year this occurred. In an act totally unlike my parents we
went to the Steel Pier to see Bobby Rydell in concert. My approximately 63 year old memory is that "Volare" had just been released and we'd likely listened to it 500 times in the car as we drove from Connecticut to Atlantic City. 

I hadn't thought about this concert for decades until last weekend. I spent the weekend in Wildwood, NJ, about forty-five minutes south of Atlantic City. It was the setting for a Baby Yoda meetup, and it was a wonderful weekend. Wildwood was also the setting of Bobby Rydell's "Wildwood Days," which I heard playing in Wildwood hundreds of times. 

Pep and some of the 50 Baby Yodas who were part of the weekend

Sometime in the spring I got an invitation to join an Instagram group that was looking to put together a Baby Yoda get-together in New Jersey. I hadn't met any of the other members of the group, but I'd commented on their posts. It felt familiar to me, as I'd become friends with so many in the blog community via comments. As planning went on the date worked and I signed up for a weekend in Wildwood. 

We all had a fabulous time, including Pep and Nessie. It was a terrifically fun and friendly group and so talented. I loved all the creativity in the group, including Pep's official meet-up t-shirt and Nessie's name tag. 

I'm never sure how a group of strangers becomes a group of friends, but once again it happened. It shouldn't surprise me, but it always does. Whether it was Girl Scout camp when I was eleven or my first blogger meetup in Maryland in 2010. Strangers become friends and the world is a little smaller and so much warmer. It was a perfect Pink Saturday and end of summer weekend at the beach. 

I've been back to New York not quite a week and it's been busy. It's been good busy, but really busy, especially with celebrating Rosh Hashana. Our services were wonderful this year and I was so fortunate to spend time with friends who are family. I had time for prayer and time to focus on the year ahead. 

As ever thanks for visiting. Good wishes for the week ahead!

Welcome to 5784

Usually I look for a photograph for a blog post, but for Rosh Hashanah this year I  didn't find one that I'd taken that worked for me. I did find a few questions that my congregation had put together last year that I saved. They are as pertinent this year as they were at the start of 5783.

I have the next ten days to ponder what I will leave behind and what will be my commitments in the year to come. I have a few things in mind, but I want this to be a careful decision. When I'm at the start of 5785, what actions and choices will have been fulfilling and meaningful? The slate is clean. Let me fill it with wisdom and kindness.  

There will be many hours of services during this time from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. My mind often starts to wander and I've found a good way to focus is the pray for those I know and those I've never met. I would be honored to bring your prayer requests with me. If you would like, send me an email or leave a comment on the blog. I won't be posting, but will be monitoring email and Buttercupland for the next few days. 

To all: Wishes for good health, happiness, sweet times and peace throughout the world. 

The Years Turn to Decades


I am awestruck that the years have turned into decades and the day that split my life is now twenty-two years past. I didn't imagine that (my) life would go on after time stood still on that beautiful September morning. But time has gone on and while it doesn't heal all things or even some things, the passage of time makes things easier to bear. 

I've written about my September 11 experience every year since I began this blog in 2009, and this year is no exception. For new members of the Buttercupland community, a quick (re)telling of my day:

I had worked in Lower Manhattan beginning in 1999, about four blocks south of the Trade Center I and had a very set routine. I took the local train all the way downtown and then walked three blocks to my office on Broadway. But not on 9/11/01. At Fourteenth Street the Local train went out of service -- one of its stops went through the World Trade Center -- and I changed to an express line. I got off at the Wall Street stop and turned west to where the Twin Towers were standing. But instead of the clear view of the buildings that I should have had I saw a million pieces of paper flying in the sky from where the windows had been blown out. In less than two hours both buildings would collapse and I would watch the sky go completely dark as the second tower fell. Ultimately our building was evacuated and I walked miles north through ash and smoke, most of the way home.

This is the link to my 2022 blog post, "Remember". It contains a link to notes I sent to family and friends on the night of September 11, 2001.

I will never know exactly why I became part of history on that day. But that was my destiny and it's now my destiny to continue to tell my story until I am no longer part of this world. It's a privilege and a burden and one that I am grateful to bear. 

As ever, thanks for being part of the Buttercupland community and thanks for your friendship and support through the decades. 

It's the Time of the Season


When I stopped at Target today -- both to pick up a few groceries and to enjoy the air conditioning -- I was ready for the above. I totally expected an array of Halloween goodies. But I was so not ready for what greeted me when I got off the elevator in search of pumpkins. 

I was so not ready for this display!

Yes, I know that Thanksgiving follows Halloween, but it's just not the time of the season for the full (or not quite full) Thanksgiving display, especially when the sidewalks of New York City are hotter than the inside of a pizza oven. It's still summer here -- heat index of 94 -- both in terms of temperature and season. I've even got a weekend at the beach upcoming and the weather should definitely be beach weather, even if it's ten degrees cooler than today. 

But before Halloween my season of holidays begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. My plans are in place, but there are always last minute things I want/need to do, and the holiday begins in just ten days.  Before Halloween and before Thanksgiving, the time of the season -- as the song goes -- will be Rosh Hashanah, also a time to give thanks. Perhaps my favorite prayer is the Shehechyanu, recited in gratitude the first time one does something each year. 

"Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season."

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and enjoy every season in its own beautiful time.   

Pink Saturday Visits Serendipity


This Saturday I went to the most Pink Saturday restaurant, Serendipity 

I moved to New York City in 1975 and I remember hearing about Serendipity just about from the my first days here. I don't know why, but I never made it there, even though I thought the specialty of the house, the frozen hot chocolate, sounded fabulous. Yesterday we had a mini-reunion of high school friends and I wanted to find somewhere fun and different for us to try. Finally after almost 48 years I made it to Serendipity. 

Peanut butter frozen hot chocolate

After I made the reservation I started to read on-line reviews and just about cancelled the reservation. I read that the service was awful, the food wasn't very good and the frozen hot chocolate was mostly whipped cream. No, no and what's wrong with whipped cream? It wasn't a great restaurant, but it was a great day, lots of fun, and we loved the dessert. It wasn't all whipped cream and it was a perfect amount split three ways. 

Pep joined me for a selfie 

Three monkeys

We especially liked the fun decor and atmosphere and the frozen hot chocolate. I do regret that it took me 48 years to finally get to Serendipity and hope for a return visit much sooner. If anyone is planning a visit to New York City and wants to split a frozen hot chocolate, please be in touch!

Even though summer has a few weeks to go, the week before Labor Day is the end of summer for me. It's a busy end of summer week ahead. I'll spend tomorrow with one of my high school friends who is still in town and get together with blog buddy, Wandering Wren at the end of the week. Before my visit with Wren, one of the highlights of the summer/year takes place,  Betsy's daughter's wedding.  Adding in physical therapy, a haircut, and a manicure, it's going to be one busy week, but a very happy busy week. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and enjoy all the sweetness of the last of summer.  

I Wish I Could Be Everywhere

I visited Little Cranberry Island in 2015, and a return visit is long overdue

Though there's still a month of summer to come, I'm beginning to look ahead to autumn, Seven-11 is advertising pumpkin spice latte and Halloween is starting its annual takeover of store windows. But before I move on to the fall there will  still be days with shorts and t-shirts and there will be more days than not when I'm grateful for air conditioning.

All of that said, the summer of 2023 has been quite a summer. Before it's done there will be two weddings, a funeral, two milestone birthdays and out-of-town visitors from all over the world. There were two trips out of New York City, neither especially far or exotic, but both meaningful and very enjoyable. 

When I was younger, it was a rare day when I wasn't thinking about weekends and holidays and vacations and counting the days to those treats. The years went (sometimes) quickly, but there were days and weeks filled with meetings that went by so slowly. It's only been since retirement in 2013 that the years started to fly and they are flying at greater speed with every passing year. 

I was e-chatting on Instagram with my sweet friend, Nellie of the blog, Berries and More, and she asked if I would be visiting Tennessee this year. I replied that I was going to the Midwest, but I really wish that "I could be everywhere."  I don't plan to write a formal memoir -- and this blog had been my informal memoir -- but if I change my mind and start to write one, that will be the title. I wish I could be everywhere. 

In the last month I've planned one trip for November, discussed several trips for the upcoming winter and written/said to at least half a dozen friends, "I'm overdue for a trip to..." As much as I enjoy my life in New York City (and I do), there are still so many places to see and re-see and so many people that I'd like to spend time with, and at the heart of it all, the years are flying by. There's Paris and Bruges, a return to England, Italy and Amsterdam. I want to see all fifty states, return to Sedona and the Smokies and there's still  so much to see in California. I want to visit a sloth sanctuary and maybe, maybe finally get to Bali. After all the flying all over, I want to see New England in every season and maybe one day return to Little Cranberry Island, where I spent time exactly eight years ago today. 

One day I will choose to slow down or circumstances will choose it for me. At that time I may still wish I could be everywhere, but even when it's not possible I will know that I gave it my best.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.