As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
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Tag Archives: Roanoke
Looking out over the farm and the Roanoke Valley…
Time stood still as I soaked in the moments of this precious gift…
A symbol of transformation…
This week Bella’s 52 photos project has us paying attention to doorways…this double rainbow symbolizing transformation seems the perfect fit to me!
After several gorgeous evenings of having dinner on the deck overlooking the Roanoke Valley, my visit to see my parents on the farm was coming to a close along with soaring temperatures. Friday evening while finishing up dinner, inside the house due to 100 degree heat, a storm was brewing in the distance. Within minutes, it was lightning. You know that “cloud to ground” kinda lightning. No thunder, no rain, but horrific, gusting winds. As we watched in the distance it was if we were on top of a mountain in Afghanistan watching bombs going off during war time. Suddenly transformer after transformer blew resulting in a red glow…and right before our eyes we could see portions of the valley go dark. Within seconds we had no power. Flashlights were found, candles were lit and the fortunate part of the first night was how the temperature cooled from the storm making for great sleeping weather with the windows wide open.
Fast forward over the next 48 hours and I’ll spare you the details, but just know we dealt with the usual. Spoilage in the refrigerators, no water as the family home is on a well system and thus the pump had no electricity. (Well you know what happens when you don’t have water…yep, you can’t flush the toilets.) No phone service and cell phones with very little life remaining. Over the next two days we were able to find some grocery stores open and purchase water along with a cooler, ice and a few grocery items. Trips were made looking for outlets to charge cellphones, along with iPads and computers to help pass the time. We looked for restaurants that were open to take the opportunity to dine and cool. Unfortunately we missed a family wedding and other opportunities to visit friends.
An adventure, a wake-up call to bring attention to all we take for granted, but also an opportunity for lots of family time as well. My father has Alzheimer’s and this whole event was quite upsetting to him. As you can only imagine he wasn’t able to make the connection to many things not working as usual. One of the nights we made preparations to sleep in the downstairs area as it was a touch cooler there, so we started to discuss who would be sleeping where. Of course my parents would take the only bedroom downstairs and the rest of the family would take the couches or the floor. So in comes dad with a very large furry-like blanket that mom and dad used back in the day when they’d frolic on the deck under the stars…he’d gathered pillows as well to form a bed on the floor. It was the most precious act to have witnessed and one that I’ll always remember, thus the reason for this photo.
The very next morning my dad made the statement…I don’t ever want to come back here again…let’s go home! Of course we all had a good laugh on that one! The good news?! Power is back and much earlier than expected! Mom, you’re a trooper!! xoxo
Looking to draw attention? Yep, three thousand blue and silver pinwheels got mine! The pinwheel gardens at a local community college here in Roanoke, Virgina are simply a visual reminder that celebrates healthy happy children in an effort to draw attention to Child Abuse Prevention Month! Clever and impactful!
A multi-cultural human bazaar. I read that once in a description of the East Village in Manhattan. How true, how true.
A warm spring like afternoon couldn’t have been more perfect to ramble around and explore this grungy, hip and oh so fascinating area of the city. Walking along East 12th street between Avenue A and Avenue B, she caught my eye. The lighting, the hat, the suppleness of the skin, the eye lashes, the lips. She immediately had me under her spell.
It was if I could feel my grandmother’s presence. You see my grandmother was a buyer for yarns and crafts at a large department store in my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia.
She loved to knit, crochet, create and was an expert in her field. She had style, a presence, a couture look about her. When visiting her, I would often be at the bus stop when she arrived home from work watching for those long slender legs to step down those steps to the curb. The shoes, the knit skirts and coordinating tops and oh…the hats. I would always be mesmerized, regardless of how many times I saw her getting off that bus.
Seeing that hat in the East Village brought me right back to those moments. As I was photographing a voice behind me…That’s my studio, would you like my card? A brief chat and we were both on our way. Hours later I researched Artikal, the studio, and learned the owner grew up in northern Virginia and from a young age was inspired to create. She had been influenced by her grandmother, an award-winning dressmaker who loved to crochet. Years later here she is in the East Village having mastered millinery techniques and now ships hats all over the world.
Now, if I can just get inside of her “by appointment only” boutique to take more photos of those incredible hats.
For a long time my mom has wanted to visit the the Rescue Mission in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. She’s often mentioned the wonderful things she’d read in her local paper of how the homeless and the hungry are helped day after day. So off we go to join in on their Monday noon tour. I’m thinking…a quickie tour, you’ve seen one homeless shelter you’ve seen them all kinda tour…well…not so much.
For most of my life, hearing the words homeless people would bring to mind drug addicts, criminals and just plain lazy people who chose not to work. As a child, I grew up with them on the Roanoke City Market when I went with my dad to sell produce from our farm. I stepped over them during the 80′s when I visited New York City. But fast forward and today we have families who have lost their jobs and their homes, women and children who escaped from abusive relationships, the elderly who have run out of money, and the chemically dependent without the means to receive assistance.
We started the tour by passing through the dining room. Standing in the line to be served lunch could have easily been me or my parents, the majority not fitting the stereotype that we often conjure up in our minds. For the next two hours we saw first hand the programs to help people physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually and the facilities – a state of the art medical clinic, a residential recovery program, an adult learning center, a pottery studio, a hair salon, a thrift store…
But there was one small thing that really touched my heart. Every bed at the mission had a handmade quilt. A touch of home. The symbolism for family, security and warmth. A touch from the people who made them, a touch from the ones who wash them, a touch from the ones who make the beds…everyone having a part in creating that sense of security and warmth of that someone who curls up and sleeps each night under that handmade quilt.
Thanks mom for the push to see the Rescue Mission. We have all been touched by something very special.
Welcome to the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke, Virginia where the building itself is its own exhibit. Photographing architectural design is a favorite of mine, so after spending an hour walking around the outside of the museum and studying the various angles, I was eager to learn what influenced Randall Stout’s design. Pure and simple. Nature. His design was meant to showcase the natural beauty of Roanoke, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Roanoke River and Natural Bridge. In my opinion, Stout nailed it.
The sight of the museum has not been without controversy though. I hear that locals either love it or hate it. But isn’t that what art is all about? I personally LOVE it! The museum jumps out amongst buildings constructed in the late 1800′s, creating the perfect contrast as if to say…Look at Me! The opportunity to sit and have a coffee with the museum’s executive director, David Mickenberg, was a wonderful opportunity. Learning about the museum’s challenges since their opening a few years ago, their successes and his creative plans for upcoming exhibits and future projects made my visit even more special. Thanks David for taking the time!
BTW, it’s only a short walk from the historic City Market and Hotel Roanoke. All are a must see as you make your way through southwestern Virginia!
Here in my little city of Roanoke, Virginia where I grew up, a star has watched over the valley since 1949. Not just any star, but one that holds the claim to the world’s largest illuminated man-made free-standing star. Made of steel and concrete, the star has been considered a beacon of the city and on a clear night, the glow can be seen some fifty miles away.
So how did this come about? Back in the 1940′s, someone with a great sense of marketing proposed erecting the star to serve as a seasonal, Christmas decoration to shine over the city during the brisk holiday season. One assumes that people must’ve liked it as it still stands today, brightly lit every night since.
As a child I can remember always looking for the bright white star as nighttime approached. I can also remember the feeling of sadness when it went from white to red indicating a traffic fatality within the city. Since those days there’s been many changes to when it would be just white, or just red or red, white and blue. But regardless of the color, the star stands for a symbol of friendliness, industrial and civic progress as well as giving my little city the adopted nickname, Star City of the South.
Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Virginia
One would typically think that birds belong in a nest, right? Well how about cats, dogs and humans? Loved the new media installation of NEST at the Taubman Museum located in my home town of Roanoke, Virginia.
Entering the dark media room you’re presented with a large mural projecting on the wall. Treetops of the Appalachian Trail, complete with the sounds of chirping birds.
The artist, Simone Paterson, constructed nests from Virginia creeper, grape vines and aluminum and lined them with a quilted felt. As your eyes begin to adjust, one nest contains cats, the other dogs and the largest of them all, humans. All deep in sleep with soft sounds emerging from their breathing. Every once in a while, a slight movement in the projection.
Paterson does a brilliant job of making the visitor feel a part of the scene, a sense of belonging in this environment he created. Oh, and his reason for the creation? He recently became an American citizen and says the NEST was the visualization of making Appalachia his home.
Sharing my view…