Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Recipe for a Wedding, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Here's the recipe for a wedding - start with one beautiful bride on a perfectly warm spring day.....

....add one handsome groom, stir in scores of friends and family.......

.....stir in the cute flower girls and ring bearers......

.....blend together with an exchange of rings.......

.....season with an unexpected and surprise serenade by the groom  (the Beatles tune, "Till There Was You")......

......pause for a tearful bride's response to the singing......

.......applaud the new husband and wife......

.....garnish with formal photographs of the new couple (there was a real photographer doing that - not me).....

.....add in pictures of the bride and her maids of honor.......

.......and the happy parents of the bride......

......and of course, the entire wedding party......

.....then, when the photographs are done just right, add a splash of wine (or a river depending on taste)....

.....prepare the flatware to be ready for the cake......

.....set up the tables and  the formal part of the wedding recipe is complete! Simmer in the perfect, dry, 80-degree weather, eat, drink, be merry, cut the cake, dance, karaoke and, VOILA! -  you have completed the recipe for a perfect wedding! Congratulations to the bride and groom!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Nice Place for a Wedding, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

I don't attend many weddings anymore.  All my peer group is mostly done with that part of life.  But I recently had the opportunity to attend a niece's wedding in New Mexico and this restored old home is a popular choice for on-site weddings. They have a nice backyard area that can accommodate up to 100 guests.

The bed and breakfast portion makes it very convenient for the wedding party to stay very close to the wedding venue.  The Victorian period furniture creates a very pleasant ambiance.This view is in the main parlor.

Also in the main parlor.

In the dining room.

And the arcs of chairs are all set up and waiting for the main event.  I always have enjoyed weddings and receptions held outside on the grass rather than inside a wedding factory.  Feet in the grass somehow seems more appropriate for the event - a grounding with the earth to establish a lifetime commitment between two people.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Random Sights, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

It is interesting that many of our culture often have our heads down in some external stimulus when out in public, whether it's a traditional paper book or a high tech smartphone device.  It's a way to be private in public I guess.  Are we tired of random conversation with strangers? Are there just too many people to deal with and now would rather live in our own internal world instead of interacting with strangers?  Just wondering.

A full moon rises above the last sunset colors.

Another variety of cactus in the blooming stage. 

 I made the mistake of trying to get real close to the flowers- bad move - as you can see the leaves are sharp as needles. It's like a broken glass window - it only hurts when you try to pull your arm back through the broken glass edges.

Whether "judder bars" in New Zealand, or "topes" in Mexico, I normally see a sign that says "speed bump."  I've never seen it worded quite this way before. It brings to mind my youth.........or my dog or cat.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Green Spaces, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Most homes here do not have green grass yards since this is a desert climate with an average annual rainfall of only 9.5 inches.  Trees do, however, dot the landscape as seen in this early morning image in northeast Albuquerque.

City planners wisely created neighborhood oases with grand old trees and open green spaces. In fact, Albuquerque's Park Management Division maintains and manages more than 286 park sites, 127 median and streetscape sites, and a total of 113 miles of developed urban and soft trails.

Not the type of foliage I would expect in the desert but it almost makes me feel like home - except for the fact that the air is hot, dry, and crackling for lack of humidity.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Different Sights, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

As Dorothy said, "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." This is definitely not a plant seen growing randomly in the Boston, Massachusetts area.  But it sure does grow here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2200 miles to the southwest.  Boston is a sea level kind of place with a coastal continental climate and Albuquerque's elevation is a mile high along the Rio Grande with a high desert climate.

Trader Joe's, on the other hand, can be found in both places - but not with flowering cactus growing in the parking lot. 

In the days of the old wild west, there were lots of hitchin' post for tying up one's horse.  Now, in a sign of the times, there's hitchin' posts for tying up one's bicycle.  

A cool piece of art in the ABQ Uptown shopping center.  It is called OURE Man - outdoor urban retail environment man.

Ever think about how the eye is drawn to the color red?  There must be some science behind that since we paint important and emergency info in that color.  That being said, however, it seems that the trend today is to paint firetrucks, ambulances, and bright clothing in lime green instead of red.  That suggests that red may not have been the best idea after all. Although this red sure drew my eye......

This was a new and different sight for me.  I have traveled through many airports over my lifetime and only had to sleep in one of them.  I saw this sight when passing through DFW airport (Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas) enroute to Albuquerque. Beneath the overhead monitors showing flight status is a huge pile of folding cots and blankets.  I guess if your flight is cancelled and you elect to stay in the airport, you grab an orange blankie, pick out a cot, and find a place to set it up and sleep in the terminal. Seems like a good idea to me - it's better than the floor.  Ah, remember the "good old days" when airlines would give out hotel vouchers and meal vouchers if they canceled your flight? Ha! Never see that again.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Relentless Wind, White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

This scene looks more like a vision on some coastal cliff top where the wind rages on a regular and intensive basis.  It's not - it is in the front yard of a house near White Horse Beach.  Go figure. I guess it's more windy here than I thought.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Amy's Clematis , Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Somehow I recently overlooked posting this favorite shot of Amy's clematis in glorious bloom this year at Bartlett Pond in Manomet.  It is a regular annual marker that Memorial Day is at hand.  Oddly, the clematis is in the buttercup family.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Street Music, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The warm weather brings out many street performers throughout the public areas of the Boston Common and Public Garden.  But the performers  around Quincy Market are especially talented having gone through a tough audition for the coveted performance slots.  They are the best of the best and draw and hold appreciative crowds.  For this image,  I especially liked the ethereal skin tones of this cellist in addition to the juxtaposition of the background diner's hand and chopsticks and the cello strings and hands.  Her sunglasses were a nice touch, too. Food with music - two of life's great pleasures.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring Garden, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

If the Clematis are blooming it must almost be Memorial Day.

The azaleas are enjoying their last few days of bloom. 

The tender green grasses shoot straight up with the warming earth and increasing daylight hours.

Those who can coax beauty from the soil are special folk -  it takes a willingness for hands in the earth, dirt under the fingernails, and in this case, it helps to have the accompaniment of bright sunshine, a soft breeze, the call of nesting red-winged blackbirds, and the persistent galumping of frogs. (A floppy hat is always good, too.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

North End, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The North End neighborhood of Boston is traditionally home to a significant Italian American population.  It is the home of Paul Revere, the Old North Church ("one if by land, two if by sea,") and the Freedom Trail among other attractions. Hanover Street, the main commercial area, offers a wealth of restaurants, most serving Italian style food.   When the weather is warm enough, many throw open the windows and doors and patrons can enjoy al fresco style dining. 

Park the strollers and head inside for lunch. Maybe it wasn't really that warm as evidenced by the passerby in the quilted jacket but, for Boston, it was warm enough after a long cold winter and a cool spring.

One is as likely to hear folks on the sidewalk speaking Italian as speaking English, although, to be fair,  many out-of-towners aren't sure the Boston accent constitutes understandable "English."

In addition to many restaurants, there are very popular bakeries offering a wide range of treats.  

I liked the way that these window-box plantings seemed to be part of this man's shirt and body.  If you turn the picture upside down, the shadow on the shirt looks like either Paul Revere or George Washington - maybe.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Quincy Market, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Quincy Market is a popular and central tourist spot in Boston.  It's close to Faneuil Hall, the North End, the Aquarium, the Waterfront, the Old State House and others.  The Market features dozens of eateries - order at the counter and then carry your food to a table in a central area.  For example .....

.... you can start out with some fresh fruit - single strawberries or many on a skewer.........

....or maybe you'd prefer a nice fresh apple ......

....or perhaps a medley of mixed fruits.....

.... then add in the main course - a nice salad with a side of cheese sandwich,  macaroni and cheese, and a butter and cream based soup......

....and sausage, or hot dogs, with peppers and onions, all glistening in grease......

....and finish up with a bit of dessert.  

Any wonder that Americans tend to be on the large side - and getting larger?

And to answer your question, no, I didn't eat any of the above except the fresh garden salad.  Sometimes it's tough to be a vegan.........strawberries dipped in chocolate, ahhhhhhhhhh...............