2018 Favorite Photos

It is that time of year and as we wade into the holidays and the year 2018 draws to a close, it is time for a little retrospection. To that end, I’ve pawed through this year’s catalog of pictures. In constructing this post, I originally began with a much larger set that adequately covered the entirety of this year’s adventures. Subsequently, I culled them down to this more manageable dozen. Enjoy!

In January, we journeyed to the sunshine state. This was a long vacation that just one photo doesn’t do justice, but stacked up against the year that followed that is all it got. We made two trips to California and visited with my father and brothers. It is hard not to take a good picture of the rugged coastline there and the Monterey aquarium lets you peer beneath the waves. In LA, we saw Anne’s uncle and also did some more sightseeing. This time the Getty’s gardens were open. In town, at the zoo, the big event was the unveiling of the cheetah cubs. They were super cute. We reprised last year’s western road trip. This time, we went further north. On the way out, we were almost blown out of the Badlands.

It is a black box to me how WordPress arranges photographs in a gallery. To get the most compact arrangement, I’ve had to jumble up the chronological order in this second set. The wedding and balloon glow both occurred after our Montana trip. I glommed on to the official wedding photographer’s posed shot to get this pic of all the cousins. This was the second year, but our first time that we saw the balloon glow in its new location on Art Hill, overlooking the Grand Basin.

Now, let’s go west again, with two pictures, both from Glacier. On our last morning there, we caught the sun rising over the misty mountains at the far end of Lake McDonald. The photograph that I am most pleased with is that of the one week old moose calves. It made for a very special shot. Our last trip was back east to see the boys, one in Brooklyn the other in Boston. Boston got short shrift here, with two from NYC and none from Boston, but that’s just the way if fell out. I love the sunlight coming through the windows at Ellis Island and how can you top the New York skyline after dark. 

A Cathedral for Books

NYC Public Library Reading Room

We visited the New York City public library reading room on our last trip to the Big Apple. It’s a huge space and beautifully appointed. We didn’t stop there for long, because we were on our way uptown. We tried to be quiet, but the continuous stream of tourists like us had to be a distraction to the much fewer actual readers in the room. When we were there the sun was trying to poke out from behind the clouds, bringing extra light in through its large windows.

Officially known as the Rose Main Reading Room, this Beaux-Arts decorated room has recently reopened after undergoing an extensive renovation. It closed for two-and-a-half years, when a large chunk of its very ornate ceiling came crashing down, fortunately in the middle of the night. The initial restoration plan called for a major redesign, but protests shelved that idea. I’m glad for this, because some things are better left unchanged.

Anne noticed the curved sculpture of the room’s reading chairs. The library sells a miniature version of their iconic reading room chairs for $30. It would be nice to spend an autumn Saturday afternoon sitting there and lose yourself in a book. 

NYC Public Library Reading Room Chairs

Some gifts are more than just a gift

One of Macy’s “Yes Virginia” Windows

NYC or more particularly Brooklyn descended upon us in the form of Dan. It’s only been a few weeks since we last saw him. His Macy’s gig finished up in an unexpected snowstorm, with the big reveal. Those are the Herald Square side windows. When we were there, we caught an impromptu glimpse of the 34th-street “Yes Virginia” ones, which are perennial.

With one gig ending, his next one involves furniture making. Here he finds himself needing to rehone some of his finer woodworking skills. Window-dressing and showbiz set making looks for expediency over endurance, which fine furniture buyers do not. This workshop is located in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is undergoing redevelopment. He said that there were a number of high-end stores there, including Russ & Daughters, an “appetizing” store and one of Oprah’s faves for this year. Another is Aesop a skin care place. 

One of Dan’s greatest gifts is the enlightenment that he disseminates to his now doddering parents. Through him we get a glimpse of what is happening in the world. I treasure his steer to this John Lewis & Partners Christmas TV advert.

Later, we took Dan out to dinner at the Bottleworks. His friend Vicki joined us later for drinks. I had a coughing fit and got up to go to the restroom. When I returned, I learned that Dan had feared that I was choking, while Vicki thought that I was having a heart attack, but I survived. I guess they hadn’t read the blog.

Armistice Day

Colorized Photo of Men of the Artists Rifle and 2 Scouts in Front of the Tower of London 1914

Armistice Day commemorates the end of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning, the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. Today is the centennial of that commemoration. Last year, when we were in London, Anne took a picture of the above photo, while touring the Tower of London. The Artists Rifles was a volunteer battalion of the British Army that was drawn from painters, musicians, actors, architects and others involved in creative endeavors. They were billeted at the Tower in October of 1914, before being sent to the front. She took her picture with the intent of sharing it with our son, Dan, who is also an artist. The original photograph is black-and-white, but using an App from Algorithmia, I was able to colorized it. I think that adding a little color helps to humanizes these people a little bit. In part, because the Great War didn’t turnout to be the war to end all wars, we now call Armistice Day Veterans Day and it is usually observed on Monday, making for a three-day weekend. A lot has changed in a hundred years.