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Posts Tagged ‘February’

Of late, I’ve been blue or maybe gray is a better color description;  Not because I went to see Fifty Shades of Gray, but rather because there are so many things going on in my life.  Work has been troublesome and the immediate future in that arena doesn’t look very promising.  I seem to be in a time and place where if it can go wrong, it does AND it always costs $$$.

Then there’s the fact that it’s February and it’s been so cold here for so long that I can’t imagine we are actually going to have Spring next month.  The gray days of January and February are bad enough but when you live in The City, it can be downright depressing.  Imagine walking to walk when the wind is blowing and the temperature is in single digits.  Then imagine how it is to walk on sidewalks slick with frozen slush or cross streets where each corner is either a black pool or frozen lumps worn slippery by the hundreds of people walking on them.  OK, OK, enough already right?  NO! When the sun comes out and it does, the slick stuff melts and is black slush, something you would never ever walk in and the edges of the sidewalks are lined with piles of snow in Fifty Shades of Gray and Black and are embedded with trash.  This is NOT a criticism of the Sanitation Workers, because for 3 weeks alternate side parking rules have been suspended which means the streets have not been cleaned!

So now that I’ve painted the ugliest picture of NYC and haven’t begun to complain about the forced hot air heat that every apartment has, I will.   I hate the dry hot air which makes my hair fly around with electricity and my face crack, not to mention getting a bloody nose as all my nasal passages dry out.  Yuk that’s awful!! SORRY!

BUT THEN, there’s this…We left the apartment about 5:00 this evening and took the bus up to Fifth Avenue and walked over the Metropolitan Museum.  This IS a world treasure, there’s no doubt about it.  I take it way too much for granted and don’t visit the museum often enough.  We had in mind a few exhibits we wanted to see but of course walking through the museum on your way to one hall or another you are surrounded by art, sculpture, etchings, and artifacts from around the world!  Literally if you have never been to the MET, then you really can’t imagine  how big it is, how chock full of treasures it is and how accessible it is!  We marveled at Byzantine carvings, admired paintings by Jackson Pollack, Seurat, Pissaro, Van Gogh and more AND we hadn’t even gotten to the exhibits. 

We saw drawings and sketches by Paul Cezanne and the complete set of his portraits of Madame Cezanne.  Hortense Fiquet, (Madame Cezanne) was Cezanne’s favorite model, who he eventually married to legitimize his bastard son.  She posed for 29 portraits, never moving an inch and not talking since Paul Cezanne preferred his models to be silent.  This is the first time that the set of paintings known as Madame Cezanne in a Red Chair have ever been exhibited all together and in fact, they have never been together since they left Cezanne’s studio.  Then we were off to see the Caravaggio’s or at least that’s what we thought.  The exhibit was not exactly paintings done by him, it was more about the origin and evolution of musical instruments popular in the time of Caravaggio. However, we did get to view priceless Tintoretto’s and other Italian Renaissance painters.  The paintings were very religious and very beautiful.

We saved the best for last and headed to the American Wing where the fabulous mural, America Today painted by Thomas Hart Benton was displayed.  It’s a breath-taking,  wall-to-wall panorama of life in America in the 1920’s. The palette is rich in primary colors as befitting the strength of the muscled boxers, workers and the whole work itself.  Below is just one of the ten panels that make up this epic work.

AMERICA TODAY

AMERICA TODAY

But before we went into the room that housed these magnificent panels, we spent considerable time viewing his preliminary sketches, his models which were drawings and even small paintings of future sections of the mural-to-be.  There were practice sketches of hands in different poses, of complicated parts of machinery cobbled together and of many characters who would appear in the mural.  This is where I saw beautiful, sexy women just oozing femininity and each with the sparkle of life in the 20’s in their eyes.  They reminded me of my friend, the gorgeous Grace Gotham.  She exudes sensuality when she performs and was surely born in this era before her more recent incarnation.  Her burlesque performances are stellar with her as the shining star;  lithe, graceful and luscious, Grace could have been one of Benton’s models!  But don’t take my word for it, you can see for yourself at http://www.gracegotham.com.   Meet Grace!

Grace Gotham

Grace Gotham

 

 

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YES this is one of those ONLY IN NEW YORK experiences!  Every year I look forward to February….no I don’t love the gray days, or the ice and snow piled up at the bus stops, or the black slimy slush on the subway stairs.  BUT February brings City Bakery’s Annual Hot Chocolate Festival.  

Every day of the month, St. Maury Rubin (not to be confused with St. Valentine who only has one feast day) celebrates February with a different delicious blend of his famous hot chocolate every day.  I really don’t have the words to describe this liquid orgasmic treat.  It’s creamy, feels thick in your mouth, the hot steam sends chocolate thrills up your nose while a smooth molten very chocolatey, chocolate slithers down your throat.  I swear my eyes roll back in my head when I drink, no sip, this heavenly concoction.

See for yourself just what can be had this month! 

Oh Heavenly Days!

Oh Heavenly Days!

Once a chocoholic, kind of a hard to get over this particular addiction since the only 12 Step Program I know goes like this: “Never Be More Than 12 Steps Away From Chocolate”.  In 2012 I posted this: HOT CHOCOLATE on Steroids!

I’m not alone in my devotion to the February rite of steaming delight – No, City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate has a cult following.  This year I noted that another blogger who I follow, FOOD BY SKYLAR, posted an homage to City Bakery and Maury’s Hot Chocolate and I am adding the link to her blog post below.  Maybe I’ll run into her on Malted  Milk Hot Chocolate day! A Hot Chocolate a Day Makes February the Best Month Ever

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You know it’s February when you’re driving along and notice that there isn’t a leaf left on any tree.  The branches and trees are silhouetted starkly against the slate gray sky.

You know it’s February when you are drinking hot chocolate for comfort and remember only a month ago you were going to start a diet.

You know it’s February when you anticipate President’s Day and bemoan the fact that when we were kids, we got both Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays off from school and work.

You know it’s February when if it isn’t snowing, then you are looking at piles of dirty frozen snow along the sides of the streets.

You know it’s February when you wish you hadn’t broken up with your boyfriend right after Christmas because now no one is going to buy you a Valentine.

You know it’s February because all the stores are decked out in red and pink hearts and boxes of candy were everywhere.

You know it’s February because every other TV commercial announces “A President’s Day Sale”.

You know it’s February because at the bird feeder, squirrels, pigeons and sparrows mingle unabashedly while gobbling up enough birdseed, peanuts and suet to survive the cold days of this month.,

You know it’s February when your dear friend, Helen’s birthday comes up on your Facebook page!

hearts aplenty in February

hearts aplenty in February (Photo credit: Esther17)

Happy Leap Year!

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I‘m so excited for my friend, Murray!  His photographs are featured in a forthcoming book for children ages 2yr-6yr and those of us young at heart! The book is available as a pre-order now from Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Frisky-Brisky-Hippity-Alexina-White/dp/0823424103/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324253499&sr=1-1  or readily available at the end of February.

I am so fortunate to have him as a dear friend, family actually and that he graciously allows me to post his photos for my pleasure and yours.  Many of you have commented over the past couple of years on how much you enjoy his artistry and talent.  ME TOO!

Madison Square park, squirrels, Frisky Brisky Hippity HOp

Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop

Photo by Murray Head

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