Monday, May 31, 2010

back to reality

oh my............
what a place, what a week.........
We had a great time, did a ton of stuff, went to the theatre, walked and walked and walked..........
I took a bazillion pictures, so many that my computer won't take them, not enough room:(
Have to figure that out.
Really tired, I think my body and brain are in shock. Recovery mode today and then back at em.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


See the table being prepared? That is where I had lunch yesterday. One of the restaurants in the Hydrostone Market. By the time we ate, we were seated under an umbrella with a small vase of tulips no less, decorating our wee table. I had a salmon and broccoli quiche. Yum. Perfect start to vacation.

These are all test shots with my new p&s G11 Canon. I wanted to take a smaller camera with me. My Nikon is a heavy beast and to lug it around everywhere would be too much. These ones are all taken in auto mode. What I really like is that I can put this camera on manual too and adjust the iso, aperture etc.

It has a macro mode which excites me because I don't have a macro lens for the other camera. When I look at the images full size, they are not as crisp as the Nikon but hey, I would hope not. I think they are just great for the camera it is. Leaving tomorrow, whee.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

get back to work

Left my car at the dealers and walked home in the drizzle after being serviced by Jamie Fraser. A pleasant experience. Yes, he is alive and well and working for GM. Who knew?

I should really be getting things ready for my trip and organizing biz things but instead I am sidetracked with the thoughts of making rhubarb syrup. Lots of it flourishing in my garden at the moment. My closets are suddenly calling me to purge and tidy, I want to look online for some walking clubs to join or maybe I should start my own, I have an urge to go through some stacks of old magazines and see if there is anything I want to save..... it is so odd. I have lots of things I SHOULD be doing and HAVE to do but I am suddenly wanting to do all kinds of OTHER things.

Ok, no more dithering, time to get started:)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hiya, thanks for bearing with me on that giant post about New York. I wanted to put all the tips I had received in one place so I could easily access them. Thanks so much for all the great info:)

I have been busy with all kinds of bits and pieces before we leave. Lots of mini lists and jobs that suddenly I feel like I have to get done. My car has been acting up so now THAT is on the to do agenda! There's always something isn't there.

I went to see The Trotsky last week and it was a great film! I really recommend it. Quirky fun with a great cast. Afterward we went to have a coffee in Starbucks. We sat near the window where a well heeled but casual family group was gathered. Shortly after we sat down, a smart yellow car pulled up and parked across the street. The young owner dashed into the coffee shop and sat with the folk by the window who were happy to see him.

I then noticed that young men were starting to gather around the car outside. Soon, cellphones were out and pictures being taken in front of and beside the car. A cab pulled up and the driver got out of the car just to have a look at the yellow beast. People on our side of the street were taking pictures. Meanwhile, the crew inside the coffee shop were having a great laugh. It was funny to see their reactions to all the fanfare outside.

The young guy who owned the car hopped up and decided he had better leave. I asked him what the car was and he replied "Lamborghini." Ah, that explains all the fuss, don't see many around here! He jogged over to the car just as a new group of young men were all leaning down by the license plate for a picture. They though he was just another admirer. Much to their shock, he shushed them away and hopped into the drivers seat and pulled away. I thought it was a Corvette lol. I looked up their website when I got home and max speed is 337km per hour and 0-100 km in 3.2 seconds. I would be afraid to drive it. Tap on the gas too hard and you'd slam into the car ahead of you. It sounded like a jet engine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New York City Tips

This time next week we'll be here! I am so excited. These are all the tips I have collected so far. So many fabulous things to do!!!! Thought you might be interested too. Photos are courtesy of Andrew Mace.
Kate on Clinton said... Two things come to mind quickly: for a beautiful hour with interesting views of Manhattan, Hudson river and New Jersey, the High Line, also see the newly renovated American Wing at Metropolitan Museum of Art. One more, especially for May. If you're feeling adventurous, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens has an amazing Cherry Blossom festival. This is VERY popular - people get dressed up in all sorts of costumes, there are performers, etc. Timing is key - for the blossoms and entrance lines. I'll share some insider tips if you're interested. Of course the blossoms will be there before and after the festival too.

Karen said... ......You will be staying in a very Happening place! Ruby Foo's - awesome! and right near your place.. and Il Cortile (awesome Italian restaurant in little Italy), which is right near Canal street vendors... the deals!..but you'll need a cab to get there from Times Square..just a few minutes ride. Madam Tussaud's ( museum walking distance from your hotel...really fun! And you're where all the shows are! You'll be able to buy tickets to almost anything! Let me know if you run into the Naked Cowboy, be sure to take pictures, he's a NYC icon. Go to the top of the Rock! The view is awesome...and Take a carriage ride around Central Park and be sure to visit the Central Park Zoo. There are usually lots of artists displaying their work right at the carriage ride entrance to the park.

Sara said... Central Park for sure! It was awesome to see all the people in such a beautiful space in the middle of a huge city!!!

style-for-style said... I love the Guggenheim, and China Town

mfinn said... ..Definitely buy a pass for the "hop on, hop off" tour.. it's really the best way to see the whole city, especially for a first-timer. The tour covers all of Manhattan and has options for Queens, Brooklyn, etc... and take it in the night as well.. it's a totally different experience!

I saw the Broadway show "Mary Poppins" this past October, and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. I definitely recommend taking one of these in!

LemonyRenee' said... ...We were last in Manhattan a little over a year ago for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. One of the highlights of our stay was dinner at Lidia Bastianovich's (sp?) restaurant, Becco. Wonderful. And a walkable distance from Times Square. Whatever you do, enjoy!

Moose said... ...Mom did the NYC Marathon last year and her & dad left me with the house sitter, so, I say don't go!!! Mom says have a blast and go get a yummy cupcake in Greenwich Village (get a dozen, since their will be 3 of you) and take that box up to the Top of The Rock and eat eat eat!! The view is out of this world and you may get in trouble for eating up there, but a good memory!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said... May is an excellent time to visit ...not too hot and muggy as yet and not as crowded as summer. The "hop On and Off" bus rides are good ..they give you an overview and you can get an idea of places you'd like to visit.
If you want to go to the top of the Empire State Building it might be wise to buy tickets ahead of time as the wait it very long to go up and down and it takes up a whole day. The "Top of the Rock" is a better bet as you can see a lot up there--in fact the second photo in your blog post was taken there!
SI ferry ride is fun and free --just take it round trip back and forth and you'll get to see the NYC harbor and you pass by the Statue of Liberty. Of course you can pay to go on the ferry that passes close to the Statue of Liberty and docks on the island it is on and also Ellis Island, but I strongly advise pre ordering those tickets in advance for pick up at the box office and getting there very early as the boat lines are long. Lower Manhattan area has Ground Zero, Wall Street, lots of little pubs to eat in, narrow little streets. It is a quick ride to Greenwich Village by subway. Your hotel is in a good location to see Times Square, Rockefeller Center, 5th Ave stores, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Central Park and also MoMa (Museum of Modern Art)

Nancy said... There is a wonderful ongoing art installation on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum, on Fifth Ave. The artist is building with bamboo and viewers can tour around and through. I haven't seen it yet, but I can't wait. Also, you might like to visit the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park (northern tip of Manhattan); The Highline park, which winds its way on former elevated train tracks goes through Chelsea (western Manhattan, downtown). Also South Street (tall ships galore, east side of lower Manhattan). Museum of Natural History and Central Park, of course. Have a grand time!
susanna said... New York, New York!!! Here are my NYC suggestions:

1) Check out John Derian's It's my favourite shop in the city.

2) Each at Cafe Habana at 17 Prince Street (Nolita). Great Cuban food at great prices.

3)If you've never been to New York, it's worth taking a double decker bus tour on the first day. You'll get a good idea of which neighborhoods to explore later. Plus, you can hop on and off the buses throughout the day.

4) Catch the Staten Island ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan to Staten Island. You'll get a great FREE view of the Statue of Liberty from the decks.

5) Check out b&h photovideo. It's a mecca for photographers.

Oh yes... There's a rooftop beer/wine/sangria bar at the Met. Go around dusk and you'll see New York light up around you. It's so pretty!

Suzie Ridler
Reg went to a werewolf pub when he was there plus I would totally go to the Jon Stewart show but that's me

Pat Meagher Pineau
Letterman is really hard to get a ticket. My brother went and had to get his ticket one year before!! But you can go on line to the show's website and request one. We went to Regis and Kelly and got tickets that way. Do one of the bus tours, they tell you really interesting facts about the city, and a great way to see it. And the MET is a must see. I love New York. You will have a great time. Don't forget Broadway!

Helena Soukup
The MOMA and a Broadway show. Ooh, and personally I'd go to Tender Buttons. It's an incredible 'old' button store with the most amazing ambience and gorgeous buttons too!

Kelly Gibbons
Greenwich Village...St. Mark's NYU. Quiet, different vibe...and you never know who you might see!

Anne Chisholm
I love New York. Just walk and enjoy. If you like bargain shopping go to Century 21 and Canal Street. Window shop in Soho and Greenwich Village. Get tickets to Broadway shows at the last minute booth in Times Square. Walk Central Park from one end to the other.

Jessica Moreau-Berry
OH! I have so may places for you... I don't know where to start!! OH!! Here is one must in Soho.
Just look for the big white tent!

Gillian da Silva
Greenwich's West Village!!! And SoHo!!!! sandwiches!
You should go to the Magnolia Bakery in the West Village.
And Tara took me to a cool gallery in Midtown a winter ago...the American Folk Art Museum (beside MOMA) All over the city is a food chain called PAX, delicious wholesome fast food. Organic and yummy.xoxo

Donna- For city viewing I like one of the double decker tour bus companies that offer you "get-on-get-off" service for photographing city scenes, tall buildings, neighborhood charm. I also like The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a total sensory experience from the medieval art and architectural pieces to the building to the Gregorian chant recordings that seem to ooze from the walls.

LeendaDll- I think Cirque's newest-newest tour, Ovo, is going to be in NY in May.
You might considering joining GoldStar Events. which offers great discounts on local events. I know they offer shows in NY and you can, closer to the time you're going, search for events on the specific days you'll be there. I did that in SF and scored a 5-hour walking tour for less than 1/2 price... but they have lots of shows, concerts, spas, sporting evenings... you literally never know what you'll find.
Nancyj-When myself and two girlfriends visited NY we were one block from the Empire State Building. Definitely take the double bus tour and of course sit on top but keep your head down if you are sitting on the right side of the bus as they take corners sharp and before you know it your face is in a tree. If you want to be taking pictures, sit on the left side. On the tour, you can get on and off the bus and one spot is where they sell the knockoffs for purses, etc. The tour guide will tell you all about it. Also, if you have time, take the tour again in the night. A completely different experience! Maceys was an experience too!! A floor for purses, a floor for shoes, a floor for just about everything! We didn't get to Bloomingdales. DON'T bother with the carriage ride in Central Park. It's a complete ripoff! You only get to go a little way in and then you're back out again. I thought they would take us through at least half of the Park! Very disappointing.

MUST go to Magnolia Bakery on the Upper East Side (uptown from Lincoln Centre) for the best cupcakes EVER! I suggest the red velvet, only because they are the REAL red velvet that I have yet to see from any bakery in Canada.
Chinatown will be an amazing experience whether you're there for shopping, people watching, wanting to get shoved in a small room to buy counterfiet Coach or Louis Vuitton (or a van, like my bestie and I did last time we went).
Get a NY bagel! Make sure its an independently owned shop and not a big American chain. I had the best bagels just north of Broadway and 95th on the upper west side. I believe it was called Lenny's. Its a bit uptown from where you are staying, but I'm sure in that area there are a whole bunch of places to get good eats too. Near Times Square though, everything is jacked up expensive so it might not hurt to travel either!
Central Park is definitely a must. I could probably go to NYC for a week and spend every single day there. I absolutely love it.

artyem- NYC is the most awesome place. I love that city. I am so far away now that we live in Colorado.and do I have advice!?
Hell yeah:
best news weekly with events and things to do:
awesome walking tours - a MUST:
Use this site to find the best subway/bus route from anywhere to anywhere:
A daily list of free and cheap things to do:

and riding the bus is better than the subway - you see more.

and one last MUST go to museum: great affordable cafe, amazing Buddhist art, and any concert or movie they have is always very worth it but reserve in advance, they sell out.

meadowood- Put on your walking shoes and walk! That's what we did from our teeny tiny "hotel" room on the upper West Side all the way down to Battery Park.
Get a subway pass and use it! THE best way to get around in the city.
Check out any of the diners on the corners, usually named after whatever street corner they happen to reside on. (like West 67th Diner sorta thing) Firstly, cheap? OMG! And the menu has just about everything! One that we went to felt like it was right out of The Sopranos. We sat in a booth for two at the back and all the waiters (all male) were standing at the back watching for people coming in. And they had the best accents and were kibitzing back and forth. A real taste of NYC!
We were only in the city for a weekend so we didn't go to any museums simply because we wanted to be outside ... the apple & cherry trees were out in Central Park ... we did go see a Broadway show however - Spamalot. Unfortunately for us the Times Square TKTS booth wasn't open while we were there so the first day we went to the box office and asked for the cheapest tickets, and we got in for $35. each. Not bad.

I would say go to Keen's Steakhouse Its the most amazing restaurant, been open in Manhattan since 1885 and in 1905 an actress challenged the fact they only let men in and made it open to both genders.
The Metropolitan Museam of Art is amazing, you could spends weeks in there though so I would do a bit of an investigate first to figure out which sections might interest you most.
The Strand Bookshop on Broadway is a fabulous bookstore full of remained stock and is possibly one of the largest bookshops in the world.
For a great deli try Zabars which is a few blocks from the Natural History museum and for great candy go to Economy Candy on the lower East side

Also......any tips on getting from La Guardia to Midtown? How much is bus? taxi?
We want to see Wicked, should I get tickets at the theatre or book from here now?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Things that go bump...

Look closely... what do you see?
More than a castle and some green hills?

This picture was taken by my dad in Scotland with a film camera about 20 years ago. He was taking a picture of Crichton Castle in the distance while standing in the graveyard of the castle's chapel, leaning over a stone wall. Much to his surprise, this is what came back from the photo shop. All the other pictures on the roll of film were fine. He had the negatives checked, no one understands why this one picture was so different from all the others. Very strange. It was a clear grey sort of day no haze or fires burning nearby. My mum was with him and was not surprised to see the odd image. They were visiting the new grave of a dear aunt and in the past, this aunt and my mom had spoken about giving each other a sign if possible. She thinks that is who is in the picture. I think it looks like a man. Who knows what it is. Interesting though.

I came across it today and as often as I see it it still gives me goosebumps:) What do you think?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Calling all bloggers, bookworms and writers... bookcamp is coming to Halifax

Compelling reasons to eat a plant based diet

Could you picture yourself cooking in France?

Can't wait, summer is coming..... one of my favourite prints:)

Carbonara......fiddlehead style

Casing the joint virtually before we go..........Metropolitan Museum

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

yard with a view

Hello, isn't this pretty? I got a wee plastic lens around Christmas called the Diana that can fit on my Nikon and just last week started fooling around with it. A lot of hit and misses. There is a tiny flare from the sun in this pic. It works best in bright light I've discovered. A lot of people can do this in photoshop and now of course the iphone has some crazy photo apps but it was fun for me to have a go with the dreamy stuff. These are two birch trees in my backyard.

Still painting.....should be done soon. Ahh. Also......11 days until New York! Very excited. I am going to do a post with the recommendations I've received on what to do. Any other must dos or cool shops or artisty things or great cheap eats?

Monday, May 10, 2010

busy as a bee

I have been really busy these last few days. I have been turning these small stacked white 4x4"canvases into these......

Bright and simple and cheerful. They are for a shop called Jennifer's of Nova Scotia. I find that when I have a large amount of work to do I have to plunge right in and work and work and work at it until done and then I can relax. I still have twelve larger ones to do. Whew.

As a result of all this extra work I have not been able to get much onto eBay this last little while. That sort of makes me sad because it was eBay that kickstarted my painting career. It enabled me to get my work out there ( nothing like a worldwide market:) and create a job that I love.

Speaking about love, my daughter and her friends created a fabulous meal last week in our tiny kitchen, using some Jamie Oliver( my hero) recipes. Chicken stew with white wine, cherry tomato sauce with pasta and carrot cake with lime mascarpone frosting. They had fun and we all reaped the rewards.YUM!

Friday, May 7, 2010

nice to have company

Now that is getting warmer outside, I often open the window on my back door and Monty sits on a little stool listening, smelling and watching the backyard action. Look who showed up our deck the other day:)

This a neighborhood cat that comes to visit. Very relaxed and happy to see Monty.

Even yawning with pleasure. Monty was fascinated. Later in the summer, Monty does get to go outside but he is content to hang out at home and chat through the backdoor.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

free movie passes

Yay, I've got some more movie passes to give away!

Click on the poster to see the trailer. Looks fun.

Here is a synopsis......Leon Bronstein is not your average Montreal West high school student. For one thing, none of his peers can claim to be the reincarnation of early 20th century Soviet iconoclast and Red Army hero, Leon Trotsky. When his father Sends Leon to public school as punishment for starting a hunger strike at the Bronstein family's clothing factory, Leon quickly lends new meaning to the term student union, determined as he is to live out his pre-ordained destiny to the fullest and change the world.

But wait...there's more, the Facebook page and the official Trotsky movie page

The first 5 people who are able to attend, please leave a comment here and get a pass for two to a sneak preview Thursday, May13th 7 pm screening at Parklane. **must leave an email or have a blog with email so I can contact you**

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

marvelous month of May

Woke up to the patter of rain this morning. Lately, it has been warm enough to leave the window open. I love the soft breath of wind and sounds that waft in. We are on a small hill and from my bed I see branches, leaves budding and sky. Feels like I am in a treehouse. I've noticed that there is not as much birdsong in the mornings as there used to be:( That makes me sad.

Today's agenda includes a trip to the gym, library, post office and painting, painting, painting. I am working on big order for a local store. Fun stuff. Luckily no cooking has to be done today. I have a big pot of veggie chili on hand and some of Keith's great quiche.

These pictures were taken at Giverny, in Monet's garden in May. The window is the view from his bedroom! He lived here for 43 years. It is only a short train ride from Paris and we did it as a day trip. SO worth seeing.

My daughter on the Japanese bridge.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

downtown diversion

Barrington Street in Halifax. Used to be a bustling shopping and business area that has slowly been fading. I remember when the building with the turret ( the Khyber Building) housed a health food store and on the top floor was a small independent movie theatre. It has hosted lots of enterprises over the years. Many stores on the street have closed and gone but....... things ARE starting to change. I have a feeling that in a couple of years, this downtown street will be thriving again. What our central core lacks but is slowly reclaiming are places for people to live. We need it to become a neighborhood. Where there is life, there is energy:) There is so much potential here.

in other news..... my show went REALLY well! I am thrilled with the response and thanks to all of you who came out:) It is still up for another month so pop by and check it out.