Saturday, 3 September 2016

Drive-In Movies

This evening we drove from Winchester to Stephens City to visit a Drive-In Movie Theatre.

There are two screens - as shown on Google Maps.

We joined a long queue to come in and at one point we acquired a small passenger..

As it is Labor Day weekend, there is a 'Dusk till Dawn' movie marathon.  We won't necessarily stay awake throughout!

There is a good clear view and we have space to sit in front of the car and a speaker to attach to the car window when we sit inside.

The programme started with the national anthem..

Between the films there are vintage style announcements for refreshments (this venue has been running for sixty years)..

The queue for the refreshments though was almost as long as the queue for the restrooms!

All in all an interesting experience!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend is a bank holiday in the US and we decided to head north towards Winchester.

David finished work at lunchtime and so on our way we visited several wineries.

This first one - Twin Oaks vinery - had an interesting piano in the bar.  Made in Boston, this is a 'square grand'.

The second winery was just a few miles up the road.  It opened in 2000 and was the 67th winery in Virginia at that time - whereas there are now more than 250.

They all have beautiful and peaceful views - in this case over the Shenandoah valley looking to the Blue Ridge mountains beyond.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Good idea?

I saw this at the Giant supermarket at Fox Mill earlier this week.

It is rather a pristine arrangement so I am not sure if anyone is taking them up on their offer. 

It seems a good idea .. I am sure I have seen it somewhere before, possibly in the UK?

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Oasis in New York

It is a cliche of course to describe Central Park as an oasis within the heavily built up streets of New York - but that is exactly what it is!

Although it looks tiny when viewed from the top of the Rockefeller Center - some 65 storeys above ground level, it is not so small really and has quite a diverse landscape of mature trees, lakes, paths, roads, baseball diamonds and of course lawns.

There are literally thousands of people in the park on a sunny day, jogging, walking, picnicking or, like this lady, just enjoying the dappled sunlight through the trees and writing her diary in a quiet corner.

We were too late, unfortunately, to join the weekly story telling hour..

..but Hans Christian Andersen was still there, with his audience of one, presiding over the storytelling space next to the boating pond.

He had a nice view to look out over.

There were quite a few sailing boats out on the pond.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Tiny Antique Rooms

Last week at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, one of the most fascinating exhibits was a collection of miniature rooms and other items.

This collection belonged to the local philanthropist Sarah Mellon Scaife and several of the rooms were commissioned by her as authentic replicas of antique furnished rooms in her Pittsburgh home.

The room sets were tiny - each one no bigger than 24 inches wide, 12 inches high. The porcelain turkeys in the image above were the largest pieces of porcelain on display and were less than 2 inches high.

Each little room was lit with very low indoor light and with a glass screen in front, it was difficult not to get a reflection in the picture.

The tiny porcelain figures in the pictures below are just half to three quarters of an inch tall!

The miniature furniture, porcelain and silverware dates from the 18th to the early 20th century.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Treasures of 'The Met'

In the guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York it suggests that most visitors spend around 3 hours there.  It would have easily been possible to spend that time in the extraordinary Egyptian Temple of Dendur..

And marveling at the other Egyptian treasures..

It is of course a huge place - literally a monumental building at the side of Central Park and filled with a series of outstanding and very diverse permanent collections and exhibitions.

We spent more than four hours there on Saturday and only saw a fraction of the exhibits on the ground floor, leaving the galleries of wonderful paintings on the other floors for a future visit.

Many of the collections are donations from benefactors, this is one item from a gift of Sevres porcelain and French furniture with inlaid Sevres panels.

Complete rooms - this one from a house in Bordeaux - have been recreated using original furniture and paneling.

This is the centerpiece of a collection of arms and armour dating from the Renaissance to the present day.

I have, of course, many photos to share with anyone who would like to see more - these shots are just a few of the treasures which caught our attention as we visited.

A large and very rare  eighteenth century Chinese porcelain tureen in the shape of a carp.

One of a small collection of guilloche enamel, gold and jeweled Faberge eggs...

...and Faberge flowers made from precious stones and gold.

A very beautiful Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass window.

A Columbian figure in pure gold - part of an extensive collection of South American gold artefacts.

In one gallery was a temporary exhibition which is due to end in a few days  'Manus X Machina' - exploring the relationship between haute couture and technology.  The exhibition has apparently had more than 650,000 visitors and was very busy.

This 'coral' dress is 3D printed in plastic and is the work of Iris van Herpern, a young designer whose work I saw and photographed at the Museum of Art in Atlanta.  

So many different items to see and try to understand!