Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Birthday Trip


At some point you realize experiences are more valuable than objects. That's why, for my birthday last year, I suggested a weekend stay at the fabulous TWA Hotel in lieu of a tangible gift.

This year I'm following the same path and taking Robin to Hudson, NY -- the chic-ist town north of Manhattan. Most inhabitants and store-owners there are originally from the City. Vogue magazine -- VOGUE, of all magazines -- just published an article saying Hudson is the place to go during the pandemic. The town closes main street to cars on weekends and creates a pedestrian paradise. 

Since my birthday is next Tuesday we're leaving Friday for the weekend. Saturday is Halloween so bopping around then should be a blast.

Have a happy holiday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Monday, October 26, 2020

Hiking With Aimee

My friend Aimee is super-strong. She's a country girl who chops wood, lifts boulders and walks faster than anyone I know. This weekend Aimee led us on a fun hike along a turbulent river with treacherous cliffs and slippery leaves. It was fun -- when you weren't scared to death. Afterward, we had a delicious meal with her best friend, Dakotah. 

Potsdam is far from home but this is why I go back there often.




Saturday, October 24, 2020

Art Deco

I was going to sail through Syracuse on my way to Potsdam today but my friend Jaime encouraged me to stop in the city and check out an Art Deco masterpiece. I'm glad I did.

This dramatic building was built in 1932. It was headquarters for Niagara Mohawk Power Co., then the nation's largest electricity company. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's a stunner. On the sixth floor is a 30-foot high sculpture called "The Spirit of Light." It symbolizes the new "Age of Electricity." You can learn more details about the building here.

While I was taking pictures an old man walked by. He stopped and told me he's been waiting his whole life "for that winged guy to fly away but he never has." 

While visiting Syracuse's City Center I ran into other amazing old buildings. I'll show you them in future posts. By the way, did you know Syracuse is the fifth largest city in New York? I had no idea. I just thought it was a snow-magnet.





Can You Say Skaneateles?

I think I found the BEST of the Finger Lakes. I arrived yesterday. 

Skaneateles has a vibrant downtown with cool stores, boutiques and galleries. The vibe is cosmopolitan and relaxed. There are over twenty restaurants in town.

I saw several vintage automobiles and many motorcycles. The place is full of visitors which is surprising for late-October. The lake is scenic and has pristine water. Most amazing of all are scores of gorgeous lake-side homes. Beautiful architecture.

I'll definitely come back to Skaneateles Lake, assuming I learn how to pronounce it. :-)



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

"The Trial Of The Chicago 7"

Aaron Sorkin wrote this movie a decade ago but couldn't find financing. That was a blessing in disguise because today the film resonates in ways it wouldn't have in 2007. Its topics -- governmental oppression of political dissent; police brutality; judicial corruption -- are visible in today's racial justice protests, connecting us to the Sixties.

Sorkin treats that tumultuous time with wide focus, not narrowing it to any particular character's view. That's a smart choice because it describes the Sixties in a general, accurate manner.

Sasha Baron-Cohen plays Abbie Hoffman, a mischievous Yippie. Back then, I bought and read Hoffman's famous work, "Steal This Book." My parents were aghast but the book taught me valuable lessons in living outside the box of social convention. The book was self-published after being rejected by 30 book publishers and many retailers refused to carry it. Canada banned the book entirely. Which made it all the more attractive to young readers at the time.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

NYC, Different

 I had to go into Manhattan yesterday. It was weird. 

The buildings are the same, the subway runs fine... but there are no crowds. Just a handful of workers. Being in places that are normally congested, without crowds, feels odd. It's comfortable if you forget why the city is empty.

I'll never forget the experiences of this year.





Monday, October 12, 2020

My Holga Week Entries

Last week was Holga Week, a time when crazy photographers use cheap, old cameras to take pictures. Did I mention the cameras are completely plastic and barely functional? That's Holga

I find the deficiencies of the camera increase the challenge of getting good photos. And I enjoy a challenge.

We're entering our pictures in friendly competition. Here are my submissions. Do any appeal to you?

 









Tuesday, October 6, 2020

My Halloween Costume!

 Here it is! 

What are you dressing up as this year? Send me a picture and I'll post it on Halloween.









Wednesday, September 30, 2020

World's Most Expensive Car

 

Do you know how much the world's most expensive car is worth? $70 Million dollars -- and that car is 60 years old.

The most desired car in automotive history is the Ferrari 250 GTO. Only 39 of them were made. They were built in the early 1960s for racing. At the time, the cars weren't considered particularly valuable but since then, they've become revered as the symbol of a magnificent time in auto racing. The 250 GTO represents Ferrari's summit.

Back then, used models were advertised for $3,000 to $9,000. Two years ago, the founder of WeatherTech paid $70 Million dollars for one and someone else paid $50 Million just before then. 

You can understand how a cherished piece of history might be worth millions to someone who cares about that era. (The 250 GTO is the car at the center of a recent film, "Ford v Ferrari.") What I find fascinating beyond its value is that owners of vintage cars frequently drive -- and even race -- their vehicles. The cars aren't sculpture sitting on a pedestal; owners take them to the track for personal enjoyment and use them in vintage races. That makes sense to me. That would lead me to spend $70 Million dollars on a car.




Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Join The Party!

Seven years ago I hosted a Halloween "party" -- a blog-post with pictures of my friends (many of you!) wearing Halloween costumes. It was fun.

Given that few of us can attend parties today due to the virus, let's give this another go. Make a costume, e-mail me a picture (fhu@pipeline.com), and I'll post it on the Big Party Post (BPP) on October 31st. Of course I'll add your name and link to your blog or wherever you want.

Start planning! Here are photos of some of my previous costumes...











Sunday, September 27, 2020

Halloween

We're all experiencing pandemic fatigue. Tired of restrictions, we're blue. We need something POSITIVE to enjoy and look forward to.

Halloween! The ultimate holiday where there are no limitations except your imagination. Even if you don't want to venture out into public, you can still create a fun costume and share it with your friends. I plan to do that.

After being gob-smacked early this year (before the virus hit) by the character of Harley Quinn, as magnificently portrayed by Margot Robbie, in the hit-film "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey," I'm choosing her as my costume. I'm assembling clothes and accessories, most of which I already own given my penchant for extreme fashion.

Does anyone have a big gold necklace that says "Puddin"?

I hope you'll create your own costume and share it with us.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Signs

 I love commercial signs. Two attributes that especially appeal to me are indicia of aging and unusual fonts. I never expected to see both in one sign.

This morning I walked the sad streets of Amityville. An old sign called out to me. Not only does the sign show age and odd font but the font is fun BECAUSE it's old -- the original standard font warped over time from exposure to outdoor weather and curled into interesting lettering. Cool!

Here's also a second sign (seen last month in South Jersey). What's remarkable is the content which leads me to ask -- is there anything Seymour doesn't do?!





Friday, September 25, 2020

Juliette Gréco

I'm in the middle of reading philosopher Albert Camus' most famous work, "The Myth of Sisyphus," and just heard Camus' lover, French singer and muse Juliette Gréco, died this week at age 93. 

Both Camus and Gréco are worth learning about. They lived during World War II and its aftermath when life seemed bleak and pointless. You can trace Camus' philosophy, Absurdism, to that life experience. Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 when he was 44.

Juliette Gréco was also remarkable. As a teenager in France during the war, she worked for the Resistance, got caught by Nazis and was imprisoned for years. When the war ended, she walked eight miles back to Paris, penniless. She built a notable singing career that you can taste in YouTube videos. She created the later-publicized look of sultry French women -- dark-haired, clad all in black and usually wearing a tight turtleneck sweater.

Gréco had affairs with many famous men (and women) of the time, including Jean-Paul Sartre and jazz musician Miles Davis. Davis declined to marry her because he feared she'd suffer racist abuse in America which turned out to be true when they tried to dine in restaurants here. 

In terms of legacy, Gréco was admired by numerous later artists. Paul McCartney wrote a song about her ("Michelle") and John Lennon said, "I'd always had a fantasy about a woman who would be a beautiful, intelligent, dark-haired, high-cheek-boned, free-spirited artist àla Juliette Gréco."

History isn't boring when you look in the right places.





Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Holga Week


Holga Week is approaching!

A group of hardy/crazy enthusiasts will celebrate the Holga camera next week (Oct. 1-7). I am among them. Because this cheap plastic tool produces unpredictable photographs, we embrace its unique charm. And we will do so in the finest way possible -- by actually using the camera. 

During Holga Week contestants shoot 120-roll film and enter our pictures in friendly competition. Winner gets a non-working Holga that's been spray-painted gold which makes it even less valuable. Hey, you need a sense of humor to be a Holga-lover. Photo companies -- including my favorite, which is really named "Old School Photo Lab" -- are contributing additional prizes (e.g., photo supplies for Holga cameras).

It will be interesting to see what people come up with. I have several ideas for future photos and will show them to you later. Maybe one will win the coveted, worthless Gold Holga!







Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Brownie Points

Playing with old cameras offers many pleasures. The cameras themselves are beautiful objects. Shooting pictures with them is a wild adventure full of surprises. And exploring their history is fascinating. I just learned something cool about my Kodak Brownie Starflex.

When I got this camera, research told me the model was manufactured from 1957 to 1964. I assumed that range of dates was the most you could learn but I just discovered it's possible to date particular cameras more precisely. Inside the camera is a hidden code which reveals the exact month each camera was made. Four letters are stamped on the metal and a secret key translates them.

My camera says "CMRS" which means this camera was made December 1957. That date has significance: I was born November 1957. This camera is the same age I am!

I bought some 127-roll film and shot a roll of black-and-white photos. Not attempting art, just doing a test-run to see if and how well the camera works. The images are sharper than I expect from a cheap plastic lens and have the characteristic muddiness of old film. These qualities give Brownie pictures their distinctive look. Here are a few I just developed.





Sunday, September 20, 2020

"Fawlty Towers"

 


Comedy is harder to create than you'd expect. Great comedy requires genius.

Forty five years ago today The Best Comedy of All Time premiered on British television: "Fawlty Towers." The show is painfully hilarious. John Cleese plays Basil Fawlty, an inn-keeper who makes every bad decision possible and suffers endlessly. Nobody respects Basil, his wife abuses him daily, and life treats him like dirt. Yet you laugh and laugh and laugh as you empathize with poor Basil's plight.

There are only a dozen short episodes so you can binge it in an evening. Unless you get tired of laughing. I've seen the show numerous times and keep falling over at its jokes. 

The BBC says it "stands up to this day as a jewel in the BBC's comedy crown."

Thursday, September 17, 2020

I'm Back!

It's no exaggeration when I say that outfit-posts are one of the chief joys in my life. Contemplating them, creating an attractive ensemble, assembling its pieces and putting them all together are creative acts I find immensely enjoyable. Sharing the fruit of that labor with you -- and getting feedback -- is delightful.

Outfit-posts were, indeed, the initial impetus for this blog. Over a decade ago I wanted to connect with others on feminine activities and appearance. Because outfit-posts, for me, are laborious I supplement them with updates on my other activities, my views on social issues and miscellaneous items. But those are supposed to be side dishes, not the main course.

The Coronavirus disrupted our lives in varying ways. For me, it's hindered my ability to create outfits. I'm grateful you've hung around in their absence. I know you gals don't care about motorcycles or other subjects I post about so your continued visits are deeply appreciated.

I'm back to outfit-posts. No matter what I need to do to make them, I'll post more. This is not only for you but for me: I need the satisfaction they bring to my soul. 

Here we go...

I start with a simple dress from Charlotte Russe (on sale for $12). To brighten it, I add a yellow belt; yellow brings sunshine to any outfit. My legs glisten with metallic gold fishnets and metallic gold platform heels which lift me seven feet high. I finish with some matching jewelry and complementary eye-shadow (yellow and green).

Two pro tips: When wearing fishnet stockings, wear nude pantyhose underneath or else the fishnets cut into your feet like a cheese grater. Ouch!

Second, did you know they make arm makeup? Yup and I need it in Summer when my t-shirts give me dark tan on my forearms and no tan above the elbow. It looks jarring when wearing sleeveless women's clothing so lightening the forearms with makeup is essential. Easy fix.

Thoughts?