Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rumsfeld to talk at Archives Apr. 3

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld with President Gerald Ford/Wikipedia
Donald Rumsfeld, former defense secretary under Presidents George W. Bush and Gerald Ford, and Ford's chief of staff from 1974-75, will talk about his role as chief of staff with four other former chiefs at National Archives on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The public is invited, and there is no charge to attend.

Other White House chiefs scheduled for "Inside View" are John Podesta (chief of staff for Bill Clinton, 1998-2001), Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty (another Clinton chief of staff who served 1993-94), Kenneth M. Duberstein (for Reagan, 1988-89), and Joshua Bolten (for George W. Bush, 2006-09).

David Gergen, former presidential advisor for four presidents and director of the Center for Public Leadership, will moderate.  The Aspen Institute is a co-sponsor.

Seating at the William G. McGowan Theater will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  Formation of a line outside the entrance at the corner of Seventh Street N.W. and Constitution is expected to form around 5 p.m.   Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., however, free tickets are often distributed to those standing in line before then.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stamp Committee snubs Washington galleries

Gerald Murphy, Razor, 1924, copyright, Honoria Murphy Donnelly/licensed by VAGA and at the Dallas Museum of Art
Of the 12 modern works of art that are reproduced as commemorative stamps released this month by the U.S. Postal Service, none are found in Washington's galleries, although ten of the artists are well represented here, and in some cases, by several hundred pieces.

Five of the twelve works come from New York institutions, and copyright for five others belong to New York firms, making New York the site or copyright owner of almost 90 percent of the compositions.

The stamps were issued in conjunction with the centennial celebration of America's first large display of modern art, known as the “Armory Show,” the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors.

Besides New York, other locations where the 2013 featured works hang are Texas (2), Yale University (1), Colorado (1), Ohio (1), New Mexico (1), and Philadelphia (1).

Three of Washington’s galleries with works by the ten have free admission where thousands may view art:  The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  The Phillips Collection charges $12.

New York admission prices reach $25 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Try getting in the Met without paying the “suggested” price of $25, and see where you land. Try the street.).

Of the remaining locations, only Yale (Joseph Stella) and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Ft. Worth (Aaron Douglas) have free admission.

The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee which selects and approves stamp designs with the approval of the Postal Service, says: "Stamp selections are made with all postal customers in mind, not just stamp collectors." And yet the Committee promoted galleries that cater to more elite purses than many citizens carry.

In addition to Douglas, The Prodigal Son (1927;) and Stella, Brooklyn Bridge (1919-20), the other featured artists and their works are: Stuart Davis, House and Street (1931), Whitney Museum of American Art; Charles Demuth, I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928), the Met; Arthur Dove, Fog Horns (1929), Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912), Philadelphia Museum of Art; Marsden Hartley, Painting, Number 5 (1914-15), the Whitney; John Marin, Sunset, Maine Coast (1919), Columbus Museum of Art; Gerald Murphy, Razor (1924), Dallas Museum of Art; Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie’s II (1930), Georgia O'Keeffe Museum; Man Ray, Noire et Blanche (1926), the Met; and Charles Sheeler, American Landscape (1930), Museum of Modern Art.

At the unveiling of the stamps in New York (where else?) Richard Uluski, U.S. Postal Service vice president, Northeast Area Operations said: “We understand the power in these miniature works of art to celebrate American heritage history and culture." The stamps, he said, are "a lasting tribute to 12 amazingly talented artists."

The "most consistent supporter" of Arthur Dove was Duncan Phillips, the founder of the Phillips Collection in Washington which has 185 or the majority of Dove's works, according to Wikipedia, and yet, the Committee chose to go to Colorado Springs and its Fine Arts Center for its single Dove painting, Fog Horns, for which a New York firm holds the copyright.

Michael Howell is the collections manager and registrar for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and was unaware the commemorative stamp of Fog Horns had been released until I contacted him.

The two artists missing from the collections of the four Washington institutions I checked are Aaron Douglas and Gerald Murphy. 

Douglas (1899-1979) was "a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance," and sometimes called the father of African American art. He founded the art department at Fisk University where he taught for 27 years. Wikipedia says Douglas was encouraged by his mother to pursue his passion and inspired by the black painter, Henry O. Tanner. Douglas ”refused to compromise and see blacks as anything less than a proud and majestic people."

But who is Gerald Murphy? (Howell didn't know, either.)

Not that Gerald Murphy? The husband of Sara Murphy? The good friends of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald who played a prominent role in Tender is the Night? That Gerald Murphy? He painted, too?

Well, he painted some, for eight years between 1921 and 1929, before he died in 1964. The Murphys suffered the deaths of their two sons and endured financial problems which may have been factors in Murphy's conclusion of his art output. 

Whatever the case, only 14 of his works are known to have survived, "owing largely to his [Murphy's] own indifference," wrote Peter Schjeldahl in the New Yorker about a Murphy show at Williams College Museum of Art in 2007. Now, only seven or eight are extant.

"At any rate, it’s unlikely that Gerald, had he continued, would have improved" for whatever he had, he had in the beginning, because "he was a man who wasn't really an artist," Schjeldahl wrote. Murphy and his wife collected folk art.

When the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts announced in 1960 it would host a show of Murphy's works, the artist said, according to Schjeldahl:  "I've been discovered.  What does one wear?"

Gerald Murphy was "amazingly talented"?

Who chose Gerald Murphy's work for the one of the 12 modern art stamps?  And why?

If the Stamp Select Committee were truly honoring “amazingly talented” artists like the postal official said, why didn’t it consider more of the 120 artists from the 1913 Armory show, many who are familiar names, but, rather than art appreciation or recognition, perhaps the Committee meant to educate the people.

The Committee might have chosen, too, more than a single token woman artist (O'Keeffe), like Marguerite Zorach, Marie Laurencin, Ethel Myers, Mary Cassatt, Mary Foote, Grace M. Johnson, Gwen John, Margaret Hoard, Bessie Marsh Brewer, Aileen King Dresser, Edith Dimock, May Wilson Preston, Frances Simpson Steven, Louise Pope, Hilda Ward, Edith Woodman Burroughs, Anne Goldthwaite, Edith Haworth, Florence Dreyfous, and Sherry E. Frye, some of the women who exhibited at the 1913 launch.

Or how about the Murphys' friend, Zelda Fitzgerald? She painted, too. But she was from the South. Two strikes! And where is her copyright?  Three strikes!

A Postal Service website, the USA Philatelic, calls the artists "significant American modernists all of whom were at the forefront of embracing new modes of expression that began in Europe and developed into uniquely American perspectives."

Rather than the "Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee," why not call it what it is: the "Select Stamp Committee."

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Russian night at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Dima Slobodeniouk, the
guest conductor at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Marco Borggreve 

I went to hear Rachmaninoff but was carried away by Shostakovich.

Both composers were born in Russia and their music was performed beautifully all through the night by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Saturday at Strathmore, led by another Russian-born musician, the guest conductor, Dima Slobodeniouk, making his BSO debut.

The standing crowd loved him and the guest pianist, Simon Trpceski from Macedonia, calling them back three times when the duo completed the first part of the program, Sergei Rachmaninoff's The Rock, Fantasy, Op. 7 and his Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 40.
Simon Trpceski, guest artist, at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Julian Edelstein

Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) wrote The Rock, a "tone poem" when he was only 20 and, according to program notes, based it on an 1885 short story by another Russian, Anton Chekhov, about an old man, enticed by a younger woman who captured his heart and left him in the morning.  (Sigh.  Do things change?)

The piece begins and ends with the man's depression, foreboding, heavy bassoon notes which evoke a castoff, the rock, indeed.  The flute conjures up the young miss, bringing to mind the innocent Peter as in Peter and the Wolf (which the BSO will play April 6 at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore).   

An "explosion" of great strength signals the end of the man's fairy tale and his return, sadly, to reality.

Members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Dave Harp

From the mood of despair (carpe diem), the orchestra moved to Rachmaninoff's "stepchild," his Piano Concerto No. 4 which he re-wrote and revised over a period of 27 years, probably his least performed piano concert today, and it's not difficult to understand why, when compared to his other works. The orchestra could not have played it better, absolutely magnificent to hear but, nonetheless, it is overshadowed by the composer's Third Piano Concerto which the BSO played at Strathmore in January.  Oh well, there is no going wrong with a choice of Rachmaninoff, no matter what the piece.

During the production, Trpceski frequently turned his head to the right angle of the piano to look at members of the orchestra, his fingers never stopping their work on the keyboard.  In a few instances he rose several inches from the bench, almost in an unconscious state, while his fingers continued to hit the right notes. Can he play blindfolded? 

Meanwhile, from his back, Conductor Slobodeniouk bore a strong resemblance to a shorter President Obama.

To the delight of all and to satisfy those hungry for more, Trpceski returned to the stage upon his finish to play what some of us believed was a short Chopin piece which he dedicated to (it sounded like) an 89-year-old woman in the audience whose life "was turned around at age 2" by music.  Bravo!

After intermission came Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103, "The Year 1905."

Knowing a little of the history and basis for the symphony, ably supplied by Janet E. Bedell in the program notes, made it more alluring.

The composer (1906-1975), who was to become quite the political composer,  was born in St. Petersburg about 18 months after approximately 3,000 peaceful demonstrators marched to the Winter Palace on January 9, 1905 to present Tsar Nicholas II with a petition requesting improvement to their harsh living conditions.  Among their requests:  an eight-hour work day with limited overtime, "equality of all persons," and a progressive income tax.  

Although Nicholas was not in the city and therefore not threatened, his soldiers fired upon the citizens, killing several hundred and igniting the spark which ultimately led to the Russian Revolution of 1917.  The day is known as "Bloody Sunday."

A scene from a 1925 Russian movie about "Bloody Sunday" when the troops fired upon unarmed civilians at the Winter Palace/Wikimedia Commons

The first movement is entitled "The Palace Square," and begins with an almost inaudible hum from the cellos for several minutes before the violas join in, strengthened by dual harps which, combined, present increasing anxiety and anticipation.  The tempo significantly expands in the second movement, "The Ninth of January," diminishes, and then becomes louder later on. The collision of discordant instrument sounds is frequently heard throughout. 

The music grows more vigorous over movements, becoming almost painfully loud as the killings are realized by listeners.  The work contains so many powerful clashes, it seemed that the murders of protestors did not cease until near the end of the work.

The third movement, "In Memoriam," a "threnody," with horns, cellos, basses, and brass, honors the memory of all oppressed.  Like a razor's slice, the fourth and short final movement is "The Tocsin," the sounding of an alarm bell.

The ending is abrupt and took the audience by surprise, for just a few solo claps were heard in the chamber, soon followed by a burst of wild applause as the realization the symphony had ended and the cessation of the music was not a  movement transition, after all.

Three curtain calls summoned the conductor back to the stage, and he eagerly shared acclaim with orchestra members.

I have toyed with the idea of traveling to Russia this summer, attracted by the recent completion of Robert Massie's Catherine the Great.  Having been enraptured many years ago by his Nicholas and Alexandra, and starting his Peter the Great, after spending the evening with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and all the Russians, I ask myself:  Whom am I kidding?

BSO concerts coming up at Strathmore:

Apr. 11, 8 p.m.
Bond and Beyond: 50 years of 007

Michael Krajewski, conductor
Debbie Gravitte, vocalist

Apr. 19, 8:15 p.m.
Wagner: A Composer Fit for a King - Off The Cuff

Marin Alsop, conductor
Didi Balle, writer and director

Wagner - Excerpts from various works

Apr. 27, 8 p.m.

Gilbert Varga, conductor
Midori, violin

Bartók - Violin Concerto No. 2
Brahms - Symphony No. 1

May 2, 8 p.m.
Time for Three

Marin Alsop, conductor
Zachary DePue, violin
Nicolas Kendall, violin
Ranaan Meyer, double bass

John Adams - Shaker Loops
Jennifer Higdon - Concerto 4-3
Prokofiev - Symphony No. 4

May 11, 8 p.m.
Chaplin's Masterpiece: Modern Times

Marin Alsop, conductor

Chaplin - Modern Times

May 25, 8 p.m.
Romeo & Juliet

Carlos Kalmar, conductor
Jean-Philippe Collard, piano
Narong Prangcharoen - Phenomenon
Saint-Saëns - Piano Concerto No. 3
Prokofiev - Selections from Romeo and Juliet

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Take 5! Free jazz at the Smithsonian with Corey Wallace

Corey Wallace on his trombone in the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum last week/Patricia Leslie
On the third Thursday of every month between 5 and 8 p.m. through May, free jazz emanates from the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum where beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres may be purchased to add to merriment while listening, dancing, or painting. The Smithsonian sets up a temporary studio for artists who register for Take 5!
Members of Corey Wallace's DUBtet are Allyn Johnson, piano; Max Murray, bass; C.V. Dashiell III, drums; and Brent Birckhead, reeds/Patricia Leslie
"Please, dance with me, Henry"/Patricia Leslie

Plenty of tables, chairs and dance space jazz up the courtyard on free jazz nights.
One of the best works the DUBtet played was Wallace's Rush Hour Traffic which brilliantly captured the stop-and-go sounds of vehicles on the road. Said Wallace: "We all hate it so I had to write a song about it."/Patricia Leslie
The center of this design promoting the monthly jazz fest at the Smithsonian is a reproduction of Robert Indiana's The Figure Five (1963), hanging on the gallery's third floor. It is based on Charles Demuth's I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928), one of 12 featured stamps in a modern art series issued this month by the U.S. Postal Service/Patricia Leslie

What's this? A spider crawling on the keyboards? Nope, the hand of Allyn Johnson spinning the tunes with the Corey Wallace DUBtet at the Smithsonian/Patricia Leslie
Coming up in the Take 5! free jazz concerts:

What: The Music of Pepper Adams

When: April 18, 5 - 8 p.m.

What: The Dave Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet

When: April 22. Discussion at 5 p.m. and concert at 6:30 p.m.

What: Night & Day Quintet

When: May 16, 5 - 8 p.m.

Where: All at the Kogod Courtyard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets, NW

How much: No charge!

Metro stations: Gallery Place/Chinatown or walk 10 minutes from Metro Center

For more information: 202-633-1000

Monday, March 18, 2013

Irish eyes smiled on the Caps St. Paddy's Day

Did Alex Ovechkin say a little Irish prayer on ice for the Washington Capitals when they played the Buffalo Sabres on St. Patrick's Day?  If he did, it worked wonders since the Caps won 5-3, the fans get wings, and Ovechkin scored just 19 seconds after the game began/Patricia Leslie
Three Great 8s seen on the street before the start of the Washington Capitals v. the Buffalo Sabres game/Patricia Leslie
He (Caleb Greene ?) sang the Star-Spangled Banner/Patricia Leslie
Neapolitan ice before the start of the game/Patricia Leslie

Buffalo had the puck in this photo in the second period, but it didn't last long since Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera, and Marcus Johansson all scored in the second with help from Mike Riberio (who had two assists for the night), Nicklas Backstrom (two assists for the night), Brouwer (an assist), Johansson (an assist), Joel Ward (two assists for the night), and Mathieu Perrault (with an assist and the last goal of the night in the third period)/Patricia Leslie
Buffalo's goalie, Ryan Miller, is going, going, gone just before the Caps scored in the second/Patricia Leslie
The Caps celebrate another second period goal with a pow-wow/Patricia Leslie
Those who helped make one of the goals exit the ice to crowd cheers/Patricia Leslie
Throw down your gloves, there's a fight(s) in second/Patricia Leslie
Another victory celebration with five goals which means the fans get free wings at Glory Days Grill.  Glory to St. Patrick.  A 'salute to the troops' was made twice during the game, and Katie Ledecky, area swimmer who won the Olympic Gold Medal, celebrated her 16th birthday at the game/Patricia Leslie
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Free Greek literature and book festival Saturday at Georgetown

             Constantine Cavafy by Yiannis Kephallenos
The 150th anniversary of the birth of Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) will be commemorated Saturday at the first Greek literature and book festival to be held in his honor in Washington.

The public is invited to attend the event at Georgetown University at no charge.

Cavafy, considered "one of the finest modern Greek poets" (Wikipedia), and his achievements will be recognized by Greek authors and poets who will present their own writings. Greek publishers will participate, and some of Cavafy's original books from the collection at the Library of Congress will be on display. 

The keynote speaker will be Vassilis Lambropoulos who teaches classical studies and comparative literature at the University of Michigan.

The event will include short films about Cavafy and readings of his poems with audience participation.

Sponsors are the Embassy of Greece, Georgetown's Modern Greek Language Program, the Athenians' Society of New York, and the Library of Congress.

From Wikipedia:

Cavafy was instrumental in the revival and recognition of Greek poetry both at home and abroad. His poems are, typically, concise but intimate evocations of real or literary figures and milieux that have played roles in Greek culture. Uncertainty about the future, sensual pleasures, the moral character and psychology of individuals, homosexuality, and a fatalistic existential nostalgia are some of the defining themes.

What: The celebration of the 150th anniversary of Constantine Cavafy's birth

When: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., March 16, 2013

Where: Bunn Intercultural Center Auditorium, Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, D.C. 20057

Cost: No charge

Metro station: Are you kidding? This is Georgetown. Take a taxi or get off the Metro at Foggy Bottom and take the bus at the top of the escalators to Georgetown or walk from Foggy Bottom (about 30 minutes). Use Metro's Trip Planner for more exact routing.

For more information: 202-687-0100 (Georgetown) or 202-939-1300 (the Embassy of Greece)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Don't go to law school!

That was the strong message conveyed at a Cato book forum where Washington University law professor Brian Tamanaha presented data he’s found researching law school statistics which he describes in his newest book, Failing Law Schools.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts only 22,000 law school graduates will be needed this year, but 40,000 will earn law degrees, Tamanaha said.

Brian Tamanaha by Lorenzo Ciniglio-WUSTL

Just about half the graduates at 75 law schools had found fulltime law jobs within a year after graduation, and the headline in the Washington Examiner March 11, 2013 tells the local story:  "GW pays law firms to employ its grads," but George Washington University, it turns out, is not alone hiring its own at $15 an hour.

Why the imbalance?

Market demand.

During a period of economic uncertainty and high unemployment, many perceive more education, including law school, to be a good investment.  But the cost of a legal education (tuition, debt, jobs and salaries lost while attending law school) far outweighs the value, according to Tamanaha's research.

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The 2013 crop of prospective lawyers will be a big one despite the leap over 11 years (2001 to 2012) of law school costs which more than doubled for students at public universities and almost doubled for private school students. 

The highest cost to earn a law degree is found at Columbia University:  $82.000.

Catholic University ranks No. 7 in top charges and just about 44 percent of its grads secured fulltime legal jobs, carrying a debt load of about $142,000, according to the numbers Tamanaha cited.

Nine months after graduation, about 55 percent of law school graduates overall had found fulltime law jobs, and half of them earned between $45,000 and $60,000.  Many cannot meet their monthly school loan payments.

About 90 percent of students finance a portion of their schooling, and when they graduate, public law school students face an average debt load of about $76,000; private university students, $125,000.

Tamanaha said he wasn't making anything up:  His statistics come from the numbers reported by law schools themselves.
Law schools are so hungry for students, the acceptance rate has climbed to 80 percent v. 50 percent in 2004 indicating “a declining quality of the pool.”  

But it looks like some prospective students have gotten the message.  In 2010, 20,000 took the LSAT but only 1,300 applied to law school.

Another law professor on the Cato platform with a book to sell was Paul Campos from the University of Colorado at Boulder whose most recent book is Don't Go to Law School (Unless). 

With a lot of caustic humor which made audience members laugh several times, Professor Campos said half of the 200 law schools sanctioned by the American Bar Association have “absolutely no justification for their existence.”

He said exaggerated numbers presented by law schools show "clearly, some instances of fraud."

Campos called a legal education "dysfunctional in so many ways.” It can block employment since some employers are scared of hiring lawyers.  

Take the law degree off your resume and go out and get a real job, he urged the unemployed.

Also, the mass media presents “a false image” of lawyers.  (Writer's note:  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who watched a few episodes of Perry Mason when she was growing up might have a different take.)

Cato's Neal McCluskey said colleges and law schools are “profit-making industries” which welcome student funding that is borrowed from taxpayers to pay for education. He called for the elimination of federal aid to education which would allow private lenders with a “natural interest” to loan money and benefit all principals. 

Rankings by U.S. News and World Report are "very superficial," McCluskey said.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Philly's phlowers phlourish pictures

You just thought you were at a Halloween House of Horror.  No, Jack, you were just reliving Jack the Ripper as in Great Britain, this year's theme at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  This is a bed of red roses at "Jack" by Schaffer Designs to recognize (?), "in honor of" (?) the criminal who murdered at least 11 people. It won "Best Achievement in a Dramatic Setting." More pictures of "Jack," below/Patricia Leslie

Phloriculture phills phrilly Philly at this time of year for the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, celebrating its 174th year, and if you've been once, you know how phloriferous it is, and if you've never been, well, there's next year since the show ends today.
Michael Petrie's Handmade Gardens won "Best in Show" for Landscape/Patricia Leslie

A side view of Michael Petrie's Handmade Gardens for "Best in Show" for Landscape/Patricia Leslie

Phlipping phlowers, we can phly up to Philly today. 

Just look at the pictures.

Stop and smell the roses/Patricia Leslie


My begonias don't look like this. To gauge the size, please see the person standing nearby/Patricia Leslie

On a bad hair day, here's something to hide under/Patricia Leslie
Signs warned visitors not to get too close or risk being grabbed by a green monster/Patricia Leslie

This won a red ribbon for best use of a large plant in a small pot/Patricia Leslie

The winner of several prizes was "Welcome Wanderer" from William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream by Abington Senior High School/Patricia Leslie

How about a green roof for your bow wow? The sign says "sempervivums" were used as roof plants as far back as Roman times/Patricia Leslie 

A moving statue would dress up your yard like this one which captured a yellow ribbon. She is based on the Congressional model of women: She moves but doesn't speak/Patricia Leslie

A yard sculpture for every budget/Patricia Leslie

Another hairy green monster which earned Second Prize in its category for Lynn Cook and Troy Ray of the Liberty Bell Gesneriad Society/Patricia Leslie 

Daniel P. Clark of Lower Merion High School won an Honorable Mention for his lavendar crown made of statice, moss, walnut, pussy willow, rosebud, rice flower, blue thistle, leucadenron, and limonium for the Great Britain theme, Brilliant (?)/Patricia Leslie

This bracelet is made of allspice, yucca, lemon grass, spaghetti squash, oak, and palm/Patricia Leslie
This necklace is made of acorn, almond, Brazil nut, centaurea, cinammon stick, chickpea, garlic chive, hazelnut, kumquat, lentil, licorice root, lotus root, mustard seed, mung bead, navy bean, orange peel, pistachio shell, pomegranate, poppy pod, pumpkin seed, soybean, wheat, raffia, and squash seed/
This necklace is made of crape myrtle, fern, pieris, lotus, pea, grapevine, and heptacodium/Patricia Leslie

Keith Cavell Long, Jr. won a Blue Ribbon and three other ribbons for "An Eye of Style" window display/Patricia Leslie
These red-tipped long fingernails greeted guests in a long line for "Jack"/Patricia Leslie
Upside-down roses try to obliterate mother-in-law's tongue in "Jack"/Patricia Leslie
Your eyes do not deceive you:  Those are arm parts and hands coming from the wall in "Jack"/Patricia Leslie
This won in the category of Giant Hair Brushes and another ribbon for Lynn Cook and Troy Ray of the Liberty Bell Gesneriad Society/Patricia Leslie

Whenever you go, whatever you do, do not miss the wine tastings. So many to sample, and so were the samplers, but the wine sippers were not numerous enough to make the waits too long on a Friday afternoon.   Plus the chocolate martini was worth whatever wait and almost, almost sent me over to the purchasing table, however, I was able to rein in myself since I don't drink martinis or hard liquor (what? Margaritas are not hard liquor?) except then, and the Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka was better than the name.

These on top of champagnes and wines, and mustard with some dog and some British pale ale at lunch, and I was pretty well sloshed (and unable to aim and take more photographs) but able to miraculously crawl over to the chocolate and cheese sites for samples (to die for: tomato reggiano, at $16/pound, another purchase I skipped) and almond toffee which became dinner before we (Smithsonian Associates) boarded the bus back to D.C., and were served sherry en route. Oh, my!

We never had a chance to get over to the Reading Market.

Next year!

I was happily phulphilled, but enough of my phlummery.

Philicious phobia!

I can't say enough good things about another phantastic, phun Smithsonian Associates tour.  Really.  Thanks to Cindy Brown, Bill Ulman, Alex D (from the other bus) and Danny Mott, the driver.  Great job! 

But so saddened to hear of the take-down of the healthy 100+ year-old ginkgo tree at Pharragut Square. Shhhhhh….Where is that tree commission when you need it?

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