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It's hard to believe that this paradise is a mere ninety minutes from our doorstep. Ninety minutes! So why don't we go more often? That is an excellent question.

I should also note that the third and seventh photograph in this entry were taken by the very talented third daughter.


Last Night was a Good Night

Sometimes it's more appropriate to go back to the beginning than to repeat yourself unnecessarily. I think this is one of those times. Here is one from the archives.


January 24, 2010

It’s been about a year and a half since I last went life drawing and I’ve missed it like crazy.

I missed…
…the anticipation of a good model. It can make or break the whole day.
…the clinking noise my charcoal makes in my little tin box.
…messy hands. The proof that I’ve accomplished something.
…the smell of an art room.
…Maxine Schacker’s voice in my head. She was probably the hardest and the best teacher I ever had.
…seeing that really great line that makes it all worthwhile.
…the brain mush that is a direct result of three hours spent learing, pushing, failing, succeeding, analyzing and decision making. There aren’t many things that can give your brain a workout like that. At least not many that are enjoyable.

So when I found out about the open session of life drawing every Sunday at the Mahone Bay Centre through Access Art, I couldn’t believe my luck. I promptly loaded the car with art supplies, drove the 10km and fried my brain for three glorious hours.


The Banana Seat Bike

I put my camera away for a good long while. It wasn't really intentional, I just didn't feel like taking any photographs. But there was a shift and I started to see things again. I started to regret not having my camera with me. It still wasn't enough to motivate me to pick it up. It was just enough to get me thinking about it. This can happen from time to time. I sometimes forget how many wonderful things happen when I take out my camera. And I don't mean the photographs. They're just a nice side effect. Take the other night, for example. I took the 4H kids on a photography walk. The first thing that caught my eye was this bike. I've passed by that spot a million times but I've never noticed the bike before. I think all of Bridgewater heard me yell, "Check out that banana seat bicycle!" What photographer could pass up a couple of minutes with that beauty? While the group of us were on the front lawn, the owner of the lawn and the bicycle came home. I immediately ran over and introduced myself, explained who we were and what we were doing just to be sure we weren't making a nuisance of ourselves. It turns out that sixty years ago, at the age of eleven, this woman got her first bicycle. That bicycle. And on the last big garbage day she tried to put it at the curb but she couldn't find the key for the lock. So it's still there. Without my camera I would have missed out on it all. I would have missed the bicycle, I would have missed the story and I wouldn't have these photos to remind me of it all.


NYC Food

It's been a whole year since I was in New York and I am missing it. This is also the last installment of the NYC pictures. But the best way to celebrate something is with food so I'm glad I saved this one for the end.

This is just a list of descriptions I found in my journal about some of the food we ate in New York.

· The Indian food was amazingly good. It makes me want to eat Indian food every day.
· At 10 am the strawberry iced tea was the perfect answer to the impossible heat.
· The cinnamon Sugar Donut Hole was a vanilla cake ball. Light, crumbly, smothered in vanilla sugar and reminded me of home.
· Corn on the cob grilled with butter, cheese and powdered peppers. I'm going to have to give that a try.
· The first fish taco I ever ate and it certainly won't be my last.
· A chocolate croissant for breakfast. My favourite vacation breakfast. (Who am I kidding? It's my favourite breakfast. Always.)
· A terrible, doughy, Weston's style bagel with cream cheese. Yuk.
· Sugarless lemonade. Refreshing. (I still think about how good it was.)
· A lemon tart should always be this perfect. The exact ratio of sweet to sour and served on buttery pastry.
· The tallest lemon meringue pie I have ever seen.
· Without any water, the dissolving gel capsule Advil spread through my mouth and numbed it for over half an hour.
· Good guacamole is always best served with kitschy art.
· The chocolate croissant (a different one from earlier in the week) was the worst I ever had second only to the one I ate the following day at the Montreal airport. That one was the worst.
· Cheese plate with cabbage-apple slaw, raisins, walnuts and fruit bread. A second helping of bread? Yes, please.
· A bite of the best burger I have ever eaten. No joke.
· Entertained by Paulie of Paulie Gee's pizza. He's a super guy who loves his restaurant and is proud of his pizza. Rightfully so. It was really damn good.


NYC Signage

1. I didn't write this on the wall but I wish that simply finding that needle in the NYC haystack would have been enough to make it true.

2. It's always fun to watch people painting murals. Especially when it involves giant heads.

3. If I ever find myself in Brooklyn again I am going to set aside an entire day for this place. The hand-lettered sign wasn't too shabby either.

4. This is what happens after someone is forced to sift through a stack of lack lustre resumés.

5. Why? Why didn't I go in the Record room? The sign should have been enough to persuade me.

6. Nothing does great signage like time and weather. Nothing.

7. Twinkle lights make everything prettier. Especially the candy coloured ones.

8. Benny's Burritos. There is far too much to say about that one. You'll have to wait for the restaurant edition of the NYC series.

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