Wandering in Asheville last weekend - Downtown

Dear husband and I went for an early anniversary trip.*  We had breakfast at the City Bakery early Saturday morning, and then we wandered around downtown Asheville before all the stores opened.  I enjoyed doing this when I was visiting daughter back in June.  It's calm and peaceful, you can really see the architecture because there are fewer people and cars, and the people downtown, in some ways, are more diverse than later in the day.

DSC03744csYou can't take a photo down Lexington Ave. later in the day.

Dear husband took this photo of a sunflower on Wall St. (I'm too short to get this angle for the photo).

DSC03755sAt Blue Goldsmiths in the Flatiron Building on Wall St.

In the window of La Magia on Battery Park Ave.  If you click on the photo to get a larger version, you can see that the knights on the left side are llamas.

Pigeon time by the Basilica of St. Lawrence


The statues closer up

* Because it's warmer in September than in mid-February.

Some of the books I bought in Asheville, and a bit about The Book Exchange

"In many countries, and Britain used to be one of them, a reporter is a potential enemy.  The Americans, however, feel it is better to have a friend in print than an enemy.  And this, too, is a great danger, for nothing castrates a reporter so easily as flattery."  - "Telling One Country About Another (Marth 2nd, 1969) - First Chapter in The Americans:  Fifty talks on our life and times by Alistair Cooke

When I was in Asheville visiting my daughter, earlier this month, there was a day or two of near record heat.  First thing in the morning, I'd wander around outside, but, eventually, I'd go in search of air conditioning.  One afternoon, I spent an hour and a half reading Little, Big in the branch library near where she lives until the rain came through and cooled everything down.  

Another late morning, after getting overheated, I cooled off by wandering around The Book Exchange in the Grove Arcade.  The store is sort of like a snail shell - you keep going through rooms that are arranged going round and up and in until you get to the end room.  

Children's books (also books about music and film)


This room and the next one have Art, Architecture, and Design.  

I've spent the most time in this room (the end of the spiral on the inside).  It's nice and cozy, and it has a wonderful book on U.S. Art Deco architecture which I looked at this time.  The S & W Cafeteria building, the first building in the section on the Southeast, is just a block away in Asheville:


I had already picked up Alastair Cooke's book, a selection of radio talks for the British about the United States in the 1960's and 1970's.  As you can tell from the quote, it's a very pithy book.  I read the first chapter out loud to dear husband this evening while he made dinner.  I injured my hand earlier this week so I couldn't be much help in any other way.*  

I also bought Let's Pretend This Never Happened at Malaprop's while I was there.  Two weeks ago, I started reading it out loud to the guys.   I read until I was almost hoarse because the book was so good. It's written by Jenny Lawson, who writes The Bloggess, a hilarious blog.  

Back to The Book Exchange - I also bought Adventures with Old Houses by Richard Hampton Jenrette, whose hobby is restoring old homes - very expensive old homes, which he restores with meticulous accuracy.  These include Edgewater, on the banks of the Hudson River,** and two houses in the Carolinas which I won't name because dear husband hasn't read the book yet.  He goes into great detail about buying and restoring the houses and about their history.  Younger son, who has always been interested in engineering and design, is reading it right now.  

* I can type a bit, but anything involving any gripping or lifting is painful.  

** I love the library.

Link Snack: November 26, 2010

Daughter's here; the days are full.

Here are some interesting links I've found recently:

  • Scouting New York* is one of my favorite architecture blogs.  It's written by a Film Location Scout in NYC about unique and interesting buildings.  The Abandoned Palace at 5 Beekman Street is about a beautiful building that hasn't been used since the 1940's.  It has a nine story atrium with a huge skylight, wrought iron work, towers, etc.  It's gradually being restored.  The photos are fascinating!

Partisan tensions on Capitol Hill are delaying efforts to fix an error in the federal health care law that could cost Children’s Hospital Boston and others like it millions of dollars in added drug costs...

The error was a simple and unintentional omission in the final, frenetic days of drafting the landmark legislation and reconciling House and Senate versions. Con gressional staff intended to allow children’s hospitals continued access to the portion of a federal program that offers below-market prices on 347 specific medicines for rare, life-threatening conditions. But that language was accidentally altered...


*  I've added both blogs to the blog roll.

New links

I recently realized that I haven't done anything with my sidebar in a while.  Some of the links aren't active anymore, some need rearranging, and I've been wanting to add new ones for a while:

New links:

  • Phoenix Berries:  Episcopalian Faith, motherhood, and an adorable toddler.
  • That's Why:  I can tell I haven't updated my blog list in a very long time.  I've been reading Lisa's blog for years - Life, politics, feminism, and great photos.
  • Popdose:  Music, movies, TV, books, etc.

More to come (hopefully, if I get back to this).

Rearranging:  I've put links to dear husband's blog, Color Sweet Tooth, and older son's blog, Hamjamser, at the top with the links to my/our other blogs.

A Light Link Snack

I'm very tired today - for no particular reason, except maybe I'm still recovering.  Here are some recent links I've enjoyed (haven't done one of these since October!):

  • The music and the video for this go together so well.

[Hat tip to kottke.org]

It’s called the Spite House by some because John Hollensbury, the owner of one of the adjacent houses, built it in 1830 to keep horse-drawn wagons and loiterers out of his alley.
  • And a LolCat:

Richmond, VA trip

Our original plan was to go to Carolina Beach in NC, but the forecast for NC included rain, and the forecast for VA didn't.  We went to Richmond instead because, the last time we were there, we didn't do half of what we wanted to do.

Here are some samples of what we did.  I may turn any (or all) into blog posts of their own.


St. Paul's Episcopal Church


The fountain in front of the Capitol


Steve took this close up of the dock at the fountain.


The Virginia Aviation Museum isn't anywhere near the size of the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum (and it has a more manageable name), but I think I enjoyed it more because of its smaller, more personal size.


Interesting architecture.


More interesting architecture across the street.  Of course, Sydnor & Hundley aren't in the building anymore.



This seemingly "left-over" small house was surrounded by taller buildings.


Sign at:


Link Snack: August 22, 2009

P8160032 Items of interest this summer:

  • If you look at nothing else in this post, you should look at My Milk Toof.  It's an adorable, creative, photo story blog about two teeth - who have personalities and adventures. I've added it to my sidebar under "Fanciful."
  • From Planet Green75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn't.  However, your neighbors might not be too thrilled with the creatures your stale bread, moldy cheese, pizza crusts, hamster droppings, and latex condoms might attract.  Don't worry, neighbors. This list is here just for interest; I'm not actually using it.
In 1973, Roger Jones convinced his landlord to sell him the guest house he lived in and the accompanying beachfront home for $420,000—a hefty sum for a 33-year-old electronic-parts salesman making $35,000 a year. “I was as scared as hell,” says Mr. Jones. The gamble paid off. Added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1984, the 5,000-square-foot house named Villa Rockledge, perched on the edge of a rock hillside, appears to float above the private beach 50 feet below and offers ocean views from every room—even some bathrooms and closets.  The main room of the house is vast, with 22-foot-tall cathedral ceilings supported by logs as big as telephone poles that have been treated with an unusual mixture of cement and buttermilk to create a grey sheen. Many of the details have been restored: Solid redwood doors are dotted with brass extrusions cast in rough star-shapes that look like barnacles. The kitchen walls are covered with original canary-yellow tiling, while modern appliances are discreetly hidden behind wood panels. A 5-foot-wide ship’s wheel hangs from one of the beams like a chandelier.

In May, Mr. Jones, now 69, decided to sell this home, which he’s painstakingly researched and slowly renovated over the past three decades, for $34.5 million. He says the upkeep and maintenance are too costly for his kids and adds that he and his wife are getting too old to live in a large home...

Make sure you look at the slideshow.  It's lovely.

...my revolution starts with not being held responsible for anyone else’s behavior simply because we both happen to be female.

My revolution starts with the idea that what another woman does, does not reflect well or badly on me simply because we are both women...

[Photo from our garden:  Soldier beetle on a cosmos]