What a difference a week makes! Last Saturday, New York City received 26.8 inches of snow, which is one tenth of an inch off of the record set back in February 2006. The city was basically shut down for 24 hours, until the snow subsided. One week later, however, temperatures reached a balmy 59 degrees, helping thaw the remaining snow that had not yet melted. It gave us a glimpse of spring, but I am sure that we shouldn’t get too used to this warm weather. We have the entire month of February ahead of us and I have always found that February is the gloomiest month of all.
I was in Starbucks this morning and saw this basket of coffee with a sign that said, “Amanda’s picks”. I am not the Amanda that picked this blend, but I snapped a picture of it anyway, to accompany my post about coffee. I read a new report yesterday touting the benefits of coffee. There always seem to be conflicting findings about coffee; one day it is unhealthy and the next day it is. The latest report said that coffee does not cause heart palpitations or arrthymia, but can actually improve cardiovascular health. Can it really be true that a coffee (or two or three) a day can keep the doctor away? I am not so sure, but I will continue to drink in moderation because there will most likely be a new report soon disparaging coffee.
Squash is a racquet sport played on a four-walled court with two or four players. It is a fast-paced game that is physically demanding, yet fun and social at the same time. For the professional player, games can be grueling and can last for hours, but for the recreational player like me, it is an efficient form of exercise. It builds stamina, burns calories, tones the upper and lower body, sharpens mental acuity, and improves cardiovascular function. Most of the top players hail from countries such as Egypt, England, and Pakistan, but the sport is gaining popularity in the United States. I don’t expect to reach the top echelons of the sport, but I do look forward to improving my game and playing well into the future.
Pictures taken in Central Park today by my uncle
New York City is snowed in and locked down. Meteorologists predicted that there would be 8-12 inches of snow, but this blizzard, known as Jonas, has far surpassed the experts’ estimates. It has been snowing steadily for 20 hours and there are already 20 inches on the ground, with more to come. Mayor DeBlasio has declared a state of emergency here in New York. He suspended bus service and imposed a ban on personal vehicular travel. This city that never sleeps is officially taking a nap. Thank goodness for Netflix!
Winter was slow in coming to the Northeast this year, but it has finally arrived. Temperatures have dipped down below freezing and winds have kicked up. There is a blizzard on the horizon, with a foot or more of snow predicted for this weekend. If I cannot go someplace warm any time soon, the least I could do is dream of some far off, warm locale with white sand beaches and turquoise water. I hope that these photos, which I took at different locations in the last few years, will warm you up.
Today we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. who used nonviolent protest to demonstrate against the injustices that African Americans endured in the United States. A brilliant orator, King gave his inspirational speech known as the “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington which drew a crowd of more than two hundred thousand people. King delivered his speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, one hundred years after President Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War, declaring that slaves were to be freed in rebellious states. Soon after, slavery would be abolished throughout the United States and African Americans would attain citizenship and the right to vote. However, life was not easy for African Americans. They earned lower pay than white people did. They lived in segregated communities, and they literally had to take a back seat to whites. They would continue to experience inferior treatment and services by the government and their fellow white citizens for many years, until Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders grew impatient and started to agitate for change. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the same year that the Civil Rights Act was passed. Martin Luther King Jr. was and continues to be a true inspiration to many, all of these years later.
I have always been a huge Harry Potter fan and the character Professor Severus Snape played an important role in all of the books. The inimitable Alan Rickman brought the character of Professor Snape to life and did it so exceptionally well. I was saddened to hear of Mr. Rickman’s death, today, to cancer.
I look forward to a day when cancer no longer takes the lives of those we love and those we admire. Rest in Peace Alan Rickman.
The world has lost a musical legend. David Bowie, active on the music scene for more than four decades, sadly succumbed to cancer. He was a trailblazer who created different personae such as Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke and others and performed as these alter egos. He dressed in flamboyant costumes, with hairstyles and makeup to match. However, Bowie wasn’t just a great performer; he had true talent. He wrote and performed his own music and acted, as well. His theatricality served to enhance his performances. He was a renaissance man who incorporated his interests in art, literature and theater into his music. He inspired other singers with his ever changing looks and his flamboyance such as Boy George, Elton John, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. His music has stood the test of time and will likely continue to do so for years to come. Rest in Peace Mr. Bowie. You will be missed.
I did not see any of the movies in contention for awards last night, but I did tune in to the Golden Globes briefly to see who was wearing what. Everyone looked beautiful, but I especially loved the dresses that these four women wore and the grace that each exuded. I imagine that it is incredibly stressful choosing the perfect dress. Style, color, comfort, and fit are all so important but elegance is the ultimate goal. These four women hit the mark with their choices. And the award goes to . . . you be the judge.
Ever since I was a child my mother dragged me to museums. Back then I considered it a chore rather than a privilege. As I have matured, I have come to realize how fortunate I am to have such amazing museums and their treasure troves of artwork in such close proximity to where I live. I no longer consider it a chore to visit museums but rather a treat.
These particular pieces are on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art and are the works of two of the most celebrated American artists of the 20th century. The first two are by Jackson Pollack and the last one is by Jasper Johns. My photographs don’t do the pieces justice since flash photography is not permitted and the galleries don’t have natural light.