Tag Archives: blog

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

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Shrove Tuesday – getting ready for Lent

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Lent starts with a big party called Fat Tuesday! #MardiGras

Two weeks from everywhere

lent_5576cIt hardly seems possible, but tomorrow is the first day of Lent for 2013.  It seems to have crept up quickly on us this year, but that may only be because Easter is in March this year for the first time since 2008. I haven’t really given much thought so far this year as to what I’m going to do or not do as I observe Lent this year. This may be a good thing, because perhaps there are times when I put too much thinking into the whole thing and never really benefit too much from it all.

Last year I published a post outlining some of the things I wanted to do for Lent. I think I managed most of them, but I’m not sure that at the end of it all there was much change in the way I lived my life. So, this year I’m going…

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Christmas Time Makes It Easier To Love

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Thoughts for Christmas!

Praise 102.7

christmas heart

It’s always interesting to watch my family and friends get along better during the holiday season. I think it maybe the temperature of the weather being cooler so it calms everyone’s nerves or maybe it’s just the idea of it being Christmas.

Whatever it is things sure do change around my house and in the places I go. It seems like everyone pulls out that smile that’s been stashed away all year or a song that just needs to be sung. People may be more at peace and willing to share because the need to love and be love is so evident during the holiday season. I think this is also because many of us refer back to our childhood when it’s around Christmas time. Because we think about our childhood we become more sentimental and more likely to feel the desire to snuggle or to just be held. I…

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Fall Garden Color

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Take a garden walk, enjoy the fall colors:

The end of brand exceptionalism?

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A smiley face & more branding happiness:

Mt. Kalatungan Climb – Day 2

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Bamboo Campsites, Beak Weather, & The Lost Sunrise all contribute to this adventure…!

Misadventures of Tintin

First part: Mt. Kalatungan Climb – Day 1

It was a cold, gusty morning on the summit of Mt. Kalatungan and our tent was still miraculously upright. Raging winds gave it a serious beating the previous night. There was a puddle of water inside and our sleeping bags were wet, which explained why our asses were freezing the whole time.

Ben was outside getting busy with breakfast while Tupe and I stayed in the tent, complaining about the weather and sound-tripping to mournful songs of Joey Ayala and Gary Granada. It turns out we had similar tastes in music and the propensity to get terminally depressed during stormy climbs. In our defense, it’s well-documented that horrible weather makes people sad and droopy (and probably whiny as well) so cut us some slack.

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The Kafe

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I luv this piece so much,I wrote it in my Grandfather’s voice.

KafeMandela

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

The freshly brewed coffee was poured into the cup.
A daily ritual’s aroma was mingled with freshly baked bread, dipped into the black sea of sweetened coffee. Bread drenched with this morning’s goodness, made its way to the anticipating lips. A scene that played out every day, of every year.

Coffee beans hand picked, roasted then roughly ground, held its own uniqueness. The beans were sticky with an almost burnt aroma, their darkness always produced the same flavors.

The coolness of the day gave way to the sun’s warmth. In this land, regions were shaped by the weather, to include its landscape as part of the temperate zones. These regions decided, as a natural selection process, what areas were best for growing which crops; as nature so often does.

World map with temperate zones highlighted in red

The richest harvest was best suited for those regions where rain settled on the coffee plant’s leaves, on a timely…

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The Soda Jerk vs The Barista

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Back in the day, when drug stores occupied the neighborhood corners, as staples of the landscape and the need of the community, there was a job vacancy known as the Soda Jerk. Not so much that the neighbor’s kid applying was a jerk, but more like they would need a strong arm to jerk the soda machine, you see! It was the landscape that Edward Hopper painted about, the neighborhood that we came to know as home.

The Corner Drug Store was indeed a diner as well, where you could meet up with friends, or go for a bit of solitude when reading the Sunday paper you just bought, sound familiar?  If so, you probably have caught on to my catchy title.  Really many things could be said, but  the importance of coffee in our society, has replaced the Soda Jerk with The Barista!  When was an egg cream replaced by a capuccino mocha? I don’t know, but it’s worth finding out.  How did our needs change so drastically?  Wasn’t coffee considered something to drink at meetings, business conferences, other serious stuff, and not much fun!  After all, the soda jerk was not only responsible for jerking the soda arm to pour the fountain drink, he (I’ve never seen a woman soda jerk) was to make it look like fun, creating a show in the process.  People went to the counter to get an Italian Soda, but also to see a show!  And if Hopper didn’t do it for you, check out Norman Rockwell‘s rendition in the Saturday Evening Post!

Rockwell even got the dog, and it seems mesmerized too.   Admiration!   The Soda Jerk had admiration,  meaning he probably had to work his way up, to that coveted position of ample clout.  Lets remember that the soda machine itself represented uncharted territories, it was new, and few had seen drinks being made this way before.  Importantly, the soda machine was to embody what our Nation represented; a forward thinking, innovative place, where we could all flourish (and enjoy it)!  There was comfort, in knowing we could be home, and be excited about it because we could expect the best there.

Let’s come all the way to todays Coffee Shops.  Obviously, the Corner Drug store had to separate its services.  New laws, stipulations, and mandatory guidelines required different, and changing roles of the once corner (and counter) hang out.  Our neighborhoods were changing too.  Moms went to work, kids went to day care, Grandma and Grandpa became nudists (they even joined a colony)!  With the movement of society into the “me” individualistic age, the need to socialize at a level of conformity became obselete.  Jane didn’t want to run, and Jack had to climb his own hills (all by himself).  Jill was getting a mani & pedi!

That had to be it, the change in our habits to more individualized focus!  The “I’m ok, You’re ok” mindset had prevailed, created out of a need to grow.

Poor Soda Jerk! Gone just like that! Out of a job! Never to look back seeing the same landscape, in their own heighborhood. Ouch, that hurt!  With time, all things must change, and change they did, sort of!

Today we have a Happy Barista, a throw back to the days of behind the counter services, but autonomously individualisticly pouring great coffee, with a flair.  Once again, can we confine ourselves to our neighborhood cafes, mingling with neighbors, and friends.

The role of The Barista has become one of not “just” service but one that provides knowledge about coffee; becoming a professional in his/her own realm of creativity as well.  With an apron tied around, one can’t help but feel that this is serious business, enjoyment is inevitable when you taste the finely brewed cup (or glass) of perhaps flavor infused cafe!  Enjoying as many varieties as possible, everyday is a new discovery; whether your everyday cup of joe is

organic, blended, cappuccino, espresso, or maybe even tea! There is also a show of sorts, a pretty one.  Oh yes, pretty!  Coffee is pretty, when out of the froth pictures are created!

Nice.

There is the wi-fi service which keep you connected, conferencing, or tweeting (actually you could do all at the same time), while reading the paper you just got emailed.  Good thing is, you can stay as long as you want, maybe things haven’t changed that much!

Images Courtesy of : Bing Images (LarryFresch, Hospitality Connections, Miss Wangy /Underground)

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July 4th, NYC Style

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“Hot Time In The City” HAPPY JULY 4TH 2012!!!

A Touch of Yellow in NYC

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.  “Summer in the city…”

It is also the day that I kick back and see the world in a different way.  It’s a day I seriously “people watch” as you will find many wonderful things going on all around you.

Children acting without a care in the world-just relishing the  joy of being a child.  Families laughing, playing games, having picnics together.

It is also a day for hot dog lovers.  Enter Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island.

Last 4th of July, I braved the beaches and crowds of Coney Island.  Little did I know what lie ahead.  I parked myself on a bench and watched through my camera lens.  Fascinating. But then again, people watching always is….

I then ventured down to the waters edge.  And walked toward the main beach.  As I got closer and…

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Regina Spektor — “What We Saw From the Cheap Seats”

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I feel the energy by reading the first paragrah, Who Wants More Coffee?

mattneric

Blooming Spektor
By Eric Webb

A brief, inarguable list of the best things from or tangentially related to Russia:

x

x

5. Laika

4. Vodka tonics

3. Glasnost

2. Zangief from Street Fighter

1. Regina Spektor

Born in Russia and transplanted to New York as a kid, Miss Spektor is a force of nature. There is no point in denying this. I’ve been hooked since she was just a VH1 Artist You Oughta Know; I played “Fidelity” and “Us” on loop in the ice cream shop I worked at in college; at 18, I listened to “Samson” in the car late at night, engrossed. How do you draw up a comparison to describe her? She’s virtuosic on the piano, her voice glides effortlessly from “sweet pixie” to “sonic equivalent of Ivan Drago” to “onomatopoeia,” and her lyrics contain breathtaking storytelling. In live shows, she often uses a wooden chair as…

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