SO–YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER!

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Connecticut Writers Welcome Bestselling Suspense Author to Teach Multi-Day Workshop

Cherry Adair to teach master class workshop to writers of all genres this fall

Meriden, CT–July 28, 2014–Connecticut Romance Writers of America (CTRWA) is pleased to announce they will be welcoming author Cherry Adair

Cherry Adair, Author

Cherry Adair, Author

to teach a master level workshop, “Everything and the Kitchen Sink.” The workshop will take place at the Four-Points Sheraton in Meriden, CT, on September 13-14, 2014. Writers of all genres are welcome and can benefit from this workshop.

Adair will be teaching writers how to build 3-D characters who leap off the page, how to create luminous dialogue, and how to layer and texture your novel so that every word does at least two jobs. Students will learn the elements of plotting in order to write faster and smarter. Adair will even discuss how to construct a viable career plan so writers can have the career they want. Many CTRWA members have attended Adair’s workshops in the past and can attest to her passion for both writing and teaching.

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Cherry Adair has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced, action adventure novels which have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike. She hates first drafts, has a passion for mentoring unpublished writers, and is hard at work on three series – T-FLAC, CUTTER CAY and LODESTONE.

For more details on how to register for the workshop, as well as information about the hotel, please visit www.ctrwa.org and go to the heading “Cherry Adair Master Class.”

Cherry Adair is Imaginative, inventive, innovative and, oh yes. . .fun. She is patient, yet stirs things up. I speak from personal experience, Cherry was one of my teachers. She is lovable and as personable as it gets.  And to add to the pot brewing great stuff, the writers you will meet at this workshop are some of the nicest, kindest, best people you will ever shake hands with, hmm, bump hands. (To avoid 90% of the germs you get with our traditional handshake.)

It’s easy to register, see the link above, or here it is again: www.ctrwa.org and go to the heading “Cherry Adair Master Class.”

What do you think? Want to have a wonderful day learning about writing? Now’s your chance. Go for it!

 

JONES BEACH

wave jumpingI was alone. A sultry day in July, the air was blazing, the temperature in the nineties. Jumping into the giant soaring waves was revitalizing, refreshing, exciting. I waited for the next, then the next and jumped into it as it pounded down around me. Suddenly, I found myself under the waves gasping for air and flailing my arms as the force of nature pulled me under. Would someone see a child in distress and come to my rescue? I never noticed a lifeguard on duty, who even thought about it? I tried to scramble out onto the safety of the beach, but instead, the undertow pulled me further into the ocean. wave giant at Jones beachOne more time, and I thought I would drown. With all my might, I pushed myself up towards the beach, then finally, finally I stood up and with difficulty moved by feet through the pull of the water to the beach.  Are you questioning how I could remember? Since that day, I have told the story lots. Never, I promised myself, will that happen to me again. And it hasn’t. I don’t go into the ocean when the waves are bigger than me. I was pretty tall for my age of eight, and was a good swimmer, but it didn’t make a difference. I was at the mercy of the ocean. We had a cottage just up the street, in Rockaway Beach. That’s in Queens, New York. The experience put a damper on being an ocean lover. The almost drowning is what I think of when I witness gigantic waves like the ones at Jones Beach. I spent many a summer at Jones Beach watching my kids jump in and out of the waves. Can’t stop kidsharkss from doing their own wave challenges, but I was ready in a moment’s notice to jump in if one of my kids needed me.

New York beaches are far from innocent, not only are there dangerous undertows, but now there is an increase in shark population. Be on the lookout.

The beaches are rich in culture, have soft sparkly sand and clean water to swim.  Jones Beach is actually a state park, founded by Robert Moses.  It has bathhouses, an outdoor aWaverena and a long boardwalk. When Moses’ group first surveyed Jones Island, it was swampy and only two feet above sea level; the island frequently became completely submerged during storms. To create the park, huge dredgers worked day till midnight to bring sand from the bay bottom, eventually bringing the island to twelve feet above sea level. Another problem that followed was the wind—the fine silver beach sand would blow horribly, making the workers miserable and making the use of the beach as a recreational facility unlikely. Moses sent landscape architects to other stable Long Island beaches, who reported that a beach grass (Ammophilia arenaria), whose roots grew sideways in search of water, held dunes in place, forming a barrier to the wind. In the summer of 1928, thousands of men worked on the beach planting the grass by hand.

Indian Village tipiIn 1930,   Robert Moses hired Rosebud Yellow Robe as Director of the Indian Village at Jones Beach State Park. Rosebud became a public celebrity to thousands of children who visited the village  every summer from 1930 to 1950, It was created as a Plains Indian village with three large tipis. The large Council Tipi contained museum cases with artifacts borrowed from the American Museum of History. The other tipis served as clubhouses for the children. Rosebud told stories and folklore of the Lakota and local Eastern Woodlands tribes.

Rosebud worked as Director of the Indian Village

Rosebud

Rosebud

for years, and taught tens of thousands of school children and several generations of New Yorkers about Native American history and culture. Rosebud recalled, “When I first lectured to public school classes in New York, many of the smaller children hid under their desks, for they knew from the movies what a blood-thirsty scalping Indian might do to them.”

Jones Beach is accessible by carsummeratJonesbeach, boat bicycle, and in the summer season by bus or even the Long Island Rail Road to Freeport and then a bus. There are fire works at Zach’s Bay on July 4th. There is a $10 cost for parking. A $65 New York State Empire Passport can be used to park for free.

New York beaches are all over the state. Do you like the beach? Where would you go?

I LOVE NEW YORK-SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

brooklynnavyydI grew up in my beloved  borough of Brooklyn. It was just over the bridge to the city where I visited museums,  art galleries, shopped Bloomies, boutiques and did design school.  Don’t ask–I practically lived in the city. After today’s lecture at the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, CT, I learned about a whole new Brooklyn and New York that I never knew. Historian Justin Ferate talked about hidden houses, insider’s clubs, offbeat treasures, secret gardens, and things like the monument dedicated to the our soldiers that died in the revolutionary war.

Monument 2

Monument was designed by architect Stanford White

The Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Fort Greene Park, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, is a memorial to the more than 11,500 American prisoners of war who died in captivity aboard sixteen British prison ships during the American Revolutionary War. The remains of a small fraction of those who died on the ships are interred in a crypt beneath its base. The ships included the HMS Jersey, the Scorpion, the Hope, the Falmouth, the Stromboli, Hunter, and others.

The column carries this inscription: “1776 THE PRISON SHIP MARTYRS MONUMENT 1908″. The grand staircase of 100 80-feet-wide granite steps rises in three stages. At the foot of the staircase, the entrance to the vault was covered by a slab of brown sandstone, now in storage, that bears the names of the 1808 monument committee and builders and this inscription: Their remains were first gathered and interred in 1808. In 1867 landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, designers of Central Park and Prospect Park, were engaged to prepare a new design for Washington Park as well as a new crypt for the remains of the prison ship martyrs. In 1873, after urban growth hemmed in that site near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the remains were moved and re-interred in a crypt beneath a small monument. Funds were raised for a larger monument, which was designed by noted architect Stanford White. Constructed of granite, its single Doric column 149 feet (45 m) in height sits over the crypt at the top of a 100-foot (30 m)-wide 33 step staircase. At the top of the column is an eight-ton bronze brazier, a funeral urn, by sculptor Adolf Weinman. President-elect William Howard Taft delivered the principal address when the monument was dedicated in 1908.

Plaque at the bottom of the monument

Plaque at the bottom of the monument

A plaque was added in 1960 located across from the front label on the monument. The plaque reads:

In memory of the 11,500 patriotic American sailors and soldiers who endured untold suffering and died on the prison British ships anchored in Wallabout Bay during the Revolutionary War 1776- 1782. Their remains lie buried in the crypt at the base of this monument which was dedicated on November 14, 1908. This plaque was afforded by The Society of Old Brooklynites on June 1, 1960. Farelly Crane M.D. President.

18th century ships

18th century ships

During the Revolutionary War, the British maintained a series of prison ships in the New York Harbor and jails on the shore for captured prisoners of war. Due to brutal conditions, more Americans died in British jails and prison ships in New York Harbor than in all the battles of the American Revolutionary War.

The British quickly disposed of the bodies of the dead from the jails and ships by quick interment or throwing the bodies overboard. Following the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, the remains of those who died on the 16 prison ships were neglected, left to lie along the Brooklyn shore on Wallabout Bay, a rural area little visited by New Yorkers. On January 21, 1877, the New York Times reported that the dead came from all parts of the nation and “every state of the Union was represented among them.”

If you ever have the opportunity to hear Justin speak, run and sign up. He is a font of information presented with great spirit. All spoken off the cuff, no notes in his hands, only a powerful power point presentation with beautiful images.

What secret places do you know?

HISTORIC SECRETS

Urban historian and renowned travel guide Justin Ferate will present "Nooks and Crannies of New York City," including this Stanford White-designed mansion on Park Avenue, on Wednesday, July 16, at a lecture-lunch at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk. Photo: Contributed Photo

Hampden Robb Mansion by Architect Stanford White, 1891, in Murray Hill, Manhattan.

Here’s a lecture you might want to hear. Especially if you love historic explorations. New York city is filled with historic wonder. Urban historian Justin Ferate — described by The New York Times as the “revered city Tour Guide among Tour Guides” — will give an “insider’s virtual tour” of the “Nooks and Crannies of New York City.”

On Wednesday, July 16, Ferate will present a lecture at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. The event will include lunch and a tour of the first floor at the National Historic Landmark. Reservations will be accepted through Friday, July 11.

NYC clock tower“Ferate will take attendees on a virtual tour through some of New York City’s rich, secretive landmarks, many unknown to even the most diehard New Yorkers. He will reveal fascinating, yet lesser-known points of interests in one of the most iconic cities in the world, including some of New York’s more offbeat treasures, secret gardens, hidden houses and covert byways,” according to the museum.

Ferate is director of Tours of the City, a specialty company that has created educational tours of New York, focusing on the architectural, social, ethnic, literary and cultural histories of the city for more than 30 years.

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Ave., Norwalk. Wednesday, July 16, 11 a.m. $30, includes a great lunch and first-floor mansion tour that will dazzle you. 203-838-9799, ext. 4 or email: info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com.

PENNY-FARTHING

200px-Kangaroo_Bicycle_RevPenny-farthing, high wheel, high wheeler, and ordinary, are all terms used to describe a type of bicycle with a large front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel that was popular after the boneshaker, until the development of the safety bicycle, in the 1880s. They were the first machines to be called ‘bicycles’. highwheel13v

Although they are now most commonly known as “penny-farthings”, this term was probably not used until they were nearly outdated; the first recorded print reference is 1891 in Bicycling News. It comes from the British penny and farthing coins, one much larger than the other, so that the side view resembles a penny leading a farthing. For most of their reign, they were simply known as “bicycles”. In the late 1890s, the retronym “ordinary” began to be used, to distinguish them from the emerging safety bicycles, and this term or Hi-wheel (and variants) is preferred by many modern enthusiasts.

P1100509Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, Connecticut had their ice cream social on Sunday, June 22, 2014. Reminiscent of the days long, long ago, so many women were dressed in their Victorian day dresses, men in top hats, and James and his penny-Farthing.

James on his own Penny-farthing

James on his own Penny-farthing

What a strange name for this mode of transportation from the late 19th century. Although the trend was short-lived, the penny-farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era. I asked James to demonstrate the penny-farthing for me. He had to run next to it in order to get on. Then he mounted it while running, drove around, came back and dismounted, sliding off over the small wheel. Strange, but it didn’t seem too difficult, as long as you don’t ask me to do it. He told me he rides every weekend, and that he belongs to an antique bicycle club called the “Wheelmen.” components of a penny-farthing

In 1888, when John Dunlop re-invented the pneumatic tire for his son’s tricycle, the high wheel was made obsolete. The comfortable ride once found only on tall wheels could now be enjoyed on smaller chain-driven bicycles. By 1893, high-wheelers were no longer being produced. Use lingered into the 1920s in track cycling until racing safety bicycles were perfected. Today, enthusiasts ride restored penny-farthings, and a few manufacturers build new ones.

Have you ever tried to ride a penny-farthing?

 

PUBLIC ART

0513 0583 0585 0587 0588 0604 0607 0617 0620 0626 0645 0646 0649 0767  In early 1850 a young Frenchman named Morris Greenberg and his family set sail for California to make their fortune in the gold rush. Suffering a shipwreck in the Straits of Magellan, he didn’t arrive in San Francisco until late 1851. By that time the gold rush was pretty much played out but San Francisco was becoming established as a major port city.

There wasn’t any fortune in gold waiting for young Greenberg, but the new city had a need for brass ship fittings for its burgeoning maritime industry. Having been a foundry apprentice in France, Greenberg founded the Eagle Brass Works and started a bustling enterprise serving the shipping industry.

After San Francisco’s 6th great fire in 1851, the city set about creating a reliable municipal water system. Greenberg was contracted to provide cast materials for the water works. By the 1860s Greenberg was the major provider of cast iron and brass water system components. Greenberg now operated a major foundry which incorporated and was named M. Greenberg’s Sons, Inc. in honor of his sons who were now helping run the family’s business.

San Francisco’s original fire hydrants were based on an eastern dry barrel design and cast by the Hinckley Iron Works in San Francisco. While the Hinckley design was traditional, it was not very efficient. The flood valve was slow to open and the hydrants had somewhat limited flows. Greenberg, his imagination not being polluted by traditional convention, reasoned that a 6″ pipe with one or more valves above the surface would be much more efficient for locations where freezing was not an issue. He built the first wet barrel hydrant which drew wide acceptance and was dubbed the “California hydrant.” When San Francisco rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake and fire, every hydrant on the municipal water system was a Greenberg “California hydrant” with double 3″ outlets.

Greenberg went on to produce more types of fire hydrants than any other manufacturer, producing over a dozen distinctive models with as many as four variations within each model. One of the goals of this collection was to collect and restore a representative example of each of Greenberg’s designs in tribute to the young shipwrecked Frenchman that forever changed the Pacific coast fire service.

The 21st century is seeing forever changes as I write this blog.

Growing up in Brooklyn, some hydrants looked liked this. Some were fat and black. Now the hydrants are being prepped and resemble strange sculptures in color. Unlike in-your-face architecture, even though fire hydrants are below eye level, do you see them as public art?

BUCKET BRIGADE

barnburning44805_fullThe screams were heard above the tall trees in spite of the pounding sounds of horses hooves in the dense forest. A sudden flapping of a flock’s wings could be heard above, but not seen through the thick billowing smoke. The brigade was one line of townspeople, some filling the pails with water from the brook, others flinging the water on the barn. The bucket was passed from one stationary person to the next. It was futile, the barn burned to the ground with the animals still inside. No one was prepared for the devastation. No one knew then about the fire brigades that would be coming in the future. No one knew about fire trucks or fire hydrants.

The first hydrants were used for public water supply from the earliest municipal water systems. They resembled faucets and were at best suited for the bucket brigade method of firefighting. Prior to municipal water systems, there were other means to provide water in the event of a fire.

Iron cauldren

Iron cauldron.

Photo ©2001 Wan-i Yang

In the beginning, the original “hydrant” may have been something like this iron cauldron from China.

Firefighting cauldrons were placed in strategic locations in ancient China and kept filled with water — at the ready — in the event of a fire.

In colonial America cisterns were used to store water for early fire fighting purposes, and these continued to be used even after the introduction of the hydrant in many cities. As late as 1861, Louisville, Kentucky employed 124 cisterns but no fire hydrants. Cisterns are still used today for firefighting.

Fire cisterns are underground tanks or structures that hold water to be pumped for firefighting use. Here, a huge earthquake resistive fire cistern is being constructed in metro Tokyo as part of a larger plan of fire fighting readiness in this seismically active metropolitan region.

Photo ©2001 Tokyo Fire Department

Around 1801, the first post or pillar type hydrant was a combo hose/faucet outlet with the valve in the top. This early form of the fire hydrant was essentially a metal pipe enclosed in a wooden case. There was a valve at the bottom, with an outlet on the side, near the top. Typically, the wooden case was filled with sawdust or manure as insulation to prevent freezing in the winter, but this didn’t work very well. There was a variation on the drain invented later that allowed the water to run out of the rise after each use, in an attempt to prevent freezing. The basic idea is still used today in cold climates.

In 1802, the first order for cast iron hydrants was placed with cannon maker Foxall & Richards. In 1803, Frederick Graff Sr. introduced an improved version of the fire hydrant with the valve in the lower portion. These were inserted into wooden mains with a tapering joint. In 1811, Philadelphia claimed to have 230 wooden hydrant pumps and 185 cast iron fire hydrants.

In this close-up cropped from a copy of an N. Currier lithograph of 1854 is depicted an early cast iron “flip lid” hydrant at a fire scene in New York City; the operating nut, or in some cases, a wheel, resided under an iron lid atop the hydrant body. This was a carry-over from the wooden cased hydrants which also had lids. Flip lid hydrants were a short lived predecessor of the modern dry barrel hydrant which has it’s operating nut exposed.

N. Currier lithograph 1854

N. Currier lithograph 1854

 

What is notable about this painting is that it is one of the earliest color images of a fire hydrant, and depicts not the expected “fire hydrant red”, but a silver or grey body color.

Early type hydrants were encased in wood

Early type hydrants were encased in wood

This early example of the dry barrel type hydrant was made by the Union Hydraulic Works in Philadelphia, ca. 1850 (c) 2001 Ethan Kennedy

This early example of the dry barrel type hydrant was made by the Union Hydraulic Works in Philadelphia, ca. 1850 (c) 2001 Ethan Kennedy

P1100462

 

Fire Hydrants were usually painted red at first. Here in the USA I have seen some fire hydrants that have been painted by artists. Some are just colors recognizable by the fire brigade, some are sleek shiny chrome like this one that I found in front of the Norwalk, Connecticut Public Library.

In the hot summers, do you remember running into the spewing water from the hydrant? Who turned it on?

Look for the hydrant collection next week.images-4 images-1

CLICKY WORDS

Protea cynaroides tropical flower of South Africa

Protea cynaroides tropical flower of South Africa that Charl pointed out to me and is the “Flower of South Africa”

I have a most unusual editor. Charlotte Firbank-King is not only a great editor, but she is also an author and does whatever else an editor does, balancing clients well (I know, I am one of them), but she is a brilliant, I mean mega brilliant, amazing, well-known, South African artist.

Charl, as she is called, has taught me about South Africa, and continues to intrigue me with bits and pieces of her land and its people, where fossils are found from millions of years ago. She has been asked to create a painting for a national show to promote Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape. I can’t wait to see what she will  paint. One of her works that she directed me to on her website, and to use, is called The Ethnic Map of Southern Africa. Her painting is meticulous and depicts the ethnic people and their villages as they are traditionally.

Ethnic Map painting by CF King.

Ethnic Mapping painting by CF King.

The map covers South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and the southern region of Mozambique. The original people of these areas are represented in their traditional dress, there are 121 human figures–each one is three+ inches (8cm) high in the original painting. The artist also included the flora and fauna relevant to each area and historical shipwrecks and buildings. The map is surrounded by a border drawing from the designs and objects of the ethnic people. Some of the more intricate sections were painted using a magnifying glass. The original work was sold in 2000 and can now be seen in the museum on Southfork Ranch, Texas, USA. The print comes with an indication map, which names all the subjects and a booklet provides information on everything in the painting. In order to purchase, please contact the artist. The website is currently being updated, prices, shopping cart, etc, and is available only for viewing. To purchase, please refer to her website link below and go to contacts to communicate with Charl.

Khoisan-woman-with-baby-in-slingThe terminology—ethnic—refers to a social group of people who have various things in common, like culture, ancestry, history, religion, dressing, physical appearance, and of course, language. Which brings me to talk about a group of people that speak with a tongue click. When Charl mentioned these people to me recently, I remembered hearing them speak when I was at the Rift Valley in East Africa visiting missionaries. The Khoisan language has click consonants. The sound is quite musical and has a rhythm. If  you want to explore further, Google Khoisan language.

Bushman

Bushman

There’s a perception people generally have of the indigenous people of the world, seeing them as inferior with no knowledge of what is happening in the world. It seems there is some kind of seclusion as they are looked at as uncivilized. Today, South Africa is  a country of many cultures, languages and traditions. Yet, at one time, the country was populated only by the Khoisan. Please see and hear the Khoisan people In the video link below.

The Khoisan people were hunter gatherers, living in harmony with the ecosystems of the time, a magnanimous variety of plants, and teeming game provided them with everything they needed for a harmonious life. Today, the Khoisan are a small group of nomadic hunter gatherers who still strive to live in relative harmony with nature. san women

They live in small groups and settled in beehive huts made from available materials such as twigs, grasses or reeds until resources become scarce. The search for new resources will move the group to a new site.

Men are the hunters, using bows and poison tipped arrows,  and bring home game, while the women gather wild vegetables, fruits, berries and water, as well as the materials used to provide shelter. Men are highly respected for their hunting and tracking skills and their knowledge of the natural environment. Women are equally respected for their knowledge of edible plants and abilities to find water, and especially their ability to give birth and nurture their young. Khoisan tribes who have been studied by anthropologists, has shown that not only do they have a vast knowledge of the plant and animal life, but also a sound knowledge of women’s monthly cycles according to the moon, knowledge that pregnancy occurs through sexual intercourse and knowledge of the average length of a pregnancy.

Motherhood, in Khoisan culture Bushmen, brings status and social recognition to the woman after she has navigated the journey of pregnancy and birth. Unlike our attitude in the modern world where women are offered pain relief at the slightest twinge that labor may have begun, a young Khoisan woman is actively taught that she must face the pains of natural childbirth with courage and fearlessness. Most women will give birth alone in a squatting position, a short distance from their settlement. This is regarded as ideal, although mothers giving birth for the first time may have a helper at hand.

Khoisan huts

Khoisan huts

Bringing a child into the world is a gift to the tribe and a young mother is taught that how she feels and thinks during the pregnancy will affect the labor and birth of the new baby. Other members of the group will assist by helping to carry other children or food. A pregnant woman is expected to continue with her normal duties such as gathering food, cleaning, caring for other children and should not complain. This renders a woman fit and healthy during her pregnancy – there is no room for slothfulness or overeating in this society. A pregnant woman is rarely overweight and an unborn baby is likely to grow to be the right size for the mother to give birth. After the arrival of other African tribes, the Khoisans’ hunter gatherer way of life remained predominant west of the Fish River in South Africa and in deserts throughout their region, where the drier climate precluded the growth of crops suited for warmer and wetter climates. With the arrival of the Europeans, Mediterranean crops in the 17th century became more popular with African farmers and later white Boer farmers, to spread to the rest of the country and began replacing the Khoisan population.  During the colonial era, the Khoisan survived in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Today many of the Khoisan live in parts of the Kalahari Desert where they are better able to preserve much of their culture and lifestyle.

Khoisan family

Khoisan family

It is a sad part of South African history that these vibrant and culturally-rich tribes are now almost extinct, with Khoisan culture pushed to the periphery of society. But they have left an indelible mark on Southern African society.

The distinct clicks of their language, once found nowhere else in Africa, have been incorporated into Zulu and Xhosa speech. They have also contributed to the richness of Afrikaans and South African English with words such as ‘eina’ (ouch) and ‘aikhona’ (absolutely not). And place names like Karoo and Keiskamma.

Beyond the sphere of daily chores, Khoisan traditions include snuff and makaranga tobacco. This is a very strong tobacco that is mixed with wild honey and made into a paste before being allowed to dry. In Namaqualand, traditions include distinct dress and music adapted from their heritage and early Boer influences.

What do you think of their methods of childbirth? No one seems to need to lose weight, why is that?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c246fZ-7z1w

Have you checked out Charl’s website? http://www.charlottefk.com

SCALY SKIN

Daniel Libeskind Designs Milan Expo Pavilion for Chinese Developer Vanke

Daniel Libeskind Milan Expo Pavilion Vanke

New York-based architect Daniel Libeskind has proposed a twisted reptilian structure for the first ever expo pavilion for a stand-alone Chinese company.

Ancient Chinese teachings and Renaissance art are cited as some of the inspirations for the building, whose twisted shape is intended to create a “continuous flow” between inside and outside spaces. A staircase will also curve around the exterior, leading up to a rooftop terrace.

Responding to the Expo theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, New York exhibition designer Ralph Appelbaum and Chinese graphic designer Han Jiaying will work with Libeskind to create an interior described by Vanke as a “virtual forest”. This will feature 300 multimedia screens, offering a look at the role of the dinner table in Chinese communities.

Daniel Libeskind Milan Expo Pavilion Vanke

Designed for Vanke, China’s largest property developer, the Shitang pavilion is already under construction at the Milan Expo 2015 site, and was conceived by Daniel Libeskind as a sinuous volume with a scaly outer skin.

Daniel Libeskind Milan Expo Pavilion Vanke

 

Daniel Libeskind Milan Expo Pavilion Vanke

“In keeping with the theme of Expo Milano, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, we proposed the concept ‘Shitang’ for the Vanke Pavilion,” said Vanke chairman Wang Shi.

“Shitang in Chinese means ‘table’. We thus want to express our idea of urbanisation and community through the experience of food. Indeed, food is one of the most effective ways to understand a culture: the ritual of eating and talking together is important in every community because by eating together it is possible to get to know each other better,” he said.

Daniel Libeskind Milan Expo Pavilion Vanke

Libeskind has previously said that he would not work in China on ethical grounds and urged architects to “think twice” about building in the country. Later that same year it was revealed by UK architecture newspaper BD that his practice was working on a 25,000-square-metre public building in Hong Kong.

“This is not a dogmatic idea for Daniel,” Nina Libeskind told BD in 2008. “Its a personal thing for him. We’ve seen what has happened in Tibet, but there is a rule of law in Hong Kong that Daniel is comfortable with.”

Daniel Libeskind Milan Expo Pavilion Vanke

I was thrilled to find this pavillion through architectural news on Twitter and written up in de zeen magazine. I went exploring. This edifice is a fascinating structure with its twists and turns and will be available for all to experience in 2015 in Milan. Plan to go now.

Should we all go together?

SLEEPY TOWN

Local barn

Local red roof barn

Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, and then there’s Putney. You probably know what state these towns are in. The town we visited was Putney. Putney is anything but a sleepy town in Vermont. But, this town has no supermarket. I couldn’t believe it. What, where will we buy our food? How can I prepare our meals if there is no food, where’s the supermarket, or grocery store or something? No worries. Tucked away around a corner was their Co-op that calls itself a grocery store.

The popular Captain getting his garden ready to plant.

The popular Captain getting his garden ready to plant.

The Putney Co-op is a full service, community owned grocery store and deli. It’s been around for more than seventy years. You can buy all kinds of fresh food, grown locally, delicious baked good and hefty sandwiches. A little pricy, but everything is fresh. Then, of course, just in case you can’t get to the next town Brattleboro, with their supermarket, seven miles or so away, there are staples of all types. The General Store and Pharmacy has all kinds of necessaries and first aid items like peroxide and bandaids and tweezers to get out splinters. Here there’s a store called “Basketville,” and known, obviously, for it’s woven baskets. It also sells necessaries, and handmade rocking chairs. And candy. And rugs. And toothpaste. This is what the brochure says about Basketville. A landmark store . . . a browser’s paradise, vast and barnlike, full of handcrafted items for the home. You never know what you’ll find down the next aisle. Whatever you find, it’s probably a bargain. They pride themselves on outlet prices, workshop direct deals, and frequent specials. The international basket collection includes exotic new imports from Africa and Cambodia. The store is100% solar powered. We were amazed at the selections. Fun. The drugstore, within another store, the general store, and the co-op all think they are cafe’s. There are sit-down areas to eat, drink and socialize. It’s all very strange.

Local waterfall

Local waterfall

There’s even a waterfall in town. It’s mini, like everything else, but it is a waterfall. Makes noise like a waterfall, feels like a waterfall, smells like a waterfall. It’s even wonderful to stand nearby and feel the cool spray as it pours into the canal.

 

Private tennis court in the middle of nowhere. Sigh

Private tennis court in the middle of nowhere.

For those of you who know, tennis has been part of my life, and Tom’s. Upon exploration, we found a private tennis court. There is enough land to grow several tennis courts, but this one was right near that red roof barn in the first image above, in the middle of nowhere. No, we didn’t invite ourselves. Perhaps, if we had our tennis racquets . . .

This trip to Putney, Vermont, was for a painting workshop for me. Since flowers are not always my first choice to paint, I opted for this workshop because the emphasis was flowers. You can figure that one out, can’t you?

Putney barn studio

Putney barn studio

Set-up

Gail’s Pansy set-up

So here’s the interior of the Putney barn studio and flowers to select for our set-ups .

You are probably wondering where we hunkered down at the end of each intense workshop day. Our accommodations were right below this studio.

It was a busy week. There were seven of us, and our workshop leader standing in the middle of the studio, Stephanie Birdsall, an amazing artist and instructor. Google her if you want to know more about her work. We loved our workshop, and found new friends.

 

Gail's oil painting

Gail’s Pansy oil painting 9×12 using set-up above

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putney barn exterior

Putney barn exterior

In this barn, we had a lovely apartment on the first level just under the studio. It’s the first set of lower windows, We had a bedroom, full bathroom, sitting room, and full kitchen. Brand, spanking new, we were the first guests. It was comfortable, clean, lovely, and had full views of the vast landscape.

Here’s more images. Wonderful, not so sleepy town, Putney, Vermont. Do you have a favorite town in Vermont? putney 1200vt photo P1100007 P1090980 P1090871 P1090952

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gail’s Begonia set-up

Gail's unfinished Begonias

Gail’s in-process Begonias using set-up above