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Dale Chihuly Exhibit Dazzles at the New York Botanical Garden

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by Evelyn J.   Mocbeichel

 

 

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) never ceases to impress with the outstanding exhibits and themes they feature that tie in with the botanical exhibits. Their latest exhibit, the glass works of renowned artist Dale Chihuly, which runs through October 29th, continues in this tradition.

There are twenty installations, drawings and early works that show the evolution and development of Chihuly’s artistic process during his long, celebrated career. Having never seen his works in person, their beauty, creativity and uniqueness were absolutely amazing. Many of the blown glass pieces are so huge and whimsical that it was hard not to be impressed by their size and the often hundreds of components that compile the works. The vibrant colors and delicate nature of each piece are like looking at a Rorschach test, with viewers coming up with their own interpretation of what was seen. Is it an underwater sculpture or something from a distant universe or purely blown glass with intricately woven pieces that pull together as a genius’s creation into a fine art?

The glass exhibits are placed around the grounds in such a way that the color palates of both the botanicals and structures work together to show Chihuly’s works at the forefront. When asked why he first picked glass as his medium, he indicated it was because it is one of the materials that are translucent, with light able to go through the vibrant colored glass. See some of the beauty by visiting: http://www.chihuly.com

For this exhibit, among the works at the Garden are the original 2006 Blue Herons. Inside the Victorian-style glass conservatory, the Tower and Chandelier series are in new configurations, and the spectacular early works are on display in the art gallery of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library building. Accordingly, visitors have a wide scope of areas and artifacts to visit for this presentation.

The Garden will be presenting a Summer Concert Series — Jazz & Chihuly — on Fridays June 16th, July 14th and August 18th. Before and after each concert, guests will be able to stroll among the Chihuly art works, glistening at dusk and mesmerizing when lit after sunset.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Dale Chihuly’s works in this serene, romantic and inspirational setting — the New York Botanical Garden.

 

The NYBG is located at 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458. For additional information visit: www.nybg.org

 

May 3, 2017 |

Bridal Dress Shopping — Picking the Perfect Dress!

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By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

Several friends are in the midst of an exciting experience right now—shopping with their daughters for a bridal gown. No matter how many photos you see on line, bridal consultants in the shops offer a wealth of information that helps in making the final selection. Each bride should be open-minded in looking at different types of fabrics, styles, necklines, and fullness, even if they think they know what they want from photographs. Keep in mind height, weight, body shape, personality and age to find the dress that best suits what emphasizes the style, personality and formality of the day you are planning. What may look wonderful on a professional model might not feel or look the same on the bride-to-be if your body type and personality aren’t a combination that fits the dress.

What style are you?   Many bridal consultants feel that different personality types may match the styles of wedding dresses. Are you a classic, romantic, town and country, dramatic, delicate or natural? While the appearance of the dress is the number one priority, its comfort level has to be next. If your dress is off the shoulder, will you spend most of the day tugging one sleeve back into place or carrying bunched-up fabric so you don’t trip on the hemline?

Think about your headpiece and veil. Do you plan to wear them both all evening? This is the only day you will be walking around with a veil and decorative headpiece, so why not leave them on for all of your guests to enjoy and for the photographer to capture? If the style is too uncomfortable to wear, then perhaps you are making the wrong choice. What length of veil do you want? The options are shoulder length, waist length, fingertip, semi-cathedral, and cathedral.

Shop early because most bridal dress orders take from six to nine months. Dress shopping is a fun day, a happy experience, but a very tiring one. I would suggest that once you are engaged to be married, start looking, even though you don’t have a wedding date in mind. This way you will have an idea of what looks good on you when the actual search begins.

Finding the dress of your dreams is only the start of a long list of decisions to make for your special day!

April 26, 2017 |

Exploring the Land of Pharaohs

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By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

Ever since I was a child in elementary school, I have been fascinated with movies about Egypt. It probably started when my father and I would watch the old black & white horror film The Mummy, starring English actor Boris Karloff. It seemed so mystical the idea of a body that was preserved by being wrapped in gauzy bandages, then coming alive and walking the Earth again. Years later, I enjoyed school trips to the city’s museums and then later as an adult visiting any museum with Egyptian items. For those readers that are also intrigued with ancient Egyptian culture, there is a month long recognition being held in April at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a celebration of one of their most popular exhibits, The Temple of Dendur.

Anniversary Recognition

Back in April 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded the museum the temple that the U.S. was given by the Egyptian government. This fabulous gift—the Temple of Dendur—was built by the Roman governor of Egypt, Petronius, around 15BC, during the reign of Augustus Caesar. The Temple, made of Aeolian sandstone, is installed in the Sackler Wing and is one of the iconic and most beloved works at the museum. To walk through this 2,000-year-old structure is truly a once in a lifetime experience, if you feel you will never walk on Egyptian soil in your lifetime. In celebration of the anniversary, the temple has been cleaned from roof to floor, freshening up the appearance of the red-brown Nubian sandstone. During April, the museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the award with organized events, informational displays, presentations, light displays, sketching courses and children’s programs. The website has new informational panels detailing the temple’s ancient history and political and religious significance, visits of 19th-century explorers and tourists, and the rescue of the temple during the 1960–1980 UNESCO Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. During the month of April, the original award letter, a memo announcing the temple’s arrival in New York, and a photograph showing crates with temple blocks being unloaded from the freighter Concordia Star will be on view near the temple. To read more about the events visit: http://www.metmuseum.org/

The Museum is located at 1000 5th Avenue, N.Y., N.Y. 10028. Tel: 1 (800) 662-3397.

April 12, 2017 |

Mamma Mia + ABBA = Westchester Broadway Theatre Winner!

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By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

It will be hard not to sing along or sway in your seat during the latest production at the Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) in Elmsford. As its 200th production, Mamma Mia! opened on March 23rd and will run through June 25th, with music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and some songs with Stig Anderson. The story is based on a book by Catherine Johnson. The play is directed and choreographed by Mark Martino, with musical direction by Eric Alford.

Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs from “Dancing Queenand S.O.S.toMoney, Money, Moneyand Take a Chance on Me,” Mamma Mia! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found. Mamma Mia! tells the story of Donna Sheridan, an independent, single mother who is about to give away Sophie, the spirited daughter she’s raised alone on an idyllic Greek island. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two best girlfriends to celebrate the occasion, but Sophie has secretly invited guests of her own—three men from Donna’s past—in the hopes that one of them will be the father she’s never known. Over 24 chaotic hours, new love blooms and old romances are rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities. Mamma Mia! is one of the most successful musicals of all time, the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history. The West End production is now in its eighteenth year. To date the show has been seen by over 60 million people worldwide in 50 productions in 16 different languages.

Come out and enjoy another fabulous night of entertainment and dinner at this venue that has delighted audiences for over forty years! The WBT is known for its imaginative set décor, extraordinary costumes, and multi-talented singing and dancing cast members; the full package! Parking is free and the WBT offers both matinee and evening performances. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more.

Ticket Prices: Dinner and show range between $56.00 and $84.00 plus tax depending on the performances chosen. Beverage service and gratuities are not included in the ticket price. Discounts are available for children, students, and senior citizens at selected performances. For ongoing special offers, call (914)-592-2222 or visit the website at: www.BroadwayTheatre.com

Upcoming Shows: Annie – June 29 – September 10, 2017; Annie Get Your Gun– September 14 – December 3, 2017.

April 5, 2017 |

Word Origins and Expressions

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By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

I find the discovery of the origin of many of our standard expressions fascinating. The root seldom comes from where we expect. Each time I learn about one, it becomes another “trivia notch” on my belt to share.

If you are a fan of old Westerns, as my dad was, these expressions could be heard regularly in John Wayne movies and other films of that era. A cowboy would saunter up to the bar and ask for a “shot of whiskey,” which was the drink of choice back then. Why was it called a shot? In the Old West, a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents; so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand were low on cash, he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.

What about when a ranch was sold and the contract was known to be “ironclad” between the buyer and seller? Where did the term “ironclad” come from? It came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

A more somber expression, when someone “bought the farm” was synonymous with dying. During World War I, soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm back then, so if you died, you “bought the farm” for your survivors.

Speaking of living in a farmhouse, back during colonial times the expression “dirt poor” comes from that time period when the floors of houses were literally made of dirt. Only wealthy people had some kind of flooring such as slate or wooden planks to cover the walking areas of their home. So if a family had only soil on the floor, they were known as being “dirt poor.”

One expression I’ve used for years is to wish someone a good night’s sleep and to “sleep tight.” I learned that this term went back to colonial times. Back then, beds were made with a wooden frame with ropes tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mattress was then placed on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night’s sleep. So to sleep tight meant that your bed didn’t sag and you were able to have a comfortable sleep, which makes sense!

March 29, 2017 |

The Circus — Another Iconic Memory Fades Away

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By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

As a child, for me spring not only signaled warmer weather and budding flowers, it was when the circus came to town! Each year we went to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden. As we sat in our seats, I didn’t know what to look at first with all the action going on before us! It was a three-ringed event with so much to see, both on the ground and on the high wire.

Flash forward to 2017, and the TV news announced that the circus is now in its final stages of touring. Reports stated that declining sales, transitioning the elephant acts out of the program and mounting operating costs all contributed to this major decision. Now, before the last show, our daughter plans to take her children ages five and seven for a visit. She purchased tickets to a show when it comes to her state in April. Remembering her excitement at seeing the circus as a child, she wants her children to have that same experience before it closes. On another level my daughter shared a thought in the literary sense, as she always likes to increase the children’s vocabulary with new words and idioms. She laughed and said to me, “if they don’t go to this multi-faceted three-ring show, how will they understand the expression, it is a real circus in here?”

 

Memories

Think back to your childhood and the activities you recall that still leave a warm memory in your heart. Even simple pleasures like making a campfire on the beach and toasting marshmallows, or going apple picking in the fall impress children. My mother still talks about how her father took her to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees when she was only five years old. They lived in the Bronx at the time and could walk to the stadium, “but would take the trolley back home after the game.” Now some 80 years later, mom recalls how a hot dog was only ten cents at the time and a soda was a nickel. Everything we do with our children is a memory created for them to cherish.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has two traveling shows that will be appearing around the country till the end of the year. To see their schedule, visit: www.ringling.com

March 22, 2017 |

Your Real Age is Only a Number

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By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

Years ago a magazine had a quiz to “test your real age” and asked readers if they were aging faster or slower than their peers. Have you looked at peers the same age as you and think, “Boy do I look pretty good compared to so and so?” Or is it the other way around when you think you look old and tired and wish you had the energy of someone your same age? Naturally most of the quiz focused on health issues, like blood pressure, eating habits, exercise, alcohol consumption or smoking.

Another section talked about companionship as a factor in leading a healthy lifestyle. How many friends or relatives do you see during the month? Is your circle of friends varied and wide enough to offer you the type of companionship and interaction that broadens your interests? Or have you found one friend and simply feel comfortable because you do not have to go out of your way to understand and learn about the interests and habits of another group of friends? This might be a friendship of convenience and become boring and mundane after a while.

The years are simply melting away and we never seem to find the time to meet with friends we promised to see. Some might only be an hour away, yet the weeks turn into months. How many times have you received invitations to social events, like showers, weddings, graduations, reunions, barbeques, or anniversary parties, and you come up with an excuse not to attend? How many times do you talk about having guests over, but then your children’s sport schedules get in the way or plans to stain the deck take priority?

Now at the age of our circle of friends, many of them are helping out their newlywed children on home repairs or babysitting grandchildren. Often the grandparents babysit while their adult children are off on cruises or weekend getaways. Some friends gripe at this chore, but accept so their “kids won’t get mad” if turned down. It seems unfair and perhaps inconsiderate when the babysitting is constant and overdone.

Little steps along the way to improve our health are not difficult to achieve. This article explained when all these good habits are put together, the positive end results are worth far more than the effort it takes to do them.

 

March 15, 2017 |
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