Friday, September 16, 2011

Andrea Bocelli concert in Central Park - the concert that I did not attend

I was stuck in a hugh traffic jam on Thursday night near Central Park on the way home. The increase in traffic was due to the free (yes absolutely free !) concert in the park performed by the great Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. He was accompanied by the NY Philharmonic plus other performers such as Celine Dion and Tony Bennett.

Even though the concert was free, one still had to obtain an admission ticket to the Great Lawn concert area in the park. Several park entrances were cordoned off hence the fans had to gain admittance through specific entrances. I saw the fans queueing patiently and orderly. Lucky fans ! This was such a cherished once in a lifetime experience for them.

The night before was warm and balmy and it would have been the perfect starry night for the performance. In contrast, Thursday night was chilly and rainy. Fans had to brave the adverse weather with umbrellas, windbreakers and blankets to watch the stars performed.

I wonder how much the average fans could see and hear at the vast distance from the central stage. I have read that PBS would broadcast the concert in December this year.

Nevertheless, this was such a marvelous gift to New York City !

 In the meantime, I had to settle on listening to Andre Bocelli's Con te Partiro at home
 instead of live at the park.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pretty In Pink

So pretty in pink gown

I wore a pink shirt to work  last Tuesday. Within two city blocks, I saw three fellows wearing pink shirts in the same shade as mine. "Is it a pink shirt day ? ", I was wondering to  myself. The best was yet to come.

At the office, we had a male visitor from another department and guess what he was wearing ? A pink shirt too.

Later that night, I was watching a rerun of "The Office". In the opening credits, Pam, the receptionist was seen wearing a pink shirt similar to mine.

Was it a coincidence that people just happened to be attired in pink that day or was it because I was more conscious of the color since I was wearing it too ?  I did not have a chance encounter with the singers Pink or Pink Floyd though.

Pink is a pretty color, just right for the summer days. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever seeing a politician wearing that pink although it seems to be a very popular color as an office attire for the males. But we gals always look pretty in pink :)

Say it with pink flowers at dinner

The world is awashed in pink afterglow. The fine pink sands of Bermuda .... Monet's pink house in Giverny, France as shown in one of my previous posts.  ... pink flowers for fine dining ...

Take a look at the beautiful pink junior gown at the top of this post ! The gown reminded me of the dazzling gowns that the Barbie dolls wear.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Essential tools | snow throwers | power generators

When we first moved into our current home, we decided to buy a snow thrower. I forgot the reason why we were so adamant about buying it when the snow fall in those days in New York was minimal and blizzards were infrequent. Hence the new Toro  snow thrower sat underutilized in the garage for a few years.

Then, one year, the blizzard arrived and the snow thrower was promptly put into action. Over 20 inches of snow fell on that day and the thrower worked beautifully saving us many hours of manual snow removal not to mention also backaches !

Before the blizzard arrived, the weather forecast had already filled the airwaves warning about the impending blizzard. Homeowners rushed to buy the snow throwers, shovels and salts. These items were quickly out of stock.

Hence we were fortunate that we had the snow thrower handy to help us dig out of the snow storm.

With the recent Hurricane Irene that hit the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., many areas were flooded and the power was down. Many of our friends experienced power outages. In fact, a week after the storm had passed, a few thousand households in Long Island still had no power.

So now the latest must have "tool" at home for these unexpected events seems to be the power generator. A friend just bought the Champion Gas Powered Portable Generator to serve as a backup power source. Now we are thinking of investing in one ourselves. During this past hurricane, we were fortunate that we did not suffer any outages. However, one could never be over prepared for such an emergency.

We definitely didn't want to be in the same shoes as the one million plus residents of Southern California who recently lost power due to human errors in the San Diego Gas and  Electric operations.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Outer Banks | Hurricane Irene

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks in North Carolina (OBX) was the first bullseye target of the recent Hurricane Irene when it landed on the U.S. continent last weekend. The roads to many Outer Banks towns were unreachable due to the damages on the main thoroughfare. The tourist season, a major lifeline of this community had been cut short abruptly. Over and over again, this series of barrier islands had braved Mother Nature's fury. The many past shipwrecks off its coasts and landmark lighthouses attest to the stormy relationships the inhabitants have had with the seas and winds. Tales of treasure-laden pirate ships that had wrecked along these shores have long fueled treasure hunts in the waters of this region.

Outer Banks is beautiful and I hope the recovery in this area will be swift and seamless. I had visited Outer Banks during the off season. With sparse crowds and cooler temperatures, I was able to stroll on the beach in solitude as far as my eyes could see.  It felt like I had my own private beach from sunrise to sundown ! The only precaution that I needed to take was to avoid the jelly fish cast on the sand. I was able to pick up many shells with unique "twirls". I've never seen these types of shells before on the northern beaches.

Soft shell crab meal in Outer Banks, North Carolina

Fresh seafood restaurants abound on the Outer Banks. During the off season, the wait is minimal. My husband still raves about the soft shell crab meal he had here.

We were able to relive the aviation history at the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kill Devil Hills. Here, the U.S. National Park Service has marked the maiden flight path of the Wright brothers' plane. It was here that "The Flyer" first took off, freed at last from the tenacious hold of the earth. Therefore the Outer Banks area was the first bird's-eye view seen by the Wright brothers.  Hence the logo on the  North Caroline license plate is "First In Flight".

Ocracoke ferry sailing during sunset in Outer Banks, North Carolina

One of the highlights for me was a trip to the Ocracoke Island reachable by a 45 minutes state ferry ride. Ocracoke beache has been rated number one in a beach ranking survey a few years ago beating perennial favorites like Hawaii and Florida beaches.  I was not disappointed. The sand was very fine and powdery lending credence to its number one ranking accolade.

Sunset in Outer Banks, North Carolina

Wide open blue sky, bountiful sunshine, pristine beaches, soothing sea breezes and charming Southern hospitality - that's the Outer Banks I've known and loved. With the dog days of summer winding down, I am definitely missing all that and feeling "Carolina In My Mind".  Here's to a speedy recovery in the Outer Banks.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Outer Banks in North Carolina


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