Category Archives: music

Solemn Sunday in NYC

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The last day we were in NYC, Sean left to go to his meeting before us. We then all met up at St. Patrick’s Cathedral where we went to mass like we did almost 5 years ago when we attended Karin’s wedding.

This was taken the night before:
St. Patrick's at night

It was a nice service and not as long as our church services here! We then decided to head over to Central Park and Strawberry Fields to see the Imagine plaque in memory of John Lennon, the Beatle who was killed across the street outside of his home, the Dakota building.
Sean near Strawberry Fields
Imagine memorial in honor of John Lennon
Brian on the left there, our biggest Beatles fan:
Brian standing near Imagine memorial
Strawberry Fields in Central Park

Strawberry Fields plaque
The Dakota:
The famous Dakota Building
What pretty sights here! I can just ‘imagine’ how pretty it is in the summertime. We’d like to see it all green and lush too. I believe Sean said it had over 800 acres here.
Footbridge and trees in Central Park

Horse Drawn carriage in Central Park
For it being a brisk day, there were still a lot of people milling around.
Our next ‘must see’ place was the new WTC Memorial which was in lower Manhattan. We had timed tickets for it. Sean paid for the almost $20 taxi ride as Central Park was on his ‘wish list’ of places to see, so that’s why we went. I am really glad we did though.
When we got to the memorial area, we were a bit confused as to where to go as they had fences with blue signs all around the area (lots of construction here). We went down one way, though the signs had arrows pointing the other. I saw other people walking the wrong way. We got in the line, which moved quickly, but they have a security check point where we had to put our coat and belongings through the x-ray machine! I believe our tickets were checked 3 times. With all the walking, etc. and no lunch, I has a bit light-headed going in the memorial area-so I was keeping my head up, believe me as it was hard to go in there. It was quite a place to see-such large flowing squares of waterfalls where the twin towers use to go. You start to read the names, but then you start seeing names like ‘Sean’ and you can’t read them anymore.

This is the museum under construction
South Tower Memorial-Museum in background will open 9/12

I read that the remains of about half the victims will be placed somewhere in the museum as they couldn’t be identified.
Basin in middle of Memorial

Names of victims in bronze
I happen to look up Vanessa’s name and read a little bit about her. Her mom is a writer who said 3 days before Bin Laden was killed, an angel fell off her table and the wings ‘perfectly’ broke off the back of the piece. She feels her daughter earned her wings then.
We only stayed about 20 minutes or so. We stopped to hear an excellent guide say how the letters are chiseled out to make the names, so something is missing, like the people here. The falling water is like ocean tears. He stood near a tree that survived the attacks, it was being nursed back to health and had wires, etc. to train the branches. It may have been a sweet gum tree. I had no desire to have my picture taken here, though Sean did and his face told it all. We nodded to the police officers standing near the exit to pay our respects to their deceased brothers and sisters in uniform.
We found a little place to eat a block down from here, after we had gone through the gift shop. We bought pens, a wristband and a ‘gold’ sweet gumball tree leaf to symbolize the trees they will be planting in this area. Most of the money goes to the memorial. They had moving videos playing and items like a wallet from a victim with his lucky $2 in it as he asked his fiance to marry him, it being the second time for both.
The restaurant was near the Freedom Tower
New Skyscraper
I believe they said a floor a week goes up. I heard there is also a Subway Sandwich shop a floor or two below that follows the workers up so they have a place to grab lunch or a drink.
The restaurant was nice with Picasso like painting and the shine from the Freedom tower coming in through the window

I ‘check in’ at the different places we go to with the phone app ‘FourSquare’ and this restaurant had a link to another NY app and we got $20 off. Too bad they didn’t take any off the price of beverages. I tell the guys to get water, but they don’t listen. They made me peppermint tea as I was chilled to the bone.
So we walked up a few blocks-it was about 4:30 and not one taxi was stopping. When we thought we had one, the guy asked where we were going and we said 42nd and he shook his head. The young woman said we should have just climbed in as they aren’t allowed to refuse passengers. After 20 minutes or so, a taxi did stop as he was headed in the direction we needed to go. A few times the 3 of us were squeezed in a Ford Escape taxi. We gave him a good tip for helping. He said that time of day the shifts change so they won’t stop that much.
We had a busy 3 days and saw a lot of neat things and we’d go back again! The more you go, the more you can find your way around. Not driving was a good idea. The bus was convenient as were the taxis.
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I got a Connect My DNA kit from a LivingSocial.com offer as I thought it would be fun to see the distribution of my DNA. I knew I was English, Danish, Swedish, German, French and Irish. They send you the cotton swabs on sticks to collect DNA off the inside of your cheeks and you send it back in an envelope with a barcode on it. I remembered to look last night and low and behold, they must have messed up or mixed me up with someone else as I am not, Russian, or mostly Irish or Syrian! I wrote to them this morning and let them know I know my heritage from genealogies from both sides of my family. I’d like a re-test for the money I spent. We don’t have one Russian that I know of in my family.
I guess I’m off to go shopping with my mom soon. The above info made my mind wonder a lot last night until I told myself it just couldn’t be true for goodness sake. : )
Last but my least:
Our view going home Sunday night:
Sunset coming home

All you need is Love

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Oh Beatles, we honor you! ; )
English Garden in front of the hotel:
Lovely English Herb Garden
Heading for concerts

Brian, Sean and me had a nice weekend down off the Potomac River at the National Harbor (also known as Oxion Hill, MD). Sean didn’t go to the concerts, but explored the little ‘boardwalk’ town and took a water taxi to Alexandria, VA. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to, but he finally made up his mind to do just go! We went there by car on Sunday and ate, shopped and walked around there.
It was a bit muggy but there was an occasional breeze off the river. The group pictured here is called ‘Brit Beat’ from Chicago. They dress and perform in four different ‘Beatle phases’. This happened to be the Sargent Pepper era. They were great. It was awesome as there were bands from all over the world! We especially liked the band called ‘Old Brown Shoe’ (from a George Harrison song) from the Netherlands. Another cute band was ‘Jukebox’ from Puerto Rico. There were some issues with waiting for bands to set up and then this one band ‘Norwegian Beatles’ didn’t play as they had equipment issues. We mostly enjoyed seeing a new place and sitting and listening to some of best known songs in the world. Some didn’t just play Beatle songs-some Rolling Stones and a few others, even the band’s original songs were tossed in the mix.
And the place we stayed, The Gaylord is the biggest non-gaming hotel on the east coast! There are 2 thousand guest rooms and at least 5 restaurants (we ate breakfast in one). They have an Olympic size pool (Sean stuck his feet in the water). If he had sat in a lounge chair right outside the pool area, he could have heard the music for free! It’s kind of hard not to hear it anyway.
NatlHAlex 033
NatlHAlex 035
More later!
By the way-used a mesh back support thing I got in a Dollar Store which helped me most of the time, but the chairs provided were metal fold up chairs-ugh.

Longwood Bruce Hornsby concert

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Longwood Bruce Hornsby concert, originally uploaded by DianthusMoon.

Brian and I had a nice time at this concert. It was the perfect evening, just cool enough to be pleasant. Bruce sang the songs I knew ‘The Way It Is’ and ‘Mandolin Rain’ near the end. I didn’t know many of his newer songs, but he has a great band. I saw a h.s. pal at the end when we had gotten up to leave and he came out for an encore.

The fun continues

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(The above video is 25 yrs old-Sean will be 25 in October!)
Longwood Garden hosts a number of popular singers and performers in their outdoor ampitheatre. A few years ago we saw Boz Scaggs. This year we are seeing Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers! A pal from high school said he is really good live, so I decided to get the tickets today. I don’t think there are more than 300 seats, so it’s a small venue. This is after the couple of days at the different beach areas and before Beatlemania. My mom wants to take a daytrip to Atlantic City near her birthday. It’s about 85 or so miles one way for us, but I remember doing it a few times, once when Sean was little. My high school class also has a reunion in Ocean City, NJ either late September or early October. We haven’t been going because of our vehicles, so now since we have more reliable ones, we can hopefully go.
After Beatlemania, I want to have a big yard sale (gotta pay for all these fun things). I haven’t had one for years. I tried the thrift shop, but it isn’t worth driving back and worth there for a few dollars of sales.

Sir Paul the honoree is teary-eyed

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Last night the show ‘The Kennedy Center Honors’ was on and Sir Paul McCartney was one of the honorees. It was neat to see James Taylor briefly sing in honor of Sir Paul as I had seen both of them this year in concert. James was the first singer signed to The Beatles’ Apple record label. I’m lucky to have a copy of this.