A Warehouse Celebration

When my ELDC (Elite Drinking Club lady friends have a birthday, we celebrate.

The latest celebration was for my perpetually-young friend, Patsie’s birthday.

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Vicky, Patsie & Wendy — a few of the great ELDC ladies

She usually organizes these fun get togethers. Her choice meeting spot was the Warehouse Restaurant in Old Town. I speed-walked to meet them about a mile down the street. The restaurant is a long-time staple in Old Town and has a very New Orleans vibe. The food is great too, which is precisely why Patsie chose it. She’s my New Orleans artist friend and we are often looking for exceptional food places. Being from NOLA, we are hard food critics when it comes to restaurants, especially those that claim to have a New Orleans repertoire.

Warehouse restaurant caricatures 1 on Art is EverywhereI hadn’t been to the Warehouse in over 10 years. I had forgotten how much it reminds me of New Orleans but even more interestingly, the walls are lines with caricatures of notable patrons. Patsie’s portrait is one of them.

Patsie Uchello caricatureWarehouse restaurant caricatures 2 on Art is Everywhere

Miss Patsie’s caricature. (No that’s not Michelle O to the right)

Warehouse restaurant caricatures 3 on Art is Everywhere

Some of these are 3 dimensional and perhaps a little alarming if looking up quickly

Warehouse restaurant caricatures 4 on Art is EverywhereThe food was wonderful, but unfortunately, the mint juleps needed help. Next time, I bet they’ll simply have simple syrup. This New Orleans-adopted,  Kentucky-classic drink can’t be made without it. Afterall, why would we all be sippin’ it on our verandas in the South, otherwise… ;)

Warehouse restaurant caricatures 5 on Art is Everywhere

The main caricature wall going up to the second floor

Looking forward to out next ELDC outing, as always.

Art in Fashionable Flowers

Unfortunately, this scheduled post never published when it was supposed to on March 19th. Good thing because it seems appropriate with Easter to post it now. I’ve changed some wording to put it in current context.

Spring is here! Already I hear birds chirping and see flowers popping up everywhere, in fashion that is.

Look at these gorgeous floral dresses and you can see a celebration of spring as well as beautiful artistic, flowery design.

Floral Dress_AIE blog

I love how this dress flows. It  reminds me of a Chagall

With the wild winter weather we’ve had, I wouldn’t be surprised if there might even be one more snowstorm [back in March]. However, this picture below shows the dichotomy in the window dressing, announcing spring with snow falling.

Window Dressing Dichotomy via Washinton Post on AIE blogI bet you’ll see more flowery dresses than ever in the market for this spring season.

Floral Dresses_AIE blog

I like the 2 tropical ones on the far right

And why not? Spring is the perfect time to celebrate the flower’s power of simple yet pretty petals, especially when they can form such kaleidoscope of color, as seen from above in this Dutch landscape of Keukenhof Gardens.

We actually visited these gardens in Holland. It just happened to be right before most of the flowers were blooming.Tulips_AIE blogBright, vibrant colors are not only prevalent in flowers but also in DC’s newest Marion Barry Mural. I think it’s a pretty good likeness and I like how it is portable, being painted on removable tiles that can be transported and installed in different locations.Marion Barry Mural on AIEGetting back to celebrating spring with flowers, there is a new DCGardens.com website that shows what are the latest blooming varieties in the DC area and where to find them.

It already highlights one of my favorite plant places, the National Arboretum.

It’s interesting for me to go back and read these previously written, related posts after so much time:

First Day of Spring

National Arboretum Posts

And this time, I know now how to post a video (and even center it).

Happy Spring & Happy Easter!

A Newly Discovered, Egyptian Archeological Wonder

Ancient Egyptian murals were recently discovered near Luxor during the archeological mapping of Sheik Abd Qurna, which is a courtyard known as Theban Tomb 110.

Egyptian Murals on Art Is Everywhere

Egyptian tomb photos via i09.com

Egyptian Mural Detail on Art Is EverywhereThe murals are 3,500 years old and in spectacular condition, except for the sad fact that they have already been subjected to some vandalism.

Egyptian Murals on Art Is EverywhereOn a side note, when I saw members of ISIS (ironic to me that the acronym is also an Egyptian Goddess) destroying ancient artifacts recently, it just sickened me. I don’t know why anyone would want to destroy art, especially that which documents culture and is an antiquity. When you see it happen, as they are systematically doing, you can only conclude that they want to wipe out all existence of humanity (past and present) which would even include their own history. Upsetting, strange and incomprehensible.

There really isn’t a lot of space to work or even stand but the decoration covers every corner, including the ceiling, which is fantastic!

Egyptian Murals on Art Is EverywhereLook at the entrance. Hard to believe it was even discovered, it could be easily overlooked.

Egyptian Mural Tomb Entrance on Art Is EverywhereEgyptian Murals on Art Is Everywhere

Not only is the full story on these newly discovered Egyptian murals and more pictures worth viewing on io9.com but the comments are hysterically funny, from arguing about the figures’ skin tones to adding in the Alien Creature where a vandalized section seemed to “take out” one of the figures, to my favorite, King Tut — Steve Martin’s portrayal.

Egyptian Murals_ Wardrobe malfunction Comment_on Art Is EverywhereEgyptian Murals_ Same Dress Comment_on Art Is EverywhereEgyptian Murals_ Persona non grata comment_on Art Is EverywhereEgyptian Murals_ Alen Comment_on Art Is EverywhereSteve Martin King Tut on Art is Everywhere

Before the Snow Goes

Spring is almost here! “Thank goodness,” as many might say. However, what’s going to happen to all the piles of endless snow, where it has mostly accumulated in the Northeast? Besides it melting (slowly), here is an artistic use. Too bad it cannot be shipped to help create even more beautiful snow and ice sculptures, as these seen below.

Winged Horses_AIE Traveling Snow Arc question mark_AIE Thinking Snow Angel_AIE Snow town USA_AIE Snow Princess_AIE Snow Paul Bunyan_AIE Snow Pan Shepherd_AIE Snow Michael_AIE Snow dinos_AIE Snow Conch_AIE Snow Chieftan_AIE Snow Capitol_AIE Snow Buddah_AIE Sleeping Snow Giant_AIE Santa and elves_AIE Poseiden Peeps_AIE Moby DIck in snow_AIE Male Portrait_AIE Lion and Prince_AIE Liberty Helloooo_AIE Its a Small snow World_AIE Greek Capital in snow_AIE Get on board the snow train-AIE Female Snow Portrait_AIE Egyptian Ice Pyramid_AIE Chinese Ice Sculptures_AIE Castle Sled tracks_AIE Castle on Hill_AIE Bathing Snow Beauty_AIE Asian Snow Temple_AIE The email I received with this information suggested that this “Gorgeous Use of Snow” was apart of the annual Snow Sculpture in Breckenridge, Colorado, which attracts contestants from around the world. However some pictures look foreign and could be taken from the annual ice and snow exhibit that takes place in China. Click here for previous post.

If you plan for Breckenridge next year, know that the “stomping days” (I’m guessing packing the snow, which could be the winter version of stomping grapes in Italy) are around the first week of January and the festival viewing begins 1/30/2016 – 2/7/2016  (weather permitting)….Something to do next year.

In the meantime, if you want to build snow sculptures of your own or just carve out of what may left in your backyard, here’s the skinny on what sculpting tools to use. The participants in the festival are not allowed to use power tools, by the way.

2 Week Celebration

Although 10 years ago, I had anticipated that I’d be sipping pina coladas somewhere in the Caribbean, life does have a tendency to change things and as you get older, you just take it in stride.

Carribean vacationInstead, I had what turned out to be a two-week celebration.

It started with my ELDC (or drinking lady friends) toasting with beers and pizza at one of my favorite Red Rocks restaurants on a Friday.

Red Rocks alexandria_AIEThat Saturday, Valentine’s Day, we went to visit our son for the first time since dropping him off at UVA. We discovered that the Business School has accommodations at the Inn at Darden. Who knew! We’ve already got the tip as to when to book this year for next year’s graduation. It’s not a bad place but certainly convenient and beats student housing.

Inn at Darden_2330_AIE  Maybe it was just that it was Valentine’s Day but I was impressed with the lovely tissue rose waiting for us in the bathroom. That took a lot of time to do.

Tissue Rose_2329_AIEWith everything in town being booked, we got reservations at the Milan Indian Cuisine restaurant. I have to admit, with a name like that I didn’t really know what to expect. I couldn’t really envision an Italian/ Indian dish medley. It was one of the first extreme cold snap of the year for Virginia. I was surprised so many people wanted to get out but the proprietors were turning people away. We felt lucky and even more so when we discovered it was delicious food. I have never had Gobi Aloo. At least I think that is what it was. Spicy appetizer of potatoes and cauliflower, which I think will be the next “it” vegetable. I’m going to try to make it at home; it was so good.

The next day we visited with Jackson and had a relaxing brunch at the Fox & Hound. They had pennies glued under their bar and bathroom counters that reminded me of the Lincoln. Jackson gave us a tour of all his study spots and a secret classroom in the Alderman (Environmental Science ) Library, which has remarkable murals. They are all done on canvas, however, except the eye-popping trompe l’oeil framework over the doorway. We saw the most students studying here, probably because it has the best natural light with cavernous ceiling and skylights. Gorgeous plus a welcomed respite from the cold. They even have a campus coffee stop that had great hot chocolate just inside the entry.

UVA-Library Murals_2332_AIEIt’s always a bit of a drive there and back but a good visit on a holiday, Presidents’ Day weekend. With Peter having off on Monday, we bundled up and walked to La Madeline, the closest place I could think of in Old Town that might have King Cakes. Glad we called; they were all out but they made one fresh for us. It wasn’t the typical style I’m accustomed to from New Orleans but is probably more authentically French. It was a rather flat almond flavored cake over a marzipan layer with a flaky pastry. We couldn’t resist having a piece fresh out of the over. It was so good warm. Notice how they don’t put the baby inside the cake. I bet for liability reasons they leave that to the purchaser. In New Orleans, we just stick it in there! I had to get a Linzer Tart to share too.

King Cake La Madeline Style_2333_AIEWe walked back in the snow and warmed our feet by the fire, first one of the season. Since DC cannot handle a small accumulation of snow, the entire city shut down when we got four inches. Yahoo, another holiday; even though I was working — a little. It was Fat Tuesday, after all, we were due to celebrate. I had mentioned we had better get groceries before the rush but Peter informed me that he was going to surprise me but instead, thought I better know he had made plans for dinner at Vermillion, one of my favorite restaurants in Alexandria. I was prepared for this and it was a perfect foil.

Winter fire_2334_AIEThinking surely others would be there with their Mardi Gras beads on, I wore mine; even though, this is actually a more touristy than native thing to do in New Orleans — except for Mardi Gras Day of course. Well that little booger completely fooled me! Hardly anyone was there due to the snow but upon walking upstairs, all our good friends were waiting! At first, I felt like saying a line from the Californians, “What are yoooooou doing here?” but then I realized Peter had arranged it all and they were all in on the surprise. The fact that one friend was there who is notoriously late, was even more of a shocker. It was a fantastic dinner! So much great food, spirits and fun spirit with dear friends.

There were a couple of snags that I learned later, like the birthday cake I mentioned in my previous post. It got stuck in a Dulles warehouse due to the weather. I never knew because my good friend purchased another doberge cake to take its place. She brought the “real” cake by when it arrived on my real birthday. I had 3 cakes by this point. Ilyda, who helps me clean our house, was happy to take the half-remaining King Cake off my hands and my hips.

Although I don’t have a picture of everything, I love all my cards and a birthday check to treat myself. I look forward to trying a tempting bottle of rosé, a six-pack of hand-selected wines with one beer that you can only get from Norcia, as well as wearing a beautiful Nola Jazz Hermés scarf and bee necklace and trying to decipher which of my friends and family submitted the 50 quotes that were put into a book to record the event, with pictures to come. Wow such heaped upon attention. Why did I want to go to the Caribbean, anyway?

Hermes_AIEhttp://www.ashley-spencer.com/ArtIsEverywhere/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hermes-Scarf_2345_AIE.jpgWell, I intend on getting there one day — maybe on a cruise with a slower method of travel that takes time and takes it all in stride — must be my new-age attitude. ‘Til then, I can still go 80’s dancing (our night was rescheduled due to ice and below zero, double digits cold)  — until my knees give out — and also read up on my older son’s book, 50 things to do when your fifty! ;)

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Where is the Best Arts District?

There are 20 city entries in the running. Once could be your favorite. You have until March 1st if you’d like to vote via USA Today’s website.

Arts District via USAToday on Art Is EverywhereOf course I’m voting for New Orleans’ Warehouse District and the Contemporary Arts Center. It’s where we were recently, along the strip with the Ogden and WWII Museums, while visiting family for Thanksgiving.

Arts District via USAToday2 on Art Is EverywhereThere are many arts worth exploring in New Orleans, which is rich with music and culinary arts as well. This link takes you to previous posts about New Orleans’ murals.

Click on the side link or here for previous posts with a New Orleans theme.

Coincidentally, at one point, Alexandria, VA was on as similar list for one of the most art friendly cities. I’m lucky to have lived in both.

 

What to do now with all those deflated footballs?

Now that the Superbowl is over, although the mystery of the deflated footballs that lead the New England Patriots to this point still lingers, what’s going to happen with all those deflated footballs? Don’t think they are reusable?

Here are just a few ideas for football oriented art and projects — something to ponder.

You need a lot more than 11 footballs to make this wonderful sculpture. Even though it’s made with the non-American football — soccer balls — but it’s certainly worth pondering:

Ballman by Ratcliffe Fowler Design is a giant sculpture made with 3,000 footballs displayed in the atrium of the Cariton Centre shopping mall in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa commissioned by Nike.

FIFA sculpture on AIEFIFA sculpture 2 on AIEYou can always make cupcakes!

football cupcakes on Art Is EverywhereOf course if you’re looking for a functional purpose for footballs, you can certainly follow these examples with tennis balls.

Tennis balls 1 on Art Is Everywhere Tennis balls2 on Art Is Everywhere

Adding to the Apple Bite

Apple has just opened its new store in the Jiefangbei section of the Chongqing in China. With its unveiling comes a mural, in which Apple commissioned 2 artists to produce, Navid Baraty, a US-born photographer who took the photo of Chongqing’s skyline along the River and Yangyang Pan, a Chinese artist, who added dripping paint strokes to add interesting color.

The mural is enlarged and displayed in the round, wrapping around inside the glass walls of the new retail store. The architecture in itself is pretty stunning.

Apple-Store-Jifangbei_via AppAdvice_on Art Is EverywhereAbove is a photo of the storefront without the mural and below the video story of “making the mural.”

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