8-25 & 9-7-19 50th Anniversary Celebrations

What happened in 1969? Well a lot of things – many of which we remember. Here are some of the highlights:

The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records     First Concorde test flight is conducted In France,

The Concord started test flights in 1969

The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its debut. It carried 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, from Seattle to New York City.

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am the epitome of the American muscle car is introduced,

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Woodstock attracts more than 350,000 rock-n-roll fans.  Members of a cult led by Charles Manson murder five people.

Man Walks on the Moon – July 20, 1969

The first man is landed on the moon on the Apollo 11 mission by the United States and Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon.

Apollo 11 and man is on the moon in July 1969. We watched this on live television with my parents in La Jolla.

Richard Nixon becomes President of the United States.    Sesame Street known for its Muppet characters, makes its debut on PBS.  Seiko sells the first Quartz Watch

Popular films included: The Love Bug,

The Love Bug Movie

Funny Girl, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. True Grit, Midnight Cowboy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Easy Rider and Where Eagles Dare

Popular Musicians include: The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Creedence Clearwater Revival,

Creedence Clearwater Revival was on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969

John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The first ATM is installed and the hand held barcode scanner is created.  Fashions reflected the anti war sentiment with military jackets adorned with peace signs, and other trends included long unkempt wild hair and headbands reflecting the feelings of anti establishment felt by the youth.

 And on August 2, 1969 David & Janeen got married.

Walk to the Reception after our ceremony

Since that time, 50 years or so, they have been together, raised two sons – seen them both married, grand daughters have joined the family and now they (David & Janeen) live in a state of Wander – they don’t have a house but just “wander” around.

August 2 ,2019 was the official anniversary day – and we had a lovely lunch with our dear friend Beth at a Spanish restaurant in Healdsburg. Fantastic time
Gary Peter and Jaynese were not able to make either celebration so we partied with them in the Bay Area.(51st anniversary August 10)

To celebrate this long relationship, our sons, Jason and Ryan, hosted two major parties – one in California for a bunch of West Coast friends and one on the East Coast for the growing network of friends in that area.

A photo montage was created and can be seen by clicking on the link here.  https://youtu.be/7jwtRiQ-TPA

Below are some of the pictures from the two events – one held in Pasadena at Bacchus Kitchen and one in Williamsburg at the Williamsburg Plantation VacationVillage. Our friends on both costs (and those in between) who were able to attend were treated to wines from our collection along with great eats.

All the West Coast folks got together for a picture after dinner.
The West Coast Crowd
Will and Cheryl with Janeen and David. David and Will worked together at Northrup and haven’t seen each other in years! A nice surprise at the West Coast event.
Jason hosting one of the tables at the West Coast event.
Here we are after all these years still together.

Our Celebration in Virginia was smaller but just as fantastic.

There was a special cake! Hand made pistachio flavored cake with lemon curd filling. Wonderful edible chamomile flowers adorned.
Ira, Janeen and Chris at the East Coast event
Opening cards at the East Coast celebration
The table was set and ready for us when we arrived for the East Coast Celebration
Gloria and Tony – he was the Best Man at our wedding.
Janeen and Emma holding our granddaughters(flower girls in pink)
Tiy, Theresa and Michael all joined in the celebration
We had a wonderful evening for sure.
Joel is our Jazz lover friend from Boston – Janeen worked for his dad when we lived in Cambridge in the early 70’s.

We don’t consider our Party over yet as we continue to roam around and stop in to visit friends across the country :new celebrations happen all the time.

8-3-19 Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

We recently visited this wonderful place together.

Located in San Marino, about 5 miles from where we used to live in Alhambra, is the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Over the years we had visited this lovely spot to explore the art collection and see all the amazing gardens. Then, after Janeen retired 10 years ago or so, she became a volunteer – docent in the Herb Garden and loved the experience tremendously (as a result of her time in the Garden, I have now realized that periodically we need to visit gardens where ever we are – Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, Monet’s Garden in Giverny, Tivoli Garden in Italy to name just a few). While visiting in SoCal on this trip she has been to the Huntington Gardens three times already.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, colloquially known as The Huntington, is a collections-based educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington (1850–1927).

Henry and- Arabella Huntington’s Home. This now houses a large portion of the artwork.

Henry was an avid collector of art, books and plants from all over the world. As a result he amassed a huge collection that overflowed his home and extended into several buildings on his property. With over 120 acres of specialized botanical landscaped gardens including world famous Japanese Garden, Desert Garden and an ever expanding Chinese Garden, he left the entire estate to a foundation to continue his dream of expanding the place. The overall estate is divided into three categories: Library, Artworks and Gardens.

George Washington seen hanging out in the Scott  Gallery.

The Library contains a substantial collection of rare books and manuscripts, concentrated in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science. Highlights include one of eleven vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible known to exist, The Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer (ca. 1410) and letters and manuscripts by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. The Library’s Main Exhibition Hall showcases some of the most outstanding rare books and manuscripts in the collection, while the West Hall of the Library hosts rotating exhibitions. The collection is available for scholars to do research.

The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough, c. 1770. This is currently being studied and restored.
Sources of the blue used to paint Blue Boy. Part of the display as the painting undergoes its restoration.

The Art Collection is displayed in both a permanent installation and special temporary exhibitions in several buildings on the property. The European collection, consisting largely of 18th- and 19th-century British & French paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, is housed in The Huntington Art Gallery, the original Huntington residence.

Taking a brief break before going into the newest wing of the Scott Gallerys

Also included in the art collection is a spectacular collection of American art from the 18th century French tapestries, porcelain, and furniture. Complementing the European collections is a collection of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and photographs dating from the 17th to the mid 20th century. Interestingly, Huntington did not originally collect American Art.

A beautiful example of four kinds of quilting in one. On display in one of the galleries.

The institution started this collection in 1979 with the gift of some 50 significant paintings from Virginia Steel Scott – since then significant works by American craftsmen and artists are displayed in the Lois and Robert F. Erburu Gallery, a modern classical addition designed by Los Angeles architect Frederick Fisher. Highlights among the American art collections include Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt, The Long Leg by Edward Hopper, Small Crushed Campbell’s Soup Can (Beef Noodle) by Andy Warhol, and Global Loft (Spread) by Robert Rauschenberg. As of 2014, the collection numbers some 12,000 works, ninety percent of them drawings, photographs and prints. Addition of the American wing highlights quilts, furniture, fabric arts and paintings under the banner Becoming America.

One of several fountains. This were not working for the longest time due to the water problems in California.
Janeen happy to see the fountains running again.

Botanical Gardens – clearly the most important part as far as Janeen is concerned – consists of over 120 acres and showcases plants from around the world. The gardens are divided into more than a dozen themes including Camellia collection, Children’s Garden, Desert Garden, Herb Garden, Japanese Garden,

Japanese garden with Wisteria blooming
Japanese Garden bell

Rose Garden,

Rose Garden with the Temple of Love

Chinese Garden

The Chinese Garden – lovely and restful place to visit.

and other themed  areas.

The Desert Garden, one of the world’s largest and oldest outdoor collections of cacti and other succulents, contains plants from extreme environments, many of which were acquired by Henry E. Huntington and William Hertrich (the garden curator during Huntington’s time).

World famous Desert Garden

One of the Huntington’s most botanically important gardens, the Desert Garden, brings together a plant group largely unknown and unappreciated in the beginning of the 1900s. Containing a broad category of xerophytes (aridity-adapted plants), the Desert Garden grew to preeminence and remains today among the world’s finest, with more than 5,000 species. Hertrich is rumored to have travelled all over the southwest (including Mexico) digging up various plants to bring back to San Marino.

Desert garden is filled with cacti and succulents

One of the interesting things I’ve learned is that when transplanting  a large cactus , it really must be planted facing the same way(compass direction) from its original planting to be successful.

The Herb Garden – truly the most important Garden to Janeen where she spent the most time and was an active Docent for a number of years including helping to train volunteers, was constructed in the 1970s.

Kelly, the Herb & Shakespeare Garden main gardener.

This garden contains many unusual herbs as well as many that are well known. Favorites from grandmother’s day, such as horehound, licorice, lavender, mignonette, and heliotrope, evoke happy memories for many visitors.

Herb Garden in the off season – not much blooming

The garden is arranged according to the uses made of the herbs: medicines; teas; wines and liqueurs; cooking, salads, and confections; cosmetics, perfumes, and soaps; potpourris and sachets; insect repellents; and dyes.

The Southern California climate allows The Huntington to grow many herbs and even some spices not found in traditional herb gardens.

Some of the displays in the Herb Garden that Janeen helped to create.

These include, but are not limited to, plants that produce coffee, tea, mate, hops, and jojoba.

The  18th century well in the Herb Garden wrought iron with a grapevine motif.
One of the benches in the Herb Garden dedicated to Gene Roddenberry.

Many larger and shade loving herbs are planted outside the beds, along the perimeter of the garden. Janeen particularly enjoys the scented geraniums, lemon verbena, mints, almond verbena, allspice and lavender.

A field of Agapanthus “Lillies of the Nile” bloom year round to the delight of bees and humming birds.

 

 

 

 

 

8-25-18 Highland Park and Hippo Restaurant

Within the City of Los Angeles, there are any number of smaller cities and communities. For example, where we have lived for the last 40 years – Alhambra – is a City with it’s own governance but is within the County of Los Angeles so very much influenced by what happens “downtown”. This past Saturday, our friends, Phil and Jessie, took us to a new ‘hip’ restaurant called Hippo. Located in the old Highland Park Post Office Building, thus HIPPO, along with a neat little pizza place and a small wine shop it is one of a growing trend in this area of new restaurants.

Highland Park

Highland Park is a hilly neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, located in the San Rafael Hills and along the Arroyo Seco. It is situated within what was once Rancho San Rafael of the Spanish/Mexican era.

The area was originally discovered thousands of years ago by ancestors of the Chumash people (the local Indian tribe), and would later be settled by the Tongva Indian tribe most associated with early settlements in Los Angeles and the Channel Islands off the coast.  After the founding of Los Angeles in 1784, the Corporal of the Guard at the San Gabriel mission, Jose Maria Verdugo, was granted the 36,403 acre Rancho San Rafael which included the present day Highland Park. Drought in the late 1800s resulted in economic hardship for the Verdugo family, and Rancho San Rafael was eventually auctioned off in 1869 for $3,500 over an unpaid loan. The San Rafael tract was purchased by Andrew Glassell and Albert J. Chapman, who leased it out to sheepherders. Highland Park was annexed to Los Angeles in 1895.

Historic Masonic Lodge Building

In the early 20th century, Highland Park and neighboring Pasadena became havens for artists and intellectuals who led the Arts and Crafts movement

Starting in the early 2000s, a diverse mix of people began arriving to Highland Park to seek out, buy, and revitalize Craftsman homes, some which had suffered neglect over the decades. Many of Highland Park’s oldest homes were razed during the 1950s and 1960s. One architecturally significant home made its way to Heritage Square Museum, thanks to the efforts of local activists dedicated to saving Victorian homes scheduled for demolition. Like Echo Park and Eagle Rock, Highland Park has steadily seen some gentrification. People from across the region have been attracted to the historic Craftsman homes that escaped demolition. Its relatively low rents have made it increasingly popular among young people who value the pedestrian urban lifestyle afforded by the older style of neighborhood.

Once again, Highland Park is building a reputation as a mecca for artists, with trendy shops, galleries, bars and restaurants opening throughout the neighborhood. Hippo, which opened just a little over a month ago, is just one example of this change in the City.

Saturday evening is “date night” and this place was no exception. We arrived for our 5PM reservation (the only time we could get) and joined the crowd getting settled in for the evening.

The front door!

From start to finish it was a very pleasant evening.

The restaurant was FULL up including the bar by 5:45!

The menu has a number of lovely items: Cool summer wax beans with fresh Serrano chiles, toasted almonds& frenchie vinaigrette; Griddle’d cauliflower, cauliflower “tahini,” walnut raisin caper relish; Royal Hamachi with Meyer lemon oregano relish; New Zealand tai snapper “ceviche”, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro; Sweet corn cappellacci, funghi misti, thyme; Cedar smoked ocean trout, sweet corn succotash, green goddess just to name a few of the delights on menu.

We started off with cocktails – Janeen had a “Consider your shoes” Aperol, Prosecco, Amaro Angeleno, vermouth, olive & orange.

Consider your shoes

I had “Hippo old fashioned” bourbon, amaro sfumato, tart cherry, bitters

Hippo old fashioned

and Phil had “Paris is burning” – bourbon, italicus, lemon, blackberry, aquafaba, earl grey tea.

Paris is burning

The cocktails included a lovely bufala mozzarella with cured 14 month prosciutto di san daniclle.

Prosciutto and mozzarella

Jessie had a pour from the bottle of wine Barbera D’Alba.

Barbera d’ Alba lovely wine from the Piedmonte region of Italy

Between the four of us at the table, we ended up with several different starters and three different mains! For starters we had summer tomatoes, cucumbers, olives & feta,

Summer tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onion, basil, oregano vinaigrette and french feta.

and the yellowfin tuna carpaccio. Our mains consisted of the Oxtail tagliatelle ragu,

Oxtail ragu with fresh tagliatelle pasta

the fresh ricotta tortellini

Fresh ricotta tortellini, bufalo mozzarella, tomato and petit basil.

and the cedar smoked ocean trout.

Cedar smoked ocean trout

Portion size was wonderful – not so much you had left overs but not so small you felt cheated. We looked at the dessert menu but passed. One of the interesting things I noticed on the menu, and on the final bill, is they add a 3% charge to the bill to assist in offering health care coverage for the staff. Never seen anything like that before – I wonder if this is a trend for the future.