Sunday, November 21, 2010

Buffalo's Arts & Industry Island

A couple weeks ago, I attended the Aspirations & Inspirations: Imagining the Buffalo Waterfront meeting at City Honors High School. The event was to galvanize the public's imagination when it comes to creating something special on the Lake Erie waterfront -- the last, great, urban, undeveloped waterfront in the country. Speakers included organizer Mark Goldman; Fred Kent, director of the Project for Public Spaces; and Mark's brother, Tony Goldman, CEO of Goldman Properties.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My third book - The Buffalo Philharmonic at 75

The third book I've designed is new to store shelves this week. I designed this book for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) and the publisher, Buffalo Heritage. Written by Raya Lee and Ed Yadzinski, it starts with the Orchestra's "prelude" of symphonic music in Buffalo before the Orchestra was formed (early 1800s), through to its Grammy Award-winning present incarnation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NYC's High Line

I never got there this past summer. Too much work to be done, too much gardening to do, too close to Garden Walk and too many National Garden Festival events going on. But my wife & daughter did get to NYC and took these pictures for dear old dad's garden blog. That, and they wanted to make me feel bad about not traveling with them. They also visited the offices of Martha Stewart Living magazine and the Guggenheim. It's not that they're kind, caring and considerate. It's more that they're cruel.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Small German town knows how to do it

In southern Germany, near the Austrian & Swiss borders, the city of Füssen is a medieval wonder. A small town just a couple miles away from the area's largest attraction, Neuschwanstein Castle, it's where most tourists find hotels and restaurants for their visit. And a major stop along the ancient trade route from northern Europe to Italy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My wife's a star!



I posted this great video produced by the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau a couple weeks ago. At the time, I didn't realize my wife was in the video! She can be seen around 3:11 walking out from between two houses on Summer Street. The footage was shot during Garden Walk this past year as part of an effort to produce a video similar in quality to this one about gardening in Buffalo.

Anyone that knows Leslie will recognize her instantly.
The videographer, director, and editors had no idea that was my wife. And, maybe even more amazingly, the cottage to the left, in green and yellow is the house we rented from 1987-91. Between it being our old house, my wife, and video shot ostensibly for Garden Walk, of which I am president, it was pure luck, chance, fate, kismet, happenstance, destiny or a coincidence that she ended up in this production.

I, of course didn't even recognize her in the video. Our friend Greg pointed her out to me. She's roughly in the spot where Greg fell and broke his ankle in our driveway, circa 1989, coming to our house to watch 30 Something.
And today, the video has its debut in Times Square in NYC as part of a Buffalo "Tailgate Party" for ex-pats. It's had more than 120,000 views on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Steve's mini-patio

Steve and wife Connie are an important part of the Garden Walk Buffalo committee, having served for many years. They also volunteer the days of Garden Walk to answer questions for visitors. They're also Parkside residents and participate in the Parkside Garden Tour each year. Parkside is an area of Buffalo, by Olmsted's Delaware Park, filled with gracious homes  and neighborly, very walkable  streets. I enjoy visiting their yard each year because Steve's always adding "ideas" to his garden. He's got a great selection of plants, all healthy as all get out, but I like his simple and dramatic ideas he adds to the garden.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Awesome artist garden alley

This past summer I went on the Parkside Garden Tour. The Parkside area of Buffalo was laid out by Frederic Law Olmsted and includes every style of house you can imagine, from simple four-squares to grand Victoriains to Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House (the house he considered his "opus").

My favorite garden, of the few that I managed to see, included this pretty little alley between two garages. The space between detached garages, in urban settings, is usually a dead space, used more often for storing junk - scrap wood, piles of bricks, old tires and garbage cans. And the areas are notorious for having little light, lots of weeds and harbor for insects & rodents.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sidewalk lavender sorbet

The second blooming of lavender is well underway. A slight bit of snow is expected this weekend. Last few years, once the snow was heavy enough to shovel, shoveling the sidewalk near them, you could smell the lavender in the crisp, cold air. Smelled just like lavender sorbet. This year for shoveling, I just may pack sugar, lemon juice and vodka in my pocket to make some sorbet right there on the sidewalk.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Eagle's Nest, and Alpine plant test site


While in Berchtesgarten, a national-park-like area of southeastern Germany, visiting Lake Königssee, we visited the top of the world. Or so it seemed. After having spent time down in salt mines all morning, this was a change of scenery.

The Eagle's Nest is a mountain-top chalet gifted to Hitler, by Martin Bormann, for his 50th birthday. This is one of the only sites in Germany where Hitler spent any time that wasn't destroyed after the war. He actually didn't spend much time here though, visiting just a handful of times (around nine times they say, and never overnight, rumor has it he was afraid of heights). The chalet was intended for diplomatic meetings–to impress guests. It was also called "Hitler's Tea House."

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