June 15, 2015

Welcome Summer!

While summer officially begins on Sunday the 21st, we got to celebrate its advent yesterday at the 39th annual Black Rock Day. It was this kind of a day weather-wise and doesn't get much better!
This photo is from the small stretch of beach at the end of our street that overlooks Black Rock Harbor and across to Seaside Park — designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. A little background about this area: Black Rock emerged as a colonial seaport in the mid-1600s, nearly 200 years before Bridgeport came to be in the 1830s. As Bridgeport grew to be the largest city in Connecticut, Black Rock was absorbed into its city limits in the 1870s.

The Black Rock Parade began in 1976 as part of the bicentennial celebrations and has been held ever since, each year in June. This year's festivities kicked off with a community-fundraiser 5K race, and then a "bed" race, with home-made "bed" go-carts being pushed furiously down a 250-yard stretch of Brewster Street, right by the 1644 Thomas Wheeler House.

Soon after, a fun-filled parade rolled right by our house, with a colorful mix of bands, local groups and schools that celebrate our wonderfully diverse community.

Black Rock really shined on this beautiful prelude to summer. We thoroughly enjoyed spending a lovely (but hot!) day with our friends and neighbors.
Thanks to everyone who made it such a spectacularly good time. Especially the Black Rock Community Council and one of our favorite local restaurants, the Walrus + Carpenter.
Their fried chicken and mashed potatoes are to die for! Not to worry, there is no walrus on the menu ;) The name was taken from Lewis Carroll's poem that appeared in his book Through the Looking-Glass.

I hope you and your family and friends have a very enjoyable summer ahead! A special congratulations to all the graduates, including our niece Katie! May the future be bright and full of possibilities.

May 22, 2015

More Spring Colors

Depending on how you count them, the waves of spring flowers are nearing their third or fourth crest here …. with the fruitwoods, magnolia, dogwoods, azaleas and lilacs handing off their buds to the iris, peonies, and allium.
The “winter sowing” milk-container experiment (which I wrote about in April here) produced very tender yet cold-hardened lettuces and spinach. I especially love the Vivian big-leaf lettuce and Bloomsdale spinach so far. Lots of others on the way.
Will be planting the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and more this weekend. Speaking of which, happy Memorial Day weekend to all of you in the U.S.

An extra special note of gratitude to all those who serve in our country’s armed forces and to all those who have risked their life for America since the American Revolution. In Connecticut, where I live, we’ll be marking our official state hero’s, Nathan Hale’s, 260th birthday on June 6th. Hale was the 21-year-old Yale-educated volunteer captured by the British in 1776 and hanged in New York City. Just before he was executed, Hale is said to have declared, “"I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” 

The Congressional Medal of Honor web site offers many stirring accounts of valor.

Speaking of valor...we're so proud of our local quilt shop, Christie's Quilting Boutique. Christie and a group of area quilters wrapped 6 local veterans in handmade quilts as part of the Quilts of Valor program. You can read about it here and here.

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touch by war with comforting and healing quilts. For more information, please visit the site.

And, finally, enjoy all or parts of a terrific recent "30 days of poetry" event by the New York Public Library. I really enjoyed it, just on in the background while I was working.

Have a beautiful, long and relaxing weekend!