Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day weekend

Sunday August 28, 2016
Today we caught the last matinee of “Florence Foster Jenkins” which is a really endearing movie and based on a true story. Besides the fact that I love period films (this one is set during WWII), and movies that have NYC as a back drop (as this one does), I love the cast – Hugh Grant (greying around the temples, but still no less talented), Meryl Streep (very much a departure from scary, Miranda in “The Devil Wears Prada,”) and Simon Helberg (proving he can be more than just Howard from “Big Bang Theory”).

According to IMDB: “Florence Foster Jenkins, an heiress form NYC always wanted to be a concert pianist and play Carnegie Hall. An injury in her youth deterred that dream. So she sets out to sing her way to Carnegie Hall knowing the only way to get there would be "Practice Practice Practice." Her husband supports her venture and the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins playing Carnegie Hall becomes a historic event in history” Written by stephen scialli

I couldn’t help but notice that, once again, we were probably the youngest in attendance, but I wouldn’t classify this as strictly “senior” entertainment or only for “opera lovers.” Either way, I can’t recommend this movie enough (though I think I’ll skip buying the soundtrack).

Friday September 2, 2016
It’s documentary week at OSU and there’s a whole slew of interesting films on the schedule. Unfortunately, most don’t fit our schedule, so we just selected one that we were both interested in and that fit our schedule (thanks to being allowed to leave work an hour early due to it being a holiday weekend).

The film we saw was “Don’t Blink,” a sort of retrospective on the life of twentieth century photographer, Robert Frank. As per usual with these sorts of films, and also being a nice summer day outside and a holiday weekend, we shared the theatre with perhaps only half a dozen other people (in which case it probably could have been shown in their micro theatre which only seats just over a dozen people).

According to Wikipedia, “Robert Frank (born November 9, 1924) is an American photographer and documentary filmmaker. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider's view of American society. Critic Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said The Americans "changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it. [ . . . ] it remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century."[1] Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage.”

I found the movie to be very interesting and inspiring. In fact, when I saw Mr. Frank take a Polaroid photo using a mirror, I made a mental note to copy that idea and took that photo later in the weekend. I haven’t yet seen the book, The Americans, but will definitely check it out.

Saturday September 3, 2016
Today we finally used the Groupon I bought for Andrew for his birthday, which was a 2 for 1 special on a Columbus Landmarks walking tour. The tours are supposed to last about an hour and a half and take you around to at least a dozen or so places all in about a quarter mile radius, so it’s not a lot of walking. Our tour guide exceeded expectations and gave us a full two hours, so we definitely got our money’s worth.

Among the buildings we visited (mostly just from the outside) were:

1)     Huntington National Bank:  It’s a family run business and is the 33rd largest bank in the country; the ornate entrance was designed by the stained glass division of Tiffany’s.
2)     Wyandotte Building:  According to Columbus Dispatch reporter, Mark Williams, “The 11-story Wyandotte Building at 21 W. Broad St. is known as an example of Chicago School architecture and was designed by Daniel Burnham. The building’s vertical rows of bay windows, one of Burnham’s trademarks, were meant to provide light, ventilation and extra floor space in crowded city blocks.”
3)     Leveque/Lincoln Tower:  It’s a really nice example of art deco architecture, especially inside, second only to the Chrysler Building in my humble opinion. I only wish we could have seen more than just the lobby.

4)     City Hall:  pretty impressive, and one of the buildings Andrew commented on afterwards, especially as it was unfamiliar to both of us.
5)     Supreme Court:  I was last inside when I had jury duty a few summers ago and was lucky enough to get a tour. Perhaps Andrew and I will take the day off work some time and do that together. This time I got to see the mosaic tile murals on the ceiling of the east side of the building, which I don’t recall seeing last time, so that was nice.

6)     The F & R Lazarus & Co. building:  This used to be a department store chain in Columbus and only closed within the last 10 years or so. Andrew and I have only been inside once (when it was still a department store) with Karen and Ashley when she was a baby. Apparently Mr. Lazarus was the first to use an elevator in his department store and have a cafeteria and even a little zoo to entertain the children. He also brought the concept of off-the-rack clothing to Columbus (Earlier you either made your clothes yourself or had them tailored). Residents of Columbus remember this department store as fondly as those of us from Cleveland remember Higbee’s, Hailey Bros, May Company or Sterling Lindner Davis.
7)     The Beggs Building:  According to Columbus Dispatch reporter, Gerald Tebben, “The Beggs Building, then just 12 stories tall, opened on Oct. 18, 1928.
The state-of-the-art office building at 21 E. State St. was named for David Beggs Sr., the founder of Beggs Realty Co., which owned, built and managed it. The building replaced a four-story brick building that predated the Civil War…..
Each office in the Beggs Building had large windows to admit light and air, and floors that could be subdivided with partitions. Elevators were touted as “high-speed” and ‘self-leveling.’”
8)     The Statehouse:  I think the last time I was inside was probably the same day we visited Lazarus with Karen when Ashley was a baby (2001 or 2002?) Unfortunately I missed out on a Statehouse tour a couple years ago because I was called to be on a jury that day, but it’s all good since we got to go inside for this tour. For not having a proper dome, it’s pretty impressive inside.  The ceiling of the cupola is quite beautiful. Apparently President Lincoln had visited on three separate occasions, both before being elected and during his term (and then later after he was assassinated while his body was on tour for viewing).
9)     The Holocaust & Liberators Memorial & the official state bee hives (with lots of little worker bees inside, just like their human counterparts working nearby):  both are somewhat newish      (2014/2015) items to downtown by the request of Governor Kasich, and neither of which we had seen previously, so it was our first time viewing them.

10)  The Ohio Theatre:  Though we didn’t get to go inside today (I think they were getting ready for an afternoon performance of “Wicked”), luckily Andrew and I had already been on a tour and many, many, many visits since then. Unlike the Palace Theatre built to host vaudeville shows, or the Southern Theatre, host to opera and theatrical performances, the Ohio Theatre has always been strictly a movie palace (though today other forms of entertainment utilize the premises).

All in all a pretty good tour, and I think it’s one birthday present Andrew very much enjoyed.

Monday September 5, 2016
Today Andrew and I attended the 50th annual Upper Arlington Arts Festival, which we had only been to on one other occasion. We tend to skip it because it’s usually ungodly hot (same this year)

and we don’t tend to buy much in the way of arts and crafts. This year we blew most of our budget at the Columbus Arts Festival back in June, so today I only spent about $30 and bought three items (two Scrabble tile pendants and a tiny birdhouse). Had I been alone I might have bought more as I saw a couple purses I liked and the handmade journals at Re Imagined by Luna were simply divine (though quite expensive)

Among the less practical, but still cute nonetheless, was the booth of robots constructed out of antique cameras, band-aid and spice tins, and other common household items. If your budget didn’t stretch to the $85+ the artist was charging for the bots, you could purchase a print for as little as $10 I think, which included some of the bots. I looked through them, but couldn’t make up my mind, so I walked away empty handed.

We recognized some of the artists from the Columbus Arts Festival, like Robert Coomer who prints photos on rusted steel. Visited the booth of Vivian Ripley, artist and teacher who is an instructor at the Upper Arlington Senior Center, and whose classes I’ve attended on at least two occasions.

After a couple hours we had pretty much seen it all, and the lines were too long at most of the food booths, so we grabbed some fast food for lunch on the way home.

That’s our weekend in summary. Have a good week everyone!

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