Thursday, April 24, 2014

Photo: The Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum is a world-class museum in north Phoenix, very near Scottsdale.

It is much more than a collection of musical instruments, and I will show a few photos of the interior in the coming days.  This is a photo of the entrance to the MIM.

This week we have photos from our recent cruise in Mexico's Sea of Cortez posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photo: Emanuel Ax Concert in a Private Home

Yesterday evening we attended a performance by preeminent classical pianist Emanuel Ax in a private home about a mile from our house.  Mr. Ax performs and records often with YoYo Ma, has been artist-in-residence at the New York Philharmonic, teaches at Julliard School of Music, and performs regularly with the world's top orchestras. Here is a link to his biography.

It was a treat to attend a recital by Mr. Ax in the intimate setting of a private home.  It was a fundraiser for the Phoenix Symphony.  Mr. Ax stopped in Phoenix at the invitation of some long time friends of his while en route to California to perform next week with the L.A. Philharmonic.  He played a program featuring Brahms and Chopin.  My husband has served on the Phoenix Symphony Board of Directors for 20 years.

The sold-out event was attended by about 60 people and included dinner.  The level of musical knowledge and appreciation for classical pianists among the audience is reflected by the people who were sitting around us at dinner.  The people sitting to our immediate right, left and across from us at dinner own a total of 8 antique Steinways and two Bechstein grand pianos.  Bt the end of dinner, I was organizing an upcoming dinner and recital at one of their homes, with me bringing the wine, food and some friends to cook the dinner.
 
This week we have photos from our recent cruise in Mexico's Sea of Cortez posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Photo: Chihuly Boat at Desert Botanical Garden

Several days ago I posted an iPhone photo of the Chihuly boat at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  I mentioned that we often go to the Friday night concert series at DBG and I should bring a real camera to take more photos.

We went to the concert in the Garden last Friday evening.  Here is a photo of the same scene I posted several days ago, but this time taken with a "real" camera.

This week we have photos from our recent cruise in Mexico's Sea of Cortez posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Photo: An Easter Couple

Here is another photo of  Easter Eggs.  I think we will need to practice more for next year.  The rabbit on the left looks a little grumpy.

This week we have photos from our recent cruise in Mexico's Sea of Cortez posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Photo: Abstract Keith Haring Easter Egg

Happy Easter.  When decorating this Easter egg. I was inspired by Keith Haring when painting this Easter Egg.

My husband said that it looked too good to eat, but at least we could preserve it in a photo.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos from a cruise that we took a couple of months ago in the Sea of Cortez, up the east coast of Baja California, in Mexico.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Photo: Bright Eyed Easter Egg!

Tomorrow is Easter, so it is time to share a photo of a decorated Easter egg from our kitchen.

Food and art.  What could be better?

This week we have photos of the Galapagos Islands posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo: Cactus against the desert sky

People who live on the beach should be skillful in taking photos of the ocean.  People who live in New York or Chicago should be skillful in taking photos of skyscrapers.  People who live in Arizona should be skillful in taking photos of cacti silhouetted against the late afternoon sky.

This week we have photos of the Galapagos Islands posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo: Chihuly Beluga Installation

This is the Beluga exhibit as part
of the Chihuly installation at the Desert Botanical Garden.

It is a challenge to photograph the contrast between the white glass in the night darkness.  The glass is interspersed amidst saguaro cactus ribs.

This week we have photos of the Galapagos Islands posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photo: Night Reflections of a Chihuly Boat

Two weeks ago we went to one of the Friday evening concerts at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  On the way out we took a detour and walked by some of the Chihuly installations on exhibition.

We had only our iPhone, but we took some photos anyway.  The water pump near the boat was turned off, which increased the clarity of the reflections.  During our past visits the little ripples on the water from the pump diminished the clarity of the reflection.  This time, it was like a mirror.

We have tickets to future Friday night concerts, and maybe we will take one of our "real" cameras.  The contrast between the light reflecting on the back of the boat and the darkness of the night photo was too much of the iPhone, even in HDR setting.

This week we have photos of the Galapagos Islands posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Photo: Cactus blooms

This is one of the cacti that we have in potion our patio.  This is the time of year that many of the cacti bloom, and this cactus has sent out buds that will soon bloom into giant flowers.  Many cactus flowers seem disproportionately large in comparison to the size of the plant.  They bloom for a short time, sometimes as short as one day.

This week we have photos of the Galapagos Islands posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Photo: Barrio Queen

Bario Queen is a fairly new restaurant in the Scottsdale Waterfront Project.  It is owned by the same chef who owns the wildly popular but very small Barrio Cafe in Phoenix, which now also has a branch inside Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

This is an iPhone photo of a painting that shows the logo of Barrio Queen.  As its name implies, it is a Mexican Restaurant, as is also evident from the logo.  This looks like a dis de los muertos tribute to a deceased ancestor who apparently liked to exercise Second Amendment rights.

This week we have photos of the Galapagos Islands posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Photo: A sick desert tortoise

My secretary brought her desert tortoise into the office after she took the tortoise to the veterinarian.  She put the tortoise in a box under her desk until she took him home during her lunch hour.

As can be seen in this photo, the tortoise is swollen in the shoulders and chin.  The vet said that the tortoise has a parasite and gave him some medicine.

My secretary will have to bring her other desert tortoise into the vet for examination and possible treatment because if it has parasites it could give them right back to this tortoise.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos from the Galapagos Islands, which makes this photo of a tortoise seem appropriate.

What is not appropriate is to post this tortoise photo today, which is Dave's and my anniversary.  This tortoise does not remind me of Dave.  Not even when I ask him to do some chores around the house.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Photo: Trudy and Nancy

Yesterday I showed Trudy, the desert tortoise that my secretary, Nancy, brought into the office a week or so ago.  This photo shows the size of the tortoise.  It also gives me an opportunity to say a few words about Nancy.

Nancy and I have worked together since 1996.  She is an amazing team member and contributes so much.  In addition to her excellent skills and tolerance for hard work, she is fluent in Spanish.  She grew up in Mexico City, as both her father and grandfather were Americans who lived and worked in Mexico City.

She translates documents for us and enables us to produce work product for clients in both English and Spanish whenever that ability is needed, as I enjoy conversational Spanish but would not attempt to produce a grammatically correct document in Spanish.

Tomorrow I will show and explain why Nancy brought Trudy into the office.

This week we have photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo: Desert Tortoise

About a week ago my secretary, Nancy, brought one of her desert tortoises into the office.  This is an iPhone photo of the desert tortoise on top of a filing cabinet.

This desert tortoise lives in Nancy's yard.  His name is Trudy.  Nancy named the tortoise before the tortoises gender was ascertained, and by the time she realized that Trudy was a male, he had long been named Trudy.  She refers to him as Trude the dude.

In my post on Sunday I will show the reason Nancy brought the tortoise into the office.  Nancy is devoted to care for animals. For years she volunteered on weekends at a bird rescue organization.

This week we have photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Photo: U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, and Arizona Roots

Arizona's junior U.S. Senator is Jeff Flake.  He was elected in 2012 to replace retiring Senator Jon Kyl and to serve along with Arizona's senior Senator, John McCain.  My husband, David, took this quick iPhone photo about a week ago after Senator Flake met with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Senator Flake is very thoughtful.  He also has a quick, charming and self-deprecating sense of humor.  His family has deep roots in Arizona.  The town of Snowflake up on the Mogollon Rim in northeastern was named after the Snow family and the Flake family.  

As with many ranching families whose ancestors settled in northeastern Arizona in the late 1800's, my family is distantly related to the Flake family.  The same is true with the Udall family, which has contributed distinguished public servants to Arizona and the nation, such as former Congressman and Presidential candidate Morris Udall and his brother, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.

This week we have photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Photo: Prickly Pear Cactus Flower

The visit to the Paradise Valley Town Hall to take photos of some of the sculptures could not be complete without being distracted by some of the cactus.

This is an iPhone photo of the inside of a prickly pear cactus flower.  Yes, there is a bee burrowed inside.  I am surprise that an iPhone has such a short focal length to capture a picture I would ordinarily want to use a macro lens to take.

This week we have photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Photo:Bear Tracker Statue by Dave McGary at Paradise Valley Town Hall

About a week ago I posted a photo of a triangular sculpture outside the Paradise Valley Town Hall for the April 1 Theme Day of Triangles.  Today's photo is another one of the sculptures in front of the town hall.

This is "Bear Tracker" buy Dave McGary.  Sadly, Mr. McGary passed away last year, a the age of 55.  He was a leading sculptor of Native American realism.  He lived in Paradise Valley, with a gallery in the Scottsdale Old Town gallery district.

Here is a link to the artist's website for more information and photos of his work.

This week we have photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Photo: Agave at night

After attending the concert at the Desert Botanical Garden last Friday night, I could not help but take a few photos on the way out, even if it was dark and all I had was an iPhone instead of a real camera.

This agave will die, of course, once it sends out a shoot that will tower above the plant.

This week we have photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Photo: The Del Rayz - Sistah Blue Concert at the Desert Botanical Garden

We enjoy the Friday night "Music in the Garden" series at the Desert Botanical Garden.  Last Friday's band was the Del Rayz, which is comprised of many of the members of the former band Sistah Blue, which was an award-winning blues band.  Last Friday several of the former members flew back to Phoenix to perform.

The top photo shows part of the band during a number.  After the concert the band posed for a photo in front of the stage, and we poached a quick iPhone photo to take advantage of the pose.
They recorded the concert, so perhaps a recording will be available in the future.  I already have one of their CDs in my car.

The Music in the Garden series is a cabaret format, with food and drinks available to enjoy during the concerts.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Photo: Using a Satellite Phone and WiFi in the Sea of Cortez

My husband took this photo during a recent whale watching cruise that we took in the Sea of Cortez, on the east coast of Baja California.   We were in a small expedition ship that did not have shipboard internet service.

I therefore rented a satellite telephone and satellite wifi device so that I could be in contact with our office.  That is what I am  doing in this photo.

The satellite devices work only outdoors where there is direct line of sight between the devices and the satellite.   I therefore had to go up on the top deck of the ship to use the devices.  I had a long conference call and the hone worked reasonably well.  The wifi connection device did not work as well.

This the last, and most attenuated, installment in my series of photos showing triangles following the "triangles" Theme Day on April 1.  The crane in the top left that lifts the kayaks and zodiacs from the top deck down to the water formed a somewhat triangular shape.

And, yes, we did see lots of whales on our trip.  I will post some of those photos soon on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

This week we are showing photos of the Sydney Opera House  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Photo: Harpist Martha Gallagher

Harpist Martha Gallagher is a talented and vivacious performer.  Here is a link to her website.  Martha has recorded about a half dozen CDs, performed with six-time grammy winners The Chieftans, and gives concerts.  Her style ranges from celtic harp, to blues, and other genres.

Her daughter works with us, and Martha gave a concert for people in our office us at lunchtime.  We sent an email around the office to invite others and it turns out that several people are big fans of hers and have her CDs.

This is an iPhone photo taken in the plaza of our office building.  Martha lives in upstate New York and was in Phoenix visiting her daughter and performing at a concert in Tucson at the time.

This is another in my series of  photos with triangles, following the April 1 Theme Day theme for triangles.  the shape of the harp is a triangle, of course.

This week we are showing photos of the Sydney Opera House on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Photo: Phoenix Symphony Concert in a Private Home

Today I am posting two photos from  the recent Phoenix Symphony dinner party fundraiser at a house near Taliesen West.

The top photo shows the ensemble,  consisting of about half the Symphony, being conducted by Music Director Michael Christie.
We were seated in a balcony area that overlooked the living room.  The percussion section was in the balcony next to us.  The second photo shows Bruce Pulk the tympanist, and in the background is percussionist Fred Marderness.  It was a treat to be seated so close to musicians.

This dramatic house had triangle shapes in the roof supports.  After the Theme Day theme of  "triangles," I have been seeing triangles in other photos as well.

The limitations of iPhone photography are evident in these photos.

This week we are showing photos of the Sydney Opera House  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Photo: Joshua Tree and Triangular Public Art at Paradise Valley Town Hall

Yesterday for the "triangles" Theme Day I showed  a piece of public art at the Paradise Valley Town Hall.  This is a Joshua tree outside the Town Hall.  If you look closely, you can see the tip of another one of the triangular sculptures like I showed yesterday, right in the middle of the photo behind the Joshua tree.

This week we are showing photos of the Sydney Opera House  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Photo: Theme Day "Triangles" in Public Art at Paradise Valley Town Hall

The worldwide City Daily Photo theme for April 1 is "triangles."  The town hall of Paradise Valley has about 5 of this triangular metal sculptures on its grounds.

Cut out into the metal are the shapes of Native American and Southwestern motifs.  There was a little stand next to one of the sculptures that I presume had the name of the artist, but the sign had fallen off.

Dave and I actually live in Paradise Valley, a suburb of 14,000 residents between Phoenix and Scottsdale.  Our next door neighbor's yard is the dividing line between Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.

Paradise Valley has no commercial establishments except about 5 resorts, one pet resort, one home design gallery, and one medical office complex occupied primarily by cosmetic surgeons.

This week we are showing photos of the Sydney Opera House  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

To see how other City Daily Photo blogers have interpreted the theme of "triangles," click on this link.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Photo: The Wrigley Mansion and Piestewa Peak

This is a wider view of the location of the Wrigley Mansion near the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.  This shows how the mansion is located on a knoll in front of Piestewa Peak, with a view across the Valley of the Sun.

The Wrigley family lived primarily in Chicago, but they spent time in 5 other homes, including Phoenix and Catalina Island, nearly all of which they owned.  Mrs. Wrigley would buy 6 pairs of identical shoes so she would have a pair in each house.

When Western Savings and Loan bought the Wrigley Mansion and did a major renovation in the 1980's they had to install air conditioning.  The Wrigleys understandably used the house only in the winter.  The intervening owners were not able to keep the mansion well maintained and during the renovation they discovered that chandeliers that they fought were wrought iron were actually brass.    

Piestewa Peak is named after Lori Ann Piestewa, an Arizonan who was the first Native American female member of the U.S. military to die in combat and the first U.S. servicewoman to die during the Iraq War.  There is a popular hiking trail to its summit, which at 2,612 feet (796 m.) is the second highest mountain in the Phoenix (behind Camelback).

This week we are showing photos of the Sydney Opera House  on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Photo: Wrigley Mansion

The Wrigley Mansion sits atop a knoll near the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.  It was owned by William Wrigley of the chewing gum fortune.

In later years it was acquired and renovated in the 1980's by a savings and loan and then by Gordie Hormel, heir to the Hormel meat packing company, makers of Spam, and inventor of Dinty Moore beef stew.

It is an architectural gem of the Santa Barbara spanish colonial style.   It is used as a restaurant and club and is a popular wedding location.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site. this week we are showing photos of the Sydney Opera House, one of the world's great buildings.  The photos show both the outside and interior.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Photo: Suspended Student Shelter at Taliesen West

This is another photo of what was our favorite of the student shelters at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen West School of Architecture.

The student was very creative.  He or she suspended a cube from a pole using cables so the living area was above the ground.

This would have the benefit of keeping away from scorpions, snakes or other creatures in the desert.

I apologize that this iPhone photo does not clearly show the desert below the shelter, but I had to take this photo in low light, pointed into the light.  But, of course, doing so enabled a capture of a typically delightful Arizona sunset.

This week we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Photo: Student shelter at Taliesen West

This is another one of the shelters built by students at Frank lloyd Wright's Taliesen West School of Architecture.   I guess the students do not reuse someone else's shelter, so they decay after the each student has graduated.  This shelter's roof  has disappeared.

It was a one mile walk (1.6 km) up the driveway of the house next to Taliesen West where the Phoenix Symphony was holding its fundraiser.  We had visited the house several years ago, so we knew that the long driveway was also near the location of some of the student shelters.

My husband and I therefore decided to walk up the driveway rather than use the shuttle van service provided so that we could see and take photos, even though they were iPhone photos, of the student shelters.

This week we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Photo: Shelters made by Frank Lloyd Wright's students

Students at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen West School of Architecture were expected to begin their studies by designing and building for themselves a shelter to live in.  This iPhone photo shows one of them.

My husband and I last week attended a fundraising dinner and concert for the Phoenix Symphony at a spectacular home adjacent to  Taliesen West.  Rather than riding the shuttle van up to the house, we walked, in part for the exercise but also because we knew we could see the shelters made by the student architects along the way.  I will show a few more of these in the coming days.

This week we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Photo: Ferguson Jenkins Charity Autograph Booth at Chicago Cubs Games

At each of the Chicago Cubs Spring training games, there is an autograph booth for charity featuring Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and several other former baseball players.

At recent games, the others signing autographs have included Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry and other baseball greats.

This photo shows some youngsters with baseballs to autograph.  The profile of Ferguson Jenkins in a red shirt is in the shadow of this iPhone photo.

People obtaining autographs make donations to medical research charitable causes for whom the ballplayers are donating heir services.  They also chat with the fans.

Fans also line up at the entrance to the stadium and along the sides of the field and many ballplayers will sign autographs during Spring training.  It is a more friendly and casual atmosphere than exists during the regular season.

This week we are showing photos of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

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