Archive for December, 2008

A beautiful sight: The American Bald Eagle

Happy New Year everyone.  BD and I are 2 hours into the Twilight Zone Marathon on the SciFi channel, and its doubtful either of us will be up until midnight, but I’m looking forward to 2009 just the same.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy evening!

On our way home from Gainesville today, BD and I stopped at the Myakka River State Park, just East of Sarasota.   Continue reading ‘A beautiful sight: The American Bald Eagle’

Warm Mineral Springs: A Taste of Eastern Europe in Southwest Florida

BD and I have been enjoying a few glorious days in Florida.  The sun has been shining and the temperature has been in the mid 80s, and the humidity is low.  My dad’s house here is a wonderful refuge from the depression and stress of the last few months, and I’m glad that BD and I have been able to come.  The house is adjacent to a magnificent pond (pictured here) which is home to lots of lily pads, fishes, an Anhanga, a Great Blue Heron, a Great Egret, some super endangered species called a Scrub Jay, a couple of cool ducks, a gazillion turtles (see one, below), a romp of otters, and a few alligators (seriously).  I could probably come down here and just spend a week gazing out at the wildlife on the pond and watching the birds fish. Continue reading ‘Warm Mineral Springs: A Taste of Eastern Europe in Southwest Florida’

I’m moving!

Okay I’m not really moving, the title of this post is a total lie.  

However, I am on a trip to Florida with BD starting today and ending the 1st week in January.  When we left Allentown this morning at 6 am it was about 4 degrees out (or so it seemed), and when we landed in Tampa around 11 am, it was approaching 80 degrees and beautiful sunshine was shining everywhere around us.  I’d move if I could.

Today was mostly low key, just grocery shopping since my dad doesn’t keep any vegetarian food in his house, and showing BD around to a few of the sights.  

For dinner tonight we had black bean burritos.  Black beans are a common food in Florida and one of my favorite foods no matter what my location is.  I expect to eat a lot more over the next two weeks, so…. stay tuned!

*the picture above is a cell-phone shot from a trip I took just over 3 years ago of the sun setting over the gulf of mexico.  I plan to recreate the scene tomorrow night.

Veggie Shrimp?

Tonight I am going to attempt to cook Vegetarian Prawns for the first time.  I haven’t eaten a shrimp or prawn in about 17 years, so it will be like a new experience for me.  I am keeping my fingers crossed… updates to come! Continue reading ‘Veggie Shrimp?’

Give me Liberty or Give me Beer

Actually, I’m not really much of a drinker, but when I do drink, I like specialty beers from small breweries such as Southern Tier.  The image above is for one of my very favorite beers, Pumpking.  They also make a great wheat beer called “Heavy Weizen.”  

I’m getting off track already…. This post is really about the Liberty Street Tavern, in Allentown’s west end.   Continue reading ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Beer’

What is wrong with North Whitehall?

I won’t spend a ton of time on this subject, since it has already been covered pretty well here, here, here, here, and most extensively here, but I’d just like to say that it is MIND BOGGLING to me that the North Whitehall Township Supervisors could be so short sighted as to invite Walmart into their once-lovely community.   Continue reading ‘What is wrong with North Whitehall?’

Music for your ears

Yesterday I blogged a bit about Strand of Oaks, one of my very favorite bands.

Here is an mp3 from a live set from August 2008, in Sommerville, MA.

The song is entitled “Sterling.”  It is available for download, along with the rest of this set at this website.

hosting issues in the morning

Hey everyone, I’m having some hosting issues so some of my pictures are unavailable at the moment.  Hopefully they’ll be back later today or tomorrow!

In the meantime, I thought I’d make note of a few of my friends’ blogs.

First up is my good friend Tim Showalter, who plays music under the pseudonym Strand of Oaks.  I don’t know if any of the readers of this blog are big music fans, or fans of folk/singer-songwriter style musics, but as far as I am concerned Tim is one of the most amazing songwriters around.  Some of his music is available on his myspace page.  You can be sure that I will be posting about him again in the future.  I was thinking recently about the first time I ever saw Strand of Oaks and met Tim.  I was living in NYC at the time, but my friend Lou was playing a show in Bethlehem and I wanted to see him.  Strand of Oaks opened, and I remember thinking “this is pretty okay.”  I am going to post the journal entry I wrote that night, because I think it is pretty indicative of how their music can be a catalyst for reflection on things in life:

July 24th, 2005.  4:10 AM

34 hours in the Lehigh Valley. Met a beautiful baby named Julian Pompeii, and listened to his beautiful daddy play beautiful music, and thought of beautiful times. Thought about times shared with a f’real good bro who is only a bro in the sense that amazing ladies can be.

Thought about how time passes. Not too heavy, just about as heavy as a warm bath. 

Walked on dark Bethlehem roads, and had a moonlit swim with some great boy . friends. I have been very cold since I hit the water, 4 hours ago. I wonder if I will get some sleep? Breakfast with Patrick is only 6 hours away. Well. 5 hours and 50 minutes.

Time Passes.  I guess there’s no way to stop it, even when the water is warm and the moon is almost full and the beer on the dock of the pool is cold and the laughter is as open as the midnight sky.

Thinking now about how the time has passed from that weekend three and a half years ago, I’m so pleased at the ways Tim and Lou have grown as musicians and songwriters.  Perhaps their music can bring some of you the kind of joy it has bought me.

Lastly, there is the blog of Nikki Darling, who is brilliant and a great writer and makes me laugh until my sides ache, sometimes.  For instance, recently she’s been posting about Axl Rose and GNR, a subject which is not very close to my heart – but which I still can enjoy laughing about.  Reading her blog makes me miss having women friends in my life on a regular basis, and I wish I could just demand that they all move to the Lehigh Valley, but since that’s unlikely to happen – thank god for the internet.