Thursday, December 3, 2015

River Deep Mountain High

 This picture brings a range of emotions.  It was fun to see Darlene Love shoot the video of "Forbidden Nights".  And, who doesn't want a picture being photo bombed by Paul Schaefer of David Letterman fame?   But, I am with Carla Gizzi and Kay Harris who also have shops in Convention Hall.  In a month our store will be closing there and it is a bittersweet feeling to say the least.
This is Darlene Love performing River Deep Mountain High at her CD release concert at the Paramount.  In the last three years I have seen her three times performing this song and it is one of best performances of live music I have ever seen.   This year it will bring a whole new meaning into my life.  Since, I have had my children I am surprised at the range of my emotions I feel.  One, thing I have noticed is I do not cry as easily.  But, lately my eyes well with just the mere thoughts of things.  The most embarrassing lately is at work they play the song "No One Wants to be Alone at Christmas".  For me it conjures up the movie "Home Alone" and the fact it is local talent involved.  E Street band members play on the song and Steve Van Zandt wrote the masterpiece.  Then there were the numerous times it was sung on the David Letterman show.  Well, the David Letterman show as we know it ended this year.  But, Darlene is taking her show on the road.  Anyway.........when our family got together for Glen's birthday Ian did most of the talking in the car.  By that time he had two practice sessions with Steve Van Zandt and one with Darlene Love.  Yes, Ian is going to play the trombone and be part of the five piece  horn section for Darlene Love's Souled Out Christmas Show.  As Ian is talking and playing the music for the show I put my head back and soaked it all in.  I will never forget the first Christmas show I went to when they were singing carols in pre-school.  I felt every emotion run through my body, especially the chills it was giving me.  And, that feeling is the BEST feeling in the world.  It is a mixture of feeling joy and pride, but at the same time.....I hope they don't screw up!!!!!  Well, anyway I hope this explains a little bit of what I am feeling.  A full range of feelings that run....mountain high and river deep.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Paris Rome Coney Island

When I first opened the shop in Asbury Park, around six years ago, I would get a lot of questions from tourists from all over the world.  Some questions were......Where are all the amusement rides?  Who is that creepy guy on the building with the big teeth and a mustache for hair.  Did Bruce Springsteen really live here?  Where is a good place to eat?  Is there any good music this weekend?  Where can we get a room, because we want to spend another day.  And, the surprising thing was how many international tourists who come on the last day of their trip to the states and have stayed in New York City and are so disappointed they didn't spend more time in Asbury Park.  But, the nice thing is they come back, we become friends on facebook.  And, we get to spend more time and they love to tell us how much they love Asbury Park.
Since, we live locally we know the history of the town very well.  But, most of the time as we got older we really couldn't understand it.  But, watching the news and seeing a place like Coney Island experiencing some of the same deterioration.  I think the biggest bad influence on those towns were fear.  I think after 9/11 I, myself, have been conscience of what I have been fearful of.  And, if that fear is stopping me from something I love,  I really make an effort to face that fear and get over it.  I do have  a fear of bridges in the last couple of decades.  It really has shocked me, and really hard to fight a feeling I can not control.  But, I will NOT let it stop me   There actually was a billboard as I drove  on to the Verrazano Bridge that read:  It's just a bridge.....Get over it!  Then on my way home to ease my tenseness and apprehension there was the music.  Of course, I was listening to E Street Radio and a Bruce Springsteen concert was on.  The song "Into the Fire" came on with all of it's words of encouragement, I can't say it was a breeze, but it did help.  Then as I rode into Asbury Park, the song "My City of Ruins" came on.  I can't help but, think I am in the right place at the right time.
I was so excited when I saw the Art Walls.....I had no idea about them so I started taking pictures and the link to learn more is here:

 This was my favorite picture capturing a lot of iconic Coney Island in one shot.
 Kaylyn, my daughter brought the vendor's work from the Market at Fifth and had a booth at Pheonicia Flea.
 Ever since we had our shop at Convention Hall I wanted to see what the shops and Tilly looked like in Coney Island.
 I wanted to take a picture of the Wonder Wheel
 And listening to the words of Bruce Springsteen's  Sandy 4th of July,Asbury Park I wanted a picture of a Tilt a Whirl.
 I love blue and white dishes, so this ride was my cup of tea!
 All the rides for Luna Park were imported from Italy......
 They all have a modern spin to them and I wondered how long ago this all happened a wallah a sign....
 It was about the same time we opened shop.....
 After taking my walk on the boardwalk, I wanted to take another picture of my daughter's booth.  So, proud of her!  I love the way she picked the merchandise to sell and how she displayed it!
 On my walk back to my car I couldn't stop taking pictures.
 I was totally inspired and love every second I spent there......
 And, of course couldn't leave without a corn dog and orangeade from Nathan's.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Power of a Crayon

So, let me take you back to 1978 when this card for Glen was created.  We had gone on our first date that New Year's.  We dated on and off and when we started dating seriously, I decided I need to go away to college.  I was only eighteen when I met Glen and always had a tug a war with being free or in a relationship, especially being so young and in love.  I decided to be in a relationship I needed to be the best person I could be.  First, I went to my parents and they supported the decision, but they would only pay for half of the cost.  I still had to pay them back, because in December I decided to quit Brookdale and they wanted me to pay the half they paid for that back. So, thanks to a good friend's support who made an appointment with  the dean of admissions I was accepted as probation student, which meant I would attend college that summer.  It was a tough conversation with Glen when I told him I decided to attend college.  I was working hard at Evelyn's Seafood Restaurant and was saving my money.  I had no excuse to not go through with my decision.  I drove myself the three and half hours with every possession fitting in my Chevy Vega that I had also bought myself, since I had been working since the age of thirteen.  I walked into my room and met roomate and her lovely family.  I didn't realize really how brave I was until they all started asking where my parents were.  Oh, they are in Florida, I replied.  Oh, you are from Florida? No, I am from New Jersey, but they are living with my grandparents.  So, I am now realizing the decision I made was not really normal, especially when we go to the auditorium and everyone's families are in attendance.  I start classes with a vengence and love it.  I missed Glen and that was probably the hardest part of going a distance to school.  Reality set in pretty quick as  I started getting parking tickets, as freshmen did not get parking permits.  Going home was a struggle, because I didn't have money to put gas in my car.  Sending letters even became an expense, not to mention my outrageous phone bills.  I would go to the bookstore and look at the cards to buy when I had the money to send to Glen. So, I decided to make a card as I couldn't even come up with 5 dollars to buy a card.  I already had crayons and a black marker. This card is a copy of Mountain Arts Cards.  They were the best and always said exactly what I was feeling.

 Only you can smile at me...and turn the world into a kaleidoscope of happy things...opening my eyes... stars and butterflies....
 and make me want to dance on hilltops....
 .....and all my yesterdays into shining tomorrows....
 you have gathered up my dreams...and made them all come true......
 Only you can hold me tightly.....and make me feel freer then I have ever felt.....
 And only you.....can make me feel the presence of your absence....
 When we are together....each dawn's a new beginning and every sunset a happy ending......
.....for me...there will always be.....ONLY YOU!

Quite a declaration for someone who had only been dating someone for seven months!
I could not say it any better after all of these years.  My favorite line is "Only you can hold me tighter and make feel freer than I ever felt".  We have had our ups and downs....struggles and celebrations....but after thirty three years of marriage I am so happy to share my life with YOU!  Thank you for letting me be me.  Another observation that made me laugh was thinking of our  Anniversary celebration dinner at Revel three years ago and reading facebook comments and Ian saying something about my use of ........and Janeen and Laura's reaction which led us all to be looking at our phones and laughing.  But, look on 7/28/78 I was all about the......too!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


 So, this is a work in progress by Pork Chop....
I loved that he was actually there, and I could talk to him.  I could tell him I loved the colors.  I loved the waves.  I loved the way the lighthouse is reaching up and seems to be lighting the way for the refurbished Salvation Army building in the backround.  I could hear the work in the backround and it will be a boutique hotel ready to open in the summer of 2016.
My vacation last year involved traveling to all the lighthouses in NJ on the eastern coastline.  Almost everyday I would hear the song "Lighthouse"  by Ziggy Marley....I haven't heard it since.   This mural has so much meaning to me and the city of Asbury Park.  It really made my day and I am so happy I get to see it whenever I am in town.  Shine On Pork Chop!

Friday, August 7, 2015

This is Our Time

Did you ever have the thought?  What am I doing this for?  I was driving to work, yesterday.  I knew I was in for a long day and driving at an unusual time.  I was thinking of the birth of my children.  They were born at 10:30 am.  It was 10:27 am and this song came on:     It was a good thing I was alone in the car.  I was fist pumping and singing at the
top of my lungs!  What is really something is a song like that coming on the radio is SO random, yet the time was so perfect!  And, I have met Willie Nile before and able to tell him how much I love this song.  More random, Saturday we are invited to a Bar B Q and guess who is the entertainment?  Wooohoo!  I can't wait to tell him how much the song Willie Nile has written means to me!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Gifts from the City by the Sea

     I love to write after a walk on the beach and share my thoughts and findings and lessons I learn from each and every one of these walks.  I also love the musical serendipity of the city of Asbury Park and what some experiences have taught me.  I try to take pictures or videos so I can share what I have learned.  Did you ever read the book Gift from the Sea from Anne Morrow Lindbergh?  It is one of my favorites.  There is an exhibit of hers along with her husband, the famous Charles Lindbergh in Philadelphia, I am yearning to see.
     The lesson I learned on my walk on Friday is from this picture.  First, the badge is from Bay Head and they were giving them away for free.  Last year I made some mixed media works with beach badges, shells, driftwood and sea glass.  I wanted to get some more and was happy to get five of these free.  Especially, because you only get a paper tag or wristband now for a daily.  I rarely get to the beach so I buy as I go now.
     Pictured on the bottom on a black rock are some kind of fish teeth.  I think they are Shark's teeth. They are not too old, because fossilized teeth would be black.  But, they have been tumbling around the ocean for a while because they are both very smooth.  I have NEVER found a tooth like this before.  So, when I picked it up I was pretty excited.  My first thought was that it is never too late for a first for anything.  When, I picked up the second one, I was amazed.  How can you find something you have never found before?  And, just like that find another?
      The lesson I learned here was to never assume anything as you age.  Never think never.  Always have the faith and hope to know just because something has not happened yet, it never will.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bucket List

 Today I decided to enjoy nature's glitter. It is on my bucket list to enjoy as many walks on the beach as possible.   I have to work tonight, so usually I relax at home and I tend to not want to be tired at work.  But, sometimes a walk on a beach in the morning is the perfect way to start my day.
 I saved this bucket from Trader Joe's last year.  A perfect way to collect today's treasures.  I actually found the white tile.  I can't wait to use a blue sharpee and draw on it.  I found my first piece of pottery.  The green stripe is shiney.  I hope to find a blue and white china shard "someday".  I found the teeniest perfect shell too.  I love a walk on the beach.  It always amazes me what I can find in only a short walk.
I keep this bowl by the door to collect what I have found.  I started collecting oyster shells, too.  I found only one piece of sea glass.  I love the lessons it teaches me about not always finding what I want, but appreciating what I do find.  They are true gifts from the sea.