Venice in the Gables

Coral Gables has a new art installation called Venice in the Gables where 30 local artists are designing Venetian columns to celebrate the completion of the redesign of Miracle Mile. Miami has had many installations like this from the Peacock Tour in Coconut Grove in 2010 to roosters in Little Havana, Manatees in South Miami, dogs in Pinecrest and Coral Gables had flamingos at one time, too.

It is to celebrate the completion of the Miracle Mile renovation.

Eight foot tall replicas of Venetian mooring posts will be placed around the streets in Coral Gables. My friend Eileen Seitz is part of the painting group, I stopped by the storefront on Miracle Mile where they are creating the columns. 100 artists submitted images and 30 were chosen for this project.

On May 18, there is a sort of unveiling party at the Museum of Coral Gables, then the plaster painted poles will be placed on the streets. Say that 10 times fast.

Here are a bunch of photos and stories on our Coconut Grove Peacock Tour in 2010 which I was a part of. I didn’t paint, but I helped promote it, plan it and distribute the peacocks. I was supposed to emcee the auction at the end of the peacock tour but luckily it ended up being an online auction so I didn’t have to do that.

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Peanuts Global Artist Collective Murals

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Snoopy by Avaf.

A new project began this week called the Peanuts Global Artist Collective. Seven artists were chosen to interpret the Peanuts characters on 15′ x 10′ murals at Hudson Square in NYC. Similar projects are happening in Paris; Seoul, South Korea; Berlin; San Francisco; Tokyo and Mexico City.

Hudson Square is in lower Manhattan in SoHo, on the west side.

The artists are Mr. A, Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF, FriendsWithYou, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Rob Pruitt, and Kenny Scharf. You can see them here.

And here is a map of the locations of the murals. It’s in an area I love. I have mentioned before the old Keller Hotel at Barrow and West Side Highway in Greenwich Village; well this is just a little further downtown from that. I take this route sometimes when I meet up with my cousin at her office down in SoHo.

The murals will be up for three months, so I’ll get to see them when I’m in NY June and July. I look forward to it.

Let’s go back to NYC 1911

This film is amazing. It’s New York City in 1911. It’s so interesting, just seeing the people is amazing. So many of the buildings are still standing today, it amazes me that the clocks in the Madison Square area, near the Flatiron building are still there today and I love seeing the old New York Herald building which is in a few shots.

Sound has been added, this isn’t the sound from that period, but it fits in perfectly and you really are transported to 1911 and the streets of NYC. We’re time traveling.

How do I raise my Uber rating?

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My Uber rating is 4.82, I’ve been trying to get it up to 5.0, which is was for a long time, but about a year ago it dropped and I don’t know why.

I don’t know why I care either, but I’m just wondering why it went down.

I always tip, I over-tip. But am I talking too much for one driver and not enough for another? Should I sit in the back seat or the front seat? Do I remind a driver of someone they don’t like? What is it?

I never check the driver’s ratings, I just hop in the car and we’re off and I suppose the drivers don’t really check most ratings of passengers, since it’s numbers game and I doubt they can be that picky.

One time a driver got mad because the address given on the system was next door to where I was. But for some reason, I couldn’t get it to put my exact address in. Now it uses a GPS that does it for you so you don’t have to punch in the address.

But he was upset. Not sure why, I was literally 10 feet away early on a Saturday morning, there was not another person on the street and there I was standing there, holding my luggage waving at him.

But I want that rating up to 5.0. Maybe I should offer them chewing gum and bottled water when I get into the car, rather than the other way around.

Maybe I’ll try Lyft. I think I have a few free rides coming with them.

The only way to fly

flyingSo here is one of those instances where you sort of will something because you think about it and talk about it often.

I was coming home to Miami from New York and I got to the airport very early, one reason was that all over the news they were talking about hold ups at LaGuardia Airport due to the renovations going on, so I left for the airport five hours before my flight! And then when I got to the airport, the flight was bumped back an hour, so my 11:30 flight was bumped to 12:30 pm. This would not due, that would make my whole day a wasted day of flying.

I got to the gates about 7:30 am and I asked an attendant if I could get onto an earlier flight, he said there was an 8 am flight to Miami and he got me on. It was two gates over, so I walked over and they were already boarding. So get this – I got my ticket at 7:30 and was literally sitting on the plane at 7:45 am – 15 minutes later! And we were taking off at 8 am. I got home sooner than my original flight was to take off. But the amazing part was getting the ticket and getting on board in 15 minutes.

This is where the willing comes in – I am always saying, “In this day and age, why can’t we just go to the airport and hop on a plane, why is there such a project involved?” Well, it happened. No fuss, no muss. On the plane and off!

It may never happen again, but at least it did this once. And the funny part was that for a day or two before I sort of lost sleep thinking of the traffic to the airport (there was none) and getting home late because I had so much work to do (I got home hours early). As they say, 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass.

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A delightful train ride

On Thanksgiving week, I took a four hour train trip from Boston to New York. Sitting behind me were two older ladies. They didn’t know each other and they just ended up sitting together and they talked and talked for that four hours. I know their whole stories, I know their names, I know about their kids and I loved every minute of it. I almost wish I had taped it.

One lady is 82 and one is 83. One is from Manchester, England one is from Rhode Island, they both had lived in New Jersey at one time and both were on their way back to New Jersey to be with family for Thanksgiving.

The lady from Rhode Island talked like Cyndi Lauper. Exactly. The lady from Manchester had that refined English accent and you can imagine these two accents going back and forth sharing their lives with each other. Cyndi Lauper was nosy and nervy, she asked a lot of personal questions, and Manchester calmly answered them.

Manchester has two children, one in Washington DC and one in New Jersey, I think she said she lives in Boston now. Cyndi Lauper has five children and nine grandchildren, they live all over and I don’t remember where she lives now.

They spoke about their husbands who have both passed, Manchester’s husband passed 10 years ago, Cyndi Lauper’s husband passed nine years ago to the exact day we were on the train. Cyndi Lauper was very into her husband’s life, it was more about him than her, and it seemed to be a man’s world according to her questions. She asked Manchester what her husband did for a living, rather than asking Manchester what she did. Manchester’s husband did many things, including real estate, to which Cyndi Lauper said, “Oh you must have made a lot of money!” to which Manchester calmly said, “No, just enough to live on.”

Cyndi Lauper’s husband was a highly regarded college professor. It was a hectic life being a professor’s wife, according to Cyndi Lauper.

They spoke of World War II and of all of the places they have been and lived. They spoke of the Royal Family. Neither of them like Camila, Cyndi Lauper doesn’t like Charles, but Manchester says he is not a bad sort.

Manchester came to the US in the 1960s. She said that period of time was a “brain drain” where all the good minds from England moved to the states. She eventually became a citizen with her husband in Elizabeth, New Jersey, they lived in that county at the time and that was the county seat and the location for the citizenship ceremony

The conversation was fascinating. And the thought of these two older grandmas traveling alone together was nice. When they first met, Cyndi Lauper told Manchester that she was nervous about traveling alone, getting on the wrong train and all but Manchester said, “We’ll you’re on the train now and the only thing to do is get off when it’s time. That’s it.”

Cyndi Lauper had her son picking her up at the train station and Manchester had her daughter-in-law picking her up at the train station. Manchester said the first thing she wanted to do once she was settled at her son’s and daughter-in-law’s house was to have a hot cup of tea. She said, “When she asks if I want anything [meaning her daughter-in-law], I will say ‘yes,’ a hot cup of tea!”

I did not look back at them the whole time, I didn’t want to spoil the image I had in my head of them. But when my stop came, NYC, I had to get up and leave, so I looked back and there they were, sitting and staring at me. I just stared back, I didn’t want to be rude but I wanted to take them in. Neither was what I had pictured in my head and I almost wish I had not looked.

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Museum of Fine Arts Boston

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The museum is in the Northeastern University area in Boston.

I visited The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last week and it is now on my list of favorite museums, up there with MOMA in New York and the New Orleans Museum of Art, you know, museums that I will always visit when I am in those cities.

The Boston museum is huge, I got lost and it took me a half hour to find my way out! It’s the fourth largest museum in the US with over 450,000 works of art.

There is so much there that it gets overwhelming. You go from huge ancient Egyptian artifacts to French impressionists to Chinese paintings. From King Menkaura and his queen from 2472 BC to Paul Gauguin in 1897 and Renoir in 1883.