Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Philadelphia Record Store

This past Saturday, while Kendra was visiting friends in North Carolina, I grabbed the camera and took a walk around town. It was a cold and windy day, but the sun was out and so were alot of people.

It's been a while since I just took the camera and headed out with no real direction in mind - not since so many of those kinds of days in the foreign environment of Manila-, so it felt a little odd to be walking around my own local neighborhoods with a's not like I was going to be running into any wet markets, locksmiths, SWAT teams or poker players.

But I was in search of something visually interesting to document, so I braved the cold and headed south. The low temperatures and blustery wind may have quickened my pace and decreased my awareness- it took me about 7 blocks or so for me to find anything remotely interesting, but when I found it, it was a gold mine.

I don't know what it is about a store crammed full of old vinyl records that appeals to my photographic eye- maybe it's all the repeating lines and patterns-, but the Philadelphia Record Exchange on South St. has all that atmosphere and more (like a bench painted in American flag colors in the basement and dozens of dog-eared box sets of Bach recordings).

Here's what I came out with:

[A little further down on Bainbridge is a collection of brightly colored South Philly townhomes]

[Walking back home on North 3rd St, I happened apon one of the Old City boutiques with a unique marketing method:]

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day

Today I received a very nice surprise: a dozen tiger roses from Tim!!! They are a hybrid rose that have tiger stripes on them in two different shades of red. They are awesome and just gorgeous.

I remember the first couple years we were married, Tim had such a hard time remembering holidays. It is so impressive to have received roses now an entire day early and of his own volition! They came from ProFlowers and I assembled the arrangement in a very pretty vase that came with the package.

Thanks, Baby!!!


While Kendra was in NC, she happened to find an antique shop (Rebecca & Luke's favorite store) with the this crazy huge cast-iron clock. It's now on it's way to Philly (as my Valentines Day gift) and may or may not see public display until we move out of Old City.

['s the really big one!]

Monday, February 12, 2007

Trip to Washington D.C. and Winston-Salem

I am taking some time off right now - actually a month. Although the great majority of my time off is being spent catching up with family obligations and determining what is next for me job wise, I took a long weekend to visit a few friends I haven't seen in quite a while.

Tim had to travel Wednesday and Thursday night for a show at the Westin Grand in Washington D.C. I took the Amtrak and the Metro there on Wednesday afternoon to spend that afternoon with him and with our friend Brian Horst.

It was nice to see what takes Tim away so often. He had set up the conference room very professionally of course and gave Brian and I a tour. As for me, it was nice to just be able to decompress a bit and read some good books and drink wine in the afternoon. By the time the weekend was over, I had read Never Let Me Go and The Handmaiden's Tale. I highly recommend both of them.

After Tim was released from work on Wednesday night, we had a great dinner with Brian at Asia Nora. The food was great! We followed dinner with a few drinks at McFadden's. Whenever we get the opportunity to spend time with old friends, we don't want the evening to end! We all got home quite late - especially Brian who I'm sure was very tired the next morning for work.

Thursday morning I woke up and relaxed at the hotel for awhile. I headed to Union station on the Metro late morning for my LOOOONG Amtrak ride to High Point, NC. It was nice to have so much time to think, although at the same time, it was nerve wracking. I'm so stressed out about my next role at work that it is hard to have so much time to think. I mostly read and tried to tune out the talkative people around me.

I was heading to North Carolina to see Rebecca again. She is a very good friend of mine from the Epylon (San Francisco) and State of North Carolina projects I spent nearly 3 years on in total. She and Luke had a baby about 6 months ago, and I have yet to meet her! The baby is Annabelle and she is adorable, as I would soon find out.

Rebecca came to pick me up from the Amtrak station and took me back to their cute house. It was great to see her again, and of course, we picked up right where we left off.

We had several great days of catching up, talking, eating great meals, and playing with Annabelle (or "Belly" as Rebecca calls her). On Saturday night, we invited Jonathan Trappe over. Jonathan is another friend from Epyone and State of North Carolina, and it was so great to see him again!

Rebecca and Luke are sleep deprived and very busy. Luke is in medical school and will start his residency next year. Rebecca works full time. Both are very occupied with the baby and very involved with her. She also seemed to have started teething again during the weekend and kept them both up most of the night.

Despite all of this, they were great hosts. I tried to help out with what I could.

Here are some pictures taken from the weekend:

[The gremlin in the Philadelphia LOVE shirt we bought for her]

[The proud Mommy and "Belly"]

[Jonathan holding the baby for the first time]

[Sucking her thumb]

[The lovely family]

On Monday I spent 12 hours getting home on Amtrak. The ride wasn't bad until I had finished my last book and my butt started feeling like a squashed tomato!

Until the next adventure...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hike to Marcy Dam

[Skies over Marcy Dam]

[Birch and Pine Needles]

[A single, perfect snowflake]

[On the wall at Adirondak Loj]

[Among the Tall Pines]

[Melting Ice on the Needles]

[Lake : Half-Frozen]

Adirondak Dog Sled Rides

Just a few steps down the road from our house, away from Lake Placid, there were 2 teams of sled dogs giving rides for $5.00 a person. Usually these guys are out on the frozen lake, but at this point in the Unseasonably Mild Winter of 2006, finding ice safe enough to walk on- even up here in the Adirondaks- is a little scarce.

So Kendra and I took a stroll down to see the dogs, who were very excited to be working- even if it was just running in circles all day for tourists. Between each run they were very vocal and jumpy, but as soon as the operators hooked them up to the sled, they were all business and took off like a shot. We took a run on each of the teams and had a great time with the Huskys.

[Dogs under the mountain]

[This little guy couldn't wait until he was big enough to join the others]

[Ready for Take-Off]

Back to Adirondak High Peaks/Lake Placid
Hike to Marcy Dam