Geoff’s birthday weekend in Buffalo 2012


We have a habit of spending Geoff’s birthday, April 21st, out of the country. Last year at this time we were in New York. This year we just hopped over the border for a little weekend excursion. 

Unfortunately, his birthday gift hadn’t arrived yet when we left, but it will be in this week. I ordered him this very cool jacket from My Baby Jo.

We left yesterday morning and made our first stop at the Lakeside Diner which is a spot we’ve been to before a few times. In fact, I think that we went there for Geoff’s birthday 2 or 3 years ago with Dean. Then we went to poke around the antique area that we’re fond of. Geoff found two pair of really nice cuff links, one set with an “H” on it for Holmes and the other with little Jitterbuggers on it! That was a pretty neat find. We also spied a great men’s vintage 50s bike in red and excellent condition that Geoff was very attracted to, but at $450 he’d have to want to ride a lot more often than he does to make it really worth while.

Then we headed over to Miss Josie’s Antiques. This is a great store where I bought a few hats a couple of years ago and they didn’t let me down this time either. I have a bit of a hat radar and immediately found two fantastic hats. One is bright orange with flowers on it, very vibrant and extreme, and the other is a little dark green day number that I’ll call my Peter Pan Hat. Photos forthcoming. There was also a nice black hat that I don’t particularly need since I have so many but it has a neat little art deco accessory on it so I grabbed it to resell since the price was right.

After that we went to the vintage car Museum; The Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum. It’s not a big museum but they have a few really exquisite cars. Some day when Ginger, our 1929 Graham Paige, is done we’ll be able to drive her down there for one of their car shows.

I had wanted to go see some jazz on Saturday but we were really pooped and took an epic nap. By the time we went out for dinner it was 8:30pm and we weren’t done until about 10:30. We went back to watch a bit of TV instead which is a novelty for us since we aren’t TV people. At 2:30am there was a big fire alarm at the hotel which was really disruptive. After the evacuation, I couldn’t get to bed until 5am and then we slept in. In the morning we went to Bertha’s Diner, another place that we like back in the antique area.  We had some time to kill so we did a bit of shopping, and then it was time for the main event of the weekend.

Experience Shea’s as it originally was – a grand movie palace with a live orchestra, when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performs LIVE to the 1925 black and white silent film “The Phantom of the Opera” starring Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin April 22, 2:30pm. Touted as being one of the greatest horror films of all time, this cinematic classic with its score performed live by the BPO is a very special event not to be missed!

Well that was a really neat idea! Seeing a silent film as it was meant to be seen, with live musical accompaniment and in a big beautiful theatre with an appreciative audience. A++ It was so compelling! My only regret was that I got a little sleepy in the second act since Geoff and I had some champagne on the intermission. Still, it was a really neat experience seeing it on the big screen. I would definitely like to do something like that again.

Also, the Shea’s Theater is really beautiful. I’d like to see some more things there.

So I guess that’s a wrap for the weekend. We didn’t take many photos but I’ll upload some when we get a chance, including the cuff links and hats.

Happy birthday, my wonderful husband! XO

 

A Connection to Jazz Royalty

My family has a small connection to jazz royalty. Specifically, my father’s cousin, Freddy Stone, toured with Duke Ellington’s band in 1970 & ’71. How cool is that? My father talks about his cousin, Freddy, now and again but thank you to my sister for reminding me of these videos. She in turn got them from her friend, Bob Wiseman. Fred Stone was also a music teacher and an inspiration to Bob Wiseman. This is a fantastic video of him playing with the Duke; he’s the only white guy in the band. He’s also a little bit “out there” which is pretty humorous and after the performance, Duke Ellington exclaims “we don’t know what he’s doing, but he sure does it well.” From the CBC archives:

 

My Grandfather

My grandfather, Jacques Cohen, passed away last week. It was very sad, but also a best case scenario. He was 89 years old, and rather than it happening during one of the many medical emergencies that he’s had over the years, he passed peacefully at home. He had spent the day with my mom and was cooking some shepherd’s pie to have with my aunt. He felt tired and went to rest at the end of the day and that was it.

I had never really been to a full funeral before. I guess that I’ve been lucky. There was only one other occasion; I had a friend in high school who drowned and at the time it was the worst thing I had ever experienced. That was a large funeral since many people from the school attended, and we didn’t go along to the burial afterward. I didn’t make it to Frankie Manning’s funeral, just his memorial. So this was my first time really experiencing it.

My grandfather was always surrounded by women and I don’t think he really knew what to do with them. It wasn’t until he met my husband, and Geoff started to ask him some questions about WWII and other parts of his youth that he really opened up. In all the years of knowing him, I had never seen him animated like he was with Geoff. Sadly, I don’t even have a photo of me with him, but I do have a beautiful one of him with Geoff and that makes me happy.

Birthday Recap! 2012


I’ve just enjoyed 3 days of really nice celebration for my birthday. It’s my running joke with myself that I turn 27 every year. It’s an old joke, and probably not very funny, but if you can’t laugh at your own humour than what are you going to do?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfqniUmxBuQ]

On Thursday I stopped by Dolly Factory by Damzels and treated myself to a cute little red dress, a foxy blouse, and 3 fascinators. I should take some photos and post those soon. My sister, Zoey, met me and we continued along on a nice walk down Queen St. It was an indulgent day and we stopped at Bonjour Brioche for a croissant before going to a secret little coffee shop that I can’t remember the name of and it’s quite hidden, but it was really charming. One of the East End’s best secrets, for sure.

Then we hopped on the streetcar and headed West to break my usual no sugar rule in the most worthy way possible – with macarons! We went to Nadege which is on Queen West right across from Trinity Bellwoods park.

That evening I taught my usual dance classes but with a twist; I brought in a little trio to play for the Advanced class and then we had a little party when the class was done. It was so nice! I’m hoping that people put up the photos soon and I’ll include them here.

On Friday I had a nice date with my hubby who came in to Toronto and spent the day with me. We went to the Athens on the Danforth for a little brunch. This was a family tradition of ours when we were young. They make fantastic, freshly baked Greek pies like spanakopita. We had quite a little feast for just $13. Yum! Then we zipped up to a movie poster warehouse that Geoff knows and I picked up Hellzapoppin’ and A Day At The Races prints for the studio.  Then we went South to St. Lawrence Market because I love it there. Walked about and bought a big exotic Nebrodi mushroom cap to cook up this week and some interesting dry garlic snacks. We went on to poke around in Kensington Market and made a stop at Lilliput to look at hats. This is the fabulous store that made my wedding hat. They have exquisite things and I refrained for buying the $250 hat that I fell in love with.

Then it was off to dinner with my family at Rawlicious. They started their spring menu and I had the raw lasagna which is always fantastic as well as the brownie fudge sundae which was worth every delicious calorie. Yum!

Today I went for Afternoon Tea at the Prince of Wales in Niagara On The Lake with my good friend Steph. This was a wonderful way to cap off my birthday festivities. It’s a good thing that I went to the gym in the morning because afternoon tea is quite a feast. Delicious scones with cream, little finger sandwiches and delicate desserts can really fill you up when you’re also consuming 10 cups of tea. We each wore vintage hats for the occasion. It was lovely!

I wonder what I’ll do when I turn 27 the next time?

 

Birthday Re-Cap 2012


I’ve just enjoyed 3 days of really nice celebration for my birthday. It’s my running joke with myself that I turn 27 every year. It’s an old joke, and probably not very funny, but if you can’t laugh at your own humour than what are you going to do?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfqniUmxBuQ]

On Thursday I stopped by Dolly Factory by Damzels and treated myself to a cute little red dress, a foxy blouse, and 3 fascinators. I should take some photos and post those soon. My sister, Zoey, met me and we continued along on a nice walk down Queen St. It was an indulgent day and we stopped at Bonjour Brioche for a croissant before going to a secret little coffee shop that I can’t remember the name of and it’s quite hidden, but it was really charming. One of the East End’s best secrets, for sure.

Then we hopped on the streetcar and headed West to break my usual no sugar rule in the most worthy way possible – with macarons! We went to Nadege which is on Queen West right across from Trinity Bellwoods park.

That evening I taught my usual dance classes but with a twist; I brought in a little trio to play for the Advanced class and then we had a little party when the class was done. It was so nice! I’m hoping that people put up the photos soon and I’ll include them here.

On Friday I had a nice date with my hubby who came in to Toronto and spent the day with me. We went to the Athens on the Danforth for a little brunch. This was a family tradition of ours when we were young. They make fantastic, freshly baked Greek pies like spanakopita. We had quite a little feast for just $13. Yum! Then we zipped up to a movie poster warehouse that Geoff knows and I picked up Hellzapoppin’ and A Day At The Races prints for the studio.  Then we went South to St. Lawrence Market because I love it there. Walked about and bought a big exotic Nebrodi mushroom cap to cook up this week and some interesting dry garlic snacks. We went on to poke around in Kensington Market and made a stop at Lilliput to look at hats. This is the fabulous store that made my wedding hat. They have exquisite things and I refrained for buying the $250 hat that I fell in love with.

Then it was off to dinner with my family at Rawlicious. They started their spring menu and I had the raw lasagna which is always fantastic as well as the brownie fudge sundae which was worth every delicious calorie. Yum!

Today I went for Afternoon Tea at the Prince of Wales in Niagara On The Lake with my good friend Steph. This was a wonderful way to cap off my birthday festivities. It’s a good thing that I went to the gym in the morning because afternoon tea is quite a feast. Delicious scones with cream, little finger sandwiches and delicate desserts can really fill you up when you’re also consuming 10 cups of tea. We each wore vintage hats for the occasion. It was lovely!

I wonder what I’ll do when I turn 27 the next time?

 

Marilyn Monroe & her TV Dinner

Last night we went to the 20th Annual CKOC Reunion Dance, an event in Hamilton put on by the oldies radio station. We went to the event last year and had a pretty good time, so we thought we’d go again. Also, our friend Dean won first prize in the costume contest last year and a great prize of $500, so Geoff thought he’d put together a really great costume and shoot for the cash prize.

We did some brain storming to come up with fun 1950s & 60s costume ideas and came up with a TV Dinner! Geoff loved this rather extreme costume idea – most people just dress up as greasers and sock hoppers – so we’ve had the makings of a giant TV Dinner in our living room for the past 6 weeks.

Well, it ended up being a bust. The radio station did indeed advertise that there would be a cash prize, but I guess they went over budget and though Geoff did win for the best male costume, they gave him a crappy gift basket instead of the cash they had advertised. He was furious! And he doesn’t get mad very easily. He plans to write them a letter tomorrow. Uh oh!

For myself, it was a good excuse to pull out the Marilyn wig again. I had a reasonably fun time parading around as Marilyn for the earlier part of the night, but then I got pretty tired and annoyed with the whole thing. The venue and the music wasn’t as good as last year. We won’t be attending again.

On a brighter note, our friend, Inna, won the door prize of a big trip to the Carribean! Not bad at all.

 

So many websites, so little time

Check out these great websites!

I think that it was Pinterest that gave me the idea. I’ve just gotten over being really sick for a couple of weeks and spending WAY too much time cooped up at home… inevitably on the computer.

With all of the fun of pinning on Pinterest and having an cyber-bulletin board, it got me thinking… I have quite a few websites, and sometimes it’s a bit confusing to explain about all of the different projects that I’m working on. And even for myself, I sometimes have trouble remembering what my next priority should be since I have so many balls up on the air. So why not set up a designated website just for me?

I like the idea. I have a little blog for my food experiments, but sometimes I just want to write about something general that’s going on in my life or that’s on my mind. This site will allow me to pull from whatever source I’m currently in the mood. I’m feeling really good about it!

So here’s to my new all purpose website! I’m enjoying it already.

Mandi