fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

In Which I Go On an Actual Trip

Celebrity Death Watch: Arlene Golonka was an actress, best known for appearing as Millie in The Andy Griffith Show, as well as being on the comedy record You Don’t Have to Be Jewish. Raymond Donovan was the Secretary of Labor under Ronald Reagan. Clarence Williams III played Linc on The Mod Squad. John M. Patterson was the segregationist governor of Alabama in the early 1960’s. Richard Ernst won a Nobel prize in chemistry for his work on spectroscopy. Karla Burns was the first black person to win the Laurence Olivier award for theatre (the British equivalent of the Tony). Mudcat Grant was a pitcher, primarily for the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins. Art Ditmar was a pitcher for the A’s (in both Philadelphia and Kansas City) and the Source of All Evil in the Universe. John Gabriel was an actor, best known for appearing in the movie Ryan’s Hope. Ziona was the leader of a polygamous Christian sect in India and known for being the head of the “world’s biggest family.” Ned Beatty was a character actor who appeared in too many movies to mention. Janet Malcolm was a journalist, known for writing about psychology.

F. Lee Bailey was a lawyer, known for high profile criminal defense cases, including those of Albert DeSalvo (the Boston strangler), Patty Hearst, and O.J. Simpson.

Edward DeBono was known for writing and teaching about thinking and creating the term Lateral Thinking. His best known book was Six Thinking Hats. At least two people I knew were big fans of DeBono’s Thinking Course, which I think was on public television. I like his quote “Why have a mind if you can’t change it?”

Kevin Kaunda was the president of Zambia from 1964-1991, after leading the fight for independence from Great Britain. He was a defender of one party rule, claiming it protected against tribalism. He later became involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Champ was the older of the Biden family German shepherds. I hope Major won’t be too lonely now.

Trip the First - Philadelphia: So I actually went more than a few miles from home! I took the train up to Philadelphia the week of June 7th. My major reason for the trip was the Philadelphia Flower Show, which I’d wanted to go to for ages. I bought a hotel and flower show package, which provided a discount on both, and added on the butterfly pavilion. I also bought a ticket for the Barnes Foundation.

So how did it go? I wouldn’t normally take the Acela for that short a trip, but fares were low and reserved seats are a plus. Inevitably, there was an idiot who didn’t understand that having a reserved seat means you are supposed to sit in that seat, but the conductor straightened him out. The hotel was the Residence Inn next to City Hall, which is well located, but below brand standard. For example, one usually gets a suite with a kitchen, while my room had just a refrigerator and microwave. It also had poor soundproofing and lacked any comfortable seating. (The one chair was hard on my back and the bed was too high to be comfortable to sit on.) It wasn’t terrible, but I would probably stay elsewhere on future trips.

The Barnes Foundation was excellent. My primary interest was their current special exhibit on Soutine and deKooning. The former is an artist I find interesting, having taken a class on him (and Modigliani) as part of my Smithsonian art history program. I concluded that his landlord must have been much happier to have him painting portraits than his pictures of rotting meat. I was rather taken by a landscape (of a town in France) which reminded me of Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, though I am sure that was not the actual intent. I find deKooning more problematic, as his dislike of women comes out clearly (to me, at least). I did also look at the permanent collection. They have a cool app that lets you point your phone at any picture and get more info about it. The most interesting aspect of that was what items I found myself drawn to. Apparently, I like Cezanne more than I thought I did. (I knew how much I like Matisse.) The oddity of the arrangement of the art is a lot of the appeal of the museum, by the way, which makes the app particularly useful. Special bonus - I got to have coffee (well, aranciata in my case) and a lively chat with daphnep, who is pretty much what I expected.

The flower show was less successful, mostly because the weather was dreadfully hot and humid. The show is normally in March in the convention center, but had been moved to FDR Park in South Philadelphia in June, due to COVID. It was easy enough to get there via SEPTA, but it was a longish walk through the park to the actual site. I am usually fairly heat tolerant, but I was dripping with sweat after less than an hour. There were some nice displays, especially of lilies. I also liked the indoor area which had orchids and some arrangements around dollhouse sets. Fortunately, they had places to refill water bottles set up next to the first aid tents. I had paid $5 extra for the butterfly pavilion and that was even hotter than the rest of the site, so I didn’t stay there long. Overall, I do think I managed to see pretty much everything, but I wouldn’t go if they do it outdoors again.

By the way, it’s a good thing I went in the morning, because there were thunderstorms later in the day and they had to evacuate the entire site.I had gone back to my hotel and set the air conditioning to stun by then. At least the storm cooled things off nicely and the walk back to the train station the next morning was comfortable.

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Tags: art, celebrity death watch, travel

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