“Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake.” ~ Unknown
Our night on the town Saturday included a full Hunter’s Moon. It was gorgeous staring down at us through the Pacific coast clouds. I’m a big – and growing – fan of night shots, but they’re not very good without a tripod. Still, I offer these up for your enjoyment and hope they lift your spirits as the moon begins to wane into night once more. Such beauty our moon, and all that light pollution comes with its own kind of beauty, too.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~ Confucius
Last Friday, as we walked to the The Helix Garage near the Kentucky Theater, I admired how far Lexington has come with its downtown. Like many other downtowns, Lexington is experiencing a long-term renaissance. It was a lively place when I was young and we’d come here from the mountains for things we couldn’t get at home. As a teenage I drove to nearly every rock concert offered at Rupp Arena; a sadly rare event these days (I’m not sure why they stopped the large national acts). In the early 1980’s, when I was getting my feet wet in local music scene, it was pretty lively with plenty of bars offering live bands, but the businesses had dried up and moved to the suburban malls. It was an American phenomenon and Lexington was not immune. But Friday I noticed how much color there is downtown; how much art, how much food and drink and people. There were people everywhere, and not all of them were playing Pokémon Go (but there were plenty of those to be sure). There were people milling about Triangle Park, dining at sidewalk patios, families with small children just admiring all there was to admire along the way. I’ve noticed a marked difference in the arts and in the way downtown looks during the Mayor Jim Gray era. Kudos to him for bringing the place back to life. If we could get a few more bars downtown big enough to offer local live music I’d feel like I stepped back in time thirty years with a lot more color.
“Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.” ~ Unknown
This blue sky is not indicative of today’s sky in Lexington. It’s been fantastic, actually, with storms training through the area since quitting time, a different kind of beautiful from the day pictured here. We had a large storm roll through yesterday morning as well. We need the rain for the beautiful grass, the beautiful flowers, the beautiful people. We need the rain and it’s as beautiful as the blue sky to me.
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do it keep walking.” ~ Zen Proverb
My first errand Friday was to drop off the car at Lowell’s for maintenance. That left me with plenty of time to explore downtown. One of my favorite things to do, after breakfast at Lexington Diner of course, is to wander the streets looking for just the right shot of downtown. Most of the time, though, the best image(s) aren’t of the idyllic cityscape, but in things rarely seen; angles, rooftops, juxtapositions of all manner of things. As I came near the corner of Mill and Second, just across from the Carnegie Center, I caught a glimpse of the First Presbyterian steeple. Do you prefer it in color or black and white? I’m going for the black and white myself, but I offer both for fun. In any case, either of these houses must be incredible places to call home. Old, steeped in a modicum of mystery, urban, and cool. I would love to know the history of either house.
“Everything in moderation, except awesome. You can never have too much awesome.”
Looks like the yarn bombers have hit downtown Lexington. I last saw trees yarn bombed back in 2013 on campus. If you’re not familiar with yarn bombing, in brief, it’s usually done anonymously by a group of knitters as a public art piece. Trees seem to be favorite thing for them to wrap with their knitted creations. If I’m not mistaken it started in Yellow Springs, Ohio several years ago. These particular trees have Christmas lights poking through, so I bet they’re pretty awesome at night. Go knitters! Keep making Lexington funky cool. It makes a lot of us happy.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ~ Ram Dass
When the day of panel sessions was over, my traveling companion, Judy Sackett, and I headed to the Tampa Bay Fun Boat for a sunset tour around Davis Island in search of dolphins. It had become overcast during the day and our chances for a nice sunset didn’t look good. The chance of seeing dolphins and manatees was also slim as the Captain told us sightings had been extremely rare over the last several weeks due to, according to his theory, excess rainfall. All things against us, we soldiered on.
We were joined by a set of older folk as well as a sweet Amish family. As expected they stayed mostly to themselves and did not partake of the free Rum Punch (they were smart not to…Rum: not my favorite). Still, they were quite taken with the beauty and they were especially interested in seeing dolphins. Lo and behold, we did indeed see dolphins. Many dolphins in fact. Another of the Fun Boat’s guests put it up to the good luck of the baby.
While we meandered our way around Davis Island, the sky cleared to the East. When we turned back toward Tampa we were presented with a stunning sunset. It was a beautiful evening full of more blessings than I can count.
“Feeling lost, desperate and crazy is as much part of a decent life as optimism, confidence and reason.”
~ Dr. SunWolf
When I was out with the cool kids last night we meandered through downtown Charlotte, NC. Nestled, or miniaturized depending how you prefer to see it, was this delicate spire atop the First Presbyterian Church. There’s something comforting to me to find a small church in the middle of a metropolitan city. I was reminded to return to my series of sacred spaces started about this time last year. This gentle nudge completes a near perfect conference trip. That’s a rare thing to certainly be grateful for.
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” ~ James Joyce
It’s been fun being a tourist in downtown Lexington for the last two days. As an attendee of the Midwest Archives Conference at the Hilton, I had the chance to check out downtown during the weekdays. I have to say they’ve done a great job revitalizing Lexington’s downtown area.
The city was bustling with people and traffic and food and archivists. I ran into many old friends at the conference like Ginny Daley. I’ve known Ginny for nearly thirty years, but we didn’t meet because of archives. We met through music when I joined a band with Ginny’s friend, Kiya Heartwood. They were both in Library school at the time. Ginny finished. Kiya dropped out, but not before working as a GA for my co-worker and conference buddy, Judy Sackett. I learned that Ginny had also worked with (or for, I don’t remember) Judy lo those many years ago. Back then I would have been the last person anyone would have figured to go into library work. It’s pretty entertaining how life turns out sometimes. One thing is certain, no matter where your path leads, this is a small, small world. I’m thrilled to be in it, and tickled that Ginny Daley is still my friend all these years later.
“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” ~ John Wayne
Here’s one last offering from my trip downtown last Wednesday. Car-hood-as-tripod is much more obvious this time, but I like the look of the night. I think I’ll make it a point to go shoot more after hours. I’m very lucky to live in a town with churches that light up the winter gloom.
“Earth is so thick with divine possibility that it is a wonder we can walk anywhere without cracking our shins on altars.” ~ Barbara Brown Taylor
I managed to miss the Christmas parade after paying my respects to Mike Moore’s dad at Kerr Bros. downtown. Mike gives me way too much credit for a lot of things, especially music. His eyes light up when we talk drums. He gives me hope that I’m not too old; that there might be some music life left in me. I saw the new sign atop Victorian Square, which is now apparently called simply ‘The Square’. I actually like the sign a lot. It will have to stand in for a picture of Mike tonight, though I don’t recommend taking pictures while driving in the rain in downtown traffic. It makes them blurry. (You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?) Peace be with you, Mike. I’m the president of your fan club.