Thursday, July 27, 2017


Monday, July 24, 2017

Turning Stone/ Red Roof Inn in Utica/ Arkell Museum day 1

I went up for another solo escape to Turning Stone, staying at the Red Roof Inn in Utica.

This Red Roof is a mixture. Check in is as early at 1 PM.  I was there at 2. It is the best kept room I've ever had with everything meticulously  clean and comfortable and new looking. Nothing is in the least run down.  There is plenty of convenient electrical outlets and the usual multitude of television stations.  A fine light on the desk area is very useful.  The lighting in general is great with separate lights over the bed on each side. 
It is 100% smoke free and the rooms smell fresher than most places I have stayed because of that policy.
However, unless you pay five or ten dollars extra for an upgrade, the room  is very sparse.  No coffee maker, no refrigerator, no microwave and no TCM on the television.  I set up an area to eat.   I moved the luggage rack with my cooler on top and used that for a table.  
There is free coffee in the foyer.  They do not give a free breakfast although some of the ads suggest they do.
I got a great night's sleep.  Cranked the AC so it was cool and less humid.
It is quiet and I'm perfectly comfortable, but it is not the room to plan to eat in and watch a movie.  I watched a bit of Big Bang Theory last night along with the wearing commercials.  The mute on the remote does not work, so I had to turn the volume.
Folks in the office were great.  Very good and easy service and I managed a room on the first floor.  I do like the motels where I park up close.
On the way up I stopped at Arkell.  They are not NARM members but the fee is just $6.50 for this small museum that included two small exhibits, one some facial sketches of famous feminists and another scenes celebrating the Erie Canal.
I drove up to Arkell to arrive at about noon, and I avoided much of the Thruway and all of the tolls.  I got off at 88, went west to 20 and then followed a winding GPS track through country roads.  Sometimes the roads I took were right along the Thruway.  I passed two Amish buggies, one of a couple out for a Sunday drive with the boy laughing in the way boys do on a date.  Such a strange and different life!
The countryside looks so much better from these roads.  I went through many little towns, saw farms with animals, got fine views of rolling hills and woods.    It added just a few minutes to he trip, and I was happy to escape the boredom of the Thruway.
I listened to a cassette tape of "One Foot in the Grave" and enjoyed this Brit sit com.

I had not slept well at home  in the heat and humidity the night before, perhaps getting just a few hours even with time given for an extra nap.  So, I was tired at the Arkell and my camera battery gave out.  I could have plugged it in for a while there, but I did not want to spend more than an hour or so anyway.  I was too tired to engage intellectually, but I did engage aesthetically.  The special exhibits were interesting, but not incredible.  The sketching of the Suffragettes was well done, but just interpretations of faces after all.
The canal reflections were interesting, but most did not grab me.  It may have been that I was just too tired to fully respond.

 I liked this scene.  It got me thinking of my father who lived for a while in Grand Island along the "towpath" although much after the towing.


To avoid copyright issues, I'll just give links. This is a piece of a larger painting that was panned by critics and then cut up by Homer into smaller paintings that he spread around.  It is an interesting story.
A Piece is at the Thyssen in Madrid, where I visited this past April.
This is one of the famous Washington portraits. This Winslow Homer is more in line with what we often see, the power of the sea.  However, I don't think it is one of his best.


I liked the photography of Daniel Benevento and especially the bicycle photo of an old style 50's bike in front of  two stores..  I can't seem to find much out about him or this photograph.

One of the other regional collections was very boring.


I walked back to the library and found it quite a treat.  There is some art there, but mounted so high that it is hard to see.  The grand old wooden doorway is there, but closed.  As might be expected there is a huge collection of art books.  This would be a great place to go to look through art books.
I saw one I liked.  Winslow Homer Artists and Anglers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Winslow Homer exhibit

I started the wood stove for the first time today. Seems to work well. I'll be toasty this week. Neighbor Ron and I rowed around the lake yesterday. The leaves are past. Fine day, however. I may go again today.

I have had a good week. I glued my poker drink caddy, reglued Lakeside stones into my Laughlin watch, took apart the chain saw and got that working, and reorganized two cabinets.

On Saturday, Charlie and I drove up to Turning Stone. I won $23 Then on Sunday I took my free bus ride to Foxwoods and lost $60.

Some gambling details here: the way up to Turning Stone we stopped at Canajoharie to see the Winslow Homer exhibit in the Arkell museum.
It was a fine little museum and we had a good time looking over all the art and history.
I am not as excited by watercolors. I better like oil paintings. Still it was fine to see the collection, including one copied in Florida. Homer painted and stayed in a house we passed every time we went in the pontoon boat and full sized, well done, copies are in an exhibit at the Homassasa Wildlife Park.

In the little courtyard was a wonderful water fountain sculpture of a beautiful woman with two fish. Certainly my kind of art. These photos also show the museum.

I know nothing about art. But Homer delights me. In part he abandoned the Impressionist style for Realism. Also the art is full of rural America, ships, and water. Some of my interest may be that early in my life I identified with my grandfather who told me many stories of being a child in the late 1800's. In this collection were paintings celebrating children. Some of them were in school Homework and others playing.
I brought a notecard with Seesaw which reflected young boys and water and fishing.

The Civil War was also represented.
Punishment for Intoxicationand Contraband a painting showing a soldier in a zovave uniform offering a drink to a young Black.

This too reflects my heritage. I have letters from ancestors who served in the Civil War describing the killing of deserters.

I liked The Rooster which had been copied in ceramics.

Some interesting pieces of a large painting Homer did of a beach scene (On The Beach)were included. Critics did not like the large piece calling it " ludicrous" and a "watering place deformity," so Homer cut the painting up into smaller pieces. piece we saw showed women entering the surf. did not realize how much illustrating Homer had done for Harper's. It was interesting to see the drawings.

I liked Paul Sample's Rogue and Sandlot baseball too as well as some Benton caricatures.

There was a photography exhibit, American Ruins, featuring fifty sepia-toned infrared photographs of more than 25 historical sites. Drooker captures these ruins and preserves them for a moment in time. They were well done, but did not move me. I was curious to see Wolf House where the shapes of the ruins of Jack London's huge house

I did enjoy two small sculptures. One of Diana and her dogs was very sexy. And there was a Remington. The old Beechnut advertisements were also lots of fun. Included were some done by George Rockwell. got into the historical aspects of the collection and the history of the area. The Museum sits right next to the Beechnut factory, a common landmark in my Thruway travels West for almost 40 years. I never suspected when I saw the building on my way back from those Buffalo trips in my 20's that the museum next to the factory would be the first spot for me to receive a 62 year old senior citizen discount.

In the parking lot were some local farmers. We bought garlic and maple sugar, leeks, tomatoes and some tasty concord grapes.

My diet has been working. I am down 15 pounds. I am not always strictly on it. I sampled fish and meat at the buffet, but at home I do very well. Hopefully it will make a difference over time. Yesterday I boiled a cabbage in rosemary and garlic with a chicken carcass left from the last roasting. I froze the broth and ate the cabbage. Very yummy. However, today I had even more of the diet downside than I do on the days I eat my eggplant and beans.

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