You Wanna See Hamilton, But Don’t Vote?

House_Democrats_Sit-in

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I wasn’t the first to say it, but I believe it.

And standing for something is what many of our Democratic Representatives are doing with support from some Democratic Senators too. In solidarity they are standing up for the victims of gun violence and for those of us left with lives to lose.

When I heard that civil rights icon John Lewis was leading the call with a sit-in, I was enthralled. Still am. It couldn’t have been written any better. How cinematic and extraordinary.

Many of us have been complaining about our representatives lack of action when it comes to gun violence. Rise up! They have!

As I write this, they have been holding the floor of the people’s house for nearly 24 hours. We are witnesses to history. Isn’t it fitting that at the same time, Alexander Hamilton the musical is making history too? I’m listening to the cast recording as I write this. Not many of us can get enough of it. It’s engaging and addictive.

Tickets to the show in Chicago have been reported to be selling for as much as $10,000.00. With low voter participation being such a problem in this country, I wonder what percentage of people who attend the show actually vote. Is the show about a Founding Father completely lost on most?

The best way for us to get our shot is to vote and get involved with politics on some level. Are we part of the solution?

We have so many levels of problems in this country. If we all tackle something, I truly believe that we can make a huge difference. We the people. Three little words. The start of one of the most beautiful documents ever. It’s us.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ~ Preamble to the United States Constitution

When they wrote “our Posterity”, they were thinking about us. Now. But it’s up to us to do something. Life is an experiment. This country is an experiment. All we can do is try to think about the kind of world and country that we want to live in. Insure domestic tranquility.

Is what is happening now the American Dream? I don’t think so. Republicans are content to have us gunned down walking home. Gunned down in a theater. Gunned down in church. Gunned down in school. Gunned down anywhere. They think it’s okay.

We can’t pursue Happiness when we are in fear for our lives. It seems the only lives the Republicans have concern for are unborn. After that, we’re on our own.

We have to do better. We can do better. It’s time. I’m a Sanders supporter, but you better believe I will still vote. I’m not giving away my shot. Neither should you. History has its eyes on you.

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Screenshot: Los Angeles Times

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Summer Solstice Strawberry Moon

moon rising in the sky

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love taking pictures of the tops of trees touching the sky.  Especially at dusk as the moon rises. It might be my favorite time of day. Maybe because I was born at night.

This past week I watched the moon becoming more full and tonight it’s the full strawberry moon.

It’s also summer solstice. The longest day of the year and the first day of summer! The first time that the two have coincided since 1967, the Summer of Love. Back then it was a time filled with chaos and change.

Based on the horrific and tragic event last week at Pulse and the looming Democratic and Republican conventions, it looks like we might be in for another long hot summer. I hope that as a nation we can do better than 1967heal and move towards light and love.

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The Citgo Sign

Citgo Sign Boston

As I was thinking about writing a post this morning, I found this picture. I don’t remember if I blogged it before, but I do remember hearing recently that the sign might be taken down due to a change in ownership.

The Citgo sign is more than a sign. It’s a way to orient yourself as you make your way around the city. When you’ve been away, it’s a familiar sight that welcomes you back to Boston.

At night, the glow is beautiful. It’s synonymous with Kenmore Square. It’s one of those things that makes Boston, Boston. Like the gas tank on the Expressway. It’s iconic. What used to be just a sign has very much transformed into something else and I hope it will be preserved.

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To generate creative ideas, you have to start from an unusual place. But to explain those ideas, you have to connect them to something familiar.  ~ Adam Grant

The above quote from an article by Adam Grant has also resonated with me lately. I’m not sure if it directly relates to the status of the sign, but somehow they are connecting in my mind….

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

Edgar Allen Poe Square in Boston

We had another unseasonably warm day in Boston yesterday. Since I was already downtown meeting with someone for an article that I am working on, I decided to enjoy the weather and walk around a bit afterwards.

Edgar Allen Poe is a favorite writer of mine, and a new statute of him was just unveiled in Boston this past Sunday, October 5th.

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

I walked over to Edgar Allen Poe Square and took a look for myself. It’s so much smaller than I expected! There were a few other people walking around looking and taking pictures too.

If you were walking and not paying attention, say looking down at your phone, it would be quite easy to smash into it and take quite a topple.

The directions that I was given by various people were sketchy at best. Let me give you the benefit of my wandering around and make it easier for you to find.

If you take the T, get out at Boylston Street on the Green Line. After you exit, cross the street onto Boylston Street and walk away from Boston Common towards Charles Street and looking at Park Square.

While I was admiring the statue, I couldn’t help but think about all the negative comments Poe made about the city of his birth. He was not fond of Boston.

Does he like this or is he rolling over in his grave? Something to think about with Halloween arriving soon and the man who wrote to terrify now conjured up and walking amongst us. The “Do Not Enter” sign appearing before him might just be taking on a whole new meaning…..

Visiting + Eating on Nantucket: Part 1

Nantucket house through the fence

Last week I shared some pictures from my trip to Nantucket. Since then, I’ve had time to go through all the pictures. Because there are so many things I’d like to share with you, it will take two posts to fit in everything. Even with all the pictures I did take, I realized there were a lot of pictures that I did not take. I can tell that I’m in the moment and relaxing when I forget to take pictures. Especially of my meals! Sometimes it’s also bad lighting or I’m just too hungry!

My mother and I have gone on several trips together over the years. We’ve been to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Miami. The last one was a short day trip to Block Island a couple of years ago. We’re thinking about Puerto Rico for the next one, so I guess we have an island theme going at this point!

mom on balcony + restaurant guideWhen my mom was a child, a close friend of the family had a house on Nantucket, so she and her brothers and sisters visited often. When my mother got married, 52 years ago, she and my father had their honeymoon there. That was my mother’s last time on the island. She said that it has changed quite a bit since then. More than half a century passing can do that!

Nantucket flowerboxSince my family has such a strong history with Nantucket, I might be assuming that everyone has heard of it. For those who haven’t, here’s a little background.

Nantucket is part of Massachusetts, but it’s an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod. The name is from the native Wampanoag tribe and means “The Faraway Land.” It’s a very small island, 14 miles long and 3 1/2 miles wide. Over 40% of it is conservation land with many public beaches. There are also some beautiful golf courses.

Even though we were still in the same state, because we were visiting an island, it felt like we were taking quite a trip! We had to drive south to Cape Cod, then take the ferry. There is a high-speed ferry, which for a bit more money will get you to Nantucket in an hour. We took the traditional ferry and it took a little over two hours. What’s interesting is that not long after getting on the ferry, you can see land.

nantucket lighthouseAfrican-Americans are very much part of the history of Nantucket. Enslaved Africans arrived on the island in the 1600s. In 1764, the first official count of the black population was 44 people. In 1773, Nantucket abolished slavery. Like many others on the island, African Americans worked “as tradespeople, laborers, sheep and livestock raisers, and later as whalers and mariners.”

Many may not be aware that the Museum of African American History has branches in Boston and Nantucket. You can take a tour of the Black Heritage Trail to learn more. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to take it. White Elephant Hotel room

My mom and I arrived on the island in the late afternoon. We stayed at the White Elephant, which was just a quick ride from the ferry. I had emailed ahead when we would be arriving and a hotel driver was waiting for us as planned. The hotel is known for being quite luxurious and expensive. But if you visit off-season and look at each day online before booking your trip, you can get relatively low rates. When I was looking, some of the rates were more than five thousand dollars a night. Needless to say, our rate was nothing near that.

Our room was really comfortable and we had a nice balcony overlooking marshland. I love the White Elephant pillow! Too bad it wasn’t a parting gift. But they did give us bottles of water and granola bars as we left for the ferry ride home. Also, there is complimentary bottled water each day, among many other things. I wasted room in my overnight bag by packing slippers and a robe. They are provided by the hotel and I have to remember to never do that again!

walkway from hotel to restaurantMy mom and I spent some time talking about where we wanted to eat dinner and decided that we’d take it easy and eat at the hotel restaurant, Brant Point Grill. It was just a two-minute walk outside and around the corner. The quick walk was so pretty that I had to take some pictures! Looking back, I realize that I didn’t take pictures of the front of the hotel.

Brant Point Grill

We made an excellent choice! Brant Point Grill is definitely on my list of best restaurant experiences. By the way, this is Restaurant Week on Nantucket, so if you want to go today or this weekend, it’s a great time to visit.

The service was top-notch. The food was happiness and joy in my mouth. Large servings. So large that we didn’t have room for dessert. An amazing bread basket. I even got the recipe for one of the breads that I will be sharing with you soon!

My mom and I toasted my birthday with cocktails. I finally got to try Pimm’s! Yum!

The ambiance was perfect. Dimly lit with lots of flickering candles. Not great for taking pictures though, so I just got one grainy picture. As we were led by the hostess to the main room, I saw that we were at the back of the hotel on the water. There was a clear plastic covering, so the chill in the air was kept out, but we could see the lights, water and boats and hear the fog horns.

It was just getting dark as we arrived and we could see the final bit of daylight turn into the night. While we were walking, I could feel warmth from above. I looked up and saw orange heating lights. As someone who is always cold, this was just perfect for me.

Brant Point Grill is is a great place to take someone that you want to impress. A business dinner. An engagement. A surprise anything. It would be cool to take someone on a ferry and have them not know where they were going, then end up here for a wonderful meal. I loved this place!

After our meal, we went back to our room and watched some television before going to sleep. For Part 2, I’ll take you along for the rest of our trip.

*Updated 10/22/2014* Part 2 is up. Take a look here.