CT- Red Sox or Yankees Fans?

With Manny Ramirez signing to Rangers but currently orientating with the Round Rock Express, I can't stop thinking about the years I covered the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry. Manny played for the Red Sox from 2001 to 2008, exactly the entire time I was asking, "Should Connecticut residents be Red Sox or Yankees fans?" Here is one from 2003 - no mention of Manny, but it's interesting to hear what Spike Lee has to say.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

In honor of New York City and my Willamena who is now 14-years-old...

we take a look back to past Howl-oween jaunts.

Click here for THE WILLAMENA NEW YORK CITY HAUNTED TOUR It's the official tour of Willamena's favorite haunted spots in New York City. No costume was needed for this trek across the city.

However, the next year, Mena found a phone booth on the Upper West Side to transform from Clark Kennel to SUPERMENA! Click here... It's SUPERMENA!

Mena the Mutt-ador
In a land of labra- doodles and other hybrids- we decided since Mena was part MUTT and part labrADOR, she had to dress as a MUTT-ADOR.
She visited the Bowling Green Bull in NYC. and here...



Willamena has traded Central Park for Central Texas in her retirement years.

Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) and London's new skyline icon: The Shard


Picture from February 2012

Later this month when the summer Olympics kick off in London ( London 2012- click here for schedule) you will no doubt be inundated with iconic images of London. You'll probably even hear more on the controversy of how Big Ben will soon officially be considered "Elizabeth Tower."

If you take a look behind Big Ben/Elizabeth Tower, you'll see London Eye, the big wheel. This picture was taken right around the corner from 10 Downing Street.

From another angle, in Hyde park, behind London Eye, you see a building rising tall from the south side of the Thames.
The new all-glass structure is called The Shard.
Shot of the SHARD just prior to completion. June 2012
Click here for the official website which includes views from the structure.

The Shard is set to open to the public July 5th, 2012.




The Shard is the tallest building in London, as well as the tallest building in the EU. There is a hotel, offices, condos and observation tower.

As I walked London over the past few years, I watched the Shard grow. Scroll down to see the 1,020 ft tall building from different locations. You can see it from different angles around London, just as you can the Empire State Building in NYC.

(The Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall.)


Click here for a map of the Tube.

Around corner from London Bridge Tube Station.
January 2012
October 2010
See the Shard popping up over Tower of London. 2011
January 2012. Shot from St. Thomas street.

2011. Steps from Borough and Southward Tube stations.

Near Temple Tube Station. See the Shard on south side of the Thames. 2011
Outside Waterloo Tube Station. 2011.

Colorado Wildfires

I woke up this morning to read that more evacuations are expected as firefighters continue their efforts against wildfires west of Fort Collins, Colorado. More evacuations are expected.

You know how it is when you know someone who lives in an area where there is destruction. There is that little gasp, and you hope they are okay.

This past year at the SXSW music festival in Austin, I was lucky to attend a showcase of Fort Collins, Colorado music called Spokes BUZZ.

The musicians were out speaking to the guests, they gave me a couple of C-D's and I shot video of the performances. (I'm actually working on editing some of their performances which I'll post later.) One of the promoters, Bob Carnahan, told me about the
Mishawaka, a venue where many of the featured artists perform. His description stuck in my mind, saying something to the effect of it being the prettiest place to see live music. Rolling hills with sheep, a river, even an occasional BEAR!

I contacted Bob as soon as I read that wildfires tore across more than 56-thousand acres west of Fort Collins, destroying at least 181 structures.

He wrote me back saying his beloved Mishawaka amphitheater on the banks of the Poudre River has become a staging area for firefighters.

The owner of the Mishawaka is the president and founder of SpokesBUZZ. At this point, he says the owner hasn't been able to "get back up the canyon to see anything," but has been getting updates from firefighters.

Bob went on to say it is a nasty wildfire and "although it is still several miles from the city proper, the smoke occasionally settles across the community as the wind shifts."

What he says next reminds me of the wildfire that ravaged much of Bastrop, just outside Austin, almost one year ago.

He says everyone knows someone that has been impacted in some way and that there are "hundreds of families staying in hotels and with friends until they get an all clear for their area. I have a friend who believes he lost his cabin early Sunday morning after the fire chased him out."

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Queen...

Following her Diamond Jubilee, wonder what Queen Elizabeth II got for her 86 birthday on June 16th?

On the occasion, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued an official statement.

 You can read it here on my New York Press Club blog post.

Egyptian Elections

Reading about people in Egypt voting for the first time in nearly 30 years, I thought about my trip to that country last August.


I wasn't in Cairo where the trial of Hosni Mubarak was being held.


I was southwest of there in Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Sea at a resort.
 I longed to witness the trial, but who can complain about a relaxing time on the beach on southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, with views of the mountains and all you can eat and drink service.


The people working at the hotel were Egyptian, but they didn't have much to say about Mubarak. It was Ramadan, so they mostly spoke of how they couldn't eat most of the day, drink or have sex.

Sharm El-Sheikh is south of Mt. Sinai. I didn't take the two day trip up to the mountain, but I did take a bus into Wadi Mandar in the middle of the desert.












Camels then took us into an area where bedouins fed us and hosted a dance around a fire pit. There were also telescopes set up to look at the stars. I've never seen the rings of Saturn so distinct.



This historic election comes after mass protests led to the ousting of Mubarak. I like the way this Washington Post blogger put it... "After a revolution, a dictator’s flight and a year of debate, the people go to the polls." It's a two-day voting event, Wednesday and Thursday May 23 and 24. There are 13 candidates. If one doesn't get 50-percent of the vote, people return to the polls.


The Diamond Jubilee

Raise a cuppa in honor of the Queen. 2012 is her 60 year Diamond Jubilee.

She took the throne in February of 1952, but according to the official website of the British Monarchy, the big celebration weekend is 2nd-5th June. June 2nd is a special date because its the day of her actual coronation in 1953.
Click here for the official Diamond Jubilee website.
I found this tea cup in a friend's cabinet. It's from the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. Much like plans for the upcoming weekend in June, the previous celebration included street parties, pageants and parades and a Royal Tour of the UK and Commonwealth.

 Both of the websites can serve as a refresher course on history. Quite honestly I had an "oh, that's right" moment when reading about planned visits to some of the Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. Click here for history on the Monarchy from 400 AD to present.
Pour me another cup while I have a go at some history lessons.