Conversation, Movie, Museum and More–A Fun Night!

Another one is in the books! We had a great time at our latest outing with a great group of ladies. This time we decided to do a number of things in one outing, and it worked. There was something for everyone. There is no schedule as to when we will do an event, it is just when we think that something may interest some ladies, and we go for it.

When we heard that the Magnolia at the Modern (Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth) would be showing one of the most talked about movies around –The Farewell, we knew this was what we had been looking for.

Then we decided why not tour the Modern before the movie and see the great art work it contains. Entry into the museum on that day was free–that’s a win, win situation.

Touring the museum is always enjoyable. There is wonderful artwork inside and outside. The weather was beautiful so we were able to enjoy both. We even had time to go into the museum store to look around and make a few purchases.

So that we could get to know each other better, we had a reservation at Cafe Modern where we enjoyed cocktails, snacks and great conversation. Having time just to talk was fun and entertaining.

Then it was off to see the movie in the comfort of the theater at Magnolia at the Modern. It may not have all of the amenities that the newer theaters have, but it is cozy, and yes each lady was given snacks because everyone knows that you can’t go to the movies without snacks.

The movie lived up to its billing. I really can’t wait to see it again and see the things I missed. I will tell you though that there are subtitles because much of the movie is in Chinese and even a little Japanese with some English thrown it.

All in all the conversation was good, the museum was fun, the movie was great and the night was a lot of fun. We look forward to our next outing, and hope that you can join us. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Tuscany, Florence and Pisa

The trip to Italy was about to leave Rome, and we were headed to Tuscany where the landscape changed. Even while just looking out of the window of the van as the country side zipped by you could see the beauty of Tuscany. Marco pointed out the olive vineyards and grape vineyards–both of them were beautiful. Another thing that we noticed was that cars were getting larger. In Rome it seemed like everyone drove something similar to a Smart Car and/or a scooter. On the way to Tuscany, the cars became larger, and scooters were not seen very much.

I’ve been to beautiful wineries in Texas, Napa and Mendocino, but Tuscany was always on my radar–it lived up to my expectations. From the moment we entered the gates to Tenuta Torciano I was in the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”. The only thing missing was Diane Ladd.

After being greeted and given the history of the beautiful property, we were off to our wine tasting. The setting let us know that this would not be your run of the mill tasting. First of all it was set outside under a huge tent. The tables were beautifully set with each setting having a plate that had food that you were instructed to match with each wine. I have always been under the impression that if you like it, then you drink it.

The tasting was a lot of fun with everyone picking out their favorite wine. Then we had the honor of eating even more when they bought out what the host called “his mama’s lasagna”. With this dish he served a wine that he called the “Big Boy”.

The wine, food, olive oil and balsamic vinegar were all good, but the host made the experience even better. We even had fun with another group that was from Canada. Good food, excellent wine and great conversation made for an amazing experience.

Our next stop was to the the quaint looking town of San Gimignano. It seemed that each store had some likeness of Pinocchio in their windows or showcase. It was here that I finally purchased items that were needed (my luggage was still somewhere else).

After a leisurely walk through the town, we were on our way Impruneta which is a few miles outside of Florence. We would stay at the Bellavista Hotel in Impruneta which was situated in a neighborhood that was easy to walk around and see the sights. The Hotel Bellavista had a great rooftop where you could enjoy a glass of wine and look out over the town.

Florence was crowded with people, but not all of them were tourist. As soon as we stepped out of the van, we ran into a protest–it was very organized and seemed more like a parade. Florence is filled with great sculptures many of which are located in Piazza della Signoria. Most people would probably say that the replica of David was their favorite, but I think that my favorite was the one of Neptune. It’s just how he is looking at David–you have to see it to understand it.

Now many people go to Florence to shop for leather and jewelry, and there was no shortage there. ln fact so many people in our group purchased items that they shipped them home. There was so much that it all seemed to go together. The crowds seemed to grow larger because there was construction and preservation work everywhere. One of the highlights to Florence was an amazingly simple salad that we had. It featured watermelon, avocado, red onion, feta cheese and a little something drizzled over it. It doesn’t sound like it should go together, but it did. I’ve even made it since I have been home. We did have a Russell Crowe sighting–I only saw him walking away.

After two nights in the Hotel Bellavista we would be on our way to visit the city of Pisa. Before we were to leave Imprueneta there would be a Farmer’s Market in this huge parking lot in front of the hotel. My cousin and I took a quick look at the Farmer’s Market as they were setting up. There was the most beautiful fruits and vegetables that we had ever seen. The stems were still on the plants. There were food trucks starting to cook their foods. You could purchase clothing, cosmetics, plants and so much more. Our one regret is that we had to leave before they finished setting up.

Our visit to the town of Pisa was just that–a visit. A choo choo train took us to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cattedrale di Pisa, Piazza dei Miracoli and more. One thing that we discovered was that after we saw the sites, we could just walk through the lovely area around it which had horse drawn carriages, restaurants, shops and more.

We had experienced wine, more wine, food, shopping til we dropped, history and more. It was time to move on to our next stop.

There is a disclaimer that I forgot to mention. All pictures of me are makeup free–it was in my lost luggage. So remember “thisisyourbestyear” you can get a natural glow without cosmetics.

**A special thank you to Ms. Fallon Alford for allowing us to use some of her photos. Fallon is a full time educator in Atlanta, Georgia who freelances as a photographer.

Dior At The Dallas Museum Of Art

Imagine the most beautiful clothing that you have ever seen and then multiply it by 100. This is what it felt like at the Dallas Museum of Art exhibition of Dior: From Paris to the World. As the song says, “I can only imagine”.

The House of Dior was created by Christian Dior in 1947, and this empire still stands today. Since his death there have been six designers including Yves Saint Laurent, and recently the first female was selected to head the house, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Dior’s legacy continues with his wishes “to make women happier and more beautiful”.

If you get a chance to see this wonderful exhibition I suggest that you attend one of the talks and/or movies that are shown before some of the tours of the exhibition. The talk that I attended was “Dior: From the Inside Out” by Anita Becker. It gave a synopsis of what it takes to create a garment for the House of Dior. If you can’t make any of the talks or movies, there are many on YouTube including the highly acclaimed “Dior and I”.

The beautiful exhibition is divided into sections with the culmination being the breathtaking “From Paris to the World” and “Ladies in Dior” room. It will literally take your breath away. Just a hint–when watching Ladies in Dior” turn around and look up. You will understand when you get there.

All seven who have headed the House of Dior are featured with some of their fashions that show how they steered fashion in their own direction.

Even though some of it looks like the clothing worn to the Met Gala, you see how beautiful it is. It’s kind of like a good mystery movie–you need to go back because you know you missed something. You have until September 1, 2019 to see this glorious exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art.

When it comes to fashion make your own personal fashion statement–remember “thisisyourbestyear”

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          Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Cocktails, MUSIC, Dining And Of Course Great ART

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has just announced two great dates for the fantastic “First Friday” series. They’ve always been great, and these two will be even better. Mark your calendar for December 2, 2016 and January 6, 2017. The Modern has joined forces with Shipping & Receiving (the Near Southside music and night-life venue) to showcase great local musicians in the grand lobby from 6 to 11 pm on these dates.

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On these two dates you can explore the outstanding KAWS, WHERE THE END STARTS with extended, late-night hours and also enjoy great music, cocktails and food. You can also enjoy a full menu in Café Modern.

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The price is $10 and does include gallery admission. Modern members and Star-Telegram Press Pass holders will get free admission. These dates will go fast, you can get tickets at Shipping and Receiving.  You can also join the Modern as a member at joining the Modern.

There will also be a 20 minute docent led tour of the galleries at 6:30 pm. The bands playing are:  December 2–The Burning Hotels and January 6–ISHI and Sudie.

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For more about this event and others at the Modern which includes the schedule of the films of the Magnolia at the Modern films, visit The Modern.

Can’t make it to Fort Worth, Texas–check your local area for programs.  They are out there, and remember “thisisyourbestyear” .  There is even room to dance! 

 

The World In A Box

See, smell and taste the world through food–sounds interesting doesn’t it.  You can do it! Every time I fly I take a look at the airline magazine, and try to do the puzzles.  This time while flying on American Airlines I ran across an article on Try The World and it caught my attention.

One thing that it seems most people can agree on is food.  The world is always interested in trying new and exotic taste.  Home cooks are trying to amp up their standard recipes by using different herbs and spices.  Try The World gives  you that opportunity in a cute box.

The box not only comes with ingredients, it comes with recipes, and a cultural guide to the country that the box features. If you only want snack foods, you can order their snack boxes.  My box is shown below–it came from Thailand.  My sister and I could not wait to taste some of the things that came in it.  Our first try was the Coconut Flower Syrup. She put it in tea and I tried it on toast.  We gave it 2 thumbs up. We’re kind of on a schedule to try the other items.  Each trying it a different way–Soft Dried Jackfruit is next.

You can find out more about this wonderful taste experience by going to Try The World and starting your adventure.  It’s the next best thing to traveling there.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear“.  Try The World in a box.

The Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis Exhibit

Guest post written by Dr. Britine Perkins, PhD.

Dr. Perkins

I was given the opportunity to preview the new Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis exhibit before it opened to the public.  This was indeed a special opportunity as the ACM is only the 2nd museum nationwide to host this breathtaking exhibit. Because Lewis’s work is about movement, the pieces are grouped to showcase how his art evolved from figurative in the 1920’s and 30’s, to completely abstract expressionist by the 1940’s. He is one of a very few African-American artists to pursue this style of painting.

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When one thinks of abstract expressionist artists from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, immediately names like  Jackson Pollock , Picasso, de Kooning, Max Ernst, and one of my personal favorites, Frank Stella, among many others will come to mind. Unfortunately, what does not come to mind are African-American abstract expressionist artists, which was usually considered a rare departure for an African American artist (at one meeting in Italy that featured the likes of Polluck and de Kooning, Lewis was the only African American in the room, much like this preview where I was only one of two minorities in the room).  For Norman Lewis, who was born in 1909 in Harlem, expressing the energy of the Renaissance unfolding around him profoundly influenced his work. Early on in his career, he realized that he wanted to paint the Black experience, just not in the figurative way that was expected on African American artists of that time. By the 1940’s, he had rejected painting figurative works, and painting what he wanted to paint. Because he was African American he was not truly accepted by the white abstract expressionist artists, nor was he accepted by African American artists who felt the only way to express Black life was through figurative art.

Although considered a successful artist (his work was exhibited in over 130 exhibitions in his lifetime) he did not receive the true recognition as an abstract expressionist artist till after his death, something he has always predicted.  Regardless, he continued to paint the way he wanted:  American life is diverse and so should the art that depicts it, a struggle that Norman Lewis is definitely winning, even if posthumously.  Today many of his pieces are being sold for between $250,000 and $350,000, while during his lifetime, most sold for less than $20,000 as noted in a recent March 2016 CBS Sunday Morning clip (Reappraising the art of Normal Lewis) about his long overdue rightful recognition as an abstract expressionist artist.

After viewing just some of his extraordinary works, one leaves with an overwhelming admiration for a man who fought racism on both sides and yet continued to do what he wanted to do.  Although he was overlooked in his lifetime, I for one am very glad to see him finally get his due as not just an African-American artist, but one of this nation’s greatest abstract expressionist artists.

The Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis will be om diplay until August 21, 2016. To find out more about this wonderful exhibition and all of the other things click Amon Carter American Museum of Art.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, enjoy great works of art.

 

 

 

Spring Break–Take A Break

Every time women of a certain age talk about Spring Break, we automatically think of Spring Cleaning.  We think of putting away winter clothing, changing the comforter, clearing out the pantry, deep cleaning this and that.  Why do we do that?  Is there an unwritten rule that we have to use our time away from the office working while everyone else is enjoying their time off?  What’s to keep us from doing the Spring Cleaning a little at a time after Spring Break?  This year I decided to do just that.

When I left work on the Friday before Spring Break, I went home and did my weekend cleaning that night–I was determined that this would be my Spring Break.  There would be no deep cleaning this Spring Break.  There would be the day to day cleaning, but nothing that would take all day and/or all week.

Here is my week of during Spring Break. What was yours like?

  • Sunday–great church service at Carter Metropolitan CME Church, and then dinner with my husband and our youngest daughter.  Then I did a movie (Creed) in my pajamas with my husband and popcorn and wine.
  • Monday–massage at Perfect Touch with Katie that made me want to lay there for a couple of hours.  Went walking with my sorority sister and made my steps then coffee at Starbucks afterwards. Then I decided to make homemade peanut butter cookies.  The kitchen was smelling good.  We ate them while we watched the movie again (it was rented for 2 days).
  • Tuesday–my guilty pleasure of a facial.  I absolutely love getting facials especially at my favorite place Ageless Perfection Skincare.  Miss Ruby is the best. Started reading “Natchez Burning” by Greg Iles for a book club I just joined. It is a very exciting read.
  • Wednesday–my best friend since second grade and I went to the Amon Carter Musuem of American Art to check out their latest exhibition–American Epics (Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood).  Yes, it is very good and educational.  Then we were off to West 7th Street to have lunch outside because the weather was just perfect.  We tried our tastebuds at Mash’d, a place we had never gone to.  The best lemonade bar none.  I like mine tart, my friend likes hers sweet, we were both happy. Then my daughter cancelled our walk, but I went anyway–got my steps in.
  • Thursday–manicure and pedicure at Zizi’s.  Even decided to have a glass of wine while I was getting serviced.
  • Friday–going to a networking event for women sponsored by the women’s division of the Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.  Got my TABC certification so that I can volunteer for the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival.
  • Saturday–meeting with volunteer coordinator for Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival to get my assignment.  Then on to Fair Park to cover BeautyCon so that I can report about it to you, and see what they have for women of a certain age.

I started each morning with my prayers and coffee in my pj’s, and ended each night with wine and prayers in my pj’s. The house is still clean, yes the sweaters still need to go to the cleaners and be put away (well maybe, this is Texas weather). I’ll just drop them off on my way to work after Spring Break.

Spring Break is not for Spring Cleaning, it is for taking a Break during the Spring.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–you can clean next week.

Hollywood of A Bygone Era Showcased At Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum

The works of one of the most compelling artists of the 20th Century is currently being shown at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.   “AMERICAN EPICS: THOMAS HART BENTON AND HOLLYWOOD” highlights over 100 of the Missouri artist’s works. Besides some 30 paintings on display there are also murals, drawings, lithographs along with several movie posters and book illustrations.
To find out more about this wonderful museum and all the exhibitions and activities going on go to:  http://www.cartermuseum.org/.
 
Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.
This post was written by Carol Y. Cooper

Pop-Up Shopping Fun

Great designs to choose from, try on, sip champagne and have great girl talk.  What could be better?  The pop-up Sip and Shop was held at the Art7 Gallery with beautiful art work (TAC: Small Works) showcasing beautiful accessories, jewelry and clothing designed by talented designers Gia Rodriguez (Gia Rodriguez Designs) and Tendai Tawonezvi (NeoBantu).If you were unable to attend the event, you can shop them online at: www.giarodriguez.com and www.neobantu.com.  Be sure to look for similar events in your area.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.