Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stonington Vineyards and an Incredible Tree (and Inn)

American Dream: To Be Surrounded by Beauty

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

You're aware by now that sometimes I'm not season-appropriate. But offering an escape from the greys and whites of winter to the colors of fall isn't such a bad thing, right?

A vineyard in Stonington, CT, not far from my mother's in Mystic, CT.

The buildings (and a strange photographer's shadow).

Kind of inviting for a September wedding, no?

The buildings with their view of the vineyard behind them.

This is the Old Mystic Inn, located, strangely enough, in Old Mystic, an historic town one mile from Mystic. Have you ever seen such a glorious tree? Do you think they picked the color of the inn to go with the tree?

The front door. I love the details in the woodwork and paint. How about you? What is your favorite bed and breakfast? If you like my blog, would you sign up to follow it? Thanks!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

American Dreams of Discovery: a marvelous shop in NYC

American Dreams: Ribbon Haute Couture

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

I walked on East 38th Street, in the Garment District, and a window display captured my gaze.  Inside the store I found eye-popping color and infinite variety of patterns. I was in a ribbon store! Look at this gorgeous stuff!

Did you say you were interested in stripes?

How about dots?

Do you prefer checks?

Embroidered ribbons...

Dragon, anyone?


This is less than 1/3 of the store.

Looking for white?

More stripes...

Top shelf - antique tassels.

The view toward the back of the store.

Here's some ideas -- what you could do with some of the ribbons.
This shop won a Zagat rating four years in a row!

This is the shop's name. Come see! It's a world unto itself.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cabela's and the American Dream (spoiler alert)

The American Dream of the Rugged Individual

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Even though few of us know how to stalk, kill, skin and harvest the meat of a wild animal, there is a part of the American psyche that compels us to think we ought to -- and can -- go it alone in all circumstances and be self-sufficient.

What a lot of hooey!

But it's interesting to look at a place that perpetuates -- and capitalizes on -- that part of the American Dream. Cabela's, the nationwide sporting goods chain, has a store just off Route 78 in Hamburg, PA, on the way home from Athens, Ohio (see recent posts).

The propoganda starts outside. Folks, this is American ideal--a strong individual vs. nature and everything else. Just step inside to make the ideal a reality -- via your credit card.

Inside, among the acres of camo clothing and camping gear, among the thousands of fishing rods, guns, and knives, there are these odd displays of stuffed animals.

I don't know what to make of it exactly. What is this doing inside a retail store?

We've left the American continent apparently. I intended to poke good natured fun today, and failed. Instead I feel irritated that this store uses wild animals to promote its stuff. Ideally, I would feel irate, and write letters, and do something to change things, but I feel that expending all that energy would be in vain, so I won't do it, so I've failed again. 

How about you? What do you think? Feel free to argue your case in a comment below.  And if you like my blog, would you sign up to follow it? Or RT, +1, or Share? Thanks!