Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We're Nutty!

I know we are a nutty family but every year for the last 30 years our family has had a tradition of going to the Nutcracker Ballet as part of our holiday celebration. We used to always go to Oregon Ballet Theater in  Portland but now that our daughter lives in Seattle we see the magical, whimsical version done by the Pacific Northwest Ballet .

This year was an especially magical year for us to see the Nutcracker Ballet because of course we got to take our little granddaughter Eleanor. She loved it - watched the stage and clapped when everyone else did. The PNB Nutcracker was designed by Maurice Sendak [the author of Where the Wild Things Are] so it is a more fanciful interpretation of the traditional ballet.

   This is one of his rat kings...  and obviously my grand-baby is a little nervous but she is safe in granddad's arms!


   I just love this tradition - I love the Nutcracker Ballet and I also love an elegant evening out with my family. It's a great way to start Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all of you!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cowboy Culture

Contrary to popular opinion, Denver is not just Cowboys and Stockshows. The "mile high city" also has a lot of fine Cowboy Culture and when we get a chance we visit as much of it as we can. The Anschutz Collection of Western Art  is housed in this stately old home. Across from the Brown Palace Hotel, the house has a bawdy past but is now fully refinished to be a lovely showcase for Mr Anschutz's collection. The front of each floor is left intact as a period "parlor" but the interior is a lofty and modern space with floor to ceiling paintings hung in the 19th century "salon style". An amazing array of art including Bierstadts, Remingtons, Russells, and O'Keefes. WOW!

This is the famous Klaus Von Oldenburg statue in front of the Denver Art Museum. And look who is visiting DAM with her grandparents! We were here to see the incredible display of Cartier jewelry. It's a world exclusive exhibit called "Brilliant" that encompasses 75 years of stunning jewelry and other ornaments. Most of the jewels are original and real. The show also gives a historical overview with many interesting insights into the people for whom the pieces were created: kings, queens, maharajahs and movie stars.

For outdoor art, the Denver Botanic Gardens has an exhibit of Chihuly blown glass. Most of his pieces are wild and crazy like the chandelier above my baby's head. But at the Botanic Gardens the art blends with the flowers, plantings and water features. Some of it is surprisingly lovely and peaceful. It's a real treat to wander around and enjoy it all.

Now for true Cowboy Culture try Urban Cowboy at the Mile High Station. This is a fund raiser for Brent's Place, and it involves lots of food, drink, swing dancing and mechanical bull riding. OK, we did dance - we did not ride the bull!!

            So there you have it- the brief overview of Cowboy Culture in Denver. Check it out!