Showing posts from July, 2009

The Good Life Book Review by Tony Bennett

I received The Good Life as a gift from a friend after seeing Tony Bennett live here in San Francisco. I decided to take a little time and thought I’d read a couple of paragraphs then go on with my day. Well, from the introduction on I found that I could not put the book down. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting which I normally do not do unless the book is of real interest.The writing style was conversational and had me thinking to myself I feel as though we’re sitting right here together having a conversation. The book begins with accounts of his parents and family immigrating to the US from Italy. His stories of his early childhood with his Mother working so hard to make ends meet along with cherished memories of family dinners etc… had me remembering and relating in so many ways to my Italian/Greek upbringing. The pictures he paints with words are vivid as are his real life paintings of which some are showcased within the pages of the book. I never knew he was also a…

The Pindaric Ode

One of my favorite styles of poetry is called the Pindaric Ode named after the Greek poet Pindar. It is basically an enthusiastic and elaborately designed lyric which was composed by the poet Pindar. It’s comprised of a strophe and anti strophe and epode. I know, it’s all Greek to me too. A strophe is a turning as a chorus moving to one side. An antistrophe is the counter-turn as the chorus moves in the opposite direction. An epode is a standing still of the chorus. These were all used in plays and choruses. In general terms or plain English the strophe would consist of four rhyming lines with the first and third lines rhyming and the second and fourth lines rhyming. The antistrophe consists of two exact rhymed lines followed by two short rhymed lines in contrast to the strophe. The epode is the ending which consists of one line rhyming with the two shorts. I know this is confusing so here is an example. This is a pindaric ode I wrote several years ago for a religious publ…

Poetic Tapestries

Poetic Tapestries

I gather solace
in words loosely airbrushed
by visceral rhapsodies fusioned.

Eloquent echoes
symmetrically evolve
aware, yet vague


Wordless Wednesday - Garden Paths


Stumped at The Gardens

With all the new paths at the Botanical Gardens I have been encountering some new spots I had never seen so here are some photos of tree stumps, bark etc... that I found interesting while roaming the redwood trail. I will have more for you these next few days. Enjoy!

The Cliff House in San Francisco

The original Cliff House in San Francisco was built in 1863. It was bought by Adolph Sutro in 1881 when he had the railroad running from downtown San Francisco to the Western edge of the city bringing patrons to the the Cliff House. In 1894 on Christmas day it was destroyed by fire. Sutro spent fifty thousand dollars to have it rebuilt in reminiscent of a Chateau in France. It was eight stories high and hosted art galleries, dining areas, various kitchens and entertainment venues. Although it survived the deadly 1906 earthquake it was again destroyed by another fire in 1907. The third Cliff house after being destroyed by two fires was rebuilt by Emma Sutro, daughter of Adolph in 1909. From then on it has gone through many a renovation and now is pictured above as seen from Sutro Heights Park.

Standing high above the cliffs at Ocean Beach it is the main focal point by Seal Rock and Sutro Heights. It boasts three separate dining areas with stunning views. The views from the d…

San Jose Jazz Festival with Vocalist Sony Holland - August 9th

Sony Holland Smith Dobson Tribute Stage
Sunday 6pm Courtesy of The San Jose Jazz Festival
buy ticketsSony Holland sings in a style that is both sophisticated and emotionally direct. Her interpretations of the Great American Songbook show a deep respect and love for the material while adding an unmistakable spark of personality. Originally from northern Minnesota, Sony fell in love with jazz while spending a year in Paris and has earned a devoted following with her renditions of standards, contemporary and original songs. She has made California her home since 2003, although she now performs internationally, including extensive concert tours and residencies in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Her "Out Of This World" CD is an intimate set of 13 songs which she brings together with impeccable musicianship and true feeling. At the San Jose Jazz Festival she will be joined by a terrific group of Bay Area musicians including: Benny Watson, piano: Jeff Buenz, guitar: Seward McCain, bas…

Rock N Roll Wedding

I saw this on another blog and had to share it with all of you. What a fantastic way to start a marriage. Enjoy!

Beyond, the call

Beyond, the call

Your face I see
beyond the horizon


you call to me
upon jagged cliffs
where ocean's tempest
bids adieu.

I hear your call


your spirit I touch
upon receding waves

speaking in silence
your name
with love.

Geese at the Botanical Gardens

While trekking through the Botanical Gardens I came across a flock of geese. This is the first time I've encountered this flock within the gardens and I was pleasantly surprised to see them there. I also thought of my pal Ratty over at The Everyday Adventurer who has had some fascinating experiences and stories to tell about geese encounters.

I caught them in the lake both in photos and a short video clip which you can view at the end of this post. There are still some major renovations taking place within the gardens though this did not stop these playful geese from having some fun. Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday - Garden Ponds


The Closet Poet

I have come across so many poets who tell me that they have hundreds of poems that they have written yet have never done anything with them. The poems are kept in boxes or folders and left there never to be born much like a bird in a cage never to be set free. The comments I hear are “they are just too personal for me” or “No one would understand them.”Let’s take a look at each argument. They are just too personal. As writers everything we write has a personal element to it and as poets we express our deepest thoughts and feelings by writing these personal words. I’m not saying you have to dust off those poems and start submitting them for publication but to leave them grow old and unseen to me is a grave mistake. What you have to realize is that because they are so personal and drawn from life experience, by showing them to the world you may just help someone else.The second argument “No one will understand them." Understanding poetry has nothing to do with trying to figu…

Garden Greenery


The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

The Koran

Japanese Calligraphy

Stone Calligraphy From Iran
The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is one of the world’s largest Asian museums. It was originally located in Golden Gate Park for over 30 years. Due to the large collections housed in the museum, the city - meaning us voters, voted to move it into the newly renovated main public library location in the civic center area of SF. It has been permanently housed there now for about 6 years. To be honest I was against that move. I thought it should have remained in Golden Gate Park. However, that being said the museum is gorgeous. There are floors dedicated to various regions in Asia to include China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea, Persia etc…There are sculptures and paintings, calligraphy and jewels and so much more. The artwork is strategically placed so that the lighting enhances each piece. These pictures were taken inside, with my inexpensive digital camera and without flash. They did not allow flash within the muse…

Rendezvous @ Ghirardelli Square

And yes, I have had many over the years :)

Tuesday, August 4, 6pm

A rare opportunity to enjoy the private terrace of Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square. Enjoy some of the best views of the Bay & Alcatraz while tasting wine from Wattle Creek Winery and treats from other Ghirardelli Square restaurants.

Click here
to join Ghirardelli Square’s Meetup group and RSVP to this event

Flowers @ The Botanical Gardens

Oriental Trumpet Lillies

Wordless Wednesday - Ocean Beach Photos in San Francisco


Exotics @ The Botanical Gardens

I thought I would bring you some of the exotics I stumbled upon at the Botanical Gardens these last few days. Work is still being done, cleaning and renovating paths. I am very excited because new paths have been placed on the grounds allowing visitors to see and come in contact with new species of plants, flowers and trees. I can't wait to get back there. I will have more later in the week. Enjoy!

My Top Ten Picks - Most Influential Bloggers Of 2009

I learned about this contest from a good friend of mine and decided I would like to nominate my top 10 choices for this contest. I believe that all of these blogs in their own right have contributed greatly to their readers in various subjects and forms. They all display a sense of creativity and lend understanding and education to the blogosphere.

Janette Toral has a promotion on her site about blogs that influence their readers and have been created after May 2008 as per the criteria stated.

Here is my list of blogs who I believe are worthy of being nominated and voted as most "influential blogs" for 2009.

1. Zorlone
2. Dream of Jade
3. Reach Beyond Limits
4. The Joys of Simple Life
5. Dragon Blogger
6.Mystical Poetry and Politics
7. Beltran Studios
8. The Argus
9. Robin's Nest
10. East Oregon Photos

Vote NOW for your Top 10 blogs! The winners will receive $100 each.
A very special thank you to the sponsors:

Absolute Traders, My Brute Cheats, Business Summaries, Fitne…

Vocalist Sony Holland Performs Back In The Bay Area

Photo by Terry Dudley - Courtesy of
Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

When: Sunday, August 9What: San Jose Jazz FestivalWhere: Smith Dobson Stage w/quartetTime: 6:00 p.m. &

Here is a short sampling of Sony performing with her band at the San Jose Jazz Festival last year.

When: Thursday, August 20What: CafĂ© DivineWhere: North Beach with Jerry on acoustic guitarTime: 7:00 – 9:00


for Pierre

My heart summoned you
at an early age not yet knowing love.
Sensual whispers, warm rains
shower my body and soul with your being.
When you spoke, I could not speak
for words escaped me.You sang
strumming blood tears on your bouzouki
year after year lost in Rebetiko.
Yet life your muse, music your passion.Too young
I could only listen;
rhythms burning my very core.
Your melancholy eyes hypnotized my essence
a captive trance, nirvana.Fate
years later realized.
Now a woman
we shared love, requited passion, unrestrained.
Boundless infinity together a moment in time.Soon thereafter you were gone.
Suddenly your last breath stolen away, gone too soon.
I now see those melancholy eyes
within the wind, amongst the trees, along the shore,
within my soul;
I love you still,
Agape mou…

Seal Rocks

Seal rock which is displayed in the above photo was the original hang out for the sea lions who have since taken up residence at Pier 39. The rocks are located on the northwest shore of ocean beach right below the cliff house. The steep and rocky cliffs along with the smooth sandy makeup at ocean beach are a result of hundreds of years of shifting sand, wind and waves.

In order to get to these rocks and the one shown in the photo above you need to get down that steep slope I was talking about in my post yesterday. I watched while some woman had mastered that slope and walked out to the rock to have her photo taken. I was jealous :) I will one of these days get down there to that rock and when I do, you, my readers will be the first to see the photos. For now though, enjoy the scene from a distance.

The photo below displays the Cliff House at a distance with the old Sutro Baths location to the left and ocean beach with that rock I want to get up close and personal with to the ri…

The Cliffs At Sutro Baths In San Francisco

It has been a while since I've journeyed out to Ocean Beach and where Sutro Baths was once located. I wanted to be able to get a video of the waves at my feet at the edge of the cliffs. However the only way to get there was to trek down an extremely steep and hilly area. Unfortunately since my vertigo episodes I am very cautious as to where I hike. As you go down the steep steps and reach a landing point there are two paths in which to walk. One is the steep path which takes you to the edge and one is a more level path which brings you right above the edge of the cliffs. Due to my fear of never knowing when the vertigo will attack and the fact that the wind was blowing a gale yesterday I decided to take the level path above the cliffs.

It was a gorgeous day out there with the skies a deep blue and the ocean a fierce phenomenon. The photo above is just one of many that I had taken. I will have more over the next few days. I love this one because I was able to catch part…

Wordless Wednesday - Autumn Leaves or Les Feuilles Mort

Autumn Leaves performed by vocalist Sony Holland -

Views of San Francisco Bay


6th Folder + 6th Picture = Barack Obama.

I've been tagged by Icy over at Wandering Thoughts to play this game. I love these tags that include photos. While I don't have folders that I keep for my photos on my hard drive because they take up to much space I do have a few favorites that I do save in my pictures folder. The bulk I just upload to Shutterfly and keep them there. So, I went to my pic folder and got the sixth photo in my folder which is below.

As you can see my cousin Elise is standing alongside our President, Barack Obama. He had a very small table at the Fillmore Jazz festival promoting his health care plan. He actually did not draw much attention were it not for the the busker playing the bongo drums right next to him - not to mention my cuz drawing a large crowd looking cool in those shades. He didn't say much yet that smile was all he needed for my photo shoot. Thanks Prez, for jazzing it up at our street festival :)

Here are the rules:

1-- Go to your photo files…Select the 6th photo folder


Fillmore Jazz Festival 2009

The Fillmore Jazz Festival takes place annually and is the premier jazz event in San Francisco. There are four stages of musical performances along with artists and food vendors lining the streets from Eddy all the way up to and past California Street. I've been attending this festival for years. It always attracts thousands of people though this year was jam packed. I have never seen so many people at this event. There were some great acts this year to include Marcus Shelby, Kim Nalley and Spencer Day just to name a few. The music was loud and hot! It was one huge street party. We had a great time and can't wait again for next year. Below is a photo and video from the Marcus Shelby performance with special guest Faye Carol. Let me also just say if you even have the chance to see Marcus Shelby in person, by all means do so. They are spectacular!