Friday, February 26, 2010

Lexington’s Greentree Tea Room

Always a lover of animals and fascinated by the beauty of horses, I never miss an opportunity to visit the “Thoroughbred City”. This particular excuse was inspire by my Mom’s idea to enjoy a ladies’ tea in Lexington followed by admiring unique antiques while browsing through the local boutiques.

Tea is the perfect solution to a cold winter Saturday, and the thrill of the “Horse Capital of the World” as our destination, immediately combined my two favorite loves.

In the 1920s, tearooms were the fashionable place for ladies; the Greentree Tea Room is no disappointment, and now the millennium’s well kept secret to enjoying this bygone era.

The menu itself is to die-for! Click on their link to read the latest calorie splurge offered by the Master Chef. It’s well worth the indulgence!

And if only window-shopping, leave your checkbook behind or you’ll discover “writers-cramp” very quickly! For the ultimate temptation, visit LV Harkness and Belle Maison Antiques. Discover teacup gems and other luxury goods to drool over!

The discovery and introduction of tea has an interesting history.
According to legend, the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung “discovered” tea way back in 2737 BC when some tealeaves were blown by the wind into his pot of boiling water. Now, whether Emperor Shen was actually boiling water under that tea tree or not, the fact remains that tea has been a part of Chinese medical and dietary tradition for at least 1700 years. It is first mentioned in a manuscript dating to 340 CE. Sometime around 400, folks started adding other ingredients to their tea. Some popular additions were orange, ginger, spices and even onion and garlic.

The Painted Memory

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Experiencing Chicago’s Cool Winds in Cincinnati

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 immediate renovation inspired a rebirth of the city and spawned architectural innovation that has withstood the test of time.
Dubbed the emerging American Exceptionalism because of the grandeur displayed during the World's Columbian Exposition — also known as The Chicago World's Fair, American industrial optimism radiated.

As the cool winds blew further south, a thumbprint of Chicago was placed on the Queen City. Architect Walter W. Ahlschlager, known for Chicago creations such as the Uptown Broadway Building, The Sheridan Plaza Hotel and The Sovereign Hotel, chose Cincinnati as the next midwest region to make his mark.

Ahlschlager was the principal architect of John J. Emery’s Carew-Netherland complex. W.W. Ahlschlager & Associates with Delano & Aldrich, Carew Tower and Netherland Plaza Hotel, 1929-1932, Fifth and Vine streets. For more than 75 years, the Carew Tower was the tallest building in Cincinnati and in southwest Ohio.

Carew Tower is the tallest building in Cincinnati, Ohio. It stands 49 stories tall in the heart of downtown, overlooking the Ohio River waterfront. It contains the Hilton Netherland Plaza, (formerly the Omni Netherland Plaza), a national historic landmark. Palm Court, the former lobby of the hotel, and now the restaurant, is described by the hotel as the "finest example of French Art Deco architecture in the world."

1.383 million square feet (128,000 m²) of total floor area
9 miles of brass piping
15 railroad cars full of glass
37 miles of steel piping
40 railroad cars full of stone
60 miles of floor and window molding
60 railroad cars full of lumber
4500 plumbing fixtures
5000 doors
8000 windows (upon its completion in 1931)
15000 tons of structural steel
4 million bricks in the outer structure

The Painted Memory

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Amber Light

The surprise of spun sugar heros an unmistakable caramel glow.
Silken strands, frozen into stiff formations mirror sculptures of ambiguous shaped birds' nests, domes or cupped bowls. But why not delight in the unexpected by creating shapes that correspond to the holidays or seasonal events.

The recent snowfall inspired my amber creation! Boiling sugar and Karo began quite a production, and soon I was drizzling molten sugar into distinctive shapes of a variety of snowflakes. Challenged by its quick return to rock-hard glass, working as the confection cooled was an amazing obstacle. Shimmering blond tendrils stretched glaciated from the pan to parchment paper. (“Expect a messy kitchen.” should be written in the fine print!)

Syrup's sweet mystery is beholden only to nature. Sap crystallized overtime within the trunks of trees is amber-esque and acts as a time capsule mummifying insects from ages ago.

Amazingly, amber is fossilized tree resin and was minded for its gemstone qualities since Neolithic times.

A larger than life jewel box was the gift from Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I to Russia's Peter the Great, when amber walls were given to form the 11 ft. chamber in what is dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World". The Amber Room in Saint Petersburg once boasted an entire room made of the gemstone.

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