Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Rosie's Birthday Weekend

Just got back from visiting my friend Rosie in Philadelphia. (Rosie is a frequent commenter here typically on my more political posts.) It was her 40th birthday. Rosie has been to Indy three times since she moved from there to PA to get her PhD at Temple. I hadn’t visited her once, so her big day was a good reason to go.

While there we drove over to the Brandywine River Valley to Winterthur (just over the border in Delaware) to see the American furniture collections and gardens (if you like either at all you owe yourself a visit).

I took a picture of Rosie in the Enchanted Garden’s bird nest.

Rosie in the nest
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Some of you will remember me taking John’s picture in the same spot last year (actually it turned out to be the same day last year!). Theoretically Rosie and John are both acting as if they were baby birds waiting for their mom to feed them a worm. I took three shots of Rosie doing this and this was the best one. I kept telling her “tilt your head back like your mom is bringing you a worm,” but all she could manage was this expression of shocked horror, more like a human in the nest of a gigantic monster bird that has just returned. I don’t know for a fact that Rosie has ever actually seen a baby bird being fed. Looking at this picture I have my doubts. I know she isn’t really into “nature.” She mentioned this more than once on our trip. While Rosie didn’t make a very convincing baby bird, I feel comfortable saying that the photo is probably an apt description of her feelings towards nature.

These are Mountain Laurel blossoms.

Mountain Laurel
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

The leaves look kind of like those of Rhododendron, but the blooms look almost like folk art flowers sewn from felt. The blossoms about to open look like tiny Chinese party lanterns.

One of the reasons Rosie wanted to visit the Brandywine Valley is this Mexican ice cream shop in nearby Kennett Square.

Ice Cream
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

Rosie loves ice cream more than anyone I know (only the good stuff), and this place serves flavors you won’t find anywhere else. She had roasted corn ice cream. I had pine nut. I know, it sounds bizarre, but think pistachio or butter pecan. We were both happy.

Rosie had two parties, one Friday at Bistro 7 and one at her apartment on Saturday night. The food at Bistro 7 was pretty amazing. I wanted to take a picture of my appetizer, a colorful red and gold beet terrine with watercress, chevre, a strawberry puree and another spicy sauce I couldn’t decode, but I forgot my camera. Saturday night we had chocolate cake, maple ice cream and champagne cocktails with Rosie’s friends Kirsten, Evelyn, and Evelyn’s friend Zach.

Rosie's party
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

We spent Sunday touring University of Pennsylvania (the U.S.’s first university) and then cooling off in the galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the PMA we were surprised to run into my friend Ellen from Dallas and her wonderful mother. The museum is huge and always crowded. I can’t imagine what the odds are that we would meet up. We hopped a cab back to Rosie’s place with just enough time before my flight to enjoy some Asiago Fresca cheese (and two other cheeses the names of which I can’t remember), a great bread, and fig preserves which we had picked up on Friday afternoon at some of Rosie’s favorite haunts. Rosie walks around with a number of economic systems running simultaneously through her head, including a nutrition economy (which is why she doesn't look 40). She insists we walked off every bit of food we ate during the weekend. I'm not one to doubt her, but that was some awfully creamy cheese.


Anonymous David said...

Troy and Rosie,
Excellent pictures...esp. Rosie in the bird nest. I laughed out loud not only at the photo but at Troy's description of your "horror stare" at the approaching Big Mama bird. Perfect...only better if it could have been in 3D...
Happy Birthday Rosie! (Bettina)

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

We should have roasted corn ice cream at The Great Indiana State Fair. That way, you could have your corn without having to eat it fresh off the grill in the 90 degree weather.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Troy,
Thanks for the birthday weekend blog.
That picture in the bird's nest is quite horrifying, I'm not surprised you laughed out loud Dave. I think John and I will have to revolt and get a picture of Troy in the bird's nest next year. But, we may have to up the ante and have you not only wait for worms with your mouth gapping open toward the sky but then pearch on the side of the nest and prepare to take flight with arms flapping.
Meanwhile, I would just like to clarify for your readers that its not that I'm not into nature per se, after all I do go to the mountains in Colorado at least 4 times a year and spend a lot of time hiking with my nephews in the woods, its more that I was confused by some aspects of the largest cultivated garden I've ever walked through (Winterthur), oh, and I think I mentioned something about not wanting to dig in my own garden but preferring to hire a professional and I have to say, that's more about not wanting to damage by manicure.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous liberrychick said...

I wouldn't exactly say Rosie is "horrified" when it comes to nature and such...she just might not be as into it as others. In any case, just last night at my house out in the 'burbs of Philly among the cracks, pops and bangs of the raucous suburban July 4th festivities, she was admiring and commenting on the beautiful "symphony of fireflies" in our backyard. She seemed to be enjoying it quite nicely. She was also quite intrigued by the baby groundhog that came out from it's home under our shed several times throughout the evening. I think Rosie appreciates nature but isn't one to agressively embrace nature. :-)


6:41 AM  

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