Austrian composer Franz Schubert was born on January 31, 1797-  217 years ago today!  ”Serenade” is probably my favorite piece he wrote- I love playing it on the violin!   Watch this beautiful version I found on YouTube in honor of his birthday:


photo source


Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew from singing in the streets with a boys quartet for money at age 11 to becoming one of Jazz music’s most influential, charismatic, and memorable musicians. I love watching old recordings of Armstrong performing- joy covers every bit of his face as he sings and scats and his musicality comes naturally and effortlessly as he plays his trumpet. Here are a few of my favorites:

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I came across this picture taken on June 14, 1913 months ago when combing the Library of Congress’ photostream on Flickr and saved it immediately. I love its feel!

Story behind the photo: Finley Johnson Shepard (1867-1942) was the Eastern representative of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and his wife, Helen Miller Gould (1868-1938) was an American philanthropist and socialite from NYC. Helen’s father was wealthy American Railroad developer, Jay Gould. Finley and Helen were married on January 22, 1913 and soon afterwards, they adopted 3 children together and had one foster son.  Their first adopted son was a 3-year old found on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral!  This picture was taken at the Newport Cup polo match at Meadow Brook Field (now The Meadowbrook Polo Club) in Long Island. photo source

We love this former Church on the Southwest corner of Washington Square Park in NYC’s West Village.  Novare (135 West 4th Street) was originally built in 1860 as a Methodist church and in 2006, it was transformed into a gorgeous, unique residential building.  From www.manhattanscout.com:

The former church now houses an awe-inspiring fifty-foot glass atrium and eight private residences with distinctly modern interiors, while the heavy stone facade, exquisite detailing and stained glass windows remain. It is distinguished by its dual identity; the stone façade gives way to an almost ethereal world of light, space, comfort, and silence within.

The interior is bright and expansive:
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53 Gansevoort Street, NYC (October 29, 1936) source

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The Bird Feed celebrated its first birthday yesterday!

[NYC Playground circa 1910]

This photo, taken 100 years ago in a New York City playground, shows a toddler playing in the dirt with some basic toys:  a bucket and shovel. We love that this timeless pastime is still a favorite with children even though technology has transformed the way children play.

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