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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some Enchanted Evening

What a night!  Weill Hall, the much touted concert hall modeled after Tanglewood, opened last summer; but I have not set foot inside it until last night, though I have been listening to the ooohs and aaaahs of Sonoma County residents, raving about the beauty and acoustics of the place. Well, it is all true!

The approach to the magnificent hall is very picturesque, not unlike walking the path to Lincoln Center in New York: a showy spectacle of large light-filled windows inviting music lovers to enter. All that is missing is the gurgling fountain.

The hall itself, not to be outdone by the very impressive foyer, is a masterpiece of golden wood, a feast for the eyes. The most amazing feature of this wonderland is the back wall, covered by a curtain last night, which operates like a huge garage door, opening up to reveal a giant green space that becomes lawn seating for summer concerts. I must put that on the agenda for the future.

Big names have been guests at Weill Hall; Yo-Yo Ma played to a sold-out crowd just a couple of weeks ago. How I would have loved to be in that audience, but the tickets were snapped up by season ticket holders, so I lost out. However, because she is not nearly as well known locally as the famed cellist, tickets were available for a concert with Tony Award winner, Barbara Cook, now 85 years old. I'm here to tell you: she can still hit those high notes! I was captivated.

The crowning moment for me was her encore number, John Lennon's Imagine, one of my favorite songs. She put aside her hand mic and walked slowly, holding her cane for support, to the front of the stage.

And sang. Softly. The incredible acoustics carried her voice to every nook and cranny of the hall, and she delivered Lennon's powerful message with the emotional force of an atom bomb. It was stunning.

An enchanted evening, indeed.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just Pugging Along

Since my pug ladies now have different walking speeds, our outings have become more complicated, with Cleo pulling on the leash while senior citizen Winnie lags behind. The solution, of course, is very simple: two separate walks.

 So, Cleo gets the first shift.
And Winnie, the second.

Cleo moves ahead at a pretty fast pace but occasionally does slow down if something catches her eye.

Winnie, on the other hand, does very little walking but lots and lots of sniffing which gives me time to take my eyes off where I am walking and enjoy the sights...

like paper whites...

and teensy pale pink tea roses.

Winnie's once tightly curled tail has completely unfurled, a signal from her to me that it is time to head homeward, so we slowly make our way down the path that leads to our front door and, inside, her soft and cozy cushion.

There's no place like home.