Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Countdown Begins.....

  The eve of the New Year. 
  I'm going out and dancing my way into 2012 so I can shake off some of the energy that is building in me day by day. The Panicale countdown will officially start at midnight! With this knowledge firmly wedged in my back pocket, may I take a few moments to share some of why I can't wait?
  I know, I know, be here now... but it's sooooo hard. This morning we were watching the little movies we made last year, like we hadn't seen them already dozens of times. Oooo-ing over the sounds of the birds and the churchbells, while reliving the moments like they were just happening.
  When it gets like this for me, it's time to whip out some beauty shots, and just climb right in. These are  pictures that really convey what comes to my mind when I dream of Umbria. The light, the subtle textures and colors of the season, that smoky haze from olive trimmings being burnt. So much beauty that my heart wants to stop, just thinking about being back in it again. It does skip beats, I swear. That feeling of excitement mixed with a kind of poignancy. 
  I need a soundtrack.

View across the valley towards Lago Trasimeno, barely there in the upper left corner.

A stunning ruin on the walk to Paciano. The colors in this floor me.

The other-worldly landscape of the Italian countryside.

 Painting in process. Can't wait to see what paintings come from the 2012 trip!

Sunset from Panicale. 

Panicale skyline.
   Sometimes we come across little vignettes...moments in time that just need to be captured. We really like to walk the back streets and white roads, peek into abandoned buildings, generally poke around as much as we can. As I've posted before, there is an incredible sense of freedom to roam where ever you want to. Always with respect, of course. Never know what you may stumble upon...

Really? Can't I sneak just one into my rucksack to put in my garden at home? (No, I wouldn't...)

My kind of decorating..

Another find as we wandered a back pathway behind the main part of town.

  When I imagine the countryside around Panicale, I see these dream-like scenes, shrouded in a hazy elegance created by the nearness of Lago Trasimeno, and the olive tree clippings being burned. Early in the morning, the effect creates an incredible opportunity for photos. It's all about the light, man.

The geometry of the agriculture is pure photo heaven.

Monochromatic magic.

  And we can't wait to be back in our favorite watering holes, whether for due bicchieri di vino at sunset, or due cappuccini in the early hours of the day... Such a good way to catch up with the locals, or just relive the day we had. Nice to know there is this sweet routine. We love our regular spot in Panicale, but also have fun discovering little places in near by towns.

A favorite of ours at sunset time. We can take our glasses up to the nearby veterans memorial park to watch
the sun go down over Lago di Chiusi.

 Bar Gallo in beautiful Panicale. Our local spot, and the heart of this small town.
 We'll be seeing you soon...! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

On December

  Several years ago, December started to be my least favorite month of the year. It crept up on me like that... over a few years, it just became the month I wanted to sleep through, hoping to awake sometime mid January. Why, I'm not 100% sure. 
  When we were kids, for my brothers and me, Christmas was the beginning and the end of everything. First came the Sears-Roebuck catalogue, with all the goodies any little tyke could possibly dream of. We would scour that thing, dog-earring pages that had especially fine gift ideas, circling the Incredible Edible set,  MatchBox Car racetracks, and the always popular Walkie-Talkies. We wanted bikes, we wanted kid size kitchens, we wanted microscopes, we wanted huge stuffed animals, we wanted table top football and pinball sets... we wanted, wanted, wanted. For the most part, we received most of the things we asked for, thanks to our parents, grandparents and various aunts and uncles. It was the 60's, and all was good in our little kid world. What we didn't receive at Christmas, we would work for, instilling an awesome work ethic into each of us.
  On Christmas Eve, neighbors and relatives would gather at our house, passing around gifts and eggnog. The parents would spike it with, what? Brandy? Something....and we kids would be bouncing off the walls from eating cookies and chocolates. Plus the unbearable anticipation of the Big Guy coming down the chimney. The night would be like magic, all colored lights and presents waiting under the tree. Cookies and milk for Santa at the ready.
  Then, just as everyone was about to conk out, or pass out, we would get in the car and head down to midnight mass. Catholics, you know. It was tough, man. All the little old ladies dressed to the nines, and heady with too much perfume, parents starting to nod out, kids barely hanging on...can't we just GET TO THE POINT?!?!! Always seemed like the longest mass ever. 
  My poor parents would then have to try to get us home and to sleep, put together whatever big gifts needed putting together, get the stockings stuffed with little goodies, drag out whatever gifts were hiding away in closets... Saints on Earth. The final touch was the wrapping paper taped across the hallway entrance, so we couldn't sneak into the living room and see "Christmas" before they woke up. Now I know this was because they only had an hour or two of sleep, and needed all the minutes they could get, before we became crazy with the wanting.
  On their mark, we would come busting out and through the paper, Dad filming it all on 8mm. I remember being blinded by those lights on the camera-and that overwhelming happiness at seeing that yes, you did get a kid sized kitchen. I loved that freaking kitchen, all pink and made of, well, cardboard, really. But it rocked my little world. Just my size. My other favorite gift was the "Horrible Hamilton" toy I got one year. It was this green plastic monster/bug thing that walked on it's 6 legs when you pulled his long string. Even way back then, I loved my monsters. The wooden circus wagon filled with all the cool wooden circus animals lasted for years. Loved by all of us kiddles. 
  As we got older, it was all about record players, reel to reel tape players, guitars, drums, and record albums,(6th grade it was Neil Young's "After The Goldrush") and, of course, cash. Sweet thing was, even into our adult years, we still got a stocking filled with fun little gifts...tiny mustards and cheeses, funny pencils, bags of chocolate "coins", silly wind-up toys...and always, always, always walnuts & tangerines. Good times, good times.
  Some years, we would have all the family, cousins and grandparents, for the sit down dinner of 25 or so. Honestly, to this day I do not know how my Mother did it. She, a professional working woman, would not only bake several types of cookies, but shop, wrap, cook, write and send cards, etc., etc., etc. In earlier years, we would all be at my Mom's parents, Grandma & Grandpa Dottie's house. They lived next door, and our L.A. family would be there, too. All us cousins would play ourselves silly in the yard, trying out our new toys. Grandma Dottie had a silver tinsel table - top tree with a little village in the snow underneath- trees, deer and everything. It enchanted us all. Grandma Bea had a big silver tinsel tree with one of those slow turning round lights on the floor that made the tree change color every few seconds. Oooo. Love the Grandmas. 
  Then there were the years we would drive down to my cousin's house for Christmas day. It was so cool because the house had this great space to hide in. We were awkward pre-teens in those days, so having a place to escape to was the bomb. Also, there was the boa constrictor.... Being a kid is such a trip. So many sweet and fractured memories of family.
  And that's what's so odd about my rather gloomy feelings on December. True, it's also my birthday month, but I would rather that just slides by under cover. Just not into the birthday thing. (And yet, I do try to honor other's birthdays...hmmmm.) For some reason, December just makes me kind of sad. And overwhelmed. And full of anxiety. And cynical. And so f-ing tired. Like most people, no doubt. I start feeling dread right after Thanksgiving, and it smolders. This year it tipped into hellishness for a few days, but I'm getting better at fighting it back. It is exhausting trying to maintain. Making biscotti every year saves me, that's for sure. 
  The shining, sparkling, warm and cozy light at the end of the tunnel is knowing that I will see my Mom & Dad, have a special evening out, play some dominoes, drink some wine... share some family time. It may not be the big scene it was back in the day, but these couple of days with them will make all of the December doom and gloom vanish in a good, tight hug.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Little Venice Rant

  Well, we didn't make it to the Venice Biennale this year. Sigh. Heard it was a good one, too. We will shoot for 2013, fingers crossed. In previous posts, I've mentioned my love of contemporary art and the Venice Biennale in particular. But when I sit here at the gallery, fantasizing about Venice, it's the overwhelming beauty of the place that I am picturing in my mind. I won't even try to wax poetic about Venice. It's been done and done and done by the best. For me today, I just want to revisit some moments and dream about being back, creating more. 
  We are in the throes of planning our next trip to Panicale, and I'm going nuts looking at pictures from the last trip. It's such a tease. So going to Venice today is kind of a distraction, I guess. It is like going, too. I have an uncanny ability to conjure up in my mind the sight, sound, smell, and even the emotion of being someplace. While sitting here at my desk, on this cold December day, I will feel the warmth on my skin as I sit sipping my Aperol Spritz in Campo Santa Margherita, listening to the bells go off and the kids kicking around a soccer ball.
  What gets me, is how many people I've talked to that dislike Venice... "the crowds", "the smell", "the cost of a cup of coffee". Give me a break. For sure, you can expect to see masses of people in Piazza San Marco, or pay through the nose to sit in said piazza drinking a cappuccino. As for smell, well, we have never experienced this particular complaint. Live a little, and get the hell away from the hoards of people, lose yourself in the back streets and find the glory that is Venice. Stand at the bar in the neighborhood cafe and toss back an espresso like the locals. It will cost you less than a euro. 
  Try to discover the small squares where the few "true" locals hang around in the evenings. Grandmas gossiping on benches, moms with strollers watching the kids run around, dads catching up on the latest sport news. It does exist. I hear Venice is a slowly dying community, turning into a Disneyland for grown-ups. This is probably too true, like in so many Italian hilltowns that have been bought up by foreigners and turned into high priced short term rentals. This chases out the locals, who can't possibly pay the price to live in their own home towns. I have mixed feelings, of course. I am one of those who pays to "live" short term in a rented apartment where ever we go in Italy. But I also try to embrace the local culture, make friends and participate at what ever level I can. 
  I don't know the answer. I don't even know the question. What I feel I do know, is this - There are a couple of very different ways to experience travel:

  This way:



  Or this way:

Just a couple of pigeons. 

  Yes, this is Venice.... graffiti and all...

  By strolling just a few minutes away from Piazza San Marco, you will find yourself walking down uncrowded calles (streets, in Venice), enjoying impossibly beautiful scenes of canals, or lovely small campos, and even public gardens and laundry drying in the breeze.

Pretty as a picture. Oh, wait....

Yep. The public park of Venice. It's huge, too. This is a main area for the Biennale. 

Normal folk,  just taking the kid to school... I love the "street signs" in this shot.

More empty, lovely calles to explore.

This is actually Burano, one of the outer islands near Venice. So pretty. Also, totally uncrowded when
you get away from the touristy main area.

  Now the money shots, because that's what we love to see, eh?

All together...."Oooo, Ahhhh..."
Oh, and I'll take that awesome water taxi on the left, please...

Cruising down the Grand Canal during the "Golden Hour".

Gondolas doing their gondola thing...

  So now you have no excuse, or at least not that lame "it's too crowded" one.... Venice is like a world wonder. Really. You should try to see it once in your lifetime. Just spend at least several days, stay off the main drag, get lost, and stop into the neighborhood osteria to enjoy some cicchetti with a glass of the house red. You will never regret it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Riconoscente (Thankful)

  Ok, here's the short list:

  Mom & Dad.
  Dear Brothers.
  Extraordinary Nieces and Nephews.
  Cousins and their Families, always in my thoughts.
  Extended Family, whom I share such history with.
  Friends, though I am most often missing in action.
  Really Good Food.
  Living by the Beach.
  The Gallery.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More Food In New York

  Today I couldn't decide where to go...Paris, Napa, Venice, Panicale... tough decision, for sure. But since I'm hungry, I choose more food in New York. Why not get the stomach righteously growling? Why not lust once more after those amazing flash fried mushrooms? 
  We were only in the city for two nights, so we really packed it in on that last evening. Since we hadn't had much of a lunch, or breakfast, for that matter, we were really ready to chow down by late afternoon... We had stopped for a small bite while visiting MOMA, but that was hours ago. Back in our hotel room, we freshened up and headed out for a glass of wine and some tapas. It was a nice evening, with lots of people milling about... we stayed in the West Village, so there were plenty of places to check out. 
  I was looking for this tapas place again, but we just couldn't find the one I wanted. What we did find, was this great little pizza by the slice place on Bleeker Street. Johnny almost started crying when we peeked in the window. This is his idea of heaven on earth. He is a man who loves his flatbread. Pizza, foccacia, bruschetta... Johnny can't get enough. So the sight of this awesome array of thin pizzas, topped with various goodies, and available by the slice..., well, we had to stop in. I was plenty willing, knowing this would be an appetizer stop, with dinner still to come later on. I told you, we were going for it.

It reminded us of places we love in Italy.
 We were greeted by a delightful young woman, who gave us the rundown... we each picked what we wanted to share, along with a couple of glasses of the decent house red. We were the only customers, since it was between lunch and dinner time, so we had the place to ourselves. I don't like to "take-out" much, so we grabbed a small table in the tiny garden area in back. It was small, but sweet, and I imagined it after dark, with all the little lights on. As we found our way out back, we enjoyed seeing the small dining rooms....

Small, and really kind of cool...Garden to the left...
   The waitress who had taken our order brought us our wine, and we were able to chat a little with her. She is from Rome, and we chatted about our favorite spot,  Pizzeria Remo, which she knew of, of course. Then off to heat up our slices...
  Johnny ordered a cacio and pepe slice, while I went for potato and rosemary:

Warm and melty, just the way we like it!
   The thing that just rocks this pizza, is that the crust is super thin and slightly over done, so it's crunchy when you bite into it. It's gooey and not too hot... oh, yum. Also, the slices are cut into 3 pieces, so it makes it so easy to share. I loved that it was served just on parchment paper.

Potato and rosemary, raise your hands!

I mean, really. This isn't even fair. Cacio cheese and almost too much black pepper.
 And melty.
  Please, will someone open a place just like this in my neighborhood? Inexpensive, tasty, lots of veg options, and good wines by the glass. There was a regular menu, too, but for a grab and go, or just a tasty little bite, this was perfect. When in the area, We say go, man, go!

  So after our mini pizza break, we walked around for some time, checking out the halloween decorations that were everywhere, since it was just a day or two away. We enjoyed window shopping, stopped for another glass of wine, and had a grand time, as we looked for somewhere to have dinner. Eventually, we stumbled across a restaurant we had eaten at back in 2007, when we were last in New York. We loved it then, and decided to go for it again.
  I know what you're thinking. "Janelle. You are in freaking NYC! There are zillions of great restaurants to try! Why go back to someplace you have already been to?!? And, oh, what about that whole 'food truck' thing you wanted to check out?" Oh, I had big plans, let me tell you. But it was getting late, and dark, and we were hungry... so. Call me a weeny, I don't care.

   Sant Ambroeus has a few locations, and they are known for pastries and gelato, among other Milanese sweet treats. We like that it was walking distance, and had a small area to dine outdoors. It's on a corner, with seating all along the sidewalk, so we had fun watching West Village life go on all around us. Shocking that we had a lovely meal outside, and two days later, the whole city was cremated by an early freak snow storm. But at 9pm on the night we were there, it was really nice.
  After deciding on wine, a Barbera D'Asti, we started with a "carciofi" salad- thin slices of artichoke heart, dressed simply with lemon/olive oil  and served with arugula and shards of parmesan. (Let me stop here for just a moment. I will order this type of salad every time I see it on a menu, hoping that someday I will get what I really want....  the salad we had with my Mom & Dad at the restaurant Edi Piu in Lastra A Signa, near Florence. Sigh... We must go back there some day.)

 Carciofi salad. Ok, but I can do this at home. 
  I won't make excuses... we both love pasta. Get over it. Wait, maybe I need to get over it, and quit feeling like I have to make excuses. I shout it from the rooftops... "WE LOVE PASTA!" So anyway- I ordered the luscious and wonderfully rich Ravioli Alla Zuccha. Here, they used pumpkin, and served it with crushed amoretti cookies in a browned butter/sage with balsamic reduction... ooooh. The slight tartness of the balsamic really worked with the sweetness of the pumpkin.

Silky richness....

  My lovely husband, god bless him, went for the Risotto Al Tartufo. As well as all flatbreads and pastas, Johnny does enjoy his risotto. He is fantastically predictable. Just give him carbohydrates and he is happy. Works for me, because there is always some other pasta-type dish I want to try on all the menus. The risotto was great, not too truffle-y.

Beautiful. Just a little parmesan, please.

   We really went for it and ordered two veggie sides, roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus. I do these at home all the time, but am always game to have them served to me. And may I say, they really won me over with the brussel sprouts. These were just hammered, the way I love them... almost too much, but no. We grew up eating them this way, cooked to within a breath of being burnt. If you know anyone who says they hate brussel sprouts, cook them just like this.
  They will be converts. Brussel Sprout converts. Hehehehehe.

Just like Mom makes.

Roasted asparagus...good, but nothing super special.

   It was an enchanting evening, with lots of people out and about, getting ready for Halloween, (not snow, poor bastards), and we really enjoyed our meal. I stand by our decision to eat here - again.

We may just go back next time, too.

  So, you want to know what we did next? I kid you not, we went back to I Tre Merli for another bowl of Flash Fried Mushrooms with Truffle Oil. Well, we really went for dessert, but who the hell were we kidding? We were lucky to get a table, and as soon as we looked at the menu, it was all over. I just looked at Johnny and said it.. "I really want those mushrooms again. Is that so wrong?" 
  I will never find them here, so what's a girl to do? Over the top? I think not. We are very good when we are at home, eating right, walking our multitudes of miles every freaking day, being careful with our pennies. Johnny was totally up for it. 
  Mushrooms it was, my friends.
  Let's just have a second look, shall we?

Crunchy, crunchy, salty, creamy, yummy, yummy, yummy. 
Seeing this makes me want to cry. I am dead serious.
   Yeah, it was sweet. And we actually did share a dessert. A chocolate thingy that was really good, and a perfect end to our culinary adventures in New York.

Dessert was all chocolate-y and warm.

  Until Panicale, we are trying very hard to watch our pocketbooks and waistlines, so we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I sure enjoy going back in time to relive some great meals, don't you?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Old School in Napa Valley

  Man, it's been a wild, miles-laden Fall...... The New York exhaustion wasn't even over before we jumped in the car to visit Mom & Dad in Sonoma this week. Always fun, we try to get in a lunch or dinner out during our time together. Also, dominoes, cooking, drinking wine, a walk, a nap or two, etc.
  We have been going up the Sonoma Valley for our outings on the last few trips, so we decided to check out Napa Valley this time. There is nothing like the wine country in the Fall.... the vines are all in their massive glory, showing off autumn colors like they are on fire. So pretty... but what we really enjoyed was our first time to the Napa Valley Olive Oil Mfg. Company. What a fantastically cool place! Leave it to my folks to be all over this totally old school store. They were surprised we hadn't been there together before...
  It was funny, because we stopped earlier to check out the much ballyhooed Ox Bow Market, in Old Town Napa, and came out shaking our heads. Sure, it's nice, with all the "foodie" bells and whistles covered (for a price), but it was so over done, kind of cold, and just seemed to be trying too hard. I wanted to love it, but instead, I know I will most likely never be back. Sorry, dudes.
  On the other hand......
  In business since the early 30's, the family run Napa Valley Olive Oil Mfg. Co. is the real deal. They don't have to try to be "rustic" or "country", they just are what they have always been. One look around and you know this. There are thousands of business cards all over the walls, and hanging from the ceiling... Some from years and years ago, all faded and simple. An old poster of Lucca, shot from the air, hangs on one wall. Cement floors....

Loads of Italian specialty items on the shelves

  This isn't a big place, but it's packed with everything you would want from an Italian specialty store. They process their own olive oil and have shelves filled with all kinds of Italian goodies. There is a nice selection of cheeses as well as several types of cured meats and salami. Polenta in all it's forms, along with buckets of dried beans. Spices, farro, lentils....even little candies like Aunt Mary Alfieri gave us at Christmas time every year!

The cheese cooler

  We've all been wooed by the whole "foodie" trend and it's massive marketing.  I just love that this place runs rings around the upscale, overpriced and underwhelming "fancy" food stores in the area. You can not replicate this kind of operation. great in risotto and with polenta, dried porcini on the right.

Small bottles or big jugs of the family olive oils....

  Though I am a vegetarian now, I can completely appreciate the sight and smell of a bunch of salami. As a kid, salami was always a staple around our house. The ever fragrant, powdery skinned logs - o - pork are still popular at all the family gatherings. I have a total, pure image of my big brother, David, standing at the kitchen counter slicing salami to put out on a platter for all. 
  As kids, we could not get enough. I loved how you would get a nice thick slice, and pull the casing off... it would be salty and peppery, with just enough fat to make you want to sigh. My favorite school lunch bag sandwich was salami and cheese, with sweet "bread and butter" pickle slices. Of course on white bread. 

No mistaking these bad boys.... just a gentle but tasty memory for this long time vegetarian...

  We had to get a couple of treats... Mom wanted some pancetta, and Johnny couldn't leave without a jar of pesto and a bottle of that fab olive oil. As for me, I was strongly tempted by the dry beans, the incredible variety of pastas and the red tins of amoretto cookies, but I resisted. Regrets?  Ab-so-lute-ly. Fortunately, there's always next time. And, oh... there will be a next time.

More shelves full of delightfulness.

  The place is pretty small, with a front room that includes the check out counter and the totally awesome workbench where they cut up meats and cheeses for you. In the second room, (watch your step) there are the 5 gallon plastic buckets of bulk dried beans and all the shelves of what not. And all covered in business cards, like I mentioned.
  When we were there, there were a couple of women working the front area. Johnny was able to try out a few of his known words in Italian..."Quanto Costo?" He was answered with a swift "Venti due". Man, did that make his day....

Front check out area with old school style meat and cheese slicing workbench.

  We had a grand time, and I will so look forward to another visit. Afterwards, it was off to lunch in St. Helena.... but that will be for another post here in Live Pronto land.

Pretty, eh? Check it out next time you are in the Napa Valley.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New York 2011 2 (Me and Art 3)

  Let's see... do I go with food, art or walking around...Hmmm.... A little art, me thinks.
  As I have mentioned in previous writings, I am taken with minimalist art. Even the cliche stuff gets me. I just like that some artists come up with it.... and that it's taken very seriously. At MOMA, there is a room filled (sparsely,of course) with the "Biggies" in the world of minimalist Art.

A beautiful illuminated piece by Dan Flavin. I liked the subtle colors
it made on the wall. I want this in my house.

Donald Judd, a favorite of mine, on the left. On the right, "Primary Light Group, Red, Green, Blue" by Jo Baer...

I know, right? Lawrence Weiner just removes a piece of the wall to expose whatever is behind.
I love this....

  With the minimalist stuff, I don't think too hard. I don't have the formal art education to really have an "informed opinion". I just go from the gut. Either it appeals to me or it doesn't. These works, many which I have seen before, all appeal to me for whatever reason. I don't try to intellectualize it at all. Sometimes it's the idea, or the texture... or that it makes me laugh, or creeps me out...

Maybe it's because the artist's name is Blinky Palermo. Whatever, I like it.

Eva Hesse is a favorite of mine, too. I've always loved this piece, and wish I had it for my own.
19 forms made of fiberglass and resin.

Another from Eva Hesse. This was really interesting, all alone on the wall.
I will never forgive myself for not demanding to see the Joseph Beuys exhibit years ago in Paris.


  After spending a bunch of time viewing what we came to NY for, the de Kooning retrospective,(no photos allowed) we had a little bite to eat, and wandered around the rest of the galleries. MOMA has such a great buzz to it, with lots of people cruising around, and classes of kids sitting on the floor being taught the wonders of of it all. How lucky to be a student in NY, getting to have field trips to the Museums. Jeez.
  There was this great interactive piece on one floor that I just had to check out. It was a couple of stories high, all billowy and gorgeous. There are speakers hanging all through it, and they pump in bits of crowd noise, or whispered conversations, even the voices of a bunch of little kids laughing and screaming. We couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from, since you could here it all through the museum...then we came upon the piece.
  The idea is to walk through it, touch it, listen to the sounds. I loved just sitting outside and watching the ghost figures going through. I did go into it myself, of course. The artist is Carlito Carvalhosa, titled "Sum Of Days"

Huge blankets of gauzy, cloud -like fabric, hung from way up there. Dreamy from outside.

Walking inside the layers of cloud-ness.

  Then it was coffee time, and also time to visit the gardens outside in the courtyard. We really lucked out with the weather. The day we left a storm moved into the east with snow and everything. We had great fall weather....

I just enjoyed this flower arrangement so much in one of the MOMA cafes..

Looking out at the gardens of MOMA from an upper gallery.

In the garden. Where's Waldo?

A parting shot...Rachel Whiteread's amazing  resin water tower. Sigh.
  It's such a divine luxury to be able to take the time and have the ability to make a little trip like this. We feel lucky and grateful to enjoy this sometimes crazy, always overwhelming, and ultimately rewarding life in the arts that we share. 
  Go out and see art. If you can't make it to MOMA, take the time to visit whatever your local area has to offer. Visit your local museums and galleries. Go to local exhibits. Get inspired, don't be timid..or intimidated. Join local art associations and museums.. Do what you can to help support the arts in your town, no matter at what level... you can only benefit from it. Encourage kids in your life to be artful and creative. 
  My heart jumps at the possibilities of ART.