Archive for November, 2010

Rochester

Nov 17 2010 Published by under future,goals,life

They say that Texas has unbeatable home prices, but after extensive house hunting this past summer, Brad and I were dismayed that in order to get something even half way decent in Dallas, we were going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. Small, older two bedroom/one bathroom homes in remote, questionable neighborhoods start right around the $100,000 mark. And many new constructions lack the character and detail that we desire, and they are still out of our price range. The search was frustrating and a factor in choosing to put off buying until the time was right.

Brad and I are constantly in search for the right place we can call home. A place where we’ll be paid fairly, where we can own a home for a decent price, and where we’ll have a high quality of life with culture and entertainment. It looks like Rochester, New York may be just the place.

The home pictured below is being offered for $72,900. It’s described as a ready to move in Colonial with new kitchen, new maple cabinets, new counters & ceramic tile. Updated main plumbing lines, circuit breakers & windows. Recently refinished hardwoods. New paint, light fixtures, two remodeled baths, a garage and large backyard!

True it isn’t the absolute best neighborhood in Rochester, but it isn’t the worst either. And judging from Google’s street view, it actually looks like a great neighborhood.



Beautiful period woodwork and gleaming hardwoods!



Completely renovated bathrooms!



A beautifully updated kitchen.



A nice spacious living area.



A large backyard with storage garage!

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Music and Family

Nov 12 2010 Published by under family,life,present

Mikey with Parents

A nice, quiet end to an eventful week! As I mentioned earlier, the Resounding Harmony Singers performed “A Suppertime Celebration” on Wednesday evening at the Myerson Symphony Center here in Dallas. This was my first performance with the group. We’ve been practicing for this concert since August, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The music was fantastic. I had an incredible time. It’s been longer than 12 years since I sang in a choir, and all the joy just came rushing back. I expected to be nervous on stage, but I couldn’t have been more excited. It was wonderful. We sang our hearts out… and all for a good cause. Thanks to ticket sales, fundraisers and donations, we raised more than 200,000 meals for the North Texas Food Bank!

One of the best parts of this experiences was having my parents see me perform. They live more than 500 miles away and don’t have much money, so it’s rare that I even get to see them. They haven’t been to Dallas since last year. I really wanted them to see the show, so I bought them tickets front and center and they made the trek up here. They enjoyed it thoroughly. This was also the first time Brad has seen me perform on stage. Of course, he’s used to me singing songs from The Little Mermaid at the top of my lungs in the shower. But this was a whole new experience for him. I’m so happy he enjoyed it.

It was so nice to have my parents over for a visit. It was too quick, but Brad and I will be down in the Valley for Thanksgiving. That, too, will be a quick visit. But it’ll be nice to be with my sisters, nieces and nephew and all the family I rarely get to see.

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A Stocked Fridge

Nov 07 2010 Published by under life,present

A Stocked Fridge
Our fridge.

It seems we rarely get a nice quiet weekend to relax anymore. Saturday morning started out wonderfully with a trip to the dentist for a painful abscessed tooth, then rushing to the Myerson Symphony Center downtown for dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s Resounding Harmony choir concert. Despite the pain, I was somehow able to perform pretty well. The concert is going to be amazing.

But I still needed to get the final pieces for my concert outfit, which meant a trip to Aldo for some boots and JC Penney for a tie and pocket square. Then Brad and I began our two-day affair of grocery shopping. Sometimes it’s easier to split the grocery shopping into two days since we typically hit up more than one store. Saturday, we got our meat and poultry, along with some other items at Super H Mart in Carrollton. Sunday evening (after my regular rehearsal with Resounding Harmony), we stocked up on Oatmega3 bars, bulk items and a dinner for two at Central Market. We finished off with buying the majority of our groceries at Kroger.

Of course, Brad and I are so privileged that we are able to stock up on groceries — that we can afford these necessities. We rarely consider those who can’t afford food or who don’t have the ability to drive around the metroplex buying whatever they like. As I mentioned before, this Wednesday evening I will be singing with the Resounding Harmony chorus in a choral concert to benefit the North Texas Food Bank. Tickets are still on sale and range between $30 and $50, and it benefits the North Texas Food Bank. We are taking food and money donations, as well as silent auction items, and of course beautiful music. I’d love to see you there.

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The Barcelona Chair

Nov 03 2010 Published by under art,design,future,goals,life,past,photography,travel

mies3

In the summer of 2008, I studied art history and drawing in Italy. Afterward, I decided to visit Spain and stay a week in Barcelona. It was the perfect opportunity to visit the German Pavilion of Bauhaus designer Mies van der Rohe, which was a longtime dream of mine. The Pavilion houses my absolute favorite piece of modern design, the Barcelona Chair, which continues to inspire me to this day.

When I was a just a boy of twelve, I wanted nothing more than to sit in my bedroom all day and play Nintendo games. I also stayed up late at night drawing and watching reruns of The Fall Guy. I was entering that pre-teen phase where I just wanted to be holed up in my room all day, away from the adults, away from the children, doing my own thing.

I typically sat on the floor, hunched over my work and straining my neck upwards to watch the screen of my 13″ Emerson. My dad saw my poor posture and decided to get me something to sit on. At the time, he really enjoyed going to local auctions and picking up interesting items on the cheap. This is where he found a collection of art books and supplies from the ’40s that helped me transition from drawing Ninja Turtles to figures in repose. This is where he found me the perfect chair.

He couldn’t have paid more than $20. It was the perfect size for my room. It was about three feet wide and sat two comfortably. The only defect was one of the leather straps beneath seat cushion was broken, but could have easily been stitched back around the chrome frame. I loved this comfortable chair, but when it came time to move, it somehow got left behind. I didn’t worry because my parents still owned the old house which sat vacant for several months. But the house was soon rented out, and the chair was never reclaimed.

Several years passed and I came across a book on home furnishings at a garage sale. There I saw my chair pictured and listed as the Barcelona Chair, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1929 for the German Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Barcelona. Designed at the height of the Bauhaus movement, the Barcelona Chair remains one of the most stylish and elegant pieces of modern design.

As you can imagine, the loss of my own Barcelona Chair has weighed heavily on me for years. Currently, an authentic Barcelona Chair ranges from $4500 – $5600. And a vintage Barcelona Chair, like mine, may fetch more than that.

For years, the chair has been a source of inspiration for my pursuit of art and design. And I hope to one day be able to own another.

around the house
By MŪV*MƏNT on flickr

Pictured above are two vintage Barcelona Chairs dating from the 1960s,
matching the size and color of my own lost Barcelona Chair.


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