Post of the Week

Post of the Week

By Post of the Week
September 29, 1999 11:49PM (UTC)
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The GARDEN Thread

House and Garden
kwarren - 04:15pm Sep 28, 1999 PDT (# 1312 of 1317)

The old apple tree on the north side of the house continues to disintegrate. Another huge branch broke off last night and I know I must make arrangements to have it put out of its misery. I'm saddened by the looming loss of this tree. When I was growing up in the tropics, I used to dream about apple trees and how magical they must be since they were in all the children's books I read (along with Dick, Jane and Spot who invariably lived on streets named Oak or Elm, also mysterious to me). I'm somewhat comforted by the fact that we planted a new apple tree in the cottage garden earlier this summer.


Whilst growing up in Panama in the 1950's and -60's, I literally walked to school on a trail through the jungle. A real jungle that would be, not a metaphor -- a jungle with gargantuan banyan, laden mango and bizarre calabash trees, horse-candy and cannon-ball trees, jacaranda, palmetto, poinciana, bamboo, spikey black palms sword grass, twining Tarzan vines and the whole bit.

I could have taken the sidewalk purpose-built for school children along the side of the road that skirted the jungle but I ignored it just as all the other kids did. The sidewalk was not only boring but exposed and freaken' hot in the humid early morning, then drenchingly wet during the afternoon rainstorms. That jungle trail irritated and scared our overprotective parents and teachers so it was delared off limits. If we were caught coming onto the playground from the trail, we had to stay after school scribbling repetitive stupidities on the blackboard (which was black back then).

I was caught twice, then never again. I learned to sneak quietly, invisibly as a night moth, through the thick bamboo grove bordering the playground -- a no-man's land just the other side of the big kids' swings. I had this down pat by the second week of first grade. There's so much that goes into getting an education, after all.


To the point, however (and there is one): I used to dream about the exciting flora I'd read about in books. Exotic flowers and strange trees such as daisies, daffodils, roses, apple, oak . . . I thought they must be very special, maybe even magic, in the way the flora surrounding me were not. Meanwhile, every day, I trudged past hundreds of orchids, birds of paradise, spider lilies, ginger lilies, shell lilies, bromeliads, hibiscus and heliconia as if they were common as dirt. Now, I miss those flora so much I could howl as I prepare to mourn the old apple tree and nurture the new one.

Dung for "Arts Sake"?

Social Issues
PETER D. MUIR - 08:14pm Sep 28, 1999 PDT (# 59 of 73)


My opinion of this is simple:


IMHO, there's enough hyprocrisy, cynicism and opprtunism to go aroud. Obviously, Mayor Gulaini is trying to use this as an effort to please the religious right. However, leave us not let the Brooklyn Museum off the hook either. They went out for the latest big-time coporate show (the kind of extravaganzas that shut out all but the most wealthy art patrons, as well as shutting out women, people of color, struggling artists, etc.). Never was one of these coporate art tours more aptly named: it is indeed sensation without substance, the only thing "high art" is capable of nowadays.


The Delightful and Irrational Fun of Disney

Home and Aways
Meg McKean - 10:03pm Sep 24, 1999 PDT (# 23 of 24)

OK, I can actually imagine a "more delightful or sensually romantic holiday." (If France is not on your short list, allow me to recommend Charleston, SC.) But I can't imagine anywhere that would transport me so powerfully and completely back to childhood as Disneyland. (NOT Disneyworld, never been there and bet it wouldn't be the same.) It's not that I disagree with the posters here who are complaining about Disney's world hegemony - I used to work for one of Walt's many tentacles - but Disneyland itself, especially particularly like the fast & scary rollercoaster rides - seems to me that other parks do that better anyway. What I like are the fantasy rides - Alice in Wonderland, the Haunted Mansion, and the Pirates. I can almost think my way back into the mind of my 5-year-old self who wasn't quite sure it wasn't real. I can also remember so vividly those days when my mom held my hand everywhere we went. Sigh.

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