Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend randomness: a birthday, bee balm, butterflies, a bookstore, and ballet slippers

Sunday was our youngest son Tom's 26th birthday and my sister Mary drove up from New Jersey to help celebrate. Tom, she says, is her favorite nephew. (Of course, she says that about all of her nephews.)

I finally had a chance to check out Saratoga's newest bookstore. Northshire Bookstore is in a lovely new building on Broadway and it looks terrific.

There is a sense of humor here, starting as you approach the front door.

Also near the front door, they have wisely provided the Saratoga business must-have: a large bowl of water for visiting dogs.

Downstairs, the store is attractively arranged, with comfortable seating tucked into a few cozy spots.

Upstairs is all for kids, with more cozy nooks and a space for special programs. Northshire Bookstore is a great addition to Broadway. I look forward to going back soon when I have more time to browse.

 I can't make up my mind about Saratoga's fiberglass feet.

Earlier this year, the National Museum of Dance selected 24 artists for a project called Saratoga En Pointe! Each artist decorated a five-foot tall fiberglass ballet shoe sculpture. The ballet shoes are displayed throughout the city.

I guess they are okay, although the chopped off leg is slightly unsettling.

A few years ago, Saratoga did a similar thing with fiberglass horses, like this re-purposed one, below. The horses were very popular, so popular that a few were stolen. They were also popular with drunken tourists who often attempted to ride them.

I bet no one has tried to ride or steal the ballet shoes.

This particular surviving horse has been repainted in honor of the 150th anniversary of Saratoga's famous thoroughbred racetrack.

Back on the homefront, I set out to clean up my late summer garden a bit. The bee balm needs trimming back, as most of the blooms have gone by.
But when I got up close and was about to start snipping, I noticed that bees of all varieties were still finding nectar in the past-it flower heads. I decided to leave them be (so to speak) for a few more days. Cutting back the bee balm will now move to next week's To Do list.

The bees had company in the garden on the nearby phlox. Showy swallowtails were in a near frenzy this weekend.

While I was weeding, three butterflies kept zipping around the same fragrant blooms. It felt like being at a busy airport.

Oh, how lovely these August days can be. I should get back outside right now.