Monday, October 24, 2016

Maine-ly Drizzle: A Gourmet Spin on Oil and Vinegar


Maine-ly Drizzle

Updated September 2020


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 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.



 


Maine-ly Drizzle is a delightful, charming boutique shop, tucked up in Kennebunkport and Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, in the state of Maine, USA. The store focuses mostly on pairing oils with the balsamic vinegars, but you can also stock up on spices, salts, tea, honey, and lovely cruets that showcase the sumptuous offerings of oil and vinegar.

 

Kennebunkport store, left. Perkins Cove, right


You can safely sample your way through the shop with tongue teasing flavors in oils such as Meyer lemon, blood orange, Persian lime, black truffle, along with many exotic varieties of extra virgin olive oils (EVOO). Chat with the staff and they will pair your oil with fun flavors of balsamic vinegars like grapefruit white, dark chocolate, expresso, jalapeno, fig and honey gingers as well as premium dark and white balsamic.

Make your own dressings or dips for a variety of foods, not just salads.


Debbie, one of the owners of Maine-ly Drizzle

The owners are Nick and Debbie , two delightful and friendly people willing to share their expertise on pairing your oils and vinegars with suggested foods. They are bright, vivacious, bubbly and quite knowledgeable. 




Maine-ly Drizzle might make it your list for must-visits every time you're in Kennebunkport, Maine or Ogunquit: nicely decorated stores, charming ambiance, great owners/hosts and lovely products. But, if you can't get there in person, they have an extensive on-line store. Click below on the store name.

Maine-ly Drizzle 2 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME -- (207) 204-0025. 
                                100 Perkins Cove Road, 2nd floor, Ogunquit, ME -- (207) 216-9643

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

An Intro to...Brooklyn - Not so DUMBO

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 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.


Not so DUMBO, Brooklyn


A great way to spend a weekend afternoon is in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn. The name stands for Down Under the Manhattan/Brooklyn Overpass. It's the area between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.


In between the cobble-stoned streets and alleys are boutiques, famed pizzerias, ice cream shops, rock climbing and even a "beach." 


If you're in Manhattan, you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Facing the water, the Brooklyn Bridge will be to the left and the Manhattan Bridge will be to the right (the third bridge to the BMW trio is the Williamsburg, which is further uptown, to the right). 

Stroll along the waterfront taking in the small green spaces, the rocks along the shore, Pebble Beach, the playgrounds and the various vendors. Under the Manhattan bridge may be a flea market on Sundays. 

The famous Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is guaranteed to have long lines. Be patient or go up the street on Old Fulton Street and get some gelato. Famous pizzerias will be along that street also. 


Stay a while or just a stroll (careful of the cyclists) and come to the borough that brags to be the home of the ancestors of ¼ of the USA's population. 


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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Intro to...Paris - Giverny - Monet's Gardens

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 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.

5 Things to Know to Visit Monet's Gardens at Giverny, France




In 1883, Claude Monet, considered the Father of the Impressionist Movement, "retired" to the still small village of Giverny, near Vernon, in the Upper Normandy region of France, about 80km/50 miles from Paris. He eventually bought a lovely farm style house and designed and planted the gardens he would make famous through his paintings he created until his death in 1926. 

From his time until now, artists journey to Giverny to study, paint, visit or even live, inspired by Monet. The property was inherited by his son, who, in turn, bequeathed it to the Academie des Beaux-Artes in 1966. Restored, it was opened to the public in 1980: house, gardens, the famous water lily pond and, literally down the road, the Musee des Impressionnisme, none of which is covered by the Paris Museum Pass.


1. It doesn't matter what you see first, the gardens or his artwork in other museums. If you have seen any of Monet's works, such as the massive room-sized murals at the Musee de l'Orangerie, this will be awesome. If you visit Giverny before you see any of the paintings, you will understand the inspiration. Either order is OK. 




2. Plan your trip carefully. Take the SCNF train from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris to Vernon. Planned train strikes are frequent and, in today's world, there are terrorist threats. Buy your round trip tickets on the day of your visit at the station. Don't forget to check the weather. 

Once you arrive in Vernon, immediately double check the timetable for the bus from Giverny to Vernon and the train back to Paris. 



3. It may be crowded. In fact, it's almost a guarantee. If you have really planned your trip, you can purchase tickets online. If not, get there very early (greatly advised), stand on the queue and purchase your tickets. After that, you're on your way. 


4. If the gardens look familiar, it could be that you are probably looking at the original inspiration for botanical gardens throughout the world. The gardens will vary depending on the season. The famous lily pond may not be in bloom until May or June but it's impressive just the same. 

Monet planned for the fact that the lilies are not in bloom all the time and has plenty of trees, some benches and other flora for you to admire, including the famous Japanese bridge








5. You will want to take lots of photos. There are gardens, the house and other museums down the road from the house. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Live from NY: It's the SNL Exhibition

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 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).  am an Amazon Associate.



Saturday Night Live Exhibit Entrance
Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition

THIS EXHIBIT HAS CLOSED IN NYC, 
BUT ENJOY THE RETROSPECTIVE OF THE EVENT


There are not too many people who are not familiar with the phrase, "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night Live!" This line, usually within an opening sketch, starts one of the longest running comedy variety shows that is broadcast on NBC. Like many icons of American culture, it has amassed artifacts and generated interest amongst fans. The result: an exhibit, of course, presented by Premier Exhibitions

After purchasing a ticket, we got the red carpet treatment. A video introduced the series, the doors open and we were on on our way. 

SNL Exhibit Red Carpet
The Red Carpet to the SNL Exhibit


They started with the history of the show with the Lorne Michaels' desk and continues to introduce the Not Ready for Prime Time Players who entertained America starting in 1975. We smiled while reminiscing looking at photos of the late Gilda Radner, the late Jan Hooks, the late John Belushi, the late Phil Hartman and others.

The original Not Ready for Prime Time Players.

The famous staircase onto the set

The exhibit actually was a lot like the show: a planned, organized format that seemed improvised. It took you through the week of producing a show, starting with Monday and ending with Saturday. Along the way, we were introduced to writers, costumers, set constructors, directors, musicians, make-up artists, cue cards and of course, the talent in the form of actors, hosts and musical guests.

The board of the show's rundown.

"Video" table: imagine you're in the meeting of the staff as they prepare for the show.

One would expect original artifacts in the form of costumes, actual sets and props and the SNL exhibit did not fail to deliver. Scripts, mannequins wearing authentic costumes, a drafting table and the famous news desk were all on exhibit. We were allowed to take photos and immerse ourselves into the sets.

Set designs


Model of the television studio and set
Wayne's World
Wayne's World set, with the famous "Jaws" shark

Throughout the exhibit, there were monitors with clips of sketches: entire loops of clips throughout the tour.

After the tour of the gallery of costumes including outfits worn by Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, racks of costumes, photos and the hundreds of musical guests, we entered a mock-up of the control room. We sat at the desk and became the director and heard how a live broadcast would be.

Control Room


After watching the countdown clock in the control room and the next thing we knew, we were in a facsimile of Studio 8H, watching an abbreviated 15 minute version of the show, with projections coming from all sides. As each area was showing its portion of the show, we also watched the other areas and saw how the stage crew was setting up for the next skit. 

"Studio 8H"
In a classy turn, fittingly, there was a wall of All Credited Crew and resume photos of all the cast, some you will know who rose to higher fame as a result of being a cast member, some you may have never heard of and some famous folks you have not have known were ever on the show. Although SNL tends to hire unknowns, some actors with previous notoriety have been cast.

Eddie Murphy's famous Buckwheat costume
We enjoyed taking our picture from the famous "Weekend Update" news desk with your favorite anchor superimposed in the shot.

We spent almost 3 hours there, reading every caption, looking every artifact and lingering at every monitor playing video clips. We even took a photo at the news desk with our choice of our favorite SNL anchor sitting in with us.


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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Intro...World of Coca-Cola

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 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).  I am an Amazon Associate.



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World of Coca-Cola
World of Coca Cola, Atlanta, Georgia

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: WORLD OF COCA-COLA

After you have seen what Atlanta has to offer culturally and historically; after you have had your fill of either the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War and perhaps even Gone With The Wind, you will invariably find your way near Centennial Park and across to the exhibit/museum/greatest advertisement in the "person" of the World of Coca-Cola. 

John Pemberton statue
John Pemberton, the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola

1. If you have not been to Atlanta since 2006, you will learn that the museum is no longer near Underground Atlanta (a shopping and entertainment district that has seen better days). Obviously, moving the World of Coca-Cola has affected the economy of the Underground, with more tourists now staying in the Centennial Park area. For some reason, the old building is still there, overgrown with trees, seemingly decaying.

Former World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Underground
Former location, near the Atlanta Underground

2. The relocated museum is a tribute to Coca-Cola and its products of course, but it can also be seen as an extreme example of American capitalism, the power of advertising and it's influence throughout the world. 

Coca-Cola artifacts
All things Coca-Cola (registered trademark by The Coca-Cola Company)

3. But this is a fun place. The amount of memorabilia and artifacts is a history lesson in itself. Indeed, Coca-Cola is credited with our modern visual of Santa Claus. The popular artwork of the rotund, rosy-cheeked jolly fellow was immortalized largely based on Clement C. Moore's description in his poem " "Twas the Night Before Christmas," forever cementing the American personification of St. Nick (along with other previous illustrations). 

Illustration of the Coca-Cola Santa
Santa Claus, as imagined by Coca-Cola (registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company)

3. Coca-Cola presents a fair account of its history, it's influences, and even acknowledges its mistakes such as trying to change to formula of classic Coca-Cola. The company can be credited, along with Hallmark, McDonald's and Kodak, with changing the 1960's in-your-face style of television ads to the more artsy approach, (movie style cinematography, messages of peace, world love and family life). All of this is part of the museum, along with toys, clothing, and interactive exhibits.

Coca-Cola Polar Bear
Polar Bear, for your photo op (registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company)

4. There are what can be considered a few major highlights: the promise that you will see the vault where the original formula is kept, (that's all you see, the vault, not the formula, which is supposedly inside), a photo op with the Polar Bear character and, the room with all of the flavors and products of the world. At the end, before you exit through the obligatory gift shop where you can get your fill of all items Coca-Cola, you are given a small bottle of the famous classic formula. Drink the soda and save the bottle, since the bottling location is considered important, sort of like where your money is minted.

Photo of the Vault
The Vault

5. If you read every line, examine every artifact, and pass through every gallery, including the room where decades of television ads are screened, you will get your $16 worth and you can conceivably be there for hours. You can imagine on a rainy day the crowds that must be there. 

World of Coca Cola, 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia. 1-800-676-COKE.


BONUS FACT: There is a store in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida



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Intro to...Philadelphia

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 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.


PHILADELPHIA, IN A DAY

If you're only in the Philly area for a day, here are some of the highlights to get you introduced to the historic City of Brotherly Love.

1. Do the fun thing: visit the Rocky statue at the foot of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway). It's no longer at the top of the steps to prevent you from re-enacting the movie. Also, in that area are some the USA's greatest museums including the biggest collection of Rodin's works outside of Paris and the famous children's Please Touch museum. It's a great bike riding area also. By the way, Rocky is also at the Visitor Center



2. Test your knowledge at the National Constitutional Center (525 Arch St.) Cool inside in every way: interactive exhibits and great for the hot summer Philly days. The U.S. Mint is across the street, another great tour. 

3. Walk down Arch Street. Along the way you'll see the Christ Church Burial Ground where you can glimpse Ben Franklin's grave right on the corner (or you can pay a couple of bucks to go in). You'll also pass the Arch Street Meeting House (remember, you're in the land of Quakers). Near there is Congregation Mikveh Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation, seemingly a contradiction in terms in a beautiful, modern building. 

4. At Betsy Ross' house (where you can decide for yourself whether she sewed the first American flag or not), you'll take a self-guided tour, with or without audio, of an extremely tiny house. The items are either authentic of the era or good replicas. 239 Arch St.


5. Head down N. 4th Street to Market Street toward Franklin Court (part of Independence National Park), an interesting group of buildings and remains of buildings. The Post Office is real, the Printing Shop will give you a demo of house items were printed back then and you can see where Ben's house was. A surprisingly interesting aspect: one building is actually gutted out to show the architectural and archeological aspects of the building, a good site for architects and historians. These attractions are free but the must see Benjamin Franklin Museum has a small fee.



6. Come out the other side to Chestnut Street to the National Liberty Museum. The message of freedom is strong with some powerful exhibits. Or go back out the Market Street side to the National Museum of American Jewish History


7. Walk across the street to see Carpenters Hall and then head back to the Independence Mall area. 

8. The Liberty Bell Center may have a long line. Go early or toward closing time. You will have to pass through security. There is a series of exhibits before you see the bell itself. It's the real bell, the one in the belfry of Independence Hall is a replica. 


9. You have to get tickets at the Independence Visitor Center for Independence Hall. You will see the real room of the Continental Congress (Carpenters Hall, location of the First Continental Congress is down the street). You'll have to go through security. In the evening, you don't need tickets but the line is L-O-N-G. Plan this if you really want to see it. 


10. From Independence Hall, walk down to 419 S. 6th to see Mother Bethel AME Church, the oldest African American congregation. 

11. Have lunch at the Reading Terminal Market (note that some booths may be closed on Sundays). Then, see some of the outdoor sculptures: the L-O-V-E sculpture at JFK Plaza, near City Hall. and the famous sculptures of board game pieces, across the street.


12. Snack on Philly's famous cheesesteaks from Dalessandro's, (600 Wendover St.) a local eatery but not a well kept secret. Grab the menu first, they don't seem to be too patient for first timers. 

13. If you're driving, you'll want to pass by Penn's Landing and other areas. 


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