Saturday, December 26, 2009

This is Savannah, in India

Our Rotary Group will be giving some unique gifts to our hosts, including the Savannah Postcards 5-pack and Mini-books of This is Savannah Vol. 1.

Georgia to Karnataka

Almost as soon as I set them, my goals for New Drawings began to evaporate. Enter: Rotary Group Study Exchange. After four months of preparation, from application/interviews to final departure, it's been an enlivening experience to be selected for the District 6920 GSE team this year to travel to INDIA for five weeks.

On Sunday, I fly with three teammates/friends and our group leader from Savannah, Georgia to Mangalore, India - via Dubai and New York City.

Developing a Presentation to show Rotarians and others in India about where we live and who we are was an element of our preparation. My curiosity about India led me, first, to maps. I had been gathering maps about various aspects of India, so I volunteered to begin designing the Presentation with a series of macro-scale demographic comparison maps. A few came to fruition in our final presentation and other comparisons followed.

So I'll be seeing and experiencing some amazing things in Karnataka, India. As we are able to find time and internet access in our full and exciting schedule, we'll be posting photos to our group web log HERE.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas Greetings

This year's Christmas card was a flat card, with room for a note on the back, between the cedars.

Aerial Midwest Winter

I love to fly if I get a window seat and the view is good. I feel a little sheepish taking photos out of the plane window, but...I LOVE it. I fancy myself an aerial photographer for a few minutes, snapping when the composition is right, as the landscape moves below me.

It is fascinating to see the patterns of urban, suburban, and rural settlements from the sky and think about how they exemplify national patterns of growth.
*I know I'm not the only one who takes photos from the plane window*

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oatlands: Leesburg, Virginia

We went over the river on the Jubal Early ferry, bypassed the crowded malls, and landed at the Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg, Virginia. A former plantation belonging to a significant founding family, the Carters, then valued by the Eustis family in the early 1900s who were instrumental in founding the National Trust. The site is another great property administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

15th Annual Telfair Art Fair

A nice letter in the box when I retuned home invited two map-drawings to the Open Art display in the atrium of the Jepson Center for the Telfair Art Fair: Wright Square (Savannah no. 4) and Coastal Landscape Map (Savannah no. 3)
Wright Square is the first in a series detailing Savannah's squares, a "collage" constructed with pieces from historic maps, plan drawings showing paths and tree canopies, and elevation drawings showing the buildings that surround the square and are so essential to its character.Coastal Landscape Map shows the relationship of Savannah's neat grid over the sinuous coastal landscape carved by water and gentle topography.

Wright Square was sold when I arrived to look around Friday night and I picked up Coastal Landscape Map Sunday after the show. It sits here on my couch, now, until it finds a real home.
*UPDATE: I wondered who snatched up Wright Square so quick, and now I know, thanks to the fact that Savannah is kind of a small town and everything is interconnected. It was a fine upstanding member of the community and the Telfair, a super-cool kind of guy. He is actually a client of S. & S. Urban Analysis & Design, where we've worked with him on many projects, including a charrette just a few weeks ago. Today he was describing to C. his purchase...something like this...So, the "guy" [that would be me, apparently] actually drew the elevations all around the square....I bought it as soon as it was unwrapped, before it was hung...
C. was like, You gotta be know whose piece that is? It's Kirsten, in our office...

Monday, November 9, 2009

You Can Never Go Home's never the same. But sometimes there are good surprises. The Jamborree in Floyd, Virginia is bigger than ever. It looked to me like the Cracker Barrel, all renovated and much larger and nicer and newer with new "pressed-tin" ceilings. Thanks goodness they kept the old wooden floor that's seen so many dancers' taps. A lot of the old folks were there, too and lots of new ones. Banjoes and fiddles and guitars, stand-up bass, still played around town in every nook and cranny they could find.

So far, I've never lived anywhere longer than Blacksburg. It felt like home. This is the memorial to the students and teachers who lost their lives in April 2007, a stone and a holly bush for each.
View of Pearisburg from Angel's Rest on the Appalachian Trail.
The best surprise, besides seeing good friends so happy, was re-visiting Newport and Eggleston, two of the towns I documented ten years ago. Newport looks exactly the same. The old store in Eggleston, where I first met shopkeeper Gladys Dowdy, is open as a restaurant with live music and a great menu! After some recent years of vacancy after Gladys passed away, the 1926 building is beautiful as ever and the old cash register Gladys used is still there.