Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Most Beautiful Jewelry Store in the World

A. Andrews Diamond Palace

"Like the fine diamonds and beautiful pocket watches he sold, his store was no less spectacular. Located at 50 Kearny Street, a landmark was built. Beautiful paintings adorned the tall ceilings supported by marvelous pillars. Mirrors were everywhere, reflecting the elegance of the display cases that were filled with only the finest articles of adornment that had been procured form the four corners of the world."

The store’s founder was no less impressive than his glittering store. Born in London, Col. A. Andrews emigrated to the United States in his youth and founded a successful jewelry emporium in St. Louis. Seized by gold fever, he went to California and established a jewelry store in Sacramento; it prospered, but fire destroyed it. He started another store in San Francisco in the 1850s to serve the needs of the Gold Rush era, went east again, and then returned to the West. He lost a fortune in the Esmeralda Mine; engaged in the Civil War, but left it for reasons that are not clear; and worked as a magician and managed stage acts. Finally, he made his fortune in San Francisco and in the 1890s opened the sparkling Diamond Palace on Montgomery Street, which quickly made the short list of must-see sights in San Francisco. Destroyed by the 1906 fire, it was rebuilt at 50 Kearny Street and at various locations over the following decades.
From 1905, Joseph Goldstein managed the store, which passed into the possession of the Goldstein family. Joseph and his sons opened a Diamond Palace at Fifth and Market streets, which was the last, largest, and most glitzy of the line. His son, Edward W. Goldstein, a jewelry designer, closed the Diamond Palace in 1990 after the death of his father and brother, and the San Francisco Shopping Centre subsequently was built on the site. In 1986, when Edward Goldstein was interviewed about renewed interest in estate jewelry like the Art Deco creations of the 1930s, he said: “The growth factor is the beauty of second-hand jewelry. You can appreciate it, while it appreciates.”
A History of the New California: Its Resources and People

The Diamond Palace
Colonel A. Andrews
Edward Goldstein -- noted S.F. jeweler

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane



Off to Madison, Wisconsin to visit ARIA and DANIELE!!!!!


Monday, August 29, 2011

How Enchanting

Image via Pininterest

"We can't enchant the world, which makes its own magic;

but we can enchant ourselves by paying deep attention."-Diane Ackerman

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Little Magic

"It's a magical way to spend a summer-privacy at sea, and fun and friends in port."
-Ivanka Trump

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Life Is Too Short

"Life is too short to waste time hating anyone." -Regina Brett

Friday, August 26, 2011

Finding Inspiration

"When you're inspired, you activate dormant forces, and the abundance you seek in any form comes streaming into your life."-Dr. Wayne Dyer

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Nice Quiet Anniversary Dinner

So-oooo we didn't get to Italy but we did get to a restaurant in Naples that night.

Oh alright! It wasn't Naples, Italy. It was Naples right here in our home town Long Beach.

Thanks to all for your lovely anniversary wishes. We had a nice dinner together and I was happy with my Prosecco and Mike with his beer. Yes, we do have our differences after all.

We shared a plate of calamari but that's as far as I got with the photos.

I sometimes forget my picture taking gets in the way of real life. Mike insists I am living a life through my camera for blogging purposes alone. Well that's not true is it folks?

Okay Okay...." Mike lets just try for one more picture in Riomaggio." The waitress says, "Oh it's blurry again!" I look at it without my glasses and after belting down the Prosecco and say, "Looks fine to me!" (yeahhh right!)

I finally give up and we again sit down to read the cards from the kids that I have tucked in my purse to read after dinner.

Here's the postcard from Athena:

And here's the card from Aria:

For our anniversary gift she sent two tickets to the Andrea Bocelli concert in December.

What a lovely surprise.

Then we headed home for dessert where I had Mike's favorite pie ready and waiting for him.

Well it wasn't Italy, but it was a wonderful anniversary celebration nevertheless.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tops and Bottoms

"You're the top!

You're the Coliseum.

You're the top!

You're the Louvre Museum.

You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss.

You're a Bendel bonnet,

A Shakespeare's sonnet,

You're Mickey Mouse.

You're the Nile,

You're the Tower of Pisa,

You're the smile on the Mona Lisa

I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,

But if, baby, I'm the bottom

you're the top!" -Lyrics by Cole Porter

Image courtesy of N. Hoyt

"Just remember, "You're the tops!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Our 30th Wedding Anniversary

Late 1975- Barb and Mike San Diego, California

"Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner." - Amy Bloom

Dear Mike, The past 30+ years have flown by. Thank you for being such a great partner through this amazing dance we call life. If I had it all to do over again, I'd choose YOU, no question about it! I'm the lucky one!

"Happy 30th Anniversary!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

You Might As Well Get Used To It

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." — Robert A. Heinlein

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where To Next?

"Globetrotting is my favorite sport! What a wonderful world...especially when you have the chance to share your experiences with people that you like!"-Marino Forlino

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Am The Sum Of All My Experiences

"I am all the ages I've ever been." -Anne Lamott

Friday, August 19, 2011

Breaking Boundaries

"Really the most important relationship that you have is with yourself. Life is really about change. And sometimes that can be scary. But the truth is, you have to do that. You have to push yourself so you can breakthrough your own boundaries and try new things and do new things."-J. Lopez

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Simply Not Just Another Salad

"The tomato warm from the garden bed,
juicy and full of seeds,
a woman ripe for love.
The onion make it sweet and lingering—
adulterous kisses,
darkness at noon.
Dashes of salt,
a taste of the source,
the seas coming in at the window.
A full blessing of oil
the fruity olives pressed by monks chanting a cappella
the earthenware jugs stored in cool cellars,
The basil leaves, spicy and fragrant
—a lover's fingers.
You cannot make too much of this.
And when it's gone...its memory will,
in barren winter,
be like the small hot flame of a love letter
read in secret."

Dolores Stewart (Riccio)
(from Doors to the Universe)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Castles In the Sand

May the sun bring you new energy by day may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.
- Apache Blessing

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Southern Italian Wedding (Palazzo San Gervasio Basilicata) Part 4

The Wedding Reception

We arrived at Hotel Villa Ester shortly before the appointed time of 2:00 PM. It was a hot, summer afternoon and it was nice to find the long, patio walkway covered, providing much needed shade.

A toast to the lovely newlyweds.

Long tables lined the walkway with trays of wonderful appetizers. Waiters walked amongst the guests with platters of delicious treats.

Lots of beverage choices, pitchers of iced fruit juices, wine and prosecco.
Wonderful meats and cheeses

My daughter Aria whispered to me that I should probably pace myself as this hour on the patio was just the beginning of what would prove to be a dinner party that would last for the next 8 hours!

We then entered a lovely ballroom where about 300 guests were treated to a multi-course extravaganza served by white gloved waiters who moved in almost synchronized motion.

One may ask how does a meal last for hours upon hours? How can one eat so much?

Well I can tell you "it is possible." I think there was at least two hours of feasting then an intermezzo of a sorbet to cleanse the palette before the 2nd half of the feast took place. As the night went on between all the wine and dancing and entertainment I started to forget how to take pictures. Here are some from early on in the meal:

Mixed fresh local cheeses...

Cold seafoof risotto..

Mixed seafood platter..

a stuffed pasta...

I missed photo ops for the mushroom risotto, roasted meats, various sides, dessert and gosh who knows what else. Food just kept coming and with every plate, waiters would swiftly remove china and silverware and replace everything anew with each course.

Plenty of red and white wines adorned each table... including the "Paradiso" wine from Nicola's family vineyards. (see red label on table for Paradiso wine)

The first dance was lovely.

Mike and I are truly overwhelmed by this memorable event.

Aria and Daniele, we were so happy to share in his families joy.

Between each course there is much time to dance. Everyone young and old are wonderful ballroom dancers.
Lots of crazy fun on the dance floor as well.

Then at 10:00 everyone was exiting to the outdoor patio. I thought the reception was winding down but really it was going to continue in full force outside. This is what we saw:

More guests arriving for the outdoor party! Tables and chairs set up on the patio and on the grassy area.
Although we had been served dessert at the end of our meal, we were astounded by long tables of every kind of dessert imaginable in the garden area. Luscious cheese cakes, tortes, cannolis, cookies, gelato, panne cotta and all kinds of cakes. Plus more wine. Truly amazing

In the lit shell is the huge wedding cake

It was at this time that we were again treated to a magnificent fireworks show especially for the bride and groom.

The band has now moved outside and the dancing continues outdoors. Now the time is moving on...the warm summer night is as beautiful as the sweetest dream. Now I see waiters carrying out platters of food and I am thinking "it can't be" but "Yes it is!" I am now told we will be eating pasta at midnight! Oh my goodness and YES I did make room for more food. I ate my plate of pasta and it was delicious.

Before the nights end the mothers of the bride and groom are standing by a long table filled with wrapped gifts for the guests. People line up by the mothers and we are guided to line up too. One by one the mothers hand a wrapped sweet bread and a beautifully boxed gift to each person with a handshake and a thank you expressed. I am overwhelmed by this generosity.

We are also given a flower basket filled with jordan almonds and a nice message thanking us for attending the wedding.

The gift each person received was a specially ordered lidded sugar bowl with ceramic spoon. Hand painted. Stunningly beautiful. I will treasure it always as a keepsake from our first italian wedding.

See "A Southern Italian Wedding part 5" for our last day in Palazzo San Gervasio. The celebration continues!

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