Monday, September 15, 2014

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome

"Frozen" Summer Fun includes Anna's and Elsa's Royal Welcome, a short processional which makes its way daily through Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios. It is a temporary event created in response to the phenomenal success of the animated movie. It has recently been extended four weeks through September 28. A new "Frozen" attraction will replace the outdated Maelstrom ride in Epcot's Norway pavilion early in 2016.

Ice men



Anna and Elsa, the royal sisters of Arendelle

"Frozen" Summer Fun Times Guide, July 20-26, 2014

Note:  More Disney World posts are just a click away.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Captioning "The Roosevelts"

In order to promote Ken Burns's new seven-part documentary series "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," PBS teamed up with the New Yorker to create--what else?--a cartoon caption contest. As you may be aware, this blogger has been known to dabble in such contests for the last year and a half or so. I have even won, supposedly, a one-year subscription to Moment for my efforts. Now I've never entered a one-off like this before, but the not-inconsiderable prize is a private lunch with Ken Burns himself, and it's become apparent that this groundbreaking blog on its own is not going to get me even coffee with any of our cultural luminaries. Heck, I couldn't even land a simple interview with Thomas Pynchon.

So then, here's another chance to put my fledgling caption-writing skills to the test while promoting what I'm sure will be another excellent Ken Burns documentary. Ken, let's do lunch! Oh, the drawing is by Mort Gerberg.

"Inform Teddy his profile's not worth a dime!"

Only one entry was permitted, so the following two gems went unused:
"Now let's visit the East River Drive."
"Not bad for just two terms."

"The Roosevelts:  An Intimate History" cartoon caption promotion

"The Roosevelts:  An Intimate History" by Ken Burns

Note:  Students of the art of caption-writing will be delighted to learn that I've preserved my entire output of cartoon caption contest efforts on this blog, with the possible exception of one or two truly egregious examples. Feel free to peruse the archives for, among other things, numerous demonstrations of how not to win the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #441

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #441 for September 8, 2014. The drawing is by Michael Crawford.

"One day you're fearless, the next--gutless."

I considered a variety of other captions. Sorry, Charlie.
"Gather ye seaweed while ye may."
"It's a constant reminder of my own mortality."
"I wish there were more vegans."
"It's no consolation that the catch was dolphin-friendly."
"I blame Obama."

"I feel so empty."
"Guess who's going to be on 'Deadliest Catch?'"
"I still haven't reached my target weight."

"Yale, Skull & Bones.  How did you know?"

September 15, 2014 Update:  The Finalists

Note:  In last week's contest, Danny Shanahan displayed some fancy footwear in the dugout, yet my high-stepping caption struck out. See the well-heeled results of Contest #440.

Michael Crawford created another Cartoon Caption Contest just a few weeks ago. I didn't do any better then despite my skill at parallel parking.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Disney Desserts

Here's a small sampling of desserts discovered during last month's stay in Walt Disney World. The first two may be described as desserts with character. The remaining confections are from a birthday dinner celebration at Cítricos in the Grand Floridian resort some of which may possibly contain hidden Mickey's.

Olaf cupcake, Studio Catering Co. (and elsewhere), Disney's Hollywood Studios

Chocolate “Moose,” Chocolate mousse rolled in toasted chocolate crumbs with maple leaf antlers
Le Cellier Steakhouse, Canada Pavilion, Epcot

The birthday "card" is made of chocolate.
Cítricos, The Grand Floridian Resort
Death-by-chocolate chocolate torte, Cítricos, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Tiramisù with Italian Galbani mascarpone and chocolate sauce, Cítricos, The Grand Floridian Resort

Note:  Are we up to dessert already? See more from earlier in our Walt Disney World vacation.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

In the Shadow of No Towers Signed by Art Spiegelman

Today I present my signed copy of Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers (2004), the author's account of his reaction to the attack of September 11, 2001. The book is in no way worthy of the author of Maus, but I didn't know that when I bought it.

Art Spiegelman's signature in In the Shadow of No Towers

Note:  Three years ago when I was still fairly new to blogging, I published my unfavorable review of In the Shadow of No Towers. Looking back, I think I let the author off easy.

Other blog posts about Art Spiegelman are just a click away. I guess I've mellowed a bit over these last three years.

I believe the blog's 9/11 posts are still worth more than a casual look, particularly today on the anniversary.

By the way, if signed books are your thing, I've got a bunch of 'em.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Seen in the Lego Store

These two photos were taken in the Lego Store during a visit to Walt Disney World last month. The store is located in Downtown Disney.

Woody and Buzz in Lego

Note:  This blog is now filled with photos from Disney World.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom 2014

Here are some vacation photos from Disney's Animal Kingdom. I've been to this park several times since its 1998 opening and I'm certainly not trying to present anything comprehensive with this year's handful of pictures. Perhaps one day I'll post photographs from earlier visits to this and other Disney parks to show additional attractions and how the parks have evolved over the years.

Scarlet macaws

Animal Kingdom signage

Expedition Everest

Dug and Russell from "Up" (2009) on the move



Animal Kingdom Disney trading pin

Mickey Mouse Disney trading pin

King Louie and Baloo from "The Jungle Book" (1967)

King Louie and Baloo

Seen on the Safari:

Rhinoceros in motion


Note: There's a lot more magic to see in my Disney World posts.

It was an awful day back in 2001. Here are my 9/11 posts.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Antiques from the Grand Floridian

The decor of the Grand Floridian hotel in Walt Disney World includes a variety of interesting antiques. Most are sturdy examples of Americana, but then there is also a pair of French weather vanes.

White bird cage, American, circa 1890

Metal Ferris Wheel, American, circa 1890

Barber pole, American, circa 1900

Squirrel cage, American, circa 1890

Weather vane, French, circa 1875

Weather vane, French, circa 1875

Note:  All right, I know this blog isn't exactly "Antiques Road Show," but I still have more Walt Disney World photos to share.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Disney in Pietra Dura

There is much to admire in the soaring lobby of the Grand Floridian, Disney World's outsized hotel that conjures up visions of the palatial architecture of Florida's golden age. Take a look up and you'll get a sense of the scale of this grand hotel. Take a look down and a different sort of treat awaits you.

The lobby of the Grand Floridian

The lobby floor of the Grand Floridian has several remarkable examples of pietra dura. The term, which translates as hard stone, is the art of taking thin slices of colored stone such as marble and arranging them in mosaic designs. It was practiced in the Renaissance in Rome and reached its fruition in Florence, where the Medici Chapels offer perhaps the most dazzling examples. Today pietra dura is crafted primarily in Italy and India. The designs in the Grand Floridian look Italian to my eye, but of course they're more Walt Disney than Lorenzo de Medici.

Grand Floridian monogram

One could almost miss Tinkerbell amid all the flowing design elements.


Peter Pan

The Rose from "Beauty and the Beast" outside the tea room

Mrs. Potts

The Prince and Cinderella

Hidden Mickey

Mickey Mouse (in plain sight)

The same Mickey up close

Minnie Mouse

Donald Duck

Gawrsh, it's Goofy

One last round:
Oh, you know who he is!

Note:  There's lots to see in Disney World and some of it is here on the blog.