There will be no impatiens in my garden this year because of a problem called “impatiens downy mildew.”
It is a problem that started last summer, I thought I’d done a bad job with watering my garden because my impatiens were sort of disappearing, all of them, except for the stems. By August there was nothing left. Sad because I didn’t have the wonderful border of pink and white flowers I have every year around my lawn and sad because I’d invested in well over $100 for the flowers, including their replacements which disappeared as well.
I found a few articles on line that said if you live on Long Island in New York, don’t count on impatiens for three to five years. Can you believe it? This is a major change for me as impatiens are a major component of all that I do with my garden since I have a lot of shade in my backyard.
Do you have the same issue where you live? Let me know and please leave your comments on what you’ll use in your shady garden to replace your impatiens in 2013.
I went to Berlin in early March, 2013, for a business trip. This was my third trip to Berlin for a conference and I’d never gotten to see too much of the city. Oh, I got to the amazing KaDeWe department store and (Tauentzienstrasse 21-24, Charlottenburg district ) and I was staying at the InterContinental Hotel, a very nice place to be, but that, sadly, my friends, was it. In and out of Berlin.
This last time I decided to grab a few hours to do a double-decker bus tour. Now, I have always eschewed this mode of transport because I felt it was corny and touristy, but I have learned that if you have only a little time to see a city, this is the only way to go to get the lay of the land. I asked the concierge at the hotel where to find such a tour, and he pointed down the street, to the Tauentzienstrasse, where I found one waiting. I paid approximate 20 euro, jumped on and began my tour.
Berlin has such a tragic history. There is no other way to describe it. It thrived in the 20s and has had its glorious and glamorous moments, but with the destruction Hitler wrought it during World War II, followed by the divide of the Berlin Wall in the sixties into the eighties, makes it a fascinating and poignant place to visit. The tour I took had a monotone narration delivered in 9 languages. I think it was monotone because you can’t just describe sites such as, “this is the place of Hitler’s attempted assassination” and “here is the Holocaust Memorial” in a lively, cheerful tone. If you take the tour, it may be worth staying on it for the two plus hours, without hopping off (your ticket allows you to jump right back on the next bus that comes along) because you just won’t believe how large Berlin is and how filled it is with interesting sites.
As you delve into the history of Berlin on the tour you’ll realize you won’t be seeing that many existing landmarks. Eighty percent of the city was destroyed in World War II. But the places where significant events are clearly pointed out. When we reached the area of the former East Berlin, you’ll realize how new this city is in terms of rebuilding. Berlin is actively trying to redevelop its former eastern sector with modern structures and shopping areas. Of note as well is the fact that recently, there was controversy over whether to leave the remaining portions of the Berlin Wall in tact. Some in the city want to move on and leave the troubling history behind, while others want it to remain alive as a reminder.
Here are some photos of the wall from my tour bus. Various sections have been used as murals by contemporary artists to portray their images of Berlin’s history.
PS: Do be sure to tour the area of Berlin where Checkpoint Charlie is located. You’ll see what the street that was manned by the U.S. Army during the Cold War looked like (a tank is there and two men are dressed in Army garb posing as U.S. soldiers). The Checkpoint Charlie is worth visiting to really absorb the Cold War history from Berlin’s perspective. It’s not fancy but it’s very intense. You’ll even see a few cars that were saved from the Cold War era whose trunks were used as hiding places for people fleeing from East Berlin to get to West Berlin. If you’re claustrophobic, you’ll cringe but when you get the full impact of the horror of living in East Berlin you’ll realize how desperate people were to be free in the West.
Many of us remember growing up and having at least two or three travel agencies on our Main Street. We’d go there to book airline tickets to go back to college or perhaps our entire family would file in and we’d sit and plan a family vacation by looking through brochures and listening carefully to what the travel agent behind the desk told us. Continue reading »
Travel agents still exist, but they’re not all on Main Street. It’s easy to work from home, thanks to the Internet, or to set up an office that’s remote, where people don’t just walk in off the street, looking for assistance.
The best travel agents get their customers through word of mouth. A friend will come back from a great trip where they enjoyed insider access to hotels, restaurants and attractions and they’ll share the name of the agent who set it up for them.
If you’re lucky enough to get the name of a top travel agent, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your trip is amazing. Here are some tips to make it all work:
1. Communicate. Tell the agent all about yourself so he or she will know your preferences. If they don’t have a good sense of you, they won’t be able to intuitively put together a program that you will like.
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I’m just back from Delhi, India. While I was there on business, I was able to take some excursions around the city with luxury tour operator, Greaves Tours, a family-owned Indian business that sells to very high-end consumers in the United States.
One of the most interesting trips I took was to the 12-century Qutb Minar Complex, notable for having the tallest brick minaret in the world, inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan. But there’s much more t o see here, with fascinating ruins spread over a large expanse of land. This is Delhi’s most popular and prized attraction. If you go on a Saturday, you’ll be with the crowds, who are equally fascinating as they’re coming from all over India. Be prepared to take a lot of photos, of the ruins and the other visitors.
I stayed at the Leela Palace in New Delhi, a hotel I’d have to say earns a seven-star rating for its oversized luxurious interiors and its attentive service which is only made better by the natural gentle manner of the Indian culture.
I flew to Delhi from New York via Dubai on Emirates. The airline doesn’t get any extra points for legroom in coach, but its very professional on-board service gets an A-plus from me, as well as its ICE entertainment system at each seat, which offers hundreds of films, TV shows, music and news. It’s almost enough to get you through a 14-hour flight unscathed.
Greaves Tours has announced its seven-day Golden Triangle journey through India, said to be an attempt to “capture the country’s dynamic culture, fascinating attractions and colorful cities – an ideal introduction for first-time visitors”.
The seven-day journey visits Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – considered the Golden Triangle of Rajasthan in India. Highlights of the program include: sightseeing in Old and New Delhi, exploring the Taj Mahal and the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, an elephant ride up the hill to Amber Fort, and tour of Jaipur.
For more travel tips, follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ruthanneterrero
All photos by Ruthanne Terrero. Do not reuse.
I am trying not to run cat videos too often but this one is legit, filmed in my own backyard. We have two kittens visiting us a lot, like, all the time, on our back porch. They look to be about three months old. Their mother comes around, too. We would love to bring them all in but are trying to get them used to us first.
The kittens have gotten more and more comfortable with us and now they play in our backyard, practically at our feet, all day. We’ve been feeding them quite a lot so they’re pretty healthy; though, I am sure they have fleas. You can just tell sometimes, from the scratching and all.
So here they are, on Saturday, playing. Not sure what spooked them in the end, it may be the big pink pig behind them in the ivy.
I was in Stop & Shop the other day, perusing the produce when a young man held up an onion and asked me if this were “the sweet kind.” I looked at it. It was an onion. “I have no idea,” I said. He looked surprised but we both smiled at each other and he walked away. He took the onion anyway.
I felt bad because if someone asks me for help, I like to help them. How often does someone ask you for assistance and your answer has to be a flat-out “no”? Then I began to feel even worse because I realized that I am the type of person who looks like they should know which onions are sweet and which are not. I look like a nice lady who shops in the supermarket who has reached a certain point in her life that has enabled her to know the difference among the types of onions there are in the world. Plus, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes and artichokes for that matter.
Luckily I was able to shake off the disappointment and I moved myself and my shopping cart over to the frozen appetizer section to buy some pigs in blanket, one of my favorite snacks.
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If you’ve gone away from New York City for some odd reason and miss its sights and sounds, here is a 30-second video of traffic. Yes, traffic. Sun beating down on cabs, brakes squealing, horns honking, the works. Makes me feel nostalgic and I’ve been gone from NYC for just one day.
At lunch time I often sit in a park near my office. I’d walked by it many times and never sat in it until recently. Then I noticed the lovely flowers that are planted there. Here they are on a beautiful July summer day.
New York City is highlighting “all things French” this July, beginning with Bastille Day on July 14 and concluding with the Trophée des Champions on July 28. The annual kickoff to the French soccer season, the Trophée des Champions will take place for the first time on US soil this year, at the Red Bull Arena, home to the New York Red Bulls’ Major League Soccer team. The match is regarded as France’s Super Cup, acting as a curtain raiser for the three subsequent games (the League Championship, the League Cup and the French Cup), and brings head to head the champions of Ligue 1 (France’s soccer’s top division) and the winners of the Coupe de France (the premiere single-elimination tournament). To honor this historic event, NYC is recognizing French cultural celebrations around town for local and visiting enthusiasts to enjoy.
French cultural celebrations throughout New York this month include:
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