Blog Posts - AM Musings
 
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Terra Cotta Warriors Exhibit opens
This Friday the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit from China opens at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.  I was at the museum last week for my docent training and I saw them installing this in the North Court.  The horses and charriot are reproductions of the original items, but the actual terra cotta warriers are the real thing.
 
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Offerings at B Patisserie
After the crepe place closed on California Street near our home, we were wondering what would take its place.  Then a sign appeared that said B Patisserie would be opening a bakery and cafe.  Anxiously we watched as the remodelling s l o w l y moved along.  Sunday I was going out for a walk and someone told me it was open - so of course we went to check it out. 
 
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Calligraphy by Zhao Mengfu (趙孟頫) 1254-1322
The character "wu" by the great Chinese Calligrapher Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322) from his copy of the Lotus Sutra means "nothing"   Wu is central to the Buddhist concept of non-attachment and freedom from desire.   Apart from its meaning, look at how beatifully the composition of the character is balanced and the elegance of the brushstrokes.   
 
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Steamed for 10 Minutes
Eggs are a very personal issue.  Soft boiled, hard boiled, sunnyside up, scrambled, easy over -- so many different ways to prepare eggs.  When hardboiled, I like them soft and creamy on the inside - perhaps with a touch of liquid in the middle.  Sometimes even runny so that the yolk can ooze onto a salad to enrich the dressing. Katie and I were experimenting with new techniques to cook hard boiled eggs.  Check this out.
 
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Simple Perfection
The art of apple pie has been a family tradition as long as I can remember. My Dad made them. My Mom made them. I tried my hand at it, but Chris has truly perfected it.

This one was truly great. The crust buttery, flaky, with no trace of undercooked and doughy bottom crust. The apple filling tart and sweet and cooked enough to have some bite, texture and keep its shape. The combination and contrast wonderful. Thank you.
 
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Left Seated Buddha dated 338 ***** Right Seated Buddha ca. 300
Training to become a docent at the Asian Art Museum has been a real eye opener.  The Asian Art Museum's 338 Seated Buddha is secure behind a glass case at the entrance to Gallery 16 - Chinese Buddhist Art.  Pleasant and nice, I never gave it much thought.

At the beginning of this fall training session, we were told that this Buddha is the earliest and most important dated Buddha from China and many people come to the museum just to see it.  Well! I'll go take another look.  It's important because the inscription in Chinese gives it a reliable date of 338. 

I was flipping through my new book on Chinese art and I found this image on the right -- almost identical!  It is reported to have been found in 1979 near Xi'an, China.  It's also inscribed, but this time in the Kharoshthi language and -- no mention of a date.  It is dated approximately 300 or 38 years before the one on the left.    With no actual dated inscription, I guess it suddenly comes in second.  Little things mean a lot.

Churros

11/14/2012

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San Genis Chocolateria - Madrid
For us in California, Churros has always been in the Mexican style coated with sugar and cinnamon.  In Spain, churros are served plain ready to be dipped into a cup of hot thick chocolate or into your cafe con leche.  The San Gines Chocolateria has been pleasing patrons for over a century.  They only make churros, chocolate and coffee so they've had some time to get this right. 

 
This handrail at the Museo Thyssen in Madrid Spain wouldn't pass building codes here in the US.  Here, the end of a handrail needs to curve back towards the wall to prevent the projecting end from catching onto someone.  Never-the-less, I like this detail of capping the wood end with metal highlighting the sensual curve of the wood. 
 
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October 13, 2012 Painting by Chris
In a previous blog, "Retreat to Advance", Chris has now completed a three week painting retreat in Arcata, CA.  This is her final painting, which I am calling "Speedwash".  It is a scene from the Highway 101 overpass looking towards the center of Arcata.
 
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The Pacific Ocean shrouded in Fog
Redwood Creek Beach is 5 hours north of San Francisco near the town of Arcata.  Five hours is a little too far to make it an easy weekend jaunt.  It is a world of its own.