Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pulse Park

I don't usually like to regurgitate articles I read into my blog (I like them to be original, one-of-a-kind, because I said so not because someone else said so entries), but this one made my heart race. Although I will be extremely close to my fave city in November at my sister's in Jersey, I will not have the time to swing into Manhattan to see Pulse Park. Hopefully, some of you will be, especially those of my friends who live in the Big Apple. 

If you get a chance, check out this U.S. debut exhibit by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. It's an interactive light installation that activates YOUR heartbeat along with 199 others and creates a pulsing matrix of light! How awesome does that sound???

All you have to do is go to Madison Square Park, place your hands on a metal sensor for 15 seconds, then watch your heartbeat pulse across the lawn. Yeah baby, that is cool. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blood Sweat & Tears

Every year, our good friends Dr. Kai Chow and Reiko Niiya Chow invite us to be their guests at the annual Edison Pops @ Sunset Concert on the lawn of Edison College. Reiko is the Concertmaster for the Southwest Florida Symphony, and also plays in the Pops Orchestra. A violinist since childhood, Reiko is one of those women who are both poised yet strong, understated yet noticable. Perhaps it was her traditional upbringing in Japan that gives her such a timeless quality. On the 25th anniversary with the SWFS, I watched her play an extremely difficult Tchaikovsky piece for nearly 45 minutes. Having known her personally now for a number of years, it is a true honor to see her talent unfold on stage.

Even though Reiko plays with the greats at the Ford Theatre, she still knows how to have fun with her music. This night, she accompanied Blood Sweat and Tears through the sixties and seventies as crowds danced in the rain on the lawn. The annual fundraiser is a time where my husband and I get to share an evening with the Chows and their friends listening to music and sharing a great meal. We enjoyed Reiko's lasagna and Gene's recent attempt at fried chicken, along with the flow of some vino.

At the table this year, myself, Gene and Taryn; Kai; his son Michael and girlfriend; Kai's longtime office assistant and her husband; and the notable Michael Hall, Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony. Maestro Michael just made the permanent move to Fort Myers after commuting for the past couple years since his induction with the Symphony. Highlights of the evening included seeing the Chows' unofficially adopted son David Song play with the orchestra on a visit from Stetson; running into artist Jim Ferrari and his wife as well as Steve and Lou Pontius (a fellow Chi Omega Advisor); and dancing the final song, Spinning Wheel, with my tennis partner, Gina, and a few of my crazy teammates.

I love the cultural side of Fort Myers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another Excuse for NYC

I know, I know. I always talk about NYC. Well, it's my blog and I can write if I want to, write if I want to. Yesterday I received the "unofficial" news that my agency will be receiving five international awards this year from the largest tourism organization in the world, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. This brings us to 30 of these "Adrian" awards to date. This year's winnings are the most we have ever won in a single year. What does all this mean, you ask?

It means we get another excuse to go to my FAVE city... Manhattan!!! It's in January at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. In years past, we have stayed in various locales, from Park Avenue to Grand Central to upper East side. The most convenient, however, is to stay right at the Marriott, so we only have to take the elevator to our room after the banquet. It makes up for the crazed tourists all over TS. The rotating bar for a nightcap is a nice ending too.

The planning is just beginning and the wheels are already spinning. Haven't been to Angelo's in a while (Lil Italy), and I would LOVE to have lunch with my Bro-in-law at Mark Joseph (I can taste the steak melting in my mouth), and that cute little inexpensive sushi joint, Blu Chili may see me again too. Aside from food, what do I want this year? Definitely a visit with some of the local Chi Omega sistahs, a return visit to the Met with my partner in crime Kimberly, maybe a stop at Swarovski's at Rock Center, and perhaps something I've never done before. What could that be?

I've done the Museum of Natural History, Met and MOMA, done SoHo and the village, done 5th ave, done Chinatown, done Central Park, done Wall Street, done Top of the Rock and the Empire State Bldg, done Rockefeller Center and the Today Show, done South Street Seaport, done Union Square, done Mama Mia, Producers, Wicked and Hairspray, done Frederick Fekkai's (spa). I've stayed away from the Statue cuz it's cold in January and have yet to bring myself to Ground Zero. Anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Philly Sounds Fab

Philly PA, a city that has never been on my travel radar - until recently. A little mention by my college roomie Jenn when we were at our reunion at SU that I should come to Philly to visit her seemed to spark a chain of awareness. Then, another college friend mentions her daughter wants to join our sorority at the college she attends in Lancaster PA, Franklin & Marshall. Then my sister mentions that my nephew wants to attend Penn State. To top it off, the same nephew is playing in a soccer tourney in Philly the weekend I am up north for my grandmother's 90th birthday party in November. 

So this ex-New Yorker, who has zero understanding of the geography of Pennsylvania, does a little google mapping to see what's what and where's where. Penn State - 3 hours from Philly, Lancaster - about an hour and a half. My sister's house in Jersey - also an hour and a half. What is it about this city that keeps popping up? And is it worth a closer look for this travel obsessed girl? 

I found a travel website,, that is chock full of Philly fun. There, I learned there are 4 counties in Philly, one of which is Chester where Jenn lives. Chester is an historic district that was established by William Penn and is home to the first stop on the freedom train. A notable site that caught my eye - the Brandywine River Museum... also known as the Wyeth Museum because of the abundance of 3 generations of Wyeth works (Andrew Wyeth - a fave artist of mine). According to Jenn, her city of Phoenixville is 45 min west of Philly and is seeing a resurgence in the downtown Bridge Street area. Something else she mentioned of interest (to me anyway), microbreweries are big in Philly!

Which leads me to food (doesn't everything?). On, I watched a video on Wine and Cheesesteak. Can you say, yummy? The news segment highlighted area sandwiches paired with a wine, including italian pork and fried fish. This alone may be worth the trip.

If I will get to Philly in November is still up in the air, but regardless, this looks like a place to put on my bucket list - could be a potential girlie trip.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Voted Favorite Travel Blog!

"Because I Said So" by moi, little ole Mare Cushing, has been voted a favorite travel blog by her peers and fans! Really, you ask? No not really. Not yet anyway. But if you looove my blog, please vote for it at And do it soon, cuz they are going to announce the winner on Oct. 16th.

Thanks! Mare

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Armory Square

As much as I love small towns, I also love to explore downtowns... especially old ones. During my college reunion weekend at Syracuse University, the fam and I wandered the brick-filled streets of Armory Square. It was morning and we went in search of breakfast, and found one little cafe serving the eggs and pancakes we were craving. 

In old downtowns, there is always an apparent contradiction. Overpriced boutiques and sushi bars sharing real estate with nightclubs and street people. This old square had it's own charm on this Fall morning, as the aging brick, flower boxes and peeling signs were the backdrop to a car crash, an artists' display and a street protest of squatters. We enjoyed a rare morning of sunshine in Syracuse capturing some moments in Armory Square, from a man smoking a pipe on his laptop outside Starbucks to a bar worker coming out to hose off the smelly concrete from the prior eve.