Christmas at the Botanical Gardens

As Christmas rapidly approaches I am always filled with a sense of tradition. One of the traditions that my college friends have kept is getting everyone together for a Christmas outing, which often includes coming home to Fordham to see the Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show. The train show runs through January 9th this year in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. My Fordham friends are not the only alumni that enjoy returning to the Garden. Fordham alum, Aurelio Zucco is publishing I’m Dreaming of a Bronx Christmas which features the Botanical Gardens.

Even though I’d been to the Botanical Gardens dozens of times, I did not know anything about Enid A. Haupt. While I was waiting on line across from a carefully constructed model of the Statue of Liberty, I read that she was an avid horticulturalist and through her philanthropy she saved the Botanical Gardens from being demolished. However, she was also editor and chief of Seventeen Magazine. Publishing is everywhere!

Soon the lines dissipated inside the heart of the conservatory and we were free to mill about looking at the amazing creations out of twigs and bark that make up New York City landmarks.

One of my favorites is the Edgar Allen Poe house, which I remember seeing as a little girl when the exhibit was outside. I love the way the gnarled porch wound around the house and small berries framed the windows. I’ve never been to the actual house, which is located on the Grand Concourse and East Kingsbridge Road.

This year, my friend’s daughter saw the train show for the first time. It’s always great to see how children react. Life is still magical for them and she loved watching the trains weave around Yankee Stadium, the New York Public Library, and of course, St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

I myself am always amazed at the bridges that are so carefully constructed. The Brooklyn Bridge is as stunning as a well-crafted miniature as it is in life-size stone.

If you are interested in reading more about the landmarks of NYC that are brought to life at the Botanical Gardens, I would suggest All Around the Town: Amazing Manhattan Facts and Curiosities, Second Edition by Patrick Bunyan for great snapshots of information.

However, if you’re the focused reader, looking for a lot of detail on individual landmarks, I would suggest picking up Intersections: The Grand Concourse at 100 for a look into the area the houses one of our greatest American Gothic writers or Brooklyn Is—Southeast of the Island for the restless prose of James Agee that captures the spirit of the borough.

For our digital reader, I’d suggest Fifth Avenue Famous: The Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by Salvatore Basile. Just out on the Kindle, as well as the Nook and Sony Reader, Sal Basile explores the colorful history of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Merry Christmas!
Katie Sweeney

As Christmas rapidly approaches I am always filled with a sense of tradition. One of the traditions that my college friends have kept is getting everyone together for a Christmas outing, which often includes coming home to Fordham to see … Full Story

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Re-Imagining John Lennon

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s untimely death. Over three decades ago, Lennon was fatally shot in front of The Dakota building where he lived.  As we pay tribute to this legendary music icon, several of his most memorable songs inevitably come to mind. Among them, his 1971 best-selling single, “Imagine”—arguably one the most revered songs of our time. Why does this song continue to to possess and haunt us after almost 40 years?

In Hits: Philosophy of the Juke Box, author Peter Szendy analyzes “Imagine” and other popular songs. He probes the ever-growing and ever more global phenomenon of the hit song. The hit song, Szendy concludes functions like a myth, a force of repetition that grows by force of repetition. After reading this book, one can no longer avoid realizing that music is more than a soundtrack: It is the condition of our Lives.

Hits: Philosophy of the Juke Box will publish in July 2011.

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s untimely death. Over three decades ago, Lennon was fatally shot in front of The Dakota building where he lived.  As we pay tribute to this legendary music icon, several of his most … Full Story

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Remembering Pearl Harbor

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the American naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. This spurred America’s involvement in World War II. Millions of Americans went on to serve in the war, fighting abroad in Europe and in the Pacific against what was then known as the “Axis of Evil.”

Going to War with Japan, 1937-1941, a classic study of the run up to World War II, examines the ways domestic politics shaped America’s response to Japanese moves in the Pacific. The book covers fundamental questions, such as:  How did Japan and the United States end up at war on December 7, 1941? What American decisions might have provoked the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor?

Fordham’s Letters to Lee gives us a deeply personal look into the life of a soldier, Lt. General James V. Edmundson, through his letters home to his beloved wife, Lee, and also through his meticulous vignettes describing the conditions in Hawaii (where he was stationed from 1940-1942) and in the Pacific, written following Lee’s death in 2000.

To read more about  Letters to Lee, visit  www.letterstolee.com.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the American naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. This spurred America’s involvement in World War II. Millions of Americans went on to serve in the war, fighting abroad in Europe … Full Story

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Google eBookstore Open for Business!

From the Official Google Blog:

Discover more than 3 million Google eBooks from your choice of booksellers and devices
12/06/2010 07:00:00 AM

Today is the first page in a new chapter of our mission to improve access to the cultural and educational treasures we know as books. Google eBooks will be available in the U.S. from a new Google eBookstore. You can browse and search through the largest ebooks collection in the world with more than three million titles including hundreds of thousands for sale. Find the latest bestsellers like James Patterson’s Cross Fire and Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, dig into popular reads like Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and catch up on the classics like Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and Gulliver’s Travels.

We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks—everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa—using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.  READ MORE

From the Official Google Blog: Discover more than 3 million Google eBooks from your choice of booksellers and devices 12/06/2010 07:00:00 AM Today is the first page in a new chapter of our mission to improve access to the cultural … Full Story

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