Special Delivery from Japan

My blog friend Toukou san , from Japan sent a beautiful gift which arrived yesterday.

Inside this carefully wrapped box was a candle holder made by my friend Toukou san who is a potter.  He wrapped the candle holder in newspaper so I tried hard not to rip the paper because that was interesting to see as well. 



Toukou san tells me that this candle holder is designed to be lit with a candle honoring someone who has passed. 

This is taken from the top, where the candle will sit.  Notice the intricate colors that design the top.

Domo arigatou, Toukou san!  It’s beautiful.

An Evening at The San Carlos Hotel, Circa 1928

 Last night was my husband’s niece’s art show which was held in the Ghost Lounge of The San Carlos Hotel.  In addition to giving me an excuse to get all gussied up (read that word on someone’s blog recently and needed to use it) and wear a shade of lipstick I don’t usually wear. 

This hotel was one of Phoenix’s finest and was built in 1928.  Stars like Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable stayed here, as well as Mae West.

There is something special about old buildings and I find myself drawn to them in hopes that the walls will reveal some unknown secrets.

Here are my niece and her husband standing in front of her artwork.  She is a very talented artist as you can see from the work behind her.  Several other artists were set up as well.  I got one shot of another artist’s work.  I didn’t take too many shots of the artwork because I wasn’t completely sure if the artists would be okay with that.  Regardless, I did get one…

There was so much talent there last night.  I stayed for the fashion show which featured designs by students at a local art school.  Models of all sizes were used to show off these beautiful head pieces made of feathers, tulle and even a page from a comic book.  What struck me so profoundly was that there was so much passion displayed in everything shown.  All of these students couldn’t be any older than 25, my niece included.  I felt the opposite of that cranky old lady that shakes her fist in the air yelling, “kids today!”

 Bravo to all of them!

The art ranged of course from clothing, to pictures one might hang in their livingroom, to more obscure things like the girl who used her oil paint dipped breasts to create a painting.  There was also a photo of a blood spattered bathroom which I couldn’t picture hanging up in the Girl Cave but, hey, art is what it is to all people. 

After finishing up a cold and fruity concoction from The Ghost Lounge, I decided to take the elevator up to check out a few of the floors.  This clock hung in the lobby above the elevators.  I just loved it’s charm.

On the third floor I came across the room that Marilyn Monroe used to stay in.  Apparently she liked to be near the pool so that she wouldn’t be spotted as she made her way out to sunbathe.  Here is her room:

The hotel itself is like a museum.  I wandered around the floors looking at the old sepia pictures of Phoenix back in the late 1800s and 1930s.  It was neat to see a horse-drawn trolley filled with people going down what was once a dirt road, the same road I traveled on to get to the hotel.

I made my way down to the second floor and started to hear Big Band music.  How apropos, I thought.  Nice touch.  It seem to fade in and out which I’m sure had to do with the old electrical system in the building.    Mae West apparently stayed in the suite on the second floor.  I wish I could have gone into these rooms and inspected.  How neat would that have been?  I can just picture Mae at the door in a flowing robe. “Hello boys.”

 As it was getting late, I caught one more fashion show and then decided to hit the road.  I had to make change at the front desk for the valet and I mentioned to the lady working there that I thought it was really a nice touch that they had the old-fashioned music piped in the hallways.  She looked at me oddly for a moment and told me that they didn’t have any music piped in.  I told her that I heard the Big Band music.  She responded that she wouldn’t go anywhere in the hotel but the first floor because the other floors terrified her.  The hotel has a reputation as being very haunted, hence The Ghost Lounge.  So. . . ?  What did I hear?  It is a functioning hotel still so it could easily have come from the tv in one of the guest rooms but it has me wondering.

Click on the link of the San Carlos Hotel for more history.