Part of why I write a journal is to reflect upon my knitting. I find thinking about a finished project quite satisfying and informative. It helps me to improve my knitting skills to think what went right as well as what went wrong with either the process and/or the finished project. Viewing photographs of me in my knitting is also helpful to know what styles and designs look best on my shape and to compare what I see with how I feel about a particular garment. This also drives future pattern decisions. The reason why I write online is to share these thoughts thinking/hoping readers may learn from these experiences, as well.
Another reason why I write is to reflect upon the sites hubby and I travel to for our photo shoots. There have been many. I catalog these places on a page I call Fashionscape, here in The Blog. Since this particular photo shoot also served as a trip down memory lane, I am writing about it here, too. We continue to choose places that hold some kind of significance to us and this last photo shoot was no different. Here we are at Chautauqua Institution, the furthest we have traveled yet for a photo shoot, officially closed for the season, however open for travelers who want to walk the grounds during the day. Many of the cottages were covered in tarps, construction workers dotted the place doing off-season repairs, and you could see evidence of changes that are being made to the main structures of the institute. In fact, you really needed to watch your step due to fallen debris of repair work.
Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that re-opens each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Hubby and I have visited Chautauqua Institution over the years and we purposely stopped at our old haunts to take pictures. The Chautauqua Board of Affairs has voted to tear down this Amphitheater to have it replaced with a modern update. (Information, here.) Emotions run high on this decision speaking for hubby and myself. So, our first stop and maybe the main reason we chose to go to Chautauqua was to visit the Amphitheater to capture it in photography before its demise. Behind me is a marquis that stands just outside the Amphitheater still filled with the events of the past season.
Contemplating and not really wanting to see what was to come next, I enjoyed the sunlight.
We walked here and there over and under construction and helped ourselves to the open door to take some pictures inside. I always loved the mellow yellow color of this theater. I paused to recollect the drives we took to the concerts on many a summer evening, listened once again to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 being played by the Chautauqua Philharmonic Orchestra, and smelled the perfume mixed with cigarette smoke that was wafting ever so gently in the summer breeze. I thought if we had waited another week, the theater might not have been there as smack dab in the middle of those glorious seats (and my memories) was a bulldozer. That was difficult to see.
Because the institute honors a variety of faiths, the main streets are lined with buildings representing a host of religions and in front of them are these statues for peace. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
We made our way over to the lecture hall called the Hall of Philosophy, a pillared sanctuary for learning. Well, you can see for yourself. In our past we would enjoy a season or two of lecture series on Sundays, followed by lunch. Some lovely memories then, and on this day.
After some work men stared us down, we continued down where the Athenaeum Hotel faces Lake Chautauqua, clearly a grand place to spend a night or two. Running water is offered as an extra and hot water is a luxury on top of that.
Walking further along the shore, a gaggle of geese were gathered and planning their next move . . .
the boat house . . .
and the Miller Bell Tower.
The last place I wanted to see within the grounds was Norton Hall. This is a theater house dedicated to The Arts that is on a street lined with a variety of theaters each beautiful and purposeful onto themselves. On that lovely evening, years ago, we went to see Operetta Figaro by W. A. Mozart. Funny that we have seen countless performances, theatrical productions and attended endless concert series over the years but somehow, this one evening stands out. Maybe, it was our youth, maybe yearning for a less complicated world, maybe I was feeling fortunate I had this experience at all. Here it be, in all its glory standing tall just like I had remembered.
We don’t have fancy cameras, no indoor photography set up. We go on our photo jaunts in all kinds of weather. The sun casts its rays and shadows, the grey skies cause darkness but one thing is for sure, we are together taking these pictures of places that are near and dear to our hearts capturing new memories, telling old stories, and having a great time.