In 2003, Lynn and I — as well as our motley crew of cats, Felix and Chloe — up and moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Scottsdale, Arizona on a whim. This radical decision was predicated upon a number of factors: we were incredibly weary of the long winters; we could no longer envision a future filled with opportunities in our professional lives; and there was a discernable feeling that we were in a rut, living out lives that seemed alarmingly predictable and comfortable given our relatively youthful ages. A malaise had set in, as well as a soul-crushing ennui. Something had to change. And so something did: we moved.
The next nine years of our lives were spent in Arizona. Unexpectedly, the change of scenery revealed more about what we’d left behind than what we’d discovered at our destination. In particular, we found a new appreciation for the finite change in seasons we’d previously taken for granted. Sure, there’s a “cooler” period in Arizona, but a mild drop in temperature a change of seasons does not make. Absence, as they say, makes the heart grow fonder.
Continue reading Scarecrows and Pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden
If you took an Economics class in college, you might recall discussions around irrational behavior and speculation leading to market bubbles and crashes. While the dot-com and real estate debacles might be fresher in our memory, one of my favorite examples of this was the boom and bust of tulips in the 1600s. Yes, tulips. If you’re unfamiliar, the story goes that when the Dutch Republic gained independence from the Spanish crown in the 17th century, it ushered in a Golden Age with growing trade and commerce. Fortunes flourished and estates grew, and soon the prized tulip — its bold colors unlike that of any other flower at the time — became a status symbol. As demand multiplied, speculators were drawn to the quick profits and the prices ballooned. At its height it was said that a single bulb was exchanged for 1000 pounds of cheese. But in 1637, a default on a contract caused widespread panic and the tulip market abruptly crashed.
Continue reading Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden