Friday, February 3, 2012

Then & Now - Valentine's Day

FEBRUARY 14:  Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is a holiday observed that honors one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their affection for each other by presenting flowers, offering candy, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").  The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. 
Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. 

Now, did you know?  An Anti-Valentine is also called a Vinegar Valentine?  According to the definition, this kind of paper sheet was sent to someone either expressing distaste for the traditional holiday--or as a mask or cover for the real emotion of love.  I am sure these parodies and masks still exist because human behavior hasn't changed that much... 

On to Ellicott City Historic District February 2012.
Beautiful, flowing dress at RETROPOLITAN.

On the 1st of February--armed with a camera--I walked up, then down Main Street looking for the traditionally-shaped form: The heart. I was not disappointed. Almost every store featured at least one of them!  The day was bright, but with sharp contrasts in the weather. Bright sunny skies in one direction, and brooding gray clouds in the other.  Over Ellicott City's Main Street, the brightness held sway. 

SymbolicThe sky  and earth exhibited the same kind of split--a bitter pre-election time coupled with an economy that has spawned "Gold for Cash" signs juxtaposed with the cheery red, gold and upbeat Valentine's Day with its traditional love theme.  

'We' chose to feature the blue skies.

A 1944 song written by Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer, "ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE," which was delivered as a kind of sermon (a year before World War II ended), immediately came to mind as many paste a kind of smiley-face veneer over the gravity of 2012, and move forward with hope, however diminished by national and world news. So...Attitude CHANGE now!   Denee Barr, artist and jazz vocalist, will sing Accentuate the Positive!  while I share with you the charming storefronts that comprise the hilly historic district that drops to the Patspsco River. 

 The storefronts are not in geographical order, but randomly disposed. In order to experience the wonderful historic masonry, siting, and spirit of this district, you will want to park in one of the ample parking lots off Main Street, and take the walk...look, enjoy, and perhaps shop!  Yes, shop!

Sweet Elizabeth Jane. Half Apron.

Taylor's. Candy and cards.

Love & Glitter signboard.

Classic Collectibles. Small Valentines.

Carpe Vinum. Wine sale.

Best storefont color. Discoveries!

Charming Country Crafters.

Mumbles & Squeaks.

Weddings & Events store front.

Forget-me-not Factory window.

Taylors again.

Original Souls.

Discoveries, dresses on high!

OBLADI B & B banner

Sweet Cascades chocolates

Cash 4 Gold

Table in Sweet Elizabeth Jane shop.

Country Crafters...mannekin.

Maxine's Collectables.

Those red dresses again!


Flower shop with heart: Wessel's.

Betty Boop in Forget-me-not Factory.


Still Life Gallery window
Old Apple II computer  with old Apple diskette drive box.  
The doll has been identified as a "Furby."

Still Life Gallery  On view, inside.

Rare French Poster
"Betsy", an operetta in 3 acts.

artist: Pascal Bestia

Size: 31" x 47"
Thanks to all the shop owners and staff who decorate "to the holiday" and, in turn, 
lift the spirits of  people who visit or pass through the district for any reason--to view 
built history, go to church, view and cross the river on foot, or appreciate the wonderful 
preserved historic masonry buildings that range in age from the 18th to 20th century. 

And, of course, SHOP!

Kay Weeks  writer
Denee Barr   singer
A collaboration




Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kay - wonderful, as always!

Cindi Ryland
Creator, owner RETROPOLITAN

Anonymous said...

Great photography, Kay. The thought, color, arrangement was/is all uplifting! Thank you.

Elaine Bane

Anonymous said...

Well written, good photograpy,interesting and a great bit of promotion for Ellicott City. Another A for Kay.

Denee Barr Art News and More said...

In Historic Ellicott City
there's always something unique
to be enjoyed, positively!