Fleur de Lys

Mardi Gras!

“Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.” –

– Chris Rose     

Mr. Rose’s thoughts on this extravagant celebration in the Big Easy and elsewhere echo what Roses in the Alley is here to be – a community that shares the love of life through all forms of creativity.

The Rose obviously means a lot to us, but today is a day to focus on another symbol, the Fleur de Lys.

Few cities are linked with one beautiful symbol quite like New Orleans and the Fleur de Lys. The Big Easy’s emblem traces way back, but for their purposes it is linked to the French royal House of Bourbon. Bourbon street is also an homage to them.

The three petals of the flower are said to represent the Holy Trinity to some. Others say they represent three social classes: those who work, those who fight, and those who pray.

Hundreds of artists have given us their interpretation of the Fleur de Lys and there is no right version. One of the most marvelous things about art is that there is rarely a right version.

I’d like to think the three petals represent the Holy Trinity, but also what’s in each of us, – every man and woman willing to work, fight, and pray for their family.

Some have to work tonight, all should pray, hopefully no one fights. Indulge a little tonight, because we know what’s around the corner.

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Nothing makes me think of Bourbon Street quite like When The Saints Go Marching In.

Frozen Music

Frozen music

“I call architecture frozen music.”

— Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Chicago, you are called the Windy City because of all the hot air that has flown from the mouths of politicians.

I’d rather think about the exceptional amount of truth and beauty to be found in this architectural gem of a town.

Not only are you stunning to look at, but the most beauty I found in you were the relationships I formed. I even met my beautiful fiancé and pup there.

Inside one of these alleys is when I truly heard your frozen music, when you provided the inspiration for Roses in the Alley.

You gave me so much!

Thank you, Chicago!

We were even able to see one of our favorite groups Sigur Ros in your “confines”. 

Bountiful Harvests

“If the rain spoils our picnic, but saves a farmer’s crop, who are we to say it shouldn’t rain?” — Tom Barrett

As someone who writes, I’ve always enjoyed a rainy day. When I met my Father-in-Law to be, I realized there are other people that thrive under rainy conditions.

Today, the writer and the farmer celebrate in hopes for a bountiful harvest of crops and words this year.

Happy Birthday, Farmer Joe!!

Writer or farmer, and everything in between … We all have our secrets. (click and listen in 🙂 )


Just Play!

“Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination” — Immanuel Kant

Nothing brings happiness 52 times a year quite like Saturdays do. So enjoy taking a break and letting your imagination run wild!

photo by: lex aliviado (unsplash)

I’m going to imagine on this Saturday that I’m happy in Paris with my family, my Chicago pals, and my Okies.

And maybe after a glass of wine, we stroll by these people…

The Bicicleta Thief

I have always been an admirer of the late Roger Ebert’s taste in classic films. So when I came across The Bicycle Thief on his list of great movies, this pairing came quite easily…

Cono Sur

My co-worker,Thomas, who has impeccable taste for wine, recommended Cono Sur Bicicleta Cab to me months ago. He was not wrong! It is delicious and for the price, it has no equal.

In the Italian cinematic classic, The Bicycle Thief, Ricci has to tell a little fib that he owns a bicycle, which is necessary for the job. He was living in an impoverished post-war Italy at the time. You gotta tell a little white lie to help support your family…so what? Thanks to his clever wife he is able to get his old bicycle back and head to work.

The owners of Cono Sur named their wines Bicicleta to honor their hard working employees. The ones that have tended to all  those vines via bicycle for years to keep everything as natural as possible.

The most memorable of scenes in the film is PaPa taking his son, Enzo, out for pizza and a splash of wine that they can’t afford. Something I’d like to think the workers at Bicicleta get to do from time to time.

It only seems right to enjoy this affordable wine while watching this man’s struggle for his family.

Jazzy Memories

“The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician.” — Louis Armstrong

The great Satchmo and his music are amongst those things now gone. But they shall stay in our memories. Not only does his music continue to decorate our lives daily but it will also resonate with future generations.

In his film Manhattan, Woody Allen cites Louis Armstrong’s “Potato Head Blues” on his short list of reasons why life is worth living.

Maybe you don’t have time today to watch an old black and white picture that has been frozen in time…That’s OK!

Take a couple minutes to listen to this ditty from Louis and it will transport you to a fun time in music and cinema, if only for a moment or two.

“Potato Head Blues” by Louis Armstrong


photo cred: Vita Vilcina, unsplash.com