Sunday, February 18, 2018

Chinese New Year Festival 2018 Began at North Park Crow Collection

Chinese New Year Festival, year of the dog started with joyous celebration of Chinese culture displayed at Dallas North Park Mall, sponsored by Crow Collection of Asian Art.



 Rain caused the festival to be indoors but it provided a treat to shoppers who were amazed at every sight and sound.  Many were taking photos as they went down the escalator for a fantastic view.  The festival provided eight hours of performances from dancers to martial arts.
Dragon and Lion dances showed Chinese stories told in the form of acrobats brilliantly moving the giant dragons as children watched with joy. 
The Lions were wanting to get the prize shown in the basket.  The dance routine took many months of practice to be ready  for this special occasion.

All ages added to the performance of the dragon dances that were held all day.
The dance with the red fans caught the eye of shoppers as they were going to the next floor of the mall.  They felt the excitement that something special was happening.

Chinese Paper Cutting was taught to the children and they could take the  special paper crafts home to  remember this special day.
Instructions were displayed to show the tradition of paper cutting from generation to generation.
Displays were on poster board so all could learn something new.

Everyone was intrigued with cutting shapes with a purpose.
Hands molded Chinese art into creative expressions of ideas and form.
Red lanterns is the symbol of booming life and prosperous business so they are always an important part of Chinese New Year Festivals.


People were able to try on their own dragon costume and take a photograph to share with  friends.

Demonstrations of Chinese Characters showed how precise each stroke tells a story of Chinese culture.

Beautiful red capes showed the varied fashion of Chinese culture.

As far back as the Shang Dynasty, Chinese used fans as a symbol of status and power.

Ladies move fans and fabric to tell a story from Chinese Culture.

Beautiful hands move to express feelings of the story.
Chinese fashion shows beauty and grace to celebrate Chinese New Year Festival.

Martial Arts such as Chinese Kung Fu developed over a long historical period in China.

Special musical instruments from China were played in beautiful unison.
The Hugin, Erhu, Dizi, Pipa, and Guzheng are examples of instruments that take many years to learn how to play.

Traditional Chinese Opera is a popular musical theater with roots from a thousand years.  Music, song and dance tell a dramatic story.  


The festival last for around 23 days ending at the 15th day of the first lunar month in the following year in the Chinese calendar.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Historic Grapevine Provides a Mosaic of Live Music

Historic Grapevine  on main street is a wonderful place to experience fine dining in a casual atmosphere with live music serenading with every morsel of food. Grapevine is just ten minutes north of DFW International Airport!  Grapevine has more than 150 restaurants offering every kind of food.


 But historic Grapevine on main street is my first choice because you can park in one spot and walk to several places to hear live music, stop in for an appetizer or go for late night shopping.   Our first stop was Napoli's Italian Cafe.



 It was the realization of a dream by Brett and Lisa Kinzel.  They left corporate America to live their vision of providing authentic Italian food people will love.  They purchased the old Levvitt Drug Store and transformed it to elegant Italian dining with photographs of Venice and Florence, Italy.
Handmade breadsticks garnish the plate of  Pesto Salmon.  As I took a delicious bite of the tender Salmon Pesto Buttered Breadcrumbs melted in my mouth.  Layered below was a creamy sauce with an assortment of carrots and zucchini.  

Live music starts at 7:30 which is a wonderful way to dine as you savor every bite of the savory Italian Cusine.  My friend had the Chicken Parmesan  and she loved it.   Call 817-310-0385 for reservations.  Brett and Lisa also offer, Bone in Rib eye Steak with Barolo  Sauce, Oven Roasted Ranch Chicken with wild forest Mushroom Risotto, Lobster Ravioli with Basil Tomato Cream Sauce with Garlic Sauteed Spinach and Sauteed Shrimp on creamy Fontina Cheese Polenta, Braised Spinach and Garlic Lemon Butter. 
The next place we visited had an exotic display of lights on the ceiling.  The waitstaff was very friendly and live music was also playing.  I hear the bouillabaisse with fresh seafood is divine.  
The musician was fantastic on the electric guitar.



Another great place to hear live music and eat  a plate of delicious appetizers is Tap-In on 120 S. Main St. Grapevine, Tx.   




 It happened to be the opening day of the Winter Olympics in South Korea and the entire crowd was getting into the patriotic spirit when USA team held up the American flag.  
The guitar player burst into the Star Spangled Banner and we all felt proud to be an American in historic Grapevine, Texas.  Some appetizers offered are; Wings of Fire for $8.49.  They are tossed in buffalo sauce and served with crunch celery.    Exotic Stuffed Fried Cheesy Olives have spicy Asiago and Parmesan cheese.  Chicken Skewers with grilled teriyaki chicken stips and pineapple served with honey mustard for dipping is a healthy choice.  Only in Texas can you get Fried Jalepeno Slices battered and served with ranch for only $5.99.  Inspired by   French cheese is the Bleu Balls with Chicken cordon bleu poppers also served with ranch.  We tried the sampler with fried olives, blue balls friend jalapeno slices and friend pickles.  It was enough to feed four people for only $10.99




The last place we visited was the Back Porch.  There was a four piece live band playing country and western music.  I've been to the Back Porch before and have never been disappointed.    The wait staff is very friendly and it is a positive atmosphere.
Rio Grande gave an electrifying Texas  performance with cowboy hats and amazing vocals playing familiar tunes.  I think people from all over the world would enjoy stopping by Grapevine, Texas on Main Street since it is only 10 minutes from DFW International Airport.  No wonder so  many people are moving into our area to taste a little bit of Texas hospitality.  I can't wait to come back and try another place to dine and hear live music in Grapevine, Texas.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dallas Zoo Seven Dollars in February

The Dallas Zoo is a bargain in February because it is 50 percent off the price.  Families came in numbers to experience the brisk Texas air as they enjoyed seeing all of the amazing animals on display.
Enter the gate to see activities and talks.  Wings of Wonder showcases birds at 1:30.
Everyone sat with anticipation as trainers brought out birds to fly over the crowd.
The amazing Bald Eagle caught the eye of the trainer to show his majesty
Show your wing span said the trainer.
Cute penguins paid a visit to the bird show.
A volunteer from the audience was brave to hold his arms straight as a bird caught a bracelet to show care for wildlife.
The largest rodent in the world raised his paw to say hello everyone~
Next it was a trip to the nature exchange center in the children's zoo.
Animal skulls were hanging on the wall for comparison.
A child could explore for a long time to see all of the collections.
Giant fish were flying in the air of discovery at the Dallas Zoo.
It was time to visit the black and white penguins.  
Mandrill's were colorful with a red strip down their nose.
If you looked closely in their eyes they wanted to say happy February.  It's a great time to visit the Dallas Zoo.
Looking into the eyes of a giraffe as you feed it transforms you.
"I'm hungry," said the giraffe. 
Two giraffes are friends on the great Savannah Plains.
Zebras with black and white stripes also live on the Savannah Plains at the Dallas Zoo.