Some recent Preservation in Pink adventures, including a flamingo wedding*! If you follow PiP on Twitter or Instagram these might be repeats, so I’ve thrown in a few new images. Where have you been lately? Anywhere fun? Do tell.

For a change of pace, more posts coming this weekend.

*I should clarify that by flamingo wedding, I refer to one of the “flamingo girls” who was married this past weekend in Virginia. We flamingos flock from all corners of the world to attend each other’s weddings. Congratulations Elyse & Adam!

Vermont Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference 2012

Friday June 8 was the much anticipated Vermont Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference, held in Wilmington, VT. Wilmington was one of the Vermont towns most damaged from the flooding of Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011, and the theme of the conference “Resiliency” fit Wilmington perfectly. Wilmington is a beautiful Vermont village, filled with an array of historic architecture, concrete bridges, local retail, eateries and lodging among residential, civic and religious buildings.

Wilmington: Where Amazing Happens. Seen at morning registration.

Luckily, the day was graced with beautiful Vermont weather: blue skies, white clouds, warm sunshine and green mountains in the background. The morning began with registration followed by the welcome, keynote speaker and preservation awards in Memorial Hall. How wonderful it is to see so many preservation-loving people in one place and to hear inspiring stories. The keynote speaker, Stuart Comstock-Gay of the Vermont Community Foundation, gave an excellent speech, acknowledging the hard work that has defined Vermonters (particularly since Irene), but also the fact that we have to keep going and keep up our motivation and momentum. Before the afternoon sessions began, everyone broke for lunch and enjoyed the local places in town.

Preservation in Pink (Flamingos): How Historic Preservation Relates to You, was slotted in the first afternoon session, 1:30-2:30, and held in the St. Mary’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church. My attention throughout the conference was focused on this presentation and not taking photographs, which is my explanation for the lack of images. (Sorry!)

Preservation in Pink set up in the church!

Opening slide for Preservation in Pink (Flamingos)

To all who attended the PiP session, thank you! I had the best time presenting, sharing the Preservation in Pink story with you and talking about how historic preservation and our built environment relate to each other. How nice it was to meet readers and those new to Preservation in Pink. This was the debut of PiP outside of the blog and newsletter, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better experience. I hope the attendees enjoyed themselves as well. And thank you for laughing when I unknowingly said “preaching to the choir.” I did not plan it! Of course, thank you to the Preservation Trust of Vermont for inviting me to speak.

During the presentation. Photo sent by reader and Vermont author Beth Kanell. Thank you Beth!

The conference continued with a second round of afternoon sessions and then an afternoon barbecue held at North Star Bowl on Route 100. This locally owned business suffered greatly from the flood, but with a dedicated community behind it, recovered and rebuilt. Wilmington is full of inspiring people, from residents to business owners to second home-owners. They have come a long way since the August flooding, but still have a long way to go. If you are traveling on Route 9 or Route 100, stop in for a visit. Hope to see you next year!

Preservation Photos #119

Planning a late winter/early spring vacation? Here's a shot from the flamingo spring break trip to Miami, FL in 2006. Lovely streetscapes, art deco hotels, beach front -- lovely! (However, 6 years after not labeling this photograph, I cannot remember which street this is or what the circumstance of this picture was. Anybody have an idea?)

Keep Calm and Love Flamingos

I have found the best piece of flamingo art out there. Credit goes to Kerry for finding this on Etsy by Shopkeeper Poster Pop. Keep Calm and Carry On (the original), as well as Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake were my two favorites. However, this one is now in the running for favorite. What a brilliant idea.

Click for Etsy listing.

 LOVE IT. Thank goodness for like-minded flamingo fans.

Preservation Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Vintage Valentine from West Virginia University Libraries. Click for original source.

Need some history about Valentine’s Day? It’s not exactly created by the greeting card industry, as some cynics declare. Buying and sending valentines in the United States became popular in the mid 1800s, with the ingenuity of Esther Howland, who handmade the earliest valentines out of imported lace and floral decorations and ribbons. She is known as the mother of the Valentine.

However, valentines have a long history before Esther Howland. The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) has an online exhibit called Making Valentines: A Tradition in America with information about Valentine’s Day (mostly about the creation of valentines/cards in the United States). Although it’s on a date webpage with some broken image links, it’s a fun, worthwhile read.

For history on the creation of the day itself, visit History.com. It includes this information:

The history of Valentine’s Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor’s daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Vintage valentine from West Virginia University Libraries. Click for original source.

How many of you send Valentine’s Day cards to your friends and family? Remember giving cards in elementary school and receiving treats? Who doesn’t love those little message hearts?

Sending some preservation love your way. I hope you have a lovely day!

Modern handmade flamingo card found on Capadia Designs. Click for original source.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas cookies are always delicious.

Why, yes, there is a flamingo in that batch of Christmas cookies. I am happy to be home with my family, ready to partake in our Christmas extravaganza: cookies, wrapping, Christmas carols playing, decorating the 12 foot tree, hanging stockings, drinking coffee, and all sorts of fun family traditions.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!

Merry Christmas from Preservation in Pink!

Congratulations Maria + TJ!

Another blissful wedding for a fellow flamingo girl.

Our tradition: the girls and the bride and the flamingos.

Their third appearance at a wedding.

Friday Links

Happy Friday! In case there is a rain cloud heading your way, here are some fun links to check out:

Want some information about greening your home? Head over to the Virginia Preservation Toolkit and the Interactive Preservation House where you can click on windows, doors, walls, etc. to learn what you can do to improve the energy efficiency in your home. (Thanks to Missy for sending it along!)

Isn’t sprawl way more noticeable in the summer when you’re road tripping and just to see scenic America? I think it is. Is sprawl increasing since 1980? Do we have too much stuff?  It’s a good time to speak up — head over to Time Tells by Vince Michael (of the NTHP) and share your comments on his Retail Sprawl post.

PreservationNation has had some great posts lately, which warrant response thoughts here (coming soon). Talk about sustainable communities and turning young adults into preservationists.

Love Monticello? Thomas Jefferson? Heirloom gardens? Historic landscapes? Visit Vintage Food, Fresh Wine to read about part of Jen’s experience at the Historic Landscape Institute.

Ever heard of the neighborhood Preservation Park in Oakland, CA? Love the name. Interesting — requires more reading before I make up my mind.

Have a great weekend! The flamingos are flocking to Virginia for yet another wedding!!

Your car wants one too.

Birthday Things

A birthday in roadside fashion certainly includes the world’s largest cupcake, even if it imaginary:

And if the cupcake is that big, I’m going to need the world’s largest pot of coffee and a giant  cup in which to hold it.  Note that the coffee pot pictured is the world’s largest Swedish coffee pot:

Both of these are in Stanton, Iowa, home of Virginia Christine, who is Mrs. Olson in the Folger’s commercials.

And I’ll probably need some flamingos who will share the giant cupcake and lots of coffee with me. Who’s in?

Cupcakes, coffee, flamingos … perfect. It seems like we have a case of, “If you give a mouse a cookie,” only it’s “if you give a flamingo a cup of coffee, she’ll surely want a cupcake, and some friends to join, and…” It’s a delicious cycle.

Now if only that homework thing could be resolved…

Trivia note: Did you know that “The Happy Birthday To You” song was popularized in the early 20th century, but before that, “Happy Birthday” was not seen on cakes?