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Friday, November 28, 2014


Sometimes beauty is in your own back yard--no traveling necessary.
November 28, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Little Poland-NYC
You can just pass by without thinking about it, but the menu seemed intriguing.
Rob and I can be creatures of habit, and when we are down in lower  Manhattan, we head toward Houston Street and Katz’s Delicatessen—you know, the one I’ve written about and the one with signs that read “Send a salami to your boy in the army” and (with arrow pointing downward) “This is the table where Harry met Sally.”   And then we head to Russ and Daughters to bring home some appetizing. (same link as Katz's) That’s the appetizer shop that Anthony Bourdain says, “occupies that rare and tiny place on the mountaintop reserved for those who are not just the oldest and the last-but also the best.”   But no, this is not about either one of these esteemed establishments; it is about a new find in the East Village, Little Poland.

The East Village was once the bastion of Eastern European eateries, but the demise of many of these restaurants leaves that designation a bit hazy.  But Little Poland, an unpretentious little restaurant decorated for the "regulars" at 200 Second Ave., leaves no doubt that authentic Polish food is still offered: a menu offering borscht, kielbasa, pierogi, stuffed cabbage, and a variety of soups enticed us to give a new place a try.  Even our waitress’ struggle with English was authentic!
Little Poland-NYC
Nothing fancy, but comfortable enough for lunch
Pierogis were the bait.  Eight different kinds are offered, and they can be ordered in any combination or the full sample platter. 

Pierogis are little pockets of dough stuffed with a variety of fillings.  They're basically the Polish/Russian equivalent of wontons or ravioli.  Probably most cultures and ethnic groups have their own versions of stuffed dough.

Little Poland-NYC

Pierogis hold a special place in our hearts.  Rob’s mom made pierogis that were just out of this world, little crescent-shaped dough patties filled with mixtures of farmer cheese and onions or sauerkraut or potatoes and cheese.  It was impossible to tell which was most delicious but it was possible to eat them until you practically fell off the chair in a food coma!  She taught me how to make them—a long and arduous process that Rob and I have made our own.  Last year we made several hundred for a fund-raiser!  One Christmas, Rob’s sister Wendy had the children make pierogi.  It’s just part of the Dembeck family, so to taste them in Little Poland was almost to dare the restaurant to outdo Sylvia Dembeck.

In the restaurant, we could have had the pierogis boiled or fried.  We ordered them fried.  In his usual fearless fashion, Rob chose the sample platter: potato, kasha, cheese, sweet potato, meat, spinach, sauerkraut with mushrooms, and Very Special Pierogi (potato, sauerkraut and cheese).  Because I ordered several of the Very Special Pierogi, mine came with a special sauce as well.  I then tried the spinach, the kasha, the cheese, and the meat.  Our orders came with onions sautéed in butter.  We also ordered sour cream on the side, and we could have ordered apple sauce on the side too.

The pierogis were quite nice!  The dough was not too thick, and the edges did not become hard as they fried.  The dough had a nice sweetness to it.  The dough is really the test of a great pierogi, and Little Poland passed easily.   

My “specials” came with a very tasty sauce made of sour cream, potato, and chives.  It was a lovely compliment to the pierogi, and I will remember this when next we make a batch of pierogi at home. 

Little Poland-NYC

Rob and I were consistent in our evaluations.  We liked best what we considered “traditional,” that is the cheese, the potato and cheese, and the Special.  If you go, I suggest stick to those types of pierogi. 

The sweet potato's flavor was overcome by the tasty dough, so I would skip them.  The meat, which was shredded inside its dough pocket, was too dry.  I was hoping the kasha would be good as I love this grain in knishes and kasha varnishkas, but it, too, fell a bit flat and tasted a bit too dry.  The nutty kasha taste (similar to Wheatena) got lost in the dough.  Had the spinach been in combination with potato or cheese, I would have liked that one more.  My pierogi was stuffed, but the spinach seemed unseasoned.  It overpowered the dough.  None of these pierogi was bad, but none was so good that I would try these out at home.

All said and done, if you should be in the area, try this little spot of Poland.  And if you’re not familiar with pierogi (and you’re not at my house), you might stop in here to see what you’re missing.                                                                        

Friday, November 14, 2014


I know I said I was going to post pics of Kilahuea with all its smoky heat and scalding lava,
here we are on Nov. 14th, and there is lots of snow/
Isn't the first snow the most beautiful?
That's why I am sharing.

Sunday, November 09, 2014


Since Kilahuea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is so much in the news lately as it is active now
and spilling lava down to the populated areas surrounding it,
I thought I'd share some of my photos in the next weeks.
Here is the caldera, quiet yet steaming.
It was, in 2012, a sleeping giant.

Thursday, November 06, 2014


Massanuttan, VA 2014The  Massanutten Resort in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley has become our place to bring friends and has also evolved into the meeting spot for my yearly reunion with my cousins. (Use my “search” box and keyword Massanutten to see earlier posts)

 Rob and I head down from New York’s Hudson Valley; my sister and her husband come down from the Adirondacks in New York State; Rita and her husband come over from Richmond, and Bill comes in from Tucson, Arizona.  I wish I could remember the number of times we’ve been in Massanutten, and while you may wonder how we can find ways to occupy our time, the richness of the Shenandoah Valley never ceases to leave us with the words, “Next year we’ve got to include….”  This year—this past week—was no different.

My sister owns timeshares there and we trade one of our timeshares through RCI, so our accommodations are spacious and comfortably furnished for lounging and visiting.  The two-bedroom units have two bathrooms, Jacuzzis, fully equipped kitchen, sofas and chairs, a dining area big enough for 8, a balcony, and a fireplace.  The one bedroom unit is equally equipped sans second bathroom.  So we are ready in all kinds of weather to catch up and enjoy each other’s company.  You cannot do this with hotel rooms, that’s for sure.

Although leisure is part of vacation, don’t think we sit around all day, and as we are not attached at the hip, we sometimes go our separate ways.

Most days we breakfast in and meet for whatever we plan to do in the AM.

Rita and I like the water aerobics class at the Woodstone Pool.  It’s a 1 hour workout with weights and noodles.  Sometimes Rob uses the gym and treadmill; Bill likes to walk.  Robyn and Neal relax with lattes.  It's all good.

But later in the AM we meet to head up Massanutten Mountain.  

As a four-season resort, Massanutten Mountain is great for skiing in winter, but in the fall, a ride up the ski lift to the top of the mountain gives us panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley, the sunlight hitting the autumnal colors and gifting us with bright, vivid, oranges, yellows and reds.  At the mountain’s peak we have hiking options on marked trails.  We can ride down the chair lift, or we can walk down the mountain, sometimes seeing wildlife and almost always seeing bear scat along the way.

Massanuttan, VA 2014
somewhere WAY DOWN there are our accommodations
Massanuttan, VA 2014
view at the top of the ski lift
We follow our chair lift ride with a walk near Painter Pond where we check out the fishing prospects.  We don’t fish, but there are people there trying their luck.  It’s lovely to sit in the sun, absorbing the rays and once again enjoying the colors—this time from a different perspective.

Massanuttan, VA 2014

Massanuttan, VA 2014

Enjoy fragrance?  We head over to White Oak Lavender Farm where the shop is so aromatic, it seems another world.  Lavender ice cream, perfume, soaps, jams, and more.  I'd rename that shop Everything Lavender.  Robyn could not resist the horses and went over to say hello.

Massanuttan, VA 2014
At this time of year the lavender is not the purple with which we are
familiar, but the fragrance is still in the air

Massanuttan, VA 2014

We plan to go out to dinner at some point, but as we prepare for our reunion, each of us is responsible for dinner one night.  This begins with a long cocktail hour and lengthy dinner with accompanying conversation, laughter, catching up and remembrances.  Wine flows freely; desserts are varied.  We each bring the things we like, and it’s always good. 

Massanuttan, VA 2014

The TV plays a lot of football and the World Series.  Some of us watch; some play the card game Phase 10.  No pressure.  Lots of feet-up relaxing.

During the day weather is beautiful, so heading north 30 miles on Skyline Drive we stop at several overlooks to gaze in awe at Nature’s beautiful canvas.  Our National Park System is extraordinary and well-run. The annual or lifetime passes are great money-savers, and there are additional savings for seniors over 62.  Check that out when you click on my Skyline Drive link.

We make a quick visit to the Ranger Station at Big Meadow for maps and advice before heading to Limberlost Trail, a circuit loop of a little more than a mile that takes us through the woods, over streams, and across horse trails with fresh tracks.  In summer we would have been canopied in green, but this time of year we can see into the woods and up to the sky.  Sunlight shines down in streams and sparkles against the yellow, brown, and red leaves piled high on the mountain’s floor.

Massanuttan, VA 2014
beginning of the Limberlost Trail
Massanuttan, VA 2014

The Ranger had warned of a big black bear hanging around the picnic area we choose, but when we get there, traveling a bit farther north, other leaf-peepers are setting up at tables, a campfire is crisply burning, and the wide open area seemed perfect for our picnic.  No one needs jackets, and at some point we each have our face pointed at the sky, eyes closed and enjoying the sun’s warmth.  Life is good.  Sometimes it’s the simplest of days that prove the most valuable.

We enjoy the day so much and spend so much time up in the mountains that we have to forego our last plan—a trip to Old Hill Cider Mill.  That’s one thing we’ll have to put off until next time.  And it slips my mind that we could have squeezed in a stop at Rt. 11 Potato Chips, the best chips on earth, for a quick tasting and to see if they were cooking chips.  Next time.  And there was also a 12 acre corn maze up that way that caught our fancies.  Next time.

One morning Bill and I play golf at Woodstone, one of Massanutten’s two courses, and it is great for me.  I love playing with him, and this is our once-a-year-day.  It's warm out there despite the season, and Bill gets a bit sunburned.

Massanuttan, VA 2014

Massanuttan, VA 2014

Speaking of golf, one day Robyn and Neal and Rita and Bill played miniature golf at the resort.  They have the best miniature golf courses I’ve ever played, and that’s always a lot of fun. 

One afternoon just before sunset, we head to the CrossKeys Vineyards for a wine tasting.  Not only is this the kind of winery you'd see in a movie as it is nestled in the rolling rises in the valley but also it boasts a lovely array of flavorful wines, a restaurant, and a gorgeous patio to sit, sip and watch the sun set.  Which is exactly what we do.

Massanuttan, VA 2014
The vines are almost ready to be put to bed for the winter

Massanuttan, VA 2014

Weather let us down on only one day, but the constant drizzle and mist did not dampen our plans.  We went to Plan B. The rain began just as we all reached our morning rendezvous--right outside Hank’s Smokehouse, one of our favorite stops in Virginia.  While our four companions headed off to the movies, Rob and I took some scrumptious take-out home (pulled pork sliders with 2 sides), got cozy in front of the fire, slowly savored our lunch, sipped wine, and read until they returned.  I debated playing a movie as we brought our Dongle and Samsung Tablet so I could get cc, but I am reading the third book of Ken Follett’s Twentieth Century Trilogy and found it difficult to put down.

We celebrate two birthdays while we’re away, Bill’s and Robyn’s.  This year that was my dinner-prep night, and dinner included the birthday cake my mother used to make for us—chocolate pudding and graham cracker cake.  Great evening.  Great celebration—including Robyn’s special birthday chapeau a picture of which sisterly instinct tells me I best omit.

It’s only a few days once a year, but these are days I relish.  This is what life is about.  My family might be for me, but the Shenandoah Valley is for everyone.  If not the Massanutten Resort which, as many resorts are now, both hotels and timeshares, rent a cabin in the mountains as we did for Rob’s 60th birthday, or try one of the b&bs in the area.  Stay up at Big Meadow.  Explore caverns, Civil War sites, Mennonite markets in Dayton, or enjoy any of the myriad offerings of this area.  I guarantee there is something for everyone.

Massanuttan, VA 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014


To me, one of the prettiest and most peaceful places in the world is
dusk at the Sailfish Marina on Singer Island, Florida.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


If you've read Barbara Kingsolver's novels, you must be a fan.  I've no doubt about that.  She places her characters in unusual situations highlighting the diversity of people and their problems and often their relationships with the natural world.   Kingsolver also shows that despite humanity's diversity there exists a binding similarity.  Interesting.  This sounds stilted, but it is the uniqueness of Kingsolver's approach that brings me back time and again and makes me relate to situations that are far afield from anything I have ever or will experience. 

My last Kingsolver read was the totally enthralling The Lacuna, and this time I share Flight Behavior with you. 

The definition of “flight” offers myriad possibilities.  Are we going to read about the natural world as in birds or are we talking about people or machines?  What members of the natural world?  What kind of people?  What kind of machines?

In Flight Behavior we read about different kinds of flight.  We read about intentional flight, behavioral flight, and potential flight.  We read about the intended and unintended consequences as well as the personal costs one might pay.  The masterful manner in which Kingsolver weaves all this into a compellingly interesting tapestry lures and captures the reader's interest. 

Take a poor rural teenage girl with a desire to escape and attend college who finds herself pregnant by a young man who decides on the honorable route and marries her.  His family supplies a house for them and a job for him on their sheep farm—a barely subsistence living.  Two children later, her life is unbearable stifling.  She is attracted to other men although she never cheats on her husband.  But she intends to,  and she climbs the mountain behind her house to meet the latest object of her desires while mulling over the claustrophobic perimeters of her life and wondering whether this act will cause catastrophic self-destructive consequences. She doesn't care.  

As she approaches the point of rendezvous, she  beholds a magical and frighteningly exquisite sight.  Looking into the tree-filled valley, she is stunned by the way it sparkles and flares up as if on fire.  Light fills every bit of airspace and clings to the trees.  It takes her a few eerie minutes to realize that this is not fire but a valley of mystical light. At the moment she interprets the vision as a miracle and a sign.  The spectacle has meaning she cannot  define, but her mind whirls as she turns around and hurries home, her rendezvous instantaneously cancelled.  The valley of light stops her from throwing away her life.  

Dellarobia keeps her discovery to herself until she learns that her father-in-law, Bear, intends to allow a company to clear-cut log the mountain.  She knows she cannot allow the destruction of the trees but cannot explain the trees aflame in the light up there.  She has no words to describe and share what she witnessed.  Somehow she convinces her husband, Cub, to take men to look at the mountain and the forest.  In less than an hour the men are back to collect their wives to show them the sight that dazzled them as it dazzled Dellarobia.

This time Dellarobia is able to identify the flashing lights.  They are butterflies, dense and thick.  They fill the sky and make the light glow golden.  They cling to the trees.  The fire she had seen was the flashing sunlight on the wings of butterflies.  The fire is alive.  The butterflies are creatures in flight sparkling in their journey.

Cub is the first to pounce on the butterflies as religious signs.  “Mother, Dad, listen here.  This is a miracle.  She had a vision of this...She foretold of it.  After the shearing we were up talking in the barn, and she vowed and declared we had to come up here...She said there was something big up here in our own back yard.”

The results of sharing her discovery with others poke holes in the walls confining Dellarobia and her children.  Sharing does more than poke; it takes a sledgehammer to those walls and opens up her small, insulated world to outsiders from across continents—all with interpretations of the butterflies' meaning.

You might imagine some of those interpretations, but I guarantee you will be nodding or clicking your tongue as you see the ramifications of Dellarobia's discovery.   

Perhaps I would have been happier had Barbara Kingsolver been less political in her approach, but I never reached a point where I wanted to put this book down.  When Kingsolver mixes people of different backgrounds in one situation, she is at her best, and the results entirely ring true.  A intrusive outsider handing out pledge-to-save-the-earth leaflets at the top of her mountain, once calls Dellarobia “you people.”  The outsider knows best—he thinks.  Nuff said 

Take one very fed up woman from a rural southern Appalachia hamlet, throw in some unusual weather and a life-changing experience.  Couple that with Kingsolver's magnificent control of the English language and elevated descriptions, and you will surely come away with a little deeper understanding of the forces that impact our lives for better or for worse.

Read Flight Behavior if you are a Barbara Kingsolver fan.  It you haven't experienced flying on the wings of her outstanding prose, take a flyer on Flight Behavior.

Friday, June 13, 2014


This simple statement says so much.
In so many of the cities we visit, bicycles are a popular mode of transportation.
This bike is in Victoria, British Columbia where bikes and bike racks abound.
Come visit New York City, and you will see the transformation has occurred there too.

Monday, June 02, 2014


Memorial Day 2014
Warwick High School student play Taps at the conclusion 
of the Memorial Day ceremony in the Warwick Cemetery
Sometimes the most wonderful place to be is in your own home town.  That’s the way I feel about Warwick.  I never drive up side streets to avoid Main Street.  I like to drive right up the Main Street.
I enjoy looking at the buildings, shops, and people of my town.  Warwick is charming.  It is small town as in “small town America out of the movies.”  It is the way people dream a small town should be.

Never is that warm community feeling more obvious than on Memorial Day.  The parade through town  warms the heart.  The sidewalks are lined deep with residents of every age enthusiastically waving American flags as the veterans go past.  Some watchers call out “Thank you.”  Some veterans respond by smiling or saluting. They are the stars of this parade. 

Memorial Day 2014
Families gather early to get the best seats
Memorial Day 2014
The young people place flags wherever they can
We’ve been in Warwick for more than thirty years.  I remember when all the veterans walked the parade.  Lately many of the elderly ones are driven in cars or on wagons pulled by trucks or tractors.  Most recently their numbers have sadly dwindled as those from World War II and Korea leave us.  It’s disconcerting to see how few were there this year. 

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts march in the parade with homemade banners.

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014
A marcher in training
The Ambulance Corps shows off its ambulances.  The fire trucks ride up Oakland Avenue, old and new, all gleaming and polished until the sun’s rays hitting their surfaces reflect off in a glare.

Memorial Day 2014

What we learn is that those who served our country in the military are more likely than not to come home and serve our community.  A great number of our volunteer firemen march together as former members of the military. 

Memorial Day 2014
Numerous veterans volunteer for our Fire Department.
I'm sure you'll find the same exists on the Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Always in our parade are members of the Stewart family—generations of men who have gone off in service to our country. 

Memorial Day 2014
Members of the Stewart family usually serve as honor guard
and lead the parade
As the parade ends, we gather in the Warwick Cemetery for a ceremony involving the VFW, the American Legion, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and local politicians.

Memorial Day 2014
This Boy Scout reads The Gettysburg Address
Memorial Day 2014
This Girl Scout tells us the story of "Taps"
We used to honor at our services a Gold Star Mother, Caroline Lesando, whose son, Nicholas, was killed in Vietnam.  The American Legion Nicholas P. Lesando Jr. Post #214 is named after him.  His mother participated each year but she has aged and has moved to be closer to her daughter.

There was a new American Legion Chaplain too as the prior one passed away some weeks ago.  His wife, part of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, was there, however.  This is what they did together, and she will carry on alone.  When the Commander of the American Legion spoke, he reminded us that fast approaching is the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 4th.  There were people at the ceremony who participated in that moment in history.

This is a town where the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars play important roles.  For the last few years they’ve enlisted the aid of Boy Scouts who help place an American flag on the grave of every veteran in the Warwick Cemetery.  As the veteran ranks decline, the remaining ones are teaching young men the importance of remembering and honoring.  That is still a great service.

Memorial Day 2014
This is the Memorial.
The wreaths were placed by the different Veteran organizations
and the Women's Auxiliary.
I wonder what is going through these young boys' heads.
When the names of the fallen are read aloud—including our recent losses in Iraq and Afghanistan—one also hears the old familiar names of families who have farmed this area for generations. 

Enjoy the photos.  I believe with all my heart that the men and women we honor on Memorial Day fought to keep this vision of America alive and intact.

Friday, May 16, 2014


We visited Drumcliff Cemetery in County Sligo, Ireland
and paid homage to William Butler Yeats who is buried there.
But it was this tombstone and its sentiment that moved me.
Its sentiment is at once poignant and hopeful.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam straddles the Nevada-Arizona border
Every couple of years Rob and I go out to Las Vegas.  The first time was way back in 1971 when we arrived after driving through Death Valley in our very hot, unair-conditioned VW beetle convertible, took a free motel room offered if we sat through a “real estate presentation,” and woke up to see what was then “The Strip” out the front window and nothing but desert out the back. 

Times and Las Vegas have certainly changed, but we haven’t.  While we are still not gamblers, we’ve succumbed to Las Vegas’ fascinating allure.  But I digress. 

This post is really about Las Vegas as a gateway to the fascinating Hoover Dam, a place that has been on our hit list but which we somehow never managed to visit—until this trip.

Hoover Dam
Take note of the years
The Hoover Dam is an American icon, famous and visited by more than seven million people a year.  It provides water to arid and semi-arid sections of our country.  Its construction enabled farming to flourish in the southwest.  It was the largest and tallest dam at the time it was built, and even today it is the largest concrete dam in the western hemisphere.  It is remarkable.  It is beautiful and graceful.  If you have the opportunity to visit, take the tour and make sure you allow enough time to walk the span and view it and the Colorado River from all angles.  You will gawk in amazement.

Hoover Dam
The dam is 726 feet high
It is 1244 feet long
At the top it is 45 feet thick
Hoover Dam
Look down from the top, and you will gasp just a bit.
If you imagine the constant sound of rushing water thundering through the canyon and being held back and released—a thunderous sound anyone who has visited Niagara Falls would recognize—don’t. The Colorado’s power is released inside this massive structure, water brought in through an intake system, and gently released after being used to send hydroelectric power out to the country. 

Hoover Dam
Does this "room" which houses the turbines look small
as you watch from above?
Hoover Dam
Here is a little bit of a close-up.  These are HUGE.
With all the “modern miracles” to which we are exposed daily through the media, it is sometimes easy to forget that real miracles do happen, and the Hoover Dam might be considered one of them.

Imagine the political upheaval.  The mighty Colorado runs through seven western states into Mexico, and each state has its own priorities and problems.  Within each state are two factions: urban and rural.  Each faction has its own priorities and problems.  Before anything can be done, the federal government has to improve and furnish funds.  There is also the conflict between money intended solely for the west without consideration of the eastern part of the country.  Political progress is snail-crawling slow.   It takes years before Herbert Hoover, well before his presidency, can negotiate the Colorado River Compact to make the dam a possibility.
Hoover Dam
Hydroelectric energy sent out to power the states.

More than 200 engineers helped design the dam that was first proposed in 1922 and approved through the Boulder Canyon Project Act in 1928.  By that time it was Herbert Hoover, president, who signed the Act into law.

Imagine the workforce problems.  The site, Black Canyon, straddling the Arizona, Nevada border, is in the middle of a desert.  Yet men and their families, ailing from the early part of the depression, heard about the job possibilities and ventured lock, stock, and barrel out to the blistering desert where there was no housing or facilities ready for them, only the hope that there was a job. Many lived in tents.  Some did not have even that.  Work did not begin until a year after word of the project went out, but the men wanted to work, and they camped out and suffered until construction commenced in 1930.  Sometimes the temperatures rose to a blistering 130°.

Over 21,000 men worked on the dam, about 5,000 at any given time, in three shifts a day round the clock.  Men worked seven days a week, fired if they refused.  Two days off a year, Christmas and July 4th, optional and without pay.  It is estimated that 107 men lost their lives on the project which was miraculously finished in record time.  There were work-related issues, a strike, oftentimes a carelessness toward worker safety and health, but most issues were cast aside to complete the project. 

Hoover Dam
After serving its purpose, the water is released on the other
side of the dam.
Imagine this miracle: the Colorado River was diverted on Nov. 14, 1932 and the last concrete was poured on May 29, 1935.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated it (then known as the Boulder Dam) on Sept. 30, 1935.  The time span is a miracle!  Just think of public works’ progress in your area today!

And public works the Hoover Dam was.  This was man’s attempt to harness a wild, untamed river, the Grand Canyon carver—the mighty Colorado River.  Harness its power and floods plaguing one section might be stopped and allow agriculture to flourish.  Harness its power and the desert could be watered into cooperation with agriculture and human life. 

Had the dam been built by pouring concrete the conventional way, the concrete would have taken 125 years to cure.  New techniques had to be  developed.  There are a host of engineering and architectural developments as by-products of the dam’s construction.

When the gracefully arched dam was finished and the water poured in to the area beyond, Lake Mead was formed—115 miles long and 500 feet deep.  This is in the middle of the desert! 

Hoover Dam
Notice the white "border."
Only once in its history were the spillways opened.  That was in 1980.
The water level was so high that it left its watermark as it receded.
I think it adds even more beauty to the scene.  Don't you agree?
The Hoover Dam is also beautiful.  Its design is futuristic in an art deco style.  In the engine room where 17 turbines generate two billion watts of electricity, the floors are terrazzo marble in designs reminiscent of Native American patterns. The dam is magnificent, inside and out. There is even a celestial map marking the exact position of the stars on the day President Roosevelt dedicated the dam.

Hoover Dam
Priceless by today's standards.
Impossible to use terrazzo marble today.
Hoover Dam
You can also see how huge these designs are.
Quite magnificent.
Here is a sad and interesting fact culled from a PBS special on the dam.  On Dec. 20, 1935, a worker, Patrick Tierney fell from an intake tower and drowned.  He was the last man to die on the project.  He died 13 years to the day that the first man died—J.G. Tierney, his father, a surveyor who fell from a boat and drowned.

Hoover Dam
Las Vegas is grand, but the Hoover Dam is grander.  Don’t miss it.  Pause to consider who this wonder was created.  Your jaw will drop in awe.