Looking back at 2016


We celebrated our anniversary in Philadelphia, with a tasty dinner at the chef’s table in a.kitchen.
Later in the month, we visited Baltimore, MD, with nephew Dominick and his wife Margherita and their daughter Caterina. I was lucky enough to capture a nice image of the Inner Harbor, which became part of our first joint photo exhibit (about which you can read a bit later in this post):
Baltimore Inner Harbor
Near the end of the month, we had a substantial snowstorm that forced Lyric Fest’s Brahms concert to be rescheduled. As it happened, we then attended that great concert on D’s birthday, and at the reception he (and Laura Ward, the Lyric Fest cofounder and brilliant accompanist who shares her birthday with D) were serenaded by some superb singers and offered delicious cakes. No photos to share from the reception, but here is one to indicate the snow level (that is our car there in the driveway under a mound of snow):

Snow! 2016-01-24

Snow does make for some nice glowing sunrises though:

Snowy sunrise. 2016-01-26


The big event on February came on the 25th, when D sang in an event sponsored by the Temple University Honors program and organized by Temple University Honors music students. The event is called Meet me at the Music, and it brings together Temple University faculty members who have some performing skills and Temple Honors music students for brief performances on the stage of Rock Hall. D was hesitant to accept the invitation to participate, as he had not sang in public since 2010, but he did accept, had a voice lesson with Suzanne to dust off some technique, warmed up his voice every morning for a few weeks, and did sing well two pieces, a song by Schubert from the Winterreise song cycle, and a really fun aria from the Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart, “O wie will ich triumphieren!”. D is really proud to have (1) made the audience laugh at the end of the Mozart aria, and (2) to be told by the soon-to-retire former Honors Program head, Dieter, that he has such a deep voice that Dieter would hire D as his henchman, should the need for a henchman arise.

March – April

Starting in January, a very time-consuming aspect of D’s role as the graduate director of the economics department of his university really heated up in February and March and caused him stress: admissions. It is perhaps surprising for those not in the know how hard it is to attract a good cohort of graduate students when one has only a very few teaching assistant positions to offer. After causing D a lot of stress (along with some other, very unpleasant, aspects of the graduate directorship), most of the admissions job was finally done by mid-April.


May saw the end of the Spring semester for both M and D. One more academic year became a memory. M had her graduating students over for a backyard party, which was a very nice occasion, as they were nice, sociable, and interesting people, even from the point of view of D, as an outsider.

D continued to sporadically make photos of the sunset from the back windows, keeping up his photography skills. Here is a decent one:

May was also when we discovered a new place to visit nature and make photos, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. A couple of sample images D made:

And here is a yellow lady slipper orchid, captured by M:

Near the end of May, we had a wonderful lunch in Center City, and on the way back to the train station the sky presented an irresistible spectacle that D captured with his iPhone, not having the big camera with him. This photo was well liked online and was even selected out of thousands of entries to be part of an iPhone photo exhibit and competition a few months later.

For Memorial Day we spent a few days in Ocean City, NJ. Here is a street musician on the boardwalk, by M:


June saw the beginning of a still secret online writing project by D, which will take years to complete. The mystery will be lifted in good time. But we can reveal already that the project will be an effort to convey some of the hard-won knowledge of economics D has acquired over the decades in a form easily digestible by everyone.

June also saw a momentous even in our new and ardent hobby of photography: our first joint photography exhibit! This was the outcome of chance conversations D had with the good people who run and work in Elcy’s Cafe in Glenside, where D often takes a few minutes to enjoy a coffee before taking a train to the office on weekdays. To cut the story short, we knew that Elcy’s often runs art shows, and indeed we purchased a beautiful collage of Philadelphia several months ago from one such show. So D asked and found out who is in charge of these shows, back in March, we met with her, and together we all decided on 25 photos by M and D to be shown from June 24 to early August. It was a bit hectic getting the photos printed and preparing our artists’ statements, SmugMug accounts, and business cards (!) and M did a tremendous amount of work framing photos. We were ready on time (with not a day to spare).

Speaking of our SmugMug accounts, here they are: Marianne’s and Dimitrios’s.

This album, captured in haste under difficult lighting conditions, shows the show right after it was set up, while this album shows photos from the opening party on June 26, taken by friends. The party was a blast, and several of our photos were sold. During the rest of the time the show was open, several of the notecards with M’s photos that were part of the show sold as well.

We also enjoyed the backyard gazebo with the good weather of June. Here is a sneaky capture by M of D reading there in the evening:


July started with us and friends and family spending two weeks in Ocean City, NJ. We had a great time, felt refreshed, and also had the chance to make some good photos (sense a theme?). The sunset of July 5 proved especially beautiful:

After our return home, D moved to a great big office that will be his until he steps down as graduate director of his department at the end of June 2017 (he cannot wait, despite the niceness of this office, as the job is just too tedious and stressful, as he never tires telling people, and he has a very capable colleague ready to take the reins).

For M, it was a very exciting time, with her having two photos accepted for an exhibit at the venerable Philadelphia Sketch Club. Here are her two photos and M at the awards party, where she inexplicably (says D emphatically) did not receive any award.


Rarely has a month started as well as this one. On August 2, M went for one of her periodic checkups with Dr. Hanjani, who, for the first time ever, said that it “may be that you are cured”. He has been studiously avoiding even hinting at such a possibility since M was diagnosed in 2000, and he was careful to insert that “may”, but we certainly took heart from this statement and went off to celebrate a bit (at Krater, in New Hope):

The month continued to offer goodness, with a road trip to Quebec City in Canada, to visit Dominick, Margherita, and Caterina in their apartment there. On the way to Canada, we stopped for two days in Lake George, where we had a nice time and photo opportunities, before our few days of running around Quebec City and the Ile d’Orleans, with some seriously delicious eats and beautiful views. M caught a great image of the bounty of the earth:


Another academic year started. We had a fun weekend in Ocean City with Dominique, Steve, and their girls. This was the weekend of the annual air show that is held there, and D was lucky enough to catch a clear photo of two Navy jets:

At the end of the month we visited Maryland for a baby shower for Marianne’s niece Christina and a small Miserandino family reunion.


Work continued to keep us busy, but we had time to enjoy some great concerts by Lyric Fest and Piffaro. Late in the month we escaped to the Eastern shore of Maryland for a weekend of exploration, where we were able to see some beautiful nature, such as this beautiful butterfly that M captured:


November was the month M’s photography class at the University of the Arts ended. M’s final project was a documentary photo essay about Elcy’s coffee shop, the very one where we had our joint photo exhibit in the summer. Here is one M’s photos for her final project:

We joined Suzanne and her family and our mutual friends for Thanksgiving, having a fantastic time as always catching up with dear people and meeting new friends. The Saturday after we paid a visit to Dominique and Steve’s in Jersey City, where we had a “leftovers dinner” with them, M’s brother Anthony and his wife Barbara and daughter April, as well as nephew Dominick and Margherita and Caterina, whom we had visited in Quebec City in August.


The last month of 2016 was a bit hectic until just about Christmas, as both of our academic schedules had us grading exams and papers right up to the 22nd. But we were able to make our escape to Florida’s Sanibel Island from the 23d to the 28th, where we enjoyed catching up with some sunny warmth, the beach, and dolphins and beautiful birds.

We are looking forward to 2017 hoping it will bring us and everyone continuing good health and our country and the world less acrimony and more freedom and progress, especially in human rights and the environment.

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