Did You Know…(13)

Lately, I’ve been very intrigued by the cinquain verse and have written quite a few poems in this unique form. You can find my cinquain attempts as well as the innovator of this form at: http://sylviaiswriting.wordpress.com. I had a comment on one of the cinquains I wrote called “Old Boots”, where it was brought to my attention who developed this beautiful verse form.

The American cinquain was developed by Adelaide Crapsey who passed away on October 8, 1914 at the age of 36. She was a Brooklyn New York-born poet who was raised in Rochester New York (Upstate), my neck of the woods. Adelaide was the daughter of Adelaide T. Crapsey and Algernon Sidney Crapsey, an Episcopal priest. Prior to her death, she became reputable and widely recognized for the creative variation of the cinquain (quintain) which consists of a 5-line format with 22 syllables.

This style was largely influenced by the Japanese haiku and tanka. Adelaide’s 5-line form (now know as an American cinquain), has a common iambic meter which translates as one-stress, two stress, three stress, four stress and then reverts promptly back to one stress. This cinquain form usually contains 2 syllables in the 1st and last line, 4,6 and 8 syllables in the middle lines.

*Sidebar: Did you know that world-renowned poet, Carl Sandburg was said to have been the reason for the ongoing interest in the cinquain and kept Adelaide Crapsey from becoming insignificant with his poem “Adelaide Crapsey”? Incidentally, Carl Sandburg and Marilyn Monroe were very good friends. It’s amazing the surprising ways in which people are connected and how close to home these connections sometimes hit.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did you know?…(4)



Did you know that actor Tae Diggs grew up in Upstate Rochester New York a-k-a “Roc City”? That’s right! It’s true. He attended Allendale Columbia School and later, School of the Arts in Rochester.

  •  After high school, he attended college at Syracuse University where he studied ‘theater’. After receiving his Bachelors in Fine Arts degree in musical theater, he moved to New York City where he debuted in his first leading role in the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning sensation “Rent” in 1996.
  • He went on from the broadway stage to television where he landed a role in a soap opera called, The Guiding Light in 1998.
  • He starred in a popular medical television series called Private Practice and also the movies The Best Man (1999) and the follow-up movie The Best Man Holiday(2013)

These are just a few of the accomplishments this very talented actor has made. Just goes to show; good things and great people can and do come from this ‘neck of the woods’. Can you “digg” it?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall


Image: Free google images: redbookmag.com

Traveling Solo…



For the most part, I think it’s safe to say that many people travel with someone;  friends,companions,family,etc. However, I just celebrated my birthday by taking a mini-excursion to a beautiful place about 45 minutes from where I live. Understandably, you may be wondering, why my trip was so close by? Well, considering where I live, 45 minutes can take you surprisingly far enough to feel like you’ve actually gone some place. You see, my whole objective was to do something different; something I’ve never done before in commemoration of my very special day. Thankfully, God blessed me with another year to explore and enjoy. For this, I am forever grateful!

Mind you, I’ve gone to catch a movie by myself, gone to breakfast by myself, even attended a concert by myself in the past. I can almost see you, the reader, scratching your head in puzzlement as to why I’ve done all these things solo. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of people to call on at the drop of a hat when I want to do something. Everyone is always busy with other things. I’ve concluded that if I wait for any one of these people to be available, I may never go anywhere. So, I took the plunge and went on a solo ‘get-away! Can I tell you? I had the best time! Of course, it would have been nice to have someone along to laugh with, dine with, and help me snap photos to capture all the surrounding beauty, but in my case, this was not an option. And it’s not a bad thing! Being alone, forced me to reach out and assert myself with perfect strangers.

Upon my arrival at this lavish hotel, I was checked in by the same wonderful customer service person by the name of Will, who made my reservation by phone. It was nice to put a face to the voice. The most refreshing thing was that Will was just as pleasant, helpful and professional in person, as he was when he initially took my reservation. He allowed me to get settled in my room. Once I re-emerged, Will was kind enough to show me around the grounds and took several photos of me out by the water and in the beautiful hotel lobby. He may not know it, but he helped me break the ice as far as asserting myself on this solo journey. As a result, I felt welcome, comfortable and special. If only this kind of outstanding customer service existed everywhere!

I had dinner in the lovely dining area of the hotel where I immediately observed a group of ladies across the room. I could tell they were definitely celebrating a special occasion as they were festively audible while doing so. From my cozy, quiet table for one, I was able to glean that it was definitely someone’s birthday in this group, but I couldn’t decipher which one. I made a promise to myself right then and there, that I was going to go over an introduce myself and find out who’s birthday it was. I braved the voice in my head telling me to sit back down and not embarrass myself. I confidently walked over, introduced myself, and inquired as to who the ‘birthday girl’ was. The lady of the hour was a beautiful mature woman that was celebrating her 76th year. She looked absolutely fantastic and I told her so! She quickly and fun-lovingly stated that she obviously had many more years on her than I did. I playfully returned that it was also my birthday and that the years were coming on much more quickly than I would like! We all just laughed and laughed. This group of ladies thought it was so awesome that I would walk over and do that! Inside my head I was thinking, “mission accomplished.” I had successfully asserted myself!

I was pleasantly surprised by the graciousness of others who had also chosen to escape to this paradise-like place in celebration of something. The next morning, I stepped out onto the private patio of my room and looked to my right. There was a sweet woman 2 doors down sitting on her patio absorbing the bright morning sun and listening to the latest tune that the birds were more than happy to sing her. We briefly introduced ourselves and shared the purpose of our stay at this marvelous place. She was there celebrating her 46th wedding anniversary with her husband. I congratulated her and disclosed that I was there celebrating my birthday. She asked me which birthday I was celebrating? I felt no invasive nature intention behind the question; only genuine interest and sincerity. So, I couldn’t help but concede my age to her. I also asked her if she would mind snapping a photo of me on the patio being that I was alone. This woman was so wonderful and was more than happy to do so. We chatted briefly about the beauty of the day, then said our goodbyes as I set off to take a walk around the grounds.

Honestly, I have no regrets about this adventure….well, except for one. I just wish I would’ve planned better and scheduled my celebration for more than just 1 day and one night. I left there definitely needing more of the peace and tranquility that surrounds that lovely place. I’m already thinking of where my next excursion will be. I think I will definitely venture further out. Maybe I’ll fly some place, now that I’ve conquered the sometimes daunting task of ‘traveling solo’. Any suggestions? What are some places you think would be great to travel to? Where would you suggest for someone traveling alone? Or maybe you don’t recommend traveling alone? Aside from the obvious, do you, the reader, feel there are any advantages/disadvantages of traveling alone? If so, what are they? Please share your thoughts, whether you are in favor of traveling ‘solo’ or not.


By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google Images/The Inn on the Lake Photo Gallery


Did you know?…(3)

Did you know….The “Amazing Spiderman” movie was shot on E. Main St. in Upstate New York a-k-a Rochester, New York during May 2013? That’s right!! Roc City was the backdrop for some of the more high-powered scenes in this movie. Please click on the video below to view some of the action on the last day of filming!!

It’s kind of surreal to watch these scenes with an unusual number of NYPD police vehicles flying through the middle of downtown Rochester, New York; a place I grew up in. I can see the actual bus stop I used to wait at daily, en route home from work many years ago. It’s such a proud feeling that my hometown was chosen for this epic film.

I recall watching various news broadcasts during the filming of these scenes. Several Rochesterians were interviewed and asked for their thoughts on all the hoopla. Some people felt a bit inconvenienced being that many of the bus routes were detoured to accommodate the filming needs of this action-packed adventure. It appeared that one man didn’t even know about the filming and detours until he set out to go to work on the very first morning.  Boy did he get a big surprise! He seemed to handle it though and was very good-natured about it all. So, You can imagine what an event it must have been for some to people to commute to and from work on the first day of shooting. I guess if you’re going to be inconvenienced, it might as well be like this! Roc City is once again…positively on the map!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

May 2020

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