Last summer I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see their avante garde exhibit. Stepping into the room everything went white and I was in raptures to be surrounded by Sandy’s work.
Though the pieces may appear to be constructed in an elementary fashion, it takes precision and foresight to place the metal wiring so everything falls in perfect balance. Calder’s engineering skills and sense of aesthetics were applied to create the first hanging mobile, a concept that will continue to endure with their presence in infant product lines. They are obviously designed to move, so a light breeze should be going in order to fully appreciate them. I didn’t know at the time but recently found out that his kinetic sculptures are 3D incarnations of another artist I love, Joan Miro.
Kind of strange, but on this part of the trip I missed my mom a lot. I wished she could have been with us to share the experience because she would have loved the scenery, the buildings, and the stores far more than I ever could. So yeah, I was kind of down for a day or so but then these fishies cheered me up with their hypnotic grace.
Piazzo San Marco
An enormous square where you can feed the swarms of pigeons if you wished. All along the sides were stores and restaurants. The main entrance housed stairs where most tourists chose to rest and snap photos. A little ways out will get you to the pier.
St. Marks’ Campanile
For a fee you can enter the cozy elevator to the top where you are swept into the winds and gorgeous views of the city. It is a dim area up there but you feel very fine indeed overlooking the matching buildings and glorious ocean.
Aka Palazzo Ducale. The seat of this empire’s power resided here along with his council of 10, which reminded me of all the Borgia stories of men in cloaks assassinating each other in the dark narrow streets of Rome. This place had everything, room upon room of gilded rococo architecture that could only be achieved by skilled ship engineers filled in with ornate paintings in tribute to the prosperous empire. My brother was into the armory displays and large paintings depicting war, his so-called bread and butter. The volume and decadence must have intimidated countless prisoners and foreign dignitaries alike as each room announced that no one messes with Venice.
Especially these days
These services were naturally littered everywhere. We wisely chose to ride on on a weekday first thing so we could avoid the queues. I wondered if every rower sang or if that wasn’t a requirement. It was quite a luxurious feeling and our guy was quite a pro with the camera. I liked that the workers were all friendly and called out to each other during their trips out.
It is easy to be taken with Venice. If it were milder weather I may have appreciated her more. As it was I was moved by scenic views that surrounded us with every step, even when the streets ended at random and forced us to turn back. Bene, grazie, ciao!
It figures the sites won’t be as alluring during the day, this is the city of light after all.
Perhaps the most anticipated and most disappointing part of the trip. I didn’t think much of the glass pyramids and thought it would have more glamour than it did. Also, while I did appreciate the Renaissance art, the works of the ancient Greeks and Byzantine did not hold my attention at all. Luckily we made it first thing in the morning before the crowds took over and made it nearly impossible to line up for tickets. I have to say, I could get used to walking on marble floors. The underground entrances are unique even though you have to work to get to the exhibits, which soured my attitude more.
The Mona Lisa room was filled with a horde of admirers and it was a mess to try to get in front. She was a celebrity most beloved and protected by security guards, seemingly basking in the attention in mild amusement.
Quite easily my favorite place in Paris besides the cafes. My art history class senses came to life while I wandered in elation down the hall of sculptures, Impressionist paintings, and the prime attraction, Olympia; another woman with fans crowding around her.
Arc de Triomphe
Or “the mother of all round abouts”, as my brother aptly called it. When you first see it, all you can think about is how massive it is. I could imagine the sense of glory when marching up the Champs victoriously with a parade of banners, something Napoleon tragically never had the chance to do.
A dim cathedral where you can see elaborate motifs and stained glass windows. A sense of spiritual reverence overcomes you when inside its chilly room. I was surprised to see it on an island on the map, but it is not at all obvious when visiting.
Le Tour Eiffel
It met my expectations, this marvelous structure with intricate framework and negative space that made Paris famous. There are two major walkways approaching this tower. The first day we sat in the park with its huge square shaped trees and waited for the sparkle show when it grows dark. On the lawn many people were watching a live screening of the French Open matches featuring their beloved Roland Garros whose name is on a tennis ball in the center of the tower. The second time we came by was from the other side where you walk down a stunning stretch of a bridge over the Seine. I actually climbed the 2 levels of 700 odd stairs instead of taking the tram, and did not get to the highest point.
A foodie Instagram in 17th century style:
Oui, those are some good eats.
Cultures and individuals can be better understood by observing the type of food on the table. It is the key to connecting people together and is a language in and of itself. From simple everyday grains to elaborate dishes for special occasions it is a chore as well as a pleasure considering our meals.
The all seeing celestial lady of the night who reflects the sun and captures our imagination.
A scene out of a fairy tale from a man who actually hung the moon. Leonid was inspired by surrealist Rene Magritte who travels the world with this luminescent companion. His enchanting work is not limited to age, culture, or even time.
Apparently some loopy Ukrainian dude thought he would go outside and make escargot pose to take photos from their perspective.
Wow. Who knew our slimy friends could be such graceful models while providing cuteness overload? I imagine their mini hopes and ambitions as they journey wherever their fancies lead each day. Fare thee well, mayhap ye wander into sodium-free lands of dew and flowers…
You are faced with a figure about 12 feet tall.
It has no eyes or mouth.
Yet its presence does not intimidate.
On the contrary, this is an approachable and playful being.
What could this creature be?
This artist knows all about giving the viewer a bit of whimsical fun. This could be a terrier, standing alert and ready to float up to its owner. Its soft shapes and shiny surface is sure to bring back simpler, happier times.