Enjoy Your Trip to Porto!

Let’s take a trip to Porto!

My blogging friend, Louise, recently vacationed in Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. She kindly thought of me and sent two cheerful pieces from her travels–a brightly colored postcard and a bookmark that left me with a strong urge to take a trip to Porto!

Vintage Tram Car

The postcard features the Batalha 22 tram, one of the three “heritage” routes of the transportation collective in Porto,  Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP).

The bookmark (probably) features the Ribeira neighborhood, a neighborhood filled with cafes, restaurants, homes, and a walkway along the Douro River.

The colorful buildings are so inviting!

These images offer a tiny glimpse of Porto. Louise’s photos tell a more comprehensive story, so be sure to check out her Porto blog posts, especially the one about the bookshop:

Enjoy the trip!

Snapshots from Madrid: Doors and a Fond Farewell

We’ve reached the final installment of Cy’s “Snapshots from Madrid” series.  Today’s post features some of the interesting doors Cy “experienced” while in Madrid, an appropriate ending for the series.

I had the opportunity to visit the 80th anniversary Picasso exhibit at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. The exhibit, entitled Pity and Terror in Picasso: The Path to Guernica, bring[s] together approximately 150 masterpieces by the artist–some from the Reina Sofía’s own collection and others from over 30 institutions around the world, including the Musée Picasso and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the Tate Modern in London; The Museum of Modern Art  (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, to name a few.  There are also selections from private collections including that of Claude Ruiz-Picasso, the son of the artist.

The exhibit was well worth the 10€ entry fee.

But I find the art of everyday Madrid inspirational as well.  In particular, the entry doors to apartment buildings and offices kept me engrossed for quite some time.  Some of the doors appear below.

[Click an image for a closer look.  Be sure to note the fine details–the artistry–of the doors].

  Without a doubt, Madrid has some of the most beautiful doors I’ve ever seen.

As Cy “closes the door” on her adventures in Madrid, she leaves knowing that the door will always be open. Who knows? Maybe, she’ll find her way back to Madrid some day.

Although this is the end of Cy’s series, I have a feeling I’ll be back with a few more random “Snapshots from Madrid” some time soon.

To visit–or revisit–the other three posts in the series, follow the links below:

Thank you, Cy, for allowing us to experience Madrid through you. Have a safe return home.  See you soon, friend!

Snapshots from Madrid: Beauty and Oppression

It’s Friday, so that means I am back with another installment of “Snapshots from Madrid.” Here Cy shares stunning architectural photos from Toledo and Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. Instead of the expected tourist response to the edifices, she shares her unique musings on the buildings.

There are a lot of things that I can say about Spain, some good and some bad, but I choose the good every day. What’s the use in rehearsing the problems that are familiar to us?  Today, I bought a few souvenirs from street hawkers. The hawkers are a bit ragged, but they work hard. So I buy a little something. As a tourist, I am careful to spend money with traditional as well as non-traditional vendors. That way everyone benefits.

The photos I am sharing today are from the expected tourist routes. The first is an alley in the Jewish Quarter of Toledo.

The Jewish Quarter Alley in Toledo, Spain. Photo by Cy

The others are from Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. I think these are the remains of a palace, but I’m not sure.  The “remains” are not like the “ruins” of Jerusalem and Greece. They’re more like museum structures–well-maintained partial structures with interiors.

“Park of the Pleasant Retreat,” Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. Photo by Cy.

“Another View,” Photo by Cy.

What do these preserved historical edifices have in common with the vendors I encounter on the streets?  I wonder what they would say about the paradoxes of which they are a part.  If they could speak, what would these edifices say about the people who are selling wares against such backdrops of beauty…and oppression?

If you want more information, click the links to find out more about the Jewish Quarter of Toledo and Buen Retiro Park and be sure to tune in next week for our final installment of “Snapshots from Madrid.”

More Postcard Love!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I did receive a number of extra postcards from Love Notes participants.  The great thing about the Love Notes community is that the connections to other individuals are not just about getting postcards.  Participants enjoy reaching out in their own way to other participants. Some make cards and notecards. Some purchase them, but all seem to use snail mail to brighten someone’s day and to get to know each other better.  I was pleasantly surprised when I received my first unsolicited Love Notes and now I look forward to the occasional happy mail in my P.O. Box.

Here are the extra love notes from October 2016. From Christine B.:

Paris France Arc: De Tiomphe De L'ecole

Paris, France Arc: De Tiomphe De L’ecole

“Don’t forget to remember:

  • You deserve the very best.
  • Be sure to love yourself.
  • Pay yourself a compliment.
  • Continue to make art and look at nature.”
Sunset, Pto. Lobos, Mexico, photo by Christine B.

Sunset, Pto. Lobos, Mexico, photo by Christine B.

“Imagine…No hate. No judgment. No suffering. Just peace and love.”

“People with Courage,” art by Christine B.

“Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway…”

From Lorelei (whose name I love):

“3-D Pumpkin Love,” made by Lorelei C.

“Don’t forget to remember…

  • to enjoy a pumpkin latte or muffin or both
  • to treat the kiddies to best treats ever
  • to enjoy the gorgeous colors of the season
  • to unplug and read a good book
  • to enjoy friendships old and new”
The Duquesne Incline was once a practical mode of transport for Pittsburgh's citizens, providing safe and gelable public transportation. The hisser rail care, which began operating in 1877, is now a popular attraction for tourists. With is 400-foot rise up Mt. Washington, the Incline provides sa scenic view of the Pittsburgh skyline. Photo by Blair Seitz

The Duquesne Incline was once a practical mode of transport for Pittsburgh’s citizens, providing safe and reliable public transportation. The historic rail car, which began operating in 1877, is now a popular attraction for tourists. With its 400-foot rise up Mt. Washington, the Incline provides a scenic view of the Pittsburgh skyline. Photo by Blair Seitz

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.  –Albert Einstein

“Can you imagine using this as transportation to work, shops, churches, or schools? And with kids, packages, bad weather?  Oh, my!”

From Jacki W., a new Love Notes friend, who resides in the U.K.:

Weeping Window from the installation

Weeping Window from the installation “Blood Swept Lands and Seas Red.” Poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins. Installation designed by Tom Piper

“Don’t forget to remember that life is too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it.  Nobody said it would be easy. They just promised it would most likely be worth it.”

“The Beguiling of Merlin,” Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898). Lady Lever Art Gallery. National Museums Liverpool

Sent with a nice long note with lots of love.

That’s it for now.  Hope to see you in January for Love Notes 2017!

Church Bells Ringing…

While clearing and organizing my desk last night, I was pleased to find many things I’d forgotten I’d received.  One was a package of vintage church postcards swap-bot “digitalmaven” sent earlier this year. I’m sure, after thanking her for the wonderful collection, I returned the postcards to the envelope intending to study them later.  Later never came.  Then (after clearing my desk), I began gathering photos to send in a  photo “destash” swap and I ran across one of the photos of a rustic church I shot last year when visiting my in-laws.  I had no choice but share in a blog post the beautiful vintage church postcards.

Here, first, is the photo that’s probably heading out this week:

Chapel of Peace

Chapel of Peace, Ferguson, North Carolina

I posted photos from a trip to the Whippoorwill Academy and Village in a couple of earlier posts here and here.  The quaint “Chapel of Peace” is often used for small wedding ceremonies.  I added the verse from Emily Dickinson’s Poem 236 because it reminds us that while we are strengthened through meeting in fellowship with those who share our spiritual principles, it is also necessary to spend time alone with God, commune with Him in nature, and enjoy our bits of heaven on earth.

Digitalmaven sent seven vintage postcards:

The United Methodist Memorial Home, Chancel of the Applegate Chapel

Chancel of the Applegate Chapel. Le France Color Fotos, Westerville, OH.

The Chancel of the Applegate Chapel is part of the United Methodist Memorial Home in Warren, Indiana. The Chapel offers a place for residents to mediate and worship.

The Wayfarers Chapel

“The Wayfarers Chapel.” Photo by Union Pacific Railroad, Published and Distributed by Columbia.

The Wayfarer’s Chapel, often called “The Glass Church,” is located on the coast of the Palos Verdes Hills near Portuguese Bend, California.

Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Los Angeles, California

“The Bishop’s Throne,” Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Los Angeles, California. Lithochrome Press, Los Angeles.

From this seat, “The Bishop’s Throne,” situated always in the south chancel, the ranking prelate presides over services.  The throne is symbolic of episcopal authority by which the Greek Church is governed.  In the rear panel of the canopy is a representation of Christ the High Priest, and below it the ancient device of the Byzantine Empire, the two-headed eagle, suggestive of watchfulness.  The lions reference Revelation 5:5:

. . . The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.

Naval Air Station Chapel, Alameda, California

Naval Air Station Chapel, Alameda, California. Card by H.S. Crocker Co., Inc., San Francisco.

The Station Chapel, dedicated in 1943, actually consists of three chapels:  the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where daily Mass is celebrated for Roman Catholics; the Shannon Chapel which is used for small groups of non-Catholics; and the Main Chapel, seating approximately 400, which is shared by all faiths in the spirit of “Cooperation Without Compromise.”

C129-Pasadena, California

C129-Pasadena, California.  Kodachrome Reproduction by Mike Roberts Studios, Berkeley, CA.

Part of Southern California’s charm is due to its pleasing architecture. An example of beauty in buildings is the church above in the garden city of Pasadena.

Strawberry Chapel, a Chapel of Ease to Saint John's Biggin Church

Strawberry Chapel.  Photo by Stafford; Published by Berkeley County Bicentennial Commission.

Strawberry Chapel was constructed in 1725 by an Act of Assembly as a Chapel of Ease to Saint John’s Biggin Church.  It is one of the most famous historic sites in Berkeley County.

Sinclair Memorial Chapel on the Campus of Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Sinclair Memorial Chapel on the Campus of Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Es-N-Len Photos, Aurora, IL.

A focal point of activities on the Coe College campus is Sinclair Memorial Chapel, also known as the Coe Auditorium.  Replacing an earlier chapel destroyed by fire, it is named in honor of the T. M. Sinclair meat-pakcing family.  The building also houses Arthur Poe Chapel, a small sanctuary for meditation, and two art galleries.

After visiting these postcards, I’m tempted to go through my postcard collections and pull out other postcards featuring church buildings.  I’ll have to put that on hold, though.  My to-do list is a little too long at the moment.  For now…

Enjoy!

[Note: all descriptions are from the backs of the postcards].

My Art Liberated!

When I wrote about the Liberate Your Art swap hosted by Kat Sloma of Kat Eye Studio, I neglected to post the “art” I sent out into the world.  The last few months are a blur, but I think I sent four different photographs out into the world.   There was no real process in selecting the photos.  I have FAR too many to make choosing less than a daunting task, so I randomly selected four photos that caught my eye.  I hope you enjoy! And don’t forget to check out Kat’s site. May you be inspired to liberate the artist in you!

Goree Institute

This gorgeous courtyard can be found at Goree Institute on Goree Island in Senegal. I captured a number of images of this courtyard (of Goree Island in general). I was attracted to the colors, architecture and “layout” of the courtyard.

A Solitary Place

I shot this photo in 2005 at the Nature Center in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. The Nature Center closed, and as far as I know has not reopened. It saddens me that this “scene” no longer exists, but the photo itself often brings me a bit of serenity. I imagine myself sitting at the picnic table alone with my thoughts and my journal.

How High

This is our neighbor’s fence in New Orleans–altered in Photoshop. The vines climbing up the fence reminded me of Emily Dickinson’s poem.

“Beloved Wife”

My hubby and I were out and about looking for the perfect “Ides of March” photo for a swap I participated in–on March 15th of course. We ended up at one of the Cities of the Dead in New Orleans where we found many gems. That is where we found this beautiful tribute to a beloved wife. How this man must have cherished his wife!  I altered the photo in PhotoShop.  Perhaps, I’ll post the original one day!

If you missed the “Liberate Your Art” Blog Hop, check it out by clicking the link.