The Emerald Isle

Ireland is, indeed, the emerald isle, as in green, lots of it. Rain will do that. We might have had a bit of Irish luck with us as hubby, Stan, was born on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th). On our two weeks tripping around Ireland (the Republic of) with Odysseys Unlimited we had mostly sunny days. It was a gift, since we spent much of our time outdoors.

 

We covered a lot of territory, starting and ending in Dublin. From Dublin we went due west to Galway, explored the rugged Connemara region, then grabbed a ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Back on land we rode along the coastline to Killarney through the Burren, an area of spectacular scenery. We made our way around the Ring of Kerry in the southern part of Ireland and up to Kilkenny, our last stop before heading back to Dublin.

It’s a country rich in tradition with proud people who have experienced great hardship through the centuries. We saw a lot, did a lot and spoke to a number of people to get a sense of what their lives are like today. Today’s Ireland is very different from the Ireland of our first trip many years ago. The following impressions just skim the surface of our trip.

If you think there are a lot of pubs in Ireland, you’re right! I won’t say the Irish drink morning, noon and night, but they certainly like their pint(s) at noon and night. The pub is a gathering place rain or shine. Music makes for a jolly, good time.

Dublin

Dublin

 

This bride and her bridesmaids (the “hens’) were celebrating the upcoming wedding in great form.

Dublin

We weren’t the only ones at lunch in Murphy’s Bar on the Ring of Kerry. These wedding guests were enjoying themselves at a pre-wedding celebration. I especially liked the woman wearing a hat.

Portmagee

More towns, more pubs.

Killarney

Kilkenny

This pub was ready for anyone who wanted a glass of Irish Coffee (watched over by Jack and Jackie).

Portmagee

Serendipitous moments come to those who walk a city (us). A shopping arcade with an installation of colorful umbrellas was the perfect sight on a sunny day.

Kilkenny

Here are a few more “moments.”

A mural on a hotel façade.

Dublin

A lone walker on a narrow side street.

Kilkenny

An extraordinary installation across two buildings in a passageway in Dublin.

Dublin

From place to place water, rocky pastures and cliffs were abundant.

Connemara

Connemara

Inishmore

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Ring of Kerry

And, an occasional craftsman.

Ring of Kerry

We did not lack for castles, abbeys, and medieval ruins (Rock of Cashel) with a 6th c. monastic site (Clonmacnoise) thrown in for good measure. These are part of Ireland’s history, after all.

Blarney Castle

Kilkenny Castle

Kylemore Abbey

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise

Ireland is a small country, about as big as Indiana (U.S.) ,with only about 4.7 million people (emigration seems to have stabilized). Its friendly people, beautiful scenery, ancient sites and walkable cities make Ireland a country to put on your bucket list.

I’ll end with these lovely Irish sayings:

May your day be touched with a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed by smiles from the people you love.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.

Bauhaus at 100

A trip to Germany with the Davis Museum of Art at Wellesley College included a tour of the Bauhaus in Dessau. It was an opportunity to see, in person, this important icon of 20th century architecture and design.

A (very) brief history. In 1919, one hundred years ago, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany. The design aesthetic was lean and spare. It would influence modern design for years to come, 100 for sure. The Bauhaus was a school where designers, architects, painters, sculptors and craftsmen taught and built items. Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky worked there.

Nazi interference in 1924 made Gropius move the school to Dessau, a city southwest of Berlin. There, he built a campus consisting of the main building, a director’s house and three masters’ houses.

I’ve tried to capture some of the Bauhaus aesthetic like the exterior glass curtain-wall of the main building.

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus-Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Construction details and color are all strikingly modern.

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

Bauhaus – Main Building

 

Furniture was constructed with tubular arms and legs. Door pulls were simple and unadorned.

Bauhaus – Main Building Auditorium Seats

Bauhaus – Main Building Door Detail

 

Rain-washed cement sidewalks seemed compatible with the tiny balconies.

Bauhaus – Main Building Balconies

 

The director’s house is a freestanding building. There are also three identical semi-detached houses for the masters. They are white stucco cubic structures designed by Gropius. They are modular with mirrored and rotated floor plans for variety. In the unadorned rooms light from windows, high and low, plays along the walls giving them an almost abstract quality as they intersect one another.

 

Master’s House

Master’s House

Master’s House

Master’s House

Master’s House

 

We take for granted much of what Gropius and his followers did to change the nature of design and architecture. What will the next hundred years look like?

 

 

If Walls Could Talk

On an art-focused trip to Germany with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College we visited the Boros Collection (known as Sammlung Boros) in Berlin. From 1990 to the present Christian Boros and his wife have amassed a large collection of contemporary art, including site-specific works. The art is housed in a converted bunker, which was originally built as an air raid shelter for civilians in 1942. It had many uses until purchased by Boros in 2003. It opened to the public in 2008 and is available for small group tours, which must be booked in advance.

As I went from room to room looking at the art on display my eyes wandered over the spaces themselves. I was drawn to the marks and writing on the walls, floors and ceilings. Here and there were remnants of color on mostly drab beige or gray walls. Large swaths of peeling color remained on some walls. There were arrows pointing in different directions and cautionary words. Doors, scraped and scratched, seemed foreboding, revealing spaces beyond. Some walls had things attached purpose unknown.

How many people stayed in these “rooms?” For how long? What would we hear if “walls could talk?”

Here is a selection of photos, in no particular order, from my wandering eyes.

 

 

 

Urbanity

I didn’t think urbanity was a real word, but it is. urbanity – noun. urban life. What I had in mind for this theme was anything that gave us a sense of life in an urban setting. What is the feel of an urban space? What is the experience?

For me, it’s often people, lots of them. Crowded sidewalks, busy streets. People, traffic, noise. You sense the cacophony all around you.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

NYC

NYC

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sometimes the streets are devoid of people, but the architecture let’s you know it’s a cityscape.

NYC

NYC

 

Ephesus, Turkey

Ephesus, Turkey

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

The Modern, Ft. Worth, TX

The Modern, Ft. Worth, TX

Buenos Aires, Argentine

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX

Brooklyn Bridge, NYC

Brooklyn Bridge, NYC

High Line, NYC

High Line, NYC

London

London

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

NYC

NYC

 

A lot happens on the sidewalks of a big city. People make the sidewalk an extension of their home. They jam for us, they eat, they just hang out. They’re not always coming and going. The camaraderie belies the anonymity of urban life.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Calafate, Argentina

Calafate, Argentina

NYC

NYC

NYC

NYC

 

Here are some of YOUR photos! I am delighted to include them. Thanks for sharing your view of “urbanity.” You’ve made our day a little more interesting.

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Elizabeth Greene - Fishfry

Elizabeth Greene – Fish Fry

Moses Hawkins - Florence

Moses Hawkins – Florence

Audrey Greene

Audrey Greene

Robert Weitz - Chicago

Robert Weitz – Chicago

Theme #3 is “Reflections.” Gather up those photos and send them to me as email attachments, smaller than 1MG, by November 21, 2016.

 

Markets – Fleas & Farmers’

Farmers’ Markets can be found all over the world. You probably have one in your home town. Some, like the Triana Market in Seville, Spain, are indoors. Here, vendors stack their fruits and veggies in beautiful arrangements surrounded by tile walls naming their spaces.

Triana Market, Seville

Triana Market, Seville

Fish!

Triana Market, Seville

Triana Market, Seville

Most markets are outdoors, spring through fall. From Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Oregon to far flung places like India, Ljubljiana (Slovenia), Turkey and Vietnam, markets are here, there, and everywhere. The intersection of people and commerce is always a lively event.

Boulder Tomatoes

Boulder Tomatoes

High Finances-Portland

High Finances-Portland

Ljubljiana Lady

Ljubljiana Lady

Turkey Market

Turkey

Vietnam Street Market

Vietnam Street Market

Vietnam Peppers-Street Market

Vietnam Street Market

India

India

Flea markets are a little different. Wander around a flea market and you’ll find a little bit of everything, cheap or dear, junk or “junque.” Something old, something new. There are treasures every week at the San Telmo market in Buenos Aires. Closer to home one can find the fun and funky by the side of the river in Redstone, Colorado. On the street or inside there is something for everyone.

San Telmo Market-Buenos Aires

San Telmo Market-Buenos Aires

San Telmo Market-Buenos Aires

San Telmo Market-Buenos Aires

Redstone, Colorado

Redstone, Colorado

Tangier, Morocco

Tangier, Morocco

Casablanca

Casablanca

India

India

Minturn, Colorado

Minturn, Colorado

Alaska

Alaska

Turkey

Turkey

Thanks to all of you who sent me photos for this theme. Here are a few which, for me, capture the theme’s spirit.

Bruce Schlein M.D.

Bruce Schlein

Al Padwa

Al Padwa

Ginger Mynatt

Ginger Mynatt

Next up – Theme #2 – “Urbanity.” Lots of room for interpretation. Send me an email with attached jpg files, no larger than 1MB each by October 24, 2016.

Autumn Along The Oregon Coast

To get to Ashland, Oregon and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) Stanley and I decided to go by way of the Oregon coast. We started in Portland, headed south along the coast, then turned east to Ashland, stopping at several beach towns along the way.

Portland has a lot to offer within a reasonable walking distance from downtown. It’s reputation as a “foodie” town is well founded. For drinking and driving try the Brewcycle (we did not). Fortunately, there seemed to be an “official” driver. What a fun way to get around!

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There are restaurants and food trucks galore. Dessert, anyone?

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Not all the art in Portland resides in its museums. I saw two very different walls. One might have been commissioned, the other probably not.

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Some street markings for my “Underfoot” theme.

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The BIG Saturday market reminded me of the Arlo Guthrie song “You Can Get Anything You Want At ….” It’s under and around the bridge and near the river. It was a perfect day for shoppers and vendors alike. Colorful wares, busy sellers and musicians playing jazzy tunes. What could be better?

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Leaving Portland we made our way to the coast. First stop – Astoria, on the banks of the Columbia River. It is the oldest American community west of the Mississippi. There is a lot of Lewis and Clark history about. Our hotel was at the water’s edge, almost under the Astoria-Megler bridge which connects to Washington state. Miss the turn to the hotel and you are in Washington. We did.

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Astoria is a port town. We took in the sights along the waterfront, walking to the center of town. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather. The birds were happy, too.

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To the coast! Cannon Beach is charming, at its best without the summer crowds. Shops, restaurants and art galleries to explore.

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We walked the almost deserted beach at sunset. The changing colors of the sea and sky transfixed us. It was a show just for the two of us.

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Newport next. A beach town whose waterfront is an interesting combination of industry (fishing) and shops and restaurants for tourists. It’s a bit “gritty”, not all gussied up. A walk along the water revealed this combination, plus a little funk.

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On to Ashland, our last stop, where we explored the town and markets each day before heading to the evening’s play at OSF. Remember the reason for the trip? BTW OSF is not only Shakespeare.

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Jacksonville is close by and offers offices, shops and restaurants (more eating!) in well-preserved 19th century buildings.

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I even found some “ghost” signs like this one, a reminder of things past.

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It was hard to leave Oregon. Another time, another trip.

Portland OR copy copy

 

Mills & More

I recently spent a long weekend in Greenville, SC with good friends Bruce and Alice Schlein. I was there to attend the opening of “Surfaces and Spaces: Photography of Cecelia Feld & Bruce Schlein”, our exhibit at the Pickens County Museum, about thirty miles from Greenville.

Bruce gave us a tour of the area between Greenville and Spartenburg which was once home to a large number of thriving textile mills, now mostly in various stages of decrepitude. The remains of these large buildings make interesting photographic subjects. Some of them are experiencing new life as condominium buildings.

Bradford Mills, for example, is undergoing renovation. The finished part is now the Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA) with classrooms and exhibition spaces. It is a welcome addition to the Greenville Arts scene. The rest of the mill will be condos.

Beautiful old glass and window fittings in the GCCA make the space special.

Brandon Mills-Inside GCCA

Brandon Mills-Inside GCCA

 

GCCA

GCCA

Another mill, Glendale Mills in Spartenburg, occupied a large area on the water at Glendale Shoals. The remains of one of the buildings and foundations of others give one a sense of how large this complex was.

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

 

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

So much for the Mills. Now, for the “More.”

Here are a few more of Bruce’s graffiti laden walls. As I notice and photograph markings and notations on streets and sidewalks near and far, Bruce’s discerning eye lights on walls and spaces filled with all kinds of drawings and symbols. In his photos the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but look closely at the details.

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

 Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Here are a few more of my “Underfoot” photos from the exhibit. They are a bit more minimal than Bruce’s.

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

I hope those of you who live in the area will see the show which is up until August 20. Spend some time with cool art on a hot summer day.

 

Pickens County Museum

307 Johnson St.

Pickens, SC 29671

(864) 898-5963

www.pickenscountymuseum.org

New York City – After Dark

 

10 days. 240 hours. NYC – the city that never sleeps. Not an understatement. 42nd St., Times Square, Broadway. Always crowded with people coming and going – to the theater, to restaurants, to stores, or just coming and going. Any night, in good weather, seems like New Year’s Eve.

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The Great White Way is a sea of neon. What would you like to buy? Where would you like to go? What would you like to eat, drink, drive? It’s up there in lights. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is taking pictures. Give us a warm fall evening, a camera or a phone, and we’re on it!

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Off the street, high up, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, at Lincoln Center, offers up some of the best jazz in town.

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11PM. Let’s not forget to find a spot away from the madding crowd to replenish and prepare for another day.

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This concludes my three blogs on NYC Fall 2014. Scroll down for #1 and #2. It will be nice to remember as winter takes hold and the scenes change.

Happy traveling!

New York City – Food & Fashion

10 days. 240 hours. Man (or woman) does not live by bread alone. Certainly not in NYC. You can fuel up anywhere, anytime, day or night, with anything your heart desires. Street vendors, who now add middle eastern falafel, Mexican tacos and gluten-free offerings to the standard hot dog (with everything, please) and pretzel (warm, with salt, please) are everywhere.

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You can even eat “heart healthy.” Grab and go fruit!

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While there is a Starbuck’s on almost every corner, there are still coffee shops like Reggio’s in Greenwich Village. Reggio’s feels like a comfy living room and makes a damn good cappuccino. We took a Food Tour of Greenwich Village with Free Tours on Foot. Really free! You can give a gratuity to the guide at the end. Our young guide gave us some history of the area as we ate our way through fresh, hot falafel, artichoke pizza (no kidding), bagel buns filled with all kinds of cream cheese, which I managed to squirt all over myself, and dessert, yummy. In the rain. It was the only rainy day in 10, but who cared?

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If food is everywhere, so is fashion. High and low. There is something for everyone. Buyer beware!

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At the end of a busy day – libations!

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Blog #3 – After Dark, coming soon. Last, but not least.

 

New York City-Art & Architecture

10 days. 240 hours. Uptown, downtown, all around the town. NYC is still, very much, a city of neighborhoods. It’s a city that invites you to explore as much as you can on foot or by subway (the fastest way to get around). A Metro card with unlimited rides on trains or buses for one week will set you back only $30.00, not as cheap as it used to be, but still a bargain compared to taxi cabs.

Instead of exploring NYC in one blog, I will write several (3), each one focusing on a different aspect of my recent trip.

Art is everywhere. From kitsch in store windows and graffiti,

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to this display by artist Korakrit Arunanondaci. “My Trip to the White Temple” is like a lacy cut out with a video in the center which changed as you watched and reflected the traffic passing by. I could have walked right by without noticing. It was magical.

20140929_132822 copyThere is art on the High Line, but as I looked down at the apartment buildings, this sculpture by Charlie Hewitt caught my eye.

IMG_5277 Charlie Hewitt copy

The architecture of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is noteworthy and so is the art inside. There is often a temporary exhibit on the rooftop garden. Besides the exhibit, the views of the city above the treetops in Central Park are spectacular. The current site-specific installation is “Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout” by Dan Graham with Gunther Vogt, a Swiss landscape architect. Steel curves hold panels of two-way mirrored glass. The garden maze of reflections was fun for adults (mostly taking selfies) and kids running in and out.

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NYC always feels like a construction zone. Old coming down, new going up. Different times, different styles.

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At the risk of being labeled “tourist” (which I am), I always look up (when not looking down). Often, several architectural styles bump up against each other like these along the High Line. There is one block in mid-town where I counted six different styles next to each other.

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Patterns inside and outside are there for the taking. Greenwich Village, with its narrow streets and old buildings (now commanding sky-high rents) still feels like a “village.” It’s that NYC “neighborhood” thing. A quick subway ride to Christopher St. puts you right there. At its heart is Washington Square Park with its distinctive arch.

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The area around the 9/11 Memorial is still under construction, but the Freedom Tower is finished and is reflected in the nearby building.

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So much to see, so little time.

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Blog #2 – Food & Fashion, coming soon!