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!

Along The Adriatic

Culture and conflicts. The countries along the Adriatic coast showed us the richness of their heritage and gave us insight into some of the most horrific events of the twentieth century. These countries of the former Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia, have to different degrees moved (or crept) toward economic independence and political stability. It has not been easy given the ancient ethnic and religious tensions, which boiled over in the 1990’s.

Our journey hit the major spots, Dubrovnik in Croatia, way down at its southern tip, Sarajevo where all hell broke loose in the 90’s, Zagreb Croatia’s modern capital, and Slovenia’s fabled university town Ljubljana (yes, its harder to spell than pronounce).

There is so much more to this part of Europe than the capital cities. I’ll take you there as we hop skipped from Croatia to B&H, back to Croatia and then to Slovenia.

Dubrovnik (Latin name Ragusa), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perhaps the best-known and most visited city in Croatia. The ramparts encircling the Old Town can be walked (we did) and afford views down into the fortified town center on one side, the Adriatic on the other.

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

View From City Walls-Dubrovnik

 

Inside City Walls-Dubrovnk

Inside City Walls-Dubrovnk 

Every city and town we visited had its markets and Dubrovnik was no exception.

Market-Dubrovnik

Market-Dubrovnik

A side trip to Kotor, Montenegro gave us a chance to wander the streets of the beautifully preserved medieval walled town.

Kotor-Montenegro

Kotor-Montenegro 

We made our way inland toward Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina, stopping at Mostar. Mostar’s 16th c. historic bridge, destroyed in 1993 during the breakup of Yugoslavia, was rebuilt in 2004 and is a major tourist attraction. The Old Town along the river is, too.

Mostar-Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar-Bosnia & Herzegovina 

Old Town-Mostar

Old Town-Mostar

It’s not hard to find evidence of the war.

Mostar, B&H

Mostar, B&H

Visiting the restored Sarajevo of today, it’s hard to imagine the toll the three and a half year siege of the early 1990’s took on its citizens. A rainy day seemed appropriate to ponder that time, not so long ago.

Sarajevo

Sarajevo 

Back in Croatia we spent time in Split before heading to Zagreb, Croatia’s modern capital. Split is another Adriatic seaside gem. The big draw here, in addition to the port and promenade, is the Old Town and the Palace of Diocletian (Roman), his not-so-shabby “retirement” residence.

Split-Harbor

Split-Harbor

Palace of Diocletian-Split

Palace of Diocletian-Split

Palace of Diocletian-Courtyard

Palace of Diocletian-Courtyard

Zagreb, a busy and bustling city of 800,000 is divided into an upper and lower town, meeting at the Square of Ban Jelacic, a popular gathering place with trams coming and going. The large Dolac Market had everything.

Zagreb-Ban Jelacic Square

Zagreb-Ban Jelacic Square

Zagreb-Square

Zagreb-Square

 

Zagreb-Square

Zagreb-Square

 

Zagreb-Market

Zagreb-Market

Zagreb-Market

Zagreb-Market

About an hour from Zagreb, near the Slovenian border, is the charming town of Samobor where people from Zagreb go to unwind (or whatever else they do to get away from the city). A short hike took us to the remains of a castle. Coffee and cream cake were the hiker’s reward.

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Castle Near Samobor, Croatia

Croatia’s natural beauty reveals itself in the 114 square mile Plivitice Lakes National Park where we hiked to see one of its many waterfalls.

Plivitice Lakes, Croatia

Plivitice Lakes, Croatia 

We made our way to Slovenia and stayed at the seaside town of Lovran, Croatia. Its long waterfront promenade is perfect for walking off the gelato that called to us across the street from our hotel. We never pass up a gelateria!

Lovran, Croatia

Lovran, Croatia

While staying in Lovran we explored some of the hill towns of Istria, a part of Croatia across the water from Italy. Motovun is the largest, Hum the smallest.

Motovun, Istria (Croatia)

Motovun, Istria (Croatia)

Hum, Istria (Croatia)

Hum, Istria (Croatia)

Last stop – Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. It’s a university town so it has a youthful, upbeat vibe. It has historical monuments, cultural attractions, exquisite architecture and markets. There is a lot of activity in and around the main square and  Old Town, both lined with shops and cafes.

Ljubljana - Square

Ljubljana – Square

 

Galerija Emporium-Ljub.

Galerija Emporium-Ljub.

 

Ljubljana

Ljubljana

Ljub.- Market

Ljub.- Market

Ljub.- Market

Ljub.- Market

We end our trip here having spent time exploring the majors, the minors and the in-betweens, all enlightening and enriching.

 

 

 

 

Asia In Dallas

The Crow Collection of Asian Art sits squarely in the Dallas Arts District, a neighbor of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The collection, amassed by Trammell and Margaret Crow, is housed in the office building that bears his name and contains art and artifacts from China, Japan, Korea, India and Indonesia.

The recent opening of the Sculpture Garden at the Crow Collection upped the ante in the district quite a bit. Many years in the making, the new garden contains twelve artworks from the 9th to the 21st centuries. They are outdoors in the newly landscaped and very beautiful Japanese inspired garden, which winds around the exterior of the building one level above the street.

The blending of old and new is evident as soon as you approach the Flora Street entrance. Off to one side, on the sidewalk, is one of three commissioned sculptures by contemporary Chinese artists. Liu Yonggang’s “Buddha” is an in your face, 18-foot-tall, lipstick red steel sculpture that shows a connection to traditional calligraphy without depicting a particular “character.” It’s a marvelous interplay of solids and negative spaces, a simple, yet commanding, presence.

Buddha

Buddha

Buddha - detail

Buddha – detail

The “Deified Laozi”, sitting at the foot of the entrance stairs, is a bronze sculpture from 17th century Ming China. It is quite a contrast to “Buddha.” You pass it as you ascend the stairs leading up to the sculpture garden where you begin your leisurely stroll among the other sculptures.

Deified Laozi

Deified Laozi

Deified Laozi - detail

Deified Laozi – detail

This bronze “Bell”  from Japan’s Edo period is struck with a large piece of wood instead of a clapper.

Bell

Bell 

I wound my way around the building, enjoying the well thought out areas of plantings, rocks and stones and came upon another striking contemporary sculpture by Qin Feng. His “Shi of East & West” is massive. It relates to the traditional use of pairs of carved stone lions as guardians outside entrances in China. These stone lions have been cut in half and separated, each half attached to a piece of plate glass etched with calligraphic brushwork. Looking through the open areas of the glass I could see the cityscape beyond. Simply magical!

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West

Shi of East & West 

The sculptures are placed on either side of the Ross Avenue entrance to the building, itself a striking piece of architecture.

Trammell Crow Building

Trammell Crow Building

The third commissioned piece is “Sweepers” by Wang Shugang, another Chinese artist. Three life size bronze sculptures depict Tibetan monks in the act of sweeping. One is bright red and two are black. They are anonymous and meditative.

Sweepers

Sweepers 

Sweepers

Sweepers

There is a specially commissioned (non permanent) piece inside the building, which is not to be missed. Ma Jun is a Chinese artist, who comments on the consumerism taking hold in China in his “New China” series of objects, including cars. He paints the surface in a detailed style traditionally used for ceramics. “china.porsche”, a Porsche 911 carved in wood, then cast in fiberglass has incredible detail painted all over it. Catch it while you can (to May 24).

china.porsche

china.porsche

china.porsche

china.porsche 

The Crow’s Sculpture Garden can be enjoyed any time of year. It is a respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dallas and is FREE and open to the public. Nice!