Looking back at some of my pictures from Spain, I found this one taken at the Bilbao Guggenheim museum at dusk.
“An art book is a museum without walls.” Andre Malraux
They say that alcohol lubricates the conversation; i would say that coffee or tea do that job way better (you start sober and stay that way). I am coming from a tea (called chai and almost never mixed with milk) drinking country where even babies are given sweet tea beside their mother’s milk, but i can’t be ambivalent towards coffee in all its glorious variations, taken preferably in a Viennese coffeehouse or a French café.
Today’s blogs/internet forums are becoming like the coffeehouses of previous centuries where people got together and exchanged ideas, read, wrote and generally got inspired; to be alone yet surrounded by like minded people. My beloved Stephen Zweig or Gustave Klimt have been ardent patrons of coffeehouses. The slow “coffeehouse death” of 1950’s has been reversed rapidly, of all entities, by Seattle’s Starbucks & other American coffee companies who went on a rampage with their idiotic “grande/venti/tall” shouts! I take mine “chez Peet” (the guru of everyone in gourmet coffee revolution). Too much noise for a small coffee… What’s missing is the true conversation; how can you have one when you are busy slurping your pumpkin spice frappuccino (770 calories)? Ok, so I am not proud of my decaf soy latte neither (they say decaf is the devil’s blend!)
I’ve always loved these ladies! I have fun playing with their images. They’ve been called torchères (torchieres), lampposts and some pretty banal names but I think that they deserve to be called by a “grander” name like “the green Lucinas” (Lucina: she who brings children into the light). I’ve photographed them several times (they are the best models, they never move). Their color changes from bronze green to dark jade passing by some moss and celadon.
The Paris opera house is not hosting any operas; it is now mainly used for ballet performances. Carrier-Belleuse, an old friend of Charles Garnier, the architect of this great theater, contributed the elaborate torcheres that hold the candelabra illuminating the grand staircase and the lampposts outside the opera house.
“Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.“ Robert Burns
Be it the sound of the Gotan Project or the great Astor Piazzola, this dance and this music have enchanted millions of people all over the world especially my good friends Andr� (the maestro) and Mitra (the pupil) who share the same birthday on monday, september 3rd.
Brasserie Lipp in Paris remains very popular in spite of overpriced mediocre food being served under its roof; the history that goes with it, makes it a favorite among the average tourists, the jet set crowd and the Parisians themselves.
“It is a very poor consolation to be told that the man who has given one a bad dinner, or poor wine, is irreproachable in private life. Even the cardinal virtues cannot atone for half-cold entr
i’ve been to Venice, Italy some years ago but i think that i would probably not go back to this beautiful but over-crowded city for a while – as usual i like it better when it’s empty of the unwashed masses. Venice has been home to the great Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto (cinquecento Venice) and Casanova…
i was moved by Venice and its 120 islands on the Adriatic sea but i loved it most at 5:30 in the morning. after years i still like these pictures i took one foggy morning when everybody was asleep.
“I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, a palace and prison on each hand” Lord Byron
i never particularly liked Turner – i didn’t know him much and i found it exasperating that 10 of his paintings were hung side by side in a museum in london (all yellow seas) – it all changed the day that i bought (in 2004) a book called Turner and Venice. i was humbled by the beauty of his paintings (all blue skies) and sketches. i’ve been watching Simon Schama‘s “Power of Art” on pbs and he talks about Turner in one of the eight episodes (among other giants like Picasso, Rembrandt, David and Rothko).
i would love to go back to Venice one day when it snows and everybody else is at Disneyland.
i was astonished by the tenacity of these people in regards to their language, Euskara. i am weary/wary of nationalistic sentiments – the idea that you can do better acting independently rather than collectively and that the people who spoke the same language or shared a common ethnicity should fight to build their own nation?states scares the hell out of me. Nazis and Fascists were ultra-nationalists – ETA hardly has anything to do with these two (even though it has plenty to do with other bloody mess) but i am frightened by talks of racial purity and xenophobia. i don’t want to see people, each having their own ethnic flag planted in their backyards; santa monica, california would be a very colorful city…
and sometimes carajios (an espresso with an added shot of alcohol) while watching your favorite matador at the neighborhood bar.
Living in Los Angeles, i was kind of blas
i have great images from this region but they need to be sorted out; these are my first impressions of this beautiful Basque region, south of france and north of spain.
to many, happiness is as simple as this:
coming from warm and dry california (with omnipresent washer/dryers), i was amused to see that everywhere i went in hondarribia, the laundry was hung out to dry even in the rain.