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High Times in New York City

April in New York.

I was reminded that no matter your stature,

the Big Apple will make you feel small (in a good way). 

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When feeling small, it’s great to step up, and see New York in a whole new light.

The High Line— is a 1.45-mile-long linear park, built on an abandoned railway hub.

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In 1999, locals Joshua David and Robert Hammond, started the effort to create an uplifting, public space–to go from rail to ramble.  Super heroes indeed.

 

 

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Today, five million people a year, walk the Line.

Here are some of the sights along the way.

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For apartment dwellers along the Line, their life is an open book.

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And for those who aspire to overlook the Line,

a sign of the gilded times.

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But for the Public, it’s a treasure.  High Line Park offers a bounty of visual treats.

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The High Line is a reminder that New York is always

busy being born.  

And, always a fertile experience.

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Next, we’ll get back to the NYC streets,

before we rise again.

Deer-ly Departed

Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria is a favorite walk of mine, 

bringing peace and perspective.

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These visitors were taking a different kind of sustenance.

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If not quite paying respect, they tread lightly.

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And engaged in their own kind of family reunion.

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All in all, quite a fine day for a nibble in God’s acre.

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Victorian Ramble

Here’s a sample summer ramble through Victoria, BC.

We open with the dating game at Beacon Hill Park.  

This male peacock opens up, in hopes of hailing a hen.  

It appears that size does matter,

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and turnabout is fair play.

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This guy appears to be up a tree, without a mate.

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But wait!  

What light through yonder branches blooms?

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Further along, you’ll run into the colorful characters of

Fisherman’s Wharf.

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And speaking of “colorful characters,” head downtown for the Gay Pride Parade.

Though this summer the colors were somewhat muted, as Victoria’s skies took on an ominous glow from the numerous wildfires burning BC.  

(They’ve since waned due to cooler weather, but beware the Ides of Marching Climate Change)

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Spirits still soared.  

Bottoms up!

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Turn another downtown corner and you might run into

a bike race.

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These gentlemen provided security,

Victoria style.

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Till next time,

keep on truckin.

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Walking Barcelona: OMG (Oh My Gaudi) Edition

Barcelona, of course, offers many archictecturial treasures. 

Starting with these ruins of a Roman temple, surrounded by an apartment building,

sandwiched into history. 

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To walk Barcelona is to walk through time.

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Hovering above all is the patron saint of Catalan modernist architecture, 

Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926).  

Gaudi integrated ceramics, stained glass, and wrought ironwork into his passion for nature and religion—redefining the architecture of modernism.

 

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This is Casa Batlló,  a home designed by Gaudi in 1904.  

At night its exterior takes on an other-worldly glow.

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A short stroll away is Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera (the stone quarry) because of its rough outer appearance.  

Built between 1906 and 1910, it is Gaudi’s modernist take on apartment house living.

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 Here, a courtyard is art.

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One apartment is kept for visitors—the same as it ever was.

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At night, La Pedrera’s rooftop appears,

out of some kind of George Lucas dream sequence.

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Which takes us to Gaudi’s masterwork in progress, la Sagrada Família.

 

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Started in 1882, this UNESCO World Heritage site is slated for completion in 2031.

Here it rises above Barcelona, as seen from the heights of Montjuic Hill.

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Up close, the facade of la Sagrada Famillia, offers scenes from

Gaudi’s own passion play of religion, art and architecture.

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Brought into soaring relief, inside Gaudi’s temple.

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Lifting spirits, no matter one’s belief.

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We’ll close with a view from the top.

Till next time Barcelona…

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Walking Barcelona: Street Art with Sole Edition

Every stroll through Barcelona is an art walk.  Centuries of creativity mix easily.

 Enter Sant Jordie, the Patron Saint of Catalonia.

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Another Barcelona dragon appears, perhaps auditioning for Mary Poppins. 

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Every turn, something special in sight.

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Art for contemplation…

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…and refreshment.

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A lesson in letting it all hang out.

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Above all, one can see art as fun.

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Walking Barcelona is experiencing art as life.

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Take a bow, Barcelona.

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Next Barcelona walk:  OMG (Oh my Gaudi!)

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Walking Barcelona: Window Dressing Edition

I recently spent 10 days in Barcelona and it was a revelation.

A joyous and fascinating walking experience, no matter what direction you chose.

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The city’s eye-grabbing style is evident from the moment you land.

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(Desigual’s model is Chantelle Winnie, who despite having the skin condition vitiligo, is an international “runway queen.”)

As someone who normally disdains window shopping–I discovered I enjoyed window stopping.

Look at a sample of the windows of Barcelona.

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This lady is, as the artist describes, “covered by hand by 30,000 red Swarovski crystels wearing a dress wove of silk and roses.”

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To paraphase that old song, how much is that ham hock in the window?

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And of course, Barcelona believes in desert.

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Where’s their flan, there’s chocolate (these edible sculptures are a tradition in Barcelona, where graduation moves parents to go sweet on their kids.)

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This struck me as a window into my wife’s dream.

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Maybe time to stop.

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Next Barcelona walk: Statues and Street Art

 

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Signs of End Times

As you walk or motor thru life, there’s the chance you’ll be seduced

by messages in the public space.  

Sometimes they entertain…sometimes they seek to entice.

Take this highway sign in Virginia.

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Is there life after Exit 320 in Crossville?

Might be best to sit and think this over.

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We’re all heading somewhere fast…

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…maybe too fast.

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But no matter the species, the ending is written in stone.

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Scouting the closing scenes in this small town cemetery–

it was clear that, in death, the road still beckoned.

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An epitaph is like

an eternal tweet.

And if I’m going to be grounded,

I’d pick a plot that’s bare bones.

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The Puppets take Victoria

The scene: Victoria in September.  

The cast: Puppeteers of America (gathering in a garden spot to showcase their art)

The plot:  A neighborhood awakes one Saturday to find itself awash in color and spectacle, delighting all who wade in, or watch the parade pass by.

 

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Children, of course, are transfixed

and transported.

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The parade passed by the Victoria Art Museum,

where a mural came to life.

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Quite a scene, this puppet

play day.

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Eye Sights

Take a walk around town, along the coast, or in the park.  Life is movement, that catches your eye, and stops you in your tracks.

So that you can see… 

The Long and the Short of It

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Sidewalk Serenade

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Down to Earth

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Jelly Roll  

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Goose Steppin’

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As Easy as 3, 2, 1

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 Ruffled Feathers

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Having a Ball

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Cat Flight

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Bird Tales

Beacon Hill Park in Victoria is normally a place of peace,

   offering a time…to take time.

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But one day the peace was broken,

   by a cacophony of sound.  

For this couple,

  there was trouble in paradise.

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It was out in the open,

   the push and pull of relationships…

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  the dance of distress.

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How was it resolved?

…in the end, the squawking you take,

is equal to the squawking you make.

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There’s another pair of Island birds that stick in my memory.

I first came upon this woman,

   eating lunch on the Dallas Beach path.

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And on a fence post directly across from her…

   perched a pair of Ravens.

This pair were clearly in sync, in silent supplication,

   and hungary for attention.

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