Sunday, January 26, 2020

30 Years Apart


Back in the mid-80's I visited the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose California along with my parents.  We were on a little California road trip at the time.  I recently found some of the photos from that trip and since I visited this museum by myself back in 2014, I compared the photos and found that I had some similar photos.  I decided to do a little update and compare the look of the place some 30 years later.  Above is the scanned version of the older photo of the front of the museum.


Here is the front of the museum 30 years later.  I love the color combination here better than the colors in the older shot.

Here is one of the statues on the grounds back in the 80's.



































And, here he is standing tall in that same spot in 2014.




































This building was designed to look like the Temple of Amon in Karnak.


Here is what it looks like these days.  The only difference I see is that relief at the very top of the building.  Personally, I'm partial to the "Ankh".  































This is the door to the auditorium at the museum.  You can tell from that blue sky that this is the scanned photo from the mid 80's.
































Here is an image of it from my 2014 visit.  

While most museums undergo progressive changes, I notice only minor changes between the 30 year old photos and the newer ones.  Like the truly ancient namesakes, they are standing the test of time.

Looking through these photos has made me want to go back for another visit.  It's and easy flight from here.  I might have to look into that.

If you want to see more photos from this fascinating place, take a look at my earlier posts here, here, and here.  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Besh Ba Gowah


Just outside of the city of Globe Arizona (approximately 90 miles east of Phoenix) there is an archeological site called Besh Ba Gowah Archeological Park.  It consists of the ruins of an ancient pueblo abandoned by its former occupants nearly six hundred years ago.  The name of the site was given by archeologist Irene Vickery and roughly translated means "place of metal."


The site has been partially restored so that it can provide a glimpse at the lifestyle of the people who occupied this region over two centuries before Columbus discovered the "New World."

At the peak of its occupancy, the pueblo contained 146 ground-floor rooms and 61 second-story rooms.

It appears to have been built in phases from around 1225 to 1400.



















The walls are made of stone laid in adobe motor.  Most of the interior walls were plastered with adobe.  This area was first surveyed and mapped in 1883 as part of an archeological survey of the Southwest.  Archeologists began to excavate the area in the 1920's.


There is also evidence of even older residents of the area below the pueblo indicating that the site might have been inhabited as early as AD 750.


It is one of those hidden treasures in Arizona; places that are not famous and don't get a lot of attention.  I like to study the Arizona map section by section to find these interesting and somewhat obscure places.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Reminder of a Dark History


When I hear the name Casa Rosada I can't help but think of the Musical "Evita".  However, I recently watched the Netflix movie "The Two Popes" and part of the back story in that movie was about an even more turbulent time in Argentina.


In March of 1976, a military junta took over the government in a military coup.  It is believed that up to 30,000 people were killed or 'disappeared' by the military regime between 1976 and 1983.


Casa Rosada is the official home of the President and the government.  In front of Casa Rosada is Plaza de Mayo, the square where Mothers march every Thursday demanding justice for the "los desaparecidos" or the disappeared.  The women wear white bandanas many of them embroidered with the names of their missing loved ones.

Today the square is marked with tiles painted with the bandanas in the spot where mothers still march once a week over 40 years later.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Villa Cipressi....in the Rain


Back in May when I had arrived in the town of Varenna on Lake Como, the first two days there were rainy and chilly.  But, that didn't stop our group from touring the sights.  One of those sights was Villa Cipressi with its terraced garden.  The villa itself was not open because of the weather so, we toured the gardens, umbrellas in hand.


The beauty of the garden was a bit muted in this dull weather but, it was worth the effort to see it anyway.

































The views from the terrace at lake level were beautiful, even with the low clouds hugging the mountains.



The gardens are beautifully terraced on the hillside and dotted with grand staircases and wonderful statues.
























Even in the rain, it is easy to see that this garden is a beautiful place to stroll and enjoy the views.

There I am finding a dry spot to take it all in.






























Later that day, our little group headed out for dinner, each of us holding an umbrella to stay dry.  We thought it made an amusing scene so Dave posed us by the lake and took the shot.


When you are traveling, sometimes you have to deal with inclement weather and still enjoy the experience.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Force is With Our People


When I was in Flagstaff two months ago, I stopped at the Museum of Northern Arizona to have a look around.  It's a wonderful museum representing the history of the northern half of our state.  However, I was especially drawn to a special exhibit called "The Force is With Our People".



The exhibit features works of art by a variety of Native American artists that have all been influenced by the Star Wars narrative.

The two carved and painted wood creations above were made by Mavasta Honyouti, a Hopi.

To the left is a Stormtrooper Figure created by Rod Velarde, a Jicarilla Apache.  The storm troopers uniform is intricately painted with Native American designs.























This piece was one of my favorites in the exhibit.  I think it's beautifully done.  This one is also by Mavasta Honyouti and is also painted and carved wood.   It's called "Droids in Walpi".


Another beautiful piece is this painting by Ryan Singer.  Ryan's statement about this piece was very interesting, it reads:  "...when I did Tuba City Spaceport, the idea was parallel universes, so there is like a Start Wars Universe here and a Navajo Universe here....these two are somehow connected and are interacting in a sort of 19th century period....They're coinciding and interacting with Star Wars characters from the first movie."




I borrowed the above photo from the NPR web site.  They recently did a story about this exhibit and hearing it reminded me that I had these photos.  It features artist Duane Koyawena with his custom R2D2 unit.  He and friends are standing in front of the museum.

To the left is the photo I took at the museum of this life-sized figure that has all the bleeps and buzzes of the original R2D2.  I stood listening to him for a long time wishing I knew his language.

It really is a fascinating exhibit and well worth a visit to the museum if you are in the area.  The exhibit is up through March of 2020.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Holiday Experiences in London


I've been to London twice in late November when the city is just starting to show it's holiday colors.   Every year there is a beautiful carousel on the grounds of the Natural History Museum.


The carousel is located right next the ice skating rink.

Burlington Arcade is dressed in its holiday finest.  It's a perfect place to do a little window shopping.





























The last time I was there during the season, I took a Sunday morning stroll through Leadenhall Market where small Christmas trees were leaning out above the shop windows and one big tree was sparingly decorated at one end.



























The big Christmas Markets weren't quite open yet but I did find this small market sponsored by St. James Church.  I browsed the stalls....

...and came away with a colorful antique necklace that I still wear today. It's one of those little treasures that I can't imagine parting with.



























Another little treasure came home with me when I decided to take one of the "tube" lines all the way to end and then explore.  The village I ended up in was called Amersham and I walked along the high street and went into a small shop that had Christmas items in the window.  That's where I found this rather unique little Santa.  I fell in love with it and it has decorated my home during the holidays ever since.

Looking at these old photos always makes me wish I was in London during this colorful season.  London does Christmas beautifully.




























Sunday, December 15, 2019

Red Rock Country


About 115 miles north of Phoenix is the town of Sedona located right in the heart of "Red Rock Country".  The area is dominated by beautiful red sandstone formations that make it one of the most beautiful places in the state and the country.


When you visit Sedona you will always find cars pulled off to the side of the road while their passengers get out to admire and to photograph their surroundings.  My car was just in front of the one you see to the left.

I was stopped there so I could get a photo of one of Sedona's most well known sites, the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  I happened to be there on a Sunday so getting close to it was almost impossible.  In fact, I got to a certain point and wasn't quite sure how I was going to turn around to get back down.























So I had to settle for the parking spot down below the chapel and then walk a little way to get my photos.

The chapel was completed in 1956 and stands 70 feet high out of a 1000 foot red rock cliff.



























After maneuvering my way around the road to the chapel, I found another spot where there was a view point and some hiking trails.  It was a perfect spot to get some photos of the beauty of this area.




There were gorgeous views in every direction.


I could see all the way across the valley and see the chapel I had just been to.  You can see it in the far right lower corner of the photo above.



I zoomed in so you could see it more clearly.

When I first moved to Arizona, the chapel sat almost all alone in this gorgeous setting.  These days it is surrounded by houses all around it in the valley below.  But, you can only see a hint of those homes from up high like this.  That is one of the nice things about this area.  The bastions of civilization don't detract from the scenery around you.