Sunday, June 28, 2020
Cabot's first order of business was to get water on his land and he did that by hand digging a well with a shovel and pick. In the process, he discovered the hot springs that spurred the development of spas and resorts and eventually the city of Desert Hot Springs.
After Cabot died, his wife moved back to Texas where she had family and the property was abandoned for a period of time. Fortunately, a friend acquired the property and repaired some damage caused by vandals and eventually donated the property to the city.
Today Cabot's Pueblo is open to the public and operated as a museum by the city of Desert Hot Springs.
I love finding these interesting bits of history scattered across the country. It's amazing what you will find when you get off of the beaten path (or the freeway).
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Today I'm taking a spin all around the state of Arizona to point out the places where the true "old west" still exists. Some places like Bisbee (above) use that old west charm as a way to attract tourists. And, it works. They come here to see an old west town and they soak up the atmosphere while also enjoying the arts community that has settled here. The main street is full of galleries and interesting shops. Bisbee is located in Southern Arizona not far from the border with Mexico.
Next door to Bisbee is the old town of Lowell which has pretty much dried up and turned into a ghost town. I loved exploring this town and I posted about my visit here twice before. You can see those posts here and here.
Another southern Arizona town that serves up its old world charm with a lot of fanfare is the city of Tombstone. This city has taken full advantage of all things western. You'll find it all here, stagecoach rides and gunfights are regular events. I wrote about visiting Tombstone here.
The town of Coolidge has also managed to retain some of that old west charm. Just outside of town is where you will find the ancient ruins called Casa Grande and in spite of that historic attraction, this town seems to dying slowly. The last time I drove through here, most of the shops were closed and boarded up.
Another town that is looking a little rough around the edges is Superior Arizona. It's another town that is tied to the copper mining industry. While copper is still being mined in Arizona, it is not as active as it once was. I don't think anyone will be staying in the old Magma Hotel in the future. I posted about this colorful town here.
You'll find every modern convenience you can think of in the city of Cottonwood but, when you drive into the historic old-town district you take a step back in time. The old Cottonwood Hotel still operates today but, when I visited three years ago, it was booked already. Cottonwood has become a a wine destination with a variety of wineries located here and around the city. I wrote about my visit here.
I did get to stay in true historic hotel in Williams Arizona a few years ago and I enjoyed it very much. Staying in a historic hotel means you have to compromise on some things, but the experience is almost always worth it. I wrote about my stay at the historic Grand Canyon Hotel here.
Another Arizona city where the old meets the new is Winslow Arizona. Made famous by an Eagles song, there is now a statue of a man "standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona" and a flat bed Ford just happens to be close by. I can't imagine that anyone wouldn't know what song I'm talking about but, if you need a refresher here's a guy singing it on this very corner.
I've had several posts from Wickenburg Arizona because it happens to be the place where the annual Cowgirl Up art show happens. Well, it was annual until this year when it had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Wickenburg has managed to retain its old west charm without making a big fuss about it. I did a post about the city's western atmosphere here.
I saved the best one for last. The town of Florence Arizona does not market itself as an old west tourist stop but it certainly has everything it needs to be just that. It's located between Phoenix and Tucson but far off of the main roads between those two cities. In other words, you have to make an effort to get here. If you like the look of a truly western town without the crowds, it's well worth a visit. Take a closer look here.
As you can see, the old west is alive and well in Arizona. You can find reminders of it in every corner of this colorful state.
Sunday, June 14, 2020
I can remember the very first time I caught a glimpse of the Pompidou Centre in Paris some 20 years ago. It actually stopped me in my tracks. I thought, what on earth is this strange looking building. It looks like it's still under construction.
The Pompidou Centre was named for George Pompidou who commissioned its construction. It was designed by architects Richard Rogers, Su Rogers and Renzo Piano and completed in 1977 in what is called a high-tech architectural style with all of the infrastructure located on the outside of the building. It is the first major example of this type of inside-out architecture.
The building houses the Museum of Modern Art, a Public Information Library and a IRCAM, a center for music and acoustic research.
Because my time was so limited, my visit inside was short. However, the night before I had joined my friends for drinks at the ultra-modern Georges on the top floor of this center. I wrote about that adventure here.
I also spent some time walking around the Stravinsky Fountain located right next door to the Pompidou Centre.
I enjoyed looking at all the whimsical sculptures in the fountain that were created by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Sainte-Phalle. They were designed to represent themes and works by Ingor Stravinsky.
Sunday, June 7, 2020
All around the room along the walls were plaster reliefs paying homage to Napoleon's deeds. The room is a great beginning for this beautifully maintained villa.
This room was redecorated in 1901 and is called The Views Room. I loved the painted ceiling.
The Napoleonic Room contains a series of prints that highlight the feats of Napoleon Bonaparte in both peace and war.
Another dominating painting was located in a room called the Sommariva Room named for the early owner of the villa Giovanni Battista Sommariva. The painting is by Jean-Baptiste Wicar and is called "Virgil Reading Sixth Canto of Aeneid". In it the emperor's sister faints as she listens to the verses that evoke the death of her son Marcellus. Her brother Augustus supports her while other guests hush the poet who is standing to the far left.
Crossing the central hallway, we toured the less formal rooms like this dining room.
And, Duke Georg II's studio.
The second floor hallway led to rooms like the master bedroom.
And Princess Charlotte's Room where I saw this picture of the Princess and her three sons.
Villa Carlotta is an exceptional place to visit. From the beautifully lush gardens to the impeccably maintained home, it is well worth a visit for anyone visiting the Lake Como area.