Friday, May 27, 2016

Covina, California, USA

The -vina comes from vine because the early pioneers thought wine was going to be their economic base. Instead, in early 20th century, oranges catapulted Covina to one of the top orange-producing locations in the world. Today, the orange groves are gone but their ghosts go on. [2015]

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Castle Road, Gibraltar

TheVisigoths lost the Rock in 711 to the Moors under the command of Jebal Tariq, hence the geographical name Gibraltar. The Moors lost the Rock in 1462 to the Spaniards under the command of Juan Alonso de Guzman, hence nothing. If you want to be remembered, get your name attached to the landscape and become part of a map. It guarantees immortality. [2015]

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Douglas, Isle of Man

The old harbor used to be the commercial heart of Douglas, but now it is big enough only for pleasure craft. It is a story repeated all over the world. The harbors of old cannot accommodate the scale of maritime commerce today, so they are retired and converted to people purposes. [2011]

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Havana, Cuba

Did you hear? Everybody's talking about going to Cuba! Not everybody in Europe, not everybody in Canada, not everybody in Mexico. For them, traveling to Cuba is normal. But, for US, it's new and exotic, and therefore in demand. Stand by as prices increase! [2014]

Monday, May 23, 2016

La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

"Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the sombra, which are at morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday." Eleanor Roosevelt. Of course, Mrs. Roosevelt used the English word for sombra. See one? [2016]

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bran, Romania

Out the window: Look! It's Transylvania, Dracula's home digs. Romanians today owe a debt of gratitude to British novelist Bram Stoker, who created a fictional milieu for Vlad the Impaler. The country's post-Communist leaders have superimposed that milieu on a real landscape to create a tourist magnet imbued with a powerful sense of place. [2014]

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Madrid, Spain

Limbs that lift, and tops that treat
Climbers to a view so sweet;
A God's eye view of what's below,
Of green sometimes, and sometimes snow.
Of others using limbs like steps,
To test their strength and build biceps.
To get away, but not to stay.
A place to pause. To live? No way!
One climb up and one climb down.
A smile has now replaced a frown.
Biceps built and soul restored,
You didn't need that bungee cord!
Poems were meant for stanzaed trees.
That's why we have poe-tree. [2009]