Saturday, November 18, 2017

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The state's official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Edinburgh is located in Scotland, which is one of three countries that comprise the island of Great Britain. Scotland was a kingdom of its own before 1707 when the Acts of Union created a United Kingdom. In the late 1990s, Scotland reconstituted its own parliament. [2017]

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cardiff, Wales. UK

The state's official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Cardiff is located in Wales, which is one of three countries that comprise the island of Great Britain. Wales was absorbed by the Kingdom of England in 1535. After a referendum in 1997, Wales regained self-governing powers, including over its own language and university. [2015]

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Manchester, England, UK

The state's official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Manchester is located in England, which is one of three countries that comprise the island of Great Britain. England was a full-fledged kingdom of its own before 1707 when the Acts of Union created a United Kingdom. [2004]

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic

At rest. The sea is calm, the boats at anchor, the waves in abeyance, and the sands awash. It's not always so peaceful, though. Just imagine what the coast will look like the next time a hurricane comes through. Coastlines are just like people: subject to moodiness (often beyond their control). [1992]

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Telamons: using their heads, shoulders, and arms. Since they have no legs, you can be assured they will never abandon their posts! Never! Even though both ancient Greece and Rome inspired the birth of modernity, telemons are usually Greek in lineage. More skin = more Greek! [2011]

Monday, November 13, 2017

Piraeus, Greece

Telamons: male figures that serve as columns. Since these four are in the heart of Greece, however, we ought to call them by their Greek name: atlantes, the singular of which is atlas. Remember Atlas? From his perch in the far west, he supported the whole sky on his shoulders (though he is usually pictured as holding up the spherical earth). [2006]

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Telamons: male counterparts of caryatids. But, in the case of columns, there were working women before there were working men. Both, however, remind us that the Renaissance continued for centuries. Here is evidence of the worshipful reverence that nineteenth century architects had for ancient Greece and Rome. Even the garb is Greek. [2017]

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sofia, Bulgaria

Caryatids: using their heads (as caryatids do). In ersatz classical style, these princess guards invigilate the entrance to Princess Casino. But, they do raise a question. Did the ancient Greeks engage in gambling? Yes, even the gods (notably Hermes and Pan) were known to lay odds every now and then. [2010]

Friday, November 10, 2017

Warsaw, Poland

Caryatids: three of them. They are wearing the prescribed vestments for their ilk. As the bronze personifications of faith, hope, and love, they set the tone for a new era of Polish independence when institutions like the Supreme Court (seen here) were being rebuilt in the 1990s. [2003]

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Caryatids: two of them. They support a false balcony overlooking the main entrance to the house of a wealthy industrialist in Ponce. Their ancestors supported the false porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis. Good ideas never die. They are simply recycled: in this case, recycled by the neoclassical architects of the early 20th century. [2009]

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Granby, Quebec, Canada

Don't break your right angle. It means you can't drive. On the other hand, you do learn some new skills like navigating around on a knee scooter. Where did it happen? In the foothills of Mt. Toubkal. Coming down the mountain was a killer. Not really, cause I'm still alive. But, it was a breaker. As you can tell from the x-ray-ted picture below. [2009]

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

Street sweeper or street greeter? Judging from the smile, probably the latter. Actually, he's a municipal employee who keeps the city looking good, but he also keeps pedestrians happy by offering directions, snapping digitals, and grinning out loud. [2017]

Monday, November 6, 2017

Cuzco, Peru

Here, in one of the barrios that surround Cuzco, serious work is in progress, but at least the kids are there to help. What's going on? Incumbent upgrading, a process that is turning a so-called shantytown, into a regular neighborhood thanks to the hard work of the people who live there. [2001]

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sofia, Bulgaria

An innovation wave that began in California didn't stop until it reached Bulgaria and enveloped the world. In the United States, when life returned to normal after World War II, skateboarding was born as an off-season alternative to surfboarding. It is now such an established part of world culture that we assume it has always been with us. [2010]

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Havana, Cuba

In Cuba, politics is writ large on the streets and roads. The U.S.-orientation of the 1950s resulted in tons of classic Fords, Chevys, and Chryslers. The U.S.S.R.-orientation of the next three decades brought Ladas and Eastern European models.Thanks to the inventive genius of the Cuban people, all are still purring along. [2014]

Friday, November 3, 2017

Cleveland, New Mexico, USA

Derelict but delicious! A rusting flatbed truck seems like the perfect remembrance point for a Rocky Mountain valley that is slowly transitioning from agricultural gloria to residential exurbia. In excelsis Deo, of course. [2017]

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Elizabethton, Tennessee, USA

Surplus hay at the end of the harvest season? Donate it to the city for a museum-quality sculpture. It's just as good as Carrara marble even if it doesn't last as long. Surplus tires at the end . . .  Well, you get the idea! [2012]

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Oxford, Pennsylvania, USA

For Roman Catholics, the first of November is set aside for honoring 'all saints' who have made it to heaven. In practice, it's a day for cemetery visits. For Protestant Christians, All Saints Day (or the first Sunday in November) is used to honor all those who have passed on during the previous year. [2014]