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Archive for October, 2006

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Placemarkers: October 22

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Summit, NJ:
Travelers Between Cultures showcases a remarkable global phenomenon in the world of contemporary art: works by artists as travelers between Chinese and American (New York) cultures. At the Visual Arts Center of NJ, through November 26.

Redwood City, CA:
A mega business deal puts Denny’s on the map.

Interstate 10, Texas:
Going 80 from Sierra Blanca to Ft. Hancock

New York, Boston, Hartford:
Cities in Transition

From New York Magazine:
The Get-Me-Out-of-Here Winter Planner

Travel-themed gifts: Vintage Atlas Map Envelopes and Thrush Thrush Passport Case

What Lies Within

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jersey Joy

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

The Jersey Shore in autumn is one of my favorite things. I’ve been to Sea Isle, Ocean City and Bay Head since late August, and this weekend I made a quick overnight trip to Long Beach Island. Before leaving this morning we visited the Barnegat Lighthouse at the north end of LBI. I had time to snap a few photos and add them to my Jersey Shore set. The New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge was in progress. What a great weekend to travel the coast! I’d like to participate next year — and hope the weather will be just as nice.

» Jersey Shore Victorian Bed & Breakfast – The Bentley Inn is an 1886 Victorian Bed & Breakfast located just 3 houses from the ocean in the historic town of Bay Head.

Placemarkers: October 15

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
Christ the Redeemer, visited by over 300,000 tourists each year, has been declared a Catholic sanctuary on its 75th birthday: “The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro says it wants to reclaim what it calls the sacred sense of the monument. This means couples will now be able to marry in a small chapel at the foot of the towering structure.”

Voldrop, The Netherlands:
Home to Maharishi Mahesh’s capital of his Global Country of World Peace. The yogi is also convinced that every country’s capital is wrongly located. In India and America, his organization has bought land near what it calls each country’s “brahmastan” — or the geographical and energy center. The future capital of the United States would be Smith Center, Kansas, population 1,931. (from Outer Peace)

Sicily, Italy:
Plans to build the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world over the Messina Straits have been dropped.

Walworth County, Wisconsin:
Olympic sailing, equestrian, and bicycling events in 2016?

Music with a Message: The Ivory Coast’s Alpha Blondy, Sicily’s Carmen Consoli and Yogonostalgia anthems.

Friday Night Photo Explosion

Friday, October 13th, 2006

The Europe pixs keep coming…the batch I uploaded tonight are from visits to Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands, France and Belgium. But none of these recent shots were taken by me. My traveling companion and good pal CJ used her digital camera to capture these scenes. This one of the Danube and Chain Bridge in Budapest is my favorite.

Lots more here.

I’m trying really hard…

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

…to ignore the fact that I seem to have LOST my very precious stamp-filled PASSPORT!

During five months of European roaming, she never strayed, not even once. We were excellent traveling companions. But sometime soon after we returned home TOGETHER in July, she ducked off somewhere and has yet to return. Either she slipped behind a piece of furniture to chill for awhile, or she set out on an adventure all her own, without saying goodbye.

(Maybe she ran off with one of those fine looking border patrol guards in Sturovo, Gyekenyes or Koprivnica.)

The awful truth is that I think I accidentally THREW HER OUT.

I refuse to believe it and hope that she will resurface someday, somewhere in this house. But eventually I’ll have to admit that she, and all her colorful stamps, may be gone for good. Better that she ran off now, I know, as opposed to when we were traveling abroad.

But a big bummer nonetheless.

Placemarkers: October 8

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

From Whereabouts Press: Japan, A Traveler’s Literary Companion. Hear an interview with editor Jeffrey Angles on NPR.

Possible tours of nuclear plants

Slovenia: Honeymoon in Triglav, the 1970’s travelogue Life in Europe Today and Know your Tolars from The Glory of Carniola.

Paris, France:
Plans are underway to create the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation. The Frank Gehry designed building is on target for completion by 2010.

Elciego, Spain:
Another Gehry creation, the Rioja City of Wine opened last month at the Marques de Riscal winery, located only an hour from south of Bilbao.

Barcelona, Spain:
Artistic tests for human statues on Las Ramblas

Brindisi, Italy:
The hijaked Turkish Air jet had four Miss Globe International 2006 contestants aboard: Miss India, Miss Singapore, Miss Malaysia and Miss Philippines. The contest took place in Albania on October 1. The winner was Miss Venezuela.

Random Celebrity Roundup:
Madonna in Malawi and Angelina in India, not Pakistan

NYC: NMAI and Battery Park

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006


Today I came good on a belated birthday gift to dad — he picked the museum, and I paid. Lucky me, he picked a free one — The National Museum of the American Indian located in the U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green. NMAI is part of The Smithsonian, and has three facilities — DC, MD and this one near Battery Park.

We got a first look at the brand new Diker Pavilion for Native Arts and Culture on the ground floor, which will be officially inaugurated tomorrow night. It’s a stunning room with a slick modern design, that somehow does not seem out of place in the old Custom House building. The exhibit Beauty Surrounds Us circles around this new performance and art space.

The historic Beaux Arts building itself is worth a visit (I really Reginald Marsh’s maritime murals on the rotunda dome), but the exhibits are great too. The clay/ceramic section was impressive, but I enjoyed the Indigenous Motivations exhibit best — it’s a collection of objects created after 1950, demonstrating how “Native artists continue to be influenced by tradition, innovation and art.” There are snow goggles made of caribou bone, elk antler spoons, amazing Peruvian gourds (mates) engraved with microscopic designs and amate bark paper paintings.

Dad and I both picked up on the many references to clothing as identifier — several pieces in the exhibit show how clothing design clearly signifies what tribe or region a Native belongs to, like Mayan huipils. We expected the exhibits to focus more on New York Indian tribes, but were pleased to see and learn things about indigenous groups from all over the Americas, from Inuit to Andean. There is one piece that stood out to me from all the rest, but I’m going to research it a bit more and share it in a future post.

After about 1 1/2 hours touring the museum, I treated Dad to lunch and we headed to Battery Park, where I have not been in years. We walked through the Castle Clinton National Monument and saw Fritz Koenig’s Sphere, which once stood between the World Trade Towers. The park was busy and the ferrys full as school groups and tourists departed for Liberty and Ellis Islands. On my next visit to this part of town I hope to do the same, I think it’s been more than 15 years.

The weather was nice, a bit humid actually, but still a great day to explore this part of Lower Manhattan. I love birthday gifts that I get to enjoy too 🙂

One Safe Place

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard this song, but a friend recently included these lines in a letter to me:

How many roads we’ve travelled
How many dreams we’ve chased
Across sand and sky and gravel
Searching for one safe place

— Marc Cohn

Placemarkers: October 1

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Paris, France:
Toni Morrison will serve as guest curator at the Louvre for three weeks beginning in November. The Foreigner’s Home explores how artists confront identity and belonging. Morrison explains it as, “…an idea I’ve been working with about how American writers have encountered and confronted and imagined the other, or imagined who was the foreigner — a particularly interesting query because the Americans themselves were foreigners historically in this country.” More info here and here.

Tuxedo, New York:
Sterling Forest State Park has a fantastic welcome center and a nice variety of events on tap for October. If you’d rather do a hike on your own, the visitor’s center has maps and an interactive model of moderate and difficult trails. I suggest the 4.2 mile Sterling Lake Loop as a nice introduction to the park. It’s a good way to get your barings. One note of caution: hunting season begins soon, so be sure to check with park rangers about trail rules and wear your blaze orange!

Baltimore, Maryland:
Another reason to miss my second home. The Baltimore Museum of Art now boasts free admission all year long. Other museums are free for October and November as part of Freefall Baltimore.

China, Italy, Brazil, Australia:
These are the days I wish I had cable. Discovery Atlas began this evening on The Discovery Channel — did anyone see it? I learned about it at the movies the other day, the preview was spectacular. Each Sunday night in October a different country will be “revealed”. I’ll check out the online videos this week so I can at least get a glimpse of what the series is about.