Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

Home: Daytona Beach?–why not!

October 5, 2014

nancy and jantzenFunky stuff like this transform a beach town into pure fun. Nancy surveys the Jantzen girl.

I haven’t been in Daytona Beach forever, I have passed through dozens of times to make the connection to 95. I have headed for St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Savannah, North Carolina, DC, NYC and beyond. It took a friend from Texas, Nancy Walkup, to get me to go into Daytona Beach for an FAEA convention she was speaking at.

welcome daytonaDaytona calls itself  “the world’s most beautiful beach,’ and was the only beach I know with cars on it, and girls in thongs serving lunch off a truck.

riptide1 composite 2Lunch at Riptide, no extra charge for the fiberglass shark.

As Nancy probably had had no breakfast, we asked the valet’s for a place to have seafood. They suggested Riptide, a couple of miles down the road. My lunch cost a lot less than what I had to pay the Hilton for valet parking, when their regular lot was jam-packed.

big shark

big shark2

cruisingA nice sort of funkiness sets in with stuff like this.

Daytona may, or may not, have the world’s most beautiful beach, but over the years it has gotten itself more together and remained a pleasant, funky kind of beach town. It remains more that this little section of Atlantic Avenue. Beyond there is a big race track, major golfing, a convention center and a small, but international, airport.

jantzen goes swimming

Nancy was impressed by the cleanliness. I was impressed by the pretty, young things in bikini’s on the street. A nice place to go, when in the state. Especially without the hubbub of Bike Week or Spring Break.

yipesSuns out, guns out? I hope no one told George Zimmerman that.

thank you daytonaWell, that quick, I grabbed the bag got out the camera and managed to get the shot on my way out to I-4 doing 50 mph.


’14 New Mex Live: The Hill and beyond

July 7, 2014

DSC_0689The Hill will be hopping next weekend. The International Folk Market will be coming to town.

When art people refer to The Hill in Santa Fe, they are meaning Museum Hill, which sits neatly on the top of a residential section which overlooks old beautiful, green mountains. Museum Hill contains 4 museums, count them folks! I got to be in all four today. We went as part of our studies, but the festiveness of what will come next weeks already creeps in. That is nothing bad.

DSC_0682After a few unsuccessful tries other years, the Museum is open again!

I was lucky enough to finally get into the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. It is small, and seems to be emerging. It was in between a change in collections. Oh, yeah, no photos, boo hoo! Although you were allowed a few outside. The collection is devoted to understanding the role the Spanish, and in particular, the colonial Spanish rancho community made in helping to shape New Mexico. Examples of paintings, retablos, bultos, iron and tinwork, furniture, weaving are all represented. There is even a neat little house outside, which while not native to the area, is an example of a Mexican colonial house.


DSC_0661    DSC_0659


Two other museums, further down the road, were a little more busy. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is devoted to the study of native peoples, often by showing their art and artifacts and their culture. It sits directly across the Museum of International Folk Art. They were having a show on turquoise and its importance to pueblo culture. There were other photographic portraits as well of Indians beginning post-Civil War.


DSC_0707     DSC_0794

DSC_0694   DSC_0860Directly above (right) you can see the adire cloth designed by the artist who is part of the Between Two Worlds show.

Brasil & Arte Popular (Brazil and Folk Art) is a great show of several, in that it captures through folk art how diverse the Brazilian people are and how much has been poured into their culture. There are over 300 examples of their art, represented by the museum collection. They were also having a great opening for Between Two Worlds, which included haute cuisine. So imagine, you are going to visit a great museum, and unexpectedly they feed you, and what is the fare? Indian appetizers, African entrees, Japanese sushi and barbeque, El Salvadorian burrito and drink, and lots of pastry. Is this a great city, or what?




Our visit on the Hill ended with at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian which was initially the brainchild of Mary Cabot Wheelwright to preserve Navaho culture. Most of the work eventually was returned to the pueblo, and the Museum is still evolving into a museum of the American Indian.

DSC_0894A street procession to honor the Madonna.

DSC_0970Great display is what it’s all about. As ‘Nando says, it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look.

’14 New Mex Live: The Returning

July 5, 2014

DSC_0108We begin again, in another great restaurant, Andiamo, in another great year.

This is a great start if you come to Santa Fe. You may get a meal, you don’t much care for the price, but this is one place where it is hard to get a bad meal. But, remember, this is a place where some people talk goofily about things like ambiance. But the whole place is ambiance from the beauty of those mountains, to the color, to the skies. Returning here, now has become familiar and happy. Away from the east, the eastern nervousness both in physiological and human climate. There is something both vacationy and cerebral.


DSC_0081Beautiful, huh?


DSC_0306This is one of the most beautiful places to see this time of year. There is rain off somewhere as you can see here.

DSC_0294As I was coming from Albuquerque, I notice they depend even more on color than Santa Fe.




Enfin, Paris!: Flair

December 28, 2013

Little things like this give the French their own style.

Several years ago during the Bush administration very many negative things were said about the French. It dismayed me, because France, generally throughout our history has always been a good friend and ally. Unlike the UK, which we really have a strong bloodline with, and therefore are more like our kindest cousins, France often tells us what we need to hear. We don’t like it sometimes, but that to me, has always been the sign of a truly good friend.

DSC_0352The East Coast also gets those magical Spring gray days, but Paris always seem to have a little color in there somehow.

DSC_0720 notre damConcoctions like this are only “saved” by the beauty of setting and care in detail surrounding it.

highs and lowsFrom the highs of Sacré-Cœur Basilica to the lows of Tour Eiffel.

DSC_0010Or Versailles.

pyramidOr Le Louvre.

petit stairwayOr the Le Petit Palais.

visualizing greatness 2 rodin museum

visualizing greatness rodin museumEven goofballs (hem, me included) come across more magnifique en Paris!

musee rodin compositeWho puts one of the most beautiful male sculptures on a wooden stool base and gets away with it? Well, they do at the Musée Rodin.

 DSC_0701If we do something like this in NYC it has the element of Pop, in Paris it contains elements of the surreal.

element of goofySometimes the element of goofy.

DSC_0467Or sentimental.

moulin1Or ooh la lah.

zOr whatever.

What the French have always done is have style. Style is something everyone has, but some style trumps other style, just because. The English have a definitive style, so do the Italians. Americans really do have style, but it is something else. A bit of brass well placed, a certain way with putting words together or a tilt of a head. Paris drips of it, they don’t even know it. The West in the US is never self-conscious about its style. That is different in a place like NYC where they are always self-conscious about it. And what is flair? It is just a certain way of being self-confident about your style, and doing it just a tad more.

strange compositeIn the Metro (left), an hommage to Cartier Bresson at the Pompidon’t (right).


kids two viewsDifferent takes on childhood.

en metro

While I think many things within the Paris Metro are wonderful, I would never discount NYC for the mural work done over the past 20 years. The dreary long walk in that connecting tunnel in 42nd Street, became another planet with interesting tilework and imagery of people walking. This reminded me of it.

espace dali

DSC_0814Silly, but fun. Why can’t my torso look like his!

Merci bien, Paris. Le stupide jeune homme qui est devenu le vieux fou va vous aimer à jamais.








Another nice thing about Chicago: The Windy

August 15, 2013

shiver me timbersShiver me timbers, matey, the Captain addresses the passengers

Although water has always been a theme, boats are rarely part of it. Some people live on boats. My contact has been simply trying to remain vertical as the old ferry plowed into the wharf, or trying not to get blown into the harbor when winds hit 40. We spent an hour plus in Lake Michigan on the Tall Ship Windy.


postcard1Each view becomes a postcard

chi lakeMy favorite, the color of the water is always unique

lighthouseHopper, eat your heart out

water purifcationIt looked like a circus, but it is a water purification station

happinessSome people just have a great time.

shiver in redIf the real captain is wearing red, who is steering?

The true beauty was simply in the fact that out of the third largest US city, is this beautiful lake, which people boat and swim off of. Something unheard of in parts of the East. Another beautiful thing about Chicago. Too bad the juice ran out of my battery midway. Arrrg!

Latha math, Glaschu: Glasgow Subway

July 28, 2013

subway1It is the third subway to open, in 1896, beating NYC by 8 years.

Some of my earliest memories as a kid was riding the NYC Rapid Transit. I remember some lines as real dark (probably the old IND lines) and still having some kind of woven plastic seats that when broken stuck you in the legs. I also remember the “modern” cars with round windows between cars and red Naugahyde seats which were immediately switchbladed and done away with. So anytime I can ride any subway system, I get a good fix on a city.

subway map

The two lines that predated Glasgow’s subway was the London Underground and Budapest’s Yellow Line done for their Exposition of the city. This system was ideal in that it was a circular. That it has one central platform with two directions, referred to as the outer and inner circle. The system has changed very little, as the city has an extensive bus and railroad running with this.

Below is part of two different “ads” from Riverside Museum showing the building of the tunnels and the stations as they were. Notice the skyline now done away with in stations, I heard some stations years ago were very dark. Most stations I was on, still had one platform, originally wood, but today, I assume concrete with tile covering.

subway poster parts together

Luckily I went to the Riverside Museum, which covers transportation and they had two cars from the olden days. One is like in the color illustration above.

subway buchanan street stationThis one is at Buchanan St. Station.

subway trans earlier exteriorAt Riverside Museum, from what I read, painting exterior detail was only on one side of the train, since the trains were only seen from one side!

subway trans earlier interior2

subway trans earlier interior

subway trans earlier interio3These Victorian interiors were very interesting, note the exit door was in a vestibule area and gated with wrought iron.

From the exterior shots, you get a glimpse of how the train shape had to conform to the tunnel it traveled in. The wood seats were good support and overall the decor tried to be parlourlike. The later models below go into leather seats and remind one more of railroads.

subway trans later exteriorThe interior of the newer train.

subway trans later interiorNote the leather seats, they ran a movie to make it more real (below)!

subway trans later interior2

The posters (below) were also from the Riverside Museum.

subway poster 3

subway posters

I tried to get a shot at Kelvinhall Station, whose shell had been disassembled, of the original struction underneath, but it really did not show up, but here it is anyway.

subway kelvinhall

Today cars still have the roundness, which cut into the doors. In some stations there is a second platform which was built to the right of the inner line to accommodate more people in the station. This was probably at Buchanan St. where I watched people exit on a separate platform (photo below).

sub train

The cars are orange and grey, as is the signage for the subway, sometimes referred to as Clockwork Orange. For £1.40* a ride (£2.60** all day), it is a fast and easy way to travel, in a city that is great to walk around in.


*£1.40 =   $2.15                        **£2.60 = $4.00

Live from Santa Fe: boo-hoo and bye. . .

July 10, 2013

DSC_0158The New Mexican Museum of Art

Tomorrow is a day of rushing off, tying loose ends and waiting for passage through security. By the time I walk back in to the unbearable humidity of home, it will be about one pm and my mind will be elsewhere. I will be looking for other adventures and settling back into the southeast coast way of life: shopping malls, parking lots, flat but lush vegetation and no building older than 20 years.

DSC_0156The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, unpretentious in setting, complex inside as she was.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, like the New Mexican Museum of Art, and the Museum of International Folk Art, have all loosened policies on photographing, so that becomes real interesting. The new show at the Museum is about her art and architecture. There is that great shot Ansel Adams did of her laughing, many paintings that were not photographed as they were part of other collections. But what you could shoot, well, that was great if you wanted to. As usual, I did.

DSC_0147O’Keeffe’s Black Place, Grey and Pink reaffirms her terrific design and color ability.

Boo-hoo! One goes back to one’s life after New Mexico, but not quite the same. Even 39 years ago, with black and white photos, I knew the colors I saw would never be quite the same as other desert. I must be a freak for red oxide. It is just like the fact that the white light, I saw in places like Miami, just two years earlier, Florida would never quite appear the same to me. Both places have color in shadows something you might never see in other places. O’Keeffe got it so right. 

DSC_0109 DSC_0080DSC_0101Ooh la lah!

We had lunch at Tomasita’s, as usual the food and service is great. The hominy with green chiles make your mouth sing.

DSC_0234We missed the fun at the Bandstand having gone walking looking for the old gelato place.



DSC_0246Various views of La Fonda.

La Fonda on the Plaza is the landmark hotel diagonally across the Plaza near the marker that tells you it is the end of the Santa Fe Trail. My friends used to like to go up to the roof and drink. Today, we only visited the lounge for dessert. I have passed it dozens of times, this was the first chance I had to go in and see it up close.

DSC_0192Even in its simplicity, I will miss it.

‘Round Santa Fe: Tumbleweed, etc.

July 9, 2013

DSC_0931From the speeding bus along 68.

So we start fresh, boarding at 7:30 for parts north. Being in Santa Fe is one thing, but beauty north of it is incredible. I have been north to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, but not to Taos. This one deserves a blog (eventually), both for its beauty in the Pueblo, but certain politics, that made it happen and make it work today. It has been a little overcast, and some rain. Yes, there was actually rain in Santa Fe today, and the Shorty’s house rainwater was captured in a giant pail and a galvanized tub!

Remember these images are raw, and eventually will be photoshopped and corrected.

DSC_0850Most of the gang, outside Taos proper at the Shorty Home. More to come on this one.

We have been working with Pollen Shorty this week. She was kind enough to invite us to her parents, model and potter Bernadette Track and sculptor Robert Shorty, for an open pit firing. So not only did we get great beans, fried bread and cinnamon buns, cooked by Bernadette herself, but we saw recognized artists in their community, and the world as well. Her grandma is a great soul as well, and someone whose work we see her work in books. Later, when the shots are not raw.

DSC_0768This is how it’s done.

DSC_0664Taos doorway

DSC_0754Needs a little less light.

We were lucky enough to go to the Taos pueblo in between. This is another interesting turn in events. The skies went from a little cloudy to that sharp light that produces hard angular shadows. This another one to blog later.

DSC_0968The arresting image of Roxanne Swentzell’s Remote Woman.

DSC_0999Roxanne Swentzell’s Tower, both studio and gallery, is an interesting series of spaces with inteactions of light, texture and materials which enhance her work.

DSC_0063As well as the sculpture garden on the outside.

Roxanne Swentzell’s Tower Gallery was built by her and family from self-made adobe brick and adobe plaster stucco. It is on 84/285 in Pojoaque. It is an interesting structure, considering casinos down the road, and commercial buildings. The place is beautiful with it’s beautiful adobe walls and beamed ceilings. The display is contemporary and interesting. She could teach a lesson to the big boys on how to display sculpture! The cut out windows remind me of Wright. Anyone interesting in original art in New Mexico, needs to know who she is!

DSC_0231Simon Balkey at the close of the set

A long and interesting day, we wind up at the bandstand for part of one performance Simon Balkey & The Honky Tonk Crew (above) and a second terrific one by James “Slim” Hand, and a great band behind him (below). I’m not one for country, but at least if I do it, I love that traditional sound, and a great male voice to go with it.


It is always fun firing pieces, although out of 6, 2 disappeared and 1 was broken apart, but fixable. As we were using micaceous clay and going with a pit firing which led to some reduction, some of the pieces took on an odd patina. One with some smoke, I liked a lot because it didn’t get ridiculously black. This trip made me realize some of the things I love about here, and some of the things I miss about home, Florida.

Snowdapest: Travelling

April 6, 2013

fisherman's bastion

The Halászbástya (Fisherman’s Bastion) on the Buda side, a sightseer’s dream, gives a great view of the Pest side of the city.

I will go great depths to travel. So when I heard that it was in the low thirties and chance of snow in Budapest, I gave up on my black suit and packed a heavy coat and a ton of sweaters. Hey, it was on a tour, and 2 days only. So Janene and I stomped around in low, fish bastbut steady snow for two days. In a way, I never mind fall or winter, because it kills some of the foliage and you can see the architecture better. This time, the grayness of light and the white blanket of snow lent itself in odd ways.

castle area

Krisztina said the gaslight is kept on all the time in Varhegy (Castle Hill area), because there are no more lamplighters.

Budapest, is not quite what I expected. Post WWII, post-Communist, Budapest reminds one a little of its roots to Vienna, with a lot of its own style. Most building are of that style of elaborate concrete stucco over brick. Most rusticated in that Italian style done in Baroque style. Some in later Art Nouveau style.and ut comp

stucco compolsite

A walk along the Andrássy út reveals both elaborate stucco design, as well the understructure of some buildings in disrepair.

cas hill destructionReminders of WWII, in the Castle Hill area.

It is amazing to see this city which survived one of the worst barrages of gunfire and destruction during WWII, as well as gunfire suffered from tank attacks during the 1956 Revolution against the Soviets.

zoo compositeThe beautiful Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert (Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden) art nouveau buildings designed by Kornél Neuschloss and Károly Kós.

opera stationOriginal subway stop along the yellow line

This little gem of a station, Opera, is part of one of the oldest subway lines ever made. The black and white photo below actually shows the onsight construction along Andrássy út. It is only predated by the London line.

subwayThese are only a couple of gems of a most amazing city, both for architecture, planning and engineering.

No chichi: Chicago, the spaces in between

February 24, 2013

Museum of Contemporary Art designed by Josef Paul Kleihues

I am fascinated with spaces and always have been. I was born in a city where you can get a crook in your neck from the verticality of the place. Chicago is more kind on your neck, even though home of the skyscapers. Sam Alexander, my design and film teacher said, the job of the book designer is to look like you aren’t there, and all the while you are guiding them through spaces. The same holds true for architects and interior designers.

Museum of Contemporary Art stairwell view. Carp optional.

picas and airport

The famous Picasso sculpture, around which the skateboarders go, and office workers sitting having lunch. Murals at the Midway. Both show how a city thinks about it space, what it utilizes.

redefine spacesHow it may redefine spaces.

wright and downtownWhich space is more famous?*

downtown chiTypical, yet not so typical urban.


downtown chi 2Or how spaces exist when someone is not there.

The shot directly above was in a storefront. Notice the placement of red.

mus compOr how self-aware a city is.

The shot above was done within the exhibition, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, at the Museum of Contemporary Art.


*For more on one of its giants.