Tag Archives: architecture

Blockbuster Book: Railroad Stations

Destination: United States

Book: America’s Great Railroad Stations. (NEW Oct. 2011)Photos by Roger Straus III and text by Ed Breslin and Hugh Van Dusen.

North Bennington Vermont, Photo by Russel Strauss III
North Bennington Vermont,(1880) Photo by Roger Straus III

Toward the end of the year, we can count on some blockbuster books emerging to tempt us as we do holiday shopping.  I already told you about one of my favorites, in the Ten Perfect Gifts for Travelers Who Read post. Here’s another one. Continue reading Blockbuster Book: Railroad Stations

Travel Photo Thursday: A Mystery in Paris

Paris mystery
Paris mystery

We saw this oddity at the Paris Mint–La Monnaie de Paris, which is located on Quai de Conti, at the corner of Guénégaud, the street where our apartment was located when we traveled to Paris last September. These iron bars are on the Guénégaud side of the building.

Here’s another shot:

An Oddity on a Paris Street
An Oddity on a Paris Street

Any architectural scholars out there who can explain what this is??

UPDATE 10/26/2011: Still trying to figure out the Paris Mystery Photo?  I accidentally stumbled across what seems to be a sensible answer at this web site which is in Italian. Google translation is not terrific–but at least you’ll be able to figure it out. The Italian site explains similar structures in Venice. A deterrent it is–and although some still say deterrent of urination, the open work in my Paris Mystery Photo leads me to think that the first explanation they offer is more sensible. Can’t really see how this structure would deter a liquid stream! But it would deter a bad guy from lurking. Richard Mussler Wright, in the very first comment to this post, guessed as much. Nice going Richard.

These photos are part of Travel Photo Thursday, and you can see more travel photos by going to Budget Travelers’ Sandbox and checking the list of participants at the bottom of her post.

Once we left Paris, we traveled to Normandy and Brittany. If you have not looked at my post about three “royal” stays in Brittany–please take a look at the Girls Getaway site.


Travel to the New Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum beneath the Parthenon
The Acropolis Museum beneath the Parthenon

Tomorrow, at long last, is the day. After a week of sneak-previews, the Acropolis Museum (having dropped the “new”, I believe) will open to the public–residents, tourists, everybody. The new web site opened with much fanfare. In typical Greek fashion, it was mostly unfinished as I write this in June 2009. Whole pages are blank. It reminds me of the houses you see in the countryside in Greece–concrete block walls partly finished with rebar sticking out the top. But eventually it will get done. The most essential page–where you buy tickets–is finished. And this is a big deal, because this is the first museum in Athens to offer tickets on the Internet.

Since I cannot travel to Greece for the opening, I’ve been traveling around the web gathering news.  So much is being written in newspapers, magazines and on web sites about the Acropolis Museum, about Greece, about the British Museum, about the British Museum vs. the Acropolis Museum…… that I decided just to hand you some references and let you go off to read these good sources, instead of risking repetitive redundancy. If you read nothing else, please read the Vanity Fair article by Christopher Hitchens.

  • Reuters reports that 200 fragments are returned To Greece by various European countries. (https://reut.rs/2Q0gPNl)
  • A blog called “looting matters” that discusses the ethical concerns of collection of antiquities (https://lootingmatters.blogspot.com)
  • Vanity Fair’s Christopher Hitchens weighs in.(https://bit.ly/2z9riMK)

Note: Hitchens wrote a book called  The Parthenon Marbles: The Case for Reunification, and it is worth quoting a couple of paragraphs from his article in Vanity Fair, particularly since just yesterday we were talking about Euripedes and Sophocles, Medea and Antigone:

“When we think of Athens in the fifth century b.c., we think chiefly of the theater of Euripides and Sophocles and of philosophy and politics—specifically democratic politics, of the sort that saw Pericles repeatedly re-elected in spite of complaints that he was overspending. And it’s true that Antigone was first performed as the Parthenon was rising, and Medea not all that long after the temple was finished. From drama to philosophy: Socrates himself was also a stonemason and sculptor, and it seems quite possible that he too took part in raising the edifice.”

“If the Mona Lisa had been sawed in two during the Napoleonic Wars and the separated halves had been acquired by different museums in, say, St. Petersburg and Lisbon, would there not be a general wish to see what they might look like if re-united? If you think my analogy is overdrawn, consider this: the body of the goddess Iris is at present in London, while her head is in Athens. The front part of the torso of Poseidon is in London, and the rear part is in Athens. And so on. This is grotesque.”