Category Archives: Places I’d Like to Visit

I’m Back from Fall Euro-Break 2017

Well, that was refreshing.

I went to Budapest, where I wandered along different streets, breathed different air, and listened to different voices.

And now I’m back in Washington, revitalized, with a clear head and a renewed sense of purpose.

More to come over the next few weeks.

You know, I don’t think those little planes you see on airline flight monitors are drawn to scale….


More Images from the Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo Experience

I’ve found more images from this year’s Carrières de Lumières program, which features the works of Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo.

Even these still photographs are awesome. Seeing them in motion, with a soundtrack that ranges from Carl Orff to Vivaldi to Led Zeppelin, must be amazing. There’s a brief video at the above link that will give you a hint of what visitors to the site will experience.

(All photos found on the Net.)

“The Fantastic and Wonderful World of Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo” is open now, and will run through 7 January 2018.

“The Fantastic and Wonderful World of Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo”

This year’s Carrières de Lumières program looks like a stunner. It’s called “The Fantastic and Wonderful World of Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo”, and it runs from 4 March 2017 to 7 January 2018.

Here’s a peek:

Carrières de Lumières is an immersive art and music installation which is staged in what used to be a quarry, in the French village Les Baux de Provence. The massive rock walls of the quarry form the backdrop for a son et lumière program that changes each year.

I’ve posted items about the 2014 Klimt and Vienna and the 2015 Chagall: Midsummer Night’s Dreams programs, and about how much I’d like to work for Culturespaces, the European company that designs and manages events like this for 13 monuments and museums, most of them in France. The only things that are standing in my way are my total lack of artistic talent and my residence on the wrong continent.

Complementing the son et lumière this summer are four monumental sculptures by Philip Haas, which will be on display in the Château des Baux-de-Provence from 23 May through 30 September. The sculptures of the giant heads are inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s “The Four Seasons” paintings.

“Oh, to be in Provence, Now that Summer’s there”
—Close, but not quite by Robert Browning

Cichetti at Cantinone Gia Schiavi



Let me tell you about cichetti.

Cichetti are finger food—small snacks, usually just a bite or two on a piece of bread, eaten standing up in a cicchetti bar or a restaurant. It’s common practice to spend an early evening moving from one venue to another, sampling as you go.

They’re served through the day, so it’s also possible to put together a lunch composed of a few cichetti. That’s what I did.

Venetians tend to take light breakfasts and have late lunches. In between, a couple of cichetti make for a good mid-morning snack.

Cantinone Gia Schiavi is a wine bar and a wine shop that has a reputation for making some of the best cichetti in Venice. Entering it was like going to a party—it was packed with people drinking wine and socializing. No seats or tables; everybody stood and mingled.

I selected the half-dozen cichetti in the picture above, and carried them outside, to eat by the canal.

After lunch, I walked over to the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice’s great art gallery, and spent the rest of the day there.

Bruegel Comes to Bath

Oh, to be in England.

The Holburne Museum in Bath has opened what looks like a glorious exhibition called Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty, which is designed to “unravel the complex Bruegel family tree, revealing the originality and diversity of Antwerp’s famous artistic dynasty across four generations through 29 works, including masterpieces from the National Gallery, Royal Collection Trust, the National Trust, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.”

I’m a fierce admirer of Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and a somewhat less fierce admirer of Pieter Brueghel the Younger, but I’m embarrassingly ignorant of the relationships among the many members of their extended Flemish artistic family. I wish I could see this exhibition, but I’ll probably have to settle for the catalogue.

Here are some pictures from the exhibition:

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, "Visit to a Farmhouse"

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, “Visit to a Farmhouse”

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, "Spring"

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, “Spring”

Jan Brueghel the Elder, "A Stoneware Vase of Flowers"

Jan Brueghel the Elder, “A Stoneware Vase of Flowers”

Jan van Kessel the Elder, "Three Butterflies, a Beetle and other Insects, with a Cutting of Ragwort"

Jan van Kessel the Elder, “Three Butterflies, a Beetle and other Insects, with a Cutting of Ragwort”

(All of the above photographs are from the museum’s website. The image at the top of this posting is Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s “Wedding Dance in the Open Air”.)

In Bruges Bath

The last time I was in England, I spent a delightful day in Bath, exploring the Roman Baths that gave the city its name…
…meeting some charming, friendly people at the bright and airy Bath Abbey…

Bath d1

…and hoping to run into Jane Austin, although that wouldn’t have done me any good, since we’ve never been formally introduced.

There’s never enough time, is there? A visit to a place like Bath should last at least the length of a summer. I wish I could have stayed longer, and I hope to return some day, but I had promises to keep….

Winter Wonderland

Art Daily posted this dreamy image of Marienburg Castle and the surrounding snow-covered forest today. The castle is in northern Germany, and the picture was taken on 18  January 2017 with a drone.

Art Daily credits the image to Julian Stratenschulte / dpa / AFP.

Beautiful, isn’t it? I immediately added it to my “Must Visit” list.

Here’s another view:


It reminded me of this old meme:

Christmas in the Upside Down

The Washingtonian calls it “DC’s most popular pop-up.” On the day after Thanksgiving, owner Derek Brown converts his three adjoining bars-with-light-snacks in Washington’s Shaw district into the “Miracle on Seventh Street,” aka “The Christmas Bar.”

The party runs through New Year’s Eve, but even now, according to Reddit, the nightly line waiting to get in can run to ~150 people.

The part of this year’s event that’s getting the most attention is the area devoted to last summer’s Stranger Things, complete with a Ouija board wall,  Winona Ryder’s erratically strung Christmas lights, and a celebration of Barb, the show’s unlikely break-out character. (She deserved better.)



All photos found on the Net.