Strasbourg, French-German Fusion Alsatian City

Fusion of French and German cultures has been at the core of being a Strasbourgeois. That is what a Strasbourgeois would tell you―the cab drivers, merchants, and museum ‘gardiens,’ for instance. They embrace the idea as the way things naturally are. This blended identity of the Strasbourgeois may defy attempts to resolve the question of…

Obecni Dum, Prague’s Unheralded Treasure

Prague has a real treasure “hidden” from most tourist groups herded into the city for a day or three. The current entry on Prague in Wikipedia doesn’t mention it. And, though it’s listed as a top attraction, Lonely Planet does not showcase it as a highlight to a Prague visit. Regrettable, I’d say. Especially if…

Gothic Churches: All The Celestial Light We Can See

A fire nearly destroyed the iconic Cathédrale Notre Dame in Paris—arguably the most famous cathedral in the world. Current efforts to restore it have been hampered, like most of life nowadays, by a deadly virus. Now that we all have to stop and take many deep—hopefully cleansing—breaths, we have the luxury to wonder about its…

Bodega Bay Days

The light in Bodega Bay amazes. While it can display its full intense spectrum, casting a rainbow of shadows on everything it floods, it’s never harsh. It caresses the ocean with shimmering silver or imbues it with dark impenetrable blue. In the brilliant days of fall and the elongating days of spring, the sun shines…

Austria—Harmonious, Rich, Aristocratic

We like Austria which we’ve visited twice. But language is a problem although certain German words seem to have obvious equivalents in English. Food was sometimes a problem for us as well. Austria is a meat-eating country. It tends to serve everything in large portions. And that flower-shaped mound of whipped cream seems to top…

Bohemian Paris: Myth or Fact?

How do you imagine Paris? For the artist in many of us, it is a Bohemian Paris we conjure up and even yearn for. But is Bohemian Paris merely an illusion? What is a Bohemian, anyway? In the popular view, she is someone unconventional, carefree, and usually involved in the arts. A free spirit who…

The Language of Undulating Forms: Iconic Buildings

Undulating forms are beautiful, sensuous, and seductive. You often find them in nature—in the curve of a woman’s body, the outline of a camel’s neck and hump, the motif on a sidewalk mosaic, etc. They appeal to an aesthetic sense in all of us. Artists have been aware of this appeal for a long time.…

Remembrance of Things Polish: The Power of Art

October 2012. I stood in the Bibliothèque Polonaise on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris, looking at the works of Andrzej Kreütz-Majewski. Captivated. Unsettled. His images haunted me and I had to find out more about him. An operatic and theatrical scenery designer, and professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Kreütz-Majewski was…