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…

A True Artisan Crafts A Shoji Room

My house has a shoji room. A room that’s special because dedicated artisans from an old country crafted it. To me, its walls are an homage to traditional craftsmanship rarely practiced now, replaced by machines which, I admit, can spew out very good products. I find this shoji room a thing of beauty but much…

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…

Wars-R-Us in Polish Posters

All art in this article are the works of Pawel Kuczynski. The United States no longer produces much. Except wars. Since World War II we have been producing war after war, more or less continually engaged in actual war or in semi-war, getting ready for the next active engagement, assumed to lie just around the…

For the Holiday Season: Pieter Brueghel, the Elder

True, you may not know him. His surviving œuvre numbers less than fifty, most of it at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. He did father other artistic, probably better-recognized Brueghels. And years ago, he had another five minutes of fame in a film called ‘The Mill and the Cross.” The film is an imaginative romp…

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…

Polish Poster Art: Take a look

I don’t know much about Polish art, but have at least heard that Polish poster art is stunning. It has been used for political purposes (those of resistance movements, for instance) and entertainment (notably, movies). To take my first steps into Polish poster art I haphazardly searched and found The Legacy Of Polish Poster Design.…