Category Archives: Art

Stained Glass – April 30th

One more for the road – let’s finish April on an upbeat note, with something beautiful.

A couple of weeks ago the world watched in horror as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned. The next morning, despite all of the terrible damage, I and millions of others around the world were gratified to see how much was saved, including the giant rose stained glass window.

I’ve never been to Notre Dame and I regret missing the opportunity. However, I have been to other cities in Europe and I have seen other cathedrals.

For reasons we don’t need to go into here I’m not a church goer, but I do love art, architecture, and things of magnificent beauty. There are many things on this planet that fit that criteria. Included in my list would be cathedrals, and in particular, their stained glass windows.

In 2006 I had the opportunity to visit Prague, and my experiences there made it one of my favorite cities. A special treat was a few hours spent spent touring the Prague Cathedral.

So while I can’t share pictures of Notre Dame, I can share a third set of pictures of the stained glass windows from Prague. (See the previous two days’ posts for the first two sets.)

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Stained Glass – April 29th

Let’s finish April on an upbeat note, with something beautiful.

A couple of weeks ago the world watched in horror as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned. The next morning, despite all of the terrible damage, I and millions of others around the world were gratified to see how much was saved, including the giant rose stained glass window.

I’ve never been to Notre Dame and I regret missing the opportunity. However, I have been to other cities in Europe and I have seen other cathedrals.

For reasons we don’t need to go into here I’m not a church goer, but I do love art, architecture, and things of magnificent beauty. There are many things on this planet that fit that criteria. Included in my list would be cathedrals, and in particular, their stained glass windows.

In 2006 I had the opportunity to visit Prague, and my experiences there made it one of my favorite cities. A special treat was a few hours spent spent touring the Prague Cathedral.

So while I can’t share pictures of Notre Dame, I can share pictures of the stained glass windows from Prague.

There’s a very “Game of Thrones” look to that silhouette…

 

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Stained Glass – April 28th

Let’s finish April on an upbeat note, with something beautiful.

A couple of weeks ago the world watched in horror as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned. The next morning, despite all of the terrible damage, I and millions of others around the world were gratified to see how much was saved, including the giant rose stained glass window.

I’ve never been to Notre Dame and I regret missing the opportunity. However, I have been to other cities in Europe and I have seen other cathedrals.

For reasons we don’t need to go into here I’m not a church goer, but I do love art, architecture, and things of magnificent beauty. There are many things on this planet that fit that criteria. Included in my list would be cathedrals, and in particular, their stained glass windows.

In 2006 I had the opportunity to visit Prague, and my experiences there made it one of my favorite cities. A special treat was a few hours spent spent touring the Prague Cathedral.

So while I can’t share pictures of Notre Dame, I can share pictures of the stained glass windows from Prague.

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No Context For You – April 23rd

Some days that whole “reality” thing seems a little bit less … “real.”

Is it that we can’t hold on to it as well those days, or that we don’t want to? Is it slipping from our fingers or are we dropping it like a hot potato?

What we have vs. what we want.

The lack of sleep isn’t helping.

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Plus ça Change

While watching the horror of Notre-Dame burning in Paris, along with the sadness of losing both Gene Wolfe and Owen Garriott in the same day, and then hearing that the Falcon Heavy center booster was lost (after successfully landing on Of Course You Know I Love You but then breaking loose in heavy seas on the way back to Florida) I was especially saddened to see that the way we all treat disasters like this is the same way we all seem to treat everything these days – HORRIBLY.

The trolls.

The stupidity.

The racism.

The hatred.

It’s all there.

It’s an attempt at humor to say, “This is why we can’t have good things.” But maybe it’s true. Maybe for all of the wonderful things we can do as a species, such as spending hundreds of years to build places like Notre-Dame or landing first stage rockets on barges in the mid-Atlantic, maybe we’re just too ugly, too stupid, too immature to deserve such “nice things.”

I don’t want to believe that.

But there’s an awful lot of evidence out there today.

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Abstract Glass

To my simple eye there is a great deal of beauty and spectacle to be found in the patterns and glitter and reflections of cheap glass, lights, and mirrors of hotel ballroom lights.

 

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Mission Secondary Objective #9 Achieved!

Kansas City.

We moved there in 1960, left in 1967, over fifty years ago. But those are some formative years.

This was my third time back, all in the last twelve years. Last year we were there for a couple of days, but while we did some sightseeing, the focus was on the total solar eclipse. This time we had almost a whole week with the focus being the football game on Sunday, so we got to get much more familiar with the city as it exists today.

I really liked what I found. Aside from the museums, the art, the BBQ, and the hotel, I got time to wander a bit.

Downtown, near the Power & Light District, is full of construction on new, modern skyscrapers, mixed with block after block of restored historic buildings. For example, the Hotel President (another of the Hilton Curio Collection) was built in 1926 and was the site of the 1928 Republican National Convention.

All over the place are these monuments of Art Deco brickwork, right next to fancy glass & steel. I love the juxtaposition.

The Convention Center is huge and a cornerstone of Downtown. Just beyond it on the right a block or two is the Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts, a world-class concert venue.

The city was decked out in its finest for the holidays.

In that vein, some of what I remember most are things I wasn’t able to take pictures of at the time. Shocking, I know – the very concept of me seeing something really neat and not taking a picture is horrifying, but in this case I was always driving so I chose the safe course. (Even more shocking!)

In this case, one thing that stood out was a large shopping area near the art museum. It was lit up for the holiday for blocks and blocks and seemed familiar. It was only after I got home that I stumbled across a series of photos from the early 1960s when the holiday lighting of the area was first started. Seeing the pictures from over 55 years ago, I recognized many of the buildings that I had seen last week. Since we were living in the area at the time I’m sure that we would have come down there as a family to look at the lights.

The city lights up beautifully at night and you can still see that dichotomy between the old and the new architecture. From our room at the Hotel Phillips we also had a great view of the downtown airport (seen here between the skyscrapers). When I was a kid this was the main airport and I remember many trips down there to pick up or drop off my dad when he was traveling for work.

On “Red Friday” through game day on Sunday, almost every flagpole in town was carrying a “Chiefs Kingdom” flag, just like the one we fly in our living room.

Another thing I saw but didn’t get to photograph was the way the city and skyscrapers lit up with red spotlights at night prior to the Chiefs game. Union Station, below the WWI Museum (which we saw last year) was lit up all in crimson. As you cross back the tracks and climb back toward Downtown, many of the big buildings, both old and new, are similarly lit.

I felt at home, a part of the community, in a way I’ve never felt in Los Angeles.

Finally, in weather I haven’t experienced in a long time (25°F with a 25 knot wind gusting to 35) I went and found “The Scout” statue, an iconic symbol of the city.

Needless to say, I had the park to myself. The locals are smart enough to be someplace warm. I was glad to be wearing more than a loincloth…

With Downtown in the distance, the Convention Center and Kaufmann Center clearly visible, the WWI museum nearby, this must be a wonderful park to hang out in during the warm summer months.

Maybe if this is where we pick to retire to we’ll find out. I could see that happening.

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