Writer, editor, reader, information junkie, health care provider, tree hugger, lover of elephants & advocate for them.
Jacksonville rings all city and church bells to welcome the French Navy this week to celebrate 450 years of French history in North America. When captains such as Huguenot Jean Ribault sailed to establish forts, they wanted sites with the best views and friendly naïve natives. In 1562 this bluff had those in spades, the spectacular view survives. Not named for a queen but for King Charles IX - he wanted to get rid of pesky Protestant versus Catholic bloodbaths. For the year the fort prevailed, 200 men, women and children worked with the Timucuans (there 5,000 years). However, Spain claimed all of North America and founded St. Augustine to destroy the foothold - another bloodbath destroyed the “heretics,” Timucucans included. Through the centuries the site continued in military importance with the Civil War bringing more blood soaked ground. Colonial and Civil War reenactments, plus the Ladies Golden Teacup Society relive some of this long history. Viewing and participation welcome.Fort Caroline National Memorial Jacksonville, FL
“All aboard” calls the uniformed attendant as the shiny brass doors of the antique, open-cage elevator trundle shut. You slowly rise to the deck where a 360 degree birds-eye view of Seattle awaits. The space between the base of the building and the horizon is in motion. Cars, buses, trolley cars, and trains move along roads and rails. On the waterfront the Great Wheel rotates, ferries head out from the piers, tug boats chug around, and huge orange cranes load ships. On clear days the mountains show. Mt. Rainier looms large to the south, and the Olympics hover above Elliot Bay to the west. The outer deck is not enclosed in glass, so although it might be a bit chilly, photography is gloriously reflection-free!Like Add a Comment
Crossing Fifth Avenue, I saw the classic statue in the fountain in front of The Plaza Hotel next to Central Park. The air was still wet from the rain that had stopped a moment before. I couldn't get the Moody Blues lyric "giving freely, and completely, to my lady" out of my head as I watched the statue make a soft bow to the Plaza Hotel.Like Add a Comment
Whether in the hippie heyday or now, there's nothing like “tripping” in Cliff’s. The man in black, then owner Ernie DeBaca, was the King of Kitsch, though whether or not he knew his taste in bric-a-brac was camp and funky is debatable. His hospitality and patience were virtues since a main form of buying temptation was and is Ernie’s Contraption, an art form unto itself. Switch on the bicycle chains and with a clickety-clack all manner of notions in trays move up and down the wall, then across the ceiling. Only lacking the “toot toot,” it is better than an elevated train set. Once a museum of the tacky, the family-owned store is now more gentrified. Happily, Cliff’s remains a San Francisco institution, with tchotchkes, Victorian doorknobs, and everything for the kitchen sink. Odds are you will find a treasure for your own Art of the Memento installation—knicknacks to make you smile that just may smile back.Like Add a Comment