Friday, June 29, 2007

trouvée: veiled

I couldn't quite let go of the middle-eastern theme! Today's found photo ~ an Egyptian woman. I haven't yet been able to identify the photograher, but I have seen variant photographs of this same woman so I know the answer is out there. Her eyes are incredibly striking ~ oh, and I adore her jewelry. I found the photograph on eBay by typying "veil" into the subject line. Sometimes I like to do that ~ just type random words in under the photographs section. I have found the most wonderful things that way!

Anyway, I am slowly adjusting back to normal life ~ getting caught up on sleep, bills, emails, magazines, watering plants, reading other blogs... Traveling is fantastic, but I admit that coming home is wonderful too! Happy weekend all!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

jerusalem: one last image

One of the most most incredible things about Jerusalem is that three major religions call it a sacred or holy place. Walking through the city, it is not uncommon to hear the peal of church bells, only to be drowned out by the muezzin's call to prayer. On my first night there I made my way to the Western Wall, and touched my hand to the warm stone just as the sun was setting. It was a hugely emotional experience, not only to be in that place, but also because I was carrying a prayer for a friend to be placed in the wall. And though I am not Jewish, it is impossible not to feel the weight of its history, and the hopes and fears and spirit of all of the people who have made the pilgrimage there. On my second day, I wandered through the Christian Quarter to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is said to be built on the place where Jesus was crucified, and contains the Tomb of Christ (the place of his resurrection). Climbing up the narrow steps (worn down over the centuries by the millions of faithful) to the small chapel that now surrounds Golgotha (or Cavalry) was incredibly moving for me. In fact, I had no idea that it would affect me as much as it did ~ in that moment, everything seems to fall away, and you just feel. It is something that words can't describe.

The photograph above is of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre ~ the windows of the little chapel of Golgotha.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

mount of olives

Looking out from the Mount of Olives, over the Jewish Cemetery and the Gardens of Gesthemene, one can see almost all of Jerusalem laid out in front of you ~ the City of David, the walls of the Old City, a myriad of church spires and mosque towers, and the bright gold and turquoise Dome of the Rock. It is amazing to see ~ ALL of it, right THERE. It is something that I will never forget!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

jerusalem: studies in olive and beige

Driving into Jerusalem I was struck by the dramatic change in terrain from the coast. The city is set atop a series of hills, its buildings of beige Jerusalem stone nestled in into stepped terraces dotted with cypress trees ~ a distinct contrast to Tel Aviv's white, modern International Style buildings, and bright blue sea. And though Jerusalem is very much a busy, modern city, there is peace and solitude to be found in the alley ways and courtyards of the Old City's Jewish Quarter. Olive and citrus trees defy the heat of the day and burst forth with fruit. The Old City can at times be overwhelming, so these places are a welcome refuge from the constant din of the Arab market and chatter of tourists. A quick historical note: much of the Jewish Quarter was destroyed in 1948, and was not rebuilt until after 1967. In rebuilding the quarter, however, architects and archaeologists were careful to preserve as much as they could of extant buildings and archaeological sites, so much of the area's ancient character and history is still there.

the streets of jaffa

On Saturdays the normally bustling streets of Jaffa are deserted in observance of the Sabbath, so one can wander undisturbed. It is amazing to think about all of the history of the place ~ fought over for centuries, by the Egyptians (in 1472 BC), Alexander the Great (in the 4th century BC), the Arabs (in 636), the Crusaders (in the 12th century), the Ottomans (in the 17th century), Napoléon (in 1799), the British (during World War I), and most recently by Arabs and Jews (in 1947/1948). An extraordinary legacy. It is now a quiet port city known for its export of oranges, its picturesque streets, and its many art galleries. And yet, its dramatic past lingers under the surface...

Monday, June 25, 2007

jaffa: studies in turquoise

A quick post with the first few images from Israel ~ these of the old port city of Jaffa (situated just to the south of Tel Aviv). In many ways, Israel is a study in pastels, with sharp, bright details. I have so much to say about the country, and promise to post more in the next few days.

A mosque in Jaffa overlooking the Mediterranean.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

basel: one last image

I am slowly getting caught up on my sleep and back into my usual routine. It is so hard to believe that a week ago I was in Jerusalem. So today, one last image from Basel before I start posting about Israel. I apologize for the lack of words in the last few posts ~ I didn't quite have the energy!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

basel: windows

Two more from Basel ~ windows in St. Alban.

Friday, June 22, 2007

basel: symphony in grey

No found photo today ~ just two more pictures from Basel. And more to come over the weekend... Many, many thanks to everyone who left comments while I was away ~ I so loved hearing from you! And also to those of you who emailed. I will try to get back to you all in the next couple days. In the mean time, have a wonderful weekend! Cheers!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I arrived home yesterday afternoon ~ tired, but elated from an amazing trip. And with photographs at last! In looking at the pictures from Basel, I was clearly obsessed by all sorts of architectural details ~ windows, doors, street signs. And Basel is full of little details! On my one free afternoon there, I wandered through one of the older neighborhoods on the Rhine called St. Alban. Full of twisting alleyways and little canals, it is home to the 13th-century St. Alban-Kirche, the old Baseler Papiermühle (paper mill), and lots of tidy old Swiss houses. So charming! More images to come in the next few days as I slowly get them downloaded and processed...

Wisteria on the windows of my hotel.

Windows in St. Alban.

Monday, June 18, 2007

the old city

A quick hello from Jerusalem. What an amazing place it is ~ a crossroads of culture and religion and history and people. I will tell you more when I get back to Washington and can illustrate it all with photographs (and there are many!!!). I have to say one of the highlights has been the wonderful, beautiful, kind people I have met here ~ Israeli and foreign alike. Thank you so much for such a lovely experience. I don't think I will have a chance to post again until I home, so shalom one last time from Israel.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

from tel aviv at sunset

The sun is about to set on a hot day in Tel Aviv. A quiet day. I spent the morning at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which is full of many wonderful treasures ~ Chagall, Miro, Calder, Rothko, Monet, Renoir ~ many of which are rarely seen outside of Israel. After drinking my fill of the art and cool air of the museum, I headed to Jaffa for lunch. The port of Jaffa is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) ports in the world, and is supposedly where Jonah set out from before being swallowed by the whale. In more recent history, it has played host to Christian and Jewish pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, and to Napoléon during his campaign of 1799. Traditionally an Arab town, Jews and Arabs lived there peacefully until the 1920s when discord prompted the Jews to establish Tel Aviv to the north. During the 20th century the city fell into disrepair, but the old section has recently been brought back to life and restored. Today the streets were nearly deserted, and the many art galleries and cafés closed in observance of the sabbath. I did find a lovely café perched high above the port with the most gorgeous view of the Mediterranean ~ turquoise blue water as far as the eye could see. Lunch was tomato salad with fresh bread and herb butter, and a glass of lemonade infused with mint ~ so refreshing! After lunch I wandered through the old streets ~ charmed by window boxes full of jasmine and roses, shutters painted the brightest blue, and old carved wooden doors (photos to follow, I promise!).

I am off to Jerusalem in the morning. So, for now, shabbat shalom.

Friday, June 15, 2007


My plane touched down in Tel Aviv a few hours before the sun set, ushering in the Sabbath. I was amazingly emotional as we landed ~ my first time in Israel (need I say more?). It is hot and humid, but it cools quickly once the sun goes down. Once I had checked into my hotel, I ventured out into the relatively quiet streets to find a place to eat. I found a lovely little café tucked away in a residential neighborhood, very chic and white, with little chandeliers. I sat outside, read Time Out Tel Aviv, and enjoyed the yummiest mango iced tea and a goat cheese sandwich with roasted eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil ~ divine! After dinner I ordered a hot tea and it came stuffed with mint. As darkness approached, candles appeared everywhere, even hanging in the trees. I can't wait to explore the city!

Well, my time here has barely begun, so I am sure I will have much more to say. Wishing you all a happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

art basel

A quick post from Switzerland (where Blogger is in German)! The past few days have been jam packed, full of art and lots of amazing sights. Art Basel is intense ~ there is just so much to see. Unfortunately, I can't seem to upload any images from this computer. So, words will have to suffice and photos will come later (I have been taking lots). I must say that there is a lot of bad art, but also many wonderful, beautiful things, that I would love to bring home ~ gorgeous Agnes Martin pieces everywhere; a really lovely Paul Klee watercolor; August Sander photographs; and much, much more. There are also some new discoveries which I will share when I have time to put in some links.

I had a chance to the Edvard Munch show at Fondation Beyeler, which was very, very interesting. Paintings, prints, and photographs ~ Munch has a new fan!

Basel itself is lots of fun. Typically Swiss and so lovely and efficient. The public transportation is free, and it is easy to just hop on a tram and get where you need to go. The food is yummy ~ very pure flavors and fresh ingredients. The people are amazing and smart and so very stylish. The people-watching is fantastic as everyone is so effortlessly elegant ~ and creative too. I read this evening that Basel was historically a center for paper making and book binding, so it stands to reason that it is today such a rich cultural center. Ah, well, enough for now...

Goodnight from Basel.

(UPDATE 6.24.07: I added in an image from the fair, courtesy MCH Swiss Exhibition, Basel/Zurich, AG)

Monday, June 11, 2007

distant lands

I am on my to way to the airport, off on a whirlwind work trip. First stop ~ Art Basel. Then onto distant lands (some of you know where). I will be gone for about 10 days, but will try to post along the way (depending on internet access). And of course, I would love to hear from you all as I check in from time to time. Wishing you all a wonderful week or two...xx!

P.S. This is my 100th post! Time flies when you are having fun.

(image: John Singer Sargent, From Jerusalem, 1905-1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950)

Friday, June 8, 2007

trouvée: ice cream

One of the best aspects of a blog is the little things that show up unannounced. Like lovely comments, emails from friends old and new, and surprise envelopes in the mail. This little treasure arrived on Wednesday ~ a full three weeks after it was mailed (from just down the street)! It took its time, but what a joy when it finally did arrive. Such a tiny little photo ~ a sweet peek at a moment gone by. Danielle ~ where did you find it?! Thank you, thank you!

May you all have a wonderful, sunny weekend ~ be sure to make time for ice cream!

P.S. I tried to post the photograph as close as possible to the actual size, so if you want a closer look, just click on it.

of falling & floating

I so wish I could get to New York before the end of the month to see this show ~ Elijah Gowin: Of Falling & Floating at Robert Mann Gallery through June 30. Technically, Elijah's work is a fascinating mix of traditional and digital photography ~ and aesthetically, they are incredibly lyrical. I adore his new "falling" photographs. Also check out the 2001 Hymnal of Dreams series.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

fabric drawings

I finally broke down and ordered this exhibition catalogue from the 2005 Louise Bourgeois exhibition at the Kunsthalle Vienna. It arrived last week, and is so fantastic. It includes her fabulous fabric books Ode à l'oubli, 2004 (Ode to the Forgotten) and Ode à la bièvre, 2002 (Ode to the Bièvre), made from the scraps of everyday life ~ and these fantastic fabric drawings (above) from 2003 and 2005. I think they look like webs for her giant spiders!

(images: Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, 2003 and 2005, courtesty Cheim & Read, New York)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

something lovely

I am loving Debra McClinton's photographs for the Erica Tanov website (found via Simply Photo). They have such a great feel and the clothes are beautiful too!

Oh, and a quick summer favorite ~ Jazz in the Garden. Every Friday through the end of August, from 5:00-8:30, enjoy free jazz in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden. What could be more delightful?

(image: Debora McClinton for Erica Tanov)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

still life with blue

I spent a quiet afternoon at home yesterday, recovering from the "seafood incident." I slept most of the time, but woke up around 4:00 and just lay in bed. I realized how much I love the light in my apartment in the late afternoon ~ the sun streams in and everything just glows. I looked at my mother's painting, and an old chair that belonged to my grandmother. And found them quietly comforting.

Here are some photographs I love ~ by Rebecca Veit. Quiet observations of the ordinary. I especially like her newest portfolio ~ the Never Wilting Flower Project.

Monday, June 4, 2007

blue monday

Oh my, I am not feeling too well, thanks to a bad piece of seafood. And am not really up for an ambitious post today. But, I thought I would share another fantastic piece of porcelain from the National Gallery's collection ~ a delicate blue covered bowl (Qing Dynasty, Kangxi period, 1662/1722). Something cool and pale for a hot, humid day.

(image: National Gallery of Art, Washington, Widener Collection, 1942.9.483)

Friday, June 1, 2007

trouvée: the lonely chair

I was so intrigued when I found this Friday's photograph ~ it is tiny (only about 2 x 2"), but wonderfully sharp. I suspected it might have been taken in the 1950s at Versailles, and a little research confirmed my hunch. Oh-la-la! Wouldn't you like to be sitting there now?

Ah well, wherever you are ~ bon weekend!