Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cleary Gardens

Cleary Gardens, Huggin Hill, City of London, London
Cleary Gardens, Huggin Hill
City of London
London, September 2016

“During the Middle Ages the area was the hub of the wine trade, a tradition evoked by sensory flowers, shrubs and climbers, suggesting bouquets of wines, and a miniature vineyard on the terrace. The garden is named after Fred Cleary, who, during the 1970's was instrumental in encouraging the planting of trees and the creation of new gardens throughout the square mile. During the blitz, the house which once stood here was destroyed exposing the cellars. A shoemaker called Joe Brandis decided that he would create a garden from the rubble, collecting mud from the river banks and transporting soil from his own garden in Walthamstow to the site. His success was such that on 29th July 1949 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited the new garden. Next to the pergola is a bed of Yatsuka Tree peonies, presented to the City by the Japanese Island of Daikonjima as a symbol of goodwill in April 2006.” (Cleary Gardens, City of London)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sicilian Cart

Model of a Sicilian cart, Piazza San Marco, Florence
Model of a Sicilian cart
Piazza San Marco
Florence, January 2017

“The carts were introduced to the island by the ancient Greeks. Carts reached the height of their popularity in the 1920s, when many thousand were on the island. Miniature carts, or Carrettini Siciliani, are often sold in Sicily (or in Italian shops and restaurants in other countries) as souvenirs. The Museo del Carretto Siciliano, in Terrasini, in the province of Palermo, is a museum dedicated to the carts.” (Sicilian cart, Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 15, 2017


The wooden schooner Shearwater, Upper New York Bay, New York
The wooden schooner “Shearwater
Upper New York Bay
New York, September 2008

“The Shearwater is an 81.5-foot (24.8 m) wooden schooner docked in Lower Manhattan in New York City in the U.S. state of New York. The schooner was designed by Theodore Donald Wells and built by the Rice Brothers Corporation in East Boothbay, Maine in 1929. During World War II, it was requisitioned into the United States Coast Guard to patrol for German U-boats. The Shearwater completed a circumnavigation of the world in the early-1980s and later worked as a research laboratory for the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Environmental Medicine. Docked about 200 yards (180 m) west of the site of the World Trade Center, it is operated by Manhattan by Sail, which gives 90-minute-long tours of New York Harbor, and is licensed to carry 48 passengers. The schooner was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.” (Shearwater, Wikipedia)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Santa Margherita Auditorium

Sculptures on the facade of the Santa Margherita Auditorium
Calle de la Chiesa, Dorsoduro, Venice
Sculptures on the facade of the Santa Margherita Auditorium
Calle de la Chiesa, Dorsoduro
Venice, September 2013

“The Auditorium is a historic building from the ninth century. While it is now in use as a theatre, it was formerly a church dedicated to Saint Margaret. The valuable painting on the ceiling depicting the saint’s martyrdom is what remains of the frescos that once adorned this church. It is located in Campo Santa Margherita, which can be reached quickly and easily from Piazzale Roma and the railway station, and it is one of the liveliest places in the city. The Auditorium can seat 237 people and has recently updated systems for controlling lighting, projecting videos, simultaneous translation and video documentation. It can hold large-scale events such as theatrical productions, film festivals, conferences and congresses, national and international seminars and conventions.” (Auditorium Santa Margherita, Fondazione Università Ca' Foscari)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Golden Square

On a bench in Golden Square, Soho, London
On a bench in Golden Square, Soho
London, September 2016

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The “Torrino”

Torrino (Tower) by Gaetano Baccani, Giardino Torrigiani, Torrigiani Garden, Via dei Serragli, Via del Campuccio, Florence
“Torrino” (Tower) by Gaetano Baccani, 1824
Giardino Torrigiani (Torrigiani Garden)
Via dei Serragli / Via del Campuccio
Florence, January 2017

“After Digny the architect-engineer Gaetano Baccani was engaged and following his success in designing the bell tower for the church of Santa Croce he incorporated a neo-gothic tower which alluded to the family crest. Almost twenty-two metres high, it housed a collection of astronomical instruments, a library, and a terrace from which to study the heavens. Connecting the floors there is not only a stone spiral staircase but also a mechanical chair activated by pulleys which permitted a speedy ascent. Nearby, below the artificial hill, is part of the original defence bastion erected in 1544 by Cosimo I dei Medici.” (History, Giardino Torrrigiani)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wooden Motorcycle

A wooden motorcycle on display, Bartolucci Deutschland, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße, Berlin
A wooden motorcycle on display, Bartolucci Deutschland
Berlin, September 2011