Monday, December 31, 2012

Robot Buzzer

Robot-head buzzer, campo dei Mori, Venice
Picturesque robot-head door buzzer
Campo dei Mori, Cannaregio
Venice, October 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Mein Gott, hilf mir, diese tödliche Liebe zu überleben - My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love by Dmitri Vrubel, East Side Gallery, Mühlenstraße, Berlin
«Господи! Помоги мне выжить среди этой смертной любви»
„Mein Gott, hilf mir, diese tödliche Liebe zu überleben“
(My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love)
by Dmitri Vrubel, East Side Gallery
Mühlenstraße, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Berlin, September 2011

See also: Berlin Wall - Test the Rest - Stay Free - Without Title - Sonic Malade - Vergesst mir die Liebe nicht - Niemandsland - Many Small People - Curriculum Vitae

“... and the Russian artist Dimitri Vrubel's ‘Mein Gott hilf mir, diese tödliche Liebe zu überleben’ (Dear God, help me to survive this fatal love), a picture of Honecker and Brezhnev's brotherly kiss. This ensemble of paintings was officially opened in September 1990 as the East Side Gallery; known worldwide, it is extremely popular with visitors to Berlin.”
(East Side Gallery,

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Scramble, Fighter Command Panel, The Battle of Britain Monument by Paul Day, Victoria Embankment, London
“Scramble”, The Battle of Britain Monument, First Panel - Fighter Command
Paul Day sculptor, Donald Insall Associates architects
Victoria Embankment
London, October 2009

See also: The Observers

“That classic moment, when the signal to ‘Scramble’ is given, had to take centre stage. It is the very symbol of the Battle. In this case, the pilots surge off the wall, out of their picture and onto the pavement, into our world, a reminder to say that these men really did exist and do those incredible things.”

Friday, December 28, 2012

Henri Farman

Homage to Henri Farman and the Voisin brothers by Paul Landowski, rue Henry-Farman Paris
Homage to Henri Farman and the Voisin brothers by Paul Landowski, 1929
Rue Henry-Farman, 15e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

See also: King Edward VII - The Sons of Cain

“If we pass over his tentative hops during September 1907, we can mark October 1907 as the month of his first powered and sustained flights (including one at Issy of 2,530ft on October 26), and January 1908 as the month of his first powered, sustained and controlled flying, in that he made the first officially observed kilometre circuit on January 13, and to won the Prix Deutsch-Archdeacon. Henri Furman was also the first
true and proper powered aeroplane pilot of Europe. Santos Dumont’s best ‘flight’ in 1906 —when he was adjudged to have made the first powered flights in Europe— was only some 720ft, after which he speedily abandoned his ingenious but impractical and virtually uncontrollable aircraft, and did not make a significant aeroplane flight of any kind until 1909. Furthermore, neither Delagrange nor Blériot, despite their good efforts in 1907, were able to fly properly until well into 1908. For the academic, it should be said that one finds Farman‘s Christian name spelt both ‘Henry’ and ‘Henri’ during 1907 and 1908, with Henri appearing on the tail-unit side-curtains of his Voisin biplane, and on his own designed machines of l909.”

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Delivery Boats

Delivery boats on the the Canal Grande, Grand Canal, Venice
Delivery boats on the the Canal Grande (Grand Canal)
seen from the Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)
Venice, October 2012

“The system of transport, for example, with the fast Grand Canal cutting across the slower-moving smaller canals, was a model of its kind. The waters of the lagoon have also ensured that the city remained of a manageable size; it did not sprawl, and its only suburbs were the other islands that had an intrinsic life of their own.”
(Peter Ackroyd, Venice: Pure City)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Charité Bettenhochhaus

Charité Bettenhochhaus, Campus Mitte, Berlin
Charité Bettenhochhaus, Campus Mitte
Berlin, September 2011

“Soon, Ber­lin was divided. The Mitte cam­pus fell into East Ger­man prop­erty, bor­der­ing the Ber­lin Wall to Moabit. The Char­ité was announced the lead­ing hos­pital of the ‘cap­ital of the GDR’ and soon received a new build­ing, which still dom­in­ates the sky­line over North­ern Mitte. The Betten­hoch­haus (bed high rise) with its twenty-one floors and con­nec­ted sec­tions still rises high above the cam­pus. After the Wall came down and when fin­an­cial issues affected local polit­ics, the Char­ité gradu­ally merged with the former West-Berlin campi in Wed­ding and Steglitz.”
(Charité Campus Mitte, Finding Berlin)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mother Playing

Mother Playing by Chaim Gross, Fordham University, Lincoln Center campus, New York
“Mother Playing” by Chaim Gross, 1961
Fordham University, Lincoln Center campus
New York, September 2007

An identical sculpture is installed in Miriam's Garden at Hadassah Medical Center, Ein Kerem.
(Art @ Hadassah Study Group)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Paris in the Springtime

Paris in the Springtime by David Shillinglaw, Ben Slow, Paris Free Walls, MSA Gallery, rue Amelot, Paris
“Paris in the Springtime” by David Shillinglaw
Paris Free Walls, MSA Gallery
Rue Crussol / rue Amelot, 11e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ponte delle Guglie

Ponte delle Guglie, Bridge of Spires, Canale di Cannaregio, Venice
Ponte delle Guglie (Bridge of Spires)
Canale di Cannaregio, Cannaregio
Venice, October 2011

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Test the Rest

Test the Rest by Birgit Kinder, East Side Gallery, Mühlenstraße, Berlin
“Test the Rest” by Birgit Kinder, East Side Gallery
Mühlenstraße, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Berlin, September 2011

See also: Berlin Wall - Bruderkuß - Stay Free - Without Title - Sonic Malade - Vergesst mir die Liebe nicht - Niemandsland - Many Small People - Curriculum Vitae

“The longest section of the Berlin Wall still standing lies north of the bridge Oberbaumbrücke in the Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain borough. This 1.3-kilometer-long section of the Wall along Mühlenstraße was painted in the spring of 1990 by artists from 21 different countries who produced 106 large-scale murals. Some of the best-known images include Birgit Kinder's ‘Test the best,’ a painting of a Trabi (an East German car) breaking through the Wall...”
(East Side Gallery,

Friday, December 21, 2012


Steam Tug Portwey, South Quay, West India Docks, London
Steam Tug Portwey (built 1927)
South Quay, West India Docks
London, October 2009

“A fine example of a small steam coastal and river tug, the twin screw, coal-fired Portwey was ordered from Harland & Wolff, Govan, in October 1926 for barge and collier towing duties with the Portland & Weymouth Coaling Co. at Weymouth. Her enginers were built by W. & D. Henderson, Glasgow, and she was launched on 10 August 1927 and completed on 28 April 1928.”
(Portwey, National Historic Ships UK)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dream on Board

Dream on board, rent a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for 89 Euro / 20 minutes, place de la Concorde, Paris
Rent a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for 89 Euro / 20 minutes
Place de la Concorde, 8e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Campo San Vio

Street artist, Campo San Vio, Dorsoduro, Venice
Street artist, Campo San Vio, Dorsoduro
Venice, September 2012

“Over the water lies the Campo San Vio, a fine platform from which to watch the traffic on the Canal Grande. The reason this little square opens out onto the water is that the houses on that side were demolished in order to make it easier for the doge and his entourage to disembark for the annual thanksgiving service in the church of saints Vito and Modesto (contracted to Vio in Venetian); held on the saints’ joint feast day, June 15, the service commemorated the defeat of the Bajamonte Tiepolo revolt, which occurred on June 15, 1310. The church itself was demolished in 1813; the walls of the chapel that took its place (St George – the city’s Anglican church) are encrusted with stone fragments taken from the Tiepolo palazzo, which was destroyed in punishment for their treason.”
(Jonathan Buckley, The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Amazone zu Pferde, Mounted Amazon by Louis Tuaillon, Kolonnadenhof, Museum Island, Berlin
“Amazone zu Pferde” (Mounted Amazon) by Louis Tuaillon, 1896
Kolonnadenhof (The courtyard with colonnades in front of
Neues Museum and Alte Nationalgalerie)
Museumsinsel Berlin (Museum Island)
Berlin, September 2011

Monday, December 17, 2012

Engine 24

FDNY Engine 24, 2000 Seagrave 1000/500, Spring Street, SoHo, New York
FDNY Engine 24 (2000 Seagrave 1000/500) and crew
Spring Street, SoHo
New York, September 2008

“Engine (fire helmet front color: black) is the basic firefighting apparatus. Its main job is to put water on the fire. It is responsible for securing a water supply from a hydrant or some other form and for suppressing the fire.”
(New York City Fire Department, Types of Apparatus, Wikipedia)

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Ironwork, Pont de Bir-Hakeim, formerly Viaduc de Passy, Paris
Ironwork on the Passy side of the Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Originally named Viaduc de Passy, 16e arrondissements
Paris, July 2012

“Des écussons ornés des sobres initiales VP (pour Ville de Paris) sont présents sur les grilles de certaines stations, notamment celles qui protègent les voies lorsqu'elles deviennent aériennes. Ils sont réalisés en fonte.”
(Le patrimoine de la RATP, Flohic, 1996)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Camel in Venice

Bas-relief of a camel, Palazzo Mastelli, rio della Madonna dell'Orto, Venice
Bas-relief on the façade of Palazzo Mastelli or ‘del Cammello’ (of the Camel)
Rio della Madonna dell'Orto, Cannaregio
Venice, October 2012

“Diagonally opposite the church, on the other side of the canal, stands the Palazzo Mastelli, former home of the mercantile family of the same name. The facade of the much-altered palazzo is a sort of architectural scrap-album, featuring a Gothic top-loor balcony, thirteenth-century Byzantine fragments set into sixteenth-century work below, a bit of a Roman altar set into a column by the corner, and a quaint little relief of a man leading a laden camel – hence its alternative title, Palazzo del Cammello.”
(Jonathan Buckley, The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Berlinwasser Holding AG

Berliner Wasser Holding AG Haus III by Christoph Langhof, Stralauer Straße, Berlin
Berliner Wasser Holding AG corporate headquarters
Haus III by Christoph Langhof, 2000
Stralauer Straße
Berlin, September 2011

“Company was founded in the year 2000 and is the holding company of the Berlin Water Group (a public but state-run utility), which was created in the process of the restructuring of the Berlin Water Works in 1999. The headquarters of the Berlin Water Works is made up of three components, with House I and II by the Berlin architect Joachim Ganz and House III designed by LANGHOF ' (which is how Langhof styles his firm name).”
(Berlinwasser Holding AG, Haus III, UNL Image & Multimedia Collections)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wellington Monument

Wellington Monument by Richard Westmacott, Park Lane, Mayfair, London
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington as “Achilles”
Wellington Monument by Richard Westmacott, 1822
South-western end of Park Lane, Mayfair
London, October 2009

“The cost of £10,000 was donated by British women. The bronze came from cannons captured in military campaigns by the Duke of Wellington at Salamanca, Vittoria, Toulouse and Waterloo. This was London’s first public nude statue since antiquity and despite its fig leaf it was still controversial. The entrance gates to Hyde Park were too low to get it through and a hole had to be knocked in the adjoining wall.”
(Monuments in Hyde Park, The Royal Parks)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Léon Blum

Monument to Léon Blum by Philippe Garel, place Léon-Blum, Paris
Monument to Léon Blum by Philippe Garel, 1984
Place Léon-Blum, 11e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Finally, an impressive, larger-than-life statue of Blum was completed in 1986 by the sculptor P. Garel; temporarily housed in the Jardins des Tuileries, its permanent location is yet to be determined.”
(Joel Colton, Léon Blum: Humanist in Politics, 1987)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Glass Rooster

Glass rooster in a shop window, Venice
Glass rooster in a shop window, somewhere in Dorsoduro
Venice, September 2012

“The main fondamente of Murano are given over almost entirely to shops selling glasswork, and it’s difficult to walk more than a few metres on this island without being invited to step inside a showroom – and once inside, you’re likely to be pressured into forking out for some piece of kitsch which may not even have been made here. However, some of the showrooms have furnaces attached, and you shouldn’t pass up the chance to see these astoundingly skilful craftsmen in action, even if they’re only churning out little glass ponies and other silly knick-knacks.”
(Jonathan Buckley, The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Block der Frauen

Block der Frauen, Block of Women by Ingeborg Hunzinger, Rosenstraße, Berlin
Block der Frauen (Block of Women) by Ingeborg Hunzinger
Berlin, September 2011

“The headquarters of the Jewish section of the Gestapo was just around the corner, within earshot of the protesters. A few salvos from a machine gun could have wiped the women off the square. But instead the Jews were released. Joseph Goebbels, in his role as the Nazi Party Director for Berlin, decided that the simplest way to end the protest was to release the Jews. Goebbels chose not to forcibly tear Jews from Aryans who clearly risked their lives to stay with their Jewish family members, and rationalized that he would deport the Jews later anyway. But the Jews remained. They survived the war in Berlin, registered officially with the police, working in officially authorized jobs, and officially receiving food rations.”

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Giuseppe Garibaldi by Giovanni Turini, Washington Square Park, New York
Giuseppe Garibaldi by Giovanni Turini, 1888
Washington Square Park
New York, September 2007

See also: Garibaldi in Rome - Giuseppe Garibaldi - Garibaldi in Venice

“The sculptor, Giovanni Turini (1841–1899), who also designed the bronze bust of Mazzini unveiled in Central Park in 1878, was a volunteer member of Garibaldi’s Fourth Regiment during the war between Italy and Austria in 1866. Donated by New York’s Italian-American community, the bronze statue on a granite pedestal was dedicated in 1888, the sixth anniversary of Garibaldi’s death.
By the 1960s, a good-luck ritual developed among New York University Finance students in which each new student in the School of Finance tossed a penny at the base of the Garibaldi Monument at the start of the school year. Acknowledging this tradition and reinforcing its commitment to the community, the university sponsored a wreath-laying ceremony in 1961 to honor the centennial anniversary of Italy’s unification.”
(Giuseppe Garibaldi, Washington Square Park, City of New York Parks & Recreation)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vandal Heart

Vandal Heart stencil by Nick Walker, boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris
“Vandal Heart” stencil by Nick Walker
Boulevard Beaumarchais at rue Scarron
Quartier Saint-Ambroise, 11e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

External link: Nick Walker new mural in Paris

Friday, December 7, 2012


Gondolas on the Grand Canal, Venice
Gondolas on the the Canal Grande (Grand Canal)
seen from the Ponte dell'Accademia
Venice, September 2012

“There were ten thousand gondolas in the sixteenth century, many of them festooned with ornaments and carvings. This encouraged displays of showmanship and rivalry among the wealthier Venetians, who were allowed few opportunities of conspicuous consumption in public. Such a spirit was of course to be resisted by a Venetian state that curbed individualism of any sort in the name of collective brotherhood. So the ornamentation was, in a decree of 1562, forbidden. That is why the gondolas became black.”
(Peter Ackroyd, Venice: Pure City)

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Giraffe, Kunsthof courtyard, Oranienburger Strasse, Berlin
Giraffe, KunstHof Berlin, Oranienburger Straße
Berlin, September 2011

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Park Lane Underpass

Tiles inside the Park Lane pedestrian underpass, from Aldford Street to Hyde Park, Mayfair, London
Park Lane pedestrian underpass, from Aldford Street to Hyde Park
Mayfair, City of Westminster
London, October 2009

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cirque d'hiver

Cirque d'hiver, Winter Circus, rue Amelot, rue des Filles-du-Calvaire, Paris
Cirque d'hiver (Winter Circus), rue Amelot
Quartier de la Folie-Méricourt, 11e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“The circus is an oval polygon of 20 sides, with Corinthian columns at the angles, giving the impression of an oval building enclosing the oval ring, surrounded by steeply banked seating for spectators, very much like a miniature indoor Colosseum. A low angled roof is self-supporting like a low dome, so that there is no central pole, as under a tent, to obstruct views or interfere with the action. The building was designed by the architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff and opened as the Cirque Napoléon, a compliment to the new Emperor of the French Napoleon III. The sculptor James Pradier was called upon to provide exterior bas-reliefs of Amazons, and Francisque Duret and Astyanax-Scévola Bosio sculpted the panels of mounted warriors.”
(Cirque d'hiver, Wikipedia)

See also: Saint Michel terrassant le démon - La Justice Consulaire

Monday, December 3, 2012

Madonna dell'Orto

Church of the Madonna dell'Orto, Cannaregio, Venice
Church of the Madonna dell'Orto, Cannaregio
Venice, October 2012

“At this church, a good reason to walk to this remote northern district, you can pay your final respects to Tintoretto. The brick structure with a Gothic front is famed not only because of its paintings by that artist but also because the great master is buried in the chapel to the right of the main altar. At the high altar are his Last Judgment (on the right) and Sacrifice of the Golden Calf (on the left).”
(Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince, Frommer's Portable Venice, 6th Edition)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Storchenpaar, Couple of Storks by Hans-Detlef Henning, Berlin
Storchenpaar (Couple of Storks) by Hans-Detlef Henning
Monbijou Park
Berlin, September 2011

“As a precaution, all the palace windows had been bricked up already in 1940, but the entire building was gutted during an air raid in November 1943 and almost entirely destroyed. The ruins were left in place until 1959, when the East Berlin Magistrate—against the strenuous objection of museum professionals and parts of the West Berlin public— ordered the final demolition, apparently out of an ideological motivation similar to what prompted the breakup of the likewise heavily damaged Hohenzollern city palace in 1950. Only a few names remain as testimony to the former existence of the palace: on the grounds between Oranienburger Straße and the Spree there is a shady refuge of three hectares with a children's open-air swimming pool, today’s Monbijou Park. Nearby there is a Monbijou Square, a Monbijou Street, and a Monbijou Bridge for pedestrians connecting both banks of the Spree at the north end of Museum Island.”
(Monbijou Palace, Wikipedia)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cornelius Vanderbilt

Statue of Cornelius Vanderbilt by Ernst Plassman, design by Albert De Groot
(The only remaining fragment of a 150-foot-long bronze frieze)
South facade of Grand Central Terminal
New York, September 2008

“The Commodore looks pretty spiffy, set against the newly cleaned limestone of the south facade of Grand Central Terminal. All brushed up and polished, the four-ton statue of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt is half a century older than the 1913 Beaux-Arts building. Actually, it is a mere fragment of a 150-foot-long bronze frieze illustrating the steamship and railroad magnate's accomplishments. Unlike the statue, it has disappeared without a trace.”

Friday, November 30, 2012

Carpeaux at Work

Carpeaux au travail, Carpeaux at Work by Antoine Bourdelle, Paris
Carpeaux au travail (Carpeaux at Work) by Antoine Bourdelle, 1910
Parvis de la mairie, 15e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Riva Aquarama

Riva Aquarama speedboat, Canal Grande, Grand Canal, Venice
A Riva Aquarama speedboat on the Canal Grande (Grand Canal)
Seen from the Ponte della Costituzione (Constitution Bridge)
Venice, September 2012

“Venice’s water-taxis are sleek and speedy vehicles that can penetrate most of the city’s canals. Unfortunately their use is confined to all but the owners of the deepest pockets, for they are possibly the most expensive form of taxi in western Europe: the clock starts at €13 and goes up €1.80 every minute. All sorts of surcharges are levied as well: €5 for each extra person if there are more than two people in the party; €3 for each piece of luggage other than the first item; €8 for a ride between 10pm and 6am. There are three ways of getting a taxi: go to one of the main stands (at Piazzale Roma, the train station, Rialto and San Marco Vallaresso), find one in the process of disgorging its passengers, or call one by phone. If you phone for one, you’ll pay a surcharge, of course.”
(Jonathan Buckley, The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Promenade with the Internationales Handelszentrum by Erhardt Gißke in background, Paul-Löbe-Allee, Berlin
Promenade with the Internationales Handelszentrum by Erhardt Gißke in background
Berlin, September 2011

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Robert Grosvenor

Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster by Jonathan Wylder, 1998
On the plinth: “When we build let us think we build forever”
Wilton Crescent, Westminster
London, October 2009

“Therefore, when we build, let us think that we build for ever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labour and wrought substance of them, ‘See! this our fathers did for us.’”
(John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, 1849)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Square Émile-Chautemps

Sign of Square Émile-Chautemps, 3e arrondissement, Paris
Sign of Square Émile-Chautemps (Scapin is watching...)
3e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

External spiral staircase by Giorgio Spavento, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Venezia
External spiral staircase by Giorgio Spavento
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
Calle Contarini del Bovolo, San Marco
Venezia, September 2012

“On the wall of the alley on the south side of Campo Manin, a sign directs you to the staircase known as the Scala del Bovolo – bovolo is the word for snail shell in Venetian dialect. External staircases, developed originally as a way of saving space inside the building, were a common feature of Venetian houses into the sixteenth century, but this specimen, dating from around 1500, is the most flamboyant variation on the theme.”
(Jonathan Buckley, The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Konrad Adenauer

Konrad Adenauer statue by Helga Tiemann, Adenauerplatz, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin
Konrad Adenauer statue by Helga Tiemann, Adenauerplatz
Berlin, September 2011

“Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. As the first Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963, he led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that forged close relations with old enemies France and the United States. In his years in power Germany achieved prosperity, democracy, stability and respect. He was the first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a coalition of Catholics and Protestants that under his leadership became and has since remained the most dominant in the country.”
(Konrad Adenauer, Wikipedia)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Exterior Cross

Exterior Cross by Arnaldo Pomodoro, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Lexington Avenue, New York
Exterior Cross by Arnaldo Pomodoro, St. Peter Lutheran Church
Lexington Avenue / 54th Street
New York, September 2008

“The Exterior Cross was designed by internationally renowned sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro of Milan, Italy. Mr. Pomodoro's striking design links old with new through a skillful blend of traditional and modern forms and materials. The ancient cross form is finished in a rich, rust-colored bronze. Its piercing central wedge shape, or ‘nail,’ contrasts with the simple strong cross form. The nail is contemporary in its highly polished finish, with an abstraction of Christ's body and the crucifixion instruments of torture on its front surface.”
(St. Peter’s Church, New York Architecture)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Les oursons

Les oursons, The bear cubs by Victor Peter, Square Saint-Lambert, Paris
“Les oursons” (The Bear Cubs) by Victor Peter
Square Saint-Lambert, 15e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ponte dei Pugni

Ponte dei Pugni (Bridge of Fists)
Rio di San Barnaba, Dorsoduro
Venice, October 2012

“There was one game, however, that more than any other symbolised the stability and strength of the Venetian state. It was known as la guerra dei pugni or the war of the fists, fought between the inhabitants of the various territories and neighbourhoods. There were the Rialtini and the Cannaruoli, the Bariotti and the Gnatti. But the largest division of all lay between the Castellani—in the western parishes of Cannaregio, Castello, S. Marco and Dorsoduro—and the Nicolotti in the eastern parishes of S. Croce and S. Polo. The dominant factions were the fishermen of the Nicolotti and the shipbuilders of the Castellani. Their internecine rivalries have already been described. A team from each of these territories met for battle on a chosen bridge, while thousands of spectators lined the streets and houses beside the canal. Dumplings and chestnuts were served to the crowds by street vendors. It was a glorified fist-fight in which the object was to hurl opponents into the water and to gain possession of the bridge.”
(Peter Ackroyd, Venice: Pure City)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

City Pissoir

City Pissoir, public toilet, Breitscheidplatz, Charlottenburg, Berlin
City Pissoir, public toilet, Breitscheidplatz
Berlin, September 2011

See also: Café Achteck

Monday, November 19, 2012

St Saviour's Church

St Saviour's Church, Walton Place, Knightsbridge, London
St Saviour's Church, Walton Place, Knightsbridge
London, October 2009

“Intermission, in the parish church of St Saviour's, London SW3 1SA, has a variety of dynamic spaces for worship, performances, exhibitions, workshops and meetings. Intermission is a faith community that goes beyond the walls of St Saviour's. It is a community of Christian performers, writers and artists committed to the deepening understanding of God through Arts Media.”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Le Mur des Justes

Le Mur des Justes, The Wall of the Righteous, Mémorial de la Shoah, Allée des Justes, Le Marais, Paris
Le Mur des Justes (The Wall of the Righteous), Mémorial de la Shoah (Shoah Memorial)
Allée des Justes, Le Marais, 4e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

“Israel’s Prime minister Ehud Olmert and his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin dedicated Wednesday the “Mur des Justes” (Wall of Righteous) on which 2,693 names of French people who protected or saved Jews during WWII are engraved. The 40-metre-long wall, located at the Shoah Memorial in Paris, bears 37 bronze plates where the names of these people are written, including the place where they saved Jews. It is located on a street renamed the “Avenue of the Righteous” by the Paris municipality a few years ago. The Memorial, in the historic Jewish quarter of the Marais, was inaugurated by President Jacques Chirac in January 2005 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.”

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Piazzetta dei Leoncini

Red marble lions by Giovanni Bonazza, piazzetta dei Leoncini, piazza San Marco, Venice
Red marble lions by Giovanni Bonazza, 1722
Piazzetta dei Leoncini, Piazza San Marco
Venice, October 2012

“To your right as you face the Torre is the Piazzetta Giovanni XXIII, familiarly known as dei Leoncini, after the two eighteenth-century marble lions – if you can’t see them immediately, it’s because they’re smothered in children.”
(Jonathan Buckley, The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto)

Friday, November 16, 2012


Pyramide by Josef Erben, Kurfürstendamm, Berlin
“Pyramide” by Josef Erben, 1987
Kurfürstendamm / Bleibtreustraße
Berlin, September 2011

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mohandas Gandhi

Statue of Mohandas Gandhi by Kantilal B. Patel, Union Square Park, New York
Mohandas Gandhi by Kantilal B. Patel, 1986
Gandhi Gardens, Union Square Park
New York, September 2007

See also: Mahatma Gandhi

“This bronze sculpture depicting Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) was sculpted by Kantilal B. Patel (born 1925). After its dedication on October 2, 1986, the 117th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, the sculpture joined monuments to Washington, Lafayette, and Lincoln in Union Square Park as a quartet of works devoted to defenders of freedom. (...)
Clad in sandals and a cotton dhoti, Gandhi’s dress illustrates his Hindu asceticism as well as his support for Indian industries. After its installation the monument became an instant pilgrimage site, with an annual ceremony taking place on Gandhi's birthday, October 2.”
(Gandhi, Union Square Park, City of New York Parks & Recreation)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pierre-Jean de Béranger

Statue of Pierre-Jean de Béranger by Henri Lagriffoul, square du Temple, Paris
Statue of Pierre-Jean de Béranger by Henri Lagriffoul, 1953
Square du Temple, 3e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

This statue replaced a bronze one by Amédée Doublemard, melted in 1941 during the German occupation of Paris in World War II.

Mon Tombeau

Moi, bien portant, quoi! vous pensez d’avance
À m’ériger une tombe à grands frais!
Sottise! amis; point de folle dépense.
Laissez aux grands le faste des regrets.
Avec le prix ou du marbre ou du cuivre,
Pour un gueux mort habit cent fois trop beau,
Faites achat d’un vin qui pousse à vivre;
Buvons gaîment l’argent de mon tombeau.

À votre bourse un galant mausolée
Pourrait coûter vingt mille francs et plus.
Sous le ciel pur d’une riche vallée,
Allons six mois vivre en joyeux reclus.
Concerts et bals où la beauté convie,
Vont de plaisirs nous meubler un château.
Je veux risquer de trop aimer la vie;
Mangeons gaîment l’argent de mon tombeau.

Mais je vieillis, et ma maîtresse est jeune.
Or il lui faut des parures de prix.
L’éclat du luxe adoucit un long jeûne;
Témoin Longchamps où brille tout Paris.
Vous devez bien quelque chose à ma belle.
D’un cachemire elle attend le cadeau.
En viager sur un cœur si fidèle,
Plaçons gaîment l’argent de mon tombeau.

Non, mes amis, au spectacle des ombres
Je ne veux point d’une loge d’honneur.
Voyez ce pauvre, au teint pâle, aux yeux sombres;
Près de mourir, ah! qu’il goûte au bonheur.
À ce vieillard qui, las de sa besace,
Doit avant moi voir lever le rideau,
Pour qu’au parterre il me garde une place,
Donnons gaîment l’argent de mon tombeau.

Qu’importe à moi, que mon nom sur la pierre
Soit déchiffré par un futur savant?
Et quant aux fleurs qu’on promet à ma bière,
Mieux vaut, je crois, les respirer vivant.
Postérité, qui peux bien ne pas naître,
À me chercher n’use point ton flambeau.
Sage mortel, j’ai su par la fenêtre
Jeter gaîment l’argent de mon tombeau.
My Tomb

What! whilst I'm well, beforehand you design,
At vast expense, for me to build a shrine?
Friends, 'tis absurd! to no such outlay go;
Leave to the great the pomp and pride of woe.
Take what for marble or for brass would pay--
For a dead beggar garb by far too gay--
And buy life-stirring wine on my behalf:
The money for my tomb right gayly let us quaff!

A mausoleum worthy of my thanks
At least would cost you twenty thousand francs:
Come, for six months, rich vale and balmy sky,
As gay recluses, be it ours to try.
Concerts and balls, where Beauty's self invites,
Shall furnish us our castle of delights;
I'll run the risk of finding life too sweet:
The money for my tomb right gayly let us eat!

But old I grow, and Lizzy's youthful yet:
Costly attire, then, she expects to get;
For to long fast a show of wealth resigns--
Bear witness Longchamps, where all Paris shines!
You to my fair one something surely owe;
A Cashmere shawl she's looking for, I know:
'Twere well for life on such a faithful breast
The money for my tomb right gayly to invest!

No box of state, good friends, would I engage,
For mine own use, where spectres tread the stage:
What poor wan man with haggard eyes is this?
Soon must he die--ah, let him taste of bliss!
The veteran first should the raised curtain see--
There in the pit to keep a place for me,
(Tired of his wallet, long he cannot live)--
The money for my tomb to him let's gayly give!

What doth it boot me, that some learned eye
May spell my name on gravestone, by and by?
As to the flowers they promise for my bier,
I'd rather, living, scent their perfume here.
And thou, posterity!--that ne'er mayst be--
Waste not thy torch in seeking signs of me!
Like a wise man, I deemed that I was bound
The money for my tomb to scatter gayly round!

Pierre-Jean de Béranger. Œuvres complètes de Béranger
(Done into English verse by William Young)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gloria di San Vitale

Gloria di San Vitale, The Glory of St. Vidal by Vittore Carpaccio, former church of San Vidal, Venice
“Gloria di San Vitale” (The Glory of St. Vidal) by Vittore Carpaccio, 1514
Main altarpiece of the former church of San Vidal, San Marco
Venice, October 2012

“No longer a functioning church, San Vidal has found a use as a concert hall for Interpreti Veneziani, Venice’s premier interpreters of Vivaldi, played on original 18th- to 19th-century instruments. Built as a monument to the glories of God and two Venetian dogi, this stately church is best known for the masterpiece behind the main altar: St Vitale on Horseback and Eight Saints, an uncharacteristically gore-free work by Vittore Carpaccio featuring traces of his signature traffic-light red and a miniaturist’s attention to detail.”
(Lonely Planet, Venice)

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Vistula

Die Weichsel, The Vistula, Neptunbrunnen, Neptune fountain by Reinhold Begas, Berlin
“Die Weichsel” (The Vistula), Neptunbrunnen (Neptune Fountain) by Reinhold Begas
Rathausstraße / Spandauer Straße
Berlin, September 2011

See also: Neptunbrunnen - The Rhine - The Oder - The Elbe