Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Place de Séoul

Les Colonnes, Les Échelles du Baroque, place de Séoul, Paris
“Les Colonnes”, place de Séoul
Les Échelles du Baroque by Ricardo Bofill, 1985
Quartier de Plaisance, 14th arrondissement
Paris, July 2014

Monday, January 30, 2017

Santa Maria in Traspontina

Santa Maria in Traspontina

“Pope Alexander VI demolished an ancient Roman pyramid on the same site (the Meta Romuli, believed in the Middle Ages to be Romulus's tomb, and portrayed on the bronze doors to St Peter's Basilica and in a Giotto di Bondone triptych in the Vatican Museums) for the construction of the first church. This church was then demolished during the pontificate of Pius IV (1559–1565) to clear the line of fire for the cannons of the Castel Sant' Angelo, who wished to exercise shooting on the Gianicolo Hill, which otherwise would have been hidden behind the church. Designs by Giovanni Sallustio Peruzzi (with contributions by Ottaviano Nonni and Francesco Peparelli) for a replacement church were in place by 1566, though the papal artillery officers insisted that its dome be as low as possible to avoid a recurrence of the previous problem — for this reason this is the only church in Rome whose dome does not lie on a drum. The new church was erected along the North side of Borgo Nuovo, which was at that time - and until its destruction in 1937 - the main road of Borgo.” (Santa Maria in Traspontina, Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Adam’s Place

Adam’s Place and the elevated walkway to Crossrail railway station, Seen from North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London
Adam’s Place and the elevated walkway to Crossrail railway station,
Seen from North Colonnade
Canary Wharf, Tower Hamlets
London, September 2016

“Szerelmey have undertaken all the external hard landscaping to Adam’s Place, to create a public space connecting the new station with Lower Bridge Street. This new area has a number of stunning features, which have been developed and implemented by the Szerelmey Design Team. A covered, elevated walkway traverses Adam’s Place providing pedestrian access to the station shopping mall entrance. The walkway is supported on three giant Y shaped structures that dominate the planning at ground level. The base of each support is incorporated into three substantial water features or ‘mirror pools’, custom designed by Szerelmey, and clad in 50mm thick Nero Assoluto granite. Szerelmey were also responsible for the five large planters clad in terracotta/faience bricks. Each planter has a number of light emitting bricks with tiny fibre optic strands embedded that transmit a flood of light when illuminated from behind. These light bricks were custom made for the client and the planters are totally unique.” (Adam’s Place, Szerelmey)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Guns N' Roses

Guns N' Roses flag outside a window, Via dei Macci, Florence
Guns N' Roses flag outside a window
Via dei Macci
Florence, Janauary 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

Bust of Sylvette

Bust of Sylvette by Carl Nesjar, University Village, Greenwich Village, New York
“Bust of Sylvette” by Carl Nesjar, 1967
University Village, Greenwich Village
New York, September 2008

“In the courtyard at the center of the complex is a 36-foot-high (11 m) cubistic sculpture known as the Bust of Sylvette. As its name indicates, it is a sculpture in-the-round of the head, neck, and shoulders of a woman named Sylvette David. It was created by the Norwegian artist Carl Nesjär in 1968 and was done in collaboration with Pablo Picasso, who had created a 2-foot-high (0.61 m) version of the sculpture in folded metal, in 1954. Picasso was living in the south of France when he met the 20-year-old Sylvette through her boyfriend, Toby Jellinek. Picasso was captivated by her blonde hair and face, and she would become the subject for over 40 pieces of artwork he produced during 1954. The sculpture is noted for its use of the betograve technique of sandblasting concrete to create different textures and received a New York State Award from the New York State Council on the Arts in 1969. A further plan by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1972 to wrap the sculpture in brown fabric was never completed.” (University Village, Wikipedia)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Farmacia di Brera

Antica Farmacia di Brera, Via Fiori Oscuri, Milan
Antica Farmacia di Brera
Via Fiori Oscuri
Milan, November 2016

“It all began in 1837 when young Carlo Erba, after obtaining a degree in Pharmaceutics at Pavia University, decided to start his own company and created Italy’s first pharmaceutical industry, in the small laboratory of his pharmacy located in the ancient Milanese district of Brera. It would then develop through the years with laboratories, shops, factories and hundreds of employees.” (The fascinating story that transformed a profession, Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Seven Ages of Man

“The Seven Ages of Man” by Richard Kindersley, Baynard House, Queen Victoria Street, London
“Seven Ages of Man” by Richard Kindersley, 1980
Baynard House, Queen Victoria Street
London, September 2016

“Cast aluminium column 7 metres high showing the seven ages of man from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Commissioned by British Telecom and placed near the Mermaid Theatre, London.” (Seven Ages of Man, Richard Kindersley)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Borgo Santissimi Apostoli

The impressive display of a shop, Borgo Santissimi Apostoli, Florence
The impressive display of a shop
Borgo Santissimi Apostoli
Florence, January 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

House of Teachers

Haus des Lehrers (House of Teachers) by Hermann Henselmann, Alexanderstraße, Berlin
Haus des Lehrers (House of Teachers) by Hermann Henselmann
Berlin, September 2011

“Haus des Lehrers (German for House of the teacher) is a building in Berlin, located near Alexanderplatz, built between 1962 and 1964 under the German Democratic Republic. Its most notable feature is a mural wrapping around the entire building and extending between the second and fifth above-ground floors. Designed in the style of Mexican mural art by artist Walter Womacka, it is titled Unser Leben (‘Our Life’) and depicts various occupational groups of and aspects of life in the GDR. Adjacent to the building is a two-story congress hall, known since November 2003 as Berliner Congress Center. Between 2003 and 2011, the annual Chaos Communication Congress was hosted there.” (Haus des Lehrers, Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Palazzo Podestà

Nymphaeum, inner courtyard of Palazzo Podestà, Genoa
Nymphaeum by Domenico Parodi
Inner courtyard of Palazzo Podestà
Via Garibaldi
Genoa, April 2016

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Art and Alcohol

The Worship of Bacchus by George Cruikshank, Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After by Gilbert & George, Art and Alcohol Exhibition, Tate Britain, Millbank, London
“The Worship of Bacchus” by George Cruikshank, 1862
“Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After” by Gilbert & George, 1972
“Art and Alcohol” Exhibition
Tate Britain, Millbank
London, September 2016

“But there's fun to be had at Art and Alcohol too, thanks largely to Gilbert and George's Balls: The Evening Before The Morning After. Composed of numerous photos (taken in what was the Balls Brothers Bar in Bethnal Green), the artists capture the essence of one of those nights that runs away with you; one drink turns to two, turns to five... you get the picture. Individually, the artists' snapshots aren't all that interesting, but squelched together into a gradually blurring montage they become intoxicating. Squint at them from the other side of the room and they almost become a big blackened liver. Facing this montage on the other side of the room is the exhibition's other blockbuster; George Cruikshank's vast canvas, The Worship of Bacchus. As if he's taken one part Gin Lane, one part Balls, then shaken vigorously with a fair few gallons of 99% abv Morality, Cruikshank runs roughshod over the Victorians' drinking habits. ‘Excitement from strong drink and drunkenness,’ said Cruikshank, ‘is, in fact, temporary insanity...’. Ironically The Worship of Bacchus verges on the insane too; kiddie-winks are fed wine (again), babies are put in mortal danger (again), people are beaten up and shot, while others — off their noggins on booze — carouse around statues of Bacchus himself.” (A Sobering Exhibition: Art And Alcohol At Tate Britain Reviewed, Londonist)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Opera di Firenze

Opera di Firenze by studio ABDR, Viale Fratelli Rosselli, Florence
Opera di Firenze by studio ABDR, 2014
Viale Fratelli Rosselli
Florence, January 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Retro Bottega

Retro Bottega, rue Saint-Blaise, Quartier de Charonne, 20th arrondissement, Paris
“Retro Bottega” (Back Shop), rue Saint-Blaise
Quartier de Charonne, 20th arrondissement
Paris, July 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Arches of San Luca

A section of the 3.8 km long Portico di San Luca, Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, Bologna
A section of the 3.8 km long Portico di San Luca
Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca
Bologna, June 2015

“While a road now leads up to the sanctuary, it is also possible to reach it along a (3.8 km) monumental roofed arcade (Portico di San Luca) consisting of 666 arches, which was built in 1674-1793. It was meant to protect the icon as it was paraded up the hill. A yearly procession from the Cathedral of San Pietro in the centre of Bologna to the Sanctuary goes along this path. Originally the arches held icons or chapels erected by the patron family.” (Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, Wikipedia)

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Palazzo Budini Gattai

Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, Florence

“It is said that the residents of Palazzo Budini Gattai, in piazza Santissima Annunziata, never close the shutters of the far right window on the second floor. Legend has it that they are too afraid. Many years ago, a young married couple lived there, deeply in love. When he was summoned to war, she waved goodbye from this window as he rode across the square. Every day the noblewoman sat sewing and waiting at the open window, looking out for her husband to come riding back to her from across the piazza. Months turned into years, but he never returned. She continued to wait for him until her death, in that very room. After her funeral, the servants finally closed the shutters. At that point, mayhem broke out. The furniture started shaking, lights flashed and paintings fell off the walls. The uproar continued until the shutters were opened once more. At least one has been left open ever since to allow her ghost to continue to sit by the window, ever hopeful that she will see her beloved, triumphant from that ancient war, returning to her across the square.” (Florence’s phantoms, The Florentine)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hay's Galleria from Above

Hay's Galleria, London
Hay's Galleria by Twigg Brown Architects
London Bridge City, Southwark
London, September 2015

“The easterly end of the site was developed as London Bridge City of which Hay's Galleria' forms part. The decision was made to retain the dock and to restore its tea and produce warehouses surrounding it to provide office accommodation and shops. The dock gates were permanently closed, the 'impounded' area of the dock was covered with a floor to the sill of the wharf-sides and the entire space was enclosed with a glass roof designed by the young architect Arthur Timothy while he worked with Michael Twigg Brown Architects. This scheme was implemented by Twigg Brown Architects as part of their masterplan for the renewal strategy.” (Hay's Galleria, Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Needle, Thread and Knot

Needle, Thread and Knot by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Piazzale Cadorna, Milan
Needle, Thread and Knot” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 2000
(Without the Knot), Piazzale Cadorna
Milan, November 2016

“Commissioned by the City of Milan as part of the renovations of the Milan Cadorna railway station, and unveiled in February 2000, the sculpture is made of stainless steel and reinforced plastic, painted with polyester gelcoat and polyurethane enamel. The "knot" is placed in the middle of a fountain on the middle of the square while the sewing needle is on the footpath in front of the train station. According to the artists the needle pulling thread through fabric is a metaphor for a train going through a tunnel. The thread wrapped around a needle also "paraphrased" the city emblem of a snake coiled around a sword. According to the City of Milan it is also meant as a tribute to Milan's influence in the fashion industry and the three thread colours (red, green, yellow) represent the lines of the Milan Metro.” (Needle, Thread and Knot, Wikipedia)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Palais des congrès

Palais des congrès de Paris by Guillaume Gillet, Place de la Porte Maillot, Paris
Palais des congrès de Paris by Guillaume Gillet, 1974
Place de la Porte Maillot
Quartier des Ternes, 17e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

Friday, January 6, 2017

Mare Nostrum

Gioco Viaggi, Tour & Cruise Operator, Via Bartolomeo Bosco, Genoa
Gioco Viaggi, Tour & Cruise Operator
Via Bartolomeo Bosco
Genoa, April 2016

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Female Blackbird

Female blackbird, roof garden of Allen & Overy, Bishops Square, Spitalfields, London
Female blackbird, roof garden of Allen & Overy
Bishops Square, Spitalfields
London, September 2015

“The new headquarters for Allen and Overy steps back from Bishops Square in a series of green tiers, with roof gardens overlooking the plaza below. The building was commissioned by Allen & Overy to meet the needs of a modern international law firm with strong environmental objectives in mind, serving both retail and office use.” (Allen & Overy LLP HQ, Greenroofs.com)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Lungarno and Ponte Vecchio

Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli and the Ponte Vecchio, Old Bridge, Florence
Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
Seen from the Ponte Santa Trinita (Holy Trinity Bridge)
Florence, December 2016

“This charmingly simple bridge was built in 1345 to replace an earlier bridge swept away by flood. Its shops first housed butchers, then grocers, blacksmiths, and other merchants. But in 1593 the Medici grand duke Ferdinand I (1549–1609), whose private corridor linking the Medici palace (Palazzo Pitti) with the Medici offices (the Uffizi) crossed the bridge atop the shops, decided that all this plebeian commerce under his feet was unseemly. So he threw out the butchers and blacksmiths and installed 41 goldsmiths and eight jewelers. The bridge has been devoted solely to these two trades ever since.” (Ponte Vecchio, Fodor's Travel)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ellis Island

Main Building now housing the Immigration Museum
Ellis Island, Upper New York Bay, New York
Main Building now housing the Immigration Museum
Ellis Island, Upper New York Bay
New York, September 2008

“Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station for over sixty years[8] from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with land reclamation between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. Long considered part of New York state, a 1998 United States Supreme Court decision found that most of the island is in New Jersey.[9] The south side of the island, home to the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, is closed to the general public and the object of restoration efforts spearheaded by Save Ellis Island.” (Ellis Island, Wikipedia)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Galleria Cavour

An amazing bench, Galleria Cavour, Bologna
An amazing bench
Galleria Cavour
Bologna, June 2016

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Couch on Wheels

Pedicab with a couch, Oxford Street, London
Pedicab with a couch
Oxford Street
London, September 2016