Just back from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and it’s all about the doors in Old San Juan.
My upcoming post will explore the spectacular beaches and unique history of Vieques Island, but for now, I’ll share a sample of the many shapes and bright colors of las puertas hermosas I found walking the streets and alley ways in Old San Juan.
Often behind the doors are gorgeous courtyards.
The colors of the houses are candy for the eyes.
I look forward each Sunday to the The New York Times “Why We Travel” feature that shares reader photos both online and in its print edition. This week’s offerings include colorful Porto, Portugal as the clouds break after three days of rain; rainbow peeks in Mongolia; and a boat resting on Vernazza, Italy’s harbor.
The photos, shot by average readers while traveling, capture the feeling of experiencing a certain moment in a certain place – my readers know this, no doubt – when words just won’t do. (“The miracle of the actual” writes Colum McCann in his latest book “Transatlantic”)
Like many of you, I have saved photos of travels past that have left their imprint on me long after the experience.
I took this photo on the Red Sea beach of Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt’s Ras Mohammed National Park in 2001. On this day we joined an Italian day group excursion to visit the park located on the southern extreme of the Sinai peninsula (the only way to go there, at least then). Unplanned, an idea to run into the fluorescent water developed quickly among members of the group – most who did not know each other before the trip. They joined hands. I grabbed my camera. And got this shot.
What memorable images have you captured from your travels?
Our home is a collection of old and new. When returning to the states after living in Europe, we shipped many of our favorite things that held sentimental value from our time spent there. Our yellow modern Italian couches and other furniture pieces, dishes, artwork such as framed antique maps, books, and, naturally, our Alessi favorites, as I describe in this past post.
But what had become a challenge was an update to our artwork. Over our modern Italian couches and near several framed black and white photographs, hung a fresco-like painting of Siena on canvas purchased in Italy. It held sentimental value but felt old-fashioned. In fact, much of today’s European and Italian design is more modern than those Americans promoting Tuscan kitchens would like to believe. Our Northern Italian friends have the latest in glass tile, and favor clean lines, modern art and appliances over a traditional look. While we have many traditional items in our home such as a large french-style kitchen pine table, it became clear it was time to update this piece of art on the wall. But how? How does a Europhile – lover of history and things old – accomplish this?
I found my solution last month, while perusing the shelves at our local bookstore downtown for Christmas presents. Above the books, I discovered artistic photographs displayed around the room. The art show was featuring the work of Northern California photographer Dee Conway.
“Room in the Louvre” Dee Conway
Several sepia-colored prints from photographs featuring European architecture that appeared to be near or around Paris caught my attention. (The photos are archival prints on watercolor paper from a film negative).
One photograph in particular, shot wide angle by Conway from a circular window looking out onto the Louvre’s back courtyard produces a peaceful effect with its shadows, texture and clouds. Quite large and framed in light wood, the photograph – for me – feels so familiar and represents why views like these in Europe never fail to catch my eye and keep me gazing; they fill my soul and spirit when I’m there. I never tire of it.
“The Louvre”, Dee Conway
One of her framed photographs has taken the place of the Siena fresco and, with the addition of a few Missoni-style, brightly-striped couch pillows, our room has been updated with the most perfect effect.
All photos by permission of Dee Conway photography at http://deeconway.com/
Posted in architecture, art, Culture, design, europe, Home, Museums, Paris, Photography, Travel
Tagged art, Dee Conway Photography, home decor, louvre, Photography, photography of europe, travel
We just returned from our first trip back to Northern Italy since we left and moved back home. There we embraced a new relationship with the country we once called home. We aren’t quite Italy’s tourists and we certainly aren’t its residents anymore. We’re ex-residents and it’s a lovely thing. While jet lag prevents me from writing further (and keeping my eyes open at the moment), instead in this first post I’ll share some of my favorite images captured during our stay there. Enjoy!
Italian sky over Lago di Garda
Brescia “new” Duomo
Outside Crema, Italy
Monte Maderno (our old ‘hood)
Church, Monte Maderno
beach, Toscolano Maderno
beach, Toscolano Maderno
- streetside, San Felice del Benaco, Lago di Garda
Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
- Campo Santo Spirito, Firenze
Market at Salo
Stunning Lago di Garda, D.H. Lawrence called it the “milky lake”