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France, Paris: The Throne in the Palace of the Louvre

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France is celebrating 160th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and Japan. Japonismes 2018: Les Ames en Resonance, will run through February 2019 involving exhibitions and events promoting Japanese art and design. Visual artist Kohei Nawa’s monumental sculpture “Throne” has one of the most prestigious spots in Paris: the Louvre. “I see the location as a connecting portal of modern lifestyles and the past, says Nawa, the Kyoto-based artist whose 10.4-meter-tall work is installed under I.M. Pei’s 1989 glass pyramid in the Louvre’s main courtyard.

The making of the throne itself involved both the past and the present. It was designed using state-of-the-art 3D modeling software and carved by robotic arms, however its gleaming gold leaf exterior was hand-applied by Japanese traditional craftspeople.

“The maximum capacity the pyramid can hold is 3 tons, so I told the museum I would ship a sculpture weighing exactly 3 tons,” says Nawa about the work’s creation. “I think they were bit worried, but after it went up, the Louvre’s curator, Martin Kiefer, told me the sculpture looks like it’s been at the pyramid all along.”

It’s not Nawa’s first “Throne” and it is different in that in previous iterations there was usually a small child seated within Nawa’s unique abstract shapes and geometric forms. For the Louvre, the seat is strikingly empty.

“Thrones are for kings. Here, the seat is for the authority that will eventually take over the control in the future. I left the seat empty to emphasize the invisibility,” says Nawa.

It sounds ominous, but Nawa goes on to explain that he foresees the type of power we see controlling today’s politics, economy and lifestyles as disappearing in the future, and in its place will be a very different form of authority. It could be artificial intelligence and advanced computer technology that will “take the throne,” he suggests, while we blindly follow, something that history has shown us that humans have had the tendency to do.

To us it is interesting that he chose a throne to be placed in this, the Palace of the Louvre, where French Kings sat on their thrones. Francis I chose this edifice as the residence for French kings and where it remained thus until good old King Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles and this building was then used to store his pretty things.

France, Paris: Venus, Samothrace, and Mona

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Three of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. The Venus de Milo (found on the Greek island of Milo) is over 200o yrs old and is still seen as the epitomy of classical female beauty. The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a mastery of carving – just notice the wind ruffling her 2200-year- old dress. And dear old Mona, our guide said she has that secret smile because she knows where Rodin hid The Thinker’s clothing! (See him at the Rodin Museum here in Paris)

France, Paris: Eiffel Tower from Hotel Window

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How often do you get to wake up in the morning, look out your window and see the Eiffel Tower greeting you? Or graphics of Notre Dame Cathedrale putting you to sleep at night? We enjoyed the modern Novotel 14 Porte d’Orleans on a Trafalgar Costsaver tour.

Great Britain, London: New Skyscrapers of London

London’s skyline has changed dramatically, Here are the modern skyscrapers which you pass on the City Cruise, free with the London City Pass.

US: Palm Beach, FL – Flagler Museum’s 2018 Whitehall Lecture Series

The 33rd Annual Whitehall Lecture Series, Heroes of the Homefront: World War I and the Faces of Wartime America, commemorates the roles of American soldiers and supporters during World War I.

Ballroom-Lecture-1200Each lecture will provide a unique range of historical perspectives, including those of political and military leadership, the Doughboys on the front lines, minority infantrymen conscripted to battle, and women on the homefront and abroad.

Heroes of the Homefront will evoke a new appreciation for America’s participation in World War I and address the ways in which American culture was changed forever because of it. When possible, a book signing with the speaker follows each lecture. All lectures start at 3:00 pm.

February 18
The Last of the Doughboys:
The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten War
by Richard Rubin
February 25
World War I:
The American Soldier Experience
by Dr. Jennifer Keene
March 4
The Second Line of Defense:
American Women and World War I
by Dr. Lynn Dumenil
March 11
Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I
and the Making of the Modern American Citizen
by Dr. Christopher Capozzola
Online visitors can experience each lecture via a free Livestream broadcast at http://flaglermuseum.us/programs/lecture-series where visitors may listen live, see the presentation and ask the lecturer questions.

Location: The Flagler Museum, One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480
Date: See Above
Time: 3pm
Tel: 561-655-2833
flaglermuseum.us
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thepalmbeaches.com

US: Newark, DE – Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware Exceeds Expectations

We all know that not all hotels measure-up the same, and there is good reason why the Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware is the winner of numerous Trip Advisor and Marriott awards for excellence in guest service, as evaluated by direct guest feedback. With over 250 years of hospitality experience on the management team, Bill Sullivan and his award winning crew do an amazing job exceeding your expectations.Fall Aerials

Enjoy modern accommodations, state-of-the-art technology, and impeccable service at the four-story, 126-room Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware. The hotel offers all of the comforts of home for your visit – whether you’re in the area for business, or to visit the campus of the University of Delaware, the  hotel places you in the center of the action with easy access to the Daniel S. Frawley Stadium, Market Street Mall, Christiana Mall and the Financial District.Brickyard CafŽ by Marriott Hotel

Nestle into the comfortable accommodations in the spacious rooms and suites, equipped with a well-lit work desk and ergonomic chair, free high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and you will sleep soundly on the comfy pillow-top mattresses.

The hotel works closely with the University Hospitality Program, helping to teach future hoteliers, and has always employed hearing-impaired staff. It’s not only disability friendly, it is pet friendly too – including small pet yard outside.

Location: Courtyard Newark: 400 David Hollowell Dr., Newark, DE 19711 (GPS use 200 New London Rd)
Tel: 302-737-0900
udel.edu/hotel
For Regional Restaurants & Accommodations: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: New Haven, CT – International Festival of Arts & Ideas

What do you get when you assemble authors, scientists, and leading innovators alongside outstanding artists? The International Festival of Arts & Ideas – a 15-day festival of performing arts, lectures; dynamic public programs to captivate, entertain, and motivate a diversity of communities.Arts & Ideas2017-05-05_16-12-09

Each June, the Festival takes over the theaters, open spaces, and courtyards of New Haven, Connecticut with performances and dialogues that tickle the senses, engage the mind, and inspire the soul. More than 80% of festival programs are completely free to the public, including events that feature some of the most influential jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists of our time.

Dancers Arts & Ideas 2017-05-05_16-16-33This year will feature an array of world-premiere theater performances, internationally renowned musicians, modern dance, circus theater, weighty discussions on contemporary issues, food and bicycle tours. Be empowered through the rhythms of BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, healed through the communal music of (Be)longing, and surprised by international premieres from China, cutting-edge, retro-tech experiences of Manual Cinema, and LEO’s gravity defying theatrics.  In addition, more than a dozen new performances and experiences in ALTAR’d Spaces surrounding the New Haven Green, the Big Read, The Wailers and Rusted Root… the line up is bounteous!

Photo Credits:New Haven Green – Judy Sirota, Pop Up Fair – Haven Anderson

Location: Town Green and various venues throughout the city
Downtown New Haven, CT 06510
Dates: June 3- 24, 2017
Hours: Various
Tel: 203-498-1212
artidea.org/festival
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

Discover Parks (etc) in Canada for FREE

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by visiting the our home and native land. Parks Canada is offering all Canadians a FREE 2017 Discovery Pass so there will be no cost to visit any of their sites. You have the option of visiting 148 locations everywhere in the country. You probably think  they’re all about national parks but Parks Canada is way more than that – their mandate includes marine conservation areas and national historic sites.

You could visit the wreck of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in Nunavut, view Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan in Kluane National park, ice fields in Jasper, our country’s birthplace within the fortifications of Quebec, Alexander Graham Bell’s inventions,  walk amongst the flower pot rocks on the ocean floor in the Bay of Fundy, Haida Heritage sites, or even Anne of Green Gables‘ writer, Lucy Maude Montgomery’s house.

Here’s a challenge: See how many of their iconic red Adironack chairs you can find and Instagram them. If you want to drool – and – plan ahead, get copies of the National Geographic books Guide to the National Parks of Canada and Guide to the National Historic Sites of Canada.

Yes, you can camp, but you can also reserve a yurt, a goutte d’Ô which resembles a water droplet, a micro cube, large modern houses called oTENTiks or be one of the first to sleep in a hanging Cocoon in Cape Breton.

SBCocoon

www.parkscanada.gc.ca
Tel: 888-773-8888

guides

Canada – Montreal – Bakerfield Mist: Artsy Fartsy Tryst at Centaur

It is really hard to take the boring authenticity-proving side of the modern art world and make it into a delightful audience loving (2 standing ovations on opening night) theatre piece.

Stephen Sachs, the playwright, took on the true story of Terry Horton, a former truck driver who scavenged a painting for $5 at a second-hand shop as a gift for a friend who needed cheering up. Maude Gutman, as she is called in this play, is a lover of kitsch – her trailer is overwhelmed by it (A congratulatory shout out here for the jam-packed shelves created by set and costume designer Pam Johnson, who really needed my Smart Shopping Montreal book to find all that stuff!). At a yard sale, the local art teacher noticed the painting and mentioned it might be a Jackson Pollock; and so begins the tale. Somehow Gutman managed to get a major art house in NYC to send an expert over to check out her claim.

And therein lies this sparring pied-a-deux. A foul-mouthed bourbon drinking trailer park madam vs. the snooty elitist artsy gentleman. Human authenticity versus art authenticity is set to be proven. Nicola Cavendish walks the walk and talks the talk. Her sneaker grounded stalking moves her around the trailer while her expert verbal comedic timing keeps the pace going. She even manages to give the garbage pail “a line”.

Jonathan Monro (Lionel Percy), himself a renaissance man (competitive swimmer, piano prodigy, singer, director, lyricist, actor), glides around her, expertly dodging her verbal and physical attacks. My take-away forever (as a former NYC art teacher) is the exuberant and sexually suggestive way in which Monro teaches us the how and why a Jackson Pollock painting is important – and not just a bunch of paint splashes on a canvas.
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Though Percy always trusts his “first blink”, it is Nicola Cavendish who summed it up brilliantly when she observed Pollock’s paintings, “You can see that what emerges is layers and layers and layers. I think it’s a lesson on how we can learn to look more closely, whether we are talking about a piece of art or whether we’re talking about the woman who lives across the street who’s offensive.” Modern art is beyond the understanding of the ordinary citizen, and this play opens the door a crack as to what it is all about, how it works and doesn’t work. The show makes it all fun and drives Maude’s trailer expertly to the end to find out if she goes from rags to riches.

Location: 453 St-Francois Xavier
corner: Notre-Dame
Tel: 514-288-3161
Dates: Jan 31-Feb 26, 2017
Prices $28- $51
www.centaurtheatre.com
Metro: Place d’Armes

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US: Newark, DE – Courtyard Newark/Univ of Delaware is Pet, Disability and Ice Cream Friendly

This is a special Courtyard, located on the grounds of the University of Delaware, so you can take advantage of University fun. Check to see if you can catch a game or something exciting going on on the campus. The hotel works closely with the University Hospitality Program, helping to teach future hoteliers, and has always employed hearing-impaired staff. It’s not only disability friendly, it is pet friendly too – including small pet yard outside.courtyard-newark-outside

There is good reason why this hotel is the winner of numerous Trip Advisor and Marriott awards for excellence in guest service, as evaluated by direct guest feedback. With over 250 years of hospitality experience on the management team, Bill Sullivan and his award winning crew do an amazing job exceeding your expectations.

Enjoy modern accommodations, state-of-the-art technology, and impeccable service at the  four-story, 126-room Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware. The hotel offers all of the comforts of home for your visit – whether you’re in the area for business, or to visit the campus of the University of Delaware. Make yourself at home in the spacious, pleasingly designed rooms and suites, equipped with a well-lit work desk and ergonomic chair, free high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and comfy pillowtop mattresses.bedroom-courtyard-newark2

For an interesting dining experience, ask them about the unique student restaurant on the campus – and the student ice cream parlor too. It is truly farm-to-table, since other students learning about the dairy industry care for the cows, milk them and prepare the cream for the ice cream.  Sample healthy American fare and award-winning crab cakes at The Bistro, which also serves Starbucks® coffee. Squeeze in a workout in the fully-equipped fitness center, or take a swim in the indoor pool. Book today, this hotel won’t disappoint!

Location: Courtyard Newark: 400 David Hollowell Dr., Newark, DE 19711 (GPS use 200 New London Rd)
Tel: 302-737-0900
udel.edu/hotel
For Regional Restaurants & Accommodations: go-delaware.com/Newark-Delaware