An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

I’m not sure I can recommend this 2010 novel.

It’s well written, but something is odd. It doesn’t reflect any kind of Steve Martin humour.

The book by follows the New York art world climb of Lacey Yeager, a beautiful and dislikable young woman.

Too ambitious. Too much an opportunist.

The only reason to read this book would be to learn about the NY art scene.

NY Times review 

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revisiting the British Museum

Anyone visiting London MUST visit.

The¬†British Museum, located in the¬†Bloomsbury¬†area of¬†London, in the¬†United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to¬†human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection numbers some 8 million works …

It first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 …

Its ownership of some of its most famous objects originating in other countries is disputed and remains the subject of international controversy, most notably in the case of the¬†Parthenon Marbles. …

The Tree of Life is a sculpture created by four artists in Mozambique. It was commissioned and then installed in the British Museum in 2005.¬†It was built from the surrender of 600,000 weapons that were converted into art following an initiative started by Bishop Dinis Sengulane. …

revisiting the National Gallery, London

FREE MUSEUMS (donation recommended) in LONDON are awesome.

Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. …

Its collection belongs to the government on behalf of the British public, and entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is among the¬†most visited art museums¬†in the world, after the¬†Louvre, the¬†British Museum, and the¬†Metropolitan Museum of Art. …¬†

Overwhelmed, I jumped quite quickly to the the Impressionists and Post-impressionists. My favourites.

In fact, one special exhibition convinced me to buy a ticket.

Courtauld Impressionists: From Manet to Cézanne

The image they used for the promotion is La Loge (The Theatre Box) by by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. (1874)

Charge of the Light Brigade

Tennyson wrote this patriotic poem under a pseudonym, based on news reports he’d read about great casualties in the Battle of Balaclava (1854) in the Crimean War.

Lord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had his commands mis-communicated. He had not wanted a suicidal frontal attack.

War is Hell. Don’t go to war.

Opposing Russian forces slaughtered the attackers with Lord Cardigan out in front. He somehow survived the battle.

… All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!‚ÄĚ he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
¬† ¬†… Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

Charge of the Light Brigade by ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

working online while traveling

I met¬†Leon Nikoosimaitak at a hostel in Casablanca. He’s a¬†Motion Graphic Designer / Illustrator.

In London he might spend 4000‚ā¨ / month. In Casablanca it’s a tiny fraction of that.

He works online. Takes breaks to go surfing every day.

Click PLAY or watch samples of his work on Vimeo.

Earlier in the trip I met Anika from Houston. She spent 3 weeks hiking the Appalachian Trail this year … while sneaking off trail once in a while to work online.

underrated Casablanca

Marrakesh is packed with tourists from around the world.

The streets are filled with touts and conmen trying to separate them from their money. A Canadian I met had his phone stolen from a cargo pants pocket in the street, even though it was worthless to the pickpocket. It was locked.

Very few visitors go to¬†Casablanca except on business. I don’t know why. It’s a very interesting city with no touts anywhere.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The highlight is massive Hassan II Mosque built out over the ocean. It’s one of the 5 largest in the world. (capacity 105,000 worshippers with room for at least another 100,000 outside)

I’ve loved visiting huge Mosques since Istanbul 1994.

In Morocco non-Muslims are not allowed inside, actually. But Hassan II is one of the two that does allow it. I joined an English language tour.

 

exploring Oslo, Norway

For 2018 Lonely Planet named Oslo¬†one of the ten best cities in the world to visit in 2018, citing the Norwegian capital’s “innovative architecture and unmissable museums alongside cool bars, bistros and caf√©s”.

Welcome to Oslo

I wandered much of the city within walking distance of the Opera House.

Young people are not visiting much as there are few hostels. And those few area crappy.

It’s quirky. I like sculpture and there’s some kind of weird sculpture ‚ÄĒ¬†mostly nude ‚ÄĒ at every turn.