Tarascon Stagecoach

Tarascon Stagecoach (La Diligence de Tarascon)

20190417_0718571081994049186993525.jpg

 

Vincent van Gogh, Dutch. 1853-1888

October 1888. Oil on Canvas.  On long-term loan from The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, to the Princeton University Art Museum. Currently on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston Texas.

In a letter to Theo on October 13, 1888, Vincent refers to one of his favorite books, Tartarin de Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet, with “the old Tarascon diligence….Well, I’ve just painted that red and green carriage in the yard of the inn.” The stagecoach stopped at Arles, midway along its route from Nimes.

Here is a life size sculpture reproduction in the yard at the Grounds for Sculpture at Hamilton New Jersey.

dscn44757073062094412947489.jpg

Taracson Stagecoach – Hamiton New Jersey

dscn44747709485515105320365.jpg

SERVICE DE TARASCON

 

 

 

 

Isn’t Life Ironic?

Once upon a time, not long ago, I took my young friend Victoria to see Bonnie Rait at the Louisville Palace. While waiting in line to get in we stood outside next to a picture of Tony Bennett who had been a featured performer at the Palace in the past.  I remarked to Victoria that I had seen Tony Bennett at the Palace back before she was even born.

She looked up at me with her smiling eyes and said, “Isn’t life ironic?”

 

louisville palace630832282324179125..jpg

The Palace Theater

Bonnie Rait

Bonnie Rait

20181204_1932086980550087671505488.jpg

Victoria Meadows

 

 

Tony 2

Tony Bennett

The Thorobred Club

o

I stopped into the strip club out near the race track early on a Friday night. They had just opened so there wasn’t a whole lot of action going on. Strippers sitting in little clumps here and there. I sat down at the bar and ordered a Budweiser. This is de rigueur for me at strip clubs because its an easy drink to order, it’s cheap, and doesn’t call a lot of attention. Usually a good way to change a twenty and get a lot of singles for the strippers. Strippers love singles.

“What’ll be Bud?”

“I’ll have a Budweiser, please.”

“This Bud’s for you.”

She opened one of the glass paneled doors covering the refrigerated room back of the bar and retrieved a bottle of beer and set it down before me.

“Just a minute,” she said when I tried to pay her.

They were still opening the joint and she and another barmaid were hovering over the cash register counting money and signing in. It was OK with me. I was in no hurry.

I was sitting there on my bar stool swigging my beer and swiveling around on the stool to check the place out. Back behind me there was a large main stage with two stripper poles. Music was playing in the background. Kind of low for a stripper place I thought. There were tables and chairs in the space between me and the stage. The lighting was low and seductive and of course mirrors everywhere. I had turned back around to the bar facing the mirror on the back wall when I noticed a thin young girl with long brown mousy hair wearing a black athletic jacket heading in my direction. Under the jacket was a nice lingerie set of matching black bra and panties. She was distinguished from the other girls because one, she was wearing a jacket, and two because her lingerie was nicer than the rest. The panties were high waisted and the brassier was rather full, more like a bustier, and while she looked good, she really wasn’t that sexy.

“Hi. What’s your name, cowboy?” She asked.

“Philip”, I answered. “What’s yours?”

She lowered her head and got closer and got a silly grin on her face.

“My real name or my stripper name?” She purred into my ear.

“Well, I always like to know a girl’s real name.”

“We’re not supposed to tell what our real name is.” She dropped her head and laughed. “It’s Crystal. My stripper name is Bella.”

“Oh, Bella! That’s a pretty name!” I was wondering if she knew what it really meant.

She smiled. “Thanks! Yours is pretty too.”

I smiled back.

“I don’t usually do this. I only work a couple days a month. Just enough to make a little money to pay the rent. I’m a single mother. I have a six-year-old daughter at home I have to take care of. She’ll be six in August.”

“Oh really? What day?”

“The ninth. August the ninth.”

“Wow! Really? That’s my birthday too!”

Her smile got bigger.

“Really? What’s your sign?”

“Leo. Just like your daughter. What’s yours?”

“Scorpio.”

“Oh! The most dangerous sign in the universe!”

“Do you study signs?”

“A little bit. You?”

She nodded her assent.

“Are Leos and Scorpios compatible?”

She laughed and allowed that they were. “I’m very passionate.” She said.

Then she went on about how she didn’t’ drink but that she smoked a lot.

“Weed?”

“Yeah. Buy me a drink?”

“I thought you just said you didn’t drink.”

“I don’t. Except when I come here. I couldn’t do this unless I drank.”

“How much are they? I don’t usually buy girls drinks because they jack the prices up and I don’t like that.”

She grimaced. “I really don’t know. Get me a shot of tequila. I’m going over here to talk to my friend to make sure she is alright. I’ll be right back.”

So, I ordered a shot. I figured if the barmaid thought it was for me, she would just charge me regular price.

“Silver or gold?” She asked.

“Silver.”

She poured a shot and set it down in front of me.

“Lemon or lime?”

“Lemon.”

“You want salt with that?”

“No.”

“That’ll be seven dollars.”

In a few minutes Crystal drifted back over to where I was sitting and spotted the shot of Patron sitting on the bar.

“Where’s your shot?”

“I’m drinking beer.”

This seemed to satisfy her. She picked up the shot of tequila and poured it down her gullet and then sucked on the lemon and made a face.

“Oh, that was awful!”

“The lemon?”

“No, the tequila. I told you I didn’t drink.”

Then she proceeded to tell me how when she was younger, she did a lot of bad things but she was trying to turn her life around. She said her boy friend was shot and killed right beside her. Turned out it was a drug deal gone bad. We talked about how dangerous Louisville was and what an underbelly it had. Then she went back over to her friend who was sitting at the other end of the bar.

I figured she be back for another drink but it looked like she got caught up in the conversation with her friend and some others who joined them. Thought it might be a good time to blow so I took the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confederate Monument Vandalized

John Breckinridge Castleman

20190227_0908038443761454819915582.jpg

This monument represents John Breckinridge Castleman, a confederate officer (1841-1918). It stands in the Cherokee Triangle, in Louisville, Kentucky. It was privately commissioned in 1913. The monument was vandalized and subsequently conserved on multiple occasion notably in 1996, and in 2017, and most recently on February 7, 2018. The City of Louisville is currently holding meetings to garner public sentiment for guidance as to the final fate of this monument.

20190227_0905002491559175615183942.jpg

House the Homeless

20190226_1454177812233695555205762.jpg

No Borders

 

Single Black Female

20190217_1704135806483079813813781.jpg

I was having breakfast in one of my favorite hamburger joints, Burger Boy, down on Burnett, when I looked up from the book I was reading and I noticed a single black female, short in stature, with long black hair and fake eyelashes sitting with her back to me at the lunch counter. She was wearing a black ball cap and a black leather jacket. The jacket had silver studs on the collar and along the half circle of each of the shoulders. She had on tight blue jeans and brown suede fringed moccasins that went half way up her well-shaped calves. There was a red leather purse with a gold chain sitting on the counter in front of her.

20190217_1705373985358745246723419.jpg

She kept glancing at her cell phone as she patiently waited for her food too to arrive. She got it to go. When it came, she picked up the white plastic bag the waitress had placed before her and she stepped away from the counter.

20190217_1708422175363450347332097.jpg

It was then that I witnessed the full effect of her great beauty as her face came into full view. She then made her way to the front door and departed. It was a moment.

20190217_1709388615468474366675832.jpg

KMAC Couture

Launch Party

KMAC Couture is a wearable art runway show presented by KMAC Museum In Louisville, Kentucky each April. This event offers a unique way to experience the Museum.

kmac couture7476668826083908191..jpg

Everything Couture Here?

I walked into the party

my scarf it was apricot

I had one eye in the viewfinder

and the other rubbering around the room

the girls in their lavish dresses

were on display for all to see

A cupcake is a tasty treat

and the eye candy looked so sweet…

the gates of heaven must be open

I think I saw an angel just walk by.

couture cup cakes5393067887174371334..jpg

couture6467029034218218949.jpg

couture-1523838578358579916.jpg

couture-28889361310451143061.jpg

couture-3689450336042627469.jpg

 

couture-45929547131616962788.jpg

couture-54056190540282091655.jpg

 

 

KMAC Museum, 715 W, Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky

All photos by Benn Bell

 

LOVE

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my fabulous Word Press friends!

love-11162564857284081375.jpg

Love from Louisville

love-11156341100333940152.jpg

Goddess of Love

amor6220816876956754193.jpg

Amour From Philadelphia

love4233262250846321546.jpg

City of Brotherly Love

love-26630487698784011388.jpg

Love from Big Lou

love2469440767491368887.jpg

Love from the Big Apple

Rude Kings

He looked on fabulous monsters, the twin beards and huge beast-bodies of Assyrian Kings, the walls of Babylon.

 -Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward Angel

 

20190210_0855365953444113482142231.jpg

Storefront, Philadelphia

dscn03964359097956170590068.jpg

Storefront, Philadelphia

chicago nikon 2016 (21 of 109)1980903685865128348..jpg

Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago

chicago nikon 2016 (19 of 109)3396486877660146139..jpg

Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago

chicago nikon 2016 (15 of 109)2554053235003874217..jpg

Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago

All photos by Benn Bell

Walking in the Hood on a Snowy Day

What hood this is I think I know.

I walk and think while the hood fills up with snow.

Old Louisville is where I walk around

As the snow flakes fall gently to the ground

I linger here a while

And what I see makes me smile

The pretty little houses with the snow piled high

I  take a few pictures to remember by.

20190112_1111222946175309016440576.jpg

The North Face

20190114_0917011119279481284191189.jpg

Which Way did they go?

20190112_1151351576485957220175591.jpg

Walking in the Hood on a Snowy Day

20190112_1153341188121071008653318.jpg

Now that’s a horse of a different color

20190112_1154218904660433914222547.jpg

Pegasus

20190114_091756696434474459049725.jpg

Believe