Ajijic, Mexico Day 4

Had breakfast this morning with the breakfast club at Min Wah’s.

Members of the Breakfast Club: Buddha, Perry Steve, Andrew, Bruce, and Al.

Took a cab with Buddha to Chapala, a town nearby much larger than Ajijic. A beautiful town on the lake with a nice Malecon. We had lunch at the Patio and looked around the square and visited some shops. Buddha bought a guitar which he didn’t need. Spent too much money and ended up with buyer’s remorse. He said he was going to trade it. Later that night he got drunk and fell asleep with the guitar in his bed. He kicked it out of bed and the next morning when he woke he discovered that there was a crack in his new guitar.

We took the bus back which was quite an experience. The bus was full. Jam packed with people. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up some supplies and went home for a siesta. Buddha came over about 5:30 and we took a bus to Perry’s pizza to listen to the music. Not much happening there. We had a couple of drinks and ended up at eEl Barco for a nightcap and then I walked home from there.

Breakfast at Bin Wah’s

Buddha, Perry, Steve, and Andrew

Bruce, Al, Alain

The next series of pictures were taken in Chapala later that same day.

Chapala

Boats on Lake Chapala

                                               Girl eating a snow cone

                                    Young Boy Singing for his Supper

                                                The Fisherman of Chapala

                                             “I am the light of the world.”

                                                 Mother and Daughter

                                                     Shoreline Chapala

                                                           Fishermen of Men

                                                           Please be generous

                              Interior Parish of San Francisco, Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

                                                Mary Mother of God

                                                        Jesus Christ

                         Angels and Ministers of Grace Preserve Us

                                                                   Angel Heart

                                                          Please Be Kind

                                                             Lunch at the Patio

Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico Day 1

Drag Show

I left Louisville at 7:30 in the morning on a United Airlines flight connecting in Houston. It was a tight connection and I boarded almost immediately after arriving at the gate. We got in the air with no delay and arrived in Guadalajara on time at 3:30 pm. Off the plane we had to go through immigration and customs. There were long lines but it didn’t take long before I was in the main terminal looking for a taxi for the last leg of the journey to Ajijic.

It was about a forty-five minute ride to Ajijic. By the time I got there and checked into my Airbnb my phone was blowing up by two of my friends who were already there.

“Where ya at, Kat?”

“What’s your exact address?”

“Can you come over now to Bruce’s on Victoria?”

We had plans for dinner as a seafood restaurant that night and then we were going to a “drag” show at the Spotlight Theater later.

So I got my shit together and headed over to Bruce’s house one block away on Victoria Street where my friend Buddha was staying. We got in Bruce’s car and drove to La Pacena for dinner. That was a whole other experience that I’ll tell you about later.

Anyway, after dinner we went to the drag show. Here are some of the pictures.

The show was hilarious and quite well performed. Topical humor, political humor, and a lot of Jewish Jokes. Oh…and the name of the show was, Oy ve Christmas! Performed by The Kinsey Sicks.

Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico

I’ve decided to do something a little different on my blog. I do travel pieces from time to time, but usually I wait until I get home and edit my photos and then put a story together. This time I thought I’d do something in real time. I am currently on a trip to Ajijic Mexico. I’ve been here a few days and it’s been quite an adventure so far.

I secured lodgings through my Airbnb ap. This is my fourth trip with Airbnb and while every experience has been different they have all been good.

Here’s where I’m staying in Ajijic:

My new lodgings for the next few weeks

The street where I live full of cobbles and bits

And a nice little garden out back

To be continued…

HARD ROCK HOTEL

Dateline: New Orleans

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On a recent trip to New Orleans I came upon this scene.

This is a shot of the Hard Rock Hotel building which collapsed while under construction in New Orleans on October 12, 2019. Three dead and dozens injured. We stayed just two blocks away but the streets were blocked off for three blocks north and south which required a walk around making a five block walk to Bourbon Street an eight block walk.

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Canal Street, a major thoroughfare in New Orleans, was blocked off creating a transportation nightmare. The streetcars were not running for fear of vibrating loose the already unstable building. Authorities sill haven’t recovered the bodies of the dead.

 

The Barnes Foundation – Philadelphia

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On a recent trip to Philadelphia I had occasion to visit the Barnes Foundation with my friend Winter. This is a wonderful collection of art from around the world and from different time periods. It is housed in a magnificent building  that is an architectural wonder. The photographs in this post are my impression of my visit and in no way exhaustive of what I saw.

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The following information from the brochure will give you some more facts about the collection and the philosophy behind it. I must say I was not prepared for what I saw and my jaw was agape from the time I walked into first gallery until the last.

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Top Picture: Models. George Seurat, 1886-1888

The Barnes is home to a world-class collection of impressionist, and early modernist paintings, with especially deep holdings in Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, and Picasso.  Assembled by Dr. Albert C. Barnes between 1912-1951, the collection also includes important examples of African Art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, and wrought iron metalwork.

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The Card Players. Paul Cezanne, 1890-1892

The minute you walk into the galleries you’re in an experience like no other. Here you will find paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, And Pablo Picasso, hanging next to ordinary household objects: a door hinge, a spatula, a yarn spinner. On one wall you might see a French medieval sculpture displayed with a Navajo textile. Dr. Barnes chose to combine objects from different cultures, genres, and times to create diverse displays he called “ensembles.”

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Bather Drying Herself. Pierre-August Renoir

These ensembles, each one carefully put together by Dr. Barnes himself, are meant to show the surprising similarities between objects we don’t normally thing of as belonging together. He arranged the works according to light, color, and space-principles that he called the “universal language of art.”

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Bathers in the Forest. Pierre-August Renoir, 1897

Dr. Barnes believed that art had the power to improve minds and transform lives. In 1922 he established the Barnes foundation as a school for learning how to see and appreciate art. He had a gallery built on Merion, a Philadelphia suburb, to house his growing collection. He held classes in the gallery so that students could learn directly from the art.

In 2012, after much controversy, his collection was moved to Philadelphia.

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Luncheon. Pierre-August Renoir, 1875

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Sailor Boy. Pierre-August Rodin, 1883

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Bather and Maid. Pierre-August Renoir, 1900-1901

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Woman with White Stockings. Gustave Courbet, 1864

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Before the Bath. Pierre-August Renoir, C. 1875

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Two Women Surrounded by Birds. Joan Miro, 1937

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Winter at the Barnes

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Studio with Gold Fish. Henri Matisse, 1912

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In the Galleries

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Leaving the Conservatory. Pierre-August Renoir, 1876-1877

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Girl with a Goat. Pablo Picasso

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The Music Lesson. Henri Matisse, 1917

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The Dance. Henri Matisse, 1932

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Mussel-Fishers at Bernal. Pierre-August Renoir

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Jean Hebuterne.  Amedeo Modigiani, 1919

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Two Standing Nudes. Jules Pascin, 1914

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Outside the Barnes

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Reflecting Pool Outside the Barnes

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Art on the Avenue

 

Muhammad Ali Center

Photo Essay

The Muhammad Ali center is a multicultural center with an award wining museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali. It is located in the heart of beautiful downtown Louisville at 144 N. 6th Street. Ali was a boxing champ, a humanitarian, and a Louisville legend. He is widely regarded as one of the most important sports figures of the 20th century.

I recently visited the Muhammad Ali Center with a friend of mine who was visiting from Philly. While there I snapped a few pictures. Here is what I saw.

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Front Entrance

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Ali – Our Champion Forever

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Olympic Torch

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Islam vs. Christianity

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I am the Greatest!

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Winter in the window  overlooking the Ohio River

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Picture Ali

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A young Cassius Clay

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“Cassius immediately springs to his feet” -Leroy Neiman

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In the Lobby

The Biltmore Estate

Road Trip to Asheville, North Carolina

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My trip to Asheville, North Carolina would not be complete without a visit to the Biltmore estate. I was a little hesitant at first to fork over $75.00 for the price of admission but once on the grounds and into the house I soon discovered the tour was worth every penny. Buy the ticket, take the ride as Hunter would say.

The first ride was on a bus from the remote parking area to the mansion proper.

George Vanderbilt opened the Biltmore House on Christmas Eve 1895, after six years of construction. He created Biltmore as an escape from everyday life for his family and friends. The 8,000 estate was home to George, his wife Edith, and their daughter Cornelia. In 1924 Cornelia married John Francis Amherst Cecil. They lived and entertained at Biltmore. The Cecils opened Biltmore to the public in 1930 to promote tourism in the area during the depression and to generate income to maintain the property.

Vanderbilt decided to construct Biltmore in 1888. He acquired 125,000 acres of woodland in North Carolina. He hired architect Morris Hunt to design a limestone house to be modeled on the Chateau de Blois of the Loire Valley in France. It is said to be the largest domestic home ever built in the United States encompassing four acres of floor space.

Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, George’s father, made the family fortune in the shipping and railroad business. At one time he had a monopoly on all rail service in and out of New York City. As legend has it, he started his ferry business as a young man with a $100 loan from his mother, worked hard, and became one of the wealthiest men in America during the so-called Gilded Age.

Today, Biltmore remains a family business employing over 2000 employees who continue Biltmore’s mission to preserve what has been described a national treasure.

The house is beautiful and handsomely furnished, as the pictures will attest, but one is slightly turned off by the ostentaciousness of the luxurious surroundings.

One wonders about all the concentration of wealth in the hands of so few while America continues to be run by oligarchs and income disparity strangles the middle class and starves the poor.

George Orwell said it best I think: A fat man eating quails while children are begging for bread is a disgusting sight, but you are less likely to see it when you are within the sound of the guns.”

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Comments are welcome.

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Front Lawn of the Biltmore Estate

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Exterior Shot

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Winter Garden Room

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Breakfast Room

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Portico

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View From a Broad

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Back Porch

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View From the Terrace

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Library

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Library

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George Vanderbilt’s Bed

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George Vanderbilt’s Bedroom

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Mrs. Vanderbilt’s Bed

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Underground Tunnel Below the Manse

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Bowling Alley

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Swimming Pool

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Main Kitchen

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Banquet Hall

 

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Pool Room

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Gun Room