A Day on Florida’s Historic Coast

 

Alcazar Hotel

The Historic Alcazar Hotel.

I recently took a one day getaway to St. Augustine. I decided to visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum in the afternoon and then go to the Corazon Cinema and Cafe for dinner and a movie.

St. Augustine Lighthouse.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse.

Lighthouse stairwell.

Stairwell of the lighthouse.

Kids playground

Kids can pretend they are pirates at this playground.

I arrive at The St. Augustine Lighthouse, I paid my admission and picked up a Visitors Map with a self guided tour. I walked through the Maritime Hammock and by the children’s playground. None of the other lighthouses I had visited before were so family friendly.

In the Keepers’ House there is a museum. It had a living room, time line, displays and lots of area history. After visiting the museum, I decided to climb the lighthouse. I entered the Lighthouse Oil Room where the lighthouse’s supply of lard oil was once stored. A sign challenged me to imagine Lightkeepers climbing the stairs while “toting the oil.” I visited the Lightkeepers Office and Workroom. This Lighthouse visit gave me insight into the lives of Lightkeepers and their families.

Toting the oil.

Toting the oil.

I arrived early at the Corazon to take advantage of the free parking. I paid for the movie and then walked to nearby sites. The Corazon is near the historic Alcazar Hotel and Flagler College.

After a short stroll, it was time for the movie. I had tried for months to see the movie “Mr. Turner” about one of my favorite artists JMW Turner. I was excited it was playing at the Corazon. With a sandwich and popcorn in hand, I was eager to see the movie.

The Corazon Cinema and Cafe.

The Corazon Cinema and Cafe.

The Corazon is located at 36 Granada Street. For more information , call 904-679-5736 or visit http://www.corazoncinemaanscafe.com

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What is Peace?

Ouichi Gallery

Guests at the 100 Artist Exhibit at the Ouchi Gallery.

With so much violence and hatred in today’s word, I thought I would ask a few guests at the Ouchi Gallery “100 Artists” Exhibit in Brooklyn the question “What is peace?”

Here are the answers to my question, “What is peace?”

“Peace is treating others as we wish to be treated?”
“Peace is friendship.”
“Peace is the Peace sign.”
“Peace is balanced.”
“Peace is the balance of chaos.”
“Peace is calm with no storm in sight feeling at ease with yourself and everything/one/in and around you.”
“Peace is love and compromise.”
“When I think of peace, I think of the color blue-a gentle smooth color.”

Godzilla Seeking New York.

My painting “Godzilla Seeking New York” on display at the Ouchi Gallery.

Thanks to all who answered my questions.

I LOVE BROOKLYN

brooklyn museum

The Brooklyn Museum.

Kitche

My kitchen at the Sofia Inn.

I know the mantra goes “I love New York” but if you’re looking for a smaller bite near the big apple, visit Brooklyn. After leaving Martha’s Vineyard, I landed at JFK for a one night stay in Brooklyn. I had googled B&B’s in New York and found the Sofia Inn in Brooklyn a few months ago.

Siofia Inn

My room at Sofia Inn.

I love the Sofia Inn. My room was beautiful and equipped with a full kitchen. The place was immaculate and the Inn keeper readily available. It’s a nice Brownstone and my son quipped that it is near the neighborhood where they filmed the “Cosby Show.”

Prospet Park

Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is picturesque with street lined trees and blooming flowers.

Water fountain at the Brooklyn Museum.

Water fountain at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Brooklyn Museum was a five minute walk away.

Brooklyn Museum.

I recharged my phone and got transit maps at the Brooklyn Museum.

Nearby you’ll also find the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn library and the Arc de Brooklyn.

Arc de Brooklyn.

A biker waits for the light at the Arc de Brooklyn.

Martha’s Vineyard: Easy on the eyes and wallet

view of Nantucket Sound

View of Nantucket Sound from Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard.

Martha’s Vineyard conjures up ideas of Presidential retreats and rich millionaires. How unlikely it was for me an artist to even consider a visit there. But with two back to back exhibits, I needed a hiatus and decided like everyone else to go to Martha’s Vineyard. The lush green quiet island replenished my artistic soul and was easy on my eyes and wallet.

You can take Peter Pan Bus lines to Woods Hole for a nominal fee from Boston. My Boston cousin drove us to Woods Hole and I paid $8.50 for the 45 minutes cruise to Vineyard Haven.

Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard.

Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard.

After we disembarked, we caught a bus for $2.50 directly to the Cleaveland House B&B in West Tisbury. Life could not have been easier or cheaper. The Inn was the perfect retreat for an artist—reasonably priced and conveniently located on the island. The Inn Keeper, a mystery writer, and her husband checked us in after a short wait. Our room had twin beds with a sofa and was decorated with a touch of nostalgia. I visited mid-week and enjoyed the quiet comfort of the Inn.

sign for the Cleaveland House

The road sign for Cleaveland House in West Tisbury.

The Cleaveland House

The Cleaveland House is located on 620 Edgartown Road.

breakfast nook

Cozy breakfast nook at the Cleaveland House.

A pond at the Cleaveland House.

A pond at the Cleaveland House.

A view of a nearby bedroom at the Cleveland House.

A view of a nearby bedroom at the Cleveland House.

After a good night’s sleep and complimentary continental breakfast, I ventured out. I had come to rest and to draw four lighthouses in one day. Upon learning that there was public transportation near all lighthouses, I gladly cancelled my $100 a day car rental. I didn’t want to worry about parking and getting lost. I paid $8.00 for a one-day bus pass. It took me all day to see the lighthouses because I missed one bus.  Along the way, I saw almost all of the island, sat at the beach (after missing the bus) and treated myself to an ice cream cone. The waffle cone was huge and under $6.00. The buses run on a timely schedule and the drivers make sure you catch the next bus by communicating and asking the next driver to wait if needed. When it was time for dinner, my sister and my cousin who lives on the island went out for pizza. I went to Aquinnah to draw my last lighthouse and skipped the dinner. Fortunately, my cousin had mercy on a “starving artist” and sent back pizza by my sister.

Gay Head lighthouse settled in its new place.

Gay Head lighthouse settled in its new place.

The highlight of my trip was my visit to the Gay Head lighthouse. I was delighted to learn that the lighthouse was being moved to keep it from falling off a cliff. Since 1844, Gay Head had occupied this site. After a century of erosion, it was now close to the edge of the cliff. It took three days to move the lighthouse. The completed move was celebrated with cheers and the christening of the lighthouse with champagne.

Gay Head lighthouse

A view from the look out of Gay Head Lighthouse and cliffs.

The next day I check out and paid only $250 for two nights at the Cleaveland House. I caught the bus to the airport for $2.50 and paid only $71 for my New York flight.

At the airport my cousin checked me in and embarrassed me by introducing me as a celebrity on the flight. Hey–the only thing I’m famous for is saving a buck here and there!

 

Great Wave Ashore at Boston Museum

The Great Wave.

“Under the Wave off Kanagawa” also know as “The Great Wave.”

I saw the street banners proclaiming “Hokusai” on my way from Logan Airport. It was a no brainer; I decided to visit the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I perused their website. Seven decades of art by the internationally renowned “Great Wave” artist, Hokusai would be on view.

The cranes

“Umezawa Manor in Sagami Province.” Cranes are a symbol of longevity in East Asian art.

So I rode the Mass Transit Authority’s Green line for a direct route from downtown. I was fascinated by Hokusai. He inspired the French Impressionists who greatly admired his work. It was no wonder. This artist did paintings, wood prints, book illustrations, signs, silk scrolls, dioramas, and more. Hokusai seized every opportunity.

Warriors in combat.

Watanabe no Gengo Tsuna and Inokuma Nyudo Raiun.

He was a visionary who bucked tradition and used Prussian blue when black ink was the prevailing color. He instituted many other innovations. He led the way in subject matter (painting landscapes, still lifes, etc.) creating public demand. At the age of 70, he painted 36 views of Mount Fuji that included the “Great Wave.” I spent a day being mesmerized by this phenomenal artist with such humility. A narrative said he felt he did nothing that gained notice until he was in his 70s.

Diorama

Newly Published Cut-Out Lantern Picture: “Dance of the Gods at the Heavenly Cave.”

When he died in his 90s, his last words were said to be a plea for just five or 10 more years to paint.

After being caught up in the “Great Wave”, I paused quietly at “In the Wake Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11” exhibit. I was moved by artists speaking to the times in which they lived in. The exhibit focused on the earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The gut wrenching exhibit had “before and after” scenes. The artists compared the destruction caused by the Fukushima Nuclear Plant to the atomic bombs in 1945.

The Sun by Takashi Arai

“The Sun at the Apparent Attitude of 570 in WNW, Hijiyama Park.” The artist Takashi Arai took this image of the sun, waiting for it to perfectly align with the detonation point of Little Boy, the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

Before I departed the museum, I paid my respects to “Leonardo Da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty.” The exhibit ended June 14. The Hokusai exhibition will be on display through August 9. The photographic exhibit concludes July 12.

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is located at 465 Huntington Avenue.

The Museum of Fine Arts boasts the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan. For more information on the museum, visit mfa.org or call 617-267-9300.

Boston on a dime

Downtown Boston near Suffolk University.

Downtown Boston near Suffolk University.

I’ve heard that Boston is one of the most expensive places to live but wise travelers can save a dime. I landed at Logan International Airport recently for the “Widening the Cycle Exhibit” and “Menstrual Health Conference” at Suffolk University in downtown Boston. Although I caught a ride with my cousin, my roommate rode on Mass Bay Transit Authority from the airport to downtown for free. It seems the Silver Line is free from Logan Airport inbound to South Station (including a free transfer to the Red Line).

The statue pays tribute to the founder of Harvard University, Rev. John Harvard.

The statue pays tribute to the founder of Harvard University, Rev. John Harvard.

After departing the airport, my cousin took me on a tour of Cambridge. We grabbed a smoothie at “Life Alive” and walked on the campus of Harvard University. Once back in downtown Boston, I settled down for the night at Suffolk University. The following day, I shopped nearby at the Downtown Crossing on Washington Street. You’ll find stores like H&M, TJ Maxx, Payless, upscale stores and restaurants.

Monument to the 54th Regiment.

Monument by Augusta Saint-Gauders of the 54th regiment at Boston Common.

I had a slice of a Mediterranean Pizza at Sal’s on Tremont for under $6. My roommate joked that the server had a crush on her because the pizza was so large. When looking at mine she laughed, ”He must have a crush on everyone!” The pizza was not your typical fare. Sal’s is known for large servings. His grandparents emigrated from Naples and began serving Neapolitan pizza. Sal continues the tradition by making pizza with the freshest ingredients. He opened his first store in 1990 in Boston’s North end. Not sure if this store was the original location. With stand up tables only at Sal’s, we headed to the Boston Common for lunch on a bench. Squirrels mimicking “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and begging for food finally chased us away.

The Thinking Cup in downtown Boston.

The Thinking Cup in downtown Boston.

Later that night I had a bad case of the munchies and purchased a Passion Fruit cheesecake and a cup of tea at the “Thinking Cup” on Tremont for under $10.

DEATH OF FERTILITY

My painting, “Death of Fertility” was in the exhibit “Widening the Cycle.”

The next day I went to the “Widening the Cycle Exhibit” opening reception and had dinner at Papagayo’s Mexican restaurant on West Street. Not much fanfare there but it was convenient to where we were staying. I had Black Bean soup for under $8 as an ethnic twist on my salute to “Beantown.”