Not too old to party

Alcazar Hotel

The Historic Alcazar Hotel.

St. Augustine, Florida threw a birthday bash last year weekend. The city celebrated 450 years of being the Nation’s oldest continuously occupied European settlement. It hailed its founding by Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain with a weekend of festivities.

Today is International Coastal Cleanup Day

Hillsboro lighthouse

Pompano Beach participated in International Coastal Cleanup Day. This is the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse in Pompano Beach it is near the Atlantic Ocean.

I love the ocean. I am not alone 63 percent of the world’s population live along estuaries and the coast. I just read today that International Coastal Clean up Day is the world’s largest volunteer event. That’s great news! Not only do people love the ocean; they are making sincere efforts to be a part of the solution. It’s not too late to show your love for the ocean! Check out oceanconservancy.org for details on how you can help.

Japan Up in Arms

100 Artists at the Ouchi Gallery

At the “100 Artists Exhibit” at the Ouchi Gallery I did a survey on “what is peace.” The theme for the exhibit was Japan in New York.

Not since World War II has Japan had arms beyond it shores. The US drafted constitution forbids it but now the country is drafting new security legislation.

The security legislation will allow collective self defense according to Nikken News. Opposition leaders say Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and other leaders have reinterpreted the constitution.

Opposition lawmakers say the bill is unconstitutional. Street protesters chant ” Stop the war legislation.” While there is fierce opposition to the legislation, a Plenary session will make the final decision this week

Romantic Places

La Tour Eiffel.

La Tour Eiffel, Paris. A landmark for lovers and history buffs.

I’ve visited Rome, Italy; Paris, France and lived in Miami Beach, Florida. All romantic cities with amazing landmarks. Miami Beach has over 800 Art Deco buildings.

I’ve fallen in love with each of these cities and their historic landmarks. I’m always planning Art Trips to satisfy my passion for historic landmarks.

Yet I’m learning not to let my infatuation with the past become a hinderance. I tend to romanticize the past and lose sight of the future. It seems I am not the only one prone to do this.

I just read a devotion in the Daily Bread about two bears who were fighting. A couple asked a nearby hiker what the bears were fighting about. The hiker replied that the male bears were fighting about a female bear. When he was asked where the female bear was, he chuckled “She left about 20 minutes ago! “

Orlando’s Fatal Attraction

Marsh view.

A quiet view of one of my favorite marshes in Northeast Florida.

Orlando and the rest of Central Florida are looking to Northeast ¬†Florida to quench its thirst for more water. Spurred by uncontrolled development they hope to get millions of gallons from the St. Johns River. The endangered waterway is one of a few rivers that flows north and advocates are warning of dangerous consequences of siphoning off additional water. St. John’s Riverkeeper, an environmental group, stands in opposition to Central Florida’s request. According to the Times Union newspaper, Central Florida wants up to 50 millions a day.

Changes like theses can alter the ecology and adversely affect wildlife. The St. Johns River helps to create estuaries and wetlands that are vital for many Florida wildlife like marsh rabbits, river otters and a variety of migratory birds.

9/11 to be continued

Memorial dedicated to member of Fire station 226 in Brooklyn.

Memorial dedicated to members of Fire Station 226 in Brooklyn, New York.

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On September 11, we paused to think about the lives lost 14 years ago. Artists like Yi Yang and others desire to keep this event alive in our consciousness. Their art and memorials are efforts to preserve the memory of those who died. I saw a memorial at a Fire Station when I visited Brooklyn this summer.

I don’t know about you but every time I catch an airplane I think about 9/11. The TSA employees and X-rays at the airport are a somber reminder. As I look at the news, I am reminded that the hatred that spurred this event is still percolating in the Middle East and perhaps on our on shores.

When I go to paint a lighthouse, I am aware that the Coast Guard as a part Homeland Security often decides whether or not I will have access to a lighthouse.

West Chop Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard.

West Chop Lighthouse, Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard.

So many inconveniences you say. But these small inconveniences don’t compare to the tragedy of the losing a loved one.

Art and 9/11

Artist Yi Yang has painted a mural that pays tribute to the 343 firefighters and paramedics who died at Ground Zero. He took five years to create five-canvas paintings of portraits. According to an article in the New York Daily. Yang wants families to know that after so many years, people still remember the contribution their loved made to this country.