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Street Life in Spain

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Seems like our time on the streets in Barcelona and Madrid centered around Vermut (of the local variety) and Aperol Spritz (of the industrial variety).  Here are some random shots.

We might have found some gorgeous jewelry in Madrid.  Maybe.  Happy today day!

These handmade shoes were beautiful and very much local.

We found the barrel in Barcelona.

 

While waiting for fingernails.

Ayn Rand or Romey?

Dinner in Barcelona.

Flowers in Barcelona

The out take.

Walking with the hoards.

Beautiful dresses which may be too small?

A picture of the designer.

Random door.

Rubber ducky, you’re the one…  (memories of playing the bathroom song with Matt in Italy…LOL).

And now it is time to go home

Palacio de Cristal Madrid: El Retiro

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Crystal Palace they said.  Worth a quick visit.  But wear your sneakers.  We were dressed up for dinner on our last night out.

Wrong shoes and bad art aside, we were glad to walk through the Madrid equivalent of Central Park.

The art inside the palace was awful.  We think it was made by the box head guy below.

Spare no expense!  Use the GOOD duct tape.

Anyway, there were turtles and ducks.

Picasso and Ramen in Barcelona

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The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is an institution and is worth a quick visit.  But if you have been looking at Picasso for years, you won’t find much in the way of major works.  In any case, Barcelona is proud of what it has come to think of as its home town boy.  Lots of early work.

Lots.  Like an entire wall’s worth.

Set in four connected villas, the museum has amassed a very deep (but not very wide) collection.

This blue.

Avant guard in Paris with the Russian ballet.  Picasso was blending fine art, music, and dance in 1909.  (And here we thought we were onto something with Into the Unknown.)

After so much Picasso, Ramen is the answer.

 

Gaudi in Barcelona

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The locals didn’t like it much at first, probably because they were jealous.  They still call it “the quarry” (or la pedrera) because it was so dusty and noisy when it was being constructed.  But Gaudi had a vision.  And now all of Barcelona shares it.

This is not it!

Casa Milà is just up the street from Casa Batlló, which just so happens to be where our perfume shop is located.

We were told to do the night tour at Casa Milà, so we did.  Good advice.  The light and sound show on the roof is cheesy, but moving in a Disney small world kind of way.  But the views of night time Barcelona are worth the walk up with no shenanigans required.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though.  Lets go back to the beginning.

We walked one block from our hotel (the Alma) and arrived too early to be let in by ten minutes.  Though the cafe in the building was officially closed, we convinced them into selling us an Aperol spritz or two.

After gulping down our drinks, we wandered into the courtyard to await the guide.

This view reminded Romey of the new building in NY (still closed due to suicide risk).

Color and light for the first floor and the primary residents.

The public clamored to get in.

The servants’ quarters reminded me of the servants’ facilities at Falling Water.

Eventually we climbed the six floors to the attic.

Where we encountered the model of the building we were in (with tiny little us’es taking videos or an even smaller model, and so on).

All squares were run to the right.

Then the roof just after sunset.

With breathtaking views of Barcelona like this, we’re not sure why the light and sound show seemed necessary.  People.

And soon we were back on the ground enjoying a glass of cava.

On the Arts, Queens, and Democracy: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

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There is lots of politics pervading the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía which if you think about it is somewhat ironic. I mean, the place itself is named after a queen. And lots of anti-imperial politics pervades (including some well-deserved anti-Americanism). But a queen? What kind of democracy has a monarch? Or still reveres a monarch? Seriously. Those days need to be behind us as a species.

Anyway, the ill-begotten gains of monarchy are at least being spent on art and not on oppression. Or is art just an opiate slightly stronger than religion? These are difficult issues to plumb.

And are they old fashioned or what? No pictures of some of the pictures? Trapped in the past they are. The guernica room is a shrine that should be full of life, not a mausoleum. Spain still seems to have a Franco hangover.

But still, go.  The sound and the fury be damned.

 

The light is excellent.

Shadowplay.

 

 

 

 

Take a green break.

 

 

Watch mute.

 

 

And then coffee.

 

Summer Solstice 2022

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We’ll start in the middle, with a video of the lighting of the summer solstice bonfire of 2022.  The weather was absolutely perfect and the crowd friendly and warm.  Every year the size of the fire seems to come as a surprise.

This year the weather was so cool that a dip in the river was not in the cards.

Rewinding a day, Aubrey provided another great iteration of the smoked salmon Messerhead feast helping to set the FOOD stage.  Speaking of FOOD, Chef Michael was down from Chicago with Astro.  That means we were spoiled rotten on the food front for days on end.

Salmon feast table

Any solstice that starts with caviar is destined for greatness.

Before.

Prepping for late night tacos

It seems that Chef Michael can’t cook for less than 700.  But that’s OK.  We just need to make the solstice party seven times bigger.  Pork shoulder in the firepit by the shrine.

We had a mid-day break to tour Eli’s fantastic art show at the Barns of Rose Hill.  The show continues through July 2nd.

Then it was time for the pre-game Negroni.

And we were officially underway.  Esther and Cora presided over the opening.

The sufferin bastard made an appearance

After an outstanding potluck feast, replete with fresh flowers, it was time for one quick song (thanks guitar week fellers) and FIRE.

By far the cutest thing at this solstice iteration was the jumping of the gun by Brantley the marshmallow boy.  The fire was still a bit young.  But that did not deter Brantley.


The fire burned for two days.  In fact, it is still smoking as I write this.

Thank goodness for Alec, David, and Gina.  We had a few hours of music by the bonfire.

Rumor has it that absinthe hour stretched from 3am-6am.

The next day happened fast.

Morning after breakfast

The chef outdid himself three times.

Party cleanup was a breeze with Aubrey in charge.  The weather cooperated the entire weekend.

What is left of this fire?

 

Are there coals down there?

 

Fresh veggies from the Berryville farmer’s market (thanks to Chilly Hollow Farm)

While the

veggies roast, we hang by the fire.

Donkey Hodie says “sup homey?”

Astro has the best home

 

The garden

 

Roast veggies

 

OMG more food

Even moonshine is in a food coma.

What do you do with recd currants?

You make a fresh tart.  Then mezcal straight from Mexico City?!  Yup.

Morning never arrived for some of the mezcal participants.

And then a visit from Iulie.

Fin.

 

Kandinsky at the Guggenheim 2022

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Megan Caldwell and Everyone Else at Longbranch

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For a long time now, the only painting by Megan Caldwell in the collection has been this little painting on a tiny block of wood in the kitchen.  We fixed that.

Sad to miss the opening due to Indiana, though we got a preview of the show before everyone invaded.  What a fantastic collection of work, not just Megan’s but also great stuff from Winslow McCagg, Anna Billman (whose photography is excellent) and Leigh Henry.

So now we have some Megan in the house.  Or we will.  Or something.

This one depicts a local stretch of the river very close to home.

The artist and the mini artist

 

A whole nother artist

Same spot, different time of day.

Because Eli and Romey insisted, the upper left painting now belongs to me. The water is magical.

This is a study for the painting I purchased. Had to get it too.

Winslow and Anna’s work was in another room.  The pairings were perfect.  An incredibly well-designed show.

Nice to see such great work at Longbranch.  Clarke County’s art scene is top notch.  (The show will be up through May 8, 2022.)

 

 

All’s Well at the Whitney Biennial

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What do you do when you’re in NYC with friends just for fun?  Well, for one thing you go to the Whitney Biennial (which you get to by walking down the High Line…but that’s another story).  The Whitney has become my favorite museum in the city.  The Biennial was interesting, but not really much more interesting than the usual stuff on display at the Whitney.  Of course, the usual stuff is usually great.

The top floor of the Biennial is downright anxiety inducing.

Are we living in a computer simulation?  Don’t ask Dave.

Fortunately, things are brighter in the sunshine.

Romey romes the Whitney

 

Out back

 

Little Island

For more see A Little Island Off the Big Island

A crow for Emily

A plastic shower in the Whitney. NPS does not approve.

 

MoMA Where Did All These People Come From?

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The MoMA…can’t live with it, can’t live without it.  So many people.  But so much art.  And the food is great too.

The Mind’s Eye?  Surveillance capitalism?  Who knows.

Romey’s favorite artist, but no dice on seeing her favorite painting this visit

Not my favorite Kandinsky period

Frank

 

 

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