sienamystic: (mermaid)
Well, back from the road, but about to head out again in a few days. Here are some photos from Syracuse, NY - mostly of the Everson Museum and works therein.

Everson Museum sculpture court
I.M. Pei's first museum building. Lots of concrete. A really impressive interior, an exterior I think could use a little softening.

the knitting porcupine )

Plus I was fed at an incredible restaurant named Sparky Town (amazing lentil soup and mushroom-cheese quiche, plus brownies to die for) and wandered around the Armory Square area and had a coffee at a place called Freedom of Espresso. All in all, a very nice trip.
sienamystic: (Ryden queen)
Trying to teach myself a little more about Photoshop by following a tutorial. Here's an unaltered photo I took in Paris and what it looks like post-tinkering.

Faffing about )
sienamystic: (Green Man)
My little camera, as great as it is, doesn't handle low light levels very well at all, and most of the resulting photos are on the blurry to very blurry spectrum. There are great photos of the stained glass in Chartres out there, so if you're particularly interested a little bit of searching should turn up some good stuff for you.

So.

Chartres, pt. 1

Chartres, pt. 2

So, onward into part three!

rays of colored light )
sienamystic: (eternal rome)
Got to go tonight to one of the AIA lectures here on campus. Dr. Steven Ellis, currently at the University of Cincinnati, came to present on his new excavations at Pompeii, where he's been digging since 2005. Apparently back in the 1870s, the diggers working on the site turned up some plain, less awesome buildings, said "Meh, let's go play with those temples instead," and let the site turn into an untouched jungle. Ellis, who has a focus on the less-elite sorts of neighborhoods (he seems to specialize in prostitution, taverns, and crime, which are always fun) decided to see what he could find in this particular city block.

The site is near one of the main gates, and seems to always have been occupied (even when Pompeii was Greek) by working-class folk and their industries. They excavated a tannery - a little four-vat operation - that was only the fourth one ever found in Roman Italy. Unfortunatly for his fame and fortune, the very next day somebody turned up tannery number five, and since it had 96 vats, they got all the press!

He also showed us where someone had built a garum tank (garum being a Roman fish paste that was very widely eaten - Dr. Ellis, who is Australian and posessed of a cheerfully vile sense of humor, compared it to Vegemite) and then showed how the building was altered when the market was flooded with cheap Spanish garum which made a small "homebrew" operation unprofitable. The owners filled up the garum vat, put a new floor down, and turned their building into a restaurant which apparently, based on the bones found in the drain, served nice young cuts of pork...and giraffe.

An absolutely fantastic way to spend an evening. I'm so glad I went.
sienamystic: (bosch sienamystic)
Way back before my surgery, (only a few weeks, but it feels like decades) I put up part one of my trip to Chartres. Here's part two.

Saints in their multitudes )

I'll put up pt. 3 soon (and this time I really mean soon!) It'll be of the interior, and the stained glass program. Ooh, and the labyrinth, although my photos of that aren't great because there were chairs all over it.
sienamystic: (Default)
So. Chartres is only an hour train ride out of town, and trains leave every half-hour, so since I wasn't able to go when I was in Paris the first time, I pounced on the opportunity to go now. It's one of those cathedrals that gets studied by anybody with even a passing interest in medieval architecture or sculpture. And lucky for me, the time of year plus the not-so-fantastic weather meant that I had the place just about all to myself. So here is a travelogue-cum-mini-essay on Chartres, with photos I took there. )

Phew, this is a lot. I'll cut it off here and post part 2 tomorrow! Oh, and I should also say that I'm relying heavily on my copy of Medieval Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture 4th - 14th Century by James Snyder, which I have had for yonks, and Chartres Cathedral: Medieval Masterpieces in Stained Glass and Sculpture by Malcom Miller, a little book I picked up at the cathedral store. I also have my copy of Early Medieval Architecture by Roger Stalley standing by in case of emergency, although I honestly don't think it covers Chartres.
sienamystic: (fleur de lis)
sculptures at Chartes

Abraham cups Isaac's face. They both stand on top of the substitution ram.

Chartes sculpture

Chartes figure
sienamystic: (fleur de lis)
From my notes on Sunday, October 12:

It's only noonish, but so far the day has been the most enjoyable I've had yet. I decided to go to the smaller, less touristed flea market/antiques market my guidebook recommended, and it was everything I was hoping for. I spent the morning browsing happily, meeting the local mastiff (a giant brindle hound named Yugi, who was happy to be made much of), chatting with a few strangers, and looking for a large enough scrap of lace for Boop, who had requested one. I also finally had my first crepe of the trip from a vendor selling them to the market-goers. It was gooey and delectable, and I savored every scrap of it.

Er, warning - I took lots of photos and I'm putting quite a few under the cut.

Notes on a lovely Sunday morning )
sienamystic: (Jareth)
From the notes I kept while in Paris:

My reward for waiting several dull hours for business this morning was getting to go to the Louvre. I mastered the Metro - intimidating at first but easy to pick up, because it's well laid-out and goes everywhere you want to go - and spent about four hours wandering the corridors of a museum that can only be described as mammoth. It's really all too much when every wall has a masterpiece. You can't slow down for every one - you find yourself scooting past them an an appalling rate. You're looking at the Titian of the hottie guy with the glove, and then you pass something that was on your slide test, and there's one that's featured in every single Art History 101 class ever taught. So you pick a few to deliberately find, and on your way to them you are happily surprised by others (OMG the Penitent Magdalene is here! I totally forgot!) and when you leave you realize that you totally, absolutely meant to see this list of other works and now it's too late because your feet are ready to seize control and make you SIT DOWN ALREADY.

Decadence comes in a tiny pitcher with a side of whipped cream )

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