Sunday, September 26, 2010
In Los Angeles, daughter, Shari, aka Whirlie the Clown, and aspiring actor/singer grandson Wyn Delano attended the premiere of "Il Postino", an opera in 4 acts by Daniel Catan( remember the great film of the same name?). According to reviews the L.A. Opera produced a great show w. Placido Domingo as the lead. Wyn's voice teacher, Vladimir Chernov played the role of the town mayor. After going backstage and chatting with Mr. Chernov, Wyn and Shari met Mr. Domingo's family at the post-opera gala,(his grandaughter received the recent Whirlie CD "Life is a Piece of Cake") and to end a perfect evening were introduced to the great tenor. No! neither asked for an autograph, but really wanted to.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wyn, with his cousin, Dane, Ira and I celebrated his birthday two weeks earlier while aboard the Aegean Odyssey. However, today was the official day. We celebrated with poppers and champagne but his mom always has had something very special on each of his birthdays, thus playing her role as birthday clown to the hilt. He's flown a glider, a helicopter, been on a LTA going off a cliff, etc. Today's gift for this 18th birthday had to top them all.
So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY WYN. You're a great guy who deserves to have more than one birthday celebration...ENJOY.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
What you're seeing in these photos on the left is a solar disc. 700+ LED cells store energy during the day and provide constantly changing color and pattern throughout the night on Zadar's promenade.
The disc is one part of a site specific installation by Nikola Basic who received the Europe prize for this work a few years ago. The other part of his installation is those steps to the Adriatic Sea viewed in the bottom photo. There are pipes under those steps and holes in the concrete above them. As the sea washes into the pipes, they behave like organ pipes, pushing the air through those vents in the concrete to create notes/sounds very much like whale or dolphin calls. Those notes are programmed into the solar disc and provide the patterning and color data. The work is a fabulous placemaker and even in the wee hours, there are people on and around the disk; during the day locals are swimming off those steps. In the evening, hordes of people are on the promenade, lingering at the disc awhile before going to the shopping and entertainment areas about a mile further up the walk.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
After saying our good-byes to Cynthia and Grayson Dantzic, we packed, headed to Houston and picked up our grandson, Dane. Then via Air France, with a stop in Paris, to Venice where we joined our L.A. based grandson, Wyn, and boarded the Aegean Odysssey. We looked forward to 16 days with these bright handsome youngsters who'd just completed high school studies and are taking a gap year.
Venice was experiencing extraordinarily high temps, but still was packed with tourists. The next morning, we started the first of lthe 3 tours scheduled for that day, St. Marks Sq. and the Doges Palace. Our ship used "whispers", a small box placed in one's pocket or hung around the neck plus an earpiece; the guide can thus speak quietly into his/her unit and be heard by the group, even if like Ira and me, we wander away to view other interesting sights.
Avoiding the long lines, we viewed the splendors of the Palace, the prisons, and the famed "Bridge of Sighs" (now surrounded by Coca-cola ads), and then in free time, licked gelatos as we peeked into shops and tiny streets that always ended in more canals. After lunch, via water taxi, we went through picturesque canals to Giudecca and after a museum visit, climbed up narrow stairs to the tops of non-air conditioned buildings to view a few ancient synagogues...tho' I was gasping, it was worth it. Then a walk through the beautiful Canareggio area to the Rialto and its crush of visitors, before returning to the ship for dinner.
A larger launch from San Basilio then returned us to the St. Marks area for our private viewing of the cathedral's interior. The golden mosaics overhead are awesome (though Ira and I thought those in Monreale and the Palatine chapel, Cefalu cathedral wwere better) and having the space and time to enjoy them, the marble floor mosaics, to explore the area behind the altar w. its priceless treasures, and then to also descend to the crypt area and see the earliest bldg. foundations, was so amazing that heat and exhaustion didn't matter. We all slept well; the boys wishing that our next day was at sea instead of in Pula, Croatia with a 9 am tour.