Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

If birds couldn't fly....

...you would have seen a lot more of them drinking out of this water fountain.

You would have also seen two cardinals in an evergreen right after a December snow.

You would have been so overwhelmed with the lyricism and beauty of the moment that tears would have come to your eyes, perhaps freezing them to your eyeballs. Aren't you happy that birds have wings?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

'Tis the Halloween Season?

Dear Larryvillers,

You know I love your laid-back style, but do you think it's time to get rid of the rotting pumpkins and put up a few Christmas decorations?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012


This is what you look like the day after you nudge a glass casserole dish off the table and eat all the lemon bars and brownies in it.

Do you think she will remember what she felt like on this day the next time she is tempted to jump up and eat a whole tray full of human food? I don't know. Do hangovers stop people from over-indulging?

How can you be angry with such a pathetic face?

Here she's thinking, "Is taking pictures of me really helping the situation?"

The good news is that 24 hours later she seems to have recuperated just fine. Tough life lesson, though. (And by life lesson, I don't mean "all things in moderation" for her. I mean "don't underestimate the dog's desire and ability to get to food" for me!)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

This truck deserves its own post

It never ceases to amaze me how many antique (or just plain old) cars and trucks are in my town. I came across this one today while out walking the dog.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fertile land

Before the drought, it was so lush here that it was growing buckets of buckets!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


(back in Lawrence)

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a catalpa tree. When I had a catalpa tree in my backyard, I didn't rake the leaves, I picked them up individually (with a forklift).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crestwood, MO

Crestwood is a sweet little area near the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, where you have to be very short to be a resident.

I was getting the vibe that they wouldn't appreciate people taking pictures of their houses, so I only took pictures of houses for sale:

All the yards and gardens are so well maintained that I felt that if you went two days too
long without weeding or cutting the grass, a neighborhood group would come calling.

They even have a neighborhood shopping district for your everyday shopping needs (if your everyday shopping needs include alpaca sweaters, Georgian antiques and $7 coffees).

So, in conclusion, while Crestwood may be near a university campus, it is nothing like our favorite college town.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

il TRENTUNO di luglio

Ponte Vecchio, 31r
A gold store on the Ponte Vecchio. Every time I cross the Ponte Vecchio I thank Ferdinando I (a Medici, of course) for forcing the butchers and fishmongers to leave the bridge and replacing them with goldsmiths.

A bridge in this location has been crossing the Arno since Roman times, but this particular bridge dates back to the 1300s.

See anything you like?

Dear Readers, this blog challenge ended up being a little more challenging than I thought it would be. I'm looking forward to just taking pictures of strange things in Lawrence .... which are easy to find wherever I go.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

il VENTINOVE di luglio

via del Giglio, no. 29
The house where John Milton lived (and where he was inspired to plagiarize Dante)

Walking around town, you can see where George Eliot, Washington Irving, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Shelley, among other foreign writers, lived and worked.

Here's a more scenic 29:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

il VENTOTTO di luglio

via Fiesolana, no. 28
La casa di Giuseppe Martelli.

If I've learned nothing else walking around, reading all the plaques on the walls, it is that if you want to be remembered after your death (in Florence, at least) you should be an architect or an engineer. This guild must make it its goal to commemorate the house of any even somewhat notable architect or engineer who ever lived there.

This is the house of Giuseppe Martelli who was the official government architect for 20 years in the early 1800s.

Friday, July 27, 2012

il VENTISETTE di luglio

via di mezzo, no. 27
Casa di Filippo Pacini

Who? Filippo Pacini, of course. You don't think he's worth a plaque? Ask yourself this question: Do I have cholera? If your answer is NO, then you have Pacini to thank.

Oh...and I was a little desperate for a 27.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

il VENTISEI di luglio

Borgo Pinti, no. 26
Casa di Giambologna

His works in the Bargello are for the birds.

il VENTICINQUE di luglio

Costa dei Magnoli, no. 25

I couldn't find anything that said that someone important once lived here but surely, surely it has some historical significance, doesn't it?

Monday, July 23, 2012

il VENTIQUATTRO di luglio

via Giuseppe Giusti, no. 24
My apartment in Florence

I'd like to meet this upstairs neighbor:

Before the Four Seasons took over the Giardino della Gherardesca and made it open only to its guests, my building used to have access to this pocket of green in the city. Now, sadly, this door remains locked.

The building dates back to the 1600s. Based on this ceiling, I'm sure that it was very impressive before it was divided up into separate apartments.

This whole cornice of the loft space in the apartment is trompe l'oeil. Amazing!

Ok. If my residence isn't important enough, how about Borgo San Lorenzo, 24, where Michel Montaigne lived in 1580 and in 1581?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

il VENTITRE' di luglio

Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci, 23r

The house where Luigi Napoleone, King of Holland, lived and died.  It is also the building where the great Italian author Alessandro Manzoni lived for a while.

This is a bit of a cheat for #23, but it demonstrates and interesting point about addresses in Florence. Red numbers, designated with a little case "r," were always commercial addresses, while black numbers (even though they are in blue) are residential numbers. In this picture, you have 22r, 4, and then 24r. Some streets can have the same number, in either red or black, in two different locations. Not confusing at all.

Here's a picture of this residence from across the Arno.

il VENTIDUE di luglio

via Gino Capponi, no. 22
Where Andrea del Sarto died.

Andrea del Sarto (1486-1530), the artist "without errors," was probably more famous when he was alive than after his death. His monochromatic frescoes in the Chiostro dello Scalzo stand out in contrast to the bright blues and reds and golds in most Renaissance art.

Why all the skulls? This was the meeting place of a company of men dedicated to helping the disenfranchised (poor, prisoners, those condemned to death) at the end of their lives. Also, according to the most helpful guard I've ever come across at any site in Italy, the catacombs had just been discovered in Rome and there was a fascination with the dead and the grotesque at that time.

Vasari, the author of The Lives of the Artists, was an apprentice to Andrea del Sarto. He wrote at length of Vasari's submission to his "faithless" and "vixenish" wife.

The art critic John Ruskin was not a fan. He called Andrea del Sarto's Madonna with St. John and St. Francis a "heap of cumbrous nothingness and sickening offensiveness."

Here's hoping that you have a good day and that it not be a "heap of cumbrous nothingness."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

il VENTUNO di luglio

via Cavour, no. 21
Gathering place of the Macchiaioli.

Aha! It's not all Renaissance art in Florence. The Caffe' Michelangiolo was where, in the 19th century, the Macchiaioli met to discuss arts and politics. They are Italy's answer to French Impressionists.

What do you think? Do you like their work?