Twisted at Palais de Tokyo

This is our entry in nancy merrill photography’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Twisted.

We visited the Palais de Tokyo in Paris this past April.  After three hours of wandering through the fantastic exhibits, we were heading back to the entrance when we came across a group of curiously colorful and lumpy objects lying on a stairway and the lobby floor.  The objects were encased in fabrics that were simultaneously sophisticated (shimmering, elegant, textured) and grotesque (tightly-stretched, color-clashing, awkwardly-constructed).  As we stopped to look,  we observed the objects writhe and twist occasionally, in an uncoordinated way.   Expecting to learn that some random movement process was being controlled by complex machinery, we were somewhat (but not very) surprised to see an errant foot appear from one bundle and a head from another, as the bundle occupants struggled to remain hidden while they twisted blindly in place.

 

This photo was taken on April 10, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 640, f/5.6, 1/250 sec, 18 mm.

Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre Hill

This is our entry in Dutch goes the photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Hill.

Sacré-Cœur, or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, stands 83 meters above the top of the butte (hill) Montmartre, which extends 130 meters above sea level, for a total height of 213 meters.  (Sacré-Cœur is the tall domed monument surrounded by the green space in the middle of the photo.)  The photo was taken from the top level of Montparnasse Tower, which itself stands 210 meters tall, putting Sacré-Cœur essentially at eye level for the photographer.

 

This photo was taken during the blue hour just before 9 PM on April 24, 2019.  Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, 135 mm.

 

 

Shoes on the Danube Promenade — Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Shoes, Boots, Slippers

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Shoes, Boots, Slippers.

Just below the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest, on a ledge above the Danube River, is a sobering yet beautiful memorial to 20,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust.  Ferenc Szalasi, the Hitler-installed head of the Hungarian government and leader of the antisemitic, fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, was instrumental in causing their deaths.  From October 1944 to January 1945, Arrow Cross firing squads rounded up groups of Jewish men, women, and children, marched them to this location on the Danube, forced them to strip off their clothing (especially their shoes), and then shot them at close range so that they would fall into the freezing-cold river below and be carried away by the currents.  This permanent memorial, created by sculptors Gyula Pauer and Can Togay, consists of 60 pairs of shoes cast from iron (now rusted) in front of a 40-meter long stone bench with three cast iron signs. The signs state, in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew:

To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005.

 

The reconstructed shoes are placed as if they had just been removed by their owners.  The real shoes would have been gathered by the executioners and sold on the Black Market.  Visitors to the memorial have adorned the permanently-installed shoes with symbolic items of mourning and remembrance: stones in the shoe cavities, flowers in shoes and on the ground, salt in containers and spilled on the ground, and candles.

 

These photos were taken just after 11 AM local time on April 18, 2019, with a Canon 200D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnolia at American Art Museum — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close up of Flowers

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close up of Flowers.

We visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington, D.C. last month. Near one of the entrances was a magnolia tree in bloom. We remarked that the blossoms looked like a painting. This is a photo of one of those blossoms.

After wandering around in the museum for about 75 minutes, we came across the painting Magnolia by Charles Walter Stetson.  Stetson (1858 – 1911) painted Magnolia in 1895, using oil on canvas mounted on fiberglass.

Here is a closeup of the blossom in the painting.

These photos were all taken on June 14, 2019, with an Olympus TG-5.

HOT FUDGE WILL MELT YOUR ICE CREAM.

We took a road trip this weekend down Route 29 in rural Virginia. When we take this trip, we always stop at the Colleen Drive-In for a soft-serve cone. Places like this were common in the 1950’s and 1960’s and only a few remain on the East Coast.

There are modern “nostalgia” shops that pretend to be like this, but this place is real. When you order, they make a little handwritten note describing your purchase — no matter how small. We have often wondered what they do with all those little pieces of paper.

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The windows are filled with bobbleheads and handwritten signs indicating the daily specials and making it clear that if you want to use a credit card or the restroom, you have stopped at the wrong place.  Our favorite sign reads:

PUBLIC NOTICE

HOT FUDGE WILL MELT YOUR ICE CREAM.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT MELTED ICE CREAM ORDER CHOCOLATE SYRUP.

STIRRING WILL INCREASE THE RATE OF MELTING.

PLEASE CONSIDER THIS WHEN ORDERING.

WE WILL NOT REFUND OR REMAKE A HOT FUDGE SUNDAE.

THANK YOU!!

(According to their Facebook page, they felt the need to post this notice last summer after several complaints.)

Someday, this place will fade into history like so many other places.  Until then, we will get a cone whenever we pass.

 

Treads — Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Shadows

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Shadows.

Shadows add beauty to the everyday tire tread showcased in soft beach sand.

This photo was taken on October 9, 2018.  Specs are:

Olympus TG-5, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/640 sec, 18 mm.