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.
Shoes on the Danube Promenade
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.
Shoe on the Danube Promenade
These photos were taken just after 11 AM local time on April 18, 2019, with a Canon 200D.
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.
Magnolia at American Art Museum
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.
Magnolia by Charles Walter Stetson
Here is a closeup of the blossom in the painting.
Magnolia by Charles Walter Stetson
These photos were all taken on June 14, 2019, with an Olympus TG-5.
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.
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:
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.
(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.
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.
Beach Tire Treads
This photo was taken on October 9, 2018. Specs are:
Olympus TG-5, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/640 sec, 18 mm.
This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Wall.
The John Lennon wall in Prague, Czech Republic, was created following the 1980 assassination of John Lennon: at that time, it contained only one image of Lennon and the lyrics from a song. The wall changes continually and has a history of challenging authority. Exactly one week after we took this photo, on Earth Day, the wall was repainted entirely by the protest group Extinction Rebellion to demand government action on climate change.
Prague’s John Lennon Wall
This photo was taken on April 15, 2019. Specs are:
Canon 200D, ISO 100, f/9, 1/50 sec, 18 mm.
This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 5+ Items.
Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, offers many types of pleasant water activities for the whole family, including whimsically-painted paddle boats in the shape of large swans.
Five Swan Boats
This photo was taken on February 9, 2018. Specs are:
Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/9, 1/320 sec, 5.87 mm.
This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letters or Numbers.
We have been taking a drawing class to help us think more clearly about photography. Today was field trip day and we visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The East Wing starts with Picasso before cubism and ends with Mark Rothko. The idea seems to be to take the viewer from something recognizable to something totally abstract with a sensible path between.
Since “the sensible path between” is up lots and lots of steps, we generally take an elevator to the top and find ourselves totally confused until we walk down a couple flights towards realism. There is an outdoor passage between two towers at the top of the museum where they often display something we can recognize after gazing at the Rothkos. Currently, the display features large metal numbers against the Washington skyline. They may only be numbers and we are not sure what they mean — if modern art is intended to have meaning — but we used them to steady our nerves so that we could continue our stroll through modern art.
ONE through ZERO (The Numbers)
This art installation, titled ONE through ZERO (The Numbers) by the American artist Robert Indiana (1928-2018), was constructed from 1978 to 2003 using Cor-Ten steel.