Tuesday, 18 July 2017

MIDWEEK MOVIES - THE COBBLER

“Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.” - Iris Murdoch 

“The Cobbler” (2014) Fantasy/Comedy – Director: Tom McCarthy; starring Adam Sandler, Melonie Diaz, Steve Buscemi – 5/10 

Max Simkin (Sandler) repairs shoes in the same New York shop that has been in his family for generations. Disenchanted with the grind of daily life, Max stumbles upon a magical heirloom that allows him to step into the lives of his customers and see the world in a new way. Sometimes walking in another man’s shoes is the only way one can discover who they really are.

Well, we watched this last weekend and it was a rather tiresome film, even for a Sunday matinée. There was quite a bit of to do with magic and fluff but the film was not a typical fantasy film (it took itself too seriously to be that). There was an attempt at slapstick (but very heavy handed); there were good guys and bad guys and gals (but they were rather half-hearted at what they were about). Sandler looked bored or bewildered most of his screen time and Dustin Hoffman had a gratuitous presence that must have made his bank account look a little healthier. The romantic interests were tokenistic and the single idea of the film about “stepping into someone’s shoes to really understand them” wore thin by the first half hour.

If you haven’t seen this don’t bother hunting it out to watch and if it’s on and you have time to waste, watch it while you are doing the crossword perhaps.

TRAVEL TUESDAY #88 - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

“Mexico is a mosaic of different realities and beauties.” - Enrique Peña Nieto

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

There is only one simple rule: Link your own creative work about some aspect of travel and share it with the rest of us. Please use this meme for your creative endeavours only. 

Do not use this meme to advertise your products or services as any links or comments by advertisers will be removed immediately.
Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican beach resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas. The 2010 census reported Puerto Vallarta’s population as 255,725 making it the fifth largest city in the state of Jalisco, and the second largest urban agglomeration in the state after the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area. The City of Puerto Vallarta is the government seat of the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta, which comprises the city as well as population centres outside of the city extending from Boca de Tomatlán to the Nayarit border (the Ameca River). The city is located at 20°40′N 105°16′W.

The municipality has an area of 1,300.7 square kilometres. To the north it borders the southwest part of the state of Nayarit. To the east it borders the municipality of Mascota and San Sebastián del Oeste, and to the south it borders the municipalities of Talpa de Allende and Cabo Corriente. Puerto Vallarta is named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of Jalisco. In Spanish, Puerto Vallarta is frequently shortened to “Vallarta”, while English speakers call the city P.V. for short.

Puerto Vallarta was once named as La ciudad más amigable del mundo (The Friendliest City in the World), as the sign reads when entering from Nayarit. Today, the presence of numerous sidewalk touts selling time-shares and tequila render the city’s atmosphere more akin to tourist-heavy resorts like Cancun and Acapulco, but overall the city’s reputation remains relatively undiminished.

Tourism in Puerto Vallarta has increased steadily over the years and makes up for 50% of the city's economic activity. The high season for international tourism in Puerto Vallarta extends from late November through March (or later depending on the timing of the college Spring Break period in the USA.) The city is especially popular with US residents from the western U.S. because of the sheer number of direct flights between Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix. The city is also popular with tourists from western Canada with a number of direct scheduled and charter flights from western Canadian cities.

Puerto Vallarta is also a highly popular vacation spot for domestic tourists. It is a popular weekend destination for residents of Guadalajara (tapatíos), and a popular national destination for vacations such as Semana Santa (the week preceding Easter) and Christmas. Also in recent years Acapulco has experienced a rise in drug-related violence and consequently Puerto Vallarta has absorbed a lot of the Mexico City resort vacation business (Acapulco has long been a common destination for tourists from Mexico City). Puerto Vallarta has become a popular retirement destination for US and Canadian retirees. This trend has spawned a condominium development boom in the city.

The city has dozens of nightclubs, hundreds of restaurants and some of Mexico’s best beaches. The original colonial town with many historic landmarks still shines through an endless selection of shopping, art galleries, water and land activities, and hotels. Walk the malecon (boardwalk) and enjoy the views, holiday atmosphere and the numerous pieces of public art and sculpture. Museums, historical sites, interesting architecture and cultural activities will also tempt the more discriminating traveller.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Add your own travel posts using the Linky tool below, and don't forget to be nice and leave a comment here, and link back to this page from your own post: 

Monday, 17 July 2017

MYTHIC MONDAY - EGYPT 20, IAH

“The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.” - Carl Sandburg 

Iah ( Egyptian: Jˁḥ, transliterated as Yah, Jah, Jah(w), Joh or Aah) is a lunar deity in ancient Egyptian religion. His name simply means “Moon”. By the New Kingdom, he was less prominent than other gods with lunar connections, Thoth and Khonsu. As a result of the functional connection between them he could be identified with either of those deities. He was sometimes considered an adult form of Khonsu and was increasingly absorbed by him.

Iah continued to appear in amulets and occasional other representations, similar to Khonsu in appearance, with the same lunar symbols on his head and occasionally the same tight garments. He differed in usually wearing a full wig instead of a child’s sidelock, and sometimes the Atef topped by another symbol.

As time went on, Iah also became Iah-Djuhty, meaning “god of the new moon”. Iah was also assimilated with Osiris, god of the dead, perhaps because, in its monthly cycle, the moon appears to renew itself. Iah also seems to have assumed the lunar aspect of Thoth, god of knowledge, writing and calculation; the segments of the moon were used as fractional symbols in writing.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

ART SUNDAY - TEODOR AXENTOWICZ

“Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That's the thing about painting, photography, cinema.” - David Lynch 

Teodor Axentowicz (Armenian: Թեոդոր Աքսենտովիչ ; born May 13, 1859 in Braşov, Romania – August 26, 1938 in Kraków) was a Polish-Armenian painter and university professor. A renowned artist of his times, he was also the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. As an artist, Axentowicz was famous for his portraits and subtle scenes of Hutsul life, set in the Carpathians.

Axentowicz was born May 13, 1859 in Braşov, Hungary (now Romania), to a family of Polish-Armenian ancestry. In 1893 in Chelsea, London, he married Iza Henrietta Gielgud, aunt of Val Gielgud and John Gielgud of the theatrical dynasty. A son, Philip S.A.D. Axentowicz was born in Chelsea in 1893. Between 1879 and 1882 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. From there he moved to Paris, where he was a student of Carolus-Duran and continued his education until 1895. During that time he started a long-time cooperation with various journals and started his career as a copyist, duplicating the works of Tizian and Botticelli for Le Monde illustré. He also made numerous travels to London and Rome, where he prepared a set of portraits, one of the first in his career.

In 1894 he started collaboration with Wojciech Kossak and Jan Styka during the preparation of the Racławice Panorama, one of the largest panoramic paintings in the history of Polish art. The following year he moved to Kraków, where he became a professor at the local Academy of Fine Arts. He was also active in the local society and cooperated with various societies devoted to propagation of arts and crafts.

In 1897 he founded an artistic conservatory for women and soon afterwards became one of the founders of the Sztuka society, whose members were such artists as Józef Chełmoński, Julian Fałat, Jacek Malczewski, Józef Mehoffer, Jan Stanisławski, Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Leon Wyczółkowski and Stanisław Wyspiański. In 1910 he became the rector of the Academy and since 1928 was also an honorary member of the Zachęta Society. He died August 26, 1938 in Kraków.

Throughout his life he had numerous exhibitions, both in Poland and abroad. He was awarded many gold metals at both national and international exhibitions. The most notable were organized in: Berlin (1896, 1913), St. Louis (1904), Munich (1905, 1935), London (1906), Vienna (1908), Rome (1911), Venice (1914, 1926), Paris (1921), Chicago (1927), and Prague (1927). His paintings can be found in almost all public collections in Poland and in numerous private ones there and abroad.

In 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair, Axentowicz received a Special Commemorative Award in recognition of distinguished service in connection with various national sections of the Department of Art. While in Paris, he received the prestigious title of Officier d’Académie Ordre des Palmes Académiques and Member of Académie des Beaux-Arts. In addition to Society of Polish Artists “Sztuka”, he was also a member of Hagenbund and a founding member of the Vienna Secession.

The painting above is his Święcenie (“Celebration”), typical of his folk scene paintings.