2022

Ekphrasis

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci

When I’m traveling, I love finding unexpected connections between people and places and ideas. Like Ekphrasis — an ancient Greek thing that I learned about in Mexico for an event sponsored by Americans. (If, like most people, you haven’t been following along, I’m an American in Greece on my way back to Mexico). Ekphrasis is a literary work that’s about or inspired by a piece of art. Like everything Greek, the idea of ekphrasis goes deeper than that. But to keep things simple, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is ekphrasic because the story is built around Leonardo’s paintings, including “Vitruvian Man.” John Keats’ poem, “Ode on A Grecian Urn” is also ekphrasic.

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Corfu Town

I arrived last week on Corfu, the largest Greek island in the Ionian Sea, Many Americans know it as the setting for books and movies about the Durrells. Some — and you know who you are– know it as a great place for skinny-dipping on the western beaches, circa 1973. The Greeks call the island “Kerkira” after the nymph who spent her honeymoon here with Poseidon. Poseidon’s decision to name the island after his bride isn’t so romantic, however, considering Poseidon kidnapped Kerkira, but pfft, Greek gods.

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Two Delicious Days in London

Weird new random sculpture in Trafalgar Square. Photo by BBC.

After our amazing week in Paris, Gabe and I headed to London on the Eurostar. What a great way to travel! The high-speed rail system makes the 300-mile journey across the French countryside and under the English Channel in two hours and 17 minutes. Because it leaves from the center of Paris and arrives in the center of London, it’s faster than flying. Thanks to the Eurostar, we had a leisurely morning in Paris, and still got to our London apartment in time for walking around and an early dinner. America?

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At the Pompidou, the Winners Are…

In English, the neon sign on the Pompidou says “What is there between us?”

If you come to Paris, be sure to visit the Pompidou at night. Gabe and I were there last night and the museum was almost empty. We didn’t feel rushed or distracted by crowds, so the museum was quiet, and the experience was intimate. What a privilege to be almost alone with some of the world’s most important modern art.

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