Categories
Art and Beauty

Art Supply 101 – Versatility of Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board

bristol Board

Bristol board is a heavy, strong and stiff paper that comes in different weights. It was originally manufactured in Bristol, England in the beginning of the 1800s, and used for drawing, painting and illustrations. It continues to be used for these purposes today, and has proved versatile enough to find application in the printing of works of art, postcards, invitations of various types, as well as technical drawings. Different weights have different applications. One of the most popular products is the Strathmore 300 series bristol board.

Types, Sizes and Weight

Bristol board, also called bristol paper, is a machine-finished, uncoated paperboard. It has two working surfaces, front and back, differentiating it from illustration board, which is finished only on one surface. Bristol is usually lighter in weight than illustration board, and is typically used for work that is meant to be preserved in the longer term. Bristol paper of the highest quality is even suitable for archival pieces.

The Strathmore 300 series bristol board is available in a smooth, plate finish or a regular vellum finish. Vellum is paper treated with a texture so fine it appears smooth but a closer inspection reveals a light, but rough finish. Some people have said it feels like the shell of an egg.

Both smooth and vellum sheets of the Strathmore 300 series bristol are available in pads of 20 sheets each bound on the top with tape. The pads are available in a range of sizes from 9 X 12 inches through 11 X 14 and 14 X 17 inches to the largest at 19 X 24 inches. It is all 100 lb. paper and importantly for archival work, is acid free. Although white bristol is most popular, it is available in many other colors.

Common Uses of Strathmore 300 Series Bristol 

Most parents have bought bristol poster board for their children to use to put together a display for a school project. Hand lettered notices of school outings, church bazaars, and community potluck dinners are often posted on bristol. However, there are also many commercial uses for the product, such as the postcards and invitations as already mentioned.

Artists, both amateur and professional, particularly appreciate Strathmore 300 series bristol board. There are online reviews that attest to how perfect the smooth version is for artists who use color pencil and pen, and how the heavier weight can stand up to plenty of scrubbing by an eraser. One art teacher says he recommends the Strathmore 300 series bristol from PlazaArt.com to all his students.

An illustrator who scans and prints his work insists the best copies come from the true white Strathmore 300 series bristol. Someone new to drawing for the comic book industry appreciates the variety of sizes. People are happy with the results they produce on Strathmore bristol products whether they are using pencils, paints or inks.

There are many varieties of bristol paper and board on the market. However, the quality and versatility of the Strathmore 300 series bristol board position the product at the top of its category. It is readily available in both local stores and online shops.

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Antiques Travel

Flea Markets in the South of France

The south of France is a beautiful area, full of culturally rich cities with countless holiday destinations, hotels, villas and cottages to choose from. But how can you choose one specific destination? Well that all depends on what you are visiting France for. France is famous for its flea markets, and while Paris is home to many famous ones, for more traditional and cultural markets – that means a distinct lack or knock off bags and phones – it is sometimes better to travel farther South. Here we look at some of the great flea markets in the south of France.
south of france flower market

Toulouse

Toulouse hosts a monthly market full of lost treasures in Allees Jules Guesde, on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every month, excepting October. With classical books, military and pre war-time memorabilia, the Toulouse monthly market is an ideal place for those seeking out tidbits of modern history.  Toulouse also offers selections of traditional French porcelain, plus a variety of other treasures.

Aside from the larger monthly market, there is also a weekly market in Toulouse, with around 50 stalls in the Place Saint-Sernin, ideal for those looking for a good bargain.

flea market

Cannes

The covered market in Cannes is more of a cultural experience than a shopping experience for the tourists amongst us. It is great for those living in rented accommodation as students, or living in a villa as this is an ideal place to shop for fresh foods. You might even see some famous faces, as many of the best chefs in France shop for their ingredients.

Plus if you get there early enough, the fish stalls are an educating experience as many of the aquatic varieties on sale there are not available in the UK, and you are unlikely to see them anywhere else.

Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

The market on the Isle-sur-la-sorgue – a small, medieval town built on the islands over the Sorgue River – specialises in antiques, with over 300 stalls appearing every Sunday. This is an amazing market to visit for those looking for a real piece of history to take home, or for those who just like to browse bric-a-brac. And for the literary collectors, the final Sunday of every month is host to a book market.

flea markets

Arles

Arles is a market famous for its size. It is one of the largest markets in the South of France, with over 450 stall selling a huge variety of merchandise, anything between fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices and other consumables, to a variety of high quality, individual fabrics.

Arles market occurs every Saturday, and be sure to pack a picnic basket, because the market provides a huge choice of delicious goods to purchase for a romantic meal for two, or a simple family picnic.

Seasonal Markets

The south of France is home to a number of special seasonal markets, whether it is Easter, Christmas or Valentine’s day, the French love markets. Check out your local trip advisor for a list of seasonal French markets, as these can be both beautiful and culturally significant, with more traditional markets popping up nearer Christmas time.

Discover more from the French Tourism Office.

About the author:
Clare Cook is a self confessed Francophile with a love of spelunking. She has contributed this post on behalf of South France Holiday Villas Ltd, premier providers of high class holiday homes in the south of France

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guest post Travel Photos Vago Travel Channel

Three Beaches You Must Visit in Morocco

Morocco is well known for its outstanding culture and coastal delights which is why you should always look to find the perfect beach resort.

Morocco Beaches

Whether you’re after a dreamy lagoon, a bustling coastal town or something that offers peace and seclusion, there are all sorts of sandy beaches available for you to set foot on in Morocco.

Here are three seaside resorts you must visit on your trip to Morocco. If you find the time to visit all three then you’ll struggle to pick a favourite!

Saidia

Marrakech is one of the busiest places on Earth with the usual hustle and bustle capable of draining the energy of any tourist group. If it’s a peaceful break from the usual activities associated with

Morocco that you’re after, Saidia beach could be the ideal destination for you. It’s here that you will be exposed to the true aspects of Moroccan culture with the quiet seaside town creating a charming atmosphere that is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed.

You can take in the exotic flavour of this seaside resort by strolling along the shore and embracing the history of the medina. The sea is beautifully coloured and you’ll be desperate to go for a swim at this luxurious seaside resort.

Oualidia

There is a delightful lagoon situated right in the middle of Oualidia beach that is as appealing to the locals as it is tourists. However, this is quite an unknown seaside resort that gives tourists the opportunity to escape the crowded beaches and enjoy the untouched sands for themselves.

Located on the Atlantic, this is the ideal destination for someone who isn’t a fan of crowded beaches. The beautifully shaped rock faces on the shore are an ideal place to sit back and admire the costal views.

To top it all off, Oualidia has proven to be the perfect location for avid birdwatchers to get a glimpse of some particularly rare species, with hundreds of birds flocking to the shores throughout the year.

Essaouira

Essaouira has to be one of the most elegant beaches on the planet. From the shore you can witness some truly magical scenes, from delicately glazed waters alongside stunning weather conditions through to the comforting sands and delightfully decorated sailboats.

You will be identifying all sorts of worldwide influences at Essaouira that go far back throughout history. There are plenty of clear indications that this particular setting ahs managed to inspire some of the most creative minds in history.

A combination of grace and style is what makes this seaside resort a must visit for any tourist group. It could be the perfect ending to your already fun-filled Moroccan adventure.

About the author:
Tara Ennis is a beach lover with a particular passion for northern Africa. She has contributed this post on behalf of El Zohar Riad, stunning Marrakech holiday accommodation in the heart of the historic old Medina

Categories
Art and Beauty

The Mystique of Fly Fishing – Lure of the Wild Rivers and Lakes

I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly fish. I admit, part of it was reading Hemingway when I was young and feeling the romance he described it with. Another part was being raised in California and Oregon mountain towns and just feeling that amazing feeling of freedom that comes from the isolation of the streams and rivers of the Northwest.  Yet another part was the beauty of the motion – fly fishing might be something anyone can do – I don’t know about that, yet, but it might be – but it doesn’t look like something anyone can do.
fly fishing
Fly fishing isn’t anything like traditional angling – it’s not a sport where you bait your hook, drop it in the water, and wait for the fish to hit – it’s not about getting in a boat and going out into the ocean – it’s about the dance. It’s about the motion, it’s about the art. Watch a fly fisherman and you can’t help but appreciate the grace of motion, you can’t ignore the vitality of the visual experience.

Then there is the art of the gear and tackle. Tying a fly is an art form. The most valuable flies sell for hundreds of dollars – these aren’t flies you would fish with anymore than you would smoke a cigarette rolled in hundred dollar bills – these are art and those who tie them are artists. Each fly represents meticulous work on specialized tools by artists who have studied the patterns and habits of game fish.

And it’s not just the flies that are valuable. Vintage cane fly rods go for thousands of dollars and a vintage #44 fly reel by BF  recently sold for more than $5000 on ebay – even the fly tying materials and tools are sought after as collectibles with a vintage fly tying vice going for anywhere from $100 to $3200.

It’s not the prices of the gear that have drawn me to this sport, but rather the sport has drawn enthusiasts who frequently claim that fly fishing is an addiction which will consume you completely – it is that enthusiasm which has driven the gear to such levels. That and the fact that this is not a mass produced sport that is suitable for the masses – there is something magical about it.

hand tied flies

Hook and sinker fishermen can often be heard saying that fly fishermen are snobs. Maybe they are right or maybe they just don’t understand the way this sport hooks into your soul.

In any event, I have always been drawn to it. Over the past several months, I’ve been quietly amassing a bit of fly fishing gear and trying to give myself the courage to try. It’s terrifying to contemplate something so beautiful and to wonder if one can succeed at it. It’s not a cheap sport to get into. I’ve managed to put together a relatively cheap rod and reel, some floating line, a bit of leader, some flies and even an old canvas creel (which is too fragile to use but which I hold as some sort of talisman.)

What was missing was the opportunity to have someone show me what the hell I was doing and to give an okay to my gear as a starting point. I never had a grandfather, father, uncle, or anyone else that took the time to teach me these things – maybe they didn’t fly fish or maybe the timing was wrong.

So, this past weekend, I saw a flyer about the Reedsport Fly Fishing Expo and there was no way I was going to miss it. I am so happy that I went.

I had the chance to meet fly fishermen, the chance to have experts evaluate my gear – which I’d hoped might be expensive and valuable but I was happy to learn is serviceable and a good starting point for me. Even better, I won a new fly rod in a raffle along with about fifty flies tied by the members of the Lower Umpqua Fly Casters – and then, really the ultimate I could have hoped for – I had the chance to learn from a legend.

92-year-old Frank Moore was offering free one-on-one clinics where he helped those who already and those who want to learn to fly fish. Frank and several other members gave me the guidance I needed to know how to cast. While there is a lot more to learn – suddenly I feel like one of my lifelong dreams is coming closer to reality.

Frank is the most famous fly fisherman on North America’s west coast. He stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II and has fished every river you can imagine to ask about. There is no greater authority of west coast fly fishing and I was humbled and honored to be able to get even a tiny bit of his knowledge.  Frank is an inductee in the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and an incredibly kind and gentle soul. A moment of hearing Frank talk about fly fishing and you might know why this sport calls me the way it does.

 

Categories
Art and Beauty

Exquisite Design – Formula One Cars As Art

There are things of beauty in this world that one can gaze at for hours on end. Forms and shapes that are as close to perfection as our human imperfections can bring us. The water lily paintings of Claude Monet, the perfect curves of Brigette Bardot or Sophia Loren, and the raw beauty and power of a Formula One race car.

These are things I can endlessly ponder and dream of. While I would love to wax lyrical on the French and Italian actresses or to go into further details on the technique and brushstrokes which bring depth and feeling to the lilies of Monet, instead I am going to delve into the mysteries of the Formula One race car.

A Formula One car is simple when considering the description – single seat, open cockpit, wings on the front and back, rear engine vehicle with an open wheel design made for racing, however, just have a look at one.

Formula One Cars

I can sit and stare at a painting for hours and when I visited the Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena, Italy – I had no problem staring at the Formula One cars in the same way. These are works of art. These are masterpieces. These are exquisite.

Don’t believe me? Watch the movie Rush – it isn’t just about the drivers or the tracks – it is about the cars. I would venture to say that the drivers get involved because of the cars. It is no coincidence that beautiful women and race cars go hand in hand. They are both reflections of God’s face which somehow do not blind us when we look upon them.

Ferrari Museum

 

Formula One began in 1946 with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA’s) standardisation of the rules in which they decreed specific specs for the cars to be able to compete. Every Formula One car must adhere to these specs, but there is and always has been room for innovation in design. The World Drivers’ Championship of 1950 set the stage for the sport’s history and the regulations which have grown out of safety and fairness have shaped the cars of today from those at the beginning – but it is the designers who have really made an impact.

Ferrari, Lotus, Alfa Romeo, Mazaratti, Mercedes-Benz – these are the names behind the most famous Formula One cars of them all. Here’s the thing – you can’t just hop in an F1 car and drive to the market. These cars are highly engineered and developed for one thing – going in excess of 200 miles per hour – although in most races, average speed is far lower at somewhere around 100-150 miles per hour.

The chassis of an F1 is the skeleton of the car -everything else is attached to it with bolts, welding, screws, or glue. They are made with monocoque construction like most cars and planes – it’s a fancy way of saying one body or single shell. In other words – it’s one piece.  At different times in the sport’s history the chassis has been aluminum or even steel but today it is a much stronger carbon fiber body of resin put over a light alloy mesh. The shape of the car pushes it towards the ground as air rushes over it. Without the aerodynamics, the chassis would lift into the air.

Within the chassis is the cockpit. There is a minimum size and many other specifications which are set for the cockpit – some of these regulations have caused problems in the past by obstructing vision or not offering enough protection to drivers.  Here’s a big difference between your car and an F1 – F1 seats are designed specifically for the drivers. You can’t just hop in any F1 – it’s engineered for the driver.

F1 engines are always undergoing changes. It used to be V10s or V8s but one thing has remained constant since the 1960s – an engine in the back is far more efficient – why? Because pushing takes less force than pulling. Now, consider your cars 150 hp engine pulling you along – imagine replacing that with 900 hp pushing you…wow. That’s why the drivers have to be professionals.

In terms of gas – you can’t just fill er up at the local petrol station. F1 cars run on fuel that the teams engineer for specific tracks and conditions and when you talk about mileage – um…it’s not a Prius. Formula One cars get about 4 miles per gallon.

But, they are beautiful and beautiful cars like other beautiful things simply require a finer degree of care and maintenance, right?

Categories
Art and Beauty Travel

Exploring the World and Finding Valuable Antiques – Edinburgh Antique and Collector’s Fair

I didn’t expect to become an expert on antiques and collectibles, but that is one of the strange side effects of returning to America. I’m not sure exactly how it happened…I’ve always had a love affair with art and there are certainly particular aesthetics that have called to me – it’s the reason I went to Marseilles – just so I could walk through and feel the magnificent Le Corbusier – the masterpiece of architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, to some it would look like a fancy concrete apartment block, but to me – it was a divine inspiration.

Le Cite de Radiance

Le Corbusier was at the forefront of a movement in art and design which is now referred to as Mid-Century Modern. This is the shape of the middle 1900s from about 1940 to the 1970s. It was the aesthetic of our grand parents and has recently been popularized through the AMC series Mad Men. This is the stuff that used to get tossed out when people passed away but which now brings huge dollar amounts. In many cases, antiques from the mid-century period are now bringing in more than pieces from the Art Deco or Victorian eras.

It’s the same thing that drew me to the Antiques and Collectors Fair in Edinburgh, a rollicking event with more than 300 dealers spreading their treasures out and thousands of visitors seeking to find an overlooked gem. I was backpacking then, and while I bought a small antique opium pipe, I was forced to pass on the larger items that spoke to me. I was staying at the Hiedinburh Hotel, because while I backpack, I really can’t stand hostels. I wish I’d had more money, more space, and more time…but maybe next time. I’ll post the specifics of the fair below for those who may be fortunate enough to visit Scotland this spring.

Antiques Fair Edinburgh

In any event, returning to America, I discovered that I had an eye for these gems of Mid Century Modernism. In some cases, this hobby of buying things at garage and estate sales has been the work that has put food on my family’s table. Along the way, I’ve discovered that I also have an eye for other treasures and I’ve learned from buying things, researching them, and discovering new things. I can walk into a thrift store or yard sale and generally double or triple my money – there is always something that has been passed over by everyone else.

I’ve had a few big scores. I bought a box full of old razor blades for a dollar that turned out to be worth nearl $1000, I purchased a first edition Betty Crocker cookbook for 50 cents and sold it for $250, I bought a box of old baseball cards for $100 and have valued them at close to $5000 (but haven’t sold them because let’s face it, no one buys baseball cards when the economy sucks) – but I’ve realized something in perusing the bottom edges of the sea of stuff that is for sale – the big money lies in the more expensive venues. Just as there are treasures overlooked by the legions of pickers at garage and estate sales, there are much more valuable treasures awaiting discovery in the multitude of antique and vintage shops that fill every corner of the world.

To this point, I haven’t had the budget to take bigger gambles – a painting at $500 is beyond my budget and a piece of furniture for $2000 isn’t something I can do – not yet, but I’m getting closer. I’m an expert at finding $50 items for a buck or discovering the occasional $200 piece for ten bucks, but to go for the things worth $70k-$100k, you have to be willing to spend a few thousand. People undervalue their treasures, that’s what makes the antique world such a hotbed of activity. That’s what excites me.

Hunting for antiquesAs promised here are the details for the Edinburgh’s Antiques and Collectors Fair for 2014. Happy Hunting!

Edinburgh Antiques and Collector’s Fair – Scotland’s premier event for Antiques & Collectibles

Royal Highland Centre,
Ingliston
Edinburgh
EH28 8NB
Telephone : 07774 147197

Dates at this venue
Saturday 1st March, 2014
Sunday 2nd March, 2014
Saturday 10th May, 2014
Sunday 11th May, 2014
Saturday 27th September, 2014
Sunday 28th September, 2014
Saturday 22nd November, 2014
Sunday 23rd November, 2014

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Book Reviews Movie Reviews My Mission Writing

A Memento of Henri Bergson – Christopher Nolan’s Memento

A Memento of Henri Bergson

by Vago Damitio

You may think that you are free, but you are not. You may think that each action you take is an unrestrained choice, but it is not. You ( and everyone else) are incarcerated in a prison that controls every action you take and every decision you make. Even the decision to be reading these words was already determined before you had read the title of this article.

You can stop right now….but obviously that is not a decision you were able to make, because you are still reading. I don’t want you to harbor any illusions, I am just as much a prisoner as you are. As I write these words, a series of circumstances have led me to a point that cannot be returned from. The sum total of my associations and memories combined with the intensity of my feelings about them have led me to this moment, as I sit and write these words, and while it may feel like this is voluntary, the truth is that I really have no choice in the matter.

How can this be? Just as you can stop reading, I can stop writing…but we have not. We have not been able to stop even though the idea was suggested to us both. We continue on. I am not alone in suggesting that memory has a much stronger hold upon the actions we take in the present than most of us care to admit. Philosophers have debated the case of free will. Thomas Hobbes and David Hume suggested that if one were not being coerced by an outside agent that one was exercising free will. This is a just and necessary argument. It is just because, as John Locke suggested later, if one can pause long enough to think about the effects of one’s actions, one is able to make a choice. It is necessary because if individuals are not held accountable for their actions, there is no basis for order in any society.

Necessary and just…agreed, but are they correct? What if the judgment that is made in the pause Locke speaks of is influenced by the perception of the individual making the judgement? What if even the ability to pause and consider an action before making a judgement is predetermined within the individual by the way that the individual views past experience and current events? If this is the case, than, just as you are still reading these words and I am still writing these words, other actions by other individuals may actually be predetermined and potentially mapped out by the most fascist of all prison wardens….memory.

The philosopher Henri Bergson said in his book Matter and Memory that

It may be said that we have no grasp of the future without an
equal and corresponding outlook over the past, that the onrush
of our activity makes a void behind it in which memories flow,
and that memory is thus the reverberation in the sphere of
consciousness, of the indetermination of our will.

Consider that for a moment, since you are reading this. I will do the same, since I am writing this. I am not certain, but I think that it implies that not only are we influenced in our current decisions by the events of the past, but that we let current events reshape the events of the past, thus, the past that we are basing our decisions upon, is actually variable. This confounds the issue even further. To return to the situation that we currently find ourselves in, are we reading/writing this because of past events or reshaping past events to justify our reading/writing of this essay? In either case, who is actually in charge and making the decision to read/write this essay?

At the risk of disappointing you, I must confess here, that I do not have an answer. This whole series of events has been conjured up by a viewing of a film directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento. In Memento, such questions are suggested and because of an earlier exposure to the works of Henri Bergson, they have come to light in this essay. Memento is the story of a man who seeks to avenge the rape/murder of his wife. This is compounded a condition he has called anterograde amnesia which does not allow him to build new memories. His memories are fixed in the past. Or so he thinks.

The film starts from the present and traces events backwards using the point of view of the main character, Leonard, a man who uses notes, Polaroid photos, and tattoos to remember what he is doing and who he meets. Things are not as they seen for Leonard. His condition makes him vulnerable to exploitation. In the end (which confusingly is actually the beginning), Leonard is forced to confront the fact that things may not have been the way he thought they were. He is forced in short, to ask himself if what he thought was the past which had driven him to the present, was really what he had thought it was. He is forced to consider his actions and whether they were justified based on his memories. Leonard, is lucky though, he only needs to remember to tattoo a justification upon himself and it becomes reality to him.

Can you find justification for your actions?

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Art and Travel guest post

Cairns for Couples : 3 Ultra Romantic Ideas to Keep the Love Alive

Editors Note: This guest post was suppossed to be published on Valentines but somehow it slipped through the cracks – but that’s okay, every day is a day for romance, right?

Cairns, Australia can easily be considered one of the most romantic places to share with your significant other. If you’re lucky enough to be situated here or to be able to make Cairns your backdrop for a day of romance, be sure to make the most of it. Check out these ultra romantic adventure options offered in Cairns, and keep the love alive while having fun at the same time.

Show Your Love Is Not Just Hot Air

Love in a hot air balloon

Cairns hot air ballooning could be just the right amount of hot air to prove that your love is just the opposite! Consider surprising your special someone with this romantic getaway into the sky. Hot Air Ballooning with Raging Thunder takes place in the sky at the crack of dawn, allowing you a romantic morning sunrise from a vantage point neither of you have experienced yet. Waking up in time to catch the 4:15 AM departure could be a giveaway that there’s something special in store for your companion, but the intimate sunrise views of the Cairns Highlands from overhead will certainly be breathtaking nonetheless. For a full day of adventure with your hot air ballooning, the trip up into the sky can be paired with another activity to make it a truly memorable day. Among the many options available, you can choose from horseback riding, a trip to Fitzroy Island, or white water rafting, to name a few activities.

An Overnight Tour to Cape Tribulation

If your love is ready for a rainforest adventure, consider taking your companion on an overnight tour north to Cape Tribulation. Journey into the Daintree Rainforest and capture peace and solitude with your loved one in the world’s oldest surviving rainforest, an ideal setting for couples who love nature as much as they love each other. You can get accommodations for the night in an ensuite cabin at P.K’s Jungle Village or at the Cape Trib Beach House. Enjoy a guided tour from Port Douglas to the Daintree Forest, and get acquainted with the local inhabitants on the crocodile cruise!

A Local Vacation: Romantic Relaxation in Palm Cove

moomomi

If you and your partner are in need of some simple relaxation, consider taking your loved one to the popular couples destination nearby: Palm Cove. This beach town is situated between Cairns and Port Douglas, and is just a 30-minute drive away. With palm trees that line the beach, a beachfront resort, and a relaxing night of wining and dining, what could be more perfect to re-spark the romance on Valentine’s Day? With plenty of day spas within walking distance, you can extend the relaxation and romance with a couple’s body massage.

Whether your relationship is in need of excitement, adventure, or relaxation, Cairns is the perfect setting to find all of the above. So take advantage of the many opportunities in this romantic Australian getaway, and make this Valentine’s Day extra special; keep the love alive while you explore the Cairns region together!

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Art and Travel

Historical Prowess of Greece in Art and Beauty

Editors Note: This article from Global Jet captures much of the reason I chose to travel in the first place. The magnificent art and architecture of ancient Greece was one of the top reasons I hit the road.

Greece is a country with history that spans for millennium and became the cradle of life for western civilization. The locations around the country of Greece still have the remnants from the archaeological past. These places hold much important knowledge that is still widely used today.

Greek Art
Ancient Greek Art

Greece archaeological digs and sites prove to connect the present to the past. Many authentic classical Greece buildings are still visible from the ground through up that will definitely fascinate anyone. Greece welcomes everyone to come visit and be mystified, then take one step back to the past. Travel to Greece via its Athens International Airport in the capital of Athens for a starting point to a great adventure.

Athens

Athens being the capital of Greece is also one of its largest cities. The city holds the key for the birth of western civilization that is still being adhered today. Athens began its creation during the classical Greece which was one of the popular periods in the ancient world and history.

The crowning achievement of the city is on its citadel acropolis which sits on the throne of the goddess Athena. Places of interest inside the acropolis include the famed Parthenon, the Erectheion, and many other temples that symbolize many things. The buildings stood the test of time to give the young the history of civilization.

Mycenae

Mycenae is once mighty and proud Greek civilization that sprung during the Bronze Age period of Greece. Mycenae is also a home for its majestic acropolis that is one of the best during its time. Mycenae is famed today by its arts and literature, one being found in the book of Homer the “Iliad”. The Iliad talks about the kings of Mycenae battling one fine nation of Troy.

Greek ChurchMycenae of today still gives one the fantasy of the distant past. The interesting sites to visit and see in Mycenae include the treasury of Atreus, the massive Cyclopean walls, and the entrance of Lion Gate where two stone lions are guarding it. The archaeological finds give excitement and fascination to witness the remains of fabled town.

Crete

Crete is one populous island in the regions of Greece that is part of the cultural heritage and economy of the country. Crete is once the home of the early civilization in Europe, the Minoan civilization. The Minoan civilization is a prosperous community that is the model of many cities and towns for the next civilization.

The community in Knossos is one great archaeological site worthy of visiting. Knossos is home to the elegantly made palace full of wonderful ornaments and beautifully placed columns. The fabled history of the complex is that it houses the beast Minotaur in the labyrinth, also part is the story of Daidalos and Icarus.

Thessaly

Thessaly is a region and district in the mainland Greece area. The region consists of four prefectures such as Larisa, Magnisia, Trikala, and Karditsa which offer many wonderful sites of both culture and history with beautiful backdrop surroundings.

The region offers wonderful vacation hotspots for anyone wanting a getaway. The beauty of the community in the region gives a relaxing aura. Trekking along Mount Olympus will be both entertaining as well as magical as it is believed to be the home of the twelve Olympian gods of Greek literature.

Travelling to Thessaly and all of Greece gives one insight and knowledge of the distant past that is an amazing event to be in. The wonders of Greece are truly majestic so come and visit now.

 

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Me

The Invention of Vago Damitio

I didn’t used to be Vago Damitio – and truth to tell – I’m probably not any more. It’s strange, but that’s the way it goes.

drunk at office party
For some reason, I wanted to be some drunk asshole in a suit

Vago was an invention I created. True story, back in about 2003 I’d written a book called Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagobond. The book was interesting because there wasn’t really anything else like it and I lucked out and made a cover for it that resonated with a lot of people.

The book never did very well. Agents and publishers turned me down over and over. They always gave the same reason roughly “It’s interesting and well written, but there’s no market for it. You’ve written a guide book for homeless people and they don’t buy books.” The other part of the book was a collection of stories heavily focused on being generally fucked up on drugs or booze.  My heroes of the time Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski shine through pretty clearly. Too clearly.

I used to play music with some friends and I wanted to sing. I have a good voice and at the time, I was deeply enamored with Jim Morrison and they gave a line that the polite publishers probably could have “You sound like Jim Morrison, but you sound too much like Jim Morrison.”  The publishers could have said “We see your influences too clearly”

I self published and the book sold hundreds of copies – which wasn’t bad for 2003. I paid my bar bill by selling copies to drunk patrons at my favorite Bellingham, Washing ton bar, Le Chat Noir or as we called it The Shitty Kitty. The bartender there, who was actually named Random started calling me “The Vagabond” and then once or twice he said “Hey Vago” – I liked it and it stuck with me.  Nobody else used it. I wanted to use it but I remembered seeing the Seinfeld where George Costanza tries to give himself a nickname – I’ve always been particularly sensitive to comparisons to George Costanza – I used to wear glasses, I’m 5 and a half feet tall, and I tend towards baby faced. Yeah, avoid Costanza comparisons like the plague because I was a serious dumbshit drunk with a short man complex trying to prove he was cool to the world – which I should have understood from George Costanza – is totally pointless.

To be honest, I never minded my given name very much – Christopher, shortened to Chris by most people, but it bothered me that it was a name shared by so many. It was a name that was easily forgotten. People used to forget my name frequently. I was always offended by that.

Fast forward to 2008. Nobody had called me Vago since Random. I was living in Hawaii and then as almost always – everyone called me Chris.  I had a blog called ChrisDamitio.com – it was doing surprisingly well – not with money, mind you (never my strong point) but with readers, engagement, and traffic.  I’d been through a really painful breakup over the previous year and I was on the verge of graduating from University. A whole slew of inferiority complexes had led me to pursue a University degree and to want to travel all over the world and be a backpacker. I was set on proving that I was as good or good enough or equal to or something – in any event I wanted to prove something and the girl I’d been involved with had said something about how when our relationship ended she thought I would just forget about her and reinvent myself – I couldn’t do the one so I decided to do the other and to leave everyone who had ever known me behind.

When I left Hawaii – I would tell everyone my name was Vago the world traveling anthropologist from Hawaii and then I would become Vago the world traveling anthropologist from Hawaii. And that’s what I did. It started on the plane from Hawaii, went across the USA by train, stayed on couches and in hostels, and then crossed the Atlantic to Spain. By the time I went to Morocco, I was comfortable introducing myself as Vago. I started a blog called VAGObond.com and I sold ChrisDamitio.com for $1200 and registered VagoDamitio.com.

To everyone I met, I was Vago.  I asked friends and family to call me Vago. Some did, some refused, and some were resentful – I’ve never understood that – why should anyone care? Everyone new I met, knew me as Vago.  Vago the world traveling anthropologist from Hawaii, Vago the travel blogger, Vago the traveller, Vago of the mad drunk adventures.

Of course, paperwork never cooperates. I’m still Christopher David Damitio to my mom, on my passport, and to the government. My wife calls me Vago. Friends from Hawaii and before call me Chris except for those extraordinary souls who made the effort to change their perception, and those I’ve met since leaving Hawaii (including my wife) call me Vago.

And there’s the rub – I’m not sure how to reconcile my two identities. I’m not sure I have to, actually, but I feel like Vago is quietly slipping into his grave. Vago was a construct of a guy who had something to prove, a guy who was desperately trying to get over a painful relationship, a guy who felt like he wanted to be someone else. That’s just not me anymore.

I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I’m a husband, a dad, a guy who has written several books and traveled to a lot of places.  I’ve failed at making a bunch of money or having a big impact on the world and —here it is — I don’t care.  I don’t care what the internet thinks of me. I don’t care what the world thinks of me.  I care about the people I love and I imagine that means they think good things about me.

Here’s something funny – people never forget the name Vago but they sometimes mispronounce it Vargo – but you know what – I could care less if anyone forgets my name now. So, while Vago slips quietly into the night – and I try to figure out who the heck I am and what lights me up these days – feel free to call me whatever you like. For those who wonder, Christopher is what I prefer but you can call me Chris, Vago, Vargo, Damitio, Ugen, The, or whatever you want. I don’t care.

By the way, as you’ll notice when you read his books or blog – Vago is a bit of an asshole.  That’s what I was trying for. I’m not sure why I wanted that – but now I don’t care to be that person.  So, I’m not. Now, I’m just me. No pretense, no act, no intent to offend.

So now you know.

On a happy note, I contacted the guy who bought ChrisDamitio.com in 2013 and bought it back for $350 – all the traffic and community was gone, but maybe they’ll come back – we’ll see.