Smokers

I started smoking when I was about 15 and quit when I was 45. When you are a kid you think smoking makes you look cool or tough. Everyone smoked. Even doctors smoked. Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant smoked. Women smoked and somehow it seemed sexy when they did.Tough guys smoked, bad guys smoked. Then the times changed at least in the USA. However when you go to Europe you see a lot more people smoking and I had some time to observe this on our last trip.

What used to look cool or tough now looked sad. People looked nervous while smoking or did they smoke because they were nervous?
Did smokers always look this unhappy and nervous? Did I hen I smoked? Do you if you still smoke?

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Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Martin Luther King

I lived in Los Angeles when Martin Luther King was assassinated. In the weeks leading up to the assassination I was canvassing for Robert F. Kennedy in the Watts area of Los Angeles. People were very receptive to RFK in the African American communities of Los Angeles. We were very nervous after the assassination but oddly enough Los Angeles did not have riots. We watched on television as the rest of the country rioted. LA was still recovering from the Watts Riots on 1965.

Less than two months later Robert Kennedy was assassinated and the Civil Rights Movement lost two of its leaders within 60 days.
Last year we went to Memphis and paid our respects to Martin Luther King. A trip ever American should make.

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National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

Romans?

OK, admittedly I have no idea if these people are Romans or not. I do know that all the pictures were taken in a plaza near the Trevi Fountain in Rome. None had any tourist gear and they all look like they were once in a Fellini film.

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Porto Azzurro Elba

On our cruise we were excited to visit Elba. It is of course the famous place of exile for Napoleon and we were excited to see Napoleon’s residence. To be honest I was glad we took the tour but Napoleon’s house was the least inspiring part of our trip to Elba.

Our cruise ship docked in Portoferraio which is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful but as we traveled across the island we saw many other gems. For me the tiny little commune of Porto Azzurro was one of the highlights.

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Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple which is now a Catholic church, in Rome, Italy. It was originally commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus. It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. The oculus in the ceiling is open to the sky so sometimes it rains inside like it did the day we visited. It was built as a sundial to illuminate the emperor as he entered on important occasions.

It is also a basilica since Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael is buried there, He died April 6th, 1520, and had asked to be buried in the Pantheon. His request was granted, making him the first artist to be accorded such an honor.

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The Pantheon

Pantheon Interior

Pantheon Interior

The Pantheon

The Tomb of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbin

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

Beauty at The Picasso Museum

Sometimes when you visit a museum you are overwhelmed by the beauty of the art. That was certainly the case at The Picasso Museum in Barcelona. While admiring the pottery of Picasso i was also struck with the beauty of this young woman. She struck me as a vision of Catalonian Feminism.

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Catalonian Beauty

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona was built in the sixth century and is the oldest saving synagogue in Spain and one of five medieval synagogues in the world. It was built underground because because no house of worship was allowed to be taller than the smallest Catholic church. Of course then came The Spanish Inquisition 1391 and the Jewish quarter was sacked and over 300 were killed. Jews were forced to turnover all their possessions to the King and permitted to leave the country. The alternative was death of conversion to Catholicism. The Nazi’s didn’t invent this stuff they were just more efficient at it.

Today the synagogue is a museum. Barcelona has two working synagogues and a pollution of around 15,000 jewish people with about 45,000 in Spain. Of course like jewish people all over the world they face anti semitism but in Spain like the United States they are now free to practice their faith.

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona