Never Forget Kristallnacht

November 9, 1938

Americans have some dates burned in their memory. September 11 and December 6 are two notorious dates where Americans were attacked, killed and suffered extreme hardships. It is important as Americans to remember these dates and honor the fallen.

However, as citizens of the world we MUST remember today as well because it is the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Tonight were the first attacks on Jewish homes in Germany. At least 91 Jews were killed in the attacks, and a further 30,000 arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, over 1,000 synagogues were burned and Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. Millions of others experienced death and torture by the lunatic Hitler.

We must never forget and always honor this day. Things are much better in Europe now for Jewish people that have remained or returned over all these years. However, this year when visiting Italy I saw it was still necessary for soldiers to guard the synagogues.

Synagogue in Milan Italy

La Pedrera Part One

Barcelona is a vibrant and culturally diverse city. Nobody expresses the soul of the city better than Antoni Gaudí. He was a Spanish architect known as the greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works have a highly individualized, one-of-a-kind style. Casa Milà was one of his last works and is commonly know as La Pedrera which means the stone quarry. Its rough hewn appearance is seen throughout the building.

The picture below of the model shows the scope of the building which was designed as a private residence but has a total of eight floors and many separate apartments.

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Model of Casa Milā

The Roof Top

The Courtyard

Hallelujah by Maryfer Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

We traveled for a week aboard the Azamara Pursuit cruising from Barcelona to Rome. It was an awesome experience and I am sure I will write more about it over the next few weeks. There was a lot of good entertainment onboard but our favorite was the captivating Maryfer. Playing a grand piano and singing in a beautiful clear voice with great range.

The video is her singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. It doesn’t do justice to the power of her voice but you get the idea.We also got to know her and her boyfriend a little. He accompanies her on guitar and also is a vocalist. A lovely young couple.

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Changing of the Guard at Monaco Palace

We got lucky on our visit to Monaco and arrived at the Palace when they were changing the guard. Of course there were a few thousand tourists lined up in front of me but I still managed to get a few images. Not as dramatic as Prague Castle or Tomb of The Unknown Solider but still dramatic.

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Monaco Palace

Changing of The Guard

Changing of The Guard

Happy Labor Day

Now that I am retired, I think I have a deeper appreciation of those who labor. Of course I worked for a long time and still do creative work every day, but there is work and then there is labor.

I have also done some labor in my time. I worked in a commercial bakery. I worked in supermarkets. I was a cab driver. I have done photography inside nuclear reactors, steel mills and paper mills. I understand what labor is and to all of you who labor…thanks and enjoy your day!

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paddlewheel

The Best Block in Pittsburgh

Three years ago we began having block parties on the Sunday after Run Around The Square. Since our block is along the race route we already have barricades available so it easy to do. Of course we have a wonderful neighborhood with children and parents of all ages.

The kids play on one side of the street and the parents hang out in the center of the block and listen to the sounds of our resident poet and songwriter. I encourage you to check out the poignant and humorous melodies of Matt Aquiline and the Dead End Streets.

If you don’t have a block party consider it. It is a great way to get to know your neighbors. This is Pittsburgh and we are all about neighborhoods and community.

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Run Around The Square 2019

Each year near the end of August Pittsburgh has one of its best 5k races. There are a number of things that make Run around The Square</em> different. The race goes through the cobblestone streets of Pittsburgh’s Regent Square Neighborhood and then through Frick Park ending in Fern Hollow in the midst of the park.

At the end of the race Regent Square’s famous Hot Dog Shop serves up free hot dogs and beer to the crowd in the park and other local business also offer water, snacks and free merchandise to entrants.

I couldn’t”t participate this year or volunteer much because of my back but since the race comes down or street I could still cheer and take pictures.

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Run Around The Square 2019

Run Around The Square 2019