Ball Hawk

During our trip to California we had an opportunity to do something we always wanted to do. We went to the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio California and saw a match. I love horses and my riding years are most likely behind me. I can no longer attend horse racing which is a cruel sport to the horses. I was amazed by polo and will undoubtedly be posting many pictures. The synergy between the horse and rider is truly amazing and magical to watch. After the first half I became aware why.

These horses are ball hawks. They are undoubtedly trained to follow the ball and when they turn the rider better be ready. If the rider falls off the horse they do not stop the match. If the horse falls the match is halted. Nobody fell and after two hours it was mind boggling that none did.

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Ball Hawk

Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome

This church, Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, was fascinating for a number of reasons. It was built in the ruins of the Diocletian Baths of Ancient Rome. There are fenced off ruins right next to the basilica but visitors are not permitted. Recently I post about magnificent pipe organ.

Here are some other images from one of the churches known as the Vatican Beyond The Walls

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Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

Tempio Maggiore Firenze Part Two

If you stand on the Plaza of Michelangelo and over look the city of Florence you will notice immediately the dome of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo. If you look to the left and a little further back you will see another smaller dome. This is the Tempio Maggiore or The Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy.

Tempio Maggiore is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. Although Jews survived in Tuscany better than some other areas of Europe they were still persecuted and second class citizens There was a Jewish emancipation in 1848 of the Jewish communities living in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The temple was built in the moorish style and designed to fit in as worthy counterpoint to the famous Catholic dome

Comparisons aside this temple is a magnificent structure and museum. It has a fantastic history and had been miraculously preserved and maintained. Sadly, as with most synagogues around the world security is noticeable and you can not take a camera inside. However they do allow you to take photographs with your cell phones.

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Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze Part One

If you stand on the Plaza of Michelangelo and over look the city of Florence you will notice immediately the dome of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo. If you look to the left and a little further back you will see another smaller dome. This is the Tempio Maggiore or The Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy.

Tempio Maggiore is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. Although Jews survived in Tuscany better than some other areas of Europe they were still persecuted and second class citizens There was a Jewish emancipation in 1848 of the Jewish communities living in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The temple was built in the moorish style and designed to fit in as worthy counterpoint to the famous Catholic dome

Comparisons aside this temple is a magnificent structure and museum. It has a fantastic history and had been miraculously preserved and maintained. Sadly, as with most synagogues around the world security is noticeable and you can not take a camera inside. However they do allow you to take photographs with your cell phones.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

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

Napoleon’s House on Elba

In the Treaty of Fontainebleau, the Allies exiled Napoleon to Elba, an island of 12,000 inhabitants in the Mediterranean off the Tuscan coast. They gave him sovereignty over the island and allowed him to retain the title of Emperor, while his wife and son took refuge in Austria. He only lived there for ten months before he escaped and raised an army while marching to Paris. Eventually defeated at Waterloo and sent to the island of St, Helena in the Atlantic Ocean where he died.

His house on Elba was small but tucked into a peaceful hill near the enter of the island. The house is in the process of being refurbished but much of the furniture and art was sold off by Napoleon’s sister to pay off family debts.

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Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba