Stolen Art at Museum Judenplatz Wien

The Jewish Museum of Vienna is a fascinating and well curated collection. The displays are thoughtful and well presented. Although some sections brought tears to my eyes. Some I viewed with amazement. One area did both.

This is a picture of one part of the 4th floor archive archive. It is filled with all the valuable Torah decorations that the Nazis stole form the European Jews. They burned all the scrolls but kept all the decorations made of gold and silver.

It bears repeating that this picture is only one section. The whole third floor of the museum is filled with other glass cases just like this.

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Stolen Art

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Have Harp Will Travel

One of the things I love about traveling in different parts of the world are the variety of street performers.In Prague they have pianos scattered around the city in public places with signs that say play me. In Paris we saw a string quartet. In Germany we saw organ grinders. In San Francisco we saw someone playing the Chapman stick.

Of course guitars, fiddles and singers are common everywhere. However In Puerto Morelos I saw a new one for the first time. We were leaving when we passed this man heading towards the sqaure. Kinda of sorry I didn’t stay around to heard him play.

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Have Harp Will Travel

Iglesia de San Jose Puerto Morelos

About a half and hour south of the Cancún Airport is the town of Puerto Morelos The town has not exploded like Cancún and Playa Del Carmen. It is still a quaint fishing village with boats for hire, street performers and quaint restaurants. There are no huge resorts but many quaint upscale condominiums and tourist hotels along a beautiful beach .

In the center of town is a community Catholic church which reflects the close relationship the people have with the sea and the fishing profession. It is small, quaint and uniquely Mexican

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Jardin Botanico Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin

If you rent a car and drive about 45 minutes south of Cancún you will come to the wonderful little town of Puerto Morales. More on that in the future. Outside of the town off the highway is a hard to find botanical garden Jardin Botanico Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin It is a fascinating visit and stroll through the Jungle.

It is not an easy hike, the ground is quite uneven in spots and you either have to cross a suspension bridge or hike up a steep hill. Well worth it though. There is allegedly a lot of wildlife but we only saw birds. Of course there were some ruins but also examples of how ancient Mayan’s lived. Inexpensive, uncrowded and very unique. Bring bug spray, it is the Jungle!

These grass roof structures were part of family living. There were three or four adjacent to each other. One had a chimney structure where the family cooked and ate, kind of a Mayan great room.Others were used for sleeping and storage. This is how the common people lived. In Tulum and Chichen Itsa you can see the ruins of stone dwellings were the rulers and elite lived.

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Mayan House

Mayan Housing

People of Prague #1

Over the years I have developed my technique for photographing people without looking through the viewfinder. In the 1970’s I first became aware of The Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Although it really has nothing to do with the observer effect it does help to mathematically corroborate that principle. Simply stated the act of observing something changes that thing. I knew when I pointed my camera at people their behavior would change.

I thought to not have people react to me I had to photograph them in a stealth mode. First I employed telephoto lenses but since going digital I have began shooing without looking through the viewfinder. Wasting bits and pixels is a lot different than wasting film. I set the camera to a wide angle and select automatic focus and exposure. I get a lot of crap but then I also get shots like this one which make it all worthwhile. Next a mirror-less camera because people do react to the shutter noise if they are close enough.

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People of Prague #2

People of Prague #2

Child of Prague

We had been touring for a month and the last thing I wanted to see was another European Church. It was our last day in Europe and we had spent about five hours at Prague Castle. I was tired. However my bride of 45 years insisted we had to see The Child of Prague. I had no idea what it even was but have learned Happy Wife, Happy Life so I grudgingly agreed. It is truly one of the most interesting religious artifacts I have ever seen.

The Infant Jesus of Prague or Child of Prague is a 16th-century Roman Catholic wax-coated wooden statue of child Jesus holding a globus cruciger. It is on display at a very small Church of Our Lady Victorious in Malá Strana in Prague. It is very beautiful and difficult to photograph due to all the reflections.

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The Child of Prague

The Child of Prague

In The Clearing at the End of The Path

In the Dark Tower series by Stephen King he writes about meeting at the clearing at the end of the path. I always thought that it was a wonderful way to write about the afterlife. I certainly like it better than the pearly gates or even heaven. It is definable, it has a clear vision to wrap my mind around. This is my old dog Deuce. He knew his job and did it well and loved his masters. He patrolled the fences of his one acre kingdom and defended us from bears and all sorts of critters. He was not an easy dog. He didn’t cotton well to young people and like most border collies too smart for his own good.

However he was the best dog I ever had. I miss my daily walks with this guy through the woods and have no doubt that at the end of it all, Deuce will be waiting for me in the clearing at the end of the path.

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Deuce

Deuce