CULTURE

Because an ever-changing world creates an ever-changing landscape

Having toured the Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey, always on the hunt for something out of the ordinary; I came across this rendition of Edvard Munch’s well-known work titled  The Scream (1893) done in 3D and very large-scale.  It was installed on the outside of a little shack which could be entered; allowing for the viewing of the backside of the sculpture.  I couldn’t help but think about how the hands on approach enabled a deeper emotional connection with the artwork, making me further wonder why other museums haven’t taken this hands on approach to interest more of the youth of today with culture and art.

I know that my love of culture was intensified after learning that I was about to be one of the last people allowed to use flash; while having my photo taken with the Mona Lisa, inside the Louvre Museum in Paris.  The chills ran down my spine when the camera flashed, just with the thought.  That was over 20 years ago, but it continues to be a very special memory for me; one that I will treasure forever.  I don’t know if it was my state of mind or the museums illustriousness, which flowed throughout the halls, as if part of the air, but I felt as though I was carried from one famous work of art to another.  I could have spent a week enjoying each hall and still, I would not have had enough time to appreciate and see the entire collection at the Louvre Museum in Paris France.

The Eiffel Tower was better the second time around for me, as my first time was during a high fog, one that made it absolutely impossible to see anything from the viewing platform.  At ground level it seemed to be a nice overcast day before we boarded the elevator, but once the elevator doors opened 906 feet off the ground to a cloud of fog (one that was unseen from ground level), it was anything but.  The fogs density made it impossible to see over the railing, so the effect of its high elevation was lost on me, as the platform we were standing on seemed to be perched on a bed of clouds.  It was so awesome, because it was the first time I have ever been inside a cloud without a plane wrapped around me.  Standing in that cloud felt misty and chilly, as it left a wonderful sensation, which I felt on each of my exposed skin cells, invigorating my entire being.

On my second trip to Paris a few years later, I was able to take the elevator back to the top of the Eiffel tower without any hindrance on my view, and oh my was it Majestic.  I could see the Notre-Dame de Paris clearly.  The grounds and water looked so pristine from that height, the winds were calm and the feeling throughout the platform was of so much elation that I forgot I was nearly 1,000 feet off the ground.

Touring Vienna Austria during Christmas was one of the most festive events I have ever attended, and it wasn’t an event, it was a city!  The most elaborate Christmas scenes I have ever seen to this day were at the Parliament House and its adjoining courtyard.  It felt like the North Pole was brought to life, as though I was in a winter wonderland, even though it didn’t snow until 12/26 (the last day of my 17 day Vienna vacation).  I tasted my first roasted chestnut off the barrel, from a street vendor at the longest shopping mall named Mariahilfer Straße (pronounced strausse), but it wasn’t for me.  The Marchfelderhof Restaurant on the other hand was fun in a historical kitschy kinda way; with hundreds of table wall plaques, representing such historical figures as Napoleon Bonaparte and others who also dinned at each table, it was a bit touristy so we arrived late to avoid the rush.  Our party consisted of 12, all from different countries; and the table flags they placed on our table, to highlight the represented countries, reminded us of the flags of the UN (12 nations were represented at our table alone).  This funny memory will always live on in my mind, and this was over 18 years ago.

I have made many life lasting memories by getting out and seeing the world.  I will continue to share experiences of my cultural escapades for your viewing pleasure. I welcome you to share my experiences, keeping in mind that I also welcome you to share one of your memorable experiences with me below. If you decide you don’t have any memorable experiences to share….go out and make some!

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