Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hecho en Cuba

My story goes back about 10 years ago, but my memories are still very fresh. 
I was invited to draw a fashion show during a conference in Old Havana. 
I was very official, applying for, and getting granted a license to travel. 
I proudly got my passport stamped and arrived to travel experience 
unlike any that I had to that point, nor have had since. 

The air was hot, as it was summer, but the heat and humidity transcended the temperature. 
The people that I met, beautiful, soulful, smart, and sweet, moved about as if in a haze, under the gloom of poverty, restrictions, and the lack of freedom that I so casually enjoyed. Instead of money, they begged for soap, for hair bands, for toothpaste- all of which I had been advised to bring with me, and I did. I passed it out to Cubans of all ages and had my hand kissed.
It was all at once sobering and endearing. 

The heat and glow of the sun, kissing those antique cars and cobbled streets gave way to sheer exhilaration, for as the sun started to go down, the music, that Cuban music that acts as a constant, pulsing but quiet beat during the day, simply explodes as the light of the day changes. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I See London, I see France

Back in September, I posted about my whirlwind trip to Oxford. 
Following the conference, I spent a day in London and then, off I went to spend a few days in France. Oh, it was amazing and heavenly, and full of caf├ęs and museums and shopping and wine and I wish that I were back there right now. 
I was fascinated with the details and the grandeur- be it London or Paris and beyond. 

With all good intentions, I set out to do these living histories justice, but true to form, it soon became a pile up of details and winding in and out of the architecture, but boy, did I have fun!

Capturing the sites on the way to somewhere else is not only a challenge, 
but it creates great memories that resonate for longer and better than just gazing out the window.

What can you say about sitting anywhere in Paris and soaking it in?
A cafe and a scene- who needs more?

A side trip to Normandy, rich with history and delicious ornamentation.