Tag-Archive for » Graffiti «

Walking Around Sultanahmet Square Looking for a Place to Warm Up

After visiting the Blue Mosque, we walked around the tourist area, checking out the other landmarks. In the plaza area near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, there are these obelisks and other cool structures. One was the Obelisk of Theodosius, an Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III re-erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople (known today as At Meydanı or Sultanahmet Meydanı) by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in the 4th century AD.

Theodosius Obelisk Istanbul Turkey

The obelisk was first set up by Thutmose III (1479–1425 BC) to the south of the seventh pylon of the great temple of Karnak. The Roman emperor Constantius II (337-361 AD) had it and another obelisk transported along the river Nile to Alexandria to commemorate his ventennalia or 20 years on the throne in 357. The other obelisk was erected on the spina of the Circus Maximus in Rome in the autumn of that year, and is today known as the Lateran obelisk, whilst the obelisk that would become the obelisk of Theodosius remained in Alexandria until 390, when Theodosius I (378-392 AD) had it transported to Constantinople and put up on the spina of the Hippodrome there.

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With Resort in Rear View, We Headed Out to Watamu and Malindi

We ventured out of the resort to get a feel of the local scene. On the way out we made a stop to get some drinks when we heard dancing, singing and music behind Neema Shop. It was a community meeting with some of the women performing a traditional dance.

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The Grand Tour of Kenya’s Capital City — Nairobi

Just as Hollywood has done an amazing job convincing the world that all of us in America are rich [except the blacks who all live in the ghetto — except Oprah Winfrey], Hollywood has also convinced a lot of Americans that all Africans live in a country called Africa. And they’re all poorer than the blacks living in the ghetto.

Of course my photos from Mlolongo, Kiambu and Wangige doesn’t help the stereotype. And Mombasa, though it has amazing resorts, isn’t quite the most modern city in the world.

But Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is another story.

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Our First Full Day In Mombasa — Old Town and Fort Jesus

Never in my life did I think I’d be at a beach during the holidays. But since Kenya straddles the equator, winter in America is summer in Kenya. Instead of near freezing temperatures, we were being scorched in 90 degree heat with enough humidity to make showering moot once you stepped out.

Severin Sea Lodge - Mombasa, KenyaSeverin Sea Lodge, the resort where we were staying, is an oasis in a city that still looks like poverty is rampant. The palm trees, the ocean breeze, the free meals with bottomless mango and passion fruit juices for breakfast and exotic entrees for dinner, you almost forget that just down the street people still live in mud homes with grass roofs.

But in the gated resort, it was heaven. There were monkeys in the trees to give it an exotic feel, the decor was authentic and well thought out, photos of wildlife in the rooms, mosquito nets over the bed to remind you that the flu here is replaced with malaria.

The beaches are of fine, white sand. The ocean water is warm and because of the geographic feature, there aren’t any waves crashing on the beach, tipping over two year olds. It was a private beach so it wasn’t crowded. The resort grounds, I keep reiterating, were flawless.

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Bucharest is a Graffiti Artist’s Dream Canvas

Bucharest, Romania

I mentioned it earlier, but after a couple more days in Bucharest, I can’t reiterate enough how much graffiti there is in the city. Literally everywhere you look you’ll find graffiti. We stayed in an area known for its elite residents, and there was graffiti everywhere. Around the corner were the homes of Romania’s power players, government officials, the former president Ion Iliescu, homes of the former dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and his people, and there was graffiti everywhere. Graffiti was in the downtown area, the city center, old town, the main commercial business districts, everywhere; there was nowhere we visited that was immune to the spray cans of these “artists.”

There was so much graffiti, it started to become part of the character of Bucharest. If there was an area without graffiti, it looked out-of-place. Next to the Armani shops, the high-end hotels, the government institutions, there is graffiti. Graffiti was the silent voice of Bucharest telling you its story that you won’t find in travel guides.

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The Walking Tour of Bucharest, Romania Continues

More photos from our self-guided walking tour of Bucharest, Romania. We started this trip downtown Bucharest and walked the entire length back north to our hotel.

Bucharest, Romania

Kretzulescu Church

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The Architecture of Bucharest’s Buildings

We got our self-guided walking tour of Bucharest started at Strada Pictor Barbu Iscovescu and walking up to Piaţa Romană. Those are street names. I think. Advertising in Bucharest is quite bold. Larger than life. Coke and Pepsi are having it out with which company can out-scream the other.

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Burj al Arab, Heritage Village, The Souks in Deira, Atlantis The Palm, Global Village — So Much To Do in One Day in Dubai

The day started with a quick trip to the store, but there’s nowhere in Dubai where there isn’t something to gaze at. One of the world’s most recognizable skyscrapers has been duplicated in Dubai, then duplicated right next to it. Not only does Dubai have two buildings styled after the Chrysler Building in New York, they even bought a 90 percent share in the original!

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Taking a Morning Stroll in New York

Statue of Peter Stuyvesant in New YorkWhenever I’m in New York, I feel compelled to run around the city, without a map, snapping pictures of whatever gets in my way. Everywhere you look, there’s a photo op. From the architecture and monuments, landmarks and historical buildings to the local art, the neighborhood hangouts and just about everything else in between.

During our most recent trip to New York, we stayed at Hotel 17 near Stuyvesant Square. One morning, while everyone slept, I snuck out with the digital camera my homeboy Chad McKelvey loaned me to capture as much of the neighborhood as I could in a couple of hours.

Stuyvesant Square

Around the corner from Hotel 17 [where we were staying for the weekend] is Stuyvesant Square. It was still early when I got out there, so other than an occasional dog walker, I had the park to myself.

It’s named after Peter Stuyvesant who owned the land back in the 1800s. In 1836 his great-great-grandson, also named Peter, sold four of the acres to the City of New York as a public park originally to be called Holland Park. It was sold for a token $5. Add a bunch of zeros and you might be able to buy some property there today!

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