Archive | February 2013

George Peabody Library

This week is Freedom to Read Week in Canada, so I thought it was high time I wrote another post about a book. Or, perhaps, many thousands of books. Like the ones in this library.

Peabody LIbrary

There are libraries. And then … well … and then there’s the George Peabody Library.

The George Peabody Library is one of the libraries of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s housed in a stunning building designed by architect Edmund Lind and has been open to the public since 1873. The library is named after George Peabody, the American–British financier and philanthropist who provided the funds for the library’s founding in 1857.

The collection consists of over 300,000 books, mostly from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and specializes in all the good stuff: archaeology, British art and architecture, British and American history, English and American literature, Romance languages and literature, Greek and Latin classics, history of science, geography, and ― wait for it ― exploration and travel.

There are a lot of cool-looking libraries on this planet. As if I need another reason to travel, I plan to photograph as many of them as I can.

Through My Lens: Cathedral of Ávila

Ávila Cathedral

It’s the Second Sunday of Lent, and we’re still in Ávila. Today’s photo is of the Cathedral of Ávila, which, like the Basilica de San Vicente I showed you last week, was also built in both Romanesque and Gothic styles. What’s unique about this church is that its apse forms one of the 88 towers of the medieval city walls encircling the old town of Ávila. I took this photo from the top of those ramparts in November 2010.

Through My Lens: Basilica de San Vicente

Here we are again in the Season of Lent. Last year for Lent, I took you on a tour of Parisian churches. This year, I’m going to post a few photos of some of the magnificent churches I’ve seen in Spain.

For today, the First Sunday of Lent, here’s a photo of Basilica de San Vicente in Ávila, a city in Castile and León, which is in northern Spain. This Romanesque–Gothic basilica dates back to the twelfth century.

The church was built to the memory of three martyrs: Saint Vincent and his sisters, Saint Sabina and Saint Cristela. They were killed in 303 by order of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Inside the church is Saint Vincent’s tomb, which is covered with intricate and detailed bas-reliefs of the torture and execution of the three siblings. They’re rather, er, graphic, but incredibly fascinating.

San Vicente

The National Museum of the American Indian

In my post the other week on the Smithsonian, I mentioned how splendid the building that houses the National Museum of the American Indian is.

And then didn’t bother to post a single photo of the building.

I didn’t post any photos because I think the building is so impressive its photos deserve a blog post all their own.

If you’ve ever been to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, you’ll recognize the architect’s work. Both buildings were designed by Douglas Cardinal. Born in Calgary, Alberta, to a Blackfoot father and a mother of Métis and German origins, Cardinal’s designs are known for their curved lines and organic shapes.

I could photograph this building over and over again. Here, take a look.

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Through My Lens: New Orleans

Wait, there’s a game on?

For all you non-football fans out there, here’s a photo of what I find fascinating about New Orleans. I took this photo some years ago when a couple of friends and I were in the Big Easy for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Street Musicians

Through My Lens: Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Station

For my 100th post: a photo of the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, because this magnificent building is celebrating its 100th birthday today. The doors to the station ― which New Yorkers refer to as “Grand Central Station” or simply “Grand Central” ― were first opened to the public at 12:01 am on February 2, 1913.