Thursday, June 17, 2021

A Good Woman for Pools --- Day 10/48

Walk: Hood

Distance: 3 miles

Berkeley City Club Pool, 1929, Julia Morgan, designer

So, San Francisco is its usual 'naturally air conditioned" (read: cool and windy) self today. But go five miles from here and you are in a heat wave billed "life threaghtening" and "record breaking," so Ciwt is thinking of pools. Julia Morgan pools especially.

Pioneering San Francisco native Julia Morgan (1872-1957) was the first woman to receive a California architect's license. The year was 1909, and perhaps her male counterparts thought she would simply hang it on her wall as accomplishment enough. But, by the time of her death in San Francisco, Morgan, the architect/engineer/contractor/businesswoman/history and art lover left a legacy of over 800 personally designed buildings and sites. The most famous of these is Hearst Castle in San Simeon, and among her most exquisite designs were her pools.

Of those, the most beautiful and admired is Roman Pool, the second major pool at Hearst Castle. No wonder and no accident. Morgan admired and referenced history in much of her work and in this case styled the pool after ancient Roman bath houses like the Baths of Caracalla (211-217 CE). Master tile workers were employed by Morgan to design faithful copies of ancient tile patterns and colors and a master sculptor worked directly with statues in the Vatican Museum to carve copies of the Roman heroes, gods and goddesses that surround the pool. The results are truly stunning. 

Perhaps some lucky person down in San Simeon's current heat wave is enjoying a swim in it as Ciwt writes.

Roman Pool, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA, 1927-1934, Julia Morgan, designer

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Sleep Masks, Yes --- Day 10/47

Walk: GG Park Pickleball

Distance: 4 miles, 90 mnutes pickle

As of today, after one year and three months, vaccinated Californians can be out in the world without masks in most situations.  Even so, Ciwt felt a bit like a deliquent walking around without one.  It's going to take a little time to get used to.  Maybe she'll lie down, put on her sleep mask and let it sink in.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Hmmmm --- Days 10/45 & 46

Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball Courts, Up & Down Stairs for Monday chores 2. GG Park Pickleball

Distance: 1. 2.6 miles, small yoga, 2 games pickle  2, 4 miles, 90 minutes pickle, small yoga

Ciwt has a hard time concentrating when there is work being done around her home.  (See Day 10/44)

Sunday, June 13, 2021

'Settling' in San Francisco --- Day 10/44

Walk: Presidio Pickleball

Distance: 3 miles, 90 minutes pickle

Just a few 'hairline cracks, a little plaster, a little paint' thought Ciwt about her back room.  

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Ropes of Pearls & Classmates --- Day 10/43

Walk: No

Distance: n/a, Yoga

So Ciwt was so 'sobered' by her zoom class reunion that she couldn't get out of her home even for a walk today.  Most of the old (definitely!) faces she could see were strangers to her because she hadn't even known them at college and the conversation tended toward the serious, sentimental and decidedly unfunny.  Ie, draining.  

But the thing that really got her down was that many of the women (it was a women's college) were wearing pearls.  Ropes of pearls!  All Ciwt could think was "How old are we??"  And those same people were wearing bright red, not necessarily a flattering color on older people.  (Ciwt was wearing her pickleball attire).

At the end of the get together she pressed the "Leave" button and just sat in her chair staring at the empty screen. She felt heavy, like she had gained 100 pounds and her energy level was near zero.  Luckily a classmate called; one she actually knew and liked.  Her first words, even before hello, were "There was no humor; hardly even a smile!"  

Well all right!  At least one person remembers Ciwt loves to laugh and could crack up her friends in our dormitory back then.  So, energy returned, and Ciwt learned the ropes of pearls were leftovers from the last 'important' reunion.  They were fake (whew) and hopefully worn tongue in cheek.  Who knows about all the red - probably that was from some other reunion.

Anyway, that's that for Ciwt and reunions for several more years (hopefully).  Tomorrow she will make it to the pickleball courts followed by a long walk. 


Friday, June 11, 2021

The Movies Are Back --- Day 10/42

Walk: Vogue Theater (In the Heights)

Distance: 2 miles

Superior - the movie and being back in a movie theater (carefully spaced).  

Lin-Manuel Moranda continues to add so much to our cultural lives.  Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave a succinct review Ciwt likes: A Technicolor marvel as heady as Old Hollywood, and as modern as this moment.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Personal Bouquet Favorites --- Day 10/41

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4.5 miles

Forget Me Not Florist, Maggie Wan; Jullian Mak, co-exhibitor (San Francisco) in front of Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatric, Watercatcher, 1995

Floristika, Emma Soloveychik, MS, EMS, CCF (San Francisco)  in front of Robert Henri, O in Persian Costume, 1913

Noovo Bloom, Alan Hhan Do (San Francisco), in front of Richard Mayhew, Rhapsody, 2002

Maybe for their overall simplicity and colors, Ciwt particularly enjoyed these bouquets to their selected art pieces.  If you go to the site ourself yourself, maybe you'll have other favorites.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

"A Celebration of Their Lives" --- Day 10/40

Walk: Green Apple Books, Sloat Garden Center

Distance: 4.5 miles, Yoga

Eko W. Tjoek (San Francisco)

So, today Bouquets to Art, a weeklong display of fresh floral installations inspired by works in the de Young's permanent collection returned to our Fine Arts Museums for the 37th year.  It is their principal fund raising event -  gorgeous, and immensely popular. And always sold out so that Ciwt long ago abandoned the idea of  attending.  But, to her happy surprise, this year Bouquets is being offered on line*. 

On her first virtual visit, understandably, Ciwt found that the pandemic, along with the art, has inspired many of the talented and specially invited floral designers. She thought the arrangement above was particularly lovely, and was deeply moved by Eko W. Tjoek, the artist's, statement:

This past year has been a difficult and unprecedented time for all of us.  The pandemic has affected our daily lives, our way of living and how we think.  There is a lot of heartache and sorrow.  But it also allows us to pause and slow down.  I want to dedicate this arrangement to my parents, whom I lost to this virus, and to millions of  families who also lost their love ones.  Think of this arrangement as a celebration of their lives.

I chose this location because of its simplicity  No art, no paintig or sculpture.  Just the room, glass windows, and the garden outside.

Peace and serenity.  That's all the world needs right now.

*You can attend too! (just click on this link).  

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Who is M.B.? --- Day 10/39

Walk: GG Pickleball

Distance: Just a mile, 90 minutes pickle, yoga stretches

So just a week ago Ciwt didn't know who Mayim Bialik was and now she's rooting for her to be permanent host of Jeporady.  

Every single guest host so far has commented repeatedly on how difficult it is to fill Alex's shoes.  Not just his likeability, but the fact that Alex made an exceedingly challenging job look easy.  And isn't that the ultimate sign of exceptional talent?  You watch Roger Federer speed around the tennis court like a graceful and beautiful gazelle hitting the most remote shots with perfect timing and think "tennis looks so fun." Not, omg, what a struggle, he's trying so hard, I could never do that, etc.

And Bialik has that special something.  Like Alex, smart as a whip, personable with the contestants, fast on the draw with comments and evaluations of the contestants' answers, human, humane, humble, fun.  Etc.  She is so good she handles every moment as if it is perfectly natural, plus she's likely to draw a whole new crowd of viewers while keeping us old ones glued to the show.  So, in answer to one of TV's most pressing questions, Ciwt is ready to answer "Who is Mayim Bialik?"

(But then again a few weeks ago she was championing Buzzy or Ken or Bill.  So guess she better wait to see all the candidates before buzzing in.  The really good news is there already are several great ones).

Monday, June 7, 2021

Not Blowing in the Wind --- Days 10/36, 37, 38

Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball  2. Vogue Theater (NT Live: Cyrano de Bergerac  3. Monday errands

Distance: 1. 2.8 miles, 1 hr. pickle, yoga  2. 2.4 miles, tiny yoga  3. 3.5 miles, Yoga

So where has Ciwt been past few days?  Well, it is summer, so like any good San Franciscan she has gone inside.  To get away from the wind and cold, that is.  While the rest of the country comes to life, sun bathes, swims, has backyard barbeques, plays horseshoes, we turn on our heaters or just stay in our down jackets when we give up chasing pickleballs in the wind.  Did Ciwt tell you about the birds that were blowing over trying to stand next to a golf green she was putting on?

With all her excess energy Ciwt turned to not just one but three cultural events yesterday.  First, National Theater Live's Cyrano de Bergerac.  Like many people who know that play, Ciwt was expecting to see a bough covered balcony with Cyrano hidden beneath crooning sweet poety to Roxane.  Nope!  Not in 2021 where classics are a thing of the past.  This Cyrano was haughty, vaguely homosexual, dancing hip hop, swearing like mad and speaking in modernized rap verse.  He was also quite gorgeous and completely buff (with no artificial nose) and played beautifully by James McAvoy.

Then it was back for an informative and passionate art lecture about the ever impassioned Vincent van Gogh.    
Vincent van Gogh, (Last) Self Portrait. 1889

Finally she Netflixed a movie she'd missed from a recent film festival. Turned out the (gay) main character was the opposite of the two emotive artists she had spent the day with: cold, remote, cruel. 

Alfonso Herrera in Dance of '41

Finally, she threw her down comforter on top of all her other covers and went off to sleep with her cats curled up beside her.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Puzzles, Quizes and Ciwt --- Day 10/35

Walk:  Hood

Distance: Just 1.8 miles (So Windy๐Ÿ˜ž)

Ciwt's lowest score so far on the NYT daily mini.  Do Not ask about her NYT Weekly Quiz scores....

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Respectful Farewell --- Day 10/34

Walk:  Presidio

Distance: 4 miles, Yoga

Always hard for Ciwt to let go of all the artful covers and high quality writing.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Around the Table --- Day 10/33

Walk: LP Nails

Distance: 2.5 miles, Yoga

Horace Pippin, Domino Players, 1943, 12 3/4" x 22," oil on fiberboard 

DC is an art lovers heaven for, among others, young working women, which CIWT was when she lived there in the 60's.  Many first rate museums were - and are! - free, so Ciwt's big decision on her walk home was whether to stop in at the Smithsonian or the National Gallery of Art or, closer to her home, The Phillips Collection.  If she chose the last, she couldn't to wait to come around the Collection's blind corner and encounter, boom, Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party 

Maybe because she was so blissed out by colors and the merriment of Renoir's party, she doesn't recall seeing Horace Pippin's Domino Players, which, since Duncan Phillips acquired it in 1943, has been in the Collection.

Renoir's young and beautiful friends are enjoying food and drink in a convivial river setting while Pippin's  domino players are occupied with other humble daily pleasures: table games, friendly competition, quiltmaking.  But, take away the different settings, and Ciwt sees everyday people enjoying the relaxed pleasure and comfort of each other's company.  And this warms her heart. 

She's beginning to contemplate a trip back to DC, and, if she takes it, hopes to encounter that old Luncheon friend around the corner and meet a new one somewhere near it on the walls of the Phillips.


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Pickle-Tennis Anyone? --- Day 10/32

Walk: Lisa and Douglas Goldman Tennis Center

Distance: 6 miles, 1 hour pickle



Hurray!  San Francisco has a great new tennis and Pickleball facility in Golden Gate Park.  The generosity of certain old SF Families and Foundations is truly amazing.  We are very lucky.  

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day 2021 --- Days 10/30 & 31

Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball  2. No

Distance: 1. 2.5 miles, 1 hr. pickle, yoga  2. Yoga

Often Ciwt goes to the moving Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony at the Presidio National Cemetery, but this year it was canceled.  So she joined others on line for the interfaith memorial service at the Presidio Chapel.  Always a special day of grateful remembrance.  

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Back At The Flicks! --- Days 10/28 & 29

Walk: 1. Presidio Social Club, Crissy Field  2. AMC Kabuki (A Quiet Place II)

Distance: 1. 6 miles  2. 3.3 miles

So Ciwt went to the movies!  There may have been a couple of others there.  She can't be sure because she sits toward - sometimes at - the front.  The theater was spotless and very well organized with assigned seats and care taken to assure proper spacing (if there had been more in the audience).  And of course the screen was enormous, the sound surround and it didn't take a moment of Zoom-like concentration to sit back in her lounge chair and enjoy being immersed in another world.  It felt great and relieving to be at one of her favorite escapes after more than a year, and she says to movie buffs wherever you are,  "Try it, you'll like it!"  9You'll also be doing your part in keeping our big screens alive).

Also for a (dystopian) suspense/thriller getaway she can recommend the movie she saw:  A Quiet Place, Part II.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The "Perfect" Cure --- Days 10/26 & 27

Walk: 1. Presidio  2. Hood

Distance: 1. 4.4 miles, yoga  2. 4.2 miles, yoga

So, Ciwt was going to take a trip to the place where she grew up.  But today she canceled it.  Lots of real world reasons, mostly related to the fact that it really is too soon to travel for many of us unless it is a necessity. At least to take a longish plane trip.  For openers (and closers actually), the state she was going to has a no mask policy while Ciwt's state is still masking, social distancing etc., and Ciwt feels safest with that for now.  

Seems a rational, sensible decision, but, because it concerns the place of her childhood, not going is confusing.  By doing what feels safest and most comfortable (and sane) to her, is she being a good enough friend?, community member?, citizen of the world? human being?  It is fraught - home - and Ciwt struggles to finally, finally not get confused by it, nail it down, get over it. And she found a poem today that seems helpful.


Albert Huffstickler

We think we get over things.
We don’t get over things.
Or say, we get over the measles
but not a broken heart.
We need to make that distinction.
The things that become part of our experience
never become less a part of our experience.
How can I say it?
The way to “get over” a life is to die.
Short of that, you move with it,
let the pain be pain,
not in the hope that it will vanish
but in the faith that it will fit in,
find its place in the shape of things
and be then not any less pain but true to form.
Because anything natural has an inherent shape
and will flow towards it.
And a life is as natural as a leaf.
That’s what we’re looking for:
not the end of a thing but the shape of it.
Wisdom is seeing the shape of your life
without obliterating (getting over) a single
instant of it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Something To Do - Intermittently --- Day 10/25

Walk: GG Park Pickleball

Distance: 1.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle. yoga

The day begins with vitamins and Water, really (desktop computer on right)

Ciwt is going to give an 'intermittent fast' diet a try. No eating until noon or after 8 pm.  Something to do. We'll see.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Pillow? Caper --- Day 10/24

Walk: Monday errands

Distance: 4 miles, yoga

Oh dear, just when Ciwt needs a couple of new ones, why do sleeping pillows have to look so different from when she was growing up.?

Sunday, May 23, 2021

All Subverted --- Day 10/23

Walk: Presidio Pickleball Courts

Distance: 2.4 miles, Yoga, Just a few games of pickle 

Paulina Olowska (Polishm born 1976), Portrait of the Artist - indoors, 2012, oil, ink,transparency on linen 

So, Ciwt felt a bit subverted by the newly hung walls at SFMOMA the other day.  "Subvert," that's the recent art and other arenas buzz word intentionalty used wrong by subversive Ciwt.  It means undermine the power and authority of (an established system or institution), or topple, destabilize, unsettle, etc.  You get it, and, if you are like Ciwt, you've heard and seen quite enough of it these days.

There were several galleries at SFMOMA that felt to Ciwt like glorified street fairs, filled with artists she'd never heard of.  And there's part of the subversion.  It used to be that there was quite an exacting route to museum walls.  Artists had to have some combination of  talent, excellent training, patrons, approval by prestigious galleries and finally by the highly educated and powerful museum honchos.  In the 50's, when the art center moved to New York from Paris, that system began to crack in earnest.  There were the huge, macho, self-expressive canvases of the 'Ab Exs,' then Warhol opened the door to 'museum quality' art even farther showing that artists could make their own careers and command enormous prices through things like wild parties, equally wild movies, (women's) magazines.  They became such media stars museums looked out of it if they didn't put their work on the walls.  

Now it seems there are other - and international - routes to museums that Ciwt knows nothing about.  And many of them are "Subversive" according to the signage.  Some of this subversive art Ciwt has seen at other museums are simply gross, apparently meant to disgust and shock. But that wasn't the case at SFMOMA.  Many of their newly hung (or otherwise displayed) art works are beautifully executed, engaging and thought-provoking, even in their 'subversiveness.'  

For instance, the work at the top by Polish artist Paulina Olowska. It is finely crafted (with cats to please Ciwt), but, wow, the signage: Olowska embeds her compostions with forgotten figures from overlooked histories.  This work depicts the Mexican poet and painter Carmen Mondragon (1893-1978), also known as Nahui Olin, a fashion and cultural icon who posed for such artists as Diego Rivera, Tina Modotti, and Edward Weston.  Olowska complicates the depiction in several ways.  The central figure is based on a picture by the fashion photographer Norman Parkinson - not of Olin, but of another woman. The plates on the wall are decorated with images of the artist and her lovers, a nod to Olowska's own ceramic work, while the collaged cats evoke the artist's preoccupation with these animals  

Or this striking work by Guyanese artist, Frank Bowling

Frank Bowling (Guyanese, born 1934), Elder Sun Benjamin, 2018, Acrylic paint, synthetic resin, cut and pasted canvas, fabric, and photographs on canvas

Very affecting work, but, again, look at the extensive signage:  This work is named for the artist's oldest son, Benjamin, whose likeness emerges from the two photographs collaged onto the canvas, barely visible in the thick layers of yellow paint.  Also pasted onto the surface are strips of Asian textiles his grandson purchased in Zambia, weaving the artist's personal lineage and experience with broader histories of migration and cross-cultural exchange.  The ocular forms of the photographs recall the artists quote, "I don't think what you see or reel in the world when you open your eyes for first time ever lieaves you..Historical memory is hardly ever erased.

Can't Ciwt just enjoy or be intrigued by the work and research it (or take an art tour ๐Ÿ˜‰) on her own if she wants to learn more about it or the artist?  Like just reading a poem?

Ciwt also wonders things like 1. Does this artist have a body of work similar to what Ciwt is looking at or is this just one good work? Ie, is there consistency and maturity here? 2. Is the museum showing this work primarily because the artist is local?  Or international?  Or an overlooked Sunday painter? 3. How much of a role do museums play in advancing local (or international) artists?  4. Similarly, is the art work displayed to advance or articulate a political statement or promote a cause?  5. Should museums be respites from politics or part of the political media? 6. Do viewers want to/benefit from seeing many of the same, 'accepted,' dazzlingly expensive 'in club' artists museum after museum?  

7.Does Ciwt want to walk into a green museum 

Olafur Eliasson, Danish-Icelandic, born 1967, One-way colour tunnel, 2007,stainless steel, acrylic color-effect filters, acrylic mirrors, paint, and wire

and out of a  blue/pink one - all or mildly  'subverted' - like she did in with Olafur Eliasson's glorious light tunnel?  

Questions without answers for now.  Probably for museums as well.  Everyone's a bit subverted she suspects.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Have Can, Will Travel --- Day 10/22

Walk: T. Joe's

Distance: 2.5 miles

Pretty amazing what taggers can do overnight.  This closed restaurant and parking lot is right next to 'Ciwt's' Trader Joe's, and those walls were blank just a few days ago.  

If the 'artist' got a legal permt from the property owner, it can stay.  But, if not, he/she is considered a vandal and subject to pretty severe consequences. Good, thinks Ciwt.  She enjoys our terrific, legal murals around San Francisco, but, otherwise prefers to see her art in museums, galleries, street fairs and homes.  

Friday, May 21, 2021

Form: Simple and Colorful --- Day 10/21

Walk: Presidio Pickleball

Distance: 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle, Yoga

Milton Avery (American, 1885-1965), White Rooster, 1947, o/c, 61 1/2 x 50 3/4" 

Ciwt just likes this painting and in general the intimately charming and colorful work of Milton Avery, a truly original, self-taught American painter.  

Marc Rothko, one of several artists who befriended Avery in New York City in the 30's and 40's liked him too and once said of his work: What was Avery's repertoire? His living room, Central Park, his wife Sally, his daughter March, the beaches and mountains where they summered; cows, fish heads, the flight of birds; his friends and whatever world strayed through his studio: a domestic, unheroic cast. But from these there have been fashioned great canvases, that far from the casual and transitory implications of the subjects, have always a gripping lyricism, and often achieve the permanence and monumentality of Egypt.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Oh, Son, would you.... --- Day 10/20

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4.3 miles, Yoga

So the other day Ciwt realized she hadn't heard from a friend for a while.  Concerned that her friend had been overtaken by languishment - or worse - Ciwt texted her to learn a bit more about the silence.

Well, not only was Ciwt's friend not languishing, she had been busy completing a list of 22! household projects with her son.  'With' probably meaning she stood and watched her son.  And did Ciwt mention her son lives across the country?  

'They' fixed all those daily glitches that can drive you nuts: doorbell that doesn't ring, smart tv you've forgotten how to communicate with, hard to reach ceiling lights that have burned out, doors that no longer close.   And 18 more until everything on the list had been scratched off (see above) and they both 'felt great.'  It sounded fun and fabulous.  Although, truthfully, one part of Ciwt was happy for her friend and another part felt a teensy bit sorry for Ciwt because all she has are cats.  If she handed them a list, they'd either bat it around or shred it. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Happy and Silent Anniversary --- Day 10/19


Distance: 3 miles, Yoga


So, to celebrate its Fifth Anniversary in its expanded and reconfigured building, our Museum of Modern Art opened its doors for certain members today. (Maybe ones with names beginning with "C"?)  The hours of the event were noon to 5 pm, and since Ciwt hasn't been there in over a year, she decided to go first thing.  Well, not first; three others went through the doors before her.  She's not sure where they went, but it felt to Ciwt that she had the enormous and silent space entirely to herself.  It was quite lovely.

She walked down an empty corrridor where she took the museum up on their invitation to 'Watch This Space' through a viewing window.  Several museum personnel and some heavy eqquipment were working hard on mounting a huge new exhibition.

Then it was up the stairs to the always delightful Calder Room - and, oh my goodness, another person!

After taking in the galleries by herself for an hour or so it was lunch hour, and she went to the space where we were invited to have food and refreshments.  Of course, that's where there were many other members!  And lots of outdoor sculpture garden space so we could enjoy ourselves on a lovely day.

Like so many places for all of us, after a year+ of being away, part SFMOMA seemed to Ciwt like a space she's never seen before and part felt like an old friend.  So, Ciwt will let that renewed encounter sort itself out and be back to you with her impressions.  Stay tuned please.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Street Garden Supreme --- Day 10/18

Walk: Presidio, Golden Gate Park

Distance: 2 miles, 90 minutes pickle, yoga

Ah the joys of our street gardens. Ciwt readers have seen this house before.  With scary but somehow stylish Halloween ghouls, perfect pumpkins all in a row, festive red bows and flowers.  And then, this day, pure white for tulip season.  Just flawless everyday and such a treat to walk by.  


Monday, May 17, 2021

Night Time is the Right Time (for some) --- Day 10/17

Walk: Monday errands

Distance: 3 cold, windy miles, Yoga

Vincent Van Gogh, Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888,  31.8" x 25.7", o/c

So, Ciwt bought a plane ticket to go to a life celebration for someone she knew.  She was to land at a pleasant late afternoon time which would be perfect for a leisurely settling into a socially distanced, covid restricted  hotel and eating a light dinner outside.  Then she started receiving "airline updates" for her flight which have her lucky to find her way to her hotel by 10 p.m.  And now the governor of the state she's visiting has lifted All covid restrictions - no masks, no social distancing, life celebrations are come one, come all.  

Quite the shock for Ciwt who has been living under strict covid mandates for over a year.  And did she mention she dislikes flying?   Looks like she'll need to give the airline and those expecting her an "update."

So what does all this have to do with the beloved and second-most reproduced painting above? (Van Gogh's Starry Night is first) Well, it makes Ciwt wish she could be carefree about when her plane lands, etc and was as in love with night as Vincent Van Gogh.  As he wrote his sister from Arles shortly after completing Cafe Terrace at Night, "...the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." It also surfaced his deep and abiding religious impulses.  In another letter to his brother, Theo, he wrote "I have an immense need for (should I use the word) religion; and then I go out at night into the open and paint the stars.."

And look at that star-filled sky!  Who could not find hope and comfort in its twinkling, radiant energy. And such a contrast from the cafe's more harsh artificial lighting which was relatively new to Arles at the time. (Paris itself had only been lit at night since around 1853).

The cafe where Van Gogh set up his easel and painted during the nights in 1881 is still there.  It was refurbished to replicate the painting and renamed Cafe Van Gogh in 1991.   Maybe when Ciwt's a more relaxed traveler, she'll take a trip to it.  But she's a day person and won't go at night.

Cafe Van Gogh, Arles, France

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Early Voting --- Day 10/16

Walk: No

Distance: Yoga

So far, Ciwt is voting for Bill Whitaker 


Or Ken Jennings 

for the new Host of Jeopardy.  

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Personally,........ --- Day 10/15

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4.4 Miles, small yoga

Hmmmm, Ciwt may have to give this no mask thing a little while...

Friday, May 14, 2021

No Eyesore Here --- Day 10/14

Walk: Goodwill

Distance: Just a few blocks, Yoga

Ciwt had never seen anyone do this before so stopped to take a picture.  The people who are "remodeling" (read essentially rebuilding) this house down from Ciwt have created a huge wooden wall painting of what their property will soon look like.  Very thoughtful to hide the construction - and expensive!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Love in Glass -- Day 10/13

Walk: Drizzly, windy hood

Distance: 3 miles, Yoga

Marc Chagall, Orphee, mosaic, Georgetown, D.C. (now at National Gallery of Art)

Darn!  When Ciwt was reading about Bella Rosenfeld Chagall, she learned she had once lived just blocks away from a Chagall mosaic in Georgetown.  It was in a hidden garden, but just maybe, Ciwt would have been invited to see it.  Oh, but then Ciwt read a bit further and realized she had left Georgetown well before the mosaic was installed plus now she can see it at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden.

Chagall created the 10 x 17' mosaic as a wedding present in 1968 for John and Evelyn Steffanson Nef, art lovers and collectors extrordinaire.  As Evelyn explained their deep friendship with the Chagalls: My husband was a professor at the Univeristy of Chicago.  John invited Chagall to take part in a symposium - and they found they had friends in common.  The Chagalls stayed for a time with us.  He found that he could buy art supplies at Woolworth's; all the neighbors were thrilled with him.  When the mosaic (which was designed in France and  created in Italy) was installed, the Nefs celebrated with the 84-year-old Chagall present.

Following Evelyn's death in 2009, the mosaic was donated to the National Gallery of Art.  It is the first of Chagall's large scale outdoor mosaics in this country.  Thanks to the Nefs introducing Chagall to the man who spearheaded the commission, it was soon followed by the renowned Four Seasons in Chicago. Of course, Marc and Bella are lovingly together in both the gorgeous mosaics.

Evelyn Nef and Garden Architect, James van Sweden, in front of Marc Chagall's Georgetown mosaic, Orphee