Thursday, October 17, 2019

Le Havre, France, June 2019

Le Havre, France June 2019

St. Joseph's church

We saw Le Havre twice, on Thursday before the game and Friday morning as we drove through.

Thursday we were in Montivilliers, a suburb, to catch a bus to the stadium since parking is trouble.

They had their own church that had been a hospital.  William the Conqueror, more about that in another post!

Nice self-guided walk around the grounds.  Pretty standard old church that is no longer a tourist destination.

We thought we learned our lesson-stadium food is terrible, each beforehand.  But of course nothing much is open between full on lunch and full on dinner (which starts at 7, but the game starts at 5:30, bad timing!).  Luckily there was a kebab shop in the square and it was delicious.  The only other folks walking around were kids on the way home and other Americans in town for the game.

Yup, it's old.  

Friday after the game we leave Etrate and drive through Le Havre.
Rather than stop at the local cathedral, we go to St. Joseph's church.   A coastal, shipping city, much of Le Havre was destroyed in WWII.  This church was completely rebuilt in the 50s.  This tower dominates the skyline and is a symbolic lighthouse.

The architect, Perret, loved concrete and loved to show its functionality.  So the outside seems a bit severe.  I like it though and it ages well.

Almost no representational art inside.

In place of a baptismal font there is a pool.  The picture is poor, but those are steps on the 3 sides, the center is maybe where the water drains out?  And that is a chain in front so keep folks from falling in.

And then there is the stained glass.  An aesthetic and spiritual vertigo??  YES!  My pictures do not do it justice.  Even professional photos from the travel books don't do it justice.  We stopped because we like modern design and it was on the way.  I would say more people should visit!

There is stained glass.

It's just that none of it is what we are used to in churches.  No story at all.  Instead the colors and placements convey feelings.  Mainly awe.  And boy does it work.  This is how one is meant to feel in a church.  Read all about the designer, Marguerite Hur√© or more specifics on St. Joseph's church.  I would read a book about her!

The color comes into the church.

The light changes throughout the day.  I would totally bring a book and hang out here for hours to see it change.

The best I can do :(

Anyway!!  The architect Auguste Perret did much of the rebuilding of Le Havre, including this auditorium nicknamed The Volcano.  We just did a drive by, but I bet the inside is cool.

I'm not sure if these are functional or art.  They look functional since those seem to be stairs, but I don't know what for!

Being a port city, Le Havre is all about bridges.  This one goes over the mouth of the Seine.  Looks super cool!  A bit scary if you are afraid of heights, it is pretty exposed and very tall for all the big ships to get underneath.

But on the other side is a beach town.  But kind of strange.  The downtown is all seaside embarcadero with shops and snacks, feeling like a pier.  It was packed, including school groups. The actual beach is a couple miles away and deserted.

There is the main industrial side of Le Havre across the water.  Not the most appealing view for a day at the beach.

The back side of the beach also doesn't feel quite right.

I think it is a manufactured beach.  Giant tire tracks all up and down the beach.  Some of the scraped parts were more mud than sand.  hmmm, A for effort.

We got to Bayeux that evening and after a lovely early dinner walked about the town.  They were celebrating the solstice and people were everywhere.  Every other corner had a musician, everything from folk songs to U2 covers to a girl and her guitar.  Really lovely.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Books and Disney art July - Sept 2019

Books and Disney art July - Sept 2019

This is a pretty great post but also too long.  I read a ton of books this time because I joined a book reading challenge.  I love the art in this post!  Disney has done a great job of getting artists of many different styles to create new art from their collection.  They have a gallery in Downtown Disney showing the art and while I don't have nearly enough money or space on my walls, I will buy way too many postcards.

Love love love the old school Electrical Parade. (sorry the labels are not in focus!)

-by Gail Carriger
The Parasol Protectorate:  Supernatural steampunk romance series.  I read Soulless and will get to the others gradually.  There is something about the writing style that I both really enjoy and feel slow reading.

Tiny Pixar peeps in a Pixar shape!

The following group I read in my Serial Reader App.  Loving it!!

-by Arthur Conan Doyle
It has been forever since I've read the Sherlock Holmes, yet I love all the current tv and book reworks so I figured it was time to go back to the originals.
A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of The Four, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League, A Case of Identity, Five Orange Pips

-by Lucy Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea:  We watched the tv series Anne With An E which was excellent, so I figured I better re-read the book.  Awesome!  Great re-reads.  Not sure if it would appeal to kids these days.

-by Alice Ilgenfritz & Ella Merchant
Unveiling of a Parallel:  1893 Sci-fi Feminist/utopia work.  A strange read today.  A bit tiresome in the description of how everything is awesomely magical just because men and women are equal and/or how the really amazing people live a transcendental existence.  Short enough to be forgivable and less tiresome than others I've read.

-by Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome and Xingu: Xingu is totally fun and skewers snooty society.  Ethan Frome is a total downer with no real likeable characters.

-by Algernon Blackwood
The Wendingo: Had to read about this supernatural being because I've heard of I but had no real idea of what it is supposed to be.  Super short horror type tale.

Most beloved ride :)

-by Rebecca Stead (rec from Mr. Limoncello's Library) for tweens.  Mostly about interpersonal relationships and how to navigate them when they are a bit weird.
When You Reach Me:  For fans of A Wrinkle in Time, so good I read another.
Liar & Spy:  Totally different plot, but same type of sympathetic characters and good plot.

Classic Disneyland.  Love the font.

-by Pierce Brown
Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star:  Original trilogy (though now there are 2 more) of an uprising in a society that has made a strict class system.  Nice big plot arc with little arcs built in.  It is a bit gory around many of the fight scenes.  I needed to take breaks when the hero is just about to succeed, only to be brought down so low he might not recover.  The world building is pretty good, but they could use some editing?  I will see in a couple months if I am moved to read the next in line.

Baby Star Wars

-by Stephen King
On Writing:  Audiobook-fantastic idea, I felt like he was answering questions on a panel.  Highly recommend for anyone writing anything on their own.  First published in 2000, so some of the practical advice on how to get your work published is likely out of date.  But still solid on how to do the writing part.

Tiny Star Wars in Death Star shape

-by Nadine Burke Harris
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity.  Important book for a bunch of folks to know about.  Turns out that when traumatic stuff happens to you as a kid it has a lifetime effect of making your health worse.  There are some ways to counter those effects, but we would do better as a community to learn more.  This book is more the science behind it and less about how to fix it since we don't have as many details yet.  If you like the idea and want the quick version watch her TED talk here.  

Small World Star Wars mash-up

-by John Carreyrou
Bad Blood:  Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos.  How she had delusions of grandeur, no scientific backing, but plenty of charisma and managed to build a company on nothing...for a short period of time.  Short answer is that she convinced a bunch of rich old men that she was amazing.  I feel embarrassed that so many of my fellow scientists worked for her *facepalm*

These are amazing in the large size.  At first glance it looks cool, but then get up close.

-by Carl Hiaasen
Hoot:  The first of his series of 'slightly wacky boy (is it always a boy? not sure) goes the extra measure to save wildlife'.  Doubt that I need to read another, but if it falls into my lap would happily read another.  Hiaasen's other books are on my to be read list.

Woah!  The detail!
-by Simone Biles
Courage to Soar:  A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance:  I listened to the audiobook!  Nothing surprising, pleasant to listen to.  Ends after the 2016 Olympics so it is not even current, but great while in the car.

The following three books were all recommended by the same person (another writer).  Common thread seems to be emotional works.  I have two more from that list and am looking forward to them because these were all well written.

-by Nina LaCour
We Are Okay: Coming of age in college story.  Well written emotions about tough circumstances.

-by Tommy Orange
There There:  Character portraits about Native Americans in/of Oakland.  Lots of feelings.  Won a number of prizes.

-by Andrew Sean Greer
Less:  Fictional story about Arthur Less, a middle-aged, insecure writer.  Audiobook had lots of great voices.  Nice job painting the scene of many different places and situations.  But I was kind of getting annoyed with the protagonist...then one of the minor characters stated exactly what I was thinking, it shakes Arthur up and he improves!  So it ended on a positive spin for me, but I won't need to ever re-read it.  

Super cute!!

-by Tamora Pierce
Quartet of The Immortals:  YA fantasy/coming of age with magic, gentle but also straight-forward in facing life.  Set in the same universe as the previous quartet, am going to keep on reading these.

Love SHAG!!

-by Gretchen Rubin
Better Than Before: Fantastic!  Learn more about how you work.  Organized, actionable information, no judgement.  This was so good that I took 8 pages of notes!!  I may even put it into a post of its own.

-by Terry Pratchett
Miss Felicity Beedle's The World Of Poo:  Pretty much what you would expect in Discworld!  Maybe not your best choice if you haven't read Pratchett.

-by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I've Loved Before:  Cute tween rom-com.  I saw the movie on Netflix, so listened to the audiobook.  Pretty fun, good set-up that leads to all the trouble.

-by Lucy Knisley
An Age of License: A Travelogue:  Graphic novel about everyday life, though this is travel, so not every everyday.  Light and refreshing, even though she is candid about feeling involving friends and relationships.  

-by Lianne Moriarty
Nine Perfect Strangers:  I love her books so much!!  Just fly right through them :)  This is at a health spa run unconventionally so that the nine strangers learn more about each other than usual.

-by Shannon Hale
The Goose Girl: Retelling of the original Grimm's fairy tale.  Nice expansion, I love this author and this was her first book, so maybe not the best, but there are others that happen in the same land, so will check them out.

Princess Academy: Ohhhh!  I can see why this one won awards!  The prince needs a princess.  The priests declare she must come from this mountain village.  Set up a princess academy to train all the girls.  Could be trite and old-fashioned.  Even though the setting feels 'long ago and far away' the girls are not your typical fairy-tale princesses.  Definitely infused with girl power!

Hei Hei is the main sidekick, but this pic of baby Moana and baby Pua is just too adorable!

-by Kate DiCamillo
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane:  I needed an audiobook and like the author.  This is a quick 2 hr kid story.  POV is Edward, a fancy china rabbit.  He lives a silver spoon existence, but does not appreciate it.  He has to get tossed out into the harsh world for a while to learn to love.

Scary monster from the Matterhorn!

-by Darwyn Cooke
4 graphic novels, starting with Richard Stark's The Hunter:  Richard Stark is a pen name for Donald Westlake when he wrote crime stories about Parker.  Parker is the 60s version of John Wick.  The first one, The Hunter, is a pretty great intro, sharp story, good atmosphere.  But it is a little dated.  Darwyn Cooke turned it (and and 3 more) into amazing graphic novels.  The art is soooo good!  Only blacks and blues on a cream background.  He turned so much of the story into the art there are very few words.    Not for everyone as it is a bit bloody in the story, though not gory in the art.

Tried to get into Moby Dick, but after ~1/4 I could tell it is just not my cup of tea and I abandoned it.  Freeing!