BURJ AL BABAS  – ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A CASTLE, … NO, MORE!

BURJ AL BABAS – ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A CASTLE, … NO, MORE!

Burj Al Babas is the name of a ghost town located in Turkey

Yep, I don’t know about you, but I find the idea fascinating.

And if I tell you that this city is made up of about seven hundred castles inspired precisely by those of fairy tales?

My first thought was a mix of Mickey’s Apprentice Sorcerer getting out of control again like with brooms

 

and the Star Wars clones

 

Not that it is new that “on paper” as they say, the perspectives are a little different… but there is also an official website where you can admire pharaonic contexts.

With all the possible understanding for the splendor of the case, the idea of an agglomeration of seven hundred castles in series makes me think of a nightmare, or at least a sort of Suburbicon in the sheikh version.

But can you imagine how the constraints could be?
I get something like “dragons can only be kept in the highest tower …”

Seriously, Suburbicon is cinematic fiction, but it’s inspired by reality: Levittown

 

just as the seven hundred castles are absolutely real.
Unfinished but real.

The version bouncing around from site to site is that the project has stalled due to the oil crisis and that payments for the more than three hundred castles already sold to Arab buyers have been blocked.

But I honestly do not see these overcharged ones as they move to their mini castle number 511 adjacent to the castle, with a view of castles …

Am I too controversial?

I don’t know, I just can’t make sense of it, or maybe I can’t believe in a real estate project like this, but of course you correct me if I’m wrong!

WEIMAR’S REPUBLIC

WEIMAR’S REPUBLIC

Massimo explained me the Weimar republic and wandering around the web looking for details about it, I came across this sentence:
no one really knows the history of the Weimar Republic, if not lovers of the history of art and design

Obviously I wondered in what sense, and why according to this concept the Weimar Republic is less precisely known with reference to the economy, which is generally the focus, as for example in this Rai Scuola video

Of that period I had already mentioned the Baroness but Dadaism remains perhaps more separated from the socio-political context, so the fulcrum of the creative movement manifests itself with the rise of the Bauhaus

So I searched for a first answer to Moma:
Bauhaus
The school of art and design founded in Germany by Walter Gropius in 1919, and shut down by the Nazis in 1933. The faculty brought together artists, architects, and designers, and developed an experimental pedagogy that focused on materials and functions rather than traditional art school methodologies. In its successive incarnations in Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin, it became the site of influential conversations about the role of modern art and design in society.

The names that resonate are Paul Klee or Vasily Kandinsky, but obviously I cannot but mention Marianne Brandt and her metal coffe set

There remains the question of the true essence of the Weimar Republic: does all this really prevail over the disastrous hyperinflation?

Maybe you are one of the aforementioned lovers of art history and design and you know how to explain me.

Passato e Presente describes the Weimar Republic like a parable, divided into three phases: and it is precisely the intermediate phase that sees the artistic flowering.

Weimar is a political, institutional, social and artistic laboratory, crossed by the tensions of modernity.

Let’s imagine observing all this while sitting at the Romanische Café  where the artists met and being able to analyze the Neue Sachlichkeit: that is the New objectivity but also the expressionism of cinema and the approach to realism through their eyes.

Crossed by the tensions of modernity.

During a conference in Florence on the occasion of the centenary, published by the Ministry of the Interior  The Weimar Constitution is defined as the first Charter that tries to respond to strong social tensions, and as a document of extraordinary modernity because it re-proposes the theme of the relationship between democratic legitimacy and the legality of limits to freedoms.

So, I assume: only artists have had the opportunity to fully express and experience freedom?

Yet the Weimar Constitution provided for example: universal suffrage, wages increased in real terms, pension and sickness benefit schemes, compulsory unemployment insurance, government subsidies for the construction of parks, schools and sports facilities, and a massive program of construction of public housing.

But from “suitcases full of dreams” we literally passed to suitcases full of banknotes to be able to buy basic necessities and metaphorically speaking not even AVUS: Automobil Verkehrs und Übungsstrecke that is the first highway in Europe has been able to “run” the freedom of a republic renamed “glass” for its fragility.

But glass is also transparency.
How the truth?

I quote Wislawa Szymborska:
He made himself a glass violin because he wanted to see the music.

What would you like to see?

I would like to read your reflections if you want to share them, meanwhile I dedicate to you You’re the cream in my coffee by Marlene Dietrich.

CHASING STRANDS OF PEARLS

CHASING STRANDS OF PEARLS

Lela pointed out the story of Meri Shervashidze telling me that she was the first model to walk the catwalk with a string of pearls for Chanel and that she stood out for the sophisticated style and way of giving beauty as you can see here where Lela added a tag for me:

A very beautiful story that must be told, since I believe it is not sufficiently known.

Unfortunately, there is little information about her: for example, I tried to search through official Chanel websites but I could not find anything.
Maybe you can be better than me.

According to Vogue, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself was photographed in conversation with the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, wearing her pearl necklaces in 1920.

So a year before Meri arrived in Paris.

But let’s take a step back: Meri Shervashidze was born in 1888 in Batumi and descends from the family of the sovereign prince of Abkhazia.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia are other from Tbilisi and from the rest of Georgia as the Observatory tells us but you Lela correct me if I’m wrong.

When she was still a young girl, the family moved to St. Petersburg where Meri became the empress’s maid of honor.

In 1918 the wedding with Gigusha Eristavi, here there is a small family tree.

At the sunset of Georgian independence, and shortly before the arrival of the Bolsheviks, Meri embarks directly to Paris, stopping in Constantinople in Turkey where she participates in a beauty contest, winning it.

Arrived in the Ville Lumière, Meri settled in Rue de la Tour, sixteenth arrondissement, near Bois de Boulogne and it seems it was the aforementioned Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich who introduced her to Coco.

Paris in those years frames a particular type of beauty, so much so that the writer Alexander Vasilyev wrote a book: “Beauty in Exile” or artists, models and nobility who fled the Russian revolution and influenced the world of fashion.

Meri’s style and elegance do not go unnoticed: Saveli Sorin paints her portrait which is located in the palace of the Prince of Monaco.

Meri is also photographed by Man Ray but emblematic is the meeting with Galaktion Tabidze in 1935 because it is believed that her compositions in Georgian are dedicated to her although some publications are earlier .

Here you can listen to the poem in the original language, personally it strikes me to hear the name “Meri” which by now in the light of this path to find its traces, for me it has assumed the typical aura of women who have been able to leave a mark.

And because elegance comes from within, Meri Shervashidze spent the last years of her life in a nursing home preserving beauty, nobility and majesty until the last day of her life, at the age of 97.
She is buried with her husband in the Saint Genevieve des Bois cemetery.

I remember the period in which I listened to Destini incrociati – Fates crossed and I find the story of Meri could be told in this way, even if I later found that Giacomo Zito and his collaborators have paired Coco Chanel with Luchino Visconti

we can always make a new episode, or not?

And asking ourselves what “we can do”… I would say that we rather cannot talk about elegance and strings of pearls without mentioning her
Here the post with the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s scene. 

And you, do you have other strings of pearls to chase?

ITALIAN YARDS IN TBILISI

ITALIAN YARDS IN TBILISI

Lela is teaching me a lot about her country and their traditions, topics almost unknown to me up to now.

A few days ago it happened that she tagged me in a very funny tweet that can only make you smile, but even then I learned something.

Did you know that the courtyards of old Tbilisi are known as Italian Yards?

Italian courtyards.
I find it simply fantastic!

So, now fascinated by this thing, I started looking for information.

The result was an exploration in the literal sense since obviously the institutional sites are written in the Georgian alphabet.
Which by the way is composed of three systems: Mrgvlovani, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli and has very ancient origins.

 

Oriental languages, my always dream.

Lela, you know it, indeed sorry again for the question of the pending books, and always correct me if I’m wrong, but I have the hope of being able to slowly learn a minimum of these characters that I find harmonious, almost as if they were able to communicate to me a sort of melody together with the words.

It is no coincidence that the three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet have become UNESCO heritage.

But let’s go back to the courtyards!

First I would tell you to look at the photo of this tweet because it looks like a painting.

So far I honestly have not found an immediate resemblance to the courtyards we are used to seeing.

But I found a first explanation here:
people often name this type of courtyards ‘Italian’, but it were rather Persian caravanserais which influenced to Georgian tradition structure of houses. Unlike the both of them mostly square shaped and surrounded by solid stone arcades, the Georgian ones will impress you by unpredictable shapes, light and elegant wooden arcades richly decorated by carving with unique combination of Classicist and Oriental motifs; crazy combination of numerous superstructures, overhanging bridges connecting houses , spiral staircases, glazed loggias, patches of various materials used during renovations, picturesque bunches of pipes and wires, riot of greenery (thanks to the wet Georgian climate) the effect is breathtaking.

And I would say that we are all in agreement on the breathtaking effect.

Here there is a series of photos by Ksenia Vysotskaya to reconfirm of the intrinsic beauty that transmits life lived at first glance.

Having established that the splendor is undisputed, however, it remains to be discovered how the parallel with the Italian courtyards arises.

Ask any Tbilisi local, however, and they’ll tell you the city’s much-loved architectural treasures are its charming “Italian” courtyards. What makes them “Italian” has less to do with the architectural style than the relaxed way of life that flourishes between its wooden facades. “There is a lot talking, arguing, gossiping that happens here. Georgians are very emotional, just like Italians.”

So it’s not about aesthetics but about essence!
What unites us is the way of life, isn’t it wonderful?

And it reports exactly to Lela’s tweet.

By a curious coincidence these days commenting on “the consolation of the willow” by OREAROVESCIO I found myself remembering the courtyard of my childhood.

The speech then continued with the memory of Bianca also on her blog

So I’d like to continue with memories but also anecdotes of the present: how do you live or how do you see Italian courtyards?

IN MILAN COFFEE IS IN HURRY, IN NAPLES WITH THE THREE C, AND WHAT ABOUT DUBLIN?

IN MILAN COFFEE IS IN HURRY, IN NAPLES WITH THE THREE C, AND WHAT ABOUT DUBLIN?

This is Laura’s question, in comments on whether Dublin is the second most coffee-obsessed capital.

About Milan I would say that there are no doubts.
Everything is hectic, everything is running, everything is accelerated.

By the way, since we are on the subject, I would even like to point out the new dates for Milano Caffè: from the first to the third of October, hoping that this year the event will return to be a live party.

But Caffè in Milan is also one of the most significant expressions of the Italian Enlightenment. I refer to the newspaper founded by Pietro Verri which, as Treccani suggests,  was printed in Brescia to escape Austrian censorship. Here you find the story.

Regarding the three C’s in Naples, I loved the way Laura told me about it, and I absolutely want to learn to absorb the “aroma” of this concept, which is also being together.

But since there is so much to say, I refer to a post dedicated to Al tavolo di Amalia just to share with you how nice it is to be in company, “at the table” of this blog which is a gold mine of information on Ischia and beyond.

I fell in love discovering traditions, real life stories, tales framed by the link with the sea and experiences of going back to origins.

So while I wait for the coffee at Amalia’s table to be ready as per the strict c c c rule, I try to answer Laura’s question: and what about Dublin?

A first answer can be found Tra Italia e Finlandia: laughing where Luisella tells us about her experience with Dublin Pubs.  I quote verbatim: pubs are known for being places where people go to drink ales,  which makes them legendary,  still you can find any beverage there:  even coffee!

Going on with the research, since I told you about Trinity College, I got the crazy idea of asking Professor David Berman, starting from the base of his study on coffee habits illustrated in an interview on The Irish Times

A beautiful exchange was born!
I will never stop thanking him properly.

Professor Berman first of all wanted me to talk to him about what coffee is for us in Italy.

So I would take this opportunity to ask you the same question in case you want to expose your personal idea.

And in the end we came to the conclusion that the Brew Smartly ranking has its foundation and reason to be, and reflects a change of habits especially in the last twenty years, compared to the classic beer or whiskey which represent a bit the immediate association of ideas when one thinks of Ireland.

It can therefore be concluded that it is not far from the truth to say that the Irish style has become more serious, more sober.

But the great thing is that from the considerations on the change, the question shifted to music!
No, I can’t explain how happy I am!

An example above all Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

In the case of music, however, evolution does not lead to something like coffee.

On the contrary, it passes through the painful period known in history as The Troubles, or the civil war for the autonomy of the population of Northern Ireland divided between Catholics and Protestants.

Obviously my first thought goes to Dolores but there are many musical masterpieces that can be mentioned:

should I stop?
Do you want to add something?

SOLSTICES COMARI AND TAROTS

SOLSTICES COMARI AND TAROTS

itsIn recent days I have crossed various thoughts, starting from Gabriella‘s post on the Water of San Giovanni but also on the rite of fire to become comari, not in the sense that I had so far given to this word.

Therefore, water and fire.
Water and fire that according to Cicero “are not of more universal use than friendship.”
Water and fire, two of the four elements of life.

The water and the fire that the druids define Litha that is the light of the shore because the fire, or rather the sun, which has reached the zenith and has reached its maximum point, plunges into the waters, on the beach, at the meeting point between land and sea.

Of the summer solstice, which Alidada explained masterfully in her Uno spicchio di cielo, I fell in love many years ago reading Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd who, starting from the ice age, sees the birth of Stonehenge which in my imagination goes far beyond the status of “ringing rocks” for example, and is covered in mystery with that aftertaste of legend that I love.

But returning to Litha, I would like to resume a little the concept of Samhain: moment in which the veil between the two worlds is thinner, but moving the contrast between “above and below” just like a celebration of the opposite, which of course I love. It is no coincidence that Litha is also defined as a day out of time.

In this reversal, it is as if the elements of fire and water overturn their roles in a magical union.
A suggestive image representing this magic is realized in the floating candles.

Fire, water.
Bonfire and dew.
Waves and fires.

This is how Shakespeare in his A Midsummer Night’s Dream describes the reply of a fairy:
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire.
I do wander everywhere
Swifter than the moon’s sphere.
And I serve the fairy queen
To dew her orbs upon the green.

Fire, water.
Sun and moon.

And then I remembered the advice QueenFaee Studio gave me in the comments here where sun and moon draw inspiration from the Visconti Sforza tarot cards, just to point out the curious coincidences, and my connection with the land …

This short film by Garrone for Dior enchants like the magical floating of the stars under the marvelous vault of the Tuscan castle of Sammezzano which, exactly as if inverted upside down, leads them to float in the water of the fountain.

Maria Grazia Chiuri wanted to give a reinterpretation of the tarot cards by transporting them into a fairy-tale but also an artistic dimension, in which the precious embroideries and the refined textures of the fabrics give life to works of art: living paintings, which not only allow themselves to be observed, but drag on a journey in search of answers.

The first dress, among other things, struck me: leaves on lace, a sort of mixture of fashion and nature that not by chance I immediately found magical, and that made me think in particular of the tree in the photo under the title, with its dress of ivy, because Nature dresses wonderfully.

But perhaps my absolute favorite is Le Pendu.

At this point you will tell me “but what does all this have to do with it”

In reality, by crossing traditions, legends and fairytale atmospheres, I would like to interpret this summer as a series of cards that can offer a reading key that allows the re-appropriation of the magic of feeling aligned with the sun, ready to welcome the light.

And you?
What do you see or predict in your cards?
Water, fire, or what else?

PS: in the comments the Keep Calm version of Le Fou … or an upside-down creature who wants to be a comare, who is not silent like a cicada, who accumulates like an ant and who knows how to be heavy as a stone, but also loooong more “suspended” than Stonehenge laughing

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