Category Archives: Art

Tunes Tuesday: Les Miserables

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

I had MLK day off yesterday and I finally went to see Les Mis. I will never forget the first time I saw the play years ago in DC. I had no expectations, but was absolutely blown away. It was love at first listen. So, of course I also enjoyed the movie.

There are so many important themes in this musical – the most powerful of all for me has to be Javert’s struggle to see shades of grey between good and evil.

But the theme of grinding poverty is pervasive in the story. While I was tempted to have Master of the House be this week’s Tunes Tuesday song because it always makes me giggle, I thought instead I would highlight one of the more meaningful and thoughtful songs, At the End of the Day.

At the End of the Day

Workers: At the end of the day you’re another day older
And that’s all you can say for the life of the poor
It’s a struggle, it’s a war
And there’s nothing that anyone’s giving
One more day, standing about, what is it for?
One day less to be living.
At the end of the day you’re another day colder
And the shirt on your back doesn’t keep out the chill
And the righteous hurry past
They don’t hear the little ones crying
And the winter is coming on fast, ready to kill
One day nearer to dying!
At the end of the day there’s another day dawning
And the sun in the morning is waiting to rise
Like the waves crash on the sand
Like a storm that’ll break any second
There’s a hunger in the land
There’s a reckoning still to be reckoned
And there’s gonna be hell to pay
At the end of the day!

[The foreman and workers, including Fantine, emerge.]
Foreman:At the end of the day you get nothing for nothing
Sitting flat on your bum doesn’t buy any bread
Workers:There are children back at home
And the children have got to be fed
And you’re lucky to be in a job
And in a bed!
And we’re counting our blessings!

What do you think? Have you seen Les Mis? What did you think? What themes resonate most for you? What is your favorite musical?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

16 Comments

Filed under Art, Economy, equality, Ethics, Income inequality, International, Love, Music, Poetry, Poverty, Relationships

New York Times annual list of 100 notable books

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The New York Times came out with their annual list of the100 most notable books of the year.

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of it? Do you refer to this list when looking for a good book? What makes a book notable to you?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

17 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Culture, Poetry

Travel Theme: Bright

Ailsa, at Where’s My Backpack, has issued a fun travel theme this week: bright. I happen to love taking photos of bright colors and am excited to share a few of my favorites here.

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Fall in Colorado

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More Fall Colors

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Joan Miro Sculpture, Barcelona

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A Taste of Summer

What do you think? What is your favorite bright thing to photograph? What is something that, when you see it, automatically brightens your day?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other Interpretations on the Theme:
http://goomfh.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright-2/
http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://managuagunntoday.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://sheladyanne.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-brights/
http://juliedawnfox.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright-shiny-portugal/
http://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://kattermonran.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://imissmetoo.me/2012/11/02/2145/
http://patriciaddrury.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://beyondpaisley.net/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://the-serenity-space.com/2012/11/03/travel-theme-bright/
http://etolbagam.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://learning2hear.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://shaanthz.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/travel-theme-bright/
http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://photovignettes.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://theretiringsort.com/2012/11/02/big-bright-fireworks/
http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/bright/
http://quotidianhudsonriver.com/2012/11/02/11-2-12-travel-theme-bright/
http://seamlessstyle.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/weekly-travel-theme-brights/

 

 

 

33 Comments

Filed under Art, Colorado, Environment, Food, Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge

Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Watching this video is a great way to start any day. I hope you will take a few minutes and watch. You won’t regret it. Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude: http://on.ted.com/jDMc

25 Comments

Filed under Art, Culture, Environment, Love, Peace, Photography, Photos

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouettes and Weekly Travel Theme: Couples

WordPress has issued a weekly photo challenge of silhouettes and Ailsa, over at Where’s My Backpack, has issued a couple’s travel theme this week. The funny part is that Ailsa completely inspired me to take more photos of silhouettes when she posted that as a travel challenge – I am now addicted.

So, here are my entries for the two challenges, from a recent 40th birthday reunion trip with my best friends from high school:

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Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

What do you think? What new skill have you learned that inspired you to learn more? What are your favorite things to photograph? And what do you like to capture as a silhouette?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other interpretations of the WordPress Challenge:

Other interpretations of the Where’s My Backpack Challenge:

Travel Theme: Couples « True Travelings
travel theme: couples « The journey is the destination. You carry your journey with you.
Travel theme:couples « So where’s the snow?
http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-themecouples/
http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/weekly-photo-challenge-two-subjects/http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/they-come-in-pairs/
http://photography.fanapage.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://kattermonran.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://ohmsweetohmdotme.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://dauwpics.blogspot.be/2012/10/an-odd-couple-een-raar-paar.html
http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://pdf34.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couple/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://happyfulworld.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/autumn-of-love/
http://etolbagam.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/photo-challenges-a-couples-silhouette/
http://ricardovieirafotos.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://cjvl.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://justsnaps.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://chittlechattle.com/2012/10/19/3887/
http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://pommepal.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://therewildwest.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/pictorial-highlight-red-rock-canyon-state-park/
http://cinova.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://teedeevee.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://soundslikewish.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/ailsas-travel-photo-challenge-couples/
http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/photo-journaltravel-theme-couples/
http://sinpolaris.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples-take-2/
http://seamlessstyle.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-travel-theme-couples/
http://learning2hear.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://greatgreths.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://mothergrogan.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/http://canadiantravelbugs.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-photo-challenge-silhouette-couples-smiles/
http://thewanderlustgene.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/the-companionableness-of-an-old-couple/
http://speakingabouttravel2.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-photo-challenge-silhouette-the-getty-villa-weekly-travel-theme-couples/
http://chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://kimberlycave.ca/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://slightlyremoved.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-travel-theme-couples/
http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/they-come-in-pairs/

 

 

 

 

68 Comments

Filed under Art, Love, Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge

Photo Friday: Frankfurt

The European Central Bank – I like the reflection of the historic building in the windows
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We arrived in Frankfurt by train from Berlin bright and early. We thought this would just be a quick stop on our way to the airport.

We were exhausted from all of our adventures, so we thought we would finally step foot on a tour bus for the first time this trip. We realized that we had not been in a car during the entire journey! How refreshing!

We took the train from our hotel near the airport, to the main train station, with the idea of hopping on a tourist bus. But when we got to the tourist information center, the woman informed us that Frankfurt is small enough to walk.

So, we set out on foot to explore the city. And we loved it!

We were too tired to go into any actual museums or anything, so we spent the day like locals.

We ate bratwurst from a stand outside the train station, walked through the city taking in the mix of old and new, ate pastries by the river, and finished the day in a residential neighborhood with one of the most authentic meals we had the entire trip.

The Bratwurst stand outside the train station where we had lunch
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We did not consult a guide book for the first time in weeks, and just enjoyed exploring the city without plans or agenda. It was decadent.

What struck me most about Frankfurt was the contrast of history and progress. Castles stand side by side on the same street with sky scrapers.

An Occupy Frankfurt demonstration outside the Central European Bank illustrated the ongoing debate about the European Union and Germany’s role in the Union.

It was delightful to experience the city without feeling like tourists. My favorite part had to be simply sitting outside in a residential area we discovered and watching the world go by. I hope we get to return and do more of that.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to take this trip. It was an extraordinary opportunity to visit places with such rich history. The museums and cafes and food and lifestyle were simply seductive. I must go back.

But for now, I will have to survive by looking back at some of my favorite photos. Here are my favorites from Frankfurt.

Castles next to skyscrapers – A great reminder that we don’t have to tear down the old to make way for the new
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The Occupy Frankfurt demonstration
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A cafe outside the Opera House
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One of the signs from the Occupy Frankfurt demonstration. I don’t know what it says, but I figure that anything with Millionaire and Democratic on the same sign is probably something I would be interested in
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The view across the river
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The Beer Garden where we had our last meal in Europe. It was a charming neighborhood restaurant where everyone knew each other. Such a perfect ending!
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Flowers from a neighborhood shop
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What do you think? Have you ever been on a trip and just decided to skip all of the tourist attractions and live like a local? When and where? What was that like? If not, does that sound like something that appeals to you or do you feel like if you are going to go somewhere, you have to see the most famous destinations in that location?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.      

27 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Art, Business, Culture, Economy, Food, History, International, Photography, Photos, Policy, Politcs, Role of Government, Technology, travel

Introducing JC Politi Photography – My first photo exhibit!

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One of my favorite photos from Patagonia, Argentina

Readers of this blog know that I have a passion for photography. I turned 40 this year and am dedicating this decade to the creative side of my brain.

With that in mind (pun intended!! ;-)), I purchased a DSLR camera, signed up for an intensive online course through the New York Institute of Photography, and finally asked our local breakfast place if I might be able to show my photos. And they said yes!!

So, this afternoon, I am hanging 12 photos from my adventures in Argentina at the Southside Walnut Cafe in Boulder and I couldn’t be more excited. I also printed business cards and started a website at: www.jcpolitiphotography.org.

It is not much, but I think it is a good start. I feel so official!! I hope you will take a moment to stop by.

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I feel kind of like a butterfly, transforming right before my own eyes!!

Honestly, the support and encouragement I have recieved through this blog are directly responsible for my willingness to put my work out there in the public.

When I look at my own photos, sometimes it is hard to see if they are any good or not, because I look at them so many times. Honestly, it feels a little vulnerable to show my work.

But I have watched fellow bloggers overcome similar fears. I have cheered them on loudly from the sidelines as they boldy chased their dreams. Now it is my turn to step off the ledge.

I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated all of your support and encouragement. It has made the world of difference, so thank you! I should also thank my sweet husband who has exposed me to so many beautiful places and joined me on so many wonderful adventures.

What do you think? Have you faced this type of fear? Would you be willing to share you story here? If you are over 40, what did you do when you turned 40 to celebrate the occasion? If you are under 40, what would you like to do to mark the day when you reach that age? And if you have an artistic website, would you be willing to share your link here? I would love to see other’s creative adventures as I embark on my own!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for reading!

70 Comments

Filed under Art, Blogging, Colorado, Photography, Photos

Photo Friday: Amsterdam

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After a sad goodbye to Paris, we left for Amsterdam. What a lovely surprise!

I had never put much thought into Amsterdam and knew nothing about the city, but was wooed by its charms right away.

I got a chuckle after reading the warning in the guide book to look out for the “silent transport.” In Paris we were told again and again to look out for pick-pockets. In Amsterdam, the concern is the silent transport.

But soon after arriving, we completely understood what this means. Amsterdam is the wild west of bicycles.

We saw people pedaling as fast as they could through intersections full of other bikers, some texting, some with children hanging off of them and not one bike stopped to make sure an intersection was safe before going straight through. The motorized scooters even use the bike lanes – it is absolute chaos for a first-timer!

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I love this one because of the reflection of the bikes in the window. This was Amsterdam to me!

We were amazed that we didn’t witness an accident. When we asked the hosts at our Bed and Breakfast how people know who has the right of way, the response was “The person who looks the fiercest.”

Amsterdam is really a study in contradictions. On one street, you have peaceful, picturesque canals with rows of historic buildings. On the next street, you have the red light district, where scantily-clad women pose in windows, calling out for business.

The city is surprisingly urban, but geographically tiny. The smell of marijuana pervades the city and shops selling mushrooms and bongs are simply another form of commerce.

We loved Amsterdam. It is a high energy city with a little something for everyone.

Highlights of our trip included the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and a bike ride through the countryside.

Since this is Photo Friday, I thought I would share some of my favorite photos.

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Parking lot at the train station. This was at least 4 stories high of bicycles!

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These were the houses lining the canals. They all lean forward and have hooks at the top so they can use a pulley system to pull furniture up and through the windows!

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This is a brewery that is under one of the last windmills in the city. The windmills helped regulate the water flow to Amsterdam, which is below sea level.

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Amsterdam canals at night

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We went on a beautiful bike tour to the countryside and visited a farm where they made cheese and clogs.

What do you think? When you think of Amsterdam, what comes to mind? Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If you were to go, what would you look forward to seeing most?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

38 Comments

Filed under Art, Culture, International, Photography, Photos, Stereotypes, travel

Travel Challenge: Texture as displayed by Antonin Gaudi

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Wall in the Courtyard of Casa Battlo, Barcelone, Spain

Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack has issued a Texture travel challenge this week. I thought this would be the perfect time to share more photos of Gaudi’s work.

If anyone knows texture, it is Antonin Gaudi.  If you are not familiar with this famous Spanish architect, I encourage you do a little research. His style is described as Modernism and I think people either love it or hate it. I don’t think many are ambivalent to his work.

I found that I really disliked the exterior of La Sagrada Familia, but that his work with mosaics and in houses was very interesting. All of it is over the top, but you really can’t take your eyes off of it.

So, with no further ado, I bring you Gaudi and my interpretation of the Texture theme.

What do you think? Do you like the Gaudi style? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? Do you have a favorite architect or style of architecture?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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La Sagrada Familia

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Inside of La Sagrada Familia

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Stairway inside La Sagrada Familia

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Outside of Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

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Outside of Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

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Roof of Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

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A ceiling in the Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

 

Other Interpretations of the Texture Challenge:
http://thirdeyemom.com/2012/09/15/the-texture-of-guatemala/
http://eastofmalaga.net/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://campanulladellaanna.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://scrapydo.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
http://laavventura.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://s1ngal.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://max510.com/2012/09/14/weekly-travel-theme-texture/
http://theurgetowander.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://imissmetoo.me/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture-land-meets-sea/
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://cinova.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture-take-two/
http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-textures-of-art/
http://therewildwest.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://ohmsweetohmdotme.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/photo-journaltravel-theme-texture/
http://shaanthz.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-textures/
http://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://chasingbutterfliessunshineandfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/weekly-travel-theme-texture/
http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://joycannis.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://picturesinlivingcolor.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/texturefeeling-natural/
http://adinparadise.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/ailsas-travel-theme-texture/
http://ididitforjohnny.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://frontrangescribbles.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture-2/
http://stephenkellycreative.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/ailsas-travel-theme-texture/
http://jobryantnz.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
http://jessworrall.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
http://lovinthetrip.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/texture-its-everywhere-can-you-feel-it/
http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://canadiantravelbugs.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
http://fourdeeroak.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture/
http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/2944/
http://catbirdinoman.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
http://thewanderlustgene.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/touch-it-feel-it/
http://seraphim6.me/2012/09/15/travel-theme-texture-man-imitates-nature/
http://mothergrogan.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
http://quotidianhudsonriver.com/2012/09/16/travel-themetexture-9-15-12/

51 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Art, Culture, International, Photography, Photos, travel, Travel Challenge