10 Things to do in Rio

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Rio de Janeiro is one of the largest cities in South America, known for many things:  its world famous beaches, magnificent natural landscapes, and its iconic landmarks. This sprawling metropolis has everything you’ll need for a good time.  Naturally, we were excited and looked forward to our first trip to Brazil.  We booked months in advance and planned out all the places we wanted to see.  Unfortunately all of that planning did not ensure a drama-free trip as we found out that our flight was canceled two hours before take-off and rescheduled to the next day – our already short trip became even shorter.  When we finally made it there, we were greeted with crappy weather.  Ironically, it rained every single day that we were there during the hottest and driest year in the country’s recent history.  Even with all the problems, we still had a great time.  Here are a few things that we did and a few things that we didn’t get to do due to weather:

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Rio de Janeiro: Street Arts

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In Rio de Janeiro, street art can be found everywhere from the walls of the favelas to buildings in upper class neighborhoods. The graffiti and artwork are both bold and diverse. The ever-evolving Brazilian street art scene was further fostered by a law that was passed in 2009 that decriminalized graffiti.  Like many other cities around world, street art in Brazil is completely legal if done with the consent of the owner. Continue reading

Photo of the Week: Spiraled

IMG_2414Vatican City

Surprisingly, one of the most photographed pieces at the Vatican museum is not one of the numerous artworks, but this double helix staircase, located at the exit of the museum. There are two access points at the bottom – one for people going up and the other for people going down.  This graceful wrought iron staircase was designed by Guiseppe Momo who was inspired by the original stairs designed by Donato Bramante.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home. Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.

Photo of the Week: Caryatid

IMG_1334Athens, Greece

This picture was taken over 8 years go on our very first trip to Europe.  After years of reading about Greek mythology, I finally set foot on the Acropolis and it was every bit as glorious as I imagined.  Treading on the same well worn path that people used on their way to the temple thousands of years ago was unreal.  

At the top, among the ruins of the Parthenon, one can look down and see the city of Athens thriving below.  

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home. Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.

Photo of the Week: Watercolor

Antalya (21)Antalya, Turkey

Towards the end of our whirlwind trip around Turkey seven years ago, we visited the coastal city of Antalya, situated on western Mediterranean shore. The ancient city wraps around the harbor of the Gulf of Antalya. When the sun sets over the hazy blue mountain, it creates a breathtaking silhouette.  I was lucky to be able to capture this special moment.  From the cliff-top, the view looks like a watercolor painting.

Every week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the Follow button.

Berlin: Street Arts

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Art critic Emilie Trice has called Berlin “the graffiti Mecca of the urban art world.”  In addition to the artwork of the East Side Gallery, Berlin is rich with lots of beautiful street art throughout the city. Everywhere you look—from the walls of buildings, to doorways and even garbage cans—you’ll find murals, stencils, paste-ups, and many other artistic experiments staring back at you. The colorful public art helps to brighten the cityscape and inspires Berliners and visitors. Evolving trends result in an evolving art scene.

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Berlin: East Side Gallery

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I love street art. So when I was in Berlin, I couldn’t pass up a chance to explore the stirring art of East Side Gallery that has come to represent Germany’s turbulent history between East and West. This large open-air gallery is an international symbol of freedom. It is the longest remaining part of the Berlin Wall at 1.3 km long and located along the banks of the river Spree in Friedrichshain borough. After the Wall was brought down in 1989, artists came from around the world to transform the gray barriers into 105 paintings, each a testimony to victory of the human spirit. Continue reading

Atlanta: Graffiti

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This past June, Fausto went to the annual Society of Actuaries Health meeting in Atlanta and I tagged along.  While there, I had a chance to explore the city’s small but growing street art scene. Atlanta has hosted the annual street art conference called Living Walls, The City Speaks, where artists from all over the world are invited to create street art.  The large murals are often painted directly on the side of the buildings throughout the city, with permission from the owners of course.

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Day 3: On the Road in Berlin

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There are a lot of memorials in Berlin, many commemorating the victims of Nazi Holocaust, but none as far reaching as these stolpersteine (stumbling stones).  Created by Gunter Demnig, they are found all over Berlin as well as the rest of Europe.  Each one is  engraved with the name of the victim, the date of their deportation and death.  All the blocks are about the size of a cobble stone, embedded into the street in front of the house of each person murdered.  Many people may walk by and miss these small reminders, however they are there to let us know these people existed and the atrocities they have suffered.

Photo of the Week: Halo

IMG_0834Brooklyn, New York

This photo of Fausto juxtaposed against bright lights was taken a few years ago at a New York public art festival, Bring to Light. Similar to Nuit Blanche, artists from around the world joined together to create light, sound, and performance installations transforming the industrial Brooklyn streets into an immersive experience for thousands of visitors. Held on the waterfront of Greenpoint, this event felt more intimate than the spectacles of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche.

Every Monday of each week, I’ll share a photo with you from my adventures around the world and at home.  Most of my photos have little or no post processing.  If you would like to see more, please click the ‘Follow’ button.