Your Ideas

From St. Petersburg
12:50 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

A Rebuilt Palace, the Mall & the Museum

Catherine's Palace during WWII

We have hit a streak of  perfect spring weather which looks like it will last until we depart for Lithuania. We took advantage of summer weather to head 20 minutes out of the city to the summer residence of the Tsars, Catherine's Palace. One could yawn at this point from over exposure to gilt encrusted, lapis and onyx inlaid and pilastered rooms. Faberge and Sevres adorned furnishings appear mundanely in room after room and we have only visited three of the dozens of palaces. It would have been a shame to miss this one, however.

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From St. Petersburg
12:05 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

A Perfect Easter Afternoon

Credit Helen Ward

It is Easter morning and the Nikolsky Cathedral is full. Russian orthodox services are delivered to a standing crowd. Families mill about listening to prayer, seeking inspiration from their favored saints represented in icons hung through out this gorgeous blue jewel of a church. They have picnic baskets full of treats which are being blessed with holy water by one of the officiants. The golden onion shaped domes of the church, sky blue facade against the perfect blue sky, budding trees couldn't embody resurrection more clearly, The crowd is joyful and we feel entirely welcomed. 

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From St. Petersburg
10:06 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Memories and New Visions

Credit Helen Ward

Wow! A lot has changed since my last visit to St P in 1977 when I came with my High School teacher Dr Egan and 10 other classmates from our Russian History Class. Back then the monochromatic palate of the identical black Volga cars everyone drove,  the consistent shades of grey and black coats and hats, the low grey January clouds and pallor of everyone's skin made the polychrome onion domes and pastel palaces of the Romanov's shocking in their brilliance. Today the billboards, variety and magnitude of cars and fashion in every shape and size present a very different image.

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Aspen Poets' Society
9:36 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Poem: Mnemosyne Forgets

The long bowed wood left marks on the hardwood floor,

so we tried to keep the rocker on a rug.

It didn't work and every house would have these streaks

where our rocking had stripped wax off.

Memory is a hesitant thing,

a thing best left on shelves for rainy days.

What troubles me is remembering,

remembering August ninth-

nineteen ninety five.

A boundary day, a before and after day.

He wasn't just a guitar player missing the upper bird digits of his wing-ed finger.

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Voting as an Obligation?
9:01 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Voting in Peru

My husband and I recently returned from a fascinating trip to Peru, where we floated down the Amazon (the headwaters are in the Peruvian Andes) and hiked Machu Picchu.  It’s always instructive to learn that people in other countries have a different perspective on some topics than we do in the United States.

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