Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture-Dia de los Muertos

Isadora Art and Photography

Skeleton Couple signed

Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead(Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends at the gravesight of their dearly departed. They pray for the people who have died. It’s a national holiday celebrated in November.

Traditionally, family and friends go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed. They create private altars containing their favorite foods and beverages, photos and memorabilia. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls of the departed. Prayers and comments from the living are directed to the souls. Celebrations can take on a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes of the departed.

We purchased this lovely couple when we visited Cozumel, Mexico on our 45th anniversary. Many people have seen it in our home. They are…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Art – Selfie

Isadora Art and Photography

Street Art 2- microspoic view.web

An artist using technology to create a Selfie. She had her camera set up so we could take a photo of her taking a photo of herself. It was so ingenious.

On a recent outing with my hubby, we came across a Street Art Festival in Sarasota, Florida. The weather was incredibly beautiful. The skies a quiet blue with puffy white clouds and a soothing breeze to keep everyone comfortable as they meandered among the artwork being created by artists from all over the United States. There was a high school and grammar school area for those promising new artists; plus a children area where they got to make their own creations.

Street Art nurse 2.web

Street Art chalks.web
Equipped with a few colorful chalks and an image to copy the creations soared.

Eye - American Flag.web

Street Art - Glenn Miller.web
Glenn Miller was a great band leader who volunteered for service in 1942, leading the army Air Force Band. While en route to…

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My Dinner with Allen Ginsberg

The Fall Creek Review


Allen Ginsberg Photo of Allen Ginsberg from Revista de Cultura.

The Beat 1950s were over, crowded out by the Beatles, the assassination of JFK, Vietnam, LSD, Flower Power, and Easy Rider. Jack Kerouac had just died at 47 of drink and Catholic bad karma, and so had Neal Cassady at 41, while on the road in Mexico. It was 1969 or 1970. And I, in my first year as a college teacher in northern Pennsylvania, was having dinner with Allen Ginsberg.

Allen had accepted a spot on the college’s speakers series and would fill an auditorium for an hour on the following day. A colleague in the English Department had picked him up at the Elmira airport and was entertaining him for the evening. Would I care to make a fourth for dinner?

I didn’t know what to expect. A diffident soul finishing a doctoral dissertation on…

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Vintage Bookstore Watercolor

go go!

Brotherly Love

Today’s watercolor sketch is one I did a couple of years ago from my bookstore photographs.

Not only do I love photography and books, but bookstores also happen to be my favorite places to visit.  When I first lived in New York City, there were a lot of them: Argosy Book Store, near Park Avenue at 57th Street, Last Exit, near Tompkins Square, The Colosseum Book Store near Columbus Circle, The Gotham Bookstore, somewhere in mid-town, The Gryphon on the Upper West Side, and many others.  To me, it is so sad that there are so few of them left.  I must be old school, but I just can’t seem to get used to reading a book on my computer, and it is just so creepy having to buy a license to read a book on one of those dedicated book readers, that I just haven’t done it. The…

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F is for Fish Sauce, Flavour, Phan Thiết and Phú Quốc

same, F is not only fish sauce,floreta is my family name

Chris Galvin

nuoc cham and fresh herbs

The Vietnamese alphabet has no letter F. But it does have the letter PH, as in phở, and also Phan Thiết  and Phú Quốc, two places famous for fish sauce. The former is a southeastern coastal city. The latter is both Việt Nam’s biggest island and a district that includes this island and twenty-two smaller ones, tucked under the curve of Cambodia’s coast, in the Gulf of Thailand.

In his book Bút Khảo Về Ăn (Notes on Eating), Dr. Lê Văn Lân relates an old folk tale that he remembers his mother telling him. Here’s my rough translation:

A long time ago, a northern village held a feast-tasting challenge to open the spring celebrations. The banquet table groaned under a spread of the rarest foods of the mountains and seas. Whoever could correctly name the tastiest dish would win. According to tradition, the competitors entered one by one. A single drum…

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