Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Popular or Unpopular-ABC WEDNESDAY "P"

Che Guevera
A Figure Larger Than Life
Revered or Reviled?

Images of Che Guevera, like Castro's,  are everywhere, and he is almost a cult figure. This huge silhouette is on a building we passed while on our tour bus (which is not the greatest way to photograph anything!).  To learn more about this charismatic revolutionary, go here.


1. "Better to die standing than to live on your knees."

2. “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.”

3. "If a person has a good word for the previous government that is good enough for me to  have him shot."

4. "I don't care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting."

To see more ABC WEDNESDAY posts, go here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cuban Princess-People #2

Million Dollar Smile!
Who Could Resist This Princess?
¡Niña Bonita!

Click here to see more ABC Wednesday posts for the letter "P".

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fidel, the Younger-Monday Mural

“I am a Marxist Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life.”

Huge Castro Image
Revolution Reminders
Posted Everywhere

Although he is seldom seen in public now and rumors of his death circulate, it is impossible to forget him because of his images that are everywhere.  Our guide told us that no-one really knows where Fidel lives because he moves constantly; however, there is speculation regarding the general area where he stays, often with his sister.  Caution and secrecy is important since there have been over 400 attempts on Castro's life, or so our guide said.

This enormous mural was at the top of one of the stairs in the Nacional hotel.  Ascending from the restaurant, I was face-to-face to face with Castro every morning.


"Condemn me, it does not matter, history will absolve me."

"The universities are available only to those who share my revolutionary beliefs."

“Cuba knows no fear and despises deceit; it listens with respect but believes in its ideas; it firmly defends its principles and has nothing to hide from the world,”

For more Monday Murals, go here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Plaza de San Francisco

Plaza de San Francisco

The most important building in the square is the Basilica Menor de San Franciso de Asís, built in
1580-91 as the home of the Franciscan community and partly rebuilt in the 1700's.

I found it very difficult to take photos in Old Havana because of the numerous tourists, often getting in the way of a clear shot.  Close-ups were also hard to get for the same reason; it's impossible to set up anything for a carefully composed shot,  but I tried!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Camera Critters-Cat

A New Litterbox
Cuban Cats are Not Fussy
Any Pot will Do!

Do see more Camera Critters, go here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cuban Musicians #1

Cuban Musicians
Entertain at All Restaurants
 Selling Their CD'S

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cuban People #1 Charming Woman

A very sweet woman willingly posed for this Americana without asking for any money, but I gave her a peso.  There are some people who consider posing for tourists a "job" which gives them extra income. And, believe it or not, one peso means a good deal to some of the people I met on the street.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Old, Opulent and Ornate

 The Nacional de Cuba Hotel is the Grände Däme of Cuban hotels. 

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is an historic luxury hotel located on the Malecón in the middle of VedadoHavanaCuba. It stands on Taganana hill just a few meters from the sea, and offers a great view of Havana Harbor, the seawall and the city.
The New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White designed the hotel, which features an eclectic mix of styles. It opened in 1930, when Cuba was a prime travel destination for Americans, long before the United States embargo against Cuba. In its 80+ years of existence, the hotel has welcomed many important guests.

The hotel was built on the site of the Santa Clara Battery, which dates back to 1797. Part of the battery has been preserved in the hotel's gardens, including two large coastal guns dating from the late 19th Century. There is also a small museum there featuring the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. During the crisis, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara set up their headquarters there to prepare the defense of Havana from aerial attack.

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is a symbol of Cuba's history, culture, and identity. The hotel is a World Heritage Site and a National Monument, and it was inscribed in the World Memory Register.

The three views are taken of the rear of the hotel, leading to the cocktail area and the malecón overlooking the sea.  This is the first hotel in which we stayed, and the one I loved the best because of the amenities and the historical aspect of the hotel and the richness of its past. A little worn in spots, this great Grände Däme is an icon of Cuba's past.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh, What a Trip!!

José Martí (1853-1895):

José Martí was a Cuban patriot, freedom fighter and poet. Although he never lived to see Cuba free, he is considered the national hero.

Arriving Day One
In Enigmatic Cuba
Many Sights to See!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Obsolete Trade?

 What Do You See Here?
Looks Like Almost-Bygone trade.
Shoeshine Anyone?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Convert an old school
Remodel it...a great Inn
Then, what will you find?

The interior of this old building has obviously been restored by loving hands. The first floor has a beautiful kitchen for the Bed and Breakfast meals, bedrooms on the second floor with antique furniture and a spiral staircase leading to the roof.  The wood that been finished and polished to a silken sheen!

[If all goes well, I should be returning from Cuba today!)  You'll hear all about it in a few days.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where's Nemo?

A day in the life
Of three captive little fish
Are they entertained?

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Crowd Stopper

A Beauty at the Curb
Classic Cars Draw Attention
Black and White Beauty

( Isuppose I'll a few of these cars in Cuba, but I doubt that they'll be in the same shape)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Class Reunion

A Class Reunion
Seems Only Like Yesterday
How Has the Time Flown!!

DH and I attended a luncheon sponsored by his former school for high school graduates of 50 years or more. It was fun to hear of the escapades of long ago, especially since in the same school I had taught many of their own children  Their secrets are safe with me! (Both offspring and parents!)

(I'm half way through my trip to Cuba and will be back next week.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


A little blue house
Nifty gift from a grandchild
Welcomes Those Who Fly

To see and enjoy other ABC Wednesday posts, go here.

(The flash on my camera broke a day before I left for Cuba and couldn't get it repaired 'til I return. The rest of the camera works fine....I hope).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Taphophile Tragics

Many long years ago
Very small Florence Weeks died
Much too sad!

It's sobering to come upon the gravestone of a small child.  115 years ago this month this child died, and I cannot help but wonder what was the cause of her death.  A tragedy for her parents.

To see more Taphophile Tragics, please go here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Mural

Even trains get tagged
As it whipped by, got this snap
Is it a mural?

To see more Monday Murals, look here.

Second day in Cuba.  Wonder what I'm doing today; wish I had internet access!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Bridges

The Lake Street Bridge
Can Be Seen in the Distance
Beautiful Colors

(This should be my first day in Cuba).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hasta la Vista, Baby!!

Cuba and Castro, 
Economic Embargo
I'll See For Myself!

Today I'm leaving with a group on a cultural tour to Cuba, visiting both Havana and Trinidad.  We'll visit homes, a primary school, a pharmacy and several churches and historical sites. My back pack that I will give away is filled with children's books in Spanish, children's vitamins, bars of soap which Cubans love, toothbrushes and toothpaste (donated by my dentist) and over the counter meds to give to the good people of Cuba whom we will met. I also intend to go out dancing!  Woooo! Hoooo!

My sincere wish is that the US would discontinue the economic embargo, which is now over 50 years old. 

I will not be taking my laptop nor will I have ready access to internet.  I will try to schedule as many posts as I can before I leave.  If you visit my blog while I'm gone, I promise that I will post some great Cuban photos after I return!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mural-Black is Beautiful

Striking Mural
Shows St. Paul's Diversity
Come See It Yourself

When I first started this blog in 2006 I posted quite a few murals.  This one on the corner of Selby and Western remains one of my favorites. It deserves another appearance!

Go here if you'd like to see more murals posted by bloggers throughout the world.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cutting for Stone

Writer  A.Verghese
Author of Cutting for Stone
At ease in St. Paul.

 Last night Abraham Verghese entertained a  sold-out crowd of 1,000 literature lovers at the Fitzgerald Theatre in Saint Paul.   Talking Volumes is a partnership of Minnesota Public Radio  and the Star Tribune newspaper in collaboration with the Loft Literary Center, which schedules notable writers to be interviewed on stage by Kerri Miller at a popular and well-attended literary series.

Few people combine a career as physician, professor and author as well as Abraham Verghese, who has been on theNew York Times bestseller list with all three of his books, including his most recent, Cuttting for Stone.

It was a highly entertaining evening with a personable and remarkably gifted man.  Go here to read his biography.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Click here to see more ABC WEDNESDAY photos.

Typical Mural
On an Old Abandoned Truck?
Guess It Qualifies

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


It is Said That a
Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss...
How About a Log?

To see more ABC Wednesday posts, click here.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Twin City Marathon-Oct. 2012

Bright and Chilly Day
Yell to Support the Runners
Cities Marathon

While watching the runners I was struck by the number of women who were participating.  I later learned that 40% of the runners were women.  Whoooo! Hooooo!
-The coldest Twin City Marathon since 2000.
-Men's Winner: Chris Kipyego-Kenya 
2 hours, 14 min, 53 sec
-Women's Winner: Jeannette Faber, Portland, Oregon-2:32:37
-9.041 runners finished the Marathon, the most in its 31 year history.
-Tyler Sigl of Green Bay, WI led the pack as it dwindled to 15 at the 8-mile mark. 
-As the runners approached mile 21, Kipyego darted away. 
-Kipyego picked up $15,000 as the winner...nice pocket change.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A Spiritual Domain

Is a Church Needed?
A Lake and a Cathedral of Trees
A Spiritual Place

Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Indian Boy and his Dog

 The Indian Boy
And His Dog in Cochrane Park
Favorite Spot Of Mine

To see more Camera Critters, go here.

On June 12, 2007 I posted several photos of this sculpture here, and I think it's time again to revisit.

Artist: Paul Manship 
Media: Bronze on metal base inside teal and blue tile circular pool 
Location: Cochran Park, Summit and Western Avenues

"This elegant Art Deco style statue was created by the Saint Paul native and internationally acclaimed artist, Paul Manship. The statue was commissioned by the family of Thomas Cochran and originally installed in Cochran Park in 1926. Because of vandalism, it was replicated and the original was removed to Como Park in 1967. In 1994, due to a neighborhood initiative by Alma Joseph and the Ramsey Hill Association, the sculpture was returned to its original location.

Paul Manship studied painting at what is now the Minnesota Museum of American Art. He also studied at the Arts Student League in New York City and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. It is here he worked as an apprentice with Isidore Konti. WIth Konti's support he received a three-year fellowship to the American Academy in Rome. In 1920 he moved his family to Paris and lived there until World War II forced him to move back to the United States. His finest work was done between the wars, culminating in his best known work, the Rockefeller Plaza Prometheus in New York City which looks over the Rockefeller Plaza ice rink." (Parks and Recreation)

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Mangy Moose

Where's the Mangy Moose?
Try Looking in Grand Marais. . . 
It's an Animal?

Dave is a co-owner of the Mangy Moose Motel in Grand Marais, a northern Minnesota vacation spot with a beautiful harbor on Lake Superior. He and his partner bought the motel and moved to that delightful vacation spot in May, 2012. from St Paul, Minnesota.  We stayed there for a few days and found their place to be the cleanest, most comfortable and economical of all the motels we have used in our cross-country and mini-vacations. Dave treated us and our dog, Maggi, royally. We will be back and recommend their accommodations highly. Visit Dave and Don's website here. If you need a place to stay in Grand Marais, give Dave a call!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Signs! Signs!

Narrow Logging Roads . . .
Be Cautious...Wide Logging Trucks
Need to Stay Alert!

To see more "signs, signs" go here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


 Family Business
Established 1914
Third Generation

The Hedstrom Lumber Yard on the Gunflint trail was a pretty amazing sight. Here is some information about the corporation on their website:

Hedstrom Lumber is a sawmill located in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The company processes logs into dimensional lumber. It employs around thirty people and delivers over seven hundred truckloads of lumber annually to retail yards throughout the Midwest.

To see more ABC WEDNESDAY photos, click here.