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Thursday, February 28, 2019

CAT CAFE - 4

SOUTH BEACH
Customers pay $15 to enter the cat area, where they can play with and adopt the animals.

Proceeds go toward the cafe’s partner, Sobe Cats Spay and Neuter, to help control the feral cat population in South Beach. 

There’s no extra cost to watch from the cafe side while enjoying coffee ($2.60), Cindy Lou Cookies ($5), loaded tater tots ($3.50) or avocado toast ($8), among other options.


--Carlos Frias, Miami Herald
http://catcafesobe.com/

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

CAT CAFE - 3

SOUTH BEACH
Cats and kittens rollick in the room next door. 

They climb replicas of South Beach’s iconic life guard stations. 

They tight-rope-walk a scaffolding high above the room. 

And they jump and chase cat toys beneath a sunny, beach-themed mural.


--Carlos Frias, Miami Herald
http://catcafesobe.com/

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

CAT CAFE - 2

SOUTH BEACH
Between the two are double-glass doors and a high-efficiency air filtration system to make sure kitties and dander stay on one side and baked treats on the other.

Before passing between areas, guests must disinfect their hands and wear plastic booties over their shoes.

--Carlos Frias, Miami Herald
http://catcafesobe.com/

Monday, February 25, 2019

CAT CAFE - 1

SOUTH BEACH
It’s real, Miami.

In the works for over a year, it quietly opened Friday morning at 1423 Washington Ave.

Just as renderings had promised, it’s part adoption center, part coffee shop, where you can buy pastries, gourmet Cindy Lou’s Cookies and locally roasted coffee while watching adoptable cats jump, climb and frolic on the other side of a thick, glass pane.

--Carlos Frias, Miami Herald
http://catcafesobe.com/

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019

COEXIST 5

BLACK LIVES MATTER



Photograph taken from respectfully long distance with 300 mm zoom lens.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thursday, February 21, 2019

ISTANBUL: MEMORIES AND THE CITY -- 33


BY ORHAN PAMUK


A city one has lived in long enough shapes itself into one's own image, acquires the traits of one's personality, the features of one's soul. 

It becomes what Jorge Luis Borges once called "a map of my humiliations and failures" or, as in the case of Pamuk's Istanbul, a map of a man's huzun, both of his intimate miseries and betrayals and of his secret victories.

--The Washington Post

COEXIST 4

LOVE WINS



Photograph taken from respectfully long distance with 300 mm zoom lens.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

COEXIST 3

 IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES ARE WELCOME



Photograph taken from respectfully long distance with 300 mm zoom lens.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

COEXIST 2

DIVERSITY IS CELEBRATED



Photograph taken from respectfully long distance with 300 mm zoom lens.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Monday, February 18, 2019

COEXIST 1

ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL


Photograph taken from respectfully long distance with 300 mm zoom lens.
Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Sunday, February 17, 2019

EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY - PART 6

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
Alphonse “Scarface” Capone got his first taste of prison life in Philadelphia. 

He stopped in Philadelphia while traveling from Atlantic City back to his home in Chicago in May, 1929.

He was arrested outside a movie theater for carrying a concealed, unlicensed .38 caliber revolver.

The Philadelphia courts were tough.

They handed Capone the maximum sentence: one year in prison. 

Capone served eight months of that sentence in this cell.

But while the Philadelphia courts tried to make an example of Chicago’s famous bootlegger, the officials at Eastern State Penitentiary were nothing if not generous.

They allowed Capone comforts not typically granted to inmates, including fine furniture, oriental rugs, oil paintings and a fancy radio. 

He liked to listen to waltzes in his cell. 

--easternstate.org

Saturday, February 16, 2019

EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY - PART 5

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

The penitentiary is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm.

--easternstate.org

Friday, February 15, 2019

EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY - PART 4

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Eastern State Penitentiary’s vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone.

--easternstate.org

Thursday, February 14, 2019

EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY - PART 3

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
Though “Pep the black” was sentenced to life in prison for murder, he was an ideal cellmate. Not only was this 1920s convict innocent of his crime, he was a dog. A literal labrador retriever.

The story starts in the 1920s at Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary, the largest and most expensive public building in history at the time of its construction. It was one of the first prisons to isolate prisoners as a rehabilitation tool. Before Eastern State, it was standard to force inmate into silent labor "with the goal of punishing the accused instead of reforming them," reports Now I Know.

Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot wanted to help change the state of the U.S. prison system. He believed inmates could be reformed, and solitary confinement was not the way. Enter Pep, the Pinchots' black lab who liked to chew cushions.


The Pinchot family bred labradors, which gave the governor an idea. He "sentenced" Pep, who was a relatively bad-behaved dog, to life in prison at Eastern State for murdering his wife's cat. 

This cutesy backstory (he wasn't really a kitty killer) was much more fun than simply saying Pinchot was donating a therapy dog. The prison played along with the colorful tale, too. Pep had his mugshot snapped with his inmate number, C2559. Not a real inmate himself, Pep freely roamed around as the cutest morale-booster in the cell block.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY - PART 2

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, Eastern State Penitentiary was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners.

--easternstate.org

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY - PART 1

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world.

It stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers.

--

Monday, February 11, 2019

EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY -- WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Many visitors with special needs visit Eastern State Penitentiary every year. 

That said, the penitentiary complex is not fully ADA compliant. The building is nearly 200 years old and is a National Historic Landmark. Sections of it may never be fully accessible.

There is a small exhibit and gift shop that are only accessible by a set of three steps. 

This section of the penitentiary can easily be bypassed. 

The rest of the tour route is equipped with ADA compliant ramps and meets most ADA guidelines.

Guide dogs, service animals, or service animals in training are welcome. 

The digital equipment used for "The Voices of Eastern State" Audio Tour includes special features for those with sight, hearing and mobility impairments. 

These special features include raised dots that indicate the number five on the keypad, color-coded and shaped control buttons, compatibility with hearing aid T-switch, lightweight design with comfortable carrying strap and telephone-style keypads with backlit buttons.

https://www.easternstate.org/daytime-prison-tours/plan-your-visit

Sunday, February 10, 2019

AARP STUDY FINDS MORE THAN THREE OUT OF FOUR PEOPLE WANT TO AGE IN PLACE


BUT LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF HOUSING IS MOVE-IN READY
TO ACCOMMODATE A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
Universal Design is NOT some rare thing for a small special interest group.

It is mainstream and as such deserves a huge boost in public policy rewrites, zoning code changes, economic development incentives, inclusive mobility solutions, connectivity infrastructure improvements.

Architects, engineers, urban designers, transit planners, public works directors, home builders, developers and real estate agents must be better educated.

We cannot keep pretending that at age 60, 70, 80...that we will have the exact same mobility as age 20 and 30.

We MUST erase the shameful history of segregating people with disabilities to the projects and "special" communities.

The state of being disabled is as much a part of the definition of "normal as being African American, Jewish, LBGT, tall, short, fat, skinny, male, female, rich, poor.

We cannot, as a democratic society, continue to perpetuate the myth that mobility impairment is some “one in a billion” freakish thing that results in separating a person with a disability from living a full life mainstreamed into the bounty of our nation.

These words are not a rant, they are a logical, focused and accurate reaction to an independent survey published by AARP.




Saturday, February 9, 2019

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE PHILLY

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

For an old eastern seaboard city, Philadelphia has made great strides toward being more accessible to people with disabilities.

This 21st century exhibit proves that Philly is getting it, in terms of infrastructure and mindset:

Please Touch Museum launched a new exhibition called access/ABILITY. This traveling, interactive exhibit will be in Philadelphia through April 24, 2011.

It was developed by the Boston Children’s Museum and was designed to show the similarities and differences in how each of us, with or without disabilities, goes places, communicates, has fun, and learns.

Visitors will have a chance to learn a few phrases in American Sign Language, type their name in Braille and try out a hand-pedaled bike.

There’s also an opportunity for kids to interact with a puppet with cerebral palsy and try to navigate up a ramp and through a door in a wheelchair.

--visitphilly.com

Friday, February 8, 2019

PHLASH BUS WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

The PHLASH downtown loop bus offers quick and inexpensive transit service to popular attractions across Philadelphia.

The 100% wheelchair-accessible bus PHLASH has added two new stops to its route: one in front of The Franklin Institute, and another that’s just two blocks from the Mütter Museum.

Other stops are located near Penn’s Landing, the National Museum of Jewish American History, the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Perelman Building, Eastern State Penitentiary, the National Constitution Center, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Reading Terminal Market, the Shops at Liberty Place, the Please Touch Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo, One Liberty Observation Deck and the Museum of the American Revolution.

--visitphilly.com

Thursday, February 7, 2019

MAGIC GARDENS WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Covering an indoor and outdoor space equivalent to half a city block, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens glistens with creativity, urban renaissance and a hint of madness.

Isaiah Zagar, a local artist who began tiling South Street in the 1960s and never stopped, constructed the space out of cement, bicycle spokes, bottles, ceramic shards and other artistic knick-knacks.

The tiled passages of the Magic Gardens weave over- and underground — and, perhaps more than anything, through the mind of a dedicated and inspired artist.

Zagar has created more than 100 mosaics in Philadelphia, the majority of them along the South Street corridor.

Heidi Johnson-Wright explores the wheelchair access, which rates a B.

A walk around the neighborhood unveils not only the work of the artist, but also of a geographic renaissance.

--visitphilly.com

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

PENN MUSEUM WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

A million objects — including art and artifacts from around the globe — are housed at the Penn Museum, one of the world’s finest archaeological and anthropological museums.

From stone tools and household items to architectural monuments and rare art objects, the museum illustrates the story of humanity’s history and achievements.

With materials from ancient Egypt, Asia, Mesopotamia, the Americas and ancient Greece and Italy, the Penn Museum explores the world — all under one roof.
--visitphilly.com

Heidi Johnson-Wright explores wheelchair access, which is above average for an old facility.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

ESSAOUIRA ON THE ATLANTIC HAS CAPTIVATED VISITORS FROM ORSON WELLES TO JIMI HENDRIX

RIAD DAR EL PACO IS WHERE WE’LL REST OUR HEAD IN TOWN



 Riad Dar el Paco is a small peaceful house in the heart of the Medina. 

Close to the souk, but on a quiet little side-street in the Mellah. 

Everything is in walking distance and everything is possible.

El Paco offers 5 comfortable rooms individually decorated with private bath, shower and hairdryer. 

In 4 rooms we can accommodate 3 people (with a small extra charge). 

A Moroccan breakfast is served every morning and lunch and dinner are available on request in a typical restaurant near the Riad. 

We ADSL WIFI function very well in all the RIAD. 

Guests may also relax on the terrace and admire a panoramic view of the Medina and sea. 

Book a hammam and a massage in the spa at the side of our house.

You will be greeted by us Giovanni & Lara, the owner of the house, we are Italian and we speak French, Spanish and English. 

With us the gentle lady Wafaa who is fluent French, English and Italian.


--From El Paco's Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/riaddarelpaco/



Monday, February 4, 2019

MOROCCO HAS BEEN A LIFELONG DREAM


RIAD TAGHAZOUT IS HELPING MAKE MARRAKESH A REALITY

The fine folks at Riad Taghazout have answered my every question, leading up to my booking for a week-plus in their well-located, budget-friendly accommodations.


Their website could use a little better English translation, but that’s part of the fun of travel:

Riad TAGHAZOUT is a good example of traditional only styles moroccan accomodation right in the lentre of beautiful Medina of marrakech real close to the famous DJAMAA el FANAA square and the souk (3m walle) and 5 m walking from the koutoubia, Palais BADIAA and PALAIS BAHIA.




Sunday, February 3, 2019

IN OUR AMERICA...

DIVERSITY IS CELEBRATED

We love our neighbor and her sign.

The other week, we were driving to the hardware store, after just loading the car with roughly $100 with of fresh starter litter, cat food and other items to help a family foster a stray cat.

We turned the corner just 2 blocks from our house and saw the Meow Mobile – the Cat Network’s mobile spay/neuter clinic.

We stopped in our tracks and offered to donate the items.

The woman who took them said to help her lug them to her porch next door.

We didn’t recognize her, but turns out she’s a long-time resident who volunteers with Cat Network and brings their mobile clinic to our Shenandoah neighborhood many times per year.

When we got to her house, we saw the most wonderful flag that embraces diversity.
It even specifically spells out respect for disabilities.

We often feel that somehow disability is left off far too many lists of diversity that make this nation great.

So it's great to see disability embraced – despite the fascist efforts of #45 and the current right wing GOP.

The sign comes from Nasty Women Get Shit Done – a Portland group of progressives resisting the currently oppressive insane person in the White House.

Check them out, you can even order a yard sign like the one in the picture on this blog post.



Saturday, February 2, 2019

PARIS ACCORDEON

PARIS, FRANCE
A shop dedicated to the accordion, musical instrument typically French.Joy, good humor, live music, concerts sometimes.

Chromatic accordions button and piano, diatonic accordions, new or second hands.

--TRIPADVISOR.COM

Visit this video for a fun chat with the owner (in French)

https://www.parisaccordeon.com/shop

Friday, February 1, 2019

OPÉRA NATIONAL DE PARIS - PALAIS GARNIER

PARIS, FRANCE



A 19th-century architectural masterpiece, the Palais Garnier Opera House, was built by Charles Garnier and opened in 1875.

It is the 13th opera house in Paris since the introduction of French opera by Louis XIV in 1669.

Napoleon III commissioned it as part of the renovation works in the capital carried out under his command by Baron Haussmann.

A historical monument open to visitors during the day staging opera and dance.


Don't forget to admire the ceiling painted by Chagall in the main auditorium.

--parisinfo.com