Architecture

Reflection

Sunrise in Scandinavia comes early in the day during summer. This is of benefit when photo shooting. Having views of scenery before clutter of pedestrian, bicycle and auto traffic. A low sun catches color on buildings. And if breezeless, mirror like reflections shine in the vast reaches of Copenhagen’s waterways.

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DanTravelman

Eat’m 12/2/06


The EAT’m Diner blog for 12/02/06: Birria in Guadalajara, French Dip Sandwich, Los Angeles
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Each region of Mexico boasts its own unique distinct food or dish. A specialty of Guadalajara is Birria, a savory stew typically made with goat, pork, lamb or sheep. The sauce is a blend of spices, chili, and cumin. This stew bakes hours before it is dinner table ready.


The twin specialty of the region is Borrego. This is lamb or sheep slow roasted for hours over glowing hot wood embers.

Birrieria Las Nueve Esquinas near downtown Guadalajara offers Chivo (Goat) Birria and Barbocoa de Borrego as their main menu items. This kitchen-dining room is charmingly decorated with indigenous pottery and earthen ware hanging on bright color walls trimmed in tile. Folk crafts decorate the window.

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When traveling to Los Angeles, a stop at Philippe, The Original French Dip Sandwich Restaurant, is mandatory.
Their legend states “French Dip” was innovated when a French sandwich bun fell into the juices or drippings of roasted meat pan. The customer, impatient for his sandwich, vetoed making the sandwich over again. His discovery was so thrilling the man returned the next day with a legion of his co workers for exactly the same accidental taste treat.

The sandwich is available with roast beef, pork, lamb or turkey. I never know which one I like best. I’ll often sample a couple. Philippe’s mustard is their own, not restaurant supply. I always dab some on my sandwich. And frequently experience a nasal rush. A cold beer works best for me accompanying this meal. But the lemonade is renown. I’m always undecided whether to go with cole slaw or potato salad. Some times if I return to the counter for that second or third sandwich I’ll have both.

Historical

Handyman

For the Christmas season of 1971 San Diego had no Home Depot, Lowe’s, Home Base or Builder’s Emporium. It was Handyman. Notice the price of the drill and jig saw. Now a days you pay that much just for bits and blades.

Architecture

Twisted Tails of Copenhagen


Few spires are this beautiful or unique. Borsen–the old Copenhagen Stock Exchange. Hans Van Steenwinckle was the architect. Rundetaarn, shown in my previous essay, was also designed by him. It is a Dragonspire he created in 1625 for the Stock Exchange Building.

The tails of four dragons are twisted together in symbolic guardianship. This twining is a statement of strength. But the architect achieved a lightness and grace with the open chamber just below his dragons.

Architecture

Death By Inconsolable Shame


The spiral or circular ramp. These have fascinated architects and their clients through centuries.

Rundetaarn (The Round Tower) 1642 of Copenhagen, Denmark has a ramp some 685 feet long spiraling around a hollow core. King Christian IV rode up and down this ramp with a horse and carriage. Home to Europe’s oldest functioning observatory, which sets a top with the viewing platform. A haven for scientists, intellectuals and teachers.

An inscription on the side is a rebus or code. “Lead, God, into the heart of King Christian IV The Right Teaching and Justice, 1642.” The tower is over 114 feet tall with a view of old Copenhagen that is a pleasure to behold.


The spires of old town Copenhagen stand like sentinels. They seem to call and speak to one another.

 

The spires of old town Copenhagen stand like sentinels. They seem to call and speak to one another.

The spires of old town Copenhagen stand like sentinels. They seem to call and speak to one another.

In view from Rundetaarn is another spiral design, The Church Of Our Savior, 1752.

There is a tragic legend of this tower’s architect, Laurids de Thurah. Spirals found in fortress towers turn to the left giving guards a free hand and extended reach advantage for defending right handed swordsmen. Conversely spiral stairs found in churches have a right turn helix.

The legend say when Laurids inspected his completed work a realization fell upon him like a mortifying pall. His spiral sprung the wrong way. His design was flawed.


His shame was so inconsolable he threw himself from the top of what was supposed to be his masterpiece.

The story must of stuck in my mind. Everywhere I turned in Copenhagen that church spire seemed to always catch some part of my peripheral site. The lurking ghost of Laurids. I was compelled time and time again to photograph this tower. Lovely site, sad legend.
But alas, if one happens to come across a book of history’s greatest urban legends, this story is surely amongst them. Architect Laurids de Thurah, in fact, enjoyed opening day as a moment of great pomp and circumstance. King Frederik V walked all the way up this grand spire as 27 canons saluted in the church square.


All the pomp and circumstance was repeated in 1996 upon the church’s restoration. Prince Joachim made the same walk as Frederik. No one then, or before, dove from the tower.

What is true, however, Laurids de Thurah died only seven years after completion of his spire. Reportedly Poor and forgotten. Maybe the legend was created to remember him in a more dramatic and enduring way. Not just to say he died in bed one day.


Thanks to Tom. His rendering of the church tower story to me and his metaphorical descriptions of Copenhagen and its features were of sublime inspiration. Also to Heather for research on the design theory of spiral towers (Right hand vs left helix).

More views from a top Rundetaarn).

 

Nature

Fallen Leaves

The classic San Diego autumn weather pattern occurred this past weekend. Mornings and evenings of dense cloud cover. But afternoons of bright blue sky and warm temperatures. Percipitation in San Diego commonly occurs in the dark of night. One awakens to sunshine with rain washed streets and landscaping. And a fresh smell of the air.

The rain also shook loose some colorful leaves from the tree in my front yard.

Home and Family

My Autumn Garden


Cosmos are exhausting themselves for one last explosion of blooms.


All but two pumpkins are harvested. The remaining couple are still green but will probably turn orange for Thanksgiving. (The orange pumpkin vine started later than these white ones).

Dichondra is happy here. It embraces the landscape river rocks and paving stones.

There isn’t a true Autumn in San Diego. Leaves do fall; more yellow, orange and brown abounds. But weather-wise this is merely a cooler version of summer with shorter days.

Then winter brings another look. Another garden emerges.

Architecture

More “Dead”

Mexico’s Day of The Dead is all about gentile and happy spirits of the after life. But there’s also more Halloween-like legends of darker angels. The malcontents and evil doers on the other side.
One of Mexico’s most legendary locations for this phenomena is Guadalajara’s downtown cemetery–their “Haunted” cemetery–Panteon de Belen. Many dates on the tombs and gravestones are from the mid 1800’s. These were well-to-do and important citizens of Guadalajara. But the graveyard came into existence during some of Mexico’s hardest times. Dark years seem to produce dark legends of after life.


The atmosphere within the walls of Belan is tranquil and beautiful. Pleasing landscaping–an array of interesting trees. There’s one tree in particular. Thick, sinuous roots form a massive trunk and vast canopy. This is Guadalajara’s most guarded tree. If it is allowed to die, a rapacious vampire will be unleashed upon a defenseless city population.
He’s terrorized the region before. Evidence was dead animals all around. Not only dead but sucked dry and bloodless. Then children died this way. A vampire was on the loose. People dared not venture out at night for fear of Lestat. A vigilante group was formed to track down the evil creature. Find him, they did; Captured by net. A lethal wooden stake was driven through his heart. And to take no chances his body was entombed in a concrete sarcophicus and buried deeply at Belan. Happiness reclaimed the homeland. Until….


The lethal wooden stake grew longer and wider from the vampire’s heart. It punched through the concrete sarcophicus lid and out of the grave. The stake became this tree. Not a sap producing tree but one of blood from all the creatures the vampire killed. Any little nick or damage, the tree dripped blood. And if the tree is allowed to die, the vampire WILL RETURN!


This story was being told to a group of very  young school children on a Day of The Dead field trip to Belan.


A heightened spookiness is possible by taking a night time tour. The chance of witnessing some of the phenomena is rumored to be quite great! For instance, one story says someone committed suicide–by neck, hanging from a tree. A night time shadow of this tree sometimes appears even though it was cut down long ago.
A cemetery guard has been seen. But there is no guard. Those who saw this guard’s face say it matched a portrait attached to one of the graves.
There’s an approaching clip clop and rattle of an 1800’s horse drawn coffin wagon. It stops at the cemetery gate. Nothing is ever there except hints of moving shadows.
Perhaps this was just too much after life activity to suit “Los Hombres Ilustres,” prominent Jalisco State and Guadalajara dignitaries buried here. They were excavated in 1947 and moved to a new Memorial “La Rotonda de Los Hombres Illustres” next to Guadalajara Cathedral.


The architecture next to them may seem familiar to those big shots. The Cathedral towers and the Belan Cemetery Pavilion under which the illustrious were buried had the same architect.