May 7-8, 2018, Brooklyn and New York

Monday tends to be a dead day for galleries. Nonetheless, I  found that Urban Glass in Brooklyn would be at least partly open.

I was talking to another glass artist, Perla Segovia, at a recent opening in Tucson. I said I was getting ready to go to New York, and she mentioned that she had work at a place called Urban Glass in Brooklyn and I should go and look there.

I don’t think I was ever in Brooklyn, though I lived in New York for about five years. First, I took the train from Hicksville to Jamaica, where I planned to spend the night at the Best Western at JFK airport. I got the shuttle to the hotel and checked in, then got the shuttle and went back to the airport. The shuttle driver kindly explained two or three times to the stupid tourist how to get to Brooklyn.

Actually, it was pretty simple. I took the A Train and got off in Brooklyn. Urban Glass, on Fulton, was a little hike down the street. I didn’t take any photos in the gift gallery, which is what was open, but it was a gorgeous, light space. An interesting-looking show was in the process of being hung. I didn’t realize Perla had never been there, or I would have asked about photos….

After spending several minutes there and chatting with the artist/receptionist to find out how to participate there, I went out to look around Brooklyn a little. I found a German restaurant for lunch, took some pictures of the neighborhood, and went back to the hotel. My flight the next morning was at 6:30, so I wanted to get a little sleep.

Shops on Fulton Avenue, Brooklyn

Shops on Fulton Avenue, Brooklyn


Friday, May 19, via Olympia, Washington, to Salem, Oregon

Today was a real experience. Fortunately, I looked up the ferry information to see what the address was. Where we had to be at the ferry loading spot in Vancouver an hour early, here it was an hour and a half to an hour beforehand. This was for US Customs.

First, we were visited by an ICE agent who checked our passports. Then, I took them and a form to a window and was checked by more ICE agents. The trip took an hour and a half. The cars were really packed in — I almost couldn’t get out to go upstairs on deck.

Leaving Victoria

Leaving Victoria

Sailing ship en route to Port Angeles

Sailing ship en route to Port Angeles

Ship -- for research? -- en route to Port Angeles

Ship — for research? — en route to Port Angeles

When we arrived in Port Angeles, Washington, we just drove off. It looked like a nice place, but we didn’t stop, since we needed to get as far as possible. e did make a brief stop in Olympia, the capital of Washington.

Capitol building in Olympia, Washington

Capitol building in Olympia, Washington

We zipped down Route 101, the road we’d taken on the way north in much of California and part of Oregon. For the night we’re at a Best Western in Salem.

Tomorrow we need to get somewhere around Sacramento. You notice a theme here: state capitols.

Oasis in the desert / Florence, Arizona

Hidden away in the desert of Florence, Arizona, is an oasis created by the members of a Greek Orthodox monastery. You can visit pretty much every day between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
    Proper dress is required. For women, this is a long skirt (no slits, please — I was handed a safety pin, because I had one that was too racy), long-sleeved shirt, socks, shoes (no sandals!) and a head covering. For men, it’s long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. For those who arrive inappropriately attired, the monk in the book store has some spares to lend.
    August is probably not the best time to visit, but my friend Gertrud and I did, mainly because I had an errand in the area.
    The monastery had only a couple of examples of stained glass, nothing particularly elaborate. But the brickwork and tiles on the ground / floor more than made up for this. Here are some miscellaneous photos.

   About 50 monks make their home at this monastery, plus visitors who help out. We found St. Anthony’s Church plus at least four chapels plus another church on the hill. We spent about two hours wandering around the property, taking photos and looking around. We saw many more people who were apparently Greek Orthodox and some nuns who were visiting at the time.

St. George’s Chapel is in the middle of the complex.
01 Blog Chapel of St George - 1


A really healthy bougainvillea:
06 Blog Bougainvilla
And a shaded cupola:
CupolaA fountain in the center of the property:

FountainMore of the decorative brick work:

09 blog Detail - courtyardAnd interesting patterns on the ground, as well:


11 blog Fountain of the CrossA palm walkway (with Gertrud in the lower right);GE DIGITAL CAMERAAn arch, more trees:

13 blog  Gate w Russian crossA lantern (with colored glass):

GE DIGITAL CAMERAA giant cross with colored glass insets:

15 blog  Large cross w colored glassHere’s a close-up:

16 blog Large cross w colored glass - 2A wonderful mosaic in one of the chapels:

16 blog Mosaic in chapelOne of two colored glass windows I found. The time of day (just after noon) was less than ideal for such photos:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAAnd last, but certainly not least, is a church on the hill above the monastery. We didn’t go inside, because it’s kept locked, since it’s not where people are. This was the only building that resembled what Gertrud had seen in Greece. The other buildings were painted red or other colors, but not the traditional white with blue.

17 blog St Elijah Chapel closerFor more, see

Day 5 – Gig Harbor

Iris had an exam to take online, so she and ILona picked me up afterwards, around 11:30. We went back to Gig Harbor, where we’d had dinner Saturday evening. This time many galleries were open.

ILona, being new to the area, is still looking around for places to carry her art. We saw a lot of glass, but I didn’t take photos, since galleries are usually nervous about that. It’s always interesting to see what others are doing, and I got some ideas.
The Sound from Gig Harbor
We had a great lunch in a little restaurant by the water. Mount Rainier poked its snowy summit out of the clouds, so I got a few photos. We saw lots and lots of boats of all kinds, of course, and a parasailor at the end.

Mt. Rainier from Gig Harbor
The temperature was in the high 70s. It still felt quite warm, though not as bad as the day before.

Day 4 – Seattle

August 4, 2014: Today I’m on my own and I decided to go into Seattle.

I should start by mentioning I’m in the Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel. This is pretty conveniently located for public transportation. The Tacoma Link light rail is just like the SunLink that recently opened in Tucson, except that it’s free and a lot faster. The Tacoma Link has just six stops but goes to some of the high points for visitors, like Union Station, the Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Art Museum.
Tacoma Link trolley
One of the big bus stations is close to the Tacoma Dome light rail station. There’s also some kind of train station close by. I caught bus 594 into Seattle, a nonstop ride there that took about an hour. I got out at 4th and Pike and was surprised by the park-like atmosphere and many activities going on there.
Park plaza at 4th and Pike, Seattle
I went looking for the William Traver Gallery, supposed to have lots of high-end glass. I didn’t think about today’s being Monday, and, of course, the gallery was closed.

Around the corner was the gallery Vetri. It offered a lot of nice things, even a piece I liked a lot and could have afforded.

After that, I wandered off to Pike Place Market, which is huge, bustling and packed, both with tourists and stands. You want fresh fish?
One of the many fish possibilities at the Pike Place Market
Fresh fresh fruits and veggies or flowers?
Flower stand
That’s the place, although the fruits and veggies didn’t seem too cheap.

It was really warm. I found some postcards, 5 for $1.10. The young woman at the stand said people get cranky in the warm weather. When I said I was from Tucson, she asked me to take the hot weather home with me….

Remembering suggestions from my Sonoran Glass School instructor, I found the Seattle Glassblowing Studio, which is also a sales outlet for glass blowing supplies. The place has a nice, fairly large gallery, the sign was hard to overlook:
Seattle Glassblowing sign
So were the pieces outside the gallery:
Outside Seattle Glassblowing
It also has a very cool, very glass restroom…
Basin and counter in restroom of Seattle Glassblowing

Then it was off to find a bus back to Tacoma. I knew where I’d gotten off, but I wasn’t sure about getting back on. Through dumb luck, I found the right place.

It was another hour back to Tacoma. Once there and fading fast from lack of food and water, I went across the street from the bus to Freighthouse Square and tried out the Indian express restaurant.

Since there was still time, I took off for Union Station to get photos of the Chihuly pieces there. It’s now the Courthouse Building, so it was closed Saturday when I was out and about. One window has what look like orange poppies:

Chihuly at Union Station - 1
In the middle is a huge hanging piece by Chihuly:
Union Station - Chihuly 2
On another side was a mosaic of blown glass pieces:
Mosaic of Chihuly pieces
A closeup is pretty impressive:
Closeup of "mosaic" piece
And finally, the long pieces that I’ve seen many times before:
More Chihuly at Union Station

All in all, a good day, though I was pretty overwhelmed by Seattle. It’s a big, unfamiliar city. A few more visits, and it will be fine.

Day 2 (evening) – Gig Harbor

In the evening, my friends ILona and Iris picked me up for dinner. With them was Jane, who arrived from Tucson that morning.

We went across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor, a pleasant town on the waters between Tacoma and Seattle, and had a great dinner at Anthony’s:

Afterwards, we looked around the immediate area a little…
Clock in Gig Harbor

Mural on the wall of Finholm's Market in Gig Harbor.

Mural on the wall of Finholm’s Market in Gig Harbor.

Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor

Flowers in Gig Harbor

Flowers in Gig Harbor

Stained glass door at a nearby gift store

Stained glass door at a nearby gift store

We enjoyed watching the Canada geese in the harbor:
Canada geese in Gig Harbor
The sky at dusk was very special:
The sky at dusk in Gig Harbor
This was a little different from the night sky in Tacoma, as seen again from my hotel:
2nd night in Tacoma, skyline from my hotel room

Day 1 – Granada, Nicaragua

Kathy and I were up at some ungodly hour, like just after 4 a.m., to catch the 6 a.m. shuttle, to be sure we got our 9 a.m. flight to Managua, Nicaragua. We sped through all the formalities — somehow I managed to end up with a business class ticket down, which included pre-check through TSA and faster boarding. We met up with Annabelle, who’d come in on a red-eye, at the gate.
My part of the flight was fine — extra room so the woman by the window, who was pregnant and said she would be making many visits to the restroom, could squeeze by without my getting up each time.
Houston was really cold when we left. Managua, on the other hand, was quite warm (and humid) when we arrived. The runway seemed to be in the middle of a pasture, and the pilot tromped on the brakes really hard as he landed the plane. We had a lot of students from a variety of religious groups with us — the dark green t-shirts, the burgundy t-shirts and the blue t-shirts.
Going through passport control, we managed to find the absolute slowest line, but we eventually got through. Luggage came through fairly quickly after that, and we found the driver of our Toyota Yaris quickly. He said he’d been waiting for two hours, although we arrived pretty much on time about 12:30 p.m.
The drive to Granada took the better part of an hour, through narrow streets. I won’t comment about the poverty in our Tucson trailer parks any more. Because we were moving right along, I couldn’t take photos until we got to Granada and walked around a little.

Mosaic sign for the Hotel Patio del Malinche, our home for the week.

Our home away from home for the next several days, Hotel Patio del Malinche. It’s conveniently down the street from our language school. The sign is a cool mosaic. The hotel is loaded with tasteful artistic touches.

Courtyard of hotel, Granada

The first inner courtyard at Hotel Patio del Malinche. Looking in the doors of other hotels, this seems to be the usual style.

Upstairs walkway at El Patio del Malinche.

Upstairs walkway at El Patio del Malinche. Our rooms, 11 and 12, were at the top of the stairs.

My room

My room, which was quite nice, at El Patio del Malinche. Annabelle and Kathy had a room about the same size, but with two beds in it.

Leaves on the wall in my room, up close.

Here are the leaves up closer.

The shower in my bathroom.

The shower in my bathroom. US hotel rooms should be so clean and tastefully put together.

Pool from above.

We left — unfortunately — our swimsuits at home. The pool wasn’t large, but nice to stick our feet in to cool off. This is from our upstairs hallway.

We checked in and then walked down the street to Nicaragua Mia, the language school we’re going to be attending. Hmm.

Jungle of wires

Jungle of wires on building near our hotel.

The buildings around our hotel tend to be brightly painted.

The buildings around our hotel tend to be brightly painted.

blog  Sidewalk near hotel - Granada - 3-8-14
We walked around in the pedestrian zone a little, to see what was there. One shop had some very cool bookshelves.
blog  Metal bookcase in shop in Granada 3-8-14

Wood bookshelf in store, Granada

Wood bookshelf in a store in the pedestrian zone of Granada.

Ranch House Restaurant

Ranch House Restaurant, a brightly colored building in the pedestrian zone, Granada

Brightly colored building on the square in Granada

Tierra Tours, in the pedestrian zone of Granada. Tomorrow we’ll take one of their tours to the volcano Mombacho.

Mombacho from the hotel.

The volcano Mombacho, from our hotel. This is our Day 2 visit.

We made the rounds of the restaurants and ended at El Zaguán. Annabelle and Kathy enjoyed the “corvina”, which we later saw translated as “sea bass” and I had an appetizer of eggplant parmesan, which was super. It turns out this is one of the best restaurants in Granada.

I do have an Internet connection in Hotel Patio del Malinche, where we’re staying, but it’s slow and I get a lot of error messages, even though my computer tells me I’m hooked up and have an excellent signal.

Day 11 – Home sweet home

The storm that was forecast finally really rolled through Cottonwood about 5 this morning, complete with thunder and hard downpour. It was pretty much back to normal by the time I set out for Jerome about 10.

Jerome is an old mining town that was reborn as an artists’ colony. The steep streets have homes, galleries and cafes. And a view of the world:

View from Jerome, Arizona

View of the world from Jerome, Arizona

I found two really interesting places: the Jerome artists cooperative, which has the work of 36 artists in the area, and the Pura Vida Gallery. This gallery had some really unusual fabric and stained glass pieces. Also an artist who made cool pieces using colored leaf skeletons. I’m going to try to find this person to see how he gets the skeletons. The coloring is interesting, but I’d just like to be able to make – reliably – my own leaf skeletons.

A quick trip through Cave Creek, to check on a gallery, and then home to Tucson, just in time to get my accumulated mail.

The trip details:

From Tucson to Richmond, VA: 2,455 miles                                                               From Richmond to Tucson, via Toledo, Ohio, and Richmond, Kentucky: 3,548      For a total of 6,003 miles on the road

I haven’t filled up since I got home, but it looks like my Corolla got around 33 miles to the gallon.

Diane’s big adventure / road trip from Tucson, Arizona, to Richmond, Virginia, is now over.

Day 10 – Westward bound!

On the way back from the museum yesterday, I remembered a glass artist who was displayed in a Tucson gallery but who lives in New Mexico. I finally remembered her name (Melissa Haid), googled her and, after getting directions and saying goodbye to Judy, took off for Canyon Road and the gallery where her work is displayed. Melissa Haid’s work often seems to incorporate leaf-like objects:

Melissa Haid - outside La Mesa of Santa Fe

Melissa Haid – outside La Mesa of Santa Fe

I got so excited about another glass sculpture that I went sprawling:

Gary Slater - Sky Disc

Gary Slater – Sky Disc

Strolling along Canyon Road I found this fountain:

Fountain - Canyon Road - Santa Fe

Fountain at a gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe

Then westward ho! A quick lunch in Gallup,


Gallup, across the street from Earl’s Restaurant

then on through the wind, and around Flagstaff, Arizona, pouring rain. After a close call with no motel, I’m in Cottonwood, Arizona.

Tomorrow I plan on Jerome, a mining ghost town-turned art haven, Cave Creek (where another artist and I found interest by a gallery in our work) and then home.

Day 9 – Santa Fe Glass

After an interesting chat over breakfast with some folks involved with a small western museum, I got on the road to Santa Fe. Somehow I missed the famous Cadillacs upended in a field. I did see lots and lots of modern windmills just west of Amarillo.

The trip to Santa Fe went pretty quickly, for a change. After checking in with Judy, I took off for the Museum of New Mexico. The collection was quite cool — and mostly fused (with some cast) glass:

Toots Zynsky

Toots Zynsky, filet de verre piece “Spuntare,”  2011

Carmen Vetter, The Ties That Bind from 2009

Carmen Vetter, The Ties That Bind, 2009

Besides the amazing glass, I ran quickly through the rest of the museum and found some pieces that I hadn’t seen before but that I liked a lot:

Painting by Georgia O'Keefe in Museum of New Mexico

Painting by Georgia O’Keefe in Museum of New Mexico

Luis Tapia, Chima Altar, Bertram's Cruise - Museum of NM

Luis Tapia, Chima Altar, Bertram’s Cruise – Museum of New Mexico

After the museum, I visited Blue Rain, David Richard and a couple of other galleries with glass, then back to Judy’s.