AGAIN VENICE FIGHTS ITS WORST FLOODING IN 53 YEARS, THANKS TO STRONG WINDS & HIGH TIDES

<NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC & GETTY IMAGES> VENICE is a city that’s been sinking almost from the time it was built. It’s been named aqua alta, or high water, with good reason especially in November and December when seasonal winds drive strong tides up canals, through drains, and into the streets.  Second only to 1966 when high tides reached levels of 6 feet, and in 2019 three-quarters of this one-of-a-kind city was submerged by powerful storms.<ABOVE – Wading through the flood waters – REUTERS>. Venetian leaders have been working on a plan since 2013 to save Venice. (MOSE MOdulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico), the project, is a system of mobile gates meant to protect the city and lagoon from extreme tides. The gates were supposed to be finished by 2011, but some officials are predicting they won’t be done for another three years. Unfortunately, Mother Nature won’t wait.<ABOVE – St. Mark’s Basilica flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years, REUTERS><ABOVE – November 2019, a tipped boat. This year, 2020, three water buses sank, but tourists kept up their sightseeing as best they could. – REUTERS>

PHOTO #2 – NOV. 20/2020 – A TINY OWL HAS BROUGHT SOME JOY TO NEW YORK CITY & CANADA

It’s like one of those Disney animations when a little owl travels to Rockefeller Center inside a giant Christmas tree. The workers, who’d be setting up the 75-foot-tall spruce discovered the traveler.Birds sometimes find their way into the tree on its way to New York., so each branch is always inspected before the tree is decorated. The Ravensbeard Wildlife Centre said the little one is actually an adult. They fittingly named the Northern saw-whet owl “Rockefeller”, one of the smallest in North America.  Ravensbeard workers estimated the little guy hadn’t eaten for about three days as the giant tree made its way from Oneonta, New York to Manhattan. They served him up all the mice he could eat, along with plenty of fluids. Some day soon he’ll be released. ‘Rockefeller’ made CBC’s National News last night, and he’s all over the media. It’s a feel-good story at a time when we really need one.  Happy Holiday, Rockefeller Center! <PHOTOS – Ravensbeard Wildlife Center>

‘EMPTY TOWERS IN SEATTLE’ – FROM THE TIMES, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6/2020

<With companies finding that many employees prefer to work from home, the end of the pandemic might not mean the end of remote work. An estimated 90% of Seattle office space is currently vacated due to the pandemic as employees work from home. Maybe TORONTO should take a deep breath.>

PHOTOGRAPHS OF VANCOUVER IN THE 1950’S – BY THE LATE FRED HERZOG

Stuttgart-born FRED HERZOG was a master of colour photography.  After moving to VANCOUVER in 1953, he worked primarily with Kodachrome slide film to create a wonderful archive of that city, as it was in the 1950’s.  His photography is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery, and he’s been the subject of numerous books. . . . . .  http://www.equinoxgallery.com

TRUST PARIS TO COME UP WITH A BRILLIANT IDEA – A FLOATING CINEMA ON THE SEINE

PARIS has captured social distancing, temporarily anyway, with a floating movie theatre on Saturday, July 18th. ‘Cinéma sur l’Eau’ (Cinema on the Water) is a creation of Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) with support from Haagen-Dazs and mk2. There’ll be a fleet of 38 electric boats, each holding four to six friends and family members. In addition there’ll be 150 deck chairs on land in the area so the curious can look down on the scene.  The movie – ‘Le Grand Bain’ (The Big Bath) will be a 2018 French comedy/drama about 40-something men who are all on the verge of a mid-life crisis, so they decide to form their local pool’s first synchronized swimming team.

‘NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE’ COVER FOR SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2020 – TEXAS FOOD BANK LINEUP

<ABOVE – Long lines at food banks like this one last month, in a Texas parking lot, have become a symbol of the desperation felt by so many families in the pandemic. Today, as more than 38-million Americans have lost their jobs, the lines of hungry people keep gathering – a spiraling crisis with no end in sight. – New York Times Magazine, May 31/2020>

AS A FAN OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART – IT HURTS TO SEE ITS TOTAL DEMOLITION

<IMAGE – LACMA as it once was> Yes, a new project by PETER ZUMTHOR will take its place, but for me, a Canadian and regular visitor, there goes a piece of my heart. My partner and I loved spending most of a day there every time we were in Los Angeles, having lunch, doing all of the galleries, the Japanese Pavilion, and occasionally the garden and nearby TAR PITS.In April, while most workers were home under shelter-in-place orders, demolition crews were tearing down three structures created by LACMA’s modernist architect, WILLIAM PEREIRAi, that were part of the original 1965 plan. Even the museum’s Bing Theater has now been reduced to rubble.It’s all gone. Farewell to an old friend. – From an article by MIMI ZEIGER, deZeen.<LACMA as it is today by MONICA NOUWENS Photography>