Street Art In Lisbon -Portuguese Pavement

Street Art In Lisbon  – Portuguese Pavement

“Where utility ends and decoration begins is perfection.” Jack Gardner

If you read my blog, you know I am a fan of street art. Lisbon is no exception. There is very interesting urban art but there is  also calcada portuguesa .They are street tiles painstakingly laid down by hand in a variety of mosaic patterns throughout the city. It started in the mid nineteenth century and can be seen in the historic parts of Lisbon.











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Apologizing For Trump All Over The World

Apologizing for Trump All Over The World

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” Søren Kierkegaard

As Americans traveling in Europe we do apologize often for our behavior. But we may have outdone ourselves with Trump. Trump represents the America that the world hates. He embodies the worst anti-American stereotypes: vulgar, violent, cash-obsessed, racist.  I recently returned from Europe and the Middle East and found myself on the Trump Apology Tour. They are just baffled by how we have this Republican candidate.’To be a potential leader of a nation of immigrants and be anti-immigration and xenophobic plays into other countries fears.

The world seemed to like Obama. Traveling in 2008 was fun when it came to politics.  Since the rise of Trump, you can’t really travel out of the US without a barrage of  political questions.

In South Africa, I was often asked who do you think is worse Zuma or Trump? We’ve never competed with corrupt, dictator types before for unpopularity.  “Why is Trump so popular with Americans?” asked the man at border control in Jordan. Are they allowed to ask that while holding your passport? As usual, I immediately have to distance myself from the Donald. ”No Idea. It’s terrifying.” He smiled and stamped my passport. 

America is no stranger to embarrassing exports but we may have outdone ourselves with Donald Trump. They feel that what started as a bad joke might become a reality. Europeans are definitely feeling that now they have a reason to act superior.”What do you think of Trump?’ they ask. What I think is that Trump destroys everything I do as a traveler to make an impact on how people see Americans.

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Things I Have Learned In Lisbon, Portugal

Things I Have Learned In Lisbon, Portugal

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Lisbon is known to be built on seven hills: Castelo, Graca, Monte, Penha de Franca, S.Pedro de Alcantara, Santa Catarina and Estrela. It makes the capital of Portugal similar to such cities as Rome, Istanbul and Moscow.


The views are crazy good from different parts of the city. My hotel was at the top of one of the hills because I was always walking up the wrong street to get there and having to walk down and up again. Walking the streets of Lisbon is a definite workout.


Lisbon’s superb natural setting, spread across seven hills facing the Tagus River, offers a network of terraces from which to contemplate the beauty of the city. They are called “miradouros” or viewpoints, they’re usually located at the highest points of each hill, and all have spaces to sit and rest. Some even have cafes serving snacks and light refreshments.


I’m usually not a fan of getting lost but I didn’t mind in Lisbon. There are interesting streets that I would have missed.


The Barcelos Rooster is considered to be the unofficial symbol of Portugal. The story varies but it has to do with a roasted rooster getting up from the table and declaring a falsely accused religious pilgrim innocent. It is carried for good luck. I buy every country’s good luck charms.


In Lisbon, there  exists one of the oldest bakeries that makes Pastel de Nata.  It’s located in the neighborhood of Belem. The Antiga Confeitaria de Belém is a favorite of locals and tourists alike.


The tarts here are called Pastéis de Belem and served plain with cinnamon and sugar toppings.


Lisbon has its own Cristo Rei (Christ the King statue) – a Catholic monument overlooking the city, standing on the left bank of the river. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The statue commemorates Portugal’s survival of WWII.


The Jerónimos Monastery was constructed in the Portuguese Manueline style. The Monastery was commissioned by King Manuel in 1501 and took 100 years to finish. The monks role was to pray for the King’s eternal soul and give spiritual help to navigators and sailors leaving to explore the world.


Vasco de Gama who is buried here left from this site in 1497. There are no advance tickets so come early or be prepared to wait up to an hour. The cloisters and architecture are magnificent and worth the admission. The Church of Belem is free.


Tower of Belem is Lisbon’s iconic landmark.  The Tower is located on the Tagus River a twenty-minute walk from the Monastery. It was built in the Manueline style the sixteenth century as part of a defense wall which was never finished.


Manueline style is a very specific interpretation of Gothic architectural structure and decoration only found in Portugal.The style emerged during the reign of King Manuel I (1495-1521) but the name was not adopted until the 19th century.


Buying gloves at the tiny Ulisses glove shop in Lisbon is a serious experience. They have made unique and high quality gloves in the same way since 1928. Place your elbow on a  cushion and have the special opportunity of getting gloves fit to your hand. They are guaranteed for life and you don’t need a receipt as they know which are their gloves.


The Vasco da Gama Bridge over the Tagus River is the longest bridge in Europe – 17, 2 km (10.7 miles) long.

Fiera de la Ladra (thieves market) is a flea market in the Alfama district every Tuesday and Thursday. A market has been in this place since the twelfth century. It is one of the oldest areas in Lisbon and so beautiful to walk around in.


Lisbon was the first city in the world to import Guinness from the UK.

Sardines are a typical Portuguese meal . I can live without them but they weren’t that bad served fresh and much larger than the canned variety.


Canned fish seems to be a common staple in Portugal and there is a lot to choose from.


Right up there with sardines, octopus is the most fished species in Portugal.  It is one of my favorite dishes and I had it a lot.


Eating grilled fish in Portugal (Peixe Grelhado) is an amazing experience.


Museu Berardo is a wonderful space for modern and contemporary art in Belem.The collection owes its existence to the Portuguese businessman Joe Berardo who, in his lifetime, amassed a great number of works of contemporary art. The space houses the permanent collection and changing contemporary exhibitions.


The Gulbenkian Museum is located in a modern complex with beautiful gardens and ducks, an extensive library and a Modern Art Center.The Gulbenkian collection was mostly collected by Calouste Gulbenkian during his lifetime.


The Modern Art Center(CAM) has an extensive collection of twentieth and twenty-first century modern Portuguese art. Temporary exhibits are scheduled throughout the year of Portuguese and international artists.


Lisbon was a love at first sight city for me. It is beautiful, colorful, full of layers and character. People are so friendly and helpful and many speak English or Spanish. The city is relatively inexpensive. Portuguese seafood is a reason alone to come here. It is very easy to get around by walking, taxi, boat or public transportation. I want to return soon.

Bom Viagem


Facebook Messages From Around The World

Facebook Messages From Around The World

“Can we go back to using Facebook for what it was originally for – looking up exes to see how fat they got?” Bill Maher

Facebook has given us the ability to simultaneously connect with our best friend in the first grade, our cousins all over the world, assorted friends, relatives, acquaintances and people you have met once. With the click of a button I can see that someone I thought that I had left behind long ago had a double cappuccino for breakfast.

Like all technological advances, whether it is good or bad for you depends on how you use it. I happen to love a Facebook birthday. I like waking up to see people who I barely know or haven’t seen in years have wished me a Happy Birthday. I make it a point to do the same. It has its critics. Facebook not people are remembering the birthdays. It is a step above doing nothing, They still had to type it. i can do the once a year thing. But lately I have received these kinds of Facebook messages.

Two of your friends from Viet Nam are celebrating the Autumn Festival.

Three of your friends from Mexico are celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

Am I being rude or culturally biased not to wish them Happy Autumn Festival? Am I committing some Social Media faux pas that I don’t know about yet by not saying Happy Independence Day? Will they be getting a message that says eight of your friends are from America. They are celebrating Veterans Day. Send them a message.

I’m getting the idea that Facebook loves sending notifications so we can spend more time on Facebook. There is definitely a way to manage these notifications. For me, it involves more time, on the internet to figure it out. It is just easier to wish all my Japanese friends a Happy Cherry Blossom Festival.

Fly safe,

Things People Like To Do In Tel Aviv, Israel With A Little Help From My Friends

Things People Like To Do In Tel Aviv With A Little Help from My Friends

“In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles” David Ben-Gurion

I like TA for the reasons I like any big city. I like to start at one end and just walk around and walk and get lost and learn a new neighborhood with each turn. TA is as varied as they come. And last time I was there, I got introduced to NAMAL, the sports center which now house restaurants and pubs,tons of music each and overnight of the week and has enough for little kids to do as well. They host an oneg shabbat apparently that gets thousands of people each Friday night. And you can spend time there, walk down the beach, through the gay area, down past the fancy hotels, where you might find Israeli Dancing and then keep on walking through ice cream spots for tourists and down right into Jaffa. A mass of odd delights and history. MA

Go to this gallery:
Stay at the Hotel Diagalev if you can. Go to a concert or ballet at the big performing arts center. IT”S AMAZING THERE. SH

Shopping in Neve Tzedek.  Cute trendy stores.  I bought great sandals there.
Also there are fabulous museums.  The Palmach Museum is interactive.  Don’t know how far it is from Tel Aviv. JL

Though Tel Aviv has a number of attractions, sitting in an outdoor restaurant at the seaside eating fresh fish is one favorite. Also going to the flea markets and seeing what treasures I can find. HM

Falafel falafel falafel oh and hummus. it never tastes the same anywhere else. JZ

Tel Aviv is the most special city! I did a Bauhaus walking tour. I think it started from the Bauhaus center/bookstore/museum on Dizengoff Street. I also liked walking around Jaffa and visiting the different markets. Of course, the beach.RA

The Hacarmel market is a large lively market selling fresh produce, fish, meat, cheese, flowers and souvenirs. It gets very crowded with locals and tourists so go early.Its fun to pick up food and head over to Hayarkon Park for a picnic lunch. GP

I loved going to HaTachanah, the Ottoman Train Station. It is a delightful place to spend a day. I loved walking on the promenade at the beach at sunset/twilight.There are very cool restaurants like Hazaken v’Hayam for a great lunch (dinner, too, but we loved lunch there). Messa and Deca are both very hip and very cool spots! LOB

Tel Aviv has amazing beaches. There are more relaxed local beaches to the South and fancier beaches near the five-star hotels. SL

I love old Jaffa. There are artist’s workshops gardens,
restaurants, cool stores and flea markets. Tel Aviv is one of the best party cities in the world. There are so many clubs, bars and restaurants to try. EC

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Last Ten Things I Googled

Last Ten Things I Googled

Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” Neil Gaiman

Weather in Petra, Jordan.

What is apple cider vinegar good for?

How are the teams shaping up on the Voice?

Did the brother kill JonBenet Ramsey?

Best things to buy in Portugal.

Are there Starbucks in Jordan, Israel and Portugal? (for my collection not for the coffee)

Guy who asked me out in Lisbon.

Best stain removers.

How much water has to leak before you have mold?

Fernando Pessoa quotes.

Best falafel in Tel Aviv

and that was just this morning.

Fly safe,