Category Archives: history

A Photo Post of Kingston, New York

Old Dutch Church

Old Dutch Church

It’s axiomatic that, when visitors come, we find out more about where we live than on our own. Our few visits to Kingston, New York, have always been in the company of visitors, and of course the Hudson River boat trip is de rigueur. This time, though, we stayed on land and visited the Stockade National Historic District and the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, Last Day in Lisbon

King José I, Praça do Comércio

King José I, Praça do Comércio

On our last day in Portugal, there was much to do: purchasing gifts for family and friends and a pilgrimage to the Café-Restaurante Martinho da Arcada. The café is another favorite Pessoa haunt, with a table reserved for him in perpetuity. As the café was in the Praça do Comércio, we decided to end our Portuguese journey where most tourists would have begun, in the Lisboa Story Center. Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, On the Way Back to Lisbon

Castelo de Santiago do Cacém

Castelo de Santiago do Cacém

Better than two months have passed since our last days in Portugal. On March 30, we left the Alentejo to head back to Lisbon, a short trip that could easily accommodate a stop or two along the way. The taxi driver who drove us to the rental car office when we’d first headed out from Lisbon was from the Alentejo. He spoke to us in rapid English about sites we shouldn’t miss. (Indeed, it seemed to us he’d have preferred we didn’t bother with the Alentejo at all.) Before we disembarked, he wrote out a “must-see” site on a torn off scrap of paper: Ruínas Romanas de Miróbriga, ruins of a Roman city dating from the 1st century A.D. Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, Belém

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (western profile)

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (western profile)

Illustrious Gama, whom the waves obey’d,
And whose dread sword the fate of empire sway’d.
—Luís de Camões (from Os Lusíadas)

The Museu Coleção Berardo, described as “the main museum for modern and contemporary art in Portugal,” lured us to spend a day in the Lisbon parish of Belém. The Museu is housed in the vast Centro Cultural De Belém (Belém Cultural Center or CCB), which was “erected as a showpiece for Portugal’s 1992 presidency of the European Union.” [Time Out Lisbon, p. 98] Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, The Chiado

01 Pessoa and Me IMG_0378_edited-1The child that laughs in the street,
The song one hears by chance,
The absurd picture, the naked statue,
Kindness without any limit –

All this exceeds the logic
Imposed on things by reason,
And it all has something of love,
Even if this love can’t speak.

Fernando Pessoa, 4 October 1934

A nice thing about settling in for a few days in one location is the chance to poke around at leisure in the neighborhood, which for us was The Chiado in Lisbon. I hadn’t connected all the dots beforehand, so a sense of serendipity accompanied our realization that the Café A Brasileira—a well-known Fernando Pessoa haunt—was nearby. Continue reading