Italy 2017: Florence museums, Bargello & Uffizi Gallery

Florence was a major center of the Renaissance, and quite a few important art and architecture pieces remain in the city. On this trip we visited two of the highlights, the Bargello and the Uffizi Gallery.


We started our day at the Bargello. Their main door is much smaller than many other museums, and a bit hidden –  we actually walked around the entire building before figuring it out! Once inside you start in the large courtyard with quite a few pieces of sculpture.

Bargello National Museum  'David' by Donatello

There are several Donatello and Michelangelo pieces, along with detailed ceilings and a cool armor room.

Madonna of Mercy @ Bargello National Museum  this seems reasonable

Bargello National Museum  Woman with a Bouquet of Flowers @ Bargello National Museum 

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi is the most famous of the Florentine museums and has correspondingly large crowds. The entrance here was also a little confusing, with multiple lines that were not well signed, but after a quick security check and two large flights of stairs we were in the amazing top hallway with art seemingly stretched to the horizon.

Birth of Venus @ Uffizi Gallery

The Tribune @ Uffizi Gallery  Sleeping Ariadne @ Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery

Even the floors and ceilings are decorated!

Aphrodite of Doidalsas @ Uffizi Gallery  Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi has an amazing and overwhelming art collection, with hundreds of sculptures and interesting paintings. Due to the popularity there are a lot of tour groups and they can get quite annoying, but with some patience you can find gaps between the groups. Plan on a good three hours to explore.

London Nov 2014: National Gallery

I was in college the last time I visited the National Gallery in London but Eric went while I was at Fashion Week in February and wanted to show me around, so we took a rainy morning on our last day to explore this museum.

I love Monet, Van Gogh and Degas but there were also a few surprises – definitely worth your time and it’s free!

Memory Monday: Canyon Road art galleries

On our last morning in New Mexico we filled up on a great buffet breakfast and walked a few yards to the start of Canyon Road to admire some of the galleries. I think Eric had assumed there would be lot to see but he underestimated the sheer number of quality gallery spaces on this street!

Many had outdoor sculpture gardens and the walk was abundant with art to admire and pretty adobe buildings and hanging chile displays.

Montreal: sights

Though our time in Montreal was rather brief we still managed to walk around an interesting cross-section of the city. Below are some of our favorite sights.


Notre Dame cathedral
Notre Dame cathedral


curving staircase   LOOK OUT!
we saw curving stairs like these all over the city; winter warnings

Art installations

Montreal seems to teem with art, combining a mix of sponsored art in the form of sculptures and installations in addition to street art (see next post). Some of our favorites:

video display
musicians on a building

video installation
video installation under the Place des Arts

Les Chuchoteuses
Les Chuchoteuses

 video installation
one of the video projections in Quartier des Spectacles

night swings
21 Balançoires (21 Swings)
installation – swinging causes them to make music!

swinging!    DANGER Be Good
how could we resist?

subway art
art in the metro

Helsinki 2012: miscellaneous art in Tallinn and Helsinki

In addition to the Arabia art walk we also came across several interesting examples of art in Helsinki and in Tallinn.


Construction fencing mural on Aleksanterinkatu

hello world!

hello world

probably best in town
not really art, but it made us laugh each time we passed by

chatting giraffes  little brother


invincible star!
power up star on building above Pikk Jalg

appropriate for our day in Tallinn

nihilist dog
nihilist dog

Helsinki 2012: Arabia art walk, Hakaniemi, and city center

A few days before our trip I heard about a self-guided walking tour of the Arabia neighborhood. Arabia has long been an industrial section of the city and more recently become residential. As part of the redevelopment ~2% of construction costs are set aside for public art. The #6 tram turns around in this district making it easy to to get to from the city center so, with good weather in the forecast, we made it our first Sunday destination.

Arabia factory chimney
Looking toward the chimney of the Arabia ceramics factory

The Arabia building hosts a library, offices, and several stores including an Arabia factory outlet with firsts and seconds of Moomin tableware and other ceramics and linens. They have a good selection of items but the prices are still quite expensive, and not cheaper than other places in the city or even the airport.

‘Desert Wind’

Heltech building
Heltech Building


steel flowers   Viikki bird
L-R: steel flowers, ‘Viiki birds’

Kotipuu (home tree)  communal wall stencils where the shoreline used to be
L-R: ‘home tree’, stencils on the communal art wall, ‘shoreline now and then’

It was fun to seek out the different art pieces and we had a great time wandering around this part of town. Check out additional photos on Flickr.

On our way back to the city center we took advantage of our 2-hour tram pass to make a quick detour through the Hakaniemi Market, still bustling even as some vendors were packing up.

Hakaniemi Market
Leandra sampling ginger cookies (those came home with us)

There were quite a few food stalls/trucks at the market, all of them out of the warm pretzels that I was looking for. From here we took the next tram down to the train station and explored a few of the stores around the area, then made our way to Bruuveri and St. Urho’s Pub as described previously.

an open gate
turns out I took a very similar photo 10 years ago… what can I say, I like gates and doors!

Later that evening we took a final walk around the park and central square enjoying the lights come on as the evening fell.


Kappeli Cafe

Senate Square statue
Senate Square

Laumeier Sculpture Park

On our first day in St. Louis we were facing some unpredictable weather, so we got up early, dressed comfortably and headed to the free Laumeier Sculpture Park for an outdoor hike among some creative, amusing and whimsical sculpture.

Man with Briefcase at #2968443 by Jonathan Borofsky
me posing next to Man with Briefcase at #2968443 by Jonathan Borofsky

The Way by Alexander Liberman
The Way by Alexander Libermangiant oil drums!

Cubed Squared by Jerald Jacquard
Cubed Squared by Jerald Jacquard

House of the Minotaur by Tony Rosenthal
Eric hiding in the House of the Minotaur by Tony Rosenthal

Eye by Tony Tasset
Eye by Tony Tasset

There were cicadas everywhere and if you looked close, you could see the ground moving in spots and hundreds of bugs hiding on the bottom of leaves!

The park was surprisingly large with lots of wandering paths and trails – some paved and some just woodchips. Thankfully, the park map helped us find all the far-flung pieces and included detailed information about many works.