MASP stand for Museum of Art – Sao Paulo.  … or at least I think is does.

This post has a lot of pictures, so I hope you don’t get bored.

In her endeavor to keep me healthy, Dani has decided we will do more walking.  So, last Saturday we walked to Paulista Avenue to the MASP.

The ticket price to get in, is Br$40, which amounts to about $10 US.  Since I am an old fart (60 or older),  I get in half price.  So .. $5 for me.

We go into the museum and I see all sorts of wire sculptures.  A few interesting, but none worth paying $5 to see.  Below is what I took pictures of, with some additional commentary.Here is some “artwork” that looks like I got angry while wiring a piece of equipment, and decided to rip it all out and wad it up.And here are two exceptionally worthless … uh, things.And here is one that must have taken a great deal of time and forethought.  It is a little out of focus, but I don’t think it makes any difference:It was at this time I thought seriously about going back out and getting my 5 dollars back, then Dani told me there were more upstairs and sure enough, she was right.

What we came across first, was not unlike what we saw downstairs.  Here is a stunning piece that must have shook the earth.  A picture of a picture.And some bright artist evidently came across this in a salvage yard and yelled out, “Eureka!” and proceeded to display it.For those of you who don’t know what this is, I will tell you it is an old light fixture, probably from a stadium or maybe a parking lot.  Ingenious!  And then, I saw this:What I erroneously thought is a broken piece of glass, is not.  I noticed the description of the “work” and realized to my horror, that it is supposed to be … art.  I did not fully read the complete description because I lost interest immediately.

Right next to it, but no picture to show you was a blank white canvas.  My first thought, it was a picture of a polar bear in a snowstorm, but then I looked on the backside and saw the painting was there.  It was some sort of riot scene.  So, I guess it was supposed to be a political statement, so I walked away to this amazing thing below:This wonderful piece looks like handbags hemorrhaging out of the glass.  No sense of art.  Not even on a kindergarten level.

The “artwork” below is total chaos to me.  If any of you see anything in it, please let me know.  I assure you, it is not upside down.This is a concrete wall that I never understood what was going on.  Something about people are suppose to use some of the material located nearby and add to its beauty.  All I saw, was just a stack of paper.  That’s it.So, to keep with the total nonsense being passed off as art, I decided to add this picture to the gallery.Makes about as much sense.  To be truthful, I saw nothing more than that which falls out of the north-end of a southbound cow.  But, then the further I walked toward the back of the museum, I began to see real art.  Here are several pieces that I actually sensed had something to say. The tiny green dots you see are reflections of the lighting in the ceiling. Here are some interesting sculptures:  This first one probably is supposed to have some racial statement. And now we come to some work that is true art. I first saw the beauty in Holy Icons when we lived in Russia.  Here are a couple: I was surprised to come across 4 pieces of Vincent Van Gogh’s work. –  1853-1890 These next two are phenomenal!  They are the amazing work of Andries van der Horn, 1638. But it was this one that brought me to tears.  Literally.  When I first saw it, I knew it had to be one of the many self-portraits of Rembrandt.  I was not wrong.I stood stunned, looking at this work of the Genius just inches from my face.  I could have reach out and touched it, but did not.  It was not just a copy of the original, but was the original!  The only other Rembrandt that I have seen in person, was his “The Descent from the Crosswhich is hanging in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.  This is the one that made the $5 entrance fee worth $50.  I will go back and view it again.  Most likely at a time when I am in need of a creative spark.

And … perhaps see what else passes as art on the lower level.

Until we talk again, wrap your arms around any adventure that comes your way, and kick butt!       D.



There is a nice French restaurant I go to at times just to sit and have a whiskey while I work on some writing.  The other day there were three old coots sitting nearby and each had to be at least in their 80’s.  They spoke French which suggests they may have been in France during the last war to end all wars.

I glanced over at them, just as I saw was a perfect time to snap a picture.  I must show this to you.I kept looking at this picture for a long time!  What beautiful hands these men have!  Full of history.  I sincerely wish I could know what all these hands have done throughout the decades; what professions they had.  Are these the hands of compassion?  Manual labor?  Accountants?  Doctors?  Only they know.

During my life, I always looked at hands of others.  I used to work in the construction field and saw the hands of the craftsmen.  I found the hands of carpenters to be the most artistic.  Electricians usually had the most sculptured hands.  The hands of plumbers are interesting, but I never wanted to touch any of them – no telling where they have been.  Farmer’s hands will always show signs of the Good Earth.  I distinctly remember Grandpa Kimbrough’s hands.  They looked like they were formed and shaped by the sun.  Beautiful!  The many times I shook hands with him, they seemed to engulf mine in Love and Compassion.

Every time I am home to see my mother, I always love looking at her amazing hands, and I love holding them and caressing them.  I wish I had taken a picture of them to show you, because the history behind them is astounding.  I know those hands!  No telling how may times they wiped our runny little noses or held us close to her.  I know they cooked more meals than I can count.  Sewing, dressing us, driving us, caressing us, tucking us into bed.  I know for a fact they painted many things, included commode seats.  I always felt those hands were nothing less than a gift from God.

I look at my hands and I know what all they have done in life.  Not as impressive as these old coots; not as beautiful as my mother’s hands, but they are mine.  Give them another 20 years, and then maybe their history will show forth also.

Next, I must tell you about an art museum we went to.


Comments from the Balcony

The apartment we are staying at is on the 4th floor next to a small, but busy intersection; and I often step out and watch the traffic below.  Recently, the traffic lights had quit working which made for some interesting observations.  It may not be polite of me, but I kept hoping for an accident.  Even though nothing happened, it did remind me of an intersection in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that we had to cross twice a day.  There is a YouTube video some of you may have seen.  If you watch the video below, which is twice normal speed, you get an idea of what it was like.  Our intersection was the one at the top of the video, which was just as crazy.

I once asked one of the good Ethiopians I worked with why the traffic lights never work.  He said, one day a Contractor went to the City and said he would fix the lights for “X” amount of money.  It was a good deal, so the City Government accepted.  But when he started working, there was so much corruption in the Government, that he was always having to pay extra fees or bribes to do his job, so he just quit.

About once a week, a perfectly healthy character will kneel down next the street to beg.  I watched him several times and took a picture of him.  The next time, I will try to get a video of him.  He will hold out his hands asking for money, and slowly move down the line on his knees like he cannot walk, then when the traffic clears, he will stand up and move back to the front.  The lady in black had just handed him some money, and he slid it into his pockets and continued begging at the next series of cars that stopped at the light.

One of the things I kept here in Brazil is my sling shot and a bag of marbles.  I cannot fully express how tempting it is to send a marble down to the character just to watch him dance, but I refrained.  For now.

The drivers in Sao Paulo are very patient compared to the dangerous drivers in Turkey, but we often hear some idiot honking his horn because the driver in front did not immediately respond when the light turned green.  So, I decided I will keep my eyes open for paint balls the next time we go to the nearby mall.  Then we will see what happens with some idiot lays on his horn, or a perfectly healthy joker starts to beg, or any one of the many people out walking their dogs do not pick up after the animal.

Then, we will see who is the boss looking down on these people from above.

Makes you a little giddy, doesn’t it.


New Years on Paulista Avenue

Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo is a 1.7 mile stretch of city street, in the heart of Sao Paulo with touristy places to see and visit.  On Sundays it transforms into a stretch of vendors and booths.  We decided to be there at midnight on New Year’s Eve, which is something my inner self was not comfortable with, but was promised it would just be for a few hours.

Once we arrived, there were wall to wall people looking for the way to enter the street.  We eventually found an entrance that the police had opened up and we went in.  It was person to person and everywhere we went, we were walking like penguins.  Before going, I removed all important papers and credit/debit cards from my wallet, and slid it into one of my front pockets.  As we maneuvered our way into the foray, I kept my thumb on my wallet in my pocket.  My phone was in the other front pocket, and I slid a small flask into my back pocket.  If the flask disappeared, I would know I was pick-pocketed.

We were in the mass of people until midnight when all the eruption takes place.  There was 12 minutes of fireworks, and hooping, hollering and kissing.

On Wednesday morning, City Hall cleaning teams were still working to collect the garbage accumulated on the avenue. Balance showed that 66.5 tons of waste were removed from the site.  That amounts to 133,000 pounds of garbage.

According to the city, New Year’s Eve in Paulista moves tourism and brings more than $R600 million to the city (equal to $150 million US)  $R3 million were invested in the production and infrastructure of the event and employed 2,700 people.

The security of the event included 409 Metropolitan Civil Guard officers and 73 vehicles — cars, motorcycles and mobile community bases.  What really surprised me, was to find out there was an estimated 2 million people there.

Below is a few pictures of the Avenue the day before, as we went there to eat lunch.  Then the wall to wall people on New Year’s Eve. And a few of us after the stroke of 12. As far as I care, once was enough and I can say we been there, done that.  Below are a few pictures that I should have included in the post about the Marine Ball.  The first is a picture of some of our friends who sat with us. And then me and Dani: We will visit again later.  Until then, wrap your arms tight around the next adventure, and kick butt.

Before discussing New Year’s, let’s talk about Christmas

We are arrived back in Brazil on December 23rd and it took a few days to get settled into the apartment.  The next day, we had Dani’s family come over for food and drink.

In Brazil, it is customary to have a dinner right after midnight on Christmas Eve, then her family stayed the night and left on Christmas.  This was a surprise to me, but perfectly acceptable.  So, here are a few pics of the dinner. This my pretty little friend after eating a plate full of grapes.  Brazilian love fruits and the country produces a great amount of all fruits and vegetables.This is my pretty friend after staying up late and eating midnight dinner.  She stayed there until mamma put pajamas on her and placed her in bed.Other that this it was a quiet, pleasant holiday; but before I go, I want to show you a short video we took in Oklahoma when we visited my brother and his lovely wife.  This was at a church which had put up about 400 million lights.  (or at least it seemed that many)

The Feast of the Fatted Pig – (not for the faint of heart)

On the day before we flew out, I hosted a massive BBQ and invited everyone in the Consulate.  No one was excluded.  If the Ambassador was there, I would have even let him come.

I paid for all the meat, which included some Picanha (sirloin cap), ribs, sausages and a whole pig to roast, minus the insides.  The Facilities guys collected money to buy everything else which included kegs of cervaja (beer) and addition foods.  Below is the pig before roasting, then following the progression.These may not be pretty pictures, but the taste was amazing!  The man who cooked it is a Master and I tip my hat to him.  And below are pictures of another BBQ Master and his culinary perfections. Below are some of the people who attended my event. And my Good Boss decided to honor me with a show of the Security Office’s appreciation. I really didn’t know he was that short until I saw these pictures.  And here is me saying some words of sort …I will discuss New Year’s Eve next.