Displaying posts published in

August 2014

No Paved Paradise, No Parking Lot

The city of Cartegena Spain is home to ruins that date back to the pre-roman era. These are its most famous Roman ruins, its theater

It was the smallest city in Spain that I got to visit, and I was warned there would be “a few things to see,” but nothing like a Barcelona or Madrid. Yet for me, the visit to the city of Cartagena on the Southeastern Coast of Spain was the highlight of the trip. And of course, it was the glass that made it so. It all began with the tour guide, Irena. She told a very American story of capitalism with a true Spanish flavor. It seems a local businessman had bought a piece of downtown property with the goal of building a desperately-needed parking lot in the southwestern part… Read More »

Windows to the (Old) World

A little bit San Fran, a little bit Rio: The statue of the Redeemer in the background is the only clue your not looking at the Golden Gate Bridge but the main Bridge in Lisbon.

It was a beautiful scene. To the East was a five-sail boat in the harbor, under a silhouette of the Golden Gate bridge. The Western view was of tightly packed streets, built on gentle but sloping hills that rose up to a high and distorted degree. But more than this, it was a reminder of how small the world is and how quickly technology travels. The beautiful view of San Francisco was anything but—anything but San Francisco, that is. It was actually Lisbon, Portugal. Ever since I’d read A Hero’s Life, Richard Ben Carter’s biography of Joe DiMaggio years ago, I’ve known that great portions of San Francisco were settled… Read More »

Viva el Vidrio en Valencia!


If Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain, is notable for its dearth of glass in design, then Valencia is just notable for its explosion of glass. Spain’s third-largest city is a mere three-hour ride southwest along the coast from Barcelona, yet they are thousands of kilometers apart when measuring how each city embraces glass. Madrid may signify power and Barcelona the arts, but Valencia has crafted an image as a modern city of the future while still paying homage to the past. And that amalgamation gives the 2052-year old city a decidedly adventurous spirit. Valencia pays homage to the history of glass–and ceramics–through its National Ceramics Museum, El Museo Nacional… Read More »

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