Weekend 523.1

“Judica me, Deus, discerne causam meum de gente non sancta.” Psalm 42

Quotes from The Brothers York: An English Tragedy by Thomas Penn:

“Meanwhile, shortly before sunset on Thursday 18 July, a rider had arrived in Canterbury from the north with urgent news for Edward, there with Elizabeth on pilgrimage to the tomb of St Thomas Becket.”

“The English, he wrote, were great observers of protocol, always ready to genuflect to power and authority. But ‘no matter how they bend the knee’, he concluded, ‘they are not to be trusted.'”

“There were pressing reasons why he needed to do so, chief among them the fact that the Medici relied heavily on exports of English wool to fill the convoy of galleys that docked each year at Southampton.”

“Progressing through Kent, taking in the elegance of Canterbury Cathedral and the richness of Thomas Becket’s gold, gem-encrusted shrine, the saint’s hair shirt hanging above it, Rozmital and his party started to acquaint themselves with English customs, including a beverage drunk by the common people, which, one of the party noted, was called ‘Al’selpir’ (though he didn’t apparently realize that he was being offered a choice: ‘ale’ or ‘beer’).

“Noting Edward’s freshly minted currency, ‘nobles and other good coins’ changing hands, they quickly formed the conclusion that London – a ‘powerful’ city, they appraised, with its face turned outward towards the world and ‘rich in gold and silver’ – was England.”

In every city, in every nation…

I asked my cousin from Michigan whether or not he had ever heard of the Pet Shop Boys in 1980-something and he looked at me like I had three heads. In fairness, I had never heard of Bob Seger before I spent four-years in Michigan for university. The video for West End Girls has great images of Waterloo Station.

(1) Colour on the Thames (1935) >> Fantastic image of the Richmond Bridge at 1:30.

(2) Highly recommend Earthbound by Paul Morley. It was published as part of a collection celebrating 150 years of the Tube.

London Station Group (Collect ‘Em All)

There are 18 railway stations served by the National Rail network in central London. My goal is to explore and photograph each. Here’s a quick list / summary to date of those I’ve visited (and travelled to/from). My favorite station in the LSG is Euston whilst my favorite destination station (not terminal) is Harlow Town. Harlow Town (1959) was featured in British Rail Architecture 1948-97 (pgs. 76-81) by David Lawrence and was described in Architectural Review as the “first and most convincing fulfilment of the promise of better railway architecture in Britain.”

Station Destination
BlackfriarsBrighton
Victoria Canterbury East / Dover / Portsmouth & Southsea
Liverpool StreetHarlow Town, Norwich
King’s CrossBury St Edmunds / Ely / Cambridge / York / Durham / Lincoln / Sunderland, Newcastle¹
St Pancras International Paris / Ramsgate
WaterlooSouthampton / Salisbury
EustonLancaster / Hereford / Stoke / Coventry
Paddington Bournemouth / Plymouth / Oxford / Penzance / Bath Spa / Exeter

Related
(1) The Central line to Harlow? It could happen… (Secret London)

¹Inboud rerouted after cancellation

Weekend 486.1 (A Tale of Two Cities)

My morning ride was to central London (the area around Old Street) whilst my afternoon ride included the bucolic streets of Ham and the hills of Richmond Park. There’s a German Delicatessen (Hansel and Pretzel) on my afternoon route that’s excellent. I also had lunch at Stein’s (bratwurst) and was last there with the Orange/Blue Brompton after the Brompton World Championship in 2014.

Update: I walked to King Henry’s Mound in Richmond Park today. It’s the highest point in the park and offers (via telescope) an unobstructed view of St. Paul’s. There’s a survey marker / stone near the telescope indicating that St. Paul’s is about 10 miles to the east. The day before I was close to St. Paul’s and took this photo from Southwark Bridge.

Related
(1) Ham House & Garden
(2) River Thames: from Cotswolds to London
(3) Route Plan Roll Cycle Map (Mapping London)

2018/2019 by the numbers…

I’m using my retreats as bookends so the timeline covers the period between December 7-9, 2018 and December 20-22, 2019. What I didn’t know before my first retreat ended is that I would spend 6+ months in Paris for work beginning in March.

Some notes…

I’ve provided dates for specific events (matches, concerts, etc.) and if you’re keeping score at home my teams / clubs went 5-1-1. All the links in this post are to Flickr, Vimeo, and/or official sites. While I briefly mention my trips to Belgium (Orval Abbey) and Germany both are covered extensively in other posts. The second part of my post will focus on life in Paris.

Timeline

  • Retreat at St. Josephs Abbey 12/7 to 12/9/2018
  • North Carolina 1st Visit 12/16/2018
  • New York Islanders (6) vs Ottawa Senators (3) 12/28/2018 (WIN)
  • Paris 1st Sprint 3/9/2019
  • La Marche de Saint Joseph 3/16/2019
  • Weekend in Metz 3/30 to 3/31/2019
    • FC Metz (2) vs FC Lorient (1) 3/31/2019 (WIN)
  • A.J. Auxerre (0) vs FC Metz (0) 4/6/2019 (DRAW)
  • Weekend in Southampton 4/12 to 4/14/2019
    • Southampton (3) vs Wolverhampton (1) 4/13/2019 (WIN)
    • Solent Sky Museum 4/13/2019
  • Weekend in Belgium (via Luxembourg) 6/22 to 6/23/2019
  • Kingdom Hearts World Orchestra (NYC) 6/29/2019
  • Bastille Day 7/14/2019
  • North Carolina 2nd Visit 8/15/2019
  • Weekend in Angers 8/24 to 8/25/2019
  • Angers SCO (3) vs FC Metz (0) 8/24/2019 (LOSS)
  • Weekend in Trier Germany & Luxembourg City 9/14 to 9/15/2019
    • Eintracht Trier (3) vs TuS Koblenz (2) 9/14/2019 (WIN)
  • TWA Hotel 9/22 & Walt Disney World 9/23 to 9/29/2019
  • New York City 10/24 to 10/26/2019
    • New York Islanders (4) vs Arizona Coyotes (2) 10/24/2019 (WIN)
    • Emanuel Ax Performs Beethoven @ Lincoln Center 10/25/2019
  • London 11/17 to 11/24/2019
    • Mail Rail at The Postal Museum & Guildhall Art Gallery 11/18/2019
  • Bristol 11/22 to 11/24/2019
  • North Carolina 3rd Visit 12/14 to 12/18/2019
  • Retreat at St. Josephs Abbey 12/20 to 12/22/2019

Paris 1st Sprint
I spent my first weekend in Paris participating in the La Marche de Saint Joseph. It was an amazing event but notable for two reasons— we attended mass at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris less than 1 month before it was devastated by a fire on April 15 and we visited Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. The former was my refuge whilst in Paris, and it wasn’t until my retreat to St. Joseph’s this Advent that I realized HOW special this cathedral is.

Here is Saint Therese of Lisieux on Our Lady of Victories:

“We reached Paris in the morning and commenced our visit without any delay. Poor little Father tired himself out trying to please us, and very soon we saw all the marvels of the Capital. I myself found only one which filled me with delight, Our Lady of Victories! Ah! what I felt kneeling at her feet cannot be expressed. The graces she granted me so moved me that my happiness found expression only in tears, just as on the day of my First Communion.”

Here’s a photo and video from the limestone archives from inside the cathedral. Coffee and books will feature prominently in this long post and I spent many weekends at Bar du Moulin (right next door to the cathedral) sipping coffee and reading in the shadow of Our Lady.

Metz & Auxerre
My first trip outside of Paris was to Metz via Gare de l’Est. The goal of my weekend excursion was a football match between FC Metz and FC Lorient. This photo of Stade Saint-Symphorien is one of my favorites. I was able to the explore the stadium the day before the match completely unmolested and the walk from Gare de Metz to Stade Saint-Symphorien follows the beautiful Moselle. Don’t miss the Basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains, Cathedral of Saint Stephen of Metz (Good Lord’s Lantern), and Temple Neuf. When you need a little caffeine and rest find La Moselle. It’s one of three really exceptional cafés discovered on these trips. The others being Foliage Café in Bristol and The Caféothèque of Paris.

My second excursion was a day trip to Auxerre for a football match. I was perched outside the stadium early enough to see the club arrive via bus.

Southampton
I returned to the US via Southampton and London. A brief summary of my trip was captured in Southampton, P2. One of the highlights was my visit to the Solent Sky Museum and it’s featured in a documentary about the Spitfire on Netflix. I was also there for a football match at St. Mary’s.

>> Related: Southampton, P1

Belgium
I took two really great weekend trips outside of France during my assignment in Paris. The first was to the Orval Abbey in Belgium whilst the second was to Trier in Germany. I took the train from Paris to Luxembourg for both and then rented a car. The Orval Abbey and St. Joseph’s both share a Cistercian and Trappist history. I stayed at the Hotel Le Florentin and it’s one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at (not exaggerating). The area around Florenville is also very pastoral / bucolic.

I was back in NYC in June for the Kingdom Hearts World Orchestra and the highlight was meeting Yoko Shimomura!

One perk of this assignment was the opportunity to celebrate two national holidays within ten days of each other on two different continents / countries— Independence Day and Bastille Day. I have never seen better fireworks than the ones in Paris (and having the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop just adds to the pageantry). I also had access to a special viewing section (long story for another post).

Angers
One of my last weekend trips in France was to Angers to see newly promoted FC Metz get steamrolled by Angers SCO. The city follows the contours of the Maine. The area around the Château d’Angers offers excellent vistas and don’t miss the Tapestry of the Apocalypse within the castle. The Crêperie du Château is a nice break from adventuring, and I’m NOT a foodie so its inclusion in this post is significant. You could also spend a half-day taking photos in the narrow streets around the creperie.

Trier & Luxembourg City
My trip to Trier was just before the end of my assignment and included a football match between Eintracht Trier and TuS Koblenz. I also revisited Porta Nigra (was there once upon a time). I spent the night at the BECKERS Hotel and Restaurant and you can see vineyards from the property.

Some poor planning on my part resulted in almost a full day in Luxembourg City (kind of a happy accident) which included a self-guided tour of Saint Michael’s (the oldest Catholic Church in Luxembourg City) and a stroll through the Parcs de la Pétrusse.

TWA Hotel and Walt Disney World
I spent a night at the TWA Hotel at JFK in September with my brother en route to Walt Disney World. I’m not going to write about the latter because it’s getting much more difficult to see any trace of Walt Disney. The restoration of Eero Saarinen’s Bird Terminal on the other hand will result in an architectural and historical sensory overload. We spent most of the night just wandering around the hotel taking photographs. I wish Disney would restore Tomorrowland to its original Saarinen-like design.

>> Up, Up and Away with TWA (Flickr Album)

New York
I did return to Paris for one final sprint but work obligations made any weekend excursions difficult. The end of my assignment and return to the US coincided with the start of hockey season (AHL/NHL) and a concert at Lincoln Center/David Geffen Hall. I went home to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum a couple days before my birthday to see the Isles (founded in 1972) play the Arizona Coyotes. The Isles WON 4-2 and I caught a puck in the third period.

Fun Fact: I saw the North Carolina Hurricanes (Hartford Whalers) defeat the Arizona Coyotes on 12/16/2018 3-0 on my first trip to Raleigh.

London and Bristol
I finished Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History sometime in the summer (no doubt at Bar du Moulin in the shadow of Our Lady) and was enamored by a painting depicting one of the important battles. My trip to London in November included a day trip to the Guildhall Art Gallery to see the painting Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, 1782 by John Singleton Copley. I also rode the Mail Rail at the Postal Museum. IF you are not claustrophobic (and love trains) this tour / museum should be managed on your itinerary like expedited first class. I also went to the London Transport Museum for some gift shopping and left with British Rail Architecture 1948-1997 by David Lawrence for the limestone library. I haven’t finished the book yet but quotes are appearing in posts and correspondence to friends. I was so inspired by a passage about an experimental station that I’m managing something similar in my backyard (in miniature of course).

I left London for Bristol via Waterloo Station. The highlight of this trip was the Foliage Café and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The weather was really (really) lousy but I was still able to explore the city by foot. Make sure to explore Giant’s Cave. If you fancy vinyl there’s a Rough Trade on Nelson Street.

Paris Closing Notes
A quick list of my favorite places and things in Paris not mentioned in the body of the post:
RATP / Châtelet / Paris Métro
La Défense
Saint Joseph’s
Hôtel de Ville
Ashiana (Indian Restaurant)
Au Plat d’Etain
Gare de Bercy/Gare de l’Est/Gare Montparnasse
Jardin du Luxembourg/Jardin des Tuileries (Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde)
The Abbey Bookshop
Marché couvert les Enfants Rouges
Cinq Fois Plus
The Musée de l’Orangerie
Grand Palais
La Caisses de Bières
Arc de Triomphe
Sacré-Cœur
La Droguerie
Le BHV Marais (Caran d’Ache)
Atelier des Lumières
Marche aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux

Companion Books and Music
Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History by Roy Adkins and Lesley Adkins
Absolutely on Music: Conversations Haruki Murakami with Seiji Ozawa by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa
Orval: Histoire de la reconstruction de l’abbaye by Danièle Henky and Èric Hance
British Rail Architecture 1948-1997 by David Lawrence
The Baroque Oboe: Harold Gomberg performs Vivaldi, Telemann and Handel; Seiji Ozawa conducting the Columbia Chamber Orchestra with the Gomberg Baroque Ensemble

Weekend 443.0 (Fellow Travelers)

“Driven out of paradise by You and exiled in a distant land, I cannot return by myself unless You, O Lord, come to meet me in my wandering. My return is based on hope in Your mercy during all of my earthly life. My only hope, the only source of confidence, and only solid promise is Your mercy.”
— St. Augustine

Posting has been light. I’m reading Absolutely On Music by Haruki Murakami and playing KH3. I also started the year with two wicked colds. There’s a ton in the hopper¹ though (and something very significant in the works). I’m a BIG believer in having things to look forward to and the KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra this summer fits the playbill. There’s also the new TWA Hotel, a trip to the UK, and something Disney related (a real theme in 2019).

The Sound Tigers are still playing some solid hockey and the game against Charlotte could include Ladd and Hickey in the lineup (which probably means Dal Colle and Toews are staying with the BIG club).

Update 1: Ladd and Hickey were in the lineup against the Hartford Wolf Pack last night. They each had goals.

Update 2: The game against the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday @ 3:00 PM was incredible. The pace was blistering after the 1st.

Congrats to Josh Ho-Sang on being named @CCMHockey / #AHL Player of the Week with a natural hat trick, 4 goals total, and 2 assists in just 2 games! 🎉

Full story: https://t.co/HlRh2W2iS4 pic.twitter.com/t3m9BvPPmz— Bridgeport Sound Tigers (@TheSoundTigers) February 18, 2019


Related
(1) The Trotz Effect (YouTube)
(2) The Postal Museum
(3) Disney Skyliner Gondolas Make First Test Runs at Walt Disney World Resort (Disney Parks Blog)
(4) Color and Comfort: Swedish Modern Design

¹What a great word. It harkens back to the railroad.

Weekend 439.0 (Andantino con moto)

(1) Dvořák Carnival, Op. 92 (YouTube)

Heard this last night at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. The performance on YouTube is from Royal Albert Hall in 2012.

(1a) Limestone Photo Archives: Royal Albert Hall

(2) A quote from Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami:

“I was a mere caretaker, and they were kind enough to let me listen to the records there. And I enjoyed listening to the music of Bach, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, and Beethoven. Not forgetting Mozart, of course. Their music was deep, amazing, and gorgeous. Up to then in my life I’d never had the opportunity to really settle down and listen to that type of music. I’d always been too busy trying to make a living, and didn’t have the wherewithal financially. So I decided that, as long as I’d been provided this wonderful opportunity, I’d listen to as much music here as I could.”