Magnetic Minneapolis

With edgy art museums, indie theaters and a multi cultural dining scene Minneapolis has a lot to offer from it’s mid western prairie locale. With mild summer temperatures, the outdoor party atmosphere of the city caught me by surprise on my recent first time visit.

Brits Pub Minneapolis

Refurbished old street fronts line the newer sky scraper skyline

Minneapolis old and new

Modern glass and steel structures mingle with the older stone high rises

Minneapolis skyline

Temperate summer days and inevitable afternoon thunderstorms allows plantings, like these at Seven Sushi Lounge rooftop, flourish.

7 rooftop

While there we were treated to a private party at the First Avenue night club known as “The House that Prince built”

First Avenue MinneapolisIMG_0002

The modern Guthrie Theater was the setting of another private party.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Guthrie’s Dowling Studio housed on the 9th floors boasts views of the stone arch bridge and the mighty Mississippi River

Guthrie Theater Minneapolis view

Mr. H (Channeling Prince) says: No one can dictate who you are to other people-Enjoy!

Traveling through Provence

Even though recent travels through Provence were devoid of blooming lavender and lush vineyards, the vistas were still stunning in this     beautiful and charming region of France.  Sweeping views of olive groves and snow capped mountain peaks in St. Remy de Provence.

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

The tiny town of Les Baux de Provence boasts a medieval castle ruin atop a rocky outcrop of the Alpilles mountains

Baux de Provence castle ruins

The 14th Century fortress of St-Andrè Villeneuve les Avignon as viewed from the Pope’s Palace

Fortress of St-Andrè Villeneuve les Avignon

A typically narrow street in Arles, France

Arles, France roof tops

The 14th century sprawling Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) in Avignon

Palais des Papes, Avignon, France

Wine figured prominently into the itinerary.  The wine cave at the Entre Vigne et Garrigue inn and restaurant in Pujaut, France

Entre Vigne et Garrigue wine celler

The off season afforded a private wine tasting at the Château la Coste outside the city of Aix en Provence

Château la Coste wine tasting

Designed by architect Tadao Ando, the main building at Château la Coste combines concrete, glass and water that interplay between interior and exterior spaces.

Château la Coste restaurant

Of course good food figured into the trip-It is France!  One of the many specialty markets found through out Provence.

Aix en Provence food shop

The after supper cheese selection at Entre Vigne et Garrigue

Cheese cart at Entre Vigne et Garrigue

The weekly Tuesday market in Aix en Provence epitomizes the Provincial way of life of fresh foods bought on a daily basis.

Aix en Provence market

The assortment of flowers was unimaginable as it filled the entire square.

Aix en Provence flower market

Even the cats have it good in Provence!

Cat nip in Provence

Mr. H says: When God begins to doubt the world, he remembers that he created Provence-Enjoy!

Marvelous Marseille

There was much to enjoy on a recent visit to the ancient port town of Marseille, France.  Considered France’s largest city on the Mediterranean coast as well as the largest French commercial port, this bustling city cultivates a relaxed feeling along its waterfront.

Marseille France

Wedged between the Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges and the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is the second largest French city after Paris.

View of Marseille France

Notre-Dame de la Garde, which translates as “Our Lady of the Guard” has stood watch over the city since 1864.

Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

The Byzantine-Roman style Cathedral of Saint Mary Major was built between 1852 to 1896 on the site used for the cathedrals of Marseille since the fifth century.

Marseille Cathedral of Saint Mary Major

Marseille Cathedral of Saint Mary Major

The arcaded galleries of the La Vieille Carité once functioned as a workhouse for the city’s poor.  Located in the old Panier quarter of Marseille, this Baroque style complex was designed by the architect Pierre Puget and was completed in 1749.

Marseille France La Vieille Charité

With its distinct ovoid dome, The central Puget chapel was erected between 1679 and 1704.

La Vieille Charité

A charming alleyway lead to an impromptu art gallery

Marseille art alley

Le chien loitering outside the patisserie

Le chien Marseille France

Cold beer can be found tucked into to surprising places too!

Marseille alleyway

Mr. H says: French is the language that turns dirt into romance-Enjoy!

Santa Fe Artisans

As home to one of the world’s major art centers, Santa Fe’s visual arts community features a diverse array of artistic mediums and styles.

Manitou Galleries spotlights contemporary representational paintings, sculpture, and glass.

Manitou Galleries

Since the 1970’s, the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery has been promoting fiber and textile artists from around the world.

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Rubber hand bag

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Felted scarves

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Hand made paper jewelry

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Woven and embellished scarf

Santa Fe Weaving Gallery

Metal wind sculptures grace the yard at Mark White Fine Art

Mark White Fine Art Santa Fe

Ceramic couple on Canyon Road

Canyon Road Santa Fe

Whimsical folk art farmers orginate from a long tradition of Native American hand crafts

Folk art Santa Fe

Greeters outside the Dancing Ladies De Santa Fe clothing store

Dancing Ladies De Santa Fe Clothing Store

Mr. H says: Art is for washing the dust of daily life off our souls-Enjoy!

Santa Fe Travel

At a recent interior design conference in Santa Fe, I was able to carve out some time to enjoy the unique offerings of this enchanting, high desert city.  Home of the New Mexico state capital, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States as well as the oldest city in the state having been founded in 1610.

Santa Fe New Mexico

Architectural styles range from Adobe, Pueblo Revival and Territorial.

Adobe architecture-Inn and Spa at Loretto

Santa Fe Pueblo architecture

Pueblo revival Santa Fe

Territorial architecture Santa Fe

Territorial architecture Santa Fe

Santa Fe, meaning “holy faith” in Spanish, has a history with Catholic missionaries that founded numerous churches in the city.

Built between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was designed in the Romanesque Revival style.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi Santa Fe

At the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail stands the Loretto Chapel.  Completed in 1880, this Gothic Revival structure is now a museum and wedding chapel.

Loretto Chapel Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a well-known artist enclave where numerous galleries and art installations can be found around the town.

Santa Fe art galleries

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Glass sculptures Santa Fe

Mr. H says: Travel is fatal to narrow mindedness-Enjoy!