Off the Tourist Track
ou may know Ron Block from his volunteer work with the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy, or from his time on the historic preservation board, or the parks advisory board, or the veterans recognition committee during the construction of the Mt. Lebanon Veterans Memorial. Maybe you’ve hired him to do some landscape design, or worked with him on your Eagle Scout or Silver Award project.
When he’s not busy making Mt. Lebanon a better place, the Woodhaven Drive resident travels the world as a flight attendant with American Airlines. His Facebook friends have enjoyed looking at the great photos he takes in vacation destinations like Paris, Venice and Toledo (the one in Spain, although the Ohio one is probably very nice also). We asked him to share some of his favorites with us.
Burano boats, July 2017
Burano is a 45-minute ride by vaporetto from Venice. Tradition says that the houses were brightly painted to help fishermen find their way home in heavy fog. The colors are protected by law and a homeowner must send a request to the government if they want to change one. Late in the day, many of the visitors head back to Venice and the streets get quiet. The late afternoon sun makes the colorful buildings glow, making this a great time for photography here.
My wife Maritza’s great-aunt Baba Toja lives in a small village near Knin, Croatia. Though in her 90’s, she works in her garden every day and tends her chickens, growing most of her food herself. Here she was showing us the barn where she stores her smoked meat.
Child in the Web Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Dec 2018
A young child explores ‘Algor(h)i(y)thms’, an interactive installation by Tomás Saraceno. Saraceno studies spiders, how they communicate, and how different species build different webs. For the exhibit ‘On Air’, he built plexiglass cubes in the cavernous main gallery of the Palais de Tokyo and used tuning forks to coax 500 spiders to them from throughout the building. He then darkened the gallery and lit the webs, making the webs the sculptures on display. One problem was convincing the cleaning crews to stop clearing the webs. For this room of the exhibit, Saraceno stretched strings from floor to ceiling and tuned each to a different frequency. As people wove their way through them, they touched and activated the strings, creating a musical and ever-changing dance.