2009年12月14日 星期一

科隆

旅遊的滋味-----發現幽默的德國人
令人會心一笑的公共藝術。

今天的品嘗者/李亦凡

德國科隆最出名的是科隆大教堂。一出科隆火車站就看到它矗立在旁,雄偉壯觀,若要將其完整盡收到相機畫面中可不是一件容易事。教堂內,彩色玻璃裝飾的窗戶,述說著過去的歷史,陽光照入,也把教堂點綴如有神蹟之感。

步出科隆教堂,往河岸方向有座通往萊因河對岸的鐵路人行橋,火車經過這座橋即到科隆火車站,在鐵軌旁亦有提供行人與腳踏車通過的步道。走在橋上可以欣賞河岸風景,回頭更可看見科隆大教堂另一面的景致,且還有火車從旁經過的有趣感受。

一上橋便可看到遠方有個狀似要掉落水裡的人站在橋外,再仔細一看,那是德國人幽默的裝置藝術,在橋接近河中央處做了個機器人,看似要落水的可愛模樣,偶爾路過的鴿群也會前來湊熱鬧,停在它身邊,讓人經過時不自覺會心一笑。

走在鐵路旁還可發現德國人浪漫的一面,許多情侶夫妻,在圍欄上掛上象徵永不分離的愛情鎖,兩兩一組,分別寫上彼此的名字,緊緊地鎖在一起。各式各樣的鎖頭,也看出情侶們想要與眾不同的心情。

誰說德國人只有嚴肅的一面,走在科隆用心仔細觀察每個角落,你會發覺德國人的幽默與浪漫。

2009年12月6日 星期日

柏林新博物馆巡礼

文化社会 | 2009.12.06

柏林新博物馆巡礼

柏林是德国不多的可以真正称为大都市的城市之一。柏林人口340万,无论是从人口数量还是从面积上,都是德国最大的城市。作为首都,柏林不仅仅是德国政治 中心,也是文化中心。特别是它丰富的历史文物和艺术收藏,使柏林成为世界上最有影响的博物馆大都市之一。不久前,在二战中被彻底摧毁的柏林"新博物馆"完 成了繁重的修复工程,重新开张。古埃及纳芙蒂蒂王后的胸像是该博物馆的收藏精品。

巴黎有卢浮宫,伦敦有大英博物馆,柏林则有个博物馆岛。在柏林市中心,穿过柏林的斯普雷河在那里分流形成了一个小岛,沿岛的北岸有五家博物馆,因此这里又被称为博物馆岛。主持了新博物馆修复工程的英国建筑大师大卫.齐珀费尔德Bildunterschrift: 主持了新博物馆修复工程的英国建筑大师大卫.齐珀费尔德

博物馆的建筑气势辉煌,夺人眼目,各有特色。有一座博物馆是仿古希腊庙宇的风格,新巴罗克风格和古典主义风格在这里交相辉映。

近来,五座博物馆中的其中一座格外受到关注,这就是"新博物馆"。其实它并不新,而是建于19世纪中叶。"新博物馆"在第二次世界大战期间被严重毁坏。战后,柏林被战胜国分割,博物馆岛在苏联管辖区,并逐渐演变成废墟。修复后的新博物馆的一个楼梯间Bildunterschrift: 修复后的新博物馆的一个楼梯间

直到1986年,"新博物馆"的挖掘和抢救整理工作才开始。1993年为修复"新博物馆"举行了名为"博物馆岛总体规划"的建筑设计竞赛。当时的柏 林国家博物馆主任彼得-克劳斯.舒斯特介绍说:"当时,国家博物馆的任务是要用十年的时间完成修缮工作,到2010年时让五座博物馆建筑重新焕发昔日的风 采。这个博物馆建筑群是世界上独一无二的,因此也被联合国教科文组织列入世界遗产名单。"修复后的新博物馆的一个展厅Bildunterschrift: 修复后的新博物馆的一个展厅

在英国著名建筑师大卫.齐珀费尔德的领导下,"新博物馆"的浩大修复工程从2003年开始进行。齐珀费尔德力争保持建筑的原样,但同时也刻意将战争 破坏的痕迹展现出来。由于战争破坏严重,这对齐珀费尔德来说是一个巨大的挑战:"博物馆被损坏的程度非常大。虽然有的还残存建筑部分还保存下来很多东西, 但是有的部分被完全摧毁。这是一种罕见的和不规则的破坏。"新博物馆外观Bildunterschrift: 新博物馆外观

今年年初,"新博物馆"从长达几十年的沉睡中苏醒过来。齐珀费尔德率领他的修复队伍花了六年的时间完成这一使命,然而,他的工作也不是没有受到争 议。开始时,有人递交请愿书和发起民意表决来阻止齐珀费尔德的修复计划,因为齐珀费尔德最早拿出的方案可能会影响到博物馆岛的世界文化遗产地位。经过修改 后,修复计划才受到广泛的肯定和接受。一位参观者说:"建筑风格很能吸引我。我认为这是一种历史元素和现代简约风格的成功混合。光和影互动构成的灯光设计 非常有创意。"

另一位参观者说:"我感到非常惊喜。新与旧、被毁坏的和新创造的东西成功地被联系在一起。"修复后的新博物馆的一个展厅Bildunterschrift: 修复后的新博物馆的一个展厅

"新博物馆"中收藏了不少古埃及的珍品和赝品。除了埃及古棺,观众还能看到一个祭品供奉房间。"新博物馆"拥有的古埃及藏品是世界上最大的和最有影响的收藏之一。它的最吸引观众的藏品无疑是古埃及纳芙蒂蒂王后的胸像。这座胸像有五千年的历史,它散发出一种神秘的历史魅力。

纳芙蒂蒂王后胸像被单独放在一个拱形展厅中展出,以间接的灯光来照明,并罩在一个四米高的玻璃罩里,凸现出它的珍贵和重要性。

萨宾娜.霍夫曼是"新博物馆"的讲解员,这位埃及学研究者向参观者解说每一件展品的特殊之处。她的讲解生动清晰,一个讲解全程大概要花一个半到两个 小时。但是,要想在仔细看完所有展品,则需要花很多时间。萨宾娜.霍夫曼说:"要想看完这个博物馆,要花很长的时间,因为博物馆有四层。人们把这座博物馆 又称为百宝箱。要想认识这里的每一件宝藏,你需要在这里逗留数天甚至数星期。"修复前的新博物馆废墟Bildunterschrift: 修复前的新博物馆废墟

"新博物馆"还收藏有古埃及莎草纸文献馆的艺术珍品和史前和早期历史文物。这些文物展示了欧亚大陆的史前和早期文明中旧石器时代到中世纪鼎盛时期的历史发展。这里还能看到尼安德特河谷人类头骨化石、考古学家亨利希.施利曼的特洛伊文物以及一个青铜器时代的金帽子。

由于展品众多,参观者很容易就会分不清方向。不过,即使没有解说员的引导,在这座庞大的博物馆中也有不会感到茫然无助。解说员萨宾娜.霍夫曼介绍 说:"这里安装了很多触摸式显示屏幕来介绍博物馆的历史。还有出色的声音讲解器,拿着它观众就可以独自一人参观的同时,也得到背景性的信息。"新博物馆中最珍贵的埃及女王胸像Bildunterschrift: 新博物馆中最珍贵的埃及女王胸像

想参观"新博物馆"的人,现在一定要尽早预订门票。博物馆每天只售出限量的天票,因为想参观的人太多,特别是现在新开张不久。每张门票是10欧元。如果有谁嫌门票太贵,可以利用每周四的闭馆前四小时的免费参观。十六以下的青少年和儿童可以免费参观。

作者:Chi-Viet Giang/潇阳

责编:乐然

2009年12月3日 星期四

Bringing Down the Curtain on a Symbol of Blight (NEW YORK)

Bringing Down the Curtain on a Symbol of Blight

Richard Perry/The New York Times

Gates like this one at a restaurant on First Avenue in Manhattan must eventually be replaced.


Published: December 2, 2009

New York City’s storefront gates, like its fire escapes and stoops, are there but not quite there: the unnoticed wallpaper of New York at night. They have been battered by vandals and defaced by graffiti taggers. They have secured diamonds, handmade tortellini and other valuable commodities. They have provided the clattering soundtrack of dawn and dusk, the steel canvas of struggling artists, the most compelling evidence that the city does, indeed, sleep.

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Richard Perry/The New York Times

Solid roll-down gates like this one on First Avenue become canvases for the spray-paint crowd.

Richard Perry/The New York Times

Some gates are decorated with merchants' logos, or, like this one, bear relevant messages.

Richard Perry/The New York Times

Open-weave gates, like this one, which let passers-by peer in, will still be allowed.

And now, on orders of the City Council, roll-down gates have joined the ranks of fatty foods and cigarette smoke: they have been legislated against, some right into extinction.

The Council voted on Monday to ban the kind of security gates that completely shield commercial storefront windows and doors from view — ones that resemble old-fashioned auto garage doors, with narrow horizontal slats that rise up like a steely sort of curtain — while permitting the kinds of gates common in suburban shopping malls that allow passers-by to see inside.

Along Court Street in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, a gentrifying commercial and residential strip in what remains an Italian stronghold, the gradual ban on solid gates — there are probably tens of thousands of them — was as well-received as a property tax hike. Not a single owner or manager who was interviewed was aware of the Council’s vote.

The head-scratching dismay expressed by Pyung Lim Lee upon learning that City Hall had taken a regulatory interest in the rickety old solid gate outside C.H. Plaza Dry Cleaners, 400 Court Street, Brooklyn, N.Y., 11231, was typical.

“If the government pays, then O.K.,” said Mr. Lee, the owner of the shop, who was not surprised to learn that the government would not, after all, be covering the cost of a new gate. “They make law, law, law, and people’s life is more difficult.”

Frank Caputo took a more nuanced approach. He is the owner of Caputo’s Fine Foods, a narrow little hub of homemade mozzarella and pastas, down the street from the church where Al Capone was married long ago. Since Caputo’s was opened by his parents in 1973, the shop has had two gates, both of them the solid, no-peeking-in type. “I was afraid that someone was going to break the glass,” said Mr. Caputo, 47.

He has had the second gate — a $4,000 model with an electric motor that allows him to turn a key or press a button to raise or lower it — for about two years, and he figured that by 2026, when the ban fully kicks in, he would need to replace it, anyway. “If they would have told me I had six months to replace it, I would have been upset,” Mr. Caputo said.

Council members said the bill, which passed 45 to 0, was intended to deter vandals from spraying graffiti on flat-surface gates, to help beautify neighborhoods and to give police officers and firefighters the ability to look inside in an emergency. The ban applies to numerous businesses, including banks, barber shops, beauty salons, health clinics, dry cleaners, dental offices and retail stores.

All businesses affected have until July 1, 2026, to install security gates that allow at least 70 percent of the area they cover to be visible. Any gates installed after July 1, 2011, must comply with the new requirements.

“We took great pains in this bill to make sure we balanced quality-of-life issues and graffiti eradication with the real-life financial challenges small businesses are facing in this recession,” said the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn. “That’s why the bill has a lengthy time frame.”

The city’s many storefronts, like their proprietors, have their own bedtime rituals. In the diamond district in Manhattan, many shops do not bother with roll-down gates: employees can be seen removing the jewelry, item by item, from the window displays, bound for parts unknown.

On one block of Court Street, the window of a barber shop with no gate afforded a full view inside (the old-fashioned cash register’s empty drawer left open and the bill holders up), but the insurance office next door seemed to contain more secrets, with a solid gate, marred by graffiti.

The metal gate covering G. Esposito & Sons’ pork store offered a peek inside, but what was visible just inside the door would probably attract only the most desperate sort of burglar: a giant apron-clad, wide-eyed piggy statue.

Karen Van Every, the owner of Serimony, a card and gift shop, has a see-through gate, which she wanted so that passers-by could look inside when the store is closed. “People walk by and they see a piece of jewelry in the window and they want to come back,” she said.

Still, Ms. Van Every, like many other Court Street merchants, said she opposed the ban because of its eventual impact on businesses’ bottom line. “Every little cost associated with having a small business could put you under,” she said.

The solid gates have a forbidding quality, recalling the bad old days of 1970s-era New York, when a desire to encourage window-shopping was superseded by a concern over rampant crime and occasional looting.

In some cases, they were no deterrent. In 1973, for example, five young burglars in the Bronx broke into a clothing store with a roll-down gate by cutting a hole in the roof.

But in other cases, solid gates might have helped. During the blackout that struck the city in the summer of 1977, looters ripped off nonsolid storefront gates by hooking chains to them, attaching the chains to cars and then stepping on the gas.

But sometimes no gate could have withstood looters’ fury during the blackout. Jonathan Mahler, in his book “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City,” described the scene in Bushwick: “They were taking crowbars to steel shutters, prying them open like tennis-ball-can tops or simply jimmying them up with hydraulic jacks and then wedging garbage cans underneath to keep them open.”

The gates, like all endangered species, have their own unique history. They have kept people in as much as out: In 2004, advocates for immigrants complained that janitors were getting trapped inside locked and gated groceries until managers arrived the next morning.

In Bushwick years ago, some graffiti-tagged gates were painted over, without charge, by New Yorkers with little choice in the matter: petty criminals sentenced to perform community service.

On Court Street, many of the solid gates are marked with graffiti, but others have been used as billboards to advertise the stores they protect. Acorn Real Estate features an image of a giant acorn; R.P.T. Physical Therapy, nearby, had an artist paint its blue logo on its gate, a silhouette of a man over the phrase, “Let Us Help You Reach Your Goals.”

2009年11月28日 星期六

Berlin


This week Inbox takes you to Berlin: Whether you want to go shopping on the Kurfürstendamm, visit the historical Potsdamer Platz or simply sample an original Currywurst, Germany’s capital is worth a visit

2009年11月26日 星期四

"太阳王"路易十四艺术品收藏展

文化社会 | 2009.11.26

"太阳王"路易十四艺术品收藏展

酷爱宴饮游乐的法王路易十四,人称"太阳王",现代人可能会送他一个"派对大王"的称号。奢华的宴会和盛大庆典是这位十七世纪法国伟大专制君主的最爱。直 到今天,人们还为他所拥有的巨大财富而赞叹不置。事实上,常被人忽略的是,他还是一位艺术的爱好者和个中行家。目前正在巴黎凡尔赛宫国家博物馆举行的名 为"路易十四-凡人和君王"的展览,展出了这位盛世君主丰富庞大的艺术收藏。

走进凡尔赛宫,迎面而来的首先就是路易十四的塑像。展览会的访客现在有机会深入了解这位创造了法国历史上最辉煌时期的专制君主。在占地 1300平方米会场总共展出的3百多件展品中,除了介绍"太阳王"的精彩一生,还破天荒地展出了路易十四的私人艺术收藏品。展览会艺术总监米洛瓦诺维奇 说:“十七世纪时,炫耀自己奢华的艺术收藏,是欧洲所有皇室君主的要务。跟路易十四竞相比阔的,包括英国国王、西班牙的国王和皇帝等。而路易十四更胜一筹 的是他对艺术的狂热和付出,已远远超出作为一国之君所应有的限度。”

这项展览的筹备耗时两年,费用高达250万欧元,外加上百万的保险费。基于安全理由,保险公司不愿透露详细数额。展品当中只有三分之一属于凡尔赛宫 本身的收藏,其它是向欧美各地的私人收藏家或博物馆租借而来。其中有些展品特别令凡尔赛宫博物馆馆长感到自豪,例如向英国女王伊丽莎白二世借来的凡尔赛宫 建筑油画和意大利艺术家多梅尼科一个价值4百万欧元的橱柜等。凡尔赛国家博物馆馆长埃亚贡表示:“收集这些展品相当不容易,我们做了许多说服收藏家出借展 品的游说工作,其中有些是收藏家们至关重要,且不轻易示人的藏品。但是我们耐心地交涉,最后总算成功借到许多伟大的杰作。”

借自巴黎卢浮宫的路易十四数量庞大的宝石饰物收藏品,是当时欧洲最重要的收藏。路易十四将最心爱的珠宝藏在自己的起居室里,只向特别挑选的客人展示。 被誉为太阳王的路易十四Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 被誉为太阳王的路易十四

会中展出的一个路易十四65岁,也就是他去世前12年制作的腊制头像也很引人注意。据说,腊像头上使用的是路易十四本人的头发。至于是真是假,只有经过基因检查才能揭开谜底。

这次展会带领观众走进了"太阳王"的私人世界。一位参观者说道:“这些油画使人对路易十四的宫廷生活留下很好的印象:比如路易十四非常喜欢动物,他甚至让人给他的爱犬也画了画像,真是太有意思了。从这里,我们领略了路易十四全然不同的另一面。” 凡尔赛国家博物馆外部Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 凡尔赛国家博物馆外部

路易十四不仅是一位狂热的艺术爱好者,他与当时法国艺术家之间的互动也非常密切,例如音乐家让.巴蒂斯特.吕里,或诗人及剧作家莫里哀等,并对这些 文人、艺术家的创作施加了直接影响。展览会艺术总监米洛瓦诺维奇指出:“国王简直是有些作品的共同创作者:他向艺术家征求作品,同他们进行讨论,并要求进 行修改。有时他甚至现身说法,亲自上阵:路易十四曾是一名极有天份的芭蕾舞者,32岁之前,他常登台表演。您看,那件舞衣是皇宫存下来的唯一一件,现在收 藏在巴黎歌剧院的档案馆里。”

路易十四是一位艺术爱好者,也是艺术批评家:比如意大利艺术家做的这个路易十四半身腊像就受到国王的批评。博物馆长埃亚贡介绍说:“路易十四嫌腊像的鼻子做得太大,其实他并不喜欢这件作品,但还是保留了下来。”

路易十四艺术收藏品展览,是凡尔赛国家博物馆一系列大型展览的开端,明年将继续推出以路易十五和路易十六为主题的展览。

作者:Katja Liersch/杨家华

责编:石涛

2009年11月21日 星期六

36 Hours in Rajasthan, India

36 Hours in Rajasthan, India

Keith Bedford for The New York Times

A guard at his post in the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.


Published: November 22, 2009

INDIA is modernizing rapidly, sometimes too fast. You have giant malls, but grandmothers afraid to use the escalators. There are villages in the middle of nowhere, with ornate temples soaring into the hot sky. Still, old Rajasthan endures, evoking rulers with giant mustaches, harems of beautiful women in the finest colored silks and some of the most spectacular palaces ever built. They can be found in the state’s three biggest cities: Jodhpur, Jaipur and Udaipur.

Friday

5 p.m.
1) LIKE A KING

Life in the dusty city of Jodhpur revolves around Mehrangarh Fort (The Fort, Jodhpur; 91-291-254-8790; www.maharajajodhpur.com), perhaps the best preserved of the hundreds of forts in Rajasthan. It offers an excellent audio guide in English explaining the cannonball scars from battles with other Rajput kingdoms and the hidden balconies in the Pearl Palace, which Raja Sur Singh’s wives once used to peek at the outside world. Before leaving, stroll through the Chokelao Bagh, a fragrant garden with exotic flora including sweet white kamini and chandni flowers, exactly as it would have been in the 18th century.

8 p.m.
2) HINDI FOR TERROIR

For sheer extravagance and luxury, few places in Rajasthan compare with the Umaid Bhawan Palace (Palace Road, Jodhpur; 91-291-251-0101; www.tajhotels.com), a golden sandstone complex finished in 1943 on 26 acres of lush gardens. The Art Deco-style masterpiece is now a 347-room hotel, with rates of as much as 500,000 rupees, or $10,740 at 47.5 rupees to the dollar, for a night in the Maharani Suite. It is the type of place where Elizabeth Hurley married Arun Nayar, an Indian textile tycoon, in one of two lavish ceremonies. For your own memorable evening, make your way through the delicately lighted corridors to the terrace restaurant Pillars. Skip the overpriced Indian dishes and order the shiitake mushroom cappuccino to start and the spaghetti pescatore. There’s also an excellent chenin blanc from Bangalore. Dinner for one, 3,000 rupees ($64).

10 p.m.
3) COLONIAL COCKTAILS

While you’re still buzzing from dinner, glide across the marble floors and twisting staircases to the hotel’s handsome Trophy Bar, which evokes a colonial hunting lodge. Grab a footstool that looks like an elephant’s leg, lean back on tiger skin cushions and order the signature cocktail, the Mathania, a martini infused with chilies (around 2,000 rupees). The maharajah’s family and staff still occupy one wing, so perhaps they’ll drop in for a nightcap.

Saturday

6 a.m.
4) MAGIC NUMBER

Get up early to the hillside resort of Ranakpur to see one of the most spectacular temples of the Jain faith. Built in 1439 around measurements based on the number 72, the age at which the founder of Jainism achieved enlightenment, the structure is a maze of hand-carved marble pillars and small shrines where it is not unusual to see a lone devotee kneeling. You can even stay the night for a 10-rupee donation, a bargain even by Indian standards, though don’t expect anything other than a mattress on the floor.

10 a.m.
5) CHAI, NOT TEA

To visit the city of Jaipur is to see Indian life at its most concentrated. For an intimate introduction, stop at the junction of Kishanpol and Gangori Bazaar Road, a makeshift bus depot, and get acquainted with something that unites Indians of all castes and creeds: a cup of chai (4 rupees). Milk is added to stewing cardamoms and other spices on the spot, then brought to a boil and served immediately in clay cups. Buy a sweet fan biscuit or a spicy pakora while listening to the latest Bollywood hit from an old tape stereo.

Noon
6) WINDY CITY

The City Palace (Pink City, Jaipur; 91-141-260-8055) is Jaipur’s main attraction, a complex still guarded by turban-wearing watchers. The hall of Diwan-i-Khas houses two urns that the Guinness World Records book calls the largest silver objects ever created. They were made for the Maharajah Sawai Madho Singh II to fill with holy water from the Ganges when he traveled to London for King Edward VII’s coronation. Around the corner is the Hawa Mahal, called the Palace of the Winds because of the sharp breeze that flows through the stairs of this five-story relic. It’s lined with 953 screened windows so that the women of the royal court could watch processions without being seen by commoners.

2 p.m.
7) CURRIES AND CHAPATIS

Foreigners are often too timid to venture into local restaurants, which is a shame. Curries in this state are often simple and spicy, not the extravagant cooking the guidebooks often promise — and almost always vegetarian. A clean, hygienic spot is Khandelwal Pavitra Bhojnalaya (Amer Road), basically a big room with rows of tables and fresh food made at the kitchen out front. Order the thali (100 rupees), with unlimited amounts of lentil curry, rice and chapatis.

4 p.m.
8) ART OF HAGGLING

The Pink City, the old walled quarter in central Jaipur, is filled with endless rows of market stalls. At Sankhala Handicrafts (opposite Hawa Mahal; 91-141-261-0597), the young entrepreneur, Ashok, will try to sell you opulent embroidered silks and saris while practicing his French. Across the street, Best Jaipurnagra Shoe Stores (56, Johari Bazaar; 91-9-8284-5688) makes leather shoes and slip-ons by hand. Don’t be put off by the aggressive sales ploys. Everything in India is a negotiation, so be ready to play hardball. That includes walking out of the shop. When the owner runs after you, that’s the time to offer 60 percent off the asking price.

7 p.m.
9) CHICKEN AND DANCING

If you’ve had enough vegetarian food and crave some slow-cooked chicken or mutton and rice in creamy yogurt-based sauces, head to the Royal Treat (New Ramgarh Mod, Amer Road; 91-141-263-0795), an upscale restaurant furnished in Rajasthani red, gold and dark woods. Dinner for two about 450 rupees, including Kingfisher beers. The restaurant also features folk dancing. Yes, it’s a little touristy, but who cares when the food’s this good?

10 p.m.
10) WEDDING CRASHERS

Liquor is rare, and this is not a party town anyway. Luckily, Indians are hospitable and will invite you to almost anything. Put on your best suit or that sari you bought and go to Shani Mandir (1, Peelwa Gardens, Moti Doongri Road). There is a ceremony at this Hindu temple every night in wedding season, the biggest and longest party you’ll ever see.

Sunday

10 a.m.
11) NO GONDOLA?

With its elegant, winding streets, Udaipur is called the most romantic city in India, the Venice of the subcontinent. It’s also among the most Westernized, with backpackers and students riding around on mopeds. Have a coffee (50 rupees) at Café Edelweiss (73, Gangaur Ghat), where a clash of languages can be heard. Then follow the ghat, or steps, that lead down to Lake Pichola and savor the manufactured views — the lake was created in the 1300s.

2 p.m.
12) ISLAND OF ONE’S OWN

In the middle of the lake is the Jagmandir Island Palace (91-294-242-4186; www.hrhhotels.com), a stunning complex built by Maharana Karan Singh for his son to use as a pleasure palace. To get there, take the boat (250 rupees) and lunch at the Darikhana Restaurant. With exotic birds circling overhead and stone elephants guarding a nearby garden, it’s a place fit for an Indian prince in the 17th century.

THE BASICS

The closest major international airport is in New Delhi. Air India has nonstop service from Kennedy Airport (and Continental from Newark), with flights starting at $1,100 for travel in January, according to a recent online search. To get to Rajasthan from the capital, take the train from New Delhi station to either Jaipur or Jodphur and then rent a car. The three cities are about six to eight hours apart by car.

Jodphur is dusty, loud and busy. Not the Heritage Kuchaman Haveli (inside Merti Gate, Jodphur; 91-291-254-7787; kuchamanhaveli.com), tucked on a residential side street, where children play cricket in front of the gates of a converted 18th-century mansion. Doubles start at 1,550 rupees, about $33 at 47.5 rupees to the dollar.

In Jaipur, avoid the hotel chains and head to Ram Jharokha Guest House (Peelwa Gardens; 91-141-260-3745). It offers spacious double rooms, a friendly owner and a decent selection of home-cooked meals. Doubles from 990 rupees.

In Udaipur, the Taj Lake Palace (Lake Pichola, Udaipur; 91-294-242-8800; www.tajhotels.com) stands as one of the world’s most stunning hotels, with a price to match. It was built in 1746, a marble wonder floating in the middle of Lake Pichola. The spa sits in a small tugboat and the 83 rooms start at 15,500 rupees.

2009年11月4日 星期三

Petra

隱身沙漠的玫瑰城------佩特拉 Petra
沙畫師父的巧手正在製作個人化沙瓶畫。
古城中數不盡的洞窟,都是從紅砂岩壁中雕鑿出來的。
一線天峽谷,沿途每個角落都是鬼斧神工的藝術作品。
宏偉壯觀的珍寶殿,吸引觀光客前去一探究竟。

撰文˙攝影/胡怡芳

故事發生在西元前323年,古希臘亞歷山大大帝病逝後,希臘帝國分崩離析,敘利亞和埃及兩大國為爭奪東地中海的大權,一連打了108年的「敘利亞戰爭」。就在此時,荒涼沙漠中沉寂了2000多年的奈巴特古王朝,卻展開令人驚歎的一頁歷史!

黃沙淹沒 傳說之城

在 連綿戰火中,中東地區往來頻繁的沙漠商隊為避免戰火波及,紛紛繞道至奈巴特王朝的首都佩特拉(Petra),再轉運至阿拉伯半島或是地中海沿岸。因此,遠 離戰火的佩特拉成了廣大沙漠中最佳的通商轉運中心,商業貿易所帶來的龐大財富,讓佩特拉成為中東地區首屈一指的富裕之地,其地位不亞於今日的杜拜。

西元106年,佩特拉被羅馬帝國併吞,富裕程度依然不變,大肆建設城門、列駐大道、露天大劇場等公共建築。然而,隨著羅馬帝國逐漸衰亡,沙漠商隊也不再因戰爭而繞道至佩特拉轉運,這個盛極一時的沙漠王國,逐漸被滾滾的黃沙淹沒,成為一個千年來外人不得進入的傳說之城。

驚為天人 一線天峽谷

直 到西元1812年,一位深入阿拉伯多年的瑞士探險家,無意中發現這座古城,霎時佩特拉聲名大噪,魅力席捲了西方世界。著名電影《聖戰奇 兵》(Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)就是在此拍攝。2007年這裡還被全球票選為「世界新七大奇蹟」之一,和中國萬里長城、印度泰姬瑪哈陵並列榜上。

要進入這 座古城並不容易,必須徒步30幾分鐘穿越不間斷的一線天峽谷,這座令人驚歎的峽谷是由赤紅砂岩所形成。換句話說,徒步半小時走過的峽谷竟是由「一整塊」岩 石構成的天然奇景!砂岩在不同的光線下閃耀著不同的色澤,淺黃色、橘黃色、紅棕色、玫瑰紅色,岩石特有的紋路成了一幅幅詭變多端的天然壁畫!

神秘傳說 法老寶庫

真 正令人瞠目結舌的奇景出現在峽谷盡頭。一座巨大的古神殿,在閃耀的陽光下綻放出玫瑰色的光芒,這是由「一整座」的岩石雕鑿成的希臘式神殿,高度足足有30 公尺。傳說中,奈巴特王朝全盛時曾遠征埃及並帶回大批寶物,就存放於此,故阿拉伯人稱之為「法老的寶庫」。原來,被稱為「玫瑰之城」的佩特拉並沒有玫瑰 花,而是因為這座玫瑰色的法老寶庫。

從寶庫繼續往前走,沿途可見許多雕鑿在岩壁中的王陵和平民墓穴,還有一座鑿穿整座山岩而雕成的圓形羅馬劇場。羅馬劇場前是條筆直的羅馬大街,盡頭有一間餐廳,正好可以歇腳。

站在這座古城中,有種站在時代洪流裡的感覺,3000年來無數的帝國興起又殞落,古城只是靜靜地看著人們;人們在偌大的古城中,就如同處在時代洪流中的我,如此渺小。

當地特產 沙瓶畫

這 裡最有名的特產,是以約旦南部天然色澤的細沙做成的沙瓶畫。他們用特殊技術,將五顏六色的沙倒進透明玻璃瓶內,形成各種美麗的圖案。喜歡的話,可以挑選一 個中意的作品,並請師父用沙子在瓶中寫下你的名字或是你想要的字,根據成品的尺寸大小和做工好壞不同,每瓶沙畫的價錢從2JD到數十JD都有。來到佩特 拉,別忘挑選幾個帶回家喔!

旅遊資訊

◆航班:台灣與約旦無直飛航班,需至第三地轉機前往。

◆當地交通:佩特拉位於約旦,距離首都安曼約3小時車程,可從安曼搭乘巴士直達佩特拉。

◆簽證:需辦理約旦簽證,詳洽約旦商務辦事處,電話:(02)28717712。

◆時差:慢台灣5小時。

◆匯率:一美元約兌換0.7約鎊。

2009年11月3日 星期二

耶拿城的复兴

耶拿城的复兴

作者:英国《金融时报》 汉斯•孔德纳尼 2009-11-03

1989年11月柏林墙(Berlin Wall)倒下时,40岁的克劳斯•贝尔卡(Klaus Berka)是国有卡尔•蔡司公司(VEB Carl Zeiss)的一名工程师。当时蔡司是一家大型企业集团,为控制小城耶拿的东德政府所有。看着这个直到20世纪60年代前还一直具有国际竞争力的光学设备 与半导体制造公司日益落后于西德企业,贝尔卡心里很是沮丧。

在柏林墙倒塌后的几个月内,公司倒闭了,耶拿许多最优秀和最聪明的人才都移居西德或国外。但贝尔卡决定留在这个小镇上。“我当时心里想,‘为何我们不在这里尝试做一些正确的事情呢?'” 他回忆说。“这是一个机会,来实现我们在民主德国时期一直未能实现的梦想。”

1990年5月,贝尔卡和两个同事离开了蔡司,并用仅有的6000东德马克原始资金创办了一家新公司——德国耶拿分析仪器股份公司 (Analytik Jena)。刚开始,它向蔡司原来的中东欧企业客户提供产品。早期成功使它很快就有能力收购蔡司遗留下的研发部门,并开始研发自己的产品——最初是为环保 与医药行业研发测量设备。该公司于2000年上市,目前拥有雇员800人,市值达到4500万欧元(合6700万美元)。

德国耶拿分析仪器公司的成功象征着耶拿的复兴——前总理赫尔穆特•科尔(Helmut Kohl)在德国重新统一之后曾经承诺要带给前东德“繁荣景象”,耶拿是这个承诺变成现实的少数几个地方之一。事实上,德国东南部图林根州的大学城已经成为了繁荣的高科技中心。从 德国耶拿(Jenoptik)、肖特公司(Schott)等工业巨头到德国耶拿分析仪器和Cy Bio等初创企业,以耶拿为总部的公司身处光电子学和生物技术开发的最前沿。事实上,耶拿现在拥有7家上市公司。对于一个仅有10万人口、二十年前还属于 一个计划经济体的小城市来说,这令人印象深刻。

无论是外观还是给人的感觉,耶拿现在都与一个富足的西德城镇非常相似。它的红屋顶建筑已经得到重建,战时炸弹炸出的空地已经被新建筑填满。不过,与前民主德国的许多其它城镇不同,这些建筑确实得到了利用。

蔡司以前位于镇中心的巨大工厂,如今已经变成了热闹的购物中心。德国东部许多城镇的人口日益老龄化且数量在不断减少,但耶拿却恰恰相反,人口平均年 龄低且数量不断增长——其人口如此之多,以至于租金水平堪与柏林媲美。耶拿的失业率为8.6%,仅比德国全国失业率8.2%略高,且远低于前东德5个州的 平均失业率13.3%。

德国马克斯-普朗克化学生态学研究所(Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology)的威廉•博兰(Wilhelm Boland)教授表示,使耶拿与众不同的是其相辅相成的尖端研究与高端制造水平。该研究所是坐落于伯滕贝格园区的八所研究机构之一;伯滕贝格是一个高科 技工业园区,位于耶拿镇边缘的一座小山上,科学家在这里展开各种各样的研究,从光线如何能被用作手术刀到微生物如何沟通等等。该园区还有两家创业中心,帮 助科学家将他们的想法转变成可盈利的商业项目。

尽管耶拿已经成为了某种榜样,但博兰教授表示,这种小城有着悠久的传统,他称其为“知识工厂”,这意味着在短时间内要在前民主德国的其它地区复制耶拿的成功模式,不会是件容易的事。“这个地方在某种意义上讲是独一无二的,”他解释道。


这个历史可以追溯至18世纪末期,当时,哲学家费希特 (Johann Fichte)、黑格尔(Georg Hegel)以及诗人弗里德里希•席勒(Friedrich Schiller)都在耶拿大学(Jena University)教书。1846年,卡尔•蔡司(Carl Zeiss)创建了一个车间,用于制造放大镜和显微镜,向学生出售。过后不久,爱恩斯特•阿贝(Ernst Abbe)就开始首次大规模生产透镜,奥托•肖特(Otto Schott)也建了一个实验室,生产其它种类的专业眼镜。到19世纪末,耶拿已经成为了精密机械与光学设备领域的世界领袖,这主要就得益于上面三位的努 力。

二战后,卡尔•蔡司的工厂被美国人捣毁了,一家与之同名的新公司在德国西南部巴登-符腾堡州的奥伯科亨成立。与此同时,蔡司工厂剩下的资产被收归国 有,变成了国有卡尔•蔡司公司。耶拿也成了民主德国的生物技术中心(比如,总部设在耶拿的Jenapharm公司向全国供应避孕药)。

尽管这些公司逐渐落后于西德的同行,但许多记得民主德国时期耶拿状况的人表示,资源的匮乏和材料的劣质居然出人意料地推动了创造力的发展。“你必须有所创新,才能生存下来,”贝尔卡说。

1989年后,国有卡尔•蔡司公司被私有化,其在耶拿镇的3万名员工,逾半数被解雇。一个名为德国耶拿的新公司在这个企业集团的基础上建立起来。巴 登-符腾堡州前任州长洛塔尔•施佩特(Lothar Späth)接任首席执行官一职,并通过谈判,从德国政府那里获得18亿欧元的补贴,开始重建公司——真正意义上的“重建”。“刚开始它基本上是一个建筑 公司,”一位发言人表示。德国统一之后,耶拿经历了5年的艰苦挣扎,然后开始自我重建。德国耶拿和众多新企业纷纷创立,其中许多都是由国有卡尔•蔡司的前雇员创办,就像贝尔卡一样。仅涉足光学器材行业的公司,该镇就有大约90家。

由于耶拿如今欣欣向荣,与其它前民主德国地区相比,这里的居民似乎不那么留恋过去。贡纳尔•波施曼(Gunnar Poschmann)在耶拿长大,现在为商业发展机构Jena Wirtschaft工作,他表示:“在东部的其它地方,时间是停滞的。而在耶拿,未来比过去更重要。”

上市公司体现了新耶拿精神。

在耶拿最大的上市公司中,有三家与东德企业集团国有卡尔•蔡司公司有着深厚的联系。最大的是德国耶拿公司,该公司拥有2亿欧元的市值;医疗技术公司 Carl Zeiss Meditec制造外科手术设备,于2002年从蔡司公司分拆出来;德国耶拿分析仪器公司为环保与医药行业制造测量仪器,由三名蔡司的前雇员于1990年 创办。

今年早些时候,德国耶拿分析仪器公司收购了CyBio的多数股权,后者也是一家成功的耶拿新创企业,于1999年成立,主要制造实验室设备。

金融公司DEWB的历史可追溯至19世纪。该公司于1997年被德国耶拿公司收购,并重组成为一家独立的私人股本与风险投资公司。之后,该公司曾帮助德国耶拿分析仪器和Carl Zeiss Meditec等其它总部设在耶拿的公司发行上市。

另外两家总部设在耶拿的上市公司是德国英特软件公司(Intershop)和Biolitec。前者由史蒂芬•沙姆巴赫(Stephan Schambach)于1992年创办,从事电子商务软件研发工作;后者制造用于医疗领域的激光器。

译者/董琴


--
鍾 漢清
Hanching Chung (or HC/ hc)
網址:http://www.deming.com.tw
台灣戴明圈: A Taiwanese Deming Circle
http://demingcircle.blogspot.com/
地址:台北市新生南路三段88號2樓
電話:(02) 23650127
轉形任重道遠 必須窮數十寒暑
"When we size up the job ahead, it is obvious that a long thorny road lies ahead -- decades."
Dependence on protection by tariffs and laws to "buy American" only encourages incompetence.
It would be incorrect to leave the reader with the impression that no action is taking place.
(Deming, 1986, Preface for Out of the Crisis)

2009年11月2日 星期一

百 千 層開花

近月來新生南路3段馬路兩旁的 百 千 層都開花了
相當可看

2009年11月1日 星期日

柏林墙倒塌20周年

德国 | 2009.11.01

科尔、戈尔巴乔夫及老布什参加柏林墙倒塌20周年庆典

柏林墙倒塌20周年纪念日到来前夕,阿登纳基金会于本周六举行了盛大的庆典仪式。庆典仪式上请来的三位嘉宾都为促成当年东欧的剧变发挥了重要的作用。他们 分别是赫尔穆特·科尔,戈尔巴乔夫以及老布什。联邦德国总统克勒发表演讲表示,欧洲统一的进程必须继续下去,俄罗斯也应纳入其中。

位于前东柏林的弗里德里希歌舞剧院内座无虚席。大约1800名来宾聆听了德国前总理科尔的讲话。科尔表示,他非常高兴,并且心存感激。高兴 的是,他在这里又见到了当年的政治伙伴美国前总统老布什和前苏联领导人戈尔巴乔夫。而令他感激的是,在他的总理任期内能够出现促成两德统一的机遇。

直到庆典活动前一天,前总理科尔能否出席活动仍无法确定。一年前不慎摔倒后,科尔的健康一直未能全面恢复。坐在轮椅里的科尔讲话显然非常困难。他表示,德国历史上令人感到自豪的事件并不多,但他却有感到自豪的理由。他说:"没有比德国统一能够让我感到更为骄傲的事情。"

此前克勒总统在演说中盛赞布什,戈尔巴乔夫和科尔在两德和平统一过程中所扮演的重要角色。克勒说: "我以德国民众的名义向你们表示感谢。我相信,欧洲各民族都对你们心存谢意。"

克勒呼吁欧洲人开辟新的道路推进欧洲一体化进程。他表示,欧盟应当发展同俄罗斯及其他独联体国家的伙伴关系,促进欧洲的统一:„欧盟和俄罗斯应当开展这类合作。我也要有意识地对俄罗斯方面说,戈尔巴乔夫总统先生,您应当开始做这项工作。"

同克勒一样,前苏联领导人戈尔巴乔夫也谈到了欧洲一体化的问题。他表示,冷战结束带给欧洲的众多机遇,大多数都没有得到利用。彼此间仍存在芥蒂和偏见,这一点令他感到遗憾:"我们必须清楚地认识到,在反俄和反美情绪的基础上,是无法完成欧洲统一大业的。"

岁月流逝,也在戈尔巴乔夫身上留下了明显的痕迹。他走上讲台时,步履显得很吃力。而与会三位嘉宾中岁数最大的老布什走路时已经离不开拐杖了。这位当 年见证了柏林墙倒塌的美国前总统表示,两德统一同一系列历史事件密切相关:"柏林墙的倒塌以及在北约框架内实现统一不仅仅意味着冷战和二战的结束,也标志 着一战的结束。"

布什认为,两德的统一标志着当年凡尔赛和约中那些催生独裁专制的罪恶根源也被清除了。"我们得到的经验教训也许是,在维护和平时,我们要有智慧和远见,就像在战争中要保持警惕和团结一样。"

布什作为二战老兵,他的讲话极富远见。而他讲话的地方不远处就是当年的柏林墙。

作者:Peter Stützle/ 达扬

责编:乐然

比利时争办音乐节

欧洲 | 2009.11.01

庆典国度比利时争办音乐节

比利时是个"庆典王国",为什么这么说呢?因为比利时人喜欢庆祝,像狂欢节、文艺会演、音乐节或戏剧节等,一年到头接连不断。作为主办单位的各地方政府及 民间,为取得节日活动成功而使出浑身解数,因为这些活动如今已成为许多城市重要的经济来源。可想而知,各主办单位间的竞争压力自是不小。

受到比利时乔舒亚爵士乐队现场气氛的感染,观众情绪逐渐攀上高峰。乐队是比利时列日市举办的"激情燃烧音乐节"期间,诸多优秀乐队中的一支,也是这个活动的一大亮点。

前来参加音乐节的观众超过1万5千人,目的是为了尽情欢笑,享受音乐节的乐趣。其实"激情燃烧"只是比利时众多音乐节中的一个。对艺术家来说,这里是他们展现才艺最理想的演出场所。

乔舒亚乐队的歌手森索表示:"当我们在国外的时候,会有很多人跟你谈起关于比利时音乐节的事情。我们的确参加了许多演出活动,比如1月开始的第一季度音乐节。我们这里音乐节的节期很长,有小型、中型,还有大型的。对我们来说,这是非常好的演出机会。"

比利时是一个音乐节国度,在夏季的几个月里,几乎没有一个周末不举办大型音乐节活动。

"激情燃烧音乐节"的历史并不长,也就只有4年的时间,而组织者已经感受到了竞争压力。

活动组织者瑟尔韦说:"主要是开始的时候,我们特别感受到极大的压力。那时我们努力争取在很短时间里达到最高的标准,这令许多业内人士感到不满。有 人对我们说,我们必须先展现自己的实力。而大出人们意料之外的是,我们现在已跻身比利时最走红的音乐节乐队之列,在节日活动中占有了固定的一席之地。"

但是来这儿的人并不都只为了欢庆节日,有些是出于另外的原因到这里来勘查情况,比如来自紧邻的斯帕市的音乐节竞争对手。

斯帕市音乐节组织者拉德勒说:"我们觉得,如果'激情燃烧音乐节'的举办地点在30公里以外,或者他们选择另外的时间点举办这个活动就更好了。而现实的情况是,在一个狭窄空间里,一连举办两个音乐节活动,导致彼此间的关系不得不因为争夺观众而变得剑拔弩张。"

对于像列日这样的城市,音乐节早已不仅仅是欣赏音乐,它吸引力了大量游客蜂拥来到这个平常显得有些无聊的城中心区。

"激情燃烧音乐节"的创立,确保了全年80多个工作岗位,对此,瑟尔韦深感自豪。而列日市政府还为这个活动提供了5万欧元的补助经费。瑟尔韦指 出:"上一世纪70年代起,传统工业的没落,使列日经济也受到重创。因此今天的政界人士主张通过组织文化活动,来促进经济发展,为城市注入更多的活力,创 造一个能让市民感到自豪的新形象。'激情燃烧音乐节'为此作出了重要贡献,当然,这与音乐节如今已闯出了国际名声也不无关系。"

与法国接壤的小城多尔也拥有自己的音乐节。现在小城正在大兴土木,市长本人亲自负责组织工作。但竞争对手取得的成功,为他的工作增添了越来越大的难度。

市长安东尼奥表示:"现在我们向乐队发出邀请的时间必须大幅提前,而且他们的价格越来越贵。5年前,我们最早在一月中旬才开始筹划,而现在,如果在前一年的10月开始筹备的话,要想请到中意的乐队已经很困难了。"

比利时的狂欢节街头Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 比利时的狂欢节街头

可是列日市没有这样的问题。面对这个话题,瑟尔韦显得相当低调,他说:"我们跟其他组织者的关系处得不错,在挑选自己想要的乐队之前,我们会彼此商量。我们致力于在向明星乐队发出邀请时,尽量取得平衡,以便让每个组织者都能安排令人满意的节目。"

十分走红的乔舒亚乐队,在结束"激情燃烧音乐节"的演出之后,又得马不停蹄地登上下一场音乐节的舞台了。

作者:Ruth Reichstein/祝红

责编:乐然

2009年10月19日 星期一

高雄

台灣/業餘天文愛好者發現小行星 命名高雄 (2009-10-19)

王鵬捷/綜合報導  高市業餘天文愛好者蔡元生發現一顆新的小行星,命名「高雄」,並獲國際天文界承認。他今天將小行星模型贈予高雄市長陳菊,希望將「高雄」的榮耀與全體市民分享。  中央社19日報導,「高雄」是國內第一顆由台灣業餘天文愛好者發現並命名的小行星。蔡元生說,為紀念故鄉高雄…

2009年10月10日 星期六

彰化媽祖遶境 11尊神尊出巡

彰化媽祖遶境 11尊神尊出巡
彰化縣政府與縣內11座宮廟共同舉辦「媽祖遶境祈福」活動,昨天在伸港鄉福安宮舉行,縣長卓伯源點燃起馬炮護送媽祖起駕,場面盛況空前。(記者湯世名攝)

〔記者湯世名/伸港報導〕由彰化縣政府與縣內11座宮廟共同舉辦的「2009彰化縣媽祖遶境祈福」活動,10日在伸港鄉福安宮起駕,縣長卓伯源點燃起馬炮護送媽祖起駕,11尊媽祖神尊在大批信眾簇擁下起駕出巡,鞭炮聲不絕於耳,場面盛況空前。

「2009 彰化縣媽祖遶境祈福」活動於昨天上午在今年爐主伸港鄉福安宮舉行起駕典禮,會中齊聚伸港福安宮、彰化南瑤宮、芬園寶藏寺、員林福寧宮、社頭枋橋頭天門宮、 田中乾德宮、北斗奠安宮、埤頭合興宮、二林仁和宮、芳苑普天宮及王功福海宮11尊媽祖神尊坐陣,由彰化縣長卓伯源擔任主祭,並有縣議員阮厚爵、賴清美、陳 錦玉、賴端欉、尤瑞春、縣府各局處一級主管及各宮廟主委與信眾共襄盛舉。

卓伯源親自護送媽祖上轎,隨即點燃起馬炮並護送媽祖起駕出巡,大批信眾簇擁著媽祖鑾轎出巡,鞭炮聲不絕於耳,場面盛況空前,中午抵達彰化市南瑤宮,晚間到芬園鄉寶藏寺,11日遶境隊伍將由寶藏寺出發,行經員林福寧宮、社頭枋橋頭天門宮,傍晚到田中乾德宮駐駕。

歌仔戲班連番上陣

11日晚間將有明華園戲劇總團在田中鎮棒壘球場旁廣場,演出「界牌關傳說」。12日的遶境行程則在北斗奠安宮駐駕,並辦理「慶賀典禮」;同時安排唐美雲歌仔戲團,在北斗鎮舊牛墟廣場演出「龍鳳情緣」;13日晚間明華園在二林鎮中正路與建國路口廣場演出「八仙傳奇」。

14日下午新和興第二歌劇團在芳苑普天宮;14日晚間薪傳歌仔戲團在王功福海宮演出「五女拜壽」;15日晚間河洛歌子戲團在福安宮演出「新鳳凰蛋」;17日東原五洲園掌中劇團在二林仁和宮演出,還有多項樂團、馬戲團演出。

2009年10月8日 星期四

The Keats-Shelley House, Rome


The House


"Rome is yet the capital of the world. It is a city of palaces and temples, more glorious than those which any other city contains, and of ruins more glorious than they."
Percy Bysshe Shelley to Thomas Love Peacock.
March 23 1819


Welcome to the web site of the Keats-Shelley House, Rome. Situated on the Spanish Steps, the house is part of Roman folklore. For generations Piazza di Spagna has been visited by architects, painters, musicians and poets who all lodged here. Tobias Smollett, George Eliot, Goethe, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, the Brownings, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Oscar Wilde and Joyce were just a few of the many who were attracted and inspired by the celebrated 'centro storico'.

The exterior of the House is exactly as it was when John Keats travelled to Rome and spent what were to be the last few months of his life in a vain attempt to stave off the inevitable effects of consumption. In addition to the extensive collection of paintings, objects and manuscripts celebrating the lives of Keats, Shelley and Byron, and our comprehensive library dedicated to the late British Romantic Poets, our collection includes a reliquary containing a lock of Milton and Elizabeth Barrett's hair, a manuscript and poem by Oscar Wilde, splendidly bound first editions and letters by Wordsworth, Robert Browning, Joseph Severn, Charles and Mary Cowden-Clarke.

Many thousands of people visit every year in tribute to Keats's genius, and that of Percy Bysshe Shelley, to whom the house is also dedicated.


1909年4月6日(火)

ロ マン主義詩人のジョン・キーツは、90年ほど前にローマのスペイン広場とトリニタ・デイ・モンティ階段の脇にある家で療養のため最後の数年間を送り、死去 した。その家はその後、詩人のシェリーも住んだため、この2人のロマン派詩人を記念して小さな博物館に作り変えられた。その開館式は4月6日、国王ヴィッ トーリオ=エマヌエーレ3世を始め、駐伊英国大使、そして数多くの著名人たちが列席した。その中にはノーベル賞作家ラドヤード・キップリング氏の姿もあっ た。

出典Crédit:©BNF-Gallica #102984 « Je sais tout » No.52; Mai, 1909

[ Ψ 蛇足 ]
ジョン・キーツ(John Keats, 1795-1821)はバイロンに続く英国ロマン派詩人である。母親や弟と同じように結核を患い、イタリアへの転地療養しつつ詩作を続けたが、25歳で早世した。
パー シー・ビッシュ・シェリー(Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822)もバイロンを慕ってスイスやイタリアの風物に親しみ、詩作や古典の翻訳を試みたが、航海の途中で船が難破して死去した。上記の記事で はキーツの家に住んだと書いているが、1年たらずでシェリーも世を去った。30歳目前であった。
上記記事の記念館は、英語で« The Keats-Shelley House »と呼ばれており、2009年で100周年(Centenary Appeal)となった。
http://www.keats-shelley-house.org/show_news.php?id_news=36

*参考サイト: The Keats-Shelley House, Rome(英文)

2009年10月6日 星期二

Moulin Rouge

Spotlight:

Which artist was associated with France's Moulin Rouge? Paris's most famous cabaret, the Moulin Rouge, opened its doors on this date in 1889. Named for one of the windmills in the Montmartre section of the city, near where the nightclub is located, the Moulin Rouge was the home of the French cancan. The word "cancan" in French means "scandal," and the high-kicks and lifting and tossing of skirts did scandalize 19th-century audiences. The nightclub was the venue for twice-weekly masked balls and tame monkeys and donkeys wandered in the area. Artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created numerous paintings of the cabaret and of the revelers who frequented the place. Nowadays, the Moulin Rouge is a favorite tourist destination for visitors to Paris.

Quote:

"I paint things as they are. I don't comment."Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

底特律房售價只有7100美元?

什麼底特律一處普通住房售價只有7100美元?要回答這個令人困惑的問題﹐不妨看看底特律一條典雅林蔭道上一處寂靜街區的一個綠草如茵的地段。

Noah Rabinowitz for The Wall Street Journal
圖片報導﹕見証底特律衰落的房屋
這 座位於底特律西波士頓大道1626號(1626 W. Boston Blvd)的磚灰色建築目睹了底特律幾乎一個世紀的興衰成敗﹐見證了工業輝煌和種族沖突﹐走過了經濟下滑和金融崩潰。這座房屋的所有者也經歷了這一切。這 裡曾住過一位工程師﹐他的革新幫助底特律汽車廠商登上行業頂峰﹔曾住過一位教師﹐他目睹著城里的白人紛紛逃往郊區﹔住過一名黑人水暖工﹐他沖破了這裡的種 族隔離﹔住過一名警察﹐他曾被暴徒趕出家門。

最近一位房主借了次級抵押貸款﹐隨著投資者行使止贖權﹐他也失去了房屋。

這座城市60年前就開始緩慢下滑﹐但現在卻在住房和汽車業的雙重危機打壓下進入了自由落體階段。在1950年的人口普查中﹐底特律人口達到了185萬人的頂峰﹐現在人口卻還不到那時的一半。今年7月﹐底特律失業率達到28.9%﹐幾乎是全美國平均水平的三倍。

地 產研究公司First American CoreLogic的數據顯示﹐今年7月底特律房屋的售價中值僅是可憐的7100美元(即最高房價和最低房價的中間值)﹐而3年前則是7.3萬美元。相比 之下﹐克利夫蘭一處普通住房的售價是6.5萬美元﹐聖路易斯則是12萬美元。

如今的底特律和1626 W. Boston Blvd.這座建築一樣蕭條破落﹐但回到90年前﹐它們也曾強勢一時﹐前景光明。

Michael M. Phillips

2009年10月5日 星期一

西西里婦女挺身對抗黑手黨

西西里婦女挺身對抗黑手黨

編譯張沛元/特譯

5 年多來,不願屈服於黑手黨組織「我們的事業」(Cosa Nostra)淫威的拒繳交保護費運動「跟保護費說拜拜」(Addiopizzo),在義大利西西里島首府巴勒摩已漸成氣候;3名參與這項反黑幫運動的當 地年輕女性,也一反常態公開個人身分,鼓勵外來遊客與當地商家堅持對黑道收取保護費說「不」。

「跟保護費說拜拜」運動成員向來不願曝光,擔 心身分一旦外洩,將遭到黑手黨報復;但「跟保護費說拜拜」運動秘書席薇亞.佩拉格瑞諾,以及義工琪雅拉.卡普瑞與莉蒂亞.瑟維雷拉3名弱女子,卻勇於挺身 而出,呼籲觀光客與當地人支持拒繳保護費的商家,一方面鼓勵從計程車、停車場到賣冰淇淋的小販等小商人,也要勇於對保護費說「不」,另一方面則鼓勵觀光客 前往參與「跟保護費說拜拜」的餐廳用餐。

據席薇亞估計,巴勒摩目前仍有8成商家不敵黑手黨的淫威,持續繳交保護費;莉蒂亞也指出,即便觀光客只在加入「跟保護費說拜拜」運動的商家消費,也很難不淪為黑手黨的間接幫兇,「我們相信,『我們的事業』每年仍從西西里強索1億3千萬英鎊(約台幣68億5千多萬元)。」

席薇亞直言,這種日子了無生趣,警察也不會站在他們這一邊,因為許多警察都被黑手黨收買,「但我們已經強大到變成一個共同體與黑手黨的眼中釘」。

然而,與黑幫為敵的日子並不好過。席薇亞不諱言,倘若她們幾個年輕女子出了什麼事,肯定是黑手黨幹的。莉蒂亞說,對她本人與她這個世代的人而言,這是表明立場、劃清界線與言明再也不受恫嚇。所以,她們願意夜以繼日地印發傳單、海報和T恤,「拒繳保護費的運動攸關生死」。

(取材自泰晤士報)

2009年9月24日 星期四

Sydney dust storm 'like Mars'

【中廣新聞/劉剛】

澳洲昨天碰到上70年以來最大的沙塵暴,狂風把1200公里外的紅土吹上空中,隨後再散落在雪黎附近,使得雪黎昨天白天一片昏暗、宛如世界末日。

澳洲媒體報導,昨天這場沙塵暴,估計每小時有四千公噸的沙塵吹過雪梨。今天沙塵暴已經過去,雪梨居民開始清洗轎車、門前道路和家中小狗。

雖然雪黎市區民眾受到極大的震驚,但那些居住在澳洲野外地區的居民,對於沙塵暴早就習以為常。一名住在荒野地區的婦女,寫信給澳洲《每日電 訊報》,嘲笑雪黎人少見多怪。她說,城市居民嬌生慣養,根本不瞭接澳洲荒野居民生活。在荒野地區,沙塵暴是家常便飯,人們經常都必須配戴口罩才能出門。





Sydney dust storm 'like Mars'

Sydney city office buildings shrouded in dust, 23 September
Sydney residents woke up to an ethereal scene on Wednesday

A storm which blew in from the Australian outback blanketed Sydney in a layer of orange dust. Here, residents describe the bizarre and frightening scene.

Tanya Ferguson said the dust was the weirdest thing she had seen in her life, turning the city into a scene from another planet.

"It was like being on Mars," she told the BBC News website.

"I haven't been there, obviously, but I imagine that's what the sky would look like."

It was like being in the outback, but it was right here in the city
Tanya Ferguson

She said she woke to a massive gust of wind blowing through her windows early in the morning.

"The whole room was completely orange. I couldn't believe my eyes," she said.

Ms Ferguson said she initially thought there was a bush fire. When she finally decided to venture outside, she said the entire city was covered in a film of orange dust.

"All the cars are just orange - and the orange was so intense," she said by phone from Sydney, where she has lived for the past six years.

"It was like being in the outback, but it was right here in the city."

Ms Ferguson said the sky was overcast and it was very dusty, making her sneeze a lot.

Public transport was disrupted and the roads were clogged as drivers struggled in the difficult conditions, but she said some people went to their jobs, and she saw a few residents wearing face masks.

By evening, Ms Ferguson said there were blue skies over Sydney and that it was returning to a normal day.

'Pink until noon'

Fellow Sydneysider Nick Beaugeard said his four young children were really frightened when they woke up on Wednesday morning.

"There was a really red glow inside the house, really crimson" he said. "It looked like the end of the world."

It was like driving through a pea soup of fog, except it was bright red
Nick Beaugeard

After the initial shock, he said the children got really excited and went off to school where they said it was "pink until noon".

Mr Beaugeard - who moved to Australia from the UK in 1998 - had to drive to work from the Northern Beaches area because the ferries were closed.

"It was like driving through a pea soup of fog," he said, "except it was bright red".

He said the lights looked blue because it was so red outside.

Mr Beaugeard said his wife - who is an asthmatic - was fine despite the blanket of dust and fog.

"She went out with a scarf over her mouth and she came back without it," he said.

He said the dust left everyone with a dry mouth, and a really gritty taste, but caused no breathing problems for his wife.

'Armageddon'

Andrew Hawkins, who lives in Northmead, about 20km from the centre of Sydney, says he was scared at first because it looked like the end of the world.

"This morning's dust storm was unbelievable… It was like waking up to see that Armageddon is upon us," he wrote in.

Pictures fail to capture the eerie nature of the scene which surrounded us this morning
Andrew Hawkins

Mr Hawkins said he thought his eyes were playing up, or that there had been a nuclear explosion or a bush fire.

He described an ethereal scene of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as he rode the train to work.

"To see a city of such beauty shrouded in red, was a sight which cannot be described - even pictures fail to capture the eerie nature of the scene which surrounded us this morning," Mr Hawkins added.

Another Sydney resident, Kirsty Ainsworth, said it was like being in a film.

"It was really, really bizarre. It was actually like being in a movie - the Day After Tomorrow or Armageddon," she said.

Ms Ainsworth said there had been storm warnings on Monday and Tuesday, but the dust storm took everybody by surprise.

"It came out of nowhere," she said, adding that visibility had improved enough for her to make it to work by around 0830 local time.

"Everybody's cars were caked in orange dust, and there's still sand everywhere," she said.

banning cars from the street for a day

Cologne clears its streets of cars

Most inner city dwellers in Cologne have little use for a car. But what are the alternative options for travelling, once you get outside the city centre?

Germans are well known for their love of cars - especially the high performance variety. There are over 41 million private cars in Germany – that's one for every two residents. But last week, cities across Europe participated in an initiative aimed at getting people to consider other kinds of transport - by banning cars from the street for a day.

Report: Eva Wutke

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