In Ghosts of Great Britain (possibly a working title), Barbara Stoner's brilliant second novel (a mere 2 or 3 chapters away from finis), her heroine, in a mad dash from the Shambles to York Minster, fetches up against a stony emperor. If she had taken the time to read the plaque, she would have found that Constantine, in a series of political moves too byzantine to relate here, was proclaimed Emperor near this spot in 306 C.E. Read more about York - Birthplace of Christianity!
In the courtyard of Boston's Old City Hall are these two somewhat unmonumental monuments, standing just across the way from a monumental Benjamin Franklin. The footprints, with the inscription "Standing in Opposition," are facing the donkey just a tile or two out of the picture. My supposition has always been that they are Republican footprints. Read more about Stony Opposition
So many of the sculptures and bas-reliefs left to us by the ancients commemorate battles and victories and victorious rulers. Sometimes, though, we get a glimpse of real folk. People we recognize. People doing something we have done before - oh, perhaps we have not loaded a sea-going trireme with cedar logs from Lebanon or thereabouts. But we may have had a friend or two help us carry a couch to the moving van. That's why I love this bas-relief. See the guy on the end, making sure of the load? Read more about Loading Cedar
Breakfast overlooking the Hotel Poem veranda, overlooked in turn by a Hooded Crow.
En route to the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, past an ancient foot washing station and even more ancient ruins. Read more about Out and About in Istanbul, II
The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, while not quite as old as the ancient spice trade that passed through Istanbul for centuries before and since, is still pretty old. 1660 old. And if the spice moguls of today do most of their ordering over the internet, well, too bad for them. Read more about The Spice Bazaar
If you get into history the way I get into history, you'll understand the "pinch me" feeling that came over me nearly every time I turned a corner in Istanbul. The very act of putting foot to ground in this fabled city sent tingles up my spine. I wanted to mind-meld with every stone. A view from Topkapi Palace was one of those moments. Read more about Topkapi
Two down, two to go. Debates, that is. Time to buck ourselves up with a little window shopping. In Istanbul. Come to the Grand Bazaar!