Postcard from Siracusa, Sicily: Where Plato tested and failed tyrant-taming

Above: Caves created by ancient Greek quarries, including the notorious Ear of Dionysius, line a bluff in the Archaeological Park of Neapolis

Long ago, Siracusa became an important outpost of the Grecian Empire. For strategic reasons, the ancient city first developed on the small island of Ortigia.

A major vestige of this are the ruins of the Temple of Apollo in the heart of the city adjacent to the island’s bustling outdoor market. Forty-two monolithic columns once framed the sixth-century-BC Doric temple dedicated to the sun god. These remnants of the temple incorporated into several private homes and 16th-century military barracks occupying the site were “rediscovered” in the 1890s.

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Postcards from Oaxaca, Mexico: Restaurant Alphabet Vol. II from Le to Tacos

Above: Guava mole with shrimp and battered cauliflower at Levadura de Olla

ThalĂ­a Barrios Garcia is young, 27 years old, yet she has worked her way from a small Oaxacan village to own two widely acclaimed restaurants in the historic center of the state capital. One, Cocina de Humo, is intimate, providing a chance to observe traditional methods of cooking, but you need to make a reservation in advance. So we tried her Levadura de Olla instead.

Tomatoes. The gorgeous display of heirloom tomatoes immediately announces produce is important here. And a woman kept busy flipping fresh tortillas you know are made the ancient way, from dried corn boiled down with ash, nixtamal.

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Postcard from Frankfurt, Germany: Belated greetings via Trockel’s art

Above: “Living Means Learning to Appreciate Your Mother Nude,”* Rosemarie Trockel, photograph pasted onto a three-dimensional scene, 2001

A young woman lies on the floor absorbed in viewing a group of slides. She looks relaxed, her ankles are crossed, and she is wearing only underwear and a sweater. So domestic and secure does the scene seem, that catching sight of the woman like this seems strangely voyeuristic…. the photograph of the young woman seems to come alive in the mind’s eye…. one’s own life…is rooted in the sexuality of another human being.*

“Rosemarie Trockel,” Museum fur Moderne Kunst (MMK) catalogue for retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work from the 1970s through 2022

Happy Mother’s Day? (Or perhaps the title of the artwork above does not automatically qualify it as appropriate for the day?)

Wandering through Frankfurt’s modern art museum, MMK, I kept finding myself checking and checking the labels. Could these really all be created by the same artist? Yes.

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