A walk to remember at Bethmann Park

fuchsia

They wiggled and giggled, and seemed as if they danced with the autumn wind that blew upon them. In my imagination, I heard them say, “come dance with us!”

I stopped and gazed, and thought, “what a beautiful spray of fuchsias.”

This was one of the scenes I remember so well as if I visited the park yesterday despite the fact that it had been more than a month. The pale-pink fuchsias must’ve been withered by now against the mossy bricks of Bethmann Park, just like the fate of their cousins, the fandango-pink fuchsias.

fuchsia2

It was truly a revivifying visit. Surrounded by flowers, plants and trees, I feel like I was a part of the nature; if I had not been a human, I’d be a magical walking tree with two legs wearing black boots. While imagining that, serendipity knocked, as I walked by pass a clump of grass. I had put a spell on the grass and painted it black!

boots

OK, I got carried away in my imagination. It was my first time seeing Black Mondo grass. Jakun sikit. Black Mondo grass is not the typical kind of grass. It is a member of the lily family and are closely related to the notorious lily of the valley. It has bell-shaped pink flowers with white overtones rising above the foliage from mid to late summer. It’s attractive grassy leaves remain black in colour throughout the season. It produces black berries from early to mid fall.

As I walked further in the park, immersing my thoughts with nature, I came across other beauties, as if I entered Claude Monet’s garden, with reference to The Artist’s Garden At Giverny, c.1900.

purpleflowers

My imagination ran wild and later I was in Alice’s Wonderland where a gigantic chessboard lay not far from the Monet’s garden.

chess

No Red Queen here, unfortunately.

Back to reality. Here are some more photos from the park. I’m not going to post typical shots of flowers though, there’s too many on the Internet.

orange-leaves

woman

dahlia

seed

trees

Napoleon once strolled under the green leaves here at Bethmann Park, not to mention many royals and leaders visiting Frankfurt. The park was once owned by the Bethmann family. It was bought by the city in 1941 and some twelve years later, a public garden was created.

Hidden behind walls in the middle of Bornheim, an area filled with small cafes, neighbourhood shops and restaurants, this small idyllic refuge is calling visitors to take a quiet break from the noise and clamour of the city.

The Bethmann park is certainly worth a visit as it is one of the off-the-beaten paths in Frankfurt. The easiest way to reach the park is by underground, it is just a short walk along Berger Straße from the Merianplatz Station on the U4 line.

Bethmann Park,
Friedberger Landstraße/Berger Straße,
Frankfurt am Main (Bornheim/Ostend).

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Sakura Coupy Pencil; Top Commenter Nov-Dec 2015 giveaway

I am giving away a Sakura Coupy Pencil colours for top commenter for combined month of November and December 2015.

coupy

If you are into colouring, this set will be great for you. I have not try it just yet because I am giving away my own set to the lucky one. I will probably buy a new one later.

So, if you are up to this, these are the things that you have to do:

  1. Comment away from now until December 31st 2015. It means your name have to appear top on my Nov-Dec 2015 Top Ones widget (right sidebar). Refresh to see your name and comments count. Please come often and check the count. You need to put in more comments if you are overtaken by other commenters. If you are a first-timer, your comment is under moderation. Please allow some time for me to approve.
  2. Opens to anyone interested.
  3. Closing date/time: December 31, 11.59pm.

That’s it! Good luck!

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5 Best Emerging Travel Destinations

Similar to clothing, restaurants, haircuts and London boroughs, the travel industry sees emerging trends every year. From city breaks to gap years to package holidays – there is always a hot new destination to check out. Here is a list of the top five hot spots to visit in summer 2016.

1. Marrakech, Morrocco

Guests enter a haze of swirling patterns, bustling souks and spicy scents on a trip to Marrakech. Top sites to visit include Musee de Marrakech, Djemaa El-Fna square, Marrakech Medina and Jardin Majorelle. You might by now have guessed that French is commonly spoken throughout the city! Be sure to take a wander around the markets to be part of the distinctive scents, sounds and movement.

marakech

2. Siem Reap, Cambodia

South East Asia is a must for most travellers looking for a life changing experience. This city is a gateway into one of the largest religious sites in the world – perfect for those looking to get spiritual. Discover the ruins of Angkor Wat, get a monk water blessing at Bayon Temple and make your way through Angkor Night Market. Nearby, the 12th century Angkor Thom royal city is another highlight.

3. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik hosts a bit of a fairytale landscape, with gothic churches and spires punctuate the skyline. This is a city soaked in fascinating European history and culture, often overlooked for Paris and London. Take a walk around the UNESCO listed Old Town, explore the palaces, discover the old city walls and – most importantly – call in at a restaurant for some delicious Croatian wine.

dubrovnik

4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

For some South American flavour, head to Argentina’s confident capital city that has a European twist. This is home of the tango, so expect a lively night life with lots of dancing. It has also built a reputation for being a bit of a shopping mecca, so this is an ideal destination for those looking to splash some cash on indulgences. Be sure to call in at the city’s oldest bar, Cafe Tortoni, built in 1858.

5. New York, America

The concrete jungle that needs no introduction, New York sells itself to travellers everyday through TV, song and film. Williamsburg in Brooklyn is on the rise an up and coming trendy area, so swing on by for a cool cocktail in an arcade game themed bar. There are always new exhibitions on at the galleries an museums and the National History Museum never fails to impress visitors of all ages.

Of course, nothing quite beats the classics like a sunny beach in Marbella or a romantic stay in Paris. As long as you book for somewhere that gets you excited – you’re onto a winner.

Images by Martin Fisch and Ivan Ivankovic used under the Creative Commons license.

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Tales from the Graveyard

When I told Daiana I wanted to visit art places, one of the places she suggested was the Frankfurt Main Cemetery at Eckenheimer Landstrasse 194.

“I been there few times and fell in love with the arts, furthermore, I want to find the grave of Arthur Schopenhauer. I had not been able to find it on my previous visits because the cemetery is very large,” she added.  Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher, often called the “philosopher of pessimism,” whose writings influenced later existential philosophy and Freudian psychology.

I agreed right away because it would be great to see the philosopher’s grave not to mention the artistic side of the cemetery.

I find the cemetery very fascinating because of the beauty of memorial art, the various styles and designs, the skills and craftsmanship sculpting a material as hard as granite. Many memorials are truly works of art and what added to the beauty is mother nature itself.

angel

rose

inliebefurmama

hand

hand

littleangel

angel

1800

daiana

The Frankfurt Main Cemetery (German: Hauptfriedhof) is the largest cemetery in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It was opened in 1828. The cemetery is located directly adjacent to two Jewish cemeteries, the Old Jewish Cemetery (opened together with the Main Cemetery in 1828) and the New Jewish Cemetery (opened in 1928), and together they constitute one of the largest cemetery areas in Germany.

The New Jewish Cemetery is the burial ground for many historical Jewish figures as well as other citizens of Frankfurt in the 19th and 20th centuries. The well maintained grounds give this cemetery a pleasant park-like appearance. A sobering Holocaust memorial stands near the entrance to the cemetery. Some individual gravestones and cenotaphs note that individuals were murdered at Nazi death camps. Many Frankfurt Jews who committed suicide rather than be deported to death camps are buried in a separate section.

After walking long in the cemetery, we found Schopenhauer’s grave.

schopenhauerEach day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth; every going to rest and sleep a little death. – Arthur Schopenhauer (Born: February 22, 1788, Poland
Died: September 21, 1860, Frankfurt).

I end this post with a little haiku (accompany by my photo) that I wrote inspired by this visit:

Tales from the Graveyard (Hauptfriedhof)
Beyond buried souls
etched marbles and bronze sculptures
Ivy thrives on tombs.

tomb01

 

Reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Main_Cemetery
http://www.hauptfriedhof-frankfurt.de/

 

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Liebieghaus: from Ancient Egypt to Neoclassicism

Walking by the tranquil water of the Main, Daiana and I stopped-by Liebieghaus; a museum that accommodates a sculpture collection of the highest quality as a complement to the already existing painting collection in the Städel Museum.

Formerly a retirement home for the Bohemian textile manufacturer Baron Heinrich von Liebieg (1839–1904), the museum is surrounded by a romantic garden where ancient sculptures are hidden between the trees.

Liebieghaus_blog

The splendid Liebieg Villa was built between the 1892 and 1896 by the architect Leonhard Romeis; its design combines features of different architectural styles from all over Europe.

liebieghaus

The museum’s collection includes ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian sculpture, as well as Medieval, Baroque, Renaissance and Classicist pieces, and works from the Far East. The collection was built up mostly through endowments and international purchases, and is universal in scope, with no particular link to the art or history of Frankfurt.

Some of the exhibits include:

athenaStatue of Athena, Ad 180-190.

dionysusTriumphal procession of Dionysus, Ad 160/170.

WomanPortrait of a Deceased Woman, Palmyra (Syria), AD200/250.

egyptcoffinlidCoffins of Takait, Priestess of Amun, New Kingdom 19th Dynasty 13th C. BC

vizierFigure of the Vizier Paser, Egypt, Deir el-Bahari, New Kingdom, 19th Century, 13th c. BC

mummygirlMummy Portrait of a Girl, Roman Egypt, 120–150 AD

 

Unlike museums which have grown out of the royalty’s passion for collecting, the Liebieghaus is a remarkable result of municipal and civil commitment. As early as the beginning of the twentieth century, it proved possible to acquire numerous outstanding works for the museum within a few short years. Prominent sculptures from other municipal museums of Frankfurt as well as various private collections were likewise thus brought together. The museum accordingly reflects collection activities pursued on an ongoing basis on the very highest level of quality.

The dedication of the citizens of Frankfurt – expressed in very special manner in donations to the collection – is of fundamental importance for the museum’s self-conception, and continues to play a major role to the very present.

Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection
Schaumainkai 71
60596 Frankfurt am Main
http://www.liebieghaus.de

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Finding Simonetta at The Städel

The last time I tried to ‘meet’ Simonetta was at Uffizi Museum in Florence last year, but I scrapped the idea because the queue was too long. When I learned that queuing for the ticket is one thing, queuing to get inside is another, I knew I wasn’t meant to meet her. I should’ve bought the ticket online but I was not sure of the date to visit.

You see, I wanted to see her in some of Botticelli’s original paintings, that includes The Birth of Venus and La Primavera (also known as Allegory of Spring). She was thought to be his muse.

VenusThe Birth of Venus.

primaveraLa Primavera.

In The Birth of Venus, Venus is the central figure standing on a shell blown ashore by the wind gods Zephyrus and Aura. The scene makes reference to the birth of the goddess as told in Hesiod and Homer.

In La Primavera, Venus is seen again, well-dressed, in a scene that draws inspiration from Ovid’s tale of the arrival of spring. Venus seems to capture our attention with her gaze.

Whose lovely face inspired this image of Venus? Could they have been inspired by real women? Or by the same woman?

Many said that the Venus character was based on a model named Simonetta, who was 16 and married. She modelled not only for Botticelli’s paintings but for other well-known painters as well (Piero di Cosimo was one).

Then, rumour has it that Botticelli fell in love with Simonetta, but he kept it to himself. He celebrated his love for her by painting her many times over on most of his paintings.

simonettasSome of Botticelli’s renditions of Simonetta.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simonetta_Vespucci

He continued to paint her even after she died at the age of 22. The Birth of Venus was actually completed nine years after her death. That seems to confirm that Botticelli was in love with her and that he was still able to still capture her beauty even by painting her from memory.

Anyway, when I learned that Botticelli’s paintings, including Idealised Portrait of A Lady (Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci As Nymph, ca. 1475), were on display at Städel Museum as Highlight Collection, I was excited.

I visited Städel Museum with my friend, Daiana, on the very first day I reached Frankfurt.

simonetta_frankfurtSource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_a_Young_Woman_(Botticelli,_Frankfurt)

Seeing Simonetta up-close on canvas was too personal. I was able to admire her beauty, Botticelli’s stroke and the legends that evolved around her. My mind wandered through all the stories that I read about her and Botticelli. I like to believe that the love story between them was real just like how the painting itself looks real.

Finding Simonetta at the Städel was one of the best things that happened to me. I wont be concluding the ‘meeting’ with her as I have yet to find her (in future travels) in other galleries around the world.

Till we meet again, Simonetta.

About Städel Museum
Städel Museum houses the world’s most important art collection. It encompass 3,000 paintings, 600 sculptures, more than 10,000 drawings and prints and 1,600 photographs. The collections are divided into few categories; Old Master Painting 1300 – 1800, Modern Art 1800 – 1945, Contemporary 1945 – The Present and Department of Prints And Drawings.

The Old Master Painting collection presents original paintings by Jan van Eyck, Lochner, Mantegna, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Poussin, Dürer and many more. This collection is my favourite as I really admire the old master painters.

As for the Modern Art collection, it presents paintings by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Marc, Kirchner, Beckmann and many more from the era of Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and Expressionism.

STÄDEL MUSEUM
Schaumainkai 63
60596 Frankfurt am Main
+49(0)69-605098-0
http://www.staedelmuseum.de/en/
info@staedelmuseum.de

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Museumsufer for art lovers

Prior to visiting Frankfurt, I made plans with Daiana Olteanu, a Romanian friend whom I met last year at Frankfurt BookFair, who is living in Frankfurt, to go for art discovery around Frankfurt.

I have two days free before the book fair and a day after the bookfair. So we planned well and try to cover as many art categories as we can.

From the hotel, we walked to Hauptwache, past Romer and then across the Main River to get to the other side of the river to an area called The Frankfurt museum embankment (Museumsufer). Alternatively we could take the tram or train but we preferred to walk to enjoy the nice chilly weather.

The embankment is one of the most important locations for museums in Germany and Europe. Through this unique cultural experience on both sides of the Main, the city enjoys an excellent reputation among art lovers.

There’s a total of 12 museums on the Schaumankai side, whereas about 22 museums on the other side of the Main River (some near the river, others located sporadically around Frankfurt city).

Frankfurt has more than 60 museums but there’s only 34 museums participating under Museumsufer:

  1. Altana Kulturstiftung im Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg
  2. Archäologisches Museum Frankfurt
  3. Bibelhaus Erlebnis Museum
  4. Caricatura Museum Frankfurt
  5. Deutsches Architekturmuseum
  6. Deutsches Filmmuseum
  7. Deutsches Ledermuseum, Offenbach
  8. Dommuseum Frankfurt am Main
  9. Eintracht Frankfurt Museum
  10. Fotografie Forum Frankfurt
  11. Frankfurter Kunstverein
  12. Geldmuseum der Deutschen Bundesbank*
  13. Frankfurter Goethe-Haus/Goethe-Museum
  14. Haus der Stadtgeschichte, Offenbach
  15. Hindemith Kabinett im Kuhhirtenturm
  16. Historisches Museum Frankfurt/ Höchster Porzellan-Museum
  17. Ikonen-Museum der Stadt Frankfurt
  18. Institut für Stadtgeschichte/Karmeliterkloster
  19. Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt
  20. Kindermuseum Frankfurt
  21. Klingspor-Museum, Offenbach
  22. Liebieghaus – Skulpturensammlung
  23. Weltkulturen Museum
  24. Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt
  25. Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main
  26. Museum für Kommunikation Frankfurt
  27. Museum Giersch
  28. Museum Judengasse
  29. Portikus*
  30. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
  31. Senckenberg Naturmuseum Frankfurt
  32. Städel Museum
  33. Stoltze-Museum der Frankfurter Sparkasse*
  34. Struwwelpeter-Museum/Heinrich-Hoffmann-Museum

Do keep in mind that these museums are closed due to renovation works:
– Geldmuseum (Money Museum) until end of 2016
– Jüdisches Museum until 2018
– Museum Judengasse until spring 2016
– Stoltze-Museum has been relocated for 18 month to another building

museumlocationParticipating museums location.

Museum Embankment-Ticket
You can use the Museumsufer ticket to visit 34 museums on two consecutive days. If on the day after purchase museums are officially closed the ticket’s validity is extended by one day.

The Museumsufer ticket is available in three versions:
. as single ticket for €18
. as family card for 2 adults (in a partnership) and children/grandchildren under 18 years for €28
. as a concessionary ticket €10

The Ticket is not transferable; you need to show your passport and write your name on the ticket, and is only valid in combination with genuine identification.

tixSingle ticket €18 with my name on it.

I will tell about the museums I went to in my next posts (with lots of photos).

* Book your cheap Kuala Lumpur Frankfurt flights (KUL – FRA) with Lufthansa and enjoy beautiful Frankfurt. Benefit from the low fares and great service! And don’t forget to try Premium Economy Class for more personal space, more free baggage, more service. Long-haul travel in Premium Economy Class comes with plenty of comforts. 

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Emila Yusof’s colourart book making news in Germany

leben_anja

ENGLISH:

Neue Presse 9 November 2015

(Headline)
Colour us excited!

(Introduction)
Sharpen your crayons and go! colouring isn’t kids’ stuff anymore but a real trend among adults to unwind. ‘Neue Presse’ editor Maike Jacobs and Frank Wilde (photography) present the most interesting books and the stars of the scene.

(Text)
When Anja Leidel is colouring she tends to forget everything around her. Colouring is pure relaxation for her. She loses herself completely in the worlds on paper that become more colourful with every stroke: ‘This form of colouring is for me a creative kind of meditation’, the 38-year-old says. ‘It’s so exciting to see how the colours come to life and the picture changes its expression. You stop thinking about anything else – colouring art truly grounds me.

Anja Leidel always used to draw and paint, showed her paintings in an exhibition in high school times but didn’t continue her hobby. ‘I became a graphic designer and focused on editorial design instead.’ Besides her agency she founded a small publishing house called ‘feingespinst‘ last year dedicated to publish beautiful and artful books.

‘At Frankfurt book fair last year I met the Malaysian artist, Emila Yusof. I liked her artworks so much that I immediately decided to publish them as colouring art books for adults under my publishing label.’ Each of the colouring art books ‘Mama Erde’ (‘Mother Earth’) and ‘Liebe Natur’ (‘Nature Sings’) contain 13 hand drawn artworks by Emila Yusof. ‘You can frame your masterpiece after it’s done or give it away as a a gift’, the young publisher recommends.

And of course Anja Leidel rediscovered her old hobby and now colours with enthusiasm herself: ‘When colouring, the biggest joy is creating your own rules – what colours you choose or what combinations you use.’

(Caption:)
EXCITED: Anja Leidel hasn’t only discovered her passion for colouring, but published two colouring books for adults. ‘Mutter Erde’ — ‘Mother Earth’ — (small photograph) is one of them.

GERMAN:

Neue Presse 9. November 2015

(Headline)
Das können Sie sich nicht schöner ausmalen

(Introduction)
Stifte gespitzt und los gehts: Ausmalen ist kein Kinderkram, sondern unter Erwachsenen ein echter Trend mit meditativer Wirkung. NP-Redakteurin Maike Jacobs und Frank Wilde (Fotos) stellen die interessantesten Bücher und die Stars der Szene vor.

(Text)
Wenn Anja Leidel ausmalt, dann vergisst sie alles um sich herum. Malen, das ist für sie pures Abschalten. Sie verliert sich vollkommen in den Welten auf dem Papier, die Strich um Strich bunter werden: „Diese Form des Ausmalens ist für mich eine kreative Art der Meditation“, sagt die 38-Jährige. „Es ist so spannend, zu sehen, wie die Farben allmählich wirken und das Bild einen anderen Ausdruck bekommt. Man denkt an nichts anderes – das Ausmalen erdet einen!“

Anja Leidel hat schon immer gemalt, als Abiturientin sogar eine Ausstellung mit ihren Bildern gehabt, aber dann das Hobby nicht weiter verfolgt. „Ich bin Grafikdesignerin geworden, habe mich mehr auf Publikationsdesign konzentriert.“

Neben ihrer Agentur hat die Hannoveranerin im letzten Jahr den kleinen Verlag „Feingespinst“ aufgebaut, in dem sie schöne, künstlerische Bücher herausbringt.

„Vergangenes Jahr habe ich auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse die malaysische Künstlerin Emila Yusof kennengelernt. Ihre Bilder fand ich gleich so toll, dass ich sofort beschloss, diese als Malbücher für Erwachsene in meinem Verlag herauszubringen.“ Die Bücher „Mama Erde“ und „Liebe Natur“ sind Ausmalbücher (8,50 Euro) mit jeweils 13 handgezeichneten Motiven. „Man kann die Bilder auch nach dem Ausmalen heraustrennen, sich rahmen oder auch verschenken“, sagt die Jung-Verlegerin.

Und natürlich hat Anja Leidel ihr altes Hobby wiederentdeckt und malt mit Begeisterung selbst aus: „Beim Ausmalen ist der besondere Spaß, dass man sich selbst die Regeln setzen kann, welche Farben man nimmt, unter welchen Aspekten man die Muster coloriert.“

(Caption:)

BEGEISTERT: Anja Leidel hat nicht nur ihre Leidenschaft fürs Ausmalen entdeckt, sondern auch schon zwei Erwachsenen-Malbücher herausgebracht. „Mutter Erde“ (kleines Foto) ist eines davon.

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