Category Archives: retirement

Thailand Redux

redux
ˈriːdʌks/

adjective:
brought back; revived

I share this with you because there was just no way to tell the whole story the first time around. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever get close enough to tell the tale; I still have hundreds of unseen images and hours of video.

Every photo, every piece of video would require a minimum of four typed pages to explain their context, the story behind them. It is truer than ever here: a picture is worth a thousand words. This is simply another view of a wildly exotic and impossible-to-forget place on this planet.


Cuisine, Culture and the Cascais Coast

In this episode Aisha tackles preparing a Portuguese dourada (fresh caught Atlantic golden bream) for dinner, a trip to one of the most important private collections in the world (Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon), lunch in a hidden gem of a local restaurant, and a long, leisurely ride down the three kilometer boardwalk from Cascais to the beach at Praia da Poça, also known as São João do Estoril.

Every day I never tire of saying the same dang thing; “Isn’t this lovely?”

As the days of Aisha’ time with us come to a close, we see many beautiful sites and appreciate every one that passes before us. Doesn’t make knowing she will soon leave any easier. However. Que será, será, baby.


Lettin’ Loose in Lisbon

We set out to see the City. Not the pretty postcard shots and iconic landmarks that you can find on virtually every Lisbon photo ever taken. I have plenty of pictures of ancient buildings, grand architecture, plazas and fountains and hillside vistas.  We wanted to get closer to the everyday lifeblood of old Lisboa. Since it’s August and the height of tourist season — feels like all of Europe has descended on Portugal — we couldn’t escape all the crowds, but were always on the lookout for the little alleyway, the path of least congestion, or the side track that might lead to a different perspective of this city’s place and time. Although friendly and always welcoming, Lisboa does not reveal all her secrets at once. She wants to get to know you first. This was Aisha’s introduction. They got along just fine.


Aisha’s August Arrival

If you are one of the very, very lucky ones in this unpredictable world, you may get to have someone like Aisha in your life.  She exudes a love and appreciation of everything around her and emits a contagious vibration that works on everyone in her immediate vicinity. It’s like some kind of crazy smile virus. But don’t worry, this is something you definitely want to catch.


Stalking The Centre For The Unknown

This place has fired my curiosity ever since we moved here. It’s instantly recognizable looking out from the train to Lisbon. What the hell are they doing in there? Unknown what? Artificial Intelligence? Extra dimensional travel? Galactic Alien Relocation Center? What’s going on? Turns out the Champalimaud Foundation (named after a wealthy Portuguese benefactor) is a world renown cancer research facility. I’m glad they’re doing good work there, but I’m a wee bit disappointed they didn’t quite fan the flame of my wild imaginings.

My curiosity built to the breaking point after I recently wrote a short science fiction play and entered it into a contest (The Future of Art). The  intriguing theme of the contest is Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Conflict: How will AI change the nature of human endeavor? Sounded like a challenge to me so I answered it by lobbing a Molotov cocktail into the discussion.  Hey, it’s what I do sometimes.  A filmmaker pal thinks we should shoot it as a movie here.

Here is the animated view of the facility a full three years before it was built. Looks amazingly like the final product in real life.

Pretty cool, yes? Just another day in one of the world’s oldest cities that also happens to have it’s eyes sharply focused on the future.

If you are interested, let me know and I’ll email you a copy of the play; it’s a pretty quick read. And my take on the theme has to do with AI, self-aware robots and NDE’s (Near Death Experiences). Yeah, it’s that far out there, but as in a lot of sci-fi…is it?

 


Alfama: The Oldest District In Lisbon

An ancient neighborhood (‘bairro’ in Portuguese) beginning on top of a spectacular hill. The Alfama district winds down to the Rio Tejo in a labyrinthine series of narrow streets, alley ways and storefronts that are the epitome of the word ‘quaint.’ We took some visiting friends there and got a soulful glance into this eternally fascinating city.


New York Minuet

What is a minuet? It’s a dance, a social dance. And that’s what the entire eight day excursion was in the wilds of New York City and its even wilder environs. It was one continuous dance.

We stayed in the Bronx, the more up-and-coming area known as South Bronx, or Sobro. Still, even though I was the OWD (only white dude), I got the same feeling I often get when we travel: we are the foreigners, the minority. And sometimes that’s not a bad thing. We never felt threatened, in danger, nor did we get robbed, beaten, stabbed or killed — not killed even once! Though on a couple of occasions I did get extra looks, smiles mostly.  The area where my daughter and granddaughter live (‘Sup Brooke Ave!) is not yet used to seeing many white people of a certain age. Their neighborhood is mostly a mixture of Hispanic, i.e., Dominican Republic, Central and South Americans and blacks; not only African Americans but from all other African countries. On the street and especially in the subways, you hear the music of languages that originate from every culture on earth.

I was thrilled and honored to be a part of the 4th Annual Schreiber Shorts play festival (check it out here, if you have a moment). I felt like a famous playwright for a night and even got to schmooze the after-show reception with my granddaughter, Aisha Carpenter (an acting student at the T. Schreiber Theatre and Studio) by my side.

cowboy-cutCOWBOY CUT

Corruption, Greed, & Deception on an Arizona Ranch
By Nelson Clark
Directed by Ann Cooley
With: Bill Barry, Ivan Sandomire, Tai Thompson

For me, the whole time was an exercise in gratitude; every minute I tried to appreciate exactly how lucky a creature I am.

aisha-and-big-b

Going to New York is always big, brash and busy, and we loved our visit…but honestly? Despite all the energy, the vibrancy and never-ending noise,  traffic, subway congestion and even the snow falling gently down and covering the freshly heaved vomit on the sidewalk, it was a relief to return to Portugal. We love our girls and wish them all the success and fulfillment the city can help them achieve. But it sure was nice to get back, after a long and exuberant dance, and relax on the veranda with Wyatt Earp Clark.  The three of us sit close and look out over a magnificent vista where we watch the big winter waves crash on the beach at Pria da Poça. It was a good trip.


%d bloggers like this: