The Blue Aegean Sea…

(Aegean Coast of Turkey, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

I’ve never seen a bluer sea, and I’ve seen many, because if there is one thing that I love is the water…I was born near the water and I’ve always lived in a coastal city or town…but the Aegean Sea is incredibly beautiful.

Here are some shots I took while sailing in Turkish waters…

And areas along the coast heading south from Bodrum, and Bodrum is more or less in the middle of the Turkish Aegean coast, about a one hour flight from Istanbul.

It’s a very relaxing time, the time you spend on the water, and since most of the coastline is composed of coves and small bays, you can anchor and jump in any time of the day or the night that you like…

(Our saiboat, we rented it with friends, for one week, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

When you hire a boat, it comes with a captain, a chef and a first mate. You then purchase everything and anything you wish to eat along the voyage as well as everything and anything you would like to drink. We had a great chef and ate gourmet quality food throughout the seven days of sailing the Turkish Aegean.

It is a very relaxing and refreshing time, a most enjoyable experience. You eat, you drink, you take in the sunshine and the gorgeous waters of that blue, blue Aegean Sea…

I leave you with a little video clip that I made of my trips and journeys in Turkey, a country I know very well, although I should say that I know the western, Aegean coast, because Turkey is a huge country and I know very little of all points east, north or further south…

Turkey, at least some of it…

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JaZzArt en Miami 2017 en los Tiempos de Bodo Vespaciano

(Nuestro jardín junto al Océano Atlántico en Miami Beach, foto de FBC, C.2019, Derechos Reservados, All Rights Reserved)

Bodo Vespaciano fue mi nom d’artist de 2003 al 2018 cuando di por terminado ese proyecto. Pero el arte de esos tiempos tiene vigencia y continuidad y no piede ni ha perdido valor…

JaZzArt comenzó en Omnia Caelum Studios of Art Miami y bajo el sello de Bodo Vespaciano…estos son algunos de esos dibujos que ahora forman parte de Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia. Espero que os guste…

Música original que compuse en 2008 en Miami Beach…

Todos los cuadros y dibujos en el vídeo son originales y muchos siguen disponibles en Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia (OCSV)…

Si os gusta, darle al like, compartir y seguidme, en YouTube también y en INSTAGRAM @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

Gracias…

I Did Live in Miami Beach…Viví en Miami Beach

Looking to the west, towards Biscayne Bay and the City of Miami. Mirando hacia el oeste, hacia la Bahía de Biscayne y la ciudad de Miami. Images C.2019 All Rights Reserved. Imágenes protegidas, Derechos Reservados)

I saw Miami Beach from many angles, from many points of view and through many changes…

He visto a Miami Beach de muchos ángulos y de muchos lugares y del punto de vista de muchos y además vi muchos cambios…

The skies over Miami Beach are a canvas…

Sometimes they are filled with white mountains…the clouds…

Sometimes the clouds are filled with rain. Then it storms and you think the world is coming to an end but in less than twenty minutes, the sun comes back, the sidewalks dry and you totally forgot the rain…

This is Miami Beach…

Los cielos de Miami Beach son un lienzo…

A veces se llenan de montañas blancas…las nubes y los celajes…

A veces las nubes se llenan de agua y llueve torrencialmente y nos parece que se va acabar el mundo, pero en veinte minutos escampa y sale el sol, las aceras se secan y se nos olvida que ha llovido…

Así es Miami Beach…

(“Pájaros de este lugar”. “The Birds of this place”. All images protected by C.2019 All Rights Reserved, Derechos Reservados)

A simple island that grew and grew under the most dramatic skies and the clouds looked down upon her…

A witness to the lightning shows over the Atlantic Ocean and a piece of land that hoped that the storms would never reach her shores…

A place where nothing grows old and everything wishes to be new…

This is Miami Beach…

Una islita que fue creciendo y creciendo bajo un cielo donde el drama de las nubes la contempla…

Isla que es testigo de las grandes tormentas, de miles de centellas, truenos y enormes relámpagos que sobre el océano Atlántico existen y que espera que jamás lleguen a su orilla…

Lugar donde nada envejece y todo desea ser algo joven y nuevo…

Esta es Miami Beach…

(Las aves de las arenas. Birds of the sands. Image protected, C.2019 All Rithts Reserved, Derechos Reservados)

And after many years went by, some slow, some very fast, just like the birds, I left Miami Beach and came home…

And that too is Miami Beach…

Y los años pasaron, unos lentos otros a mil y yo, como las aves de paso, me fui de Miami Beach y regresé a casa…

Y eso también es Miami Beach…

(Indian Creek Lagoon. Laguna de Indian Creek. Image protected by C.2019, All Rights Reserved, Derechos Reservados)

The End

Fin

Goodbye…

Agur

C.2019 Derechos Reservados, All Rights Reserved.

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Why I live next to the Sea…

(Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, photo by FBC, C.2019 USA Derechos Reservados)

I don’t know if we all do but I definitely identify with the fact that I was born next to the sea and I’ve always lived, somewhere, next to the sea. I love the mountains, the valleys, the rivers and the woods…even deserts…but I would not want to live anywhere where I cannot see, hear and smell the sea, or the ocean…

(my back yard in the Florida Keys, photo by FBC, C.2019 USA Derechos Reservados)

I think it has greatly influenced my life as an artist…

Of course, speaking only for myself, I get energy from the breeze blowing over the surface of the salty waters that bring to land those very benefitial negative ions from the sea which are also healthy and inspiring. Although I do not believe in inspiration, I feel a certain impetus whenever I am near the water and it usually leads me towards artistic creation of some sort.

I saw a movie once that dealt with a mental hospital. The patients were very upset most of the time, they were restless and even violent. The staff and doctors were rather corrupt and did very little to pacify them. Basically they would just lock the patients up in a cage outside and leave them there, even during rain storms.

Then a therapist was sent to assist and he happened to be an artist. He painted an enormous canvas and placed it in the main resting hall where the patients were allowed to congregate. Little by little all the patients came forward and started staring at the painting. They were quiet, relaxed, at peace and tranquility reigned. So much so that the staff came to see what was going on. Then they saw the painting, and the camera panned the canvas.

What did the artist paint that caused such a psychological change in the patients of this institution? He painted the sea. Just the sea, no ships, no shoreline, nothing other than the waves in the middle of the ocean…

(Miami Beach during Hurricane Frances in 2002, photo by FBC, C.2019 Derechos Reservados)

I think that we all, regardless of our state of mental health, can gain much by looking at the ocean. Looking at water, having water nearby, even if it is a river, is relaxing and a major stress reliever…

(From my days in the Florida Keys. C.2019 USA Derechos Reservados)

I want to know if people that were born in the mountains feel the same way. I want to know if they have the same attachments to their environment as I do to mine. And does your mountains, your valleys, your plains, deserts, forests or rivers give you the same intense energy that the sea gives to me. I would like to know.

You can follow me on Instagram where I place all my most recent artwork, both drawings and paintings. I am at @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and you can see my 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” collection by visiting http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

AND

If you liked what you read and saw, please like, follow and share and as always, comments are encouraged, welcome and appreciated.

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Cienfuegos, Cuba, The Pearl of the South, Punta Gorda

(The Bay of Cienfuegos, photo by FBC)

There is something about Cuba that is certainly worth talking…and blogging…about, the natural beauty of the island. For instance, the Bay of Cienfuegos…

Cienfuegos, situated in the south shore of Cuba, somewhat near the centre of the island, was founded in 1819 by immigrants from France, under the leadership of founder Mr. Luis De Clouet.

I had the opportunity to spend fifteen days in Cienfuegos. I stayed at a “casa particular”, which is the Cuban equivalency of a bed and breakfast. I chose a particular area of the city, a little peninsula…or a spit…that juts out into the bay and which is called “Punta Gorda”.

The Paseo del Prado is the main street that runs through this small neighbourhood after it crosses the Malecon de Cienfuegos, (The seawall), and from then on until the point at the end of the spit. I referred to it as the strip. Punta Gorda has a rather suburban feel, not unlike many places in Miami, Florida…

Punta Gorda must have been a beautiful neighbourhood back in the fifties. The area was developed much earlier, even as far back as the XIXth Century. But in the thirties, forties and fifties Punta Gorda enjoyed its best years. You can see huge mansions with large yards with fruit trees and all the houses, on one side of the main street or the other, are on the water…

The lovely green and white building above was the Yacht Club. Next to it you can see the Cienfuegos seawall, called the “Malecon”…

I stayed for a few nights at the Hotel Jagua, located at the end of the Punta Gorda strip. It was built in 1958, before the revolution, and it has that old 1950’s charm. It is on the water, with a little beach and with nice bars and restaurants. At night they have a Jazz club, and well, you know how I feel about Jazz…

The old Covadonga Restaurant is also on the water, across from the hotel. It certainly looks like a 1950’s building, although now it is rather run down. I was told by old timers that in the late 50’s it was a hopping place. People would crowd the tables on the waterside and drink their daiquiris and their mojitos under the shade and enjoying the Caribbean breezes…

When you leave Downtown Cienfuegos on the Paseo del Prado, basically Cienfuego’s main street, you are en route to Punta Gorda. At the very end of the strip is a rotunda, where there is a metal statue of dancers. Across is the De Valle palace. This was once a private home and now a museum and sometimes a banquet hall as well as a popular tourist attraction.

I must say that I did truly enjoy those days in Punta Gorda. Every day I would walk the Malecon strip and then the Paseo del Prado and enter into the downtown Cienfuegos neighbourhood. It was a lovely time, especially in March, when I went because the weather was not as hot as it gets in the summers.

Cienfuegos, on the whole, was a beautiful French city. A perfect grid of streets, all straight, all logical…

You can still see the majesty of most of the houses in the Downtown neighbourhood even though, because of lack of maintenance, many of the facades look rather run down. However, with a little paint and a little tender love and care, these structures will resurface again with the strength and beauty they originally possessed when they were built back in the late XIXth Century and early XXth.

Finally I just wanted to include a little side trip I made to Rancho Luna, the beach town, very close by, that Cienfuegos people call their beach. It has lovely beachfront homes on the side of a hill and of course, all those were the beach houses of “Cienfuegueros” (the folk of Cienfuegos), where they went to spend their summer holidays. The Cuban government appropriated these properties when the owners abandoned Cuba and sought political exile in Spain or in the US. Presently the house you see above is being used by the government as a “rest home” for patients convalescing from AIDS and HIV disease.

If you have liked what you have seen and read, please hit that like button, share and follow and as always, your comments are encouraged and always welcome. What do you think about travelling to Cuba? What do you know about Cuba? Let’s discuss these topics…

You can follow me on Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera where I post my artwork. And you can explore my “JaZzArt en Valencia” 2019 series by going to http://www.cdbaby.com/rfbravo1155

You can subscribe to my YouTube channel as well for many other videos like this one, which is about Cienfuegos. The music I did with my old group AJA (Abstract Jazz Arrangement) back in 1999.

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Miami Beach…What Can I say…

(Sailing on the Atlantic Ocean, Florida coast, photo by FBC)

Miami Beach, what can I say? Well…

I lived there for over thirty years. The best were the first fifteen, in many ways and for many personal reasons. The last few, not to say that they were bad, because I never regret anything I do, but they were not as good, for many personal reasons as well and because the city changed so much…towards what I would say negative progress…that I could not wait to leave.

Miami Beach, as I have previously written, was a great little city. During the 1950’s it was all gold and glitter. Frank Sinatra was singing at the Roney Palace, Jackie Gleason did The Honeymooners at the Miami Beach Theater of the Performing Arts, later renamed in his honour and most of the rich and famous partied there. Later, after the 1960’s it was virtually abandoned. Most of the great hotels, all oceanfront, became dilapidated, ugly, dirty and cheap and no one wanted to even pass by Ocean Drive. Then towards the end of the 1980’s the “Beach” resurfaced again and called itself “South Beach” and once again bars, restaurants and hotels began to pop up, the old Art Deco buildings began too look as good as they once were and the streets were once again filled with tourists and with those who wanted to live there and be a part of the history that was being done there at the time.

I was one of them…

I loved the galleries, the live music venues, the jazz clubs, the blues clubs, the rock clubs, the sushi bars, the Thai restaurants and everything else that suddenly made its way to South Beach that was not there before…

But it is not there anymore. When “South Beach” became “SoBe”, everything changed. No one could afford to have small businesses there or many to even live. The galleries all evaporated. The clubs and music venues, disappeared. In their place are now large dance clubs with electronic music. The small restaurants and bars, vanished in the haze. Now corporate America rules and runs the show with their Nike stores, and all of their symbols of affluence. No one else could afford Miami Beach, not even Crate & Barrel could afford the rents on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

Since everything I liked and admired about Miami Beach left, there was no other alternative for me than to leave as well…

But there are things that I do remember and that can never leave…

It is a shame, in many ways. Most of my previous Miami Beach friends have left as well. The ones that still live there complain that the City no longer cares about the permanent residents and is only concerned with the tourists and visitors. The City of Miami Beach is also quite interested in their best residents, the great hotels that line Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and other areas. They city does not even allow Air BnB to operate and they will fine you $20,000 if they catch you renting your flat to a tourist! Hotels seem to be the only establishments to get the full attention of the city government, for in residential areas, right on Collins Avenue, construction has torn up the streets and for more than two and a half years, the city has not bothered to complete it. Why? There are no big hotels there so they want to pressure people to sell and leave so that hotels could be built there and the politicians could be happy…

But…I wonder what the Ocean actually thinks about all these atrocious aspects of progress…

In conclusion, the best and only imperishable and immutable aspects of the city of Miami Beach is the great Atlantic Ocean, the perfect climate and the bluest of skies…so glad the city’s politicians cannot change that, so I will keep those memories always…

All photographs are property of FBC and cannot be reproduced or copied without written permission. C.2019 (Derechos Reservados)

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Comunitat Valenciana: Peñíscola

(From Papa Luna’s castle)

In the province of Castellón in the Comunitat Valenciana, Peñíscola has been awarded the title of city since 1707. Presently about eight thousand souls live there. It is considered among the most beautiful towns in Spain.

The city is on a small peninsula…basically a huge rock…separated from the mainland by a small spit of sand. The old town is on the small peninsula as well as the castle of Papa Luna. The modern city lies to either side along a large stretch of sandy beach.

The castle was built by the Knights Templars between 1294 y 1307.

Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor was named Pope in accordance to the Avignon Papacy and took the name of Benedict XIII of Avignon, although he was called “Papa (Pope) Luna”. The castle became his papal see.

To me it was like walking into another century. Picture yourself on a rock that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea, walking up a winding street…

It was a rather lovely experience from the top of the rock and the Templar Castle was a fascinating experience as well…

Peñíscola is a short distance from Valencia, perhaps an hour and a half by car. Definitely it would be a great addition to your visit to Valencia. I don’t really know about other times of the year, but October is a great time to visit as the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thin, so thin they are hardly visible. You can really enjoy the modern city as well as the Old Town on the Rock and Papa Luna’s Castle…

(Statue of Papa Luna as you enter the Castle)

Here are some of the images of the Old Town as well as the views from the battlements of the Templar Castle, Papa Luna’s home…

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(All photographs property of FBC and cannot be reproduced or copied without the expressed written permission of the owner. C.2019 Derechos Reservados)

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