blog > Posts tagged "travel"

Lessons of Pompidou by Misha Lyuve
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Sep 24, 2013

Last week, while in Paris I visited Pompidou Center and here is what it taught me.

In travel literature it was described as “monstrous” and “love it or hate it.” Among the refined and airy neighborhood Parisian buildings with fine moldings and intricate railings, Pompidou Center does feel like a sore in an eye – a large transparent box with metal columns where functional inner workings (water and air pipes, elevators, wiring) brought to the outside in bright red, yellow, blue and green.

Many times had I seen it before and this time around yet again I found it bizarre, puzzling, incomprehensible.

Inside the center I visited the modern art section of 1960+ at National Museum of Modern Art. It immersed me into the diverse multi-media world of art that left me emotionally touched and experientially full.

Kader Attia "Ghost"

Kader Attia "Ghost"

Pompidou paris view

The view from the very top of Pompidou Center

The building has also terraces on top floors. Each of them brought out a unique view of Paris. From the very top you can see myriad of roofs with Eiffel tower in the back. From the lower floor you could catch close up details of the buildings near by.

There was a moment when I realized that like in many other life situations I was looking for attributes of beauty on the outside, but Pompidou Center was showing it to me from the inside.

When I left the museum and looked back at the building, I saw it in a new light. Now I could appreciate how purposeful and deliberate it was. How in contrast it highlighted the elegance of the surrounding, while proudly keeping its one of a kind character. Proudly. And yes, there was monstrosity and there was beauty.

Pompidou center paris

Lessons of Indonesia – How Little We Need to Communicate… by Misha Lyuve

Dec 7, 2011

 

My silence experiment in the previous posting was inspired by traveling through Indonesia. I was warned that driving would require some very special skills so I didn’t risk driving myself. But I paid attention and managed to discover the unique skills of Indonesian drivers among other treasures of the islands.

Narrow roads of Indonesia are hustling with motorbikes, cars and vans, small businesses on both sides and kids playing right off the road (my friends who are parents would probably lose their mind from the idea). This is the world that is not regulated by many streetlights or signs (especially outside of big cities), doesn’t have many handrails or clearly designated pedestrian areas, but nevertheless lives in order. And while children car seats are mandatory in the US, in Indonesia many times the little ones just hang off their parent’s shoulder who is riding the motorbike.

For the world of Indonesia traffic to function, the inner intelligence of self-governance created a new language – the language of honking. Unlike New York City where honking is a sign of irritation and impatience, anger and detest, in Indonesia it speaks a warning before a turn on a windy road, gratitude when you acknowledge someone who let you move in front of them, courtesy when you allow someone to pass you and a greeting if you see an old friend.

How little we need to communicate…

Photos by Dr. Mikhail Tis

Roerich: between Russia and Tibet to a hidden treasure in New York city by Misha Lyuve

Feb 3, 2011

Roerich Museum, New York city

Some place on the 107th st in New York city there is a small cottage that feels more like a cozy living space than a traditional museum. It is dedicated to the work of Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947), a famous Russian painter, philosopher, writer, traveler, and public figure, who left behind over 7000 painting and 30 literary works among other contributions.   

Madonna Oriflamma with Banner of Peace. 1932

While extensively traveling in Russia, Roerich observed how ancient monuments, churches and other historic objects were much neglected and saw a need to have cultural treasures protected in an organized way. It took him many years and continents, but in 1935 this idea was realized in Roerich pact, a treaty among pan-American countries that used a flag (Banner of Peace) to mark the protected historic monuments, especially during the war times. The treaty is still in force.  

Roerich and his family have done very extensive expeditions through India, Bhutan, Tibet, China and Mongolia. And I am looking back 100 years ago, when there were no planes, paved roads, fleece or gortex – but nothing could stop these people to follow their calling to visit far lands to explore them, to learn from them and share them with others. I guess I should stop complaining about the inconveninces of modern travel.  

The works of Roerich are dreamy and rich from saints to glorious mountain views to churches to nature and full of meaning and story and spirit – see for yourself: http://www.roerich.org/wwp.html