Tag Archives: lisbon

Inspiration From Portuguese Artists at the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon

Prudencia by Domingos Rego 2000

I know who I am. When I look in the mirror, I see me. -Tracy Morgan

Family by Sarah Affonso 1937

Families are messy.- Rick Riordan

The Boy’s Lunch by Julio Pomar- 1926

The best inheritance a parent can give their children is a few minutes of their time each day.— Orlando Battista

Untitled by Jorge Barradas 1920

Accept your burden and carry it, with joy. ― John Ajvide Lindqvist

Maternity by José Sobral de Almada Negreiros- 1935

Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. – Sophocles

The Homecoming by Paulo Ferreira- 1935

Home is people. Not a place. – Robin Hobb

Encounter of  Natalie Correia (poet), Fernado Botelho (novelist) and Maria Joao Pires( pianist) -by Nikias Skapinakis- 1974

Anytime women come together with a collective intent it is a powerful thing. -Phylicia Rashad

Cramped by Hunger by Marcelino Vespeira -1945

We can end global poverty and hunger within our lifetimes. – Barack Obama

No Saying Yes by Rui Toscano -1970
(34 radio/music players each with a voice saying “yes” at different times)

The oldest, shortest words- yes and no– are those which require the most thought.- Pythagoras

Evolution of a Square in a Logarithmic Mesh by Artur Rosa 1926

The human heart likes a little disorder in its geometry.- Louis de Bernieres

Other posts…….

Inspiration at The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

Hawaiian Inspiration

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Filed under Art, Inspiration, Portugal

Why Did You Take A Picture of That?

Just a few years ago  you couldn’t take photos in art galleries.  Now that you can, I sometimes have trouble deciding what I should take pictures of. At Lisbon’s Museu Coleção Berardo I was charmed by all the interesting work. Here are some pieces I photographed and the reasons I chose to. 

White Aphrodisiac Telephone by Salvador Dali 1936

I noticed this piece because I recognized its creator Salvador Dali immediately. I learned so much about Salvador Dali when I  toured the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida in the winter of 2014 and then led related art activies and gave tours of an extremely popular exhibit of Dali’s work at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in the fall of that same year. 

One and Three Plants by Joseph Kosuth

I photographed this installation because it reminded me of Arizona where we lived for a year. Kosuth’s artwork made me think about what exactly a plant is. Is it the solid object we see?  Is a plant a plant because it fits the dictionary definition of a plant? When two people hear the word plant they may think of entirely different things. Why did Kosuth choose a cactus to represent plants? Interestingly I found out Kosuth has made many similar installations including One and Three Chairs, One and Three Shovels and One and Three Hats.

Untitled by Alexander Calder

This piece outside the Museu Coleção Berardo caught my eye because I had seen Calder’s work before in several different galleries, including the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and because the color and material also reminded me of a huge sculpture I had seen outside the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. The Museu Coleção Berardo also had this piece by Alex Calder.  It is called Black Spray.

Ten Foot Flowers by Andy Warhol

I was drawn to this work of Andy Warhol’s because it seemed so different than lots of his stuff.  They also have more traditional pieces by Warhol in the Lisbon Gallery like……….

Judy Garland by Andy Warhol -1979

Campbell’s Soup by Andy Warhol -1965

Brillo Box Andy Warhol -1964-1968

But the flowers were my favourite!

I’ll end with this piece that I chose to photograph because it kind of creeped me out!

The Giant Mantis by Germaine Richier

We spent hours in the Museu Coleção Berardo and there were many other artworks I wanted to explore further.  Maybe some day I will. 

Other posts…………

Getting To Know the Southwest With Art

Art in the Airport

Art From All Kinds of Things



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Filed under Art, Portugal

Lisbon By Design

Dave and I enjoy watching Sunday Morning on CBS. They have an annual show called By Design and each year it is based in a different city.  Last year it was in Amsterdam. As I took in the sights of Lisbon I decided to put together a blog post called Lisbon-By Design. 

Broken Jug by Frank Stella at Museu Coleção Berardo

Tree roots on the sidewalk in the Alfama district

Pottery in a shop window near Largo Chiado

Statue of King Jose trampling snakes in the Praça do Comércio

Graffiti in the Baixa District

Cobblestone sidewalk outside the Teatro Nacional De Sao Carlos

Tile panels from 16th century Turkey at the Gulbenkian

Handle on the door of our apartment on Corvos Street

Grasses in a park near the San Sebastian Metro Station

Fridge magnets for sale in a shop in Belém

Apple butternut squash soup at The Cellar on Rua dos Remedios

Bicycle on the wall near the Santa Apolonia Metro Station

Orient IV by Bridget Riley at the Museu Coleção Berardo

Other posts……..
By Design
Mennonite Floor Art

Build Your Own Inukshuk


Filed under Art, Portugal

What is Fado?

Our second night in Lisbon a waitress in a fur coat standing at the door of her establishment lured my husband inside.  We had been walking in a giant circle for quite some time, with Dave trying to pick the perfect restaurant and so he was feeling pressure to make a choice.  I think he might have been a little relieved that the decision was out of his hands when the woman almost pushed us through the front door, and seated us at a table.   A singer and two instrumentalists were performing.  “This is fado,” our waitress whispered.  I wasn’t sure what fado was, but the singer looked like he was almost in pain, his eyes closed.  Although we didn’t understand the Portuguese lyrics it was obvious whatever he was singing about was of a dramatic and sad nature. 

The prices on the menu were a little dramatic too, so we opted for bread and cheese, and a bowl of vegetable soup and another of spaghetti, which we shared.  The food was excellent however and while we ate a young woman came up and did some more fado singing. Her performance was just as dramatic as her male counterpart’s.  

As we left the restaurant the waitress in the fur coat stopped to talk to us.  She told us fado is a kind of music unique to Lisbon and directly translated means ‘fate.’  The songs are always melancholy in nature and singers are accompanied by different kinds of guitars .  The origins of fado are difficult to trace with possible sources being Brazilian slaves, Portuguese sailors or the Moors. 

The waitress said she hoped we’d come back. I’m not sure we will. I was glad to have been introduced to fado but I’m thinking it won’t become a new music interest for me. 

Other posts……..

A Little Pizza With Your Organ Music?

A Fun Evening in Toronto

Six Cool Things About Lisbon

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Filed under Music, Portugal

A Fascinating Conversation in a Tiny Wine Shop in Lisbon

We were winding our home after our walking tour of Lisbon when Dave decided to pop into a little wine shop.  He had been wanting to buy some port in Portugal. On our tour we had heard that Lisbon was also famous for a cherry liquer called Ginja and Dave wanted to try that too. The wine shop advertised free port tastings and the owner quickly cleared a table for us to have a sample.  It wasn’t long before before we were joined by a father and daughter from Utrecht, Holland and an American psychiatrist from the midwest. The ensuing conversation was marvelous.  We started off chatting with the people from Holland about how our ancestors had originally lived in their country and they told us a little about the weather and culture of their home and the family holiday they had been having together in Portugal. Then Dave, ever the history teacher, asked the Dutch folks from Utrecht about The Treaty of Utrecht which they had never heard of.  The psychiatrist knew all about the treaty though and chimed in with his insights and that got a conversation going about the relationship between Portugal and Holland. Eventually I got up to take a photo and said, “Isn’t this great? People from three different countries all in this tiny place in Lisbon sampling port and visiting.” The owner of the wine shop piped up and added, “Four countries.  I was born in Mozambique.” 

After a while the Dutch pair had to leave to catch their plane home but by this time I had gotten into quite the conversation with the psychiatrist who had stopped off in Portugal on his way back to the United States from Berlin where he’d been working on a paper about the similarities between psychotic and religious experiences. His side trip to Portugal was to help him get over the break up with his fiancee, a Luther scholar, which led me to tell him about the paper I wrote in college comparing Luther and Loyola and how students at that college shared their written opinions on a bulletin board called The Wittenberg Door.

The psychiatrist had been to Wittenberg with his former fiancee, and for some reason he decided to pour out his heart to me and I heard a long story about his mother’s cancer diagnosis, his fiancee’s sudden change of heart about ever having kids which led to their breakup, his former romance with a professional musician who plays in a Central American symphony orchestra and his worries about getting older and now needing to find a new partner who would want to start a family with him. After the psychiatrist went on his way, the shop owner helped Dave pick out his port and Ginja liquer and told us about his family’s experience being expelled from Mozambique after the country declared its independence from Portugal. Most people lost everything as they fled the country. You never know who you will meet or what stories you will hear when you step into a little wine shop in Lisbon!

Other posts……..

The World is Full of Interesting People

Four Interesting Couples

Our Guides in Asia

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First Supper in Lisbon- My Husband Has Great Instincts

which restaurant lisbon

Dave checks out one of the many restaurants he considered for dinner.

It took Dave a long time to decide where he wanted to eat supper our first night in Lisbon. He checked out a whole bunch of places but finally decided on a small restaurant near our house run by an elderly couple. restaurant owner lisbonThey couldn’t really speak English but we managed to communicate quite well with hand gestures and pointing to menu items and the owner helped us pick out what to have after supplying us with a plate of olives and a tray of bread. 
making our sangria lisbonThe owner left to buy the tuna and sea bass we had ordered from a nearby fish merchant. We watched his wife prepare our pitcher of Sangria step by step. She chopped oranges, splashed in wine, added other fruits she had already diced, threw in ice cubes, and then tasted the Sangria herself to be sure she’d got things right. Just then the owner  returned with our fish and his wife took it and bustled into the kitchen to cook while the man chatted with all kinds of people from the neighbourhood who stopped in to visit. 

restaurant lisbonThe meal was AMAZING!  The fish was flavorful and the homemade potato fries done to perfection.  

tuna steak lisbon

My tuna steak was so spicy and tender

There was a plate of salad for each of us included as well. We ordered a carafe of white wine for our meal. The portions were so hearty we simply COULD NOT find room for dessert although our host really wanted us to. 

restaurant owner and marylouBefore we left I asked our host if he would take a photo with me.  I wish I had taken one with his wife too. She came out of the kitchen just before we left and we told her how great the meal had been and she smiled and said some stuff in Portuguese that sounded happy and pleased. 

orange tree lisbonWe did stop on the way home to get a bag of oranges.  There are orange trees everywhere in Lisbon. oranges lisbonThe man who sold us the oranges told us they’d be sweet and was he ever right!  He also taught us to say obrigado which is thank you in Portuguese. 

little restaurant lisbonLater I looked up the restaurant which was called O Tasco Do Vigario on Trip Advisor and everyone just raved about it saying what a fabulous full course meal they’d had with cocktails and wine for two people for only around 20 Euros. Everyone gave it four or five stars! Our experience exactly!

Kudos to Dave for choosing the perfect place by instinct!

Other posts……..

Plumb Tuckered Out in Lisbon

Home Grown in Newfoundland

Meet You At the Folio

Celebrating Our Marriage History in a Historical Building



Filed under Food, Portugal, Restaurants

Plumb Tuckered Out in Lisbon

The door to our apartment in the Alfama area of Lisbon

How should we get to our place?  When we arrived in the Lisbon airport after being en route from Winnipeg for nearly 24 hours Dave asked me if I thought we should take a taxi or the metro subway to the little apartment we had rented in the Alfama area of the city. I suggested a taxi since we were tired and had hardly slept on the plane…. and I had a fractured wrist in a brace……….……and Dave had a 40 pound golf bag in tow…. and I had a large suitcase filled with materials for writing and sketching projects….. and we each had a back pack.  

Dave decided it would be more of an adventure to take the subway.  And was he ever right! We got lost in metro stations twice but a couple of extremely nice people including the young man in the photo above helped us out, steering us in the right direction and even carrying my suitcase for me.  

When we got off the train in our neighborhood we still had a long walk ahead of us to our apartment.  Dave had downloaded a route for us in Google maps but it wasn’t very helpful.  Many of the streets in the Alfama are  VERY STEEP and covered in cobblestones.  It was hard to push luggage up those stones slick from an afternoon shower  and it wasn’t long before we were lost and Dave wasn’t at all sure where to go.  I was plumb tuckered out.  So when we got to this lovely little church and I saw a park bench beside it I told Dave I was going to sit down and just enjoy the sunny afternoon while he looked for our place.  He could come back and get me once he had found it.  

I had a lovely time people watching and pigeon watching on my park bench

Dave was gone a LONG time and I thought he might have forgotten me but he finally showed up. He had found our place and the actress who owns it and he would take me there. He carried my suitcase up the narrow steep streets but…………halfway there he was plumb tuckered out and had to stop for a drink. He told the woman in the shop, “I’m thirsty.”  She thought he was saying ‘whiskey’ instead of ‘thirsty’ but he finally explained he wanted orange juice.Dave carried my bag up the three flights of outdoor stairs to our apartment and then up another four narrow flights of stairs inside since we were on the top floor.The actress had just finished cleaning our apartment and Dave asked her if she was in a play that evening we could attend. She just laughed and said she wasn’t.

By the time we got into our cute little apartment, Dave was plumb tuckered out again and he needed to have a nap, so I explored our place while he slept.  

Our cozy bedroom

Our tiny kitchen

Dave woke up refreshed and we hit the streets of our cool neighbourhood.

People in the Alfama hang their clothes outside their apartments to dry just like in Hong Kong

The Alfama got its name during the time the Moors occupied Portugal beginning in 1249.  There was a huge earthquake here in 1755 and the Alfama was the only area in the city to escape unscathed so it is very old and the architecture is just lovely!

We stopped to have a drink at a street side establishment and listened to a guitarist.  We were both feeling better and no longer plumb tuckered out  so we drank a toast to our Portugal holiday. 

Other posts……..

I Got Lost Twice Yesterday

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

Up To Weaver’s Needle


Filed under Portugal