Category Archives: nature

Morocco: The Lively Land

Itinerary:

  • Fes – 1) bus tour of the town.  2) walking tour of the Fes el Bali medina.  3) cooking demonstration at a riad
  • Volubilis (ancient Roman ruins)
  • Rabat – quick drive-through and lunch
  • Meknès – Les celliers de Meknès, a winery
  • Kenitra – bus tour with lecture by Ibn Tofaïl University professor
  • Casablanca – quick drive-through and pit stop at the Hassan II Mosque
  • Marrakech – the Djemaa el Fna market square

Lively is the first word that comes to mind when i think about Morocco.  It is called the land of contrasts, with its tall mountains and flatland, volcanic rock and sand, cedar and eucalyptus, cars and donkeys, jilbāb and western clothing, sunshine and fog.  Orange and olive trees lined every street, with some beautiful jacaranda and eucalyptus trees dotting the village.  There were cats everywhere, some wandering through medina alleyways, others napping in the afternoon sun.  Stray dogs trotted around the village in small packs, rummaging for food.  Donkeys grazed on the hills under the sweltering sun.  Arabs, Berbers, mixed Arab-Berbers, Jews, and some French went about the town, speaking Arabic and French, carrying plastic bags in their hands and baskets on their heads, and riding bikes, donkeys, cars, and motorcycles.  Everywhere you look, whether it’s an isolated alley or a busy street, there is life, and it is colorful.

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Filed under culture, food, nature, sketches

New Jersey is beautiful

Despite being nicknamed the Dirty Jersey, New Jersey is actually beautiful.  Beautiful in its own grey, industrial, run-down, suburb-with-history way, that is.  I only realized this when i commuted to New York by NJ transit for the first time.  On my way from Edison Station to NY Penn Station, i passed vast parking lots, cars in neatly packed rows, old signs and new billboards, fields of dried up weeds, old factories with broken windows, and wetlands bordered with cattails and reed and polluted by human intervention, all with a consistent layer of cement appearing at regular intervals.  In short, it was a lot of dead nature interspersed with metal and concrete.  But somehow, it was beautiful.  Somehow, the suburban loneliness, the decrepit landscape, and the polluted sky seemed beautiful when i saw those broken windows and brown weeds stare back at me, so frail and neglected, yet unfazed and still standing strong.  

Perhaps Joshua Lutz saw the same.

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Filed under art, culture, nature, perception

It’s gettin’ chilly out there…

Cold wind penetrates
Pigeons puff out their feathers,
Staring; we are numb.

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Filed under nature, new york