Palace Gardens, Venice, Italy, December 25, 2015.
After I took a number of photos of the hanging plant columns of the Basel Museum of Culture (during our visit at Thanksgiving), I turned my attention to the courtyard around them — the Schürhof — the floor of which is largely a set of low, wide steps descending to the museum lobby and gift shop.
Before the museum was renovated in 2011 by Herzog & de Meuron, the Schürhof* was not open to the public. The museum shared a door with the Museum of Natural Sciences around the corner.
Looking at a “before” photo (here, fourth image), the old courtyard appears to have been used at least partly as a parking lot.
The renovation excavated it to open up a new museum entrance in the base of the existing 1917 neoclassical building.
The other buildings that enclose the Schürhof are medieval.
Above and below are three views from upper windows inside the museum.
You can see a plan of the courtyard here (fifth image).
These are not really porches, of course, but two café doorways and a storefront.
They caught my eye while we were walking around the Sainte-Catherine or Sint Katelijne neighborhood of Brussels, which is just northwest of the Grand’Place and La Bourse.
The one pictured above is on Rue de Flandre.
I believe I snapped this blue café, above, on Quai au Bois à Brûler, facing the site of the old Saint-Catherine Bassin or canal port, covered over since the 1870s.
I like the way the ivy is used as both a decorative windowbox planting and low privacy screen.
Rue de Flandre is a good street on which to find an interesting restaurant. We liked Viva M’Boma (old-fashioned Belgian food, emphasis on meat/offal) and Domaine de Lintillac (dishes from the southwest of France, emphasis on duck).
Click on any photo above to enlarge it.
Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), took the art of Surrealism and the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, combined them with childhood memories of early cars and machinery in New England and then the flora of his adult home in southern California, and created the famous illustrations for his over sixty books. (His Green Eggs and Ham is the fourth best-selling English-language children’s book of all time.)
His strange plants and landscapes — tops of mops, spikes, and feathers; elongated, twisty trunks; improbable angles, odd hills and rocks — form a visual vocabulary that we all understand and use routinely. These are just a few of the many, many snapshots I found by typing in “Dr. Seuss” and searching Flickr.com.
A 2010 article from the News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, has a list of plants that also look Seuss-y, here. Among others, they recommend weeping sequoia, Nootka cypress, and contorted hazelnut.
If you want to visit a Dr. Seuss-style landscape, the blog SPOTCOOLSTUFF has 10 “Places That Look Dr Seuss-ish” around the world, here.