Archive for August 2011

Savannah Delight

August 25, 2011

Some places on the map attract me for the pure pleasure of seeing and hearing their names. El Paso, Tallahassee or Pocasset — there is some mystery in those names like in exotic dishes that I am eager to taste. Savannah is one of them.

For a while already I had wanted to go there. I have heard about its charm and its southern hospitality. So on the way to the Cape by a southern route, Savannah, Georgia was a perfect stop.

There was no special agenda, nobody there to meet, no particular monument, battlefield or cemetery to visit — a great contrast with the visit to Montgomery, Alabama. The only goal was to stay in the center of the city for the possibility to walk everywhere and stumble upon things — to experience that city intuitively and intimately.

Our hotel was located in the historic district near the Savannah River and a wave of southern hospitality touched me immediately at the reception desk. A very kind, elegant gentleman — wearing a bow tie — glanced at my Priority Club Rewards card and upgraded our room, without extra charge, to a room ”with the view” as he put it. And what a room it was! A penthouse with four windows, and every one with a slightly different view of the Savannah River.

From the moment of checking into the hotel, till two days later checking out, the Savannah visit was a pure delight.

Here are some photos illustrating what I stumbled upon there.

Lion fountain, Savannah GA

Lion Fountain near the Factors Walk area

Savannah River from neaby roof

Savannah River - view from the hotel's roof

Savannah, Georgia historic waterfront, looking eastward

Historic Water Front - eastward

Savannah, Georgia - historic waterfront, looking westward

Historic Water Front - westward

Savannah, Georgia water front building: texture

Water Front building - texture

Bradford making roses, Alicja Mann and Bradford

Bradford making a rose for Alicja

Sweet Mellisa's Restaurant on Whitaker Street, Savannah, GA

Sweet Mellisa's restaurant on Whitaker St.

Marshall House - oldest hotel in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah's oldest hotel

College of  Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia

College of Art and Design

Architectural detail in Savannah, Georgia

Architectural detail

Park at Wright Square, Savannah, GA

Park at Wright Square

Southern Live Oak tree

Southern Live Oak

Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss

Spanish moss is a very interesting, self-sufficient plant, not a parasitic one as some seem to think. For me the most intriguing fact is that this plant is not related to other common mosses but (I would never guess!) to the pineapple. They are distant cousins in the family Bromeliaceae. Let me know if this is not correct or what you think about it.

In the meantime, just for fun and your pleasure here is an interesting old tale about Spanish moss (reprinted from Wikipedia):

There was once a traveler who came with his Spanish fiancée in the 1700s to start a plantation near the city of Charleston SC. She was a beautiful bride-to-be with long flowing raven hair. As the couple was walking over the plantation sight[sic] near the forest, and making plans for their future, they were suddenly attacked by a band of Cherokee who were not happy to share the land of their forefathers with strangers. As a final warning to stay away from the Cherokee nation, they cut off the long dark hair of the bride-to-be and threw it up in an old live oak tree. As the people came back day after day and week after week, they began to notice the hair had shriveled and turned grey and had begun spreading from tree to tree. Over the years the moss spread from South Carolina to Georgia and Florida. To this day, if one stands under a live oak tree, one will see the moss jump from tree to tree and defend itself with a large army of beetles.

Well, the beetles did not attack me while taking this picture! Perhaps they were sleepy that day.

Wright Square, Savannah, GA

Wright Square

Elegant street pot in Savannah, Georgia

Elegant street pot

'till next time, Savannah

Till next time Savannah!

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Photos and text (except the Wikipedia article) copyright © 2011 by Alicja Mann.

Photo Notes from Montgomery

August 11, 2011

Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is known today as a cradle of the Civil Rights Movement. This is the place where a quiet action by Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. Ten years later, another spark ignited the fire of the Voting Rights Movement — the famous, bloody march from Selma to Montgomery. It ultimately resulted in the signing by President Lyndon Johnson of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965.

Because I did not live in this country at that time, I could only learn about the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from books and documentaries. This August I took the opportunity to visit Montgomery and “touch” the reality of the place. It was quite an experience and I will write about it later, but for now I am sharing with you a few photos from that historic place.

Alicja Mann at famous bus stop in Montgomery, Alabama

At the Famous Bus Stop

Commemorative sign at famous Montgomery bus stop

Bus Stop - words

Fountain near beginning of bus stop boycott, Montgomery AL

Fountain nearby

Civil Rights Memorial  Center, Montgomery, Alabama

Civil Rights Memorial Center

Civil Rights Memorial Center, Montgomery AL

Civil Rights Memorial Center

Alicja Mann at Civil Rights Memorial, Montgomery AL

At the Civil Rights Memorial

Civil Rghts Memorial close-up - Montgomery, Alabama

Civil Rights Memorial - close up

Tribute to nonviolent movements- Montgomery, AL

Tribute to Nonviolent Movements

Kng Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery AL

King Memorial Baptist Church

There was another important reason for my visit to Montgomery. Two years ago I met Mary Robinson, a Civil Rights and textile union activist from Montgomery, while she was visiting Tucson and signing her book Moisture of the Earth. As authors, we signed and exchanged our books and promised to visit each other someday.

That did happen this August in Montgomery. Here we are in Mary’s home. We even signed our books for each other again with hope for more visits.

Alicja Mann and Mary Robinson

Alicja and Mary

Flowers and Alicja Mann's shadow - Montgomery, Alabama

Flowers from Montgomery

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Text and photos copyright © 2011 by Alicja Mann.

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