Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Snapshot #30

The Swiss Vapeur Parc
Lies next to the lake harbour of Le Bouveret is the Swiss Vapeur Parc. It is our Saturday destination for family fun. It is one of Europe's most magnificent miniature railway layouts consisting a lovely 17000 sq. m park and dozens of steam locomotives. The place is like a dream for adults who is fascinated with this dreamful journey into the kingdom of railways. This was also a great discovery for little children.
Please visit Weekend Snapshot for more great entries.

Hope your weekend was a great one!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Learning Photography

I finally enrolled a photography online class as i set up my goals in this hobby much higher. I found a lot of flaws to images i took (which doesn't matter to me really, because it is much more for family collection than anything else) for which i consider great in my novice eyes. Well, taking pictures of my family at their most candid moment is great but i am now challenging myself to try ways to better improve my basic knowledge. I just want to mention that while blogging, it inspired me as well to take photographs in whatever chances i could get; thus, getting absorbedly crazy in this hobby. I might be sharing some of the images i will be submitting to my class and see how you can critique or comment on the subject. Finally, my long and winding whine will slowly come to an end...or really? Will see next month as i progress to my journey in learning how to shoot creatively. Wish me the best...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

These images were taken from a Childrens Carnival in Avenches, Switzerland.

more entries from Wordless Wednesday participants

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ticino Adventure

Ticino is the canton located in the southern part of Switzerland and their language is Italian. This is our second time visiting the area, only this time, we decided to stay in the town of Locarno for 4 days.

It takes about 4 hours of driving and a 20 minutes interesting ride on a train car. This train carry all the cars heading to the other side of the pass (Instead of taking the high road up the mountain which is close during winter time). On the way, we pass the town of Andermatt before going through the St. Gotthard tunnel (this is the third longest road tunnel in the world ). It runs from the north to Airolo in the south, and is just under 16.4 kilometres (10.5 miles) in length. This is our only entrance to Ticino during winter.

We arrived at our hotel in the late afternoon and the beautiful weather right away welcomes us . The hotel is superb (exceeds my expectation). After settling in, we took a short stroll along the quai and getting acquainted to it's surroundings and sights.

The following day, we decided to visit the town of Ascona and it's nearby town. Ascona lies in a spectacular sunny bay on Lake Maggiore. It’s one of the best loved and most exclusive tourist destinations in Switzerland. Then we drove up to the town of Ronco where one can check the vista point to have one of the best view of Lago Maggiore and the Brissago Islands. The end of the day was a short adventure of finding a "Grotto". Nothing is more typical for life in Ticino than the grottoes, simple taverns in quiet hideaway places, well in the shade of trees. They usually consist of a kitchen and a generous garden with solid granite tables and benches, where everybody sits in the coolness of the trees, drinking and eating the products of the local cuisine (such as the famous Polenta and Risotto ala Ticinese). It was so good!

The third day brought us to the center old town of Locarno. The "piazza grande" is where they hold the international film festival each year. There was a festival of Camilla in their park where various colors of Camillas were displayed. We checked the tourism office for some other interesting sights and places to see. We found the place we fancied, the Valle Versazca. The rest of the afternoon was an excursion going up the valley where the river runs wild with it's magnificient beauty. It was extremely spectacular.

Our last day was visiting the town of Bellinzone aka Bellinzona (The capital town of Ticino) before heading our way back to Vevey. It is a beautiful town with three castles. They said that it was its unique geographical position which made Bellinzona as the "key to the Alps" from the sourthern people (like Italy...) and from the north as the "key to Italy". Today, there are so much charm and beauty as you stroll the town. You can feel the old and rich history with each sights you see.

There you go...our travel report for this month. Until next time.
If you would like to see more photos from our trip, you may visit my family online gallery.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Photo Hunt: Metal

Happy Easter Everyone! Here is Easter Sunday hunt for this week's theme.
A giant metal fork in the lake (technically it is made of steel), one of the many fascinating architectural images in our town of Vevey.

This structure was displayed for the second time last 2007, situated directly across the Musée de l’Alimentation (Nestlé Alimentarium), a museum devoted to the history of food products. The fork was to be displayed only for one year to commenorate its 10th anniversary. It was supposedly taken down last January but I am glad the petition to keep it around was granted. I searched more online for some information about this work of art. Below is an excerpt from an online blogger, Peterblog.

"It spent the last ten years decorating the grounds of Berndorf Ltd, a Lucerne-based cutlery manufacturer, and is back to celebrate an exhibition of place settings at the Alimentarium. The poor fork was banished a few years after it was set up orignally, in contravention of some local regulation or other.
It is the work of Jean-Pierre Zaugg, and artist from Neuchâtel (on another big lake, curiously enough) and was made by Georges Favre in Vevey out of stainless steel."

It still stands until now and you will see the different view of this metal sculpture when you walk along the quai perdonnet in whatever time of the year.
Until next week...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Stephen Leacock Building

Like Montreal itself, McGill University experienced a building boom in the 1960's. A dramatic climb in enrollment during this period meant that faculties and departments were outgrowing their spaces. Construction projects all over campus sought to fill this void, including a new building for the Faculty of Arts.

Leacock was strategically connected to the ancestral Arts building.

Built in 1965, the Leacock building was named after Stephen Leacock, a well-known Canadian humorist and author, and a McGill professor from 1901 to 1944. The exterior of the 10-storey structure was made of precast load-bearing concrete panels, each of which contained a sealed window. Concrete pillars helped support some of the projected portions of the structure, including a corridor that connected the tower to the old Arts building. The first floor circulation passageways were designed to be lit for the most part by natural daylight, which entered through glass walls on the east and south sides.

A student lounge area, complete with ashtrays.

A typical 60's Leacock office, left, and the glass walled corridor to Arts, right.

Inside, the first 3 floors were reserved for student and lecture areas. These lower floors were accessible from terraces located on the second and third floors, or the first floor street level entrance. This was intended to keep student traffic to a minimum.

Some 24 lecture halls ranged in capacity from 30 to 200, not including a 650-seat auditorium located on the first floor. The latter was designed with no windows (to provide fewer distractions), and its seats sloped in the same direction as the natural hillside.

The upper tower was reserved for 125 offices, accessible by elevator.

A mod council room in the Leacock building.

A little known fact is that the Stephen Leacock building was originally planned as two towers. Had this been the case, Morrice Hall, a beautiful Collegiate Gothic style structure built in 1871 (and still standing today) would have been demolished for the second tower...

Leacock and Morrice Hall (formerly The Presbyterian College of Montreal).

View from Doctor Penfield Avenue.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Easter Sunday

We just got back from our long weekend vacation and I am organizing my photos taken during the trip for posting. I know it will be another long week of absence for me as I am currently occupied with my family and the holy week vacation.

I will catch up and visit you all when things get back to normal. For now, I thank all of you who came to visit me and wonder if there will be any updates to my blog. There will be so much to share in few days time.

For now, I wish everyone a wonderful time with your family. Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Expo Inside Out!

Another magazine figures prominently in my Expo 67 collection. Acquired in 1997, Expo Inside Out! was my first ever Expo collectible.

Ironically, the item that inaugurated my collection was not in any way an official souvenir. Published by Omniscope Magazine of Westmount, Quebec, Expo Inside Out! was a 48-page unauthorized guide to "what to see" and "what to avoid", at Expo 67.

From the foreword:

"We have not attempted an encyclopedia of Expo. Nor have we collected hymns of praise for Man and his World. [...] Our guide is highly unauthorized [...] Our research was done without benefit of red-carpet V.I.P. treatment, and all opinions expressed here are either personal or objective. They are not Expo approved."

Using a 5-star rating system, every pavilion, many rides and shows, as well as some services were scrutinized by this publication. Every facet of touring Expo 67 was discussed, including restaurant and bar reviews, shopping guides, and touring Expo with children. Various pre-planned tours were proposed for those visiting with time constraints. Routines were suggested for rainy and/or overly crowded days.

The result offers a completely different view of Expo 67. Often funny, the scathing reviews are my favorites:

"Venezuela is the fastest pavilion at Expo
if you skip the film. Skip the film."

"Germany is a pavilion through which you
walk slowly, wondering what you're missing..."

"[La Spirale] spirals up. It spirals down.
What did you expect for a dollar?"

images: personal collection

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Out of Town

Helllo everyone!
Our family is going on a small trip to Locarno and I will be gone for a few days.
I will catch you up with our week's activity and I hope all of you will have a good time spending the holy week with your family. Take care.

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Photo Hunt: Different

Three generation of women

...a grandmother...
...a mother...
...a daughter...
all going through different stages in life...

Weekend Snapshot #27

click the image for a larger view

Our family went to the town of Avenches. It is also renown for its Rock Festival, Musical Parade and especially the IENA, a unique 140 hectares Equestrian Sports Center. Europe's first multidisciplinary hippodrome intended as a place of both work and leisure. The pictures above where taken in the Roman theatre in Avenches. Avenches is built on the site of the Roman town Aventicum, which was the most important in Switzerland.


I hope your weekend was as great and fun as mine.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Friday Greetings

Hello, I normally don't like to write but this is a blog...I've been really thinking what i should post whenever i run out of pictures to show (but that's not gonna happen). Today will be a short day for me online, so i won't be doing much blog hopping. I have few errands to finished before the end of the weekday. I like to be more organized about the week-end activities and agenda. That is the reason why Friday could still be hectic but an exciting day.

Until next posting...Haydee

400 Posts!

Yesterday's Puppini Sisters post marks the Expo Lounge's 400th!

Once again, thank you to all Expo Lounge readers, old and new!

6 Quirky Things about Me

I've Been Tagged by my neighbor and dear friend, April.
The rules:
Link to the person that tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Share six unimportant things/habits/quirks about your self. Tag 6 random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. Let these random people know that they are tagged by leaving comments in their blog. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.
6 Quirky Things about myself
"Every man had his own quirks and twists" (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
Here is mine
1. I brush my hair only every after taking a shower (I do take showers almost everyday).
2. I keep a "Malong" (a tubular piece of cloth, ethnic to south of the Philippines) for my comfort. It's like my baby blanket, anywhere in the house i meticulously tuck my feet to its comfort level whenever i am resting.
3. Whenever i see a baguette and coca cola in a glass, it's a must for me to dip my bread on the soda before taking the bite. It taste good.
4. At a the bar, i asked for beer and coke mix. Apparently, no one has it? they give me a quirky look as well.
5. I hid all of my baby teeth on a young coconut tree. (The tree is now tall, need an expert to climb it)
6. I read loud in the bathroom (secret revealed! you will too, if you study the French language). I make sure no one is around who doesn't understand this.
So, i have to tag Lucille, Amy, Liza, Malyn, Lily and Carlota.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Weekend Snapshot #26

I took this picture yesterday on a very late afternoon. This is one of the famous image in my town. I hope your weekend was a nice one.

The Puppini Sisters

No need to be an avid Expo Lounge reader to realize that retro is hot right now. And one of the most exciting musical groups to come out of this revival has to be the Puppini Sisters.

The Puppini Sisters was formed in 2004 by Marcella Puppini, Stephanie O’Brien and Kate Mullins, who met while studying at the Trinity College of Music in London. Practiced musicians, the girls have everything from piano to saxophone to harp on their combined résumés.

What sets this trio apart is their retro Andrews Sisters-esque look and sound. Dressed in full 1940's glamour, the Puppini Sisters cover such classics as Mr. Sandman and Jeepers Creepers, as well as 40's style reworkings of more contemporary music such as the Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian and Beyoncé's Crazy in Love.

Their 2006 debut album, Betcha Bottom Dollar, broke records by becoming the fastest selling jazz debut in Britain, soaring into the top 20. Their recently released second album, The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo, followed in the tongue-in-cheek footsteps of Betcha Bottom Dollar, but this time included original compositions by Puppini, O'Brien and Mullins.

Celebrity fans ranging from Prince Charles to Ozzy Osbourne, and glowing praise from the media, have contributed in establishing the Puppini Sisters as one of the most accomplished and original acts of the present day...


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Montréal '64 to '68

In the years leading up to Expo 67, a prestigious monthly magazine about the city of Montreal was published. Featuring slick photography and bilingual articles, Montréal '64, '65, '66 and '67 sought to generate buzz surrounding the 1967 World Exhibition and its host city.

Produced and mailed to over 700,000 addresses throughout the world, Montréal magazine was the brain child of mayor Jean Drapeau. In his 1997 book La petite histoire d'Expo 67, ex-director of public relations Yves Jasmin recounts that a chunk of funding for the magazine was taken out of the already minuscule budget destined to promote and advertise Expo 67. The cost of the publication ran at 250,000$ per year at the time, with 150,000$ of it covered by the Expo corporation.

While mayor Drapeau would have liked Montréal magazine (and Expo itself, for that matter) to go on forever, the monthly glossy met its demise in late 1968. Though it had survived Expo's closing (and arguably, its initial raison d'être), sharp increases in postal rates forced Montreal '68 to cease publication after its October issue.

Montréal magazine remains a testament to the economic and cultural boom that the city experienced in the 1960's. Special year-by-year bound editions of Montréal '64 to '68 were created and I am fortunate enough to own them all. These precious documents serve me constantly as a source of information and photographs for Expo Lounge blog posts...

images: personal collection

Photo Hunt: Party

It was a new year's eve! Welcoming the year 2005...Don't worry, those kids are drinking non-alcoholic drinks. Looking back, this photo seems like just yesterday. Happy hunting!