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I am not one to make recommendations for places that you may or may not enjoy, however my philosophy is walking and wandering the streets will bring unknown treasures to you.

Reach me at tsparks@gmail.com

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Tom Sparks

Pessoa Infinite Solar System

1 min read

"Fernando Pessoa is an infinte solar system, made up of clusters of plaanets near and far, many of them still unexplored, or unknown. His life was a continuous self-dividing into new worlds, which he experiences as a frustrating inability to complete his works. In an autobiographical text written in English he confessed:

"My writings were none of them finished; new thoughts intruded ever, extrordinary, inexcludeable associations of ideas bearing infinity for term. I cannot prevent my thought's hatred of finishing."

via: Ines Pedros - os Lugares de Pessoa

 

Tom Sparks

Megalítico

1 min read

Megalítico dos Almendres

Monumento Megalítico

Across the high Alentejo plain are a number of megalithic sites, they range in age from 6,000 to 3,000 years old.

A good list is kept here

Tom Sparks

Tom's Lisbon List (in progress)

1 min read

Toms List

 

I am not one to make recommendations for places that you may or may not enjoy, however my philosophy is walking and wandering the streets will bring unknown treasures to you. I have listed a series of viewpoints and parks that are found in interesting neighborhoods. Your mileage may vary but I enjoyed each and every listing.

 

Parks and View Points (Parç - Miradour)

Miradouro de Santa Catarina (Barrio Alto)

Arco da Rua Augusta (Baixa)

Castelo de São Jorge (Alfalma)

Miradouro das Portas do Sol (Alfalma)

Miradouro da Graça  (Graca)

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte  (Graça Neighborhood)

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (Barrio Alto / Principal Real)

 

Parks or Buildings

Jardim Botto Machado Alfalma

Igreja de São Vicente de Fora Alfalma

Panteão Nacional  Alfalma

Jardim do Torel   Mártires da Pátria

Praça Das Flores  Principal Real

 

Tom Sparks

Bricolage of History

1 min read

In The Savage Mind (1962), the French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss used the word bricolage to describe the characteristic patterns of mythological thought. Bricolage is the skill of using whatever is at hand and recombining them to create something new. [link]

After the earthquake of 1755 rubble from the destroyed building was used as infill, the engineers and architech's developed a technique they named Pamblaino after the ‘Marquês de Pombal’ [link]

Tom Sparks

Matisse In Tangier

1 min read

Fenêtre à Tanger, Matisse 1912

Photo by Bernard Moutin 

The photo above was taken by French photographer Bernard Moutin from the sameroom and window that Henri Matisse  occupied when he painted the WIndow at Tangier.

Via: Wikipedia

Window at Tangier by Henri Matisse (1912 - The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow); also referred to as La Fenêtre à Tanger, Paysage vu d'une fenêtre, and Landscape viewed from a window, Tangiers.

An example of Matisse's paintings after the colorful revolution of his Fauvism period. After several trips outside France Matisse became interested in the Islamic art of North Africa. He visited Morocco in 1912 and 1913. Window in Tangier, with its bold color and flat perspective reflects a Moroccan influence in Matisse's work.

This was among several works acquired directly from Matisse in Paris by the Russian collector Ivan Morozov. After the Russian Revolution the Morozov collection was confiscated and eventually by 1948 the collection was donated to the public along with the Sergei Shchukin collection, at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

  

Tom Sparks

From: The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction

1 min read

Mankind, which in Homer’s time was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, is now one for itself. Its self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure of the first order....... Walter Benjamin

Tom Sparks

Time Out Market Lisbon

1 min read

Time Out Market Lisbon

At dinner time; location

Tom Sparks

Tom Sparks

Traveler, your footprints

1 min read

 
Traveler, your footprints
are the only road, nothing else.
Traveler, there is no road;
you make your own path as you walk.
As you walk, you make your own road,
and when you look back
you see the path
you will never travel again.
Traveler, there is no road;
only a ship's wake on the sea
 

Tom Sparks

From Le Voyage by Charles Baudelaire

1 min read

But the true voyagers are only those who leave 
Just to be leaving; hearts light, like balloons, 
They never turn aside from their fatality 
And without knowing why they always say: "Let's go!"

 

 

Tom Sparks

Photos of the Past

1 min read

Recent house cleaning and downsizing preparations have un earthed some images from my past that are worth sharing. 

 Honolulu 1971

 Honolulu 1970, Richard Nixon was President and the times were dark.

This was a lonely time, my parents came to visit while I stationed at Schofield Barracks, a US Army installation. I was twenty. I spent one and a half years in Hawaii, a beautiful place.

Tom Sparks

The Power of the Dog

1 min read

 

Just Finished Reading

The Power of the Dog 

·         Paperback: 560 pages

·         Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 9, 2006)

·         Language: English

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow published in 2005. The plot concerns the "Mexican Trampoline", this was when Columbian Drug Lords use Mexican smugglers to move cocaine across the US Mexican border. 

 

 I expected this book to cover more of the cocaine trade through Central America to the west coast of the United States, it was more a character study of Mexican Cartel Patrons and an assortment of underworld figures and obsessed federal law enforcement agents. The story is compelling and keeps your interest but if you’re looking for hard boiled action  and prose to match I recommend  James Ellroy and his Underworld USA Trilogy.

Tom Sparks

Liberalism Unmasked

1 min read

Taken from   the review   The Sound of Cracking by Pankaj Mishra

Homo economicus, who seeks to replace all other human values and interests with cost-benefit calculations, rampages across the globe: in personal relations as well as the workplace, higher education and political institutions. Pulverising the welfarist state, and even a sense of community, and contemptuous of history and tradition, he sentences hundreds of millions to economic and psychological insecurity and isolation in an opaque and hostile world. This scorched-earth universalism incites, as Santayana warned, ‘a lava-wave of primitive blindness and violence’. Many putative Augie Marches, whether in India, Russia, Japan or Israel, seem keen to surrender their onerous individuality to demagogues and to be used by them. Elsewhere, those excluded from a degraded world of man, or condemned to join its burgeoning precariat, are prone to embrace the god of destruction rather than of inner peace. The thin sound of cracking is heard from many more parts of the world as exhausted authority surrenders to nihilism.