Thanks to the Durrells and Anthony Bourdain, I have wanderlust

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The Durrells – in Corfu

I’m feeling wanderlust. I was watching the Durrells in Corfu the other night and I really would love to live like them. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a PBS show, it’s a true story about a mother and her four children who move from England to Greece in the 1930s after the father passes away. The kids are about 11 to 22 years of age.

The surroundings and town are so beautiful. They live in a big old house at the water’s edge, surrounded by the sea and beautiful mountains and they are ensconced with the locals who become their friends.

Each of the kids has his own thing going on from the youngest one loving and collecting animals to the oldest being a writer who is trying to be a world traveler. It’s excellent.

Right after the Durrell’s I turned to Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and it was about West Texas, which according to this episode is completely different than I thought. The people are very accepting, they love their Mexican neighbors across the river, they speak Spanish, out of respect, as one man put it, they eat Spanish food and there is a large Mexican influence, they know that their land was once Mexican land, and oh yea –  they don’t want a border wall. This is one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen. It may be posted here on the Parts Unknown website by now, worth a look.

I am at the point in my life where I feel like selling all my possessions and just traveling and cartooning along the way, incorporating the locations in my work. When I think of the southwest, I think of George Herriman who had a very big connection to that area, as you can see in Krazy Kat.

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Tiny Doors Atlanta

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Tiny door in a tree trunk. Photos courtesy Tiny Doors Atlanta

I saw this story on tv about Tiny Doors Atlanta. It’s an art project where artist Karen Anderson creates and installs tiny doors throughout the city. It’s free art in public spaces, free tiny art.

People love them and interact with them. The doors are 7 inches tall and they are placed in strategic places throughout Atlanta. They’re placed anywhere, as part of trees, walls, houses, just about anywhere.

The interesting part is that only one of the doors opens at this time. The goal is to create a sense of wonderment and imagination, but the doors don’t open.

All the door locations are in public areas and free to visit. One of my favorites is built into a tree trunk.

I’ve been a promoter of the little free library project for awhile and now love the tiny door concept.

The website is here: https://tinydoorsatl.com/
The Instagram page with over 100,000 followers is here: https://www.instagram.com/tinydoorsatl/

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I’m in NY for Comic Con

Another October, another NY Comic Con. I arrive in Manhattan yesterday, Saturday. Comic Con starts Thursday, so I’m here a little early.

I did my usual – visited the green market at Union Square, stopped by Washington Square Park and Madison Square (I like all the squares I guess).

I am tempted to approach the guy at one of the newspaper syndicates if he is at Comic Con this year. He sort of gave me the run around when I showed him my comics so I want to schmooze with him, maybe go to lunch or something. For some reason, people have a rapport with the syndicates, I’m not sure how they start this conversation up, I tried but it went nowhere. Others seem as if they have an ongoing dialogue.

I may be brave and approach their booth this year and start up a conversation. I’ll let you know. I’ll of course take lots of pictures of Comic Con and post them here.

Peanuts Hotel

There’s a new Peanuts Hotel in Kobe, Japan. I would think it would be in Charles Schulz’s home, Santa Rosa, CA.

The hotel in Kobe has 18 rooms, a Peanuts Diner and a Peanuts Cafe. Each room has its own theme, like the “Happiness is a warm puppy,” room.

The rooms appear as regular hotel rooms with a painting or mural on the walls, so I’m not sure if its worth a trip to Japan for that, but then again, if you’re going to Japan, I doubt you’re going because of the Peanuts Hotel.


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Photos courtesy Peanuts Hotel.

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Look! Up in the sky! Umbrellas!

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Umbrella Sky is now part of Giralda Plaza in Coral Gables. I attended the ribbon cutting on Friday night where there was food, live music and lots of neighbors.

I’ve seen this project online over the years and it’s so cool to have it right in my neighborhood.

The umbrellas will swaying over Geralda Plaza until the end of summer.

Coral Gables is the first city in South Florida and the third city in the U.S. to host the Umbrella Sky art project, an internationally recognized public art display that has taken part in Paris and Lisbon.

“This captivating art project is a great example of our commitment to increase art and cultural experiences in the City Beautiful,” said Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli. “Umbrella Sky will undoubtedly drive more people into our downtown, but we hope they stay to dine and shop while here.”

Umbrella Sky is the creation of Portuguese Company, Sextafeira, which means Friday in Portuguese.

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Venice in the Gables

Coral Gables has a new art installation called Venice in the Gables where 30 local artists are designing Venetian columns to celebrate the completion of the redesign of Miracle Mile. Miami has had many installations like this from the Peacock Tour in Coconut Grove in 2010 to roosters in Little Havana, Manatees in South Miami, dogs in Pinecrest and Coral Gables had flamingos at one time, too.

It is to celebrate the completion of the Miracle Mile renovation.

Eight foot tall replicas of Venetian mooring posts will be placed around the streets in Coral Gables. My friend Eileen Seitz is part of the painting group, I stopped by the storefront on Miracle Mile where they are creating the columns. 100 artists submitted images and 30 were chosen for this project.

On May 18, there is a sort of unveiling party at the Museum of Coral Gables, then the plaster painted poles will be placed on the streets. Say that 10 times fast.

Here are a bunch of photos and stories on our Coconut Grove Peacock Tour in 2010 which I was a part of. I didn’t paint, but I helped promote it, plan it and distribute the peacocks. I was supposed to emcee the auction at the end of the peacock tour but luckily it ended up being an online auction so I didn’t have to do that.

Peanuts Global Artist Collective Murals

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Snoopy by Avaf.

A new project began this week called the Peanuts Global Artist Collective. Seven artists were chosen to interpret the Peanuts characters on 15′ x 10′ murals at Hudson Square in NYC. Similar projects are happening in Paris; Seoul, South Korea; Berlin; San Francisco; Tokyo and Mexico City.

Hudson Square is in lower Manhattan in SoHo, on the west side.

The artists are Mr. A, Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF, FriendsWithYou, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Rob Pruitt, and Kenny Scharf. You can see them here.

And here is a map of the locations of the murals. It’s in an area I love. I have mentioned before the old Keller Hotel at Barrow and West Side Highway in Greenwich Village; well this is just a little further downtown from that. I take this route sometimes when I meet up with my cousin at her office down in SoHo.

The murals will be up for three months, so I’ll get to see them when I’m in NY June and July. I look forward to it.