Whenever the catacombs have come up in conversations or stories, I've always wondered where they came from. It's a little odd to have miles of underground networks tunnels full of bones underneath a bustling city. Today I learned where they came from. So what exactly are the Paris catacombs? Simply put, the catacombs are a... Continue Reading →
Places to Go
Of all the places I love most
I like the ones along the coast.
I like mountains in between.
I like to see the plains turn green.
I like to see the cityscapes,
the inlets, islands, glaciers, capes,
the forests, fog, and ocean foam.
I love to go and come back home.
My wife, Courtney, is officially launching her blog on traveling and art today! Go on over and check it out!
Please enjoy this short Q&A about why Paintings & Places is so important to me and those who understand (or are trying to understand) the importance of travel and art!
1. What is Paintings & Places?
Hello, bonjour, hola! My name is Courtney Mortenson and please allow me to introduce you to Paintings & Places. As a student of Brigham Young University studying languages, specifically French and Spanish, my classes focus intensely on grammar and literature. This makes sense for those trying to learn words and how to put them together, but in an effort to gain cultural literacy, more than linguistic mastery is required. With this in mind, I’ve set out to visit as many places that I can that speak these languages (and any other places I happen to be able to visit along the way) in order to learn more about people and what they value from…
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One of the places I wanted to visit most in London was King’s Cross Station. I wanted to see the hustle and bustle of the train station where Hagrid took Harry Potter for his first trip to Hogwarts. I wanted to see platform nine and three-quarters. The great arched roof of the station was so... Continue Reading →
On Monday, Courtney and I went salsa dancing along the Seine (rhymes with zen) River. Some volunteers from the organization Courtney works with met us outside the metro and showed us where to go. We walked cobblestone streets until we came to the green waters of the Seine. As a river, the Seine is not... Continue Reading →
Elantris was the first book published by now-prolifically successful author Brandon Sanderson. My first exposure to Sanderson's work was The Emperor's Soul, a novella which takes place in the same world as Elantris. Here are some of my thoughts about the book, spoiler-free: First Book Published - After having read more recent Brandon Sanderson books, it is clear that Elantris is an... Continue Reading →
Today we visited Montmartre [mohn-MAHR-truh], a hill on the north side of Paris. On top of the hill sits the great domed basilica of Sacré Cœur [SAH-krih Kuhr] (Sacred Heart) which offers a panoramic view of Paris, assuming you are willing to hike up some stairs to get there. The hill gets its name from... Continue Reading →
When I was in middle school, I went with my parents and grandparents to a special exhibit of paintings at the Venetian in Las Vegas. It was my first real exposure to fine paintings. At the time, I didn’t know much about art (I’m still not an art historian by a long shot), but I... Continue Reading →
I am, admittedly, a late-blooming Star Wars fan. Science fiction has never drawn me in the same way that fantasy has and still does. However, thanks to a good friend who sat me down each night for a week straight to watch the Star Wars movies one at a time, sequentially from start to finish... Continue Reading →
The metro in Paris feels older and larger than the metro in London. The ceilings are lower, the corners are darker, and the trains don’t go quite as fast. But the maps in Paris are much easier. Instead of names for each line and confusion over the direction of the train, the Paris underground uses... Continue Reading →