A SAILBoat in St. Pete

posted in: Family and Friends, Florida | 0

Sunday found us back on the road again, a long traveling day from the Keys north and then back to the west coast, this time to St. Petersburg.

Driving on one of the bridges on U.S. 1 in the Keys, looking over at the old railroad bridge beside it. Trees are growing on it. How about that?
On Monday, we made the last leg of the trip to St. Petersburg, over Tampa Bay.
View of the harbor…… and boats!

We had an excellent reason to visit St. Petersburg – Magnolia, our Morgan sister ship  is there!!!  We would get to spend a little time with our dear, dear friends, Anthony and Annette. Haven’t seen them since September when they were in Connecticut, during the almost-hurricane Hermine.

Anthony on the deck of Magnolia – what a wonderful sight!

A beautiful day is meant to  be spent outdoors. Anthony and Annette took us on a walking tour around the harbor.

St. Petersburg Municipal Marina, a very large and very nice marina. Cruisers love a city with a good marina, right on the waterfront, within walking distance of the city’s center and attractions.

Vinoy Park is an 11-acre park located on the downtown waterfront of St. Petersburg, next to the marina. The Vinoy Park Hotel, originally constructed in 1925, sits adjacent to the park and shares its name.

Vinoy Park, paths wander around trees and expansive green lawns.
In St. Petersburg, even the “comfort station” is architecturally pleasing.

Bike racks are in various places in and around the city, and near the waterfront. “Coast Bike Share” provides on-demand, two-wheeled transportation. With the “Social Bicycles” mobile app and one of their plans (from pay-as-you-go to annual plans), people can grab a bike and get around.  Sure wish more cities did this. Boaters would love it.

The shiny blue bicycles of Coast Bike Share.

St. Petersburg is a very nice city (That’s quite a compliment when it comes from someone who doesn’t care for cities.) Walking around was a pleasure.

Palms on the streets
Beautiful red blossoms on this gnarly old tree.
Now this is a unique intersection!
We crossed paths with this musician on both days of our visit, in different places. He plays music on these water-filled goblets and is really good.

When you hang around with Anthony and Al, sooner or later there will be ice cream.

A stop at Sweet Divas. Do they look like happy guys or what?
Annette made a delicious dinner onboard Magnolia. You would never know she cooked this whole meal in a little galley on a boat.

Thanks to the wonders of SSB (single side band) radio, we were able to talk with Cori and Dale on Hi-Flight, who are cruising farther south in the Virgin Islands.

Anthony hailing Hi-Flight on the SSB after the evening cruisers net. Makes the world feel a little closer…..

Annette and I decided that the Dali Museum would be a nice way to spend the following day. The Dali Museum is dedicated to Salvador Dalí, the famous Spanish artist and surrealist, who is perhaps best known for his painting of melting clocks, The Persistence of Memory, 1931. Full confession here — until this visit, my limited knowledge of Dali was that one famous painting. And also that he was a bit odd and eccentric.

Persistence of Memory (This photo of the painting is from the internet; it’s everywhere.)
Salvador Dali. This portrait hangs in the museum.

A quote from Dali —

“The fact that I myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand my own pictures, does not mean that these pictures have no meaning; on the contrary, their meaning is so profound, complex, coherent, and involuntary that it escapes the most simple analysis of logical intuition.”

The Dali Museum building, new in 2011, is a rectangular structure of 18-inch thick hurricane-proof walls. The free-form geodesic glass bubble known as the ”enigma.” The “enigma” is constructed from 1,062 glass triangles and honors the geodesic dome on the roof of the Dali museum in Spain.

The building is also a work of art. The free-form glass bubble “Enigma” is visible from many sides.

The inside of the museum is dominated by a spiraling helical staircase of solid concrete that seems to float from the lobby to the upper floors inside of the “enigma” bubble. Its shape pays tribute to Dalí’s lifelong obsession with the structure of DNA. I found the mix of art and science to be very appealing.

The spiraling helical staircase in the foyer.

My impression of Dali has totally changed. I never knew that Dali was such a talented and versatile artist. He could achieve mastery in whatever style he chose. I reviewed my photos from our tour and found myself contemplating the paintings I had photographed. There were obviously many, many more, but I guess these are the ones that “spoke” to me the most? I wish I could remember more of the symbolism that runs through Dali’s surreal creations, particularly the very large pieces.

Dali’s early works were very classical, as these two examples show.                                                     The Basket of Bread, 1926                                                         Study of a Nude, 1925

In 1923 Dali painted his sister, Ana Maria, in a realistic style. The portrait was well-received by critics. Later, when his relationship with Ana Maria was deteriorating, he altered the painting to include a second upside-down figure in a style inspired by early Cubist portraits.

Portrait of My Sister 1924. My photograph of it, on the left. Then I flipped the photo over to get  a better look at the bottom figure. 
The whole composition resembles a playing card.

The loooong  title of the next Dali work (below) is also the description of it. “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko).” Gala was his wife and his muse. There’s quite a story to their relationship, but I am skipping that.

Dali was inspired by a Scientific American article about visual perception that raised the question –  what is the minimum number of pixels needed to describe a unique human face? The question intrigued Dali so much that he created this portrait of Lincoln using 121 pixels.  Again — art and science merge.

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko)    1976                                                                                                   Close up (left) and at 20 meters (right) – Can you see Lincoln appear?? You might have to close one eye and squint.
Our guide is describing Dali’s “Portrait of My Dead Brother”, 1963,  in a partially pixelated style. His brother died before he was born and was also named Salvador. Dali thought that his parents wanted him as a replacement for their first son. Haunted by this belief, his eccentric behavior was possibly a way to prove his individuality.

Annette and I enjoyed our time in the museum, but our guys began to suffer from art fatigue.

“Portrait of Two Husbands Who Wish They Were On Their Boats”, 2017.

Outdoors, the grounds of the museum continue to be works of art. One of my favorites is this golden rectangle built into the patio/walkway (My inner math geek is showing.) Considered to be the most visually satisfying of geometric forms, this proportion has long been seen as pleasing to the eye. The Golden Ratio exists in mathematics, science, nature, art, and architecture.

My photo only shows the  smaller Golden Rectangle within the larger one.  The ratio of the width to the length of a golden rectangle is the golden ratio, approximately 1: 1.618.
Dali’s famous mustache is also a sculpture in the garden. Love that.
Annette and I explored the Labyrinth, a circular spiral maze with a very tall evergreen in its center. A group of middle schoolers  were running around the maze. Felt like I was teaching 7th grade again! 😉
Annette and I made it to the center of the maze.
The grounds are a garden of delights.
Do I need to write a caption?
A selfie reflected in the glass triangles of the geodesic bubble.”Though the looking glass”???
Upon closer inspection, we saw that people tie their museum bracelets on the trees out here.
We rewarded ourselves with ice cream at Sweet Divas. The guys deserved a treat for good behavior.

We ate at Nueva Cantina (That Mexican Place) for our last dinner  together. After our recent Mexican experience, we wondered how authentic the food would taste at an American Mexican restaurant. We were not disappointed. Good choice, Bakers!

Calaveras on the walls of Nueva Cantina. Nothing like a few decorative skulls to make you feel at home in a Mexican eatery.

Visiting with Anthony and Annette was the perfect way to end our 3-week Mexico/Florida trip. We got to sleep on a sailboat again!!!! WooHoo and more! Thank you, Magnolia and crew. 😉

Although my 15 blog posts for our January trip took me over a month to finish, it is finally done. We packed a lot of memory-making into those 3 weeks and enjoyed every moment. Time for a blog break, for you and me both. 😉

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