All posts tagged: World Heritage Sites

Uplifting Preservation

There are times when the personal takes on global implications. Last week was one of those times. It began when I discovered that a former National Trust colleague, Raina Regan, has begun a fascinating self-help project for preservationists. Here is Raina’s description of this work: “One of my goals for 2019 was to be more intentional with my free time, which resulted in a rekindled love of reading. I was really drawn to self-help books, and according to my count, I’ve read two dozen of them in 2019. As I read each one, I considered how they would apply to me and my work in historic preservation. At some point, I decided I wanted to take what I’ve learned and share it more broadly with the world—and Uplifting Preservation was born.“ Uplifting Preservation is a once-a-month newsletter on the Tiny Letter platform where Raina shares her perspective on a specific book, such as Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, and its relevant concepts …

Buddhist statues at Daisho-in Temple

Japan by sea

Donald Trump, you may have read, recently visited Japan.  I also just wrapped up a tour of the Land of the Rising Sun.  At the risk of being the target of a derisive tweet or internet trolls, it is fair to say that I had the better trip. The two-week National Trust Tours exploration of Japan, with a focus on its coastal cities and sites, certainly broadened my mind. Not only were the people and places welcoming, but the sharing of perspectives from our guides, study tour lecturers, and fellow travelers enriched an already heady experience. The World Heritage sites, such as Todai-ji Temple in Nara, the capital of Japan from 710-784 CE, were powerful and moving, especially as one found places away from the crowds to privately indulge in the architecture, gardens, and spiritual meaning of the spaces. More modern sites, such as Hiroshima, the Adachi Museum of Art and Gardens, and I.M. Pei’s Miho Museum, were also important touchstones for understanding parts of life in today’s Japan. It was at the more out-of-the-way places, …

View of Florence

48 hours in Tuscany

48 hours barely counts as dipping your toes in the water that is Tuscany, but it is what we had for this first visit over last weekend.  With Claire in the country for a limited time, we opted to experience a few sites and then return later for a longer drink of more that the region has to offer. But first, let me detour to talk about trains. At the suggestion of our friends Tom and Rod, we booked our trip on the Italo high-speed train from Rome to Florence.  Ninety minutes after boarding – following the smoothest train ride I’ve ever experienced and going 260 km/hour (that’s about 160 mph for the metrically challenged) – we pulled into Florence and walked ten minutes to our cozy little historic hotel. For those who talk about American exceptionalism, I’d beg to differ. When it comes to train travel, we aren’t even on the same planet! On Monday, while we were coming back from Florence on the train, our DC Metro apparently had another fire in a …