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Travel Cultures Language

Creative Expression in the Name of Fun

by Meredith Mullins on October 1, 2014

The vélocipèdes, creative expression with bicycles at funfairs, part of the Musée des Arts Forains (Photo © Meredith Mullins)

The oldest carousel at the Musée des Arts Forains in Paris
Photo © Meredith Mullins

The Art of Funfairs and Carnivals

The sights and smells of carnivals and funfairs are layered deep in memory.

We remember . . .

  • taking pride in choosing our favorite horse on the carousel
  • eating airy sugar in cotton candy clouds
  • digging deep to find our inner superman, someone capable of winning the largest and furriest of the stuffed animals
  • living for the heart-stopping, stomach-spinning rides

Mexican Culture: Moments of Note in Miniature

by Sheron Long on September 24, 2014

Miniature diorama of a harvest celebration opens a window into Mexican culture. (Image © Sheron Long)

Harvest diorama
© Sheron Long

How Long Can a Summer in Mexico Last?

A lifetime. When you step into another culture, rarely do you leave without life-changing, long-lasting experiences.

Certainly, that was the case during the summer I spent studying abroad in Mexico. One day, I stopped to admire this tiny scene of a harvest celebration—

the corn stalks scratching the sky,

the central beast of burden,

families thankful for the bounty of the crop.

I bought the miniature scene for the beauty of the Mexican folk art, but I came to love it for the thankful moment it symbolizes. A moment of note.

Cannery Row Catalysts: John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts

by Meredith Mullins on September 1, 2014

B&W photo of Ed Ricketts at the Pacific Biological Laboratories on Cannery Row, creative inspiration for John Steinbeck.

Ed Ricketts at his lab on Cannery Row
© Pat Hathaway Collection/www.caviews.com

Creative Inspiration among Friends

We should all be so lucky to have a friend, a creative inspiration, like Ed Ricketts.

John Steinbeck said that “knowing Ed Ricketts was instant.”

After the first moment, I knew him; and for the next eighteen years I knew him better than I knew anyone. 

They were best friends. They fed each other ideas. They told each other truths. The jolted each other beyond the boundaries of the ordinary. They refreshed each other.

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