Leaving Fort Lauderdale

Westerdam leaves Ft Lauderdale, © 2015 Susan Barsy
A cruise begins.

It’s imperceptible, the moment the ship begins to glide.  Passengers, unpacking in their staterooms or sitting idly aboard the long stationary vessel, look up to see the landscape sliding past, silently imparting a delicious secret.  We’re moving.

Crowds gather on the upper decks, eager to take in the panoramic views.  Fort Lauderdale looks small, strangely trivial, from the perspective of the massive towering ship.  The atmosphere is festive, almost jubilant, but the people are quiet, attentive, pressed against the rails, gazing out, feeling the rush of the ship, pondering the landscape now shrinking fast.  Some turn their faces to the ocean, to the expanse of unbounded water that for the moment represents the future.

Seattle’s Arboretum

 The undulating path through the center of the Arboretum blooms with cherry blossoms, crabapples, and magnolias in March.
While in Seattle, my husband and I visited the arboretum, which is easy to get to by cab from downtown.  At this time of year, it’s the place to visit—far better than any market or museum. Continue reading

As We Descended Into Seattle

Aerial view of planes, trains, and automobiles near Boeing Field
As we descended into Seattle, my husband took a photograph from the air.  Though imperfect (why the blurriness around the edges?), it was by far the best picture either of us took from there. Continue reading


Aerial view of Minneapolis on a late winter day.
I hope you can forgive me for not publishing any text with this photograph when I posted it this morning.  I find it difficult to blog when I’m traveling.  And sometimes it’s more difficult than I expect to explain a photograph’s meaning or appeal.  This one, with its complex array of shades and shapes, is beautiful and engrossing on its own terms.  It’s an almost abstract aesthetic pleasure, contemplating the swirl of low roofs around the crisp black and blue skyscrapers, the scatter of boxy towers each with its own quirks and tonalities.  I enjoy the fact that many of the lower buildings, like the massive red sandstone church in the lower left corner, or what I think must be the convention center at center right, are nearly as distinct and impressive as the taller towers.  The crispness comes from the trees being all bare and dry.  There is a dynamism and beauty here that I don’t associate with Minneapolis at all.

Yet every time I come here, I find something else that I like, whether it’s the Normandy Best Western, the Global Market, the Marquette Hotel, or Minnehaha Falls.  My sister and her family are here, and more recently my parents: I’ve learned to see the city through their eyes.  And sometimes I’ve taken some good photographs, whether of the Como Park Conservatory or the bookstore Wild Rumpus.