Bust and Tower of Ypsilanti
The city of Ypsilanti, Michigan in the United States – founded in 1825, during the Greek struggle for independence – is named after Demetrios. A bust of him stands between American and Greek flags at the base of the landmark Ypsilanti Water Tower, as you can see above.
A member of an important Phanariote family, Demetrios Ypsilantis (Δημήτριος Υψηλάντης) was the second son of Prince Constantine Ypsilantis of Moldavia. He was sent to France where he was educated at a French military school. He then distinguished himself as a Russian officer in the campaign of 1814. And in 1821, he lead a Greek rebellion in Moldavia that indirectly benefited the Principalities (of Moldavia and Wallachia).
In 1821, Ypsilantis went to the Morea, where the Greek War of Independence had just broken out. He was one of the most conspicuous of the Phanariote leaders during the early stages of the revolt, though he was much hampered by the local chiefs and by the civilian element headed by Prince Alexander Mavrocordatos. As a result, the organisation of a regular army was slowed and operations were limited.
On 15 January 1822, he was elected president of the legislative assembly. However, due to the failure of his campaign in central Greece, and his failure to obtain a commanding position in the national convention of Astros, he was compelled to retire in 1823.
In 1828, he was appointed by Ioannis Kapodistrias as commander of the troops in eastern Greece. On 25 September 1829, he successfully compelled the Turkish commander Aslan Bey to capitulate at the Pass of Petra, thus ending the active operations of the war.
~ via Wikipedia
The Spirit of Los Angeles
This photograph is of The Grove’s central statue with a strong lens flare.
“The Spirit of Los Angeles” was created by the nationally renowned sculptor De L´Esprie. It is a magnificent bronze statue of a male and a female angel soaring skyward. In The City of Angels where many have realized their dreams, the statue not only serves as the centerpiece of The Grove, it is a signature piece for the City and an enduring symbol of the limitless opportunities Los Angeles offers. The bronze Angel´s wingspan is 10 feet wide and stands 18 feet high on top of a 22 foot hand limestone column.
Saint Monica of Santa Monica
The Statue of Saint Monica in Santa Monica is a often overlooked site in the beachfront city. After all, the city was named after the 4th Century mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. The statue stands at the end of Wilshire Boulevard in Palisades Park, facing inland from the Pacific Ocean. This shot was taken as the sun was slowly setting, giving the statue a halo- as befitting a saintly visage.
Saint Monica (312 – 387 AD) (or Timaniket in the Berber language, her likely ancestry), who also known as Monica of Hippo, was an early Christian saint and the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. She is honoured in the Roman Catholic Church where she is remembered and venerated for her outstanding Christian virtues, especially the suffering against the adultery of her husband, and a prayerful life dedicated to the reformation of her son, who wrote extensively of her pious acts and life with her in his Confessions. Popular Christian legends recall Saint Monica to have wept every night for her son Augustine.
Fun Fact- Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language, who lived there long before Europeans colonized the area.
Skyward Year of the Snake
Oblique Year of the Snake
I chose to include the Snake head because I am the year of the snake- in fact, this is my half-birthday. But, a bit more about the exhibition, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (where the exhibit was on view when I took the photograph):
The Zodiac Project is Ai Weiwei’s (艾未未) first major public sculpture. For this monumental new work, Ai has recreated the famous twelve bronze animal heads that once adorned the Zodiac Fountain in Yuan Ming Yuan, the Old Summer Palace, in Beijing. Cast around 1750, the original heads were looted by Anglo-French troops who took part in the destruction of Yuan Ming Yuan in 1860 during the Second Opium War. The heads remain a potent trigger for Chinese nationalist sentiments. Ai’s new work suggests a dialogue about the fate of art objects that exist within dynamic and sometimes volatile cultural and political settings. With his subversive wit, the artist adapts objects from the Chinese material canon going back to antiquity, twisting traditional meanings toward new purposes. Ai’s continuous exploration of the historical object finds great resonance with the encyclopedic collection of LACMA, which includes Chinese art from the Neolithic to the Qing Dynasty period.
Ai Weiwei grew up the son of acclaimed poet Ai Qing and spent several years as a child exiled in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. For more than a decade, he lived and worked in New York, returning to China in 1993. He was detained in April, 2011 for close to three months, causing an international outcry. He is currently prohibited from leaving Beijing. He has become an international symbol of the ongoing struggle for freedom of expression and dissent.