Amber- Dépaysement

To entertain Brandon and myself at breakfast one morning, I began looking up words in other languages that don’t translate directly into English. Some of my findings, such as kummerspeck, a German word that literally translates to “grief bacon” but means something more like “eating one’s feelings,” cracked us up. Another German word, waldeinsamkeit, or the…

Rachel Whiteread's "Nameless Library"

Amber- Storytelling & memorializing in visual art

During our stay in Vienna, we spent much of our time exploring the art scene. From the angelic paintings adorning the ceiling of St. Steven’s church to an exhibit at the Secession Museum featuring live hens, our visits produced awe, gaping jaws, and good conversation. The exhibits that struck me the most were ones that…

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Annie: Reflecting on the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, Vienna

In a perfect world, Holocaust memorials would not exist—because in that perfect world, World War II would have never happened and the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened either. But the world is not perfect and those things did happen. And thankfully, we have Holocaust memorials to remind people of this unfortunate fact. One of the things…

Amber- The doors of France

While we all turn our gaze upward to appreciate many of the gems of France—Mont St. Michel’s abbey, the Eiffel Tower—I have been drawn to the doors at various locations we have visited. Taking a close look at them and comparing the size, color, and decoration of each helped me gain a better understanding of…

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Catacombs of Paris

1/8/14 Exploring the city yesterday left me exhausted; I arrived to the hotel last night eyelids heavy and drooping—a sign of a successful day. We first explored the catacombs of Paris. Deep underground, stone passages led us past rows and rows of bones stretching back as far as I could see. Piled high, the walls…

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Sarah C: The Catacombs

“The people who inhabit my world, both living and dead, are ghosts.” -Mary Morris, Wall to Wall Wednesday, January 8th, 12:32 am Today was busy. We took the metro to the catacombs, and they were not what I was expecting. You always hear the name, but never see photographs, so I thought there would just…