Venice, FL– As of yesterday I started feeling like a true Floridian with salt, sand & sun in my hair and skin. I celebrated two major name days St. Pat’s & St. Jo’s in Venice. I experienced the sunset and the full moon at the same time on the beach, beautiful weather and a tropical storm. I spotted young dolphins jumping high in the air as I was swimming along their side in the Gulf, and a stingray flopping by my feet. I went shelling and found precious concha shells and amazing beach formations.
I found my favorite spot on the beach by the two tall pines. I have my Venetian favorites: seafood dish Gulf Mix at Sharky’s, seaside drink and dessert, blue Bait Bucket Margarita and Key Lime Pie, my favorite yoga instructor Elin, downtown coffee shop Coffee & Wine, downtown shops boutique Seaside Chic and Fifi’s, bookstore Goodwill on Tamiami Trail, print publications magazine Venice Gulf Coast Living and newspaper Venice Gondolier. I have one last thing left to do. That is finding a shark’s tooth today. Today is my last full day in paradise.
If it was your last day in paradise what would you do?
Copyright (c) 2014 story and photos by Emma Palova
Participate in the survey on Your last day in paradise. What would you do?
Dali entrances in St. Petersburg’s enigmatic museum
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
St. Petersburg, March 12- On a misty Wednesday morning, we headed out from our base camp in Venice southwest Florida north on I-275 to St. Petersburg on Tampa Bay. Mom Ella feared crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge perched into the sky high above the bay.
The winds were only 25 mph, nothing to fear. The bridge closes to traffic when winds are over 45 mph.
St. Petersburg greeted us with a mix of sunshine and tropical rain like spring in the North. We parked on Beach Drive near the other big arts venue, the Museum of Fine Arts, ( MFA) in this fashionable city.
Since, it was lunch time, we walked the Beach Drive in search of the perfect joint.
We found one at Parkshore Grill. But, along the way, I peeked into some fashionable boutiques like Bella Moda.
The Parkshore reminded me of the decadent cafes in Prague and Brno, always full with old ladies drinking coffee. We sat next to a round table taken by a group of dames wearing print blouses.
Overall, the place buzzed with conversation and carefree laughter.
Our waiter Dakota fit the bill. He was entertaining and multilingual. We ordered small plates for $16 which consisted of Caesar salad, jumbo sautéed shrimp with angel hair pasta and a mini dessert.
In the tropics, no lunch is complete without a cocktail. The Pisco Margarita with reposado tequila and aloe nectar was smooth like the day. I watched the tropical rain whip the sidewalk with café umbrellas.
Après lunch, we cruised down First Avenue to Dali Boulevard.
This was my second visit to the Dali Museum located on the marina on the bay at One Dali Blvd. The three-story futuristic building, constructed in 2011, is just as striking as the artist. It was built in the shape of a rectangle with a glass bubble erupting out the backside facing the bay. The bubble made of triangular pieces of glass is known as the “enigma.”
A spiral staircase reminiscent of the DNA molecule and Dali’s obsession with spirals leads to the galleries on the third floor.
This time I took the audio tour rather than the docent-led tour to take in the impossible; that is Dali in all his greatness.
The second largest collection of Dali’s work after his homeland gallery in Figueres, Spain was made possible by his close Cleveland friends, Reynolds & Eleanor Morse.
America brought fame to Dali in 1936, when the Time magazine featured Dali on the cover. Dali and his wife Gala lived in the USA from 1940 to 1948 to escape German occupation.
It is divided into his early work, anti-artist period, surrealism and nuclear mysticism.
The audio describes in-depth featured paintings mostly turning points in Dali’s career.
I was absolutely blown away by Dali’s double image paintings such as the “Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire” and “The Three Ages”, oil on canvas 1940.
His epic “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln” is a prime example of double imagery. The title describes precisely the 121-pixel painting that at second look from a distance becomes a large head of Abraham Lincoln filling the entire canvas.
The Gala/Lincoln painting reminds me of the 3D pictures popular in the mid-90s. At first you only see the blocks, but staring deep into them will uncover a unique 3D scene. I loved these, I wish I had kept some of them.
My other fascination with Dali is his depiction of progression of time as in “The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory.” This painting has the famous melting watch. He was inspired by an oozing cheese melting on a hot day in his studio.
I often ponder the twisted clocks as I am sure Dali wanted us to do just that; ponder and contemplate over his paintings and images.
Like Einstein & Dali, I have my own fascination with time; not as it’s measured with devices, but its progression and evolution in space.
My major work, literary novel manuscript “Fire on Water” has been labeled by agents and critics as having no sequence in time or a juggled sense of time. The story moves between various episodes loosely connected, like Dali’s “Still Life-Fast Moving.” In the novel, just like in the painting, everything all of a sudden is thrown into action, only to be brought back to stillness.
I don’t know if that categorizes me as a surrealist writer that has skewed perception of time. As a writer, my goal is to connect the past, present and the future into one fluid movement. Along the way, the writing path winds, twists and bends as life itself.
In my stories, whether fiction or non-fiction, I attempt to fuse time in its different phases into one powerful elastic body of work.
I am looking forward to 2014 in spite of its rocky & freezing start. My goals include exponential growth of followers of my online journal. I plan on diversifying the content with other writers’ and bloggers’ work.
So far, it has been a one –woman show as far as articles, photography and design.
I am using this opportunity to invite other writers and artists to display their work in my journal. I would like to add fiction and poetry. I am a firm believer in creative partnerships.I want to add more advertising, both local and national, as well as a store page in an effort to monetize the site. And tie everything close with social media.
I am also happy about completing career profiles on Google+ and Elance in search of freelance work.
I will continue writing the memoir “Greenwich Meridian” which is the principal reason behind the journal. The family immigration saga is evolving as we speak and taking its own course.
My parents Ella&Vaclav Konecny, who started the saga in mid 60s are spending the winters in Venice,Fl. Dad will be celebrating his 80th birthday this July. My daughter Emma appears to be staying in France for a while. My brother Vas lives in Paris, Michigan and my son Jake lives in Kalamazoo.
I am targeting the book for next year’s publication before Mother’s Day since it is dedicated to mom. I am aiming for traditional publication as of right now.
I also have plenty of short stories awaiting publication collected in “Glass Flowers” anthology. I wrote most of these when I was working at the Meijer store in the nineties in Grand Rapids.
So, it will be a busy new year. I celebrated my one-year anniversary with WordPress on Jan.15. Looking forward to another one.
I embarked on this journey through my memories called “Greenwich Meridian where East meets West” on December 12, 2012 after being asked by many colleagues, friends and acquaintances to write our story. I have attempted several times to pen our immigration saga now spanning three generations. I saved evidence of such attempts like the personal essay, “Fire on Water.” I used the same title for my novel based on the communist experience from former Czechoslovakia. Some trace elements of the story can be found in a newspaper article about my naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 1999, “Lowell woman gets naturalized.” It was syndicated by the Associated Press and well received by the audience. I got phone calls from all over Michigan. Finally, I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of writing for the pleasure of others. Until recently I have been writing mostly for information capturing tragedies, disasters, events, politics and corrupt police chiefs or superintendents. However, my forte are human interest stories often about ordinary people doing unusual things either by their own will or against it. The memoir is a true work of creative non-fiction in which I combine real life exotic settings like Africa with real life people, who are either put in a bizarre situation or get into one by their own doings. Today, on this Mothers Day, I dedicate the book to my mother Ella Konecny who suffered the most in immigration because as Mr. Jan Skvor said at a Czechoslovak Conference for Arts and Science in Emigration in Horgen, Switzerland, 1970. “Immigration is not for missies.” For me immigration has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. And that includes studying calculus, seeing my grandparents through their illness to the end and living by myself with two young children, so I could leave the country to join my husband. And now by writing about it, I am reliving it. But, I want to preserve some of the events, and to a certain point even history. I have no regrets. America has helped me realize my dream of writing. I would do it all over again. I have a Daruma doll used by Japanese businessmen for motivation and to stay on task. One of my former editors gave it to me when I was facing a tough project. When things are not going your way, you just knock it down. A little steel ball at the bottom makes it bounce back. You also color only one eye, and once the project is complete you color the other eye. So, Daruma has been watching me pounding away on my keyboard at early morning hours chapter after chapter.
“Life went by so fast,” said mom when we talked about immigration in Venice, Florida and at the Selby Gardens.