6754 – Journey, part 2 – Vandals, Statues, Lego

O Muse!
Sing in me, and through me tell the story
Of that man skilled in all the ways of contending,
A wanderer, harried for years on end…

Something worth mentioning about the trip of Saturday… It seemed like every common room had large white urns in them, with remains of someone or other inside. It was interesting at first and later became almost the theme of the house, which was fairly ostentatious.. makes Cinderella’s castle look like a grass shack.

I had hoped that the misting garden was open, but it wasn’t.. it’s a great way to cool off if you don’t mind getting a little wet.

Assorted Statuary from the Vizcaya Trip

At the entrance. A chubby-cheeked Seminole… the pedestrian path here continued to have many spiderwebs with the owners lounging in the center, waiting for one of the stray butterflies or dragonflies to wander too close. Much to the aforementioned insect’s relief, the spiders didn’t seem to be catching much that day.

This Pillar is some sort of combination of Carmen Miranda and Satan… and not in a “sexy-succubus” nor a “Zany Bugs Bunny” way.

About 12-15 feet tall. if that thing ever animates and gets a body, we’re all doomed. He’s really mad… the world’s angriest crossdresser. I suspect that he’s peeved because he got pine cone-sap on his neck, or worse, his hair. That stuff takes forever to get out.

Juan Ponce de Leon… This guy turns up everywhere in Florida. I laugh childishly at anyone named “Ponce” like I do for anyone named “Peter”, “Dick” or “Wally”. Funny how few people know that he sailed with Columbus, or mention that he was an Indian fighter and soldier for Spain. He was removed from his position as Governor of Puerto Rico (then called Borinquen) due to his extreme brutality to Native Americans.

The Natives got vengeance, though… in South Florida they kicked his tush a few and sent him packing to Cuba while he searched fro Bimini. A few years later he landed on the west coast of Florida, and his crew was rubbed out by Natives again, and though he escaped and retreated back to Cuba, he died from an arrow wound. His biggest deal was naming this part of the country “Pascua de Florida” (feast of flowers), and never finding the fountain of youth. Overall, I think that he deserves to be remembered, but was a mean-spirited dink. As for other famous Floridian stinkers, ask me how much of a jerk I think Edison and Henry Ford are, too.

One of a pair, guarding the entrance to something that is less a hedge maze and more of an inverted crop circle. The statues look French to me, for whatever reason… the face gives me that vibe. Look at that ribcage! She must ask some lame riddles, and not manage to eat too many visitors. If I was a Sphinx, I’d probably cheat, and ask Rumplestiltskin-style questions.

I’m not sure if she’s supposed to be holding a torch or something else, but I really like her solar insignia in the front. This is one of the more broken down regions.. note the rust stains on the wall, and some weeding needs to be done.

Seems out of place, but there was one major room in the house devoted to the orient. This was positioned near the swimming pool and the dining court. I think it needs a small topiary tree or something inside.

Had to toss in one shot of the gardens and fountain in, even if the goal was statues this time. I could just hang out here for an age. Note to visitors, you only have to pay if you want to go inside the home.. to me, the gardens are what make it worth visiting. Note to self, bring a cooler with grapes, cheese, and plenty of cold stuff to drink. It’s a lovely area for a picnic.

Warning to future visitors, there were some areas that have fallen into disrepair or need some maintenance.

From the guide:

The formal gardens have the traditional features of an Italian garden including water displays, sculptured grass beds, classical statuary, decorative balustrades, topiary-style trees and shrubs. Once marsh lands, the land needed some preparation: the garden was built atop concrete pilings that keep the garden from washing away in the hurricane season.

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Speaking of Statues – “Vandal of Venice” mystery solved

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – The vandal of Venice mystery has been solved after police named a deranged man armed with a shopping trolley and a sledgehammer as the author of a string of attacks on religious statues in the lagoon city.

Antonio Benacchio, 38, smashed the arms of statues in six different churches and palaces between last Saturday and Monday, police said on Thursday. He has been taken to a local psychiatric ward.

Benacchio’s attacks — denounced as the work of an “isolated lunatic” by Venice’s mayor — targeted some of Venice’s best-known monuments, including the Doge’s Palace in St. Mark’s Square and the Church of the Redeemer on the island of Giudecca.

“We quickly realized that these were abnormal actions which weren’t carried out with the intention of stealing,” Francesco Saverio Pavone, the magistrate who led the inquiry, told a news conference.

“The pieces were destroyed and this strange behavior was what led us to think these were the actions of a mentally disturbed person,” he added.

Investigators said Benacchio, detained after his house in the center of Venice was searched, acted alone.

The assaults have raised questions about security in Venice, which has no closed-circuit video system to monitor its works of art and protect them from the millions of tourists who swamp the city each year.

Benacchio smashed the arms and beard of a 15th century statue of Moses on the facade of the Doge’s Palace on Sunday night while tourists milled around him, working undisturbed until a group of Italian holidaymakers alerted the police.

The night before he chipped off the hands of statues of St. Mark and St. Francis outside the Church of the Redeemer and battered a statue of the Madonna tucked in an archway.

Benacchio’s actions recall geologist Laszlo Toth’s attack on Michelangelo’s Pieta in the Vatican in 1972. Hungarian-born Toth lunged at the statue with a sledgehammer, shouting, “I am Jesus Christ!”

Oh, and I missed Free Comic Book Saturday. Ah well… maybe next year. Speaking of comics….A nifty movie – Lego version of Spidey vs. Doc Ock.

Yet another reason why Vegetarians have more fun. (diet effects the composition and flavor of your bodily fluids)

On-call has been fairly slow so far… I wonder what it’ll look like today? Window-shaking thunderstorms midday yesterday…I feared put a damper on the fireworks last night, but it cleared up nicely.

Kids played with smoke bombs up the street.. those are great. I even dig the sulfuric stink of ’em.

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