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Posts Tagged ‘Harrison Hot Springs

The Riddle of the Sands…

With thanks to reader MK for the lead, a look at the Sand Sculpture at Harrison Hot Springs.  For 19 years, proprietors Karen and Bob Bell hosted the World Championships of Sand Sculpture.  For reasons obscure, there was no competition last year; still, the accomplishments of the 157 artists who worked there are nifty to behold.  Consider, e.g., this piece by Carl Jara:

or this one, by Brett Terry:

 

More at the Harrisand gallery.

As we brush off our feet, we might recall that on this date in 1519, Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán (roughly where Mexico City stands today).  Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomed him with great ceremony, as might befit a returning god…  little did the Aztec chief know…

Criss-crossed with canals, laced with aqueducts and markets, and set beside a grand lake, with floating gardens, Tenochtitlán was “the Venice of the New World”… or, rather, Venice was the mini-Tenochtitlán of Europe– the Mexican city was much larger and grander than that Italian town.

Indeed, according to early Spanish accounts,  Tenochtitlán was unlike the European cities they knew, but more like the ones they had seen in romantic books, as it was neither crowded nor dirty.  Indeed, Tenochtitlán was larger, more beautiful and more complex than any European city at the time. The population of the lake city was 200,000 – 300,000, at a time when London’s numbered about 40,000 and only 65,000 people lived in Paris.  Tenochtitlán’s craftsmen (for instance, its extraordinary goldsmiths) were a match for those in Europe, and the grandeur of the city’s pyramids rivalled that of the Egyptian “wonders of the world.”

Tenochtitlán

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