Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The First Squash Lesson !

Today I had my first Squash lesson. Although it is hard to play I enjoyed it a lot. The funniest thing is the ball. It is what I call the Dead Ball, simply because it does not bounce back. Actually the game was called Squash because of its soft ball. I can easily squeeze it by my fingers, so it is squash-able and funny. We should also wear goggles that I am not quite sure if it is required everywhere. After the class I took a look at the schedule sheet for the racquet sports’ and according to the sheet (or Department of Athletics) Squash is Princeton’s favorite court game. Wow !

For a long time I knew only of eatable squashes, which my grandma grows at her backyard. They are really delicious the way she cooks them; with a dash of sugar.

Here is the grandma's backyard.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Good Morning !

I was working on my proposal all night. It is almost 7am and I just finished my six page long proposal. I love to look at the sky at this hour when the darkness has just given itself up to the morning light and I love to hear birds start making their morning noises, which I think is very different from their singing during the day.

I will be going to New York in a couple of hours but in the meantime I can have some sleep.

Good Morning!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


These are some of my summer pictures; it just took a long time for me to put them up here. More coming soon !

Ali-Qapu Palace , Interior veiw, Music room at the Sixth floor

Ali-Qapu Palace , Interior view, Fifth floor

Shah/Emam Mosque, view from Naghsh-e Jahan Squer, Safavid dynasty

Interior view of Shah/Emam Mosque

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Movies of the Month

Fall semester has begun and everything around me is working its way through the season. Red Oak trees and Black squirrels are getting used to the fall issue of Princeton city.

I saw two movies in the last two weeks. Hollywoodland (2006) directed by Allen Coulter a mystery about the ambiguous death of the first television Superman, George Reeves. The drama becomes more interesting by its powerful performances from Ben Affleck, Diane Lane and Adrien Brody.

And Little Miss Sunshine (2006) is perhaps the best movie of the year. It is Co-directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris both of them worked together before. It tells a hilarious story in a well-defined structure that reminds me of J. D. Salinger plus an extra shade of happiness. It is a must-see movie.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

From Gallery to Cathedral

I was in Washington DC this week where I visited the National Gallery of Art. I visited three exhibitions one was Bellinni, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting, and the other was Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris plus the Selections from the collection of Edward Broida. I like Titian the most, among the Venetian painters, but the most amazing thing is the Venetian’s powerful use of Colors. They all had this strange sense of color from very early 16th century.

Visiting museums and galleries becomes my usual habit in this past years so it wasn’t that unusual for me to visit the National Gallery of Art but this time I had another reason for my trip. I was to attend a speech by former president of Iran, Seyed Mohammed Khatami, in the Washington National Cathedral. His speech was on Interfaith Dialogue and the Role of Religion in Peace and he has come to the United States as the founder of the International Institute for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Cultures. What I enjoyed a lot was the cultural diversity among the audience. People who believed in peace from nonbelievers to Jews, Christians and Moslems were there. The focus of his speech was on the religious understanding of human being and as the result the sacred rights of humankind. Khatami, the former president of Iran and the only reformist president after the revolution, closed his speech by inviting the East and the West to work together in order to create a world of peace, morality, ethics and progress for all humankind. The whole evening was like a religious experience since it took place in the sixth greatest cathedral in the world and the speaker was a Man of the Cloth.

Gypsy Madonna, Titian, 1512

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dada Exhibition at MOMA

August has ended and September has come. I haven’t had any problem with my registration this semester. Perhaps I should say I haven’t had any problem “yet”; but I try to be more hopeful.

Let’s start with a Dada exhibition at MOMA. It is up on the sixth floor and runs through September 11th. So there is not much time if you want to check it out. I was there last week and I really liked it. After the National Gallery of Art, MOMA is the first museum in the U.S. to concentrate exclusively on Dada. There are works of more than fifty avant-garde artists. Among them I liked the best Le Petit Désert (The Little Desert, 1920) a drawing by George Ribemont-Dessgaignes; it points out the importance of chance and accident in life by showing a set of Domino Bones. I liked also the Entr’acte (1924) a Dada film by Rene Clair.

I recently saw Grizzly Man (2005) a documentary by Werner Herzog about Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, grizzly bear activists who were killed by a bear in October 2003 in one of their annual trips to Alaska. The accident was a tragic one but what interests me is Herzog’s choice to make a documentary about this and his opinion about Timothy. Timothy Treadwell taped almost all of his trips to Alaska in order to educate the public about the grizzly bears and their inhabitance. His eye-catching shots are basically the whole film. Herzog thinks of Timothy not only as an environmental activist but also and more importantly he sees him as a filmmaker.

I also saw The Illusionist (2006) directed by Neil Burger and I also saw The Devil Wears Prada (2006) directed by David Frankel because I had read the book by Lauren Weisberger. I didn’t like them much but summer movies are usually like this.

Melekler Kahvesi, Summer 2006, A Coffee Shop in Istanbul
where we had our fortune told while playing Dominos.
Very Dada-ish indeed.