Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Vizcaya Museum and Garden is another important landmark in Miami. Located almost bordering downtown, this beautiful garden and its museum are magnificent. One simply does not expect to find such an amazing garden in a metropolitan area like this. The entrance is only a few blocks away from the highway but once you enter the property you no longer feel that you were just on a highway 2 minutes ago.

** Tip- Students can gain entrance to Vizcaya at a discounted rate of $ 10 by showing the student ID. Trust me, you are going to appreciate what you see for the money you pay.

I started the tour by viewing the main house. Constructed in the early 1900's was the winter residence of James Deering from 1916 up until his time of death in 1925. Destroyed during a hurricane in 1926, it was restored in 1933 - 1934. Later Deering's heirs sold the house and the garden to Dade County below market value to be turned into a public museum. It opened to the public in 1953.

Images by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2010

Originally Vizcaya was 180 acres, but after Deering's death and presumable subsequent trouble with finances led the majority of the land to be sold for real estate development. In 1955, the county bought back some of the land from the village and integrated it back to the Garden and the Museum. When you are at the museum, you can find the maps and pictures from the original estate.

Images by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2010

The main house is still in very beautiful condition. Credit should be given to those who worked on the restorations all these years. Most of the original fixtures and almost all original furniture are still on display at the museum. Photography is not allowed inside the main house. I am not at all surprised about this considering how old all the wall paintings, furniture, ornaments and rugs, etc. are. It reminds me of a small palace or a European villa.

Image by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2010

There were 3 designers involved in the construction of the house and the garden. Paul Chalfin supervised the project as the Artistic coordinator. The Architect for the house and other buildings was F. Burral Hoffman and Diego Suarez was the landscape architect. Together they created one of the most treasured architectural masterpieces in Miami.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Science Museum, Universe and possibilities

As a part of the local attractions we were taking my parents to, we visited the Science Museum of Miami. It is more fun for Children I would say but we, the young at heart (heheh), much enjoyed the trip as well.

There were a few shows particularly educative and fun for the kids like the Lazer planetarium show and the Science or Magic show. I love planetariums because the universe is always inspirational. The Planetarium in Miami is no match to the Planetarium in New York yet it triggers the same inspirations and emotions.

I can't help but to wonder a few times a week what is out there. All those millions and billions of stars, potential "suns" that have solar systems just like ours. They must be having at least a handful of "live" planets with intelligent beings. We can't be the only ones out here alone. I wonder, what kinds of languages must exist in this universe, what kind of species are out there, what do they do?

One way to find out is to have an exoprojection. An exoprojection is an Out-of-Body Experience that takes place in out space, beyond the atmosphere of our earth. There are many recorded accounts of these experiences; among the most notable are books by Dr. Waldo Vieira, Robert Monroe, Robert Crookall, and Ernesto Bozzano. I found this article written by Wagner Alegretti on Exoprojections in the IAC Website.

I would love to have an exoprojection and visit another world. It would be quite amazing to be able to see and learn about life outside of our little blue planet and how they do things. Imagine, if we can see if they have superior technology that can help us help people better here on earth, that would be just fantastic. I would love to learn about architecture outside of earth... exoarchitecture - not as in computers but exoarchitecture as in architecture outside of our planet. That would be a pretty cool thing to study...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Coral Castle - Miami, FL

Happy 2010! I am hoping this year would bring new challenges and that everyone would find strength to face them successfully.

Also, Thank you for visiting my blog last year and continuing to visit.... I'm really enjoying this....

On the 2nd of January, we visited one of the local attractions here in Miami - the Coral Castle. Latvian American Edward Leedskalnin built it all by himself. Built entirely out of stone, there are a couple of megaliths and many beautiful stone furniture. The history of the Coral Castle is as interesting as the things you find there...

Coral Castle, FL - Images by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2010

There are megaliths, polaris telescope, water well, fountain and a sun dial. If you are in Miami, I would recommend you to take a trip to the Coral Castle and I am sure you would enjoy it....