Dualism, a Square in Travel Photography: iconic Zlatari Church on Calea Victoriei, Bucharest, reflected in the glass walls of a futuristic cube building.
In a snapshot, dualism means recognizing and understanding the opposition’s point of view. It is choosing to look and see beyond the relative conceptions of good or evil, the universal opposites. Dualism attempts to restore balance, to seek the normal in an abnormal world.
I choose to believe that dualism is inherent to the human soul. It is trough dualism that we eventually arrive to our true self. Dualism is the thread with what it was and what will be. A thread that holds the individual, the microcosm, centered in an universe seen as the macrocosm, and forever connected, centered to a primordial axis.
How can we appreciate the heat of the sun if we haven’t experienced the chill of winter? The light of dawn if we haven’t held our eyes open in the darkest of nights, seeing, but not seeing any hope? The balm of water as it brings life to a burning throat?
This is the picture my daughter took of Zlatari Church on Calea Victoriei, Bucharest, reflected in the glass walls of a modern office building across the street.
Dualism, accepting two futuristic glass buildings in the middle of an iconic area of Bucharest. A cube and a cylinder, now landmarks amidst centuries old cultural architecture. Where once used to be a park gently rolling downhill with the curves of the land, now your eyes blink against glass on metal, drawn in simple lines next to the eclecticism of the adjacent buildings and the Byzantine architecture of Zlatari Church via-a-vis.
This past holiday I chose to look up, towards the sun, the sky and the buildings’ roofs. I discovered some surprising sights that put a smile on my face and sparked my writer’s brain (or so I liked to imagine).
Also bordering past and present – which side would you choose?
I was born in Bucharest, so I am quite proud of the fact that in 1857 Bucharest was the first city in the world to introduce kerosene lamp posts on its streets. The fuel was produced in one of the world’s first refineries equipped with modern facilities, found in the nearby city of Ploiesti. Of course, only Bucharest’s city center was illuminated this way and 1,000 kerosene lamps were used, this bringing a a new craft into light in Bucharest, that of the lamplighter.
Here is another wall-bracket street light on the same building. I like the way it seem to serenade both windows. And have you noticed all the details on the facade?
To stay with the Farola fernandina style street lamp and in the same neighborhood of Bucharest, Lipscani, here’s another one:
And not too far away:
Here’s a close-up and I didn’t even have to climb a building to take this photo!
We are on a smaller street now, the light pole has a plain design. But what you see behind, the white building with lots of windows and a smaller one in the attic (where the coffee shop is!), that building houses the amazing bookshop Carturesti Carousel, a must-see.
We visited the Village Museum, as we do each time we go to Bucharest, and this time discovered:
Have you noticed the twin rosettes and the metal flower on top of the pole? And here is another lamp post from the Village Museum. The museum closes well before sundown, but I image it to be enchanting during the night.
Cismigiu Park, in the heart of Bucharest, is another one of our favorite places. Paddle boats in summer, ice skating early mornings or at dusk during winter, magical!
Look up, it pays off! We are still in Cismigiu Park (Fountain Park, you could translate), an area linked back to 1799, when ruler Alexandru Ipsilanti ordered that two fountains be built here. Again, a new craft and title was born, that of “Grand Fountaineer” – in charge of maintaining the good order of these two fountains!
But the real Cismigiu Park was designed during the middle of the XIX century by the Viennese landscape architect Carl Wilhelm Meyer at the order of ruler Gheorghe Bibescu.
Initially, in 1860s, there were only 60 lamp posts in Cismigiu Park. Electric lighting was introduced in 1890s. I wonder if this was one of them:
Excited to say that back then, as now, there is a newspaper stand in Cismigiu Park!
Moving on, here are a few more street lights from around Bucharest:
I hope you enjoyed looking up with me. Do return for more lamp posts, next we will visit Brasov and Constanta. Why don’t you subscribe to my newsletter or follow my blog?
Any thoughts? Comment below, I’d love to hear your ideas.