Showing posts from 2021

An Interview with Screenwriter and Film Critic Christian D. Chapra

  An Interview with Award Winning Screenwriter and Film Critic  Christian D. Chapra Christian in Barcelona Christian D. Chapra has written since he was seven. The first time he was published was in high school. It was a poem. According to Chapra, “poems should be read, yes they are written, but they should be performed.” Carole Matthews, his English Lit teacher, published his poem -- by reading it to the staff and his peers. This is where his story began.   Two more poems would win contests in college, but critical recognition occurred in 2013, when he won “Best Unproduced Drama Screenplay” at the London International Filmmaker’s Awards for his screenplay: “Moving On.”  How would you describe the job of writing? CC: “Writing is an extremely tough job. At the end of the day, you are alone with a blank page. Nobody can really help you with it. You need to decide how you are going to deal with it. It is critical to any writer’s development that they learn there is no right way to be a wr

Even with a cold, old Barcelona is an adventure in realism.

We had a day and a half in this sprawling city, the trade port for much a Spain. But, we were tired from the party, and had yet to have a full authentic Spanish meal Tapas is Life! So, we checked in to Ohla! Barcelona (the nicest of our stays — with a hotel concierge and turndown service). Its theme was faces, outside and inside the building, with sleek white, grays and black decorations (I finally felt as if I was back in Europe I found uniquely wonderful) and lots of eyeballs; located in the heart of the Gothic (Art) District.  Despite the art, the graffiti is no Bansky John ordered laundry service for his wet pool clothing (from the Mallorca celebrations), and we slipped into our swimsuits to enjoy their rooftop pool and minty mojitos, despite still feeling under the weather; the skies in Barcelona were clear (for the time being). From the infinity pool, we had a lovely view of Ottoman-influenced cupolas, the domed Cathedral de Barcelona , and the ocean kissed horizon. This area

Mallorca, Majorca -- you decide.

  The next stop in our adventure was Mallorca (Catalan) or Majorca (Spanish). An island off the coast of Spain, southeast of Barcelona, and nearly halfway to Algiers. The largest of the Balearic islands, it was a major seaport during James I, Crown of Aragon, and had one of the best cartographic schools during medieval times.  Mallorca or Majorca -- either way it's a great place to hang with locals! A commerce port for Christopher Columbus, who is suspected to be of Mallorcan descent , he hid his true origins in order to favor financial support for his explorations by various nations. It becomes very obvious why the Spaniards liked California — the coastal-scape and weather are very similar. Olive groves and wineries pepper the land; palm trees are intermixed with cactus. Spain is like our Mexico but much cleaner. The Spanish take care of their coastal desert far better than the North Americans do in Central America. Man in middle lost his tapas.   We were fortunate that our hosts

Where are the Punkers? London and Windsor

On a corner of Piccadilly Circus is the original Hard Rock Cafe , and John and I had the whole of London to entertain us.  Over the next two days, our darling girl had classes, a mixture of online and field trips around the fashion world of London; exploring fabric shops in London sounds so romantic.  We walked along Regent Street , up from Piccadilly, and down memory lane. Both of us having visited in our ‘80s youth. Gone are the Anarchists and English Punk , who made London vibrant. Yes, as a twelve-year-old, the Punkers were scary and authentic — they were a heartbeat who made the whole world a bigger heart. Queen Victoria at Windsor Hard Rock Cafe! Inside Hard Rock, the hordes of energetic Americans are missing, the encased costumes are of current performers we hardly recognize. The burgers are still terrible. And, it made me nostalgic for our cultural individuality. St. Pauls Cathedral Where are the anarchy-punkers? We found London homogenized. There is a Starbucks, or Five Guys,

The Norman Conquest

The National Protrait Gallery This is my fourth time in London. I have been to this metropolis twice as much as New York or DC. Coming to London is a comfort station, a hometown of sorts. John’s parents are from rural areas outside of the City, and so our experience is like the family coming to the fold. We did not intend to take in the tourist sights; however, the first day we went to the National Portrait Gallery . Primarily, we needed/wanted a clean bathroom, and why not see some greats! Cezanne, Renoir, and a favorite: “Sunflowers” by Van Gogh.  The last time I was in NY, I had the fortune of seeing “The Starry Night.” I am a toss-up fan between Cezanne and Van Gogh. Regardless, I could see all and with space. The beautiful part of Covid travel is the lack of crowds, it was glorious to have The Gallery with more than enough breathing room to appreciate the art from a proper distance. Just as we arrived, my daughter came down with a sinus infection. Living in the dorms, the Brits ca