Sitting in the shadow of the flamboyant Centre Pompidou is an easy to miss modest concrete box. This is Atelier Brancusi, the re-created studio of one of the fathers of modern sculpture, Constantin Brancusi.
A lifelong Parisian, Constanin Brancusi emigrated from his native Romania to Paris in 1904. After studying sculpture at Scoala Natzionala de Arte Frumoase in Bucharest, he continued his studies in 1905 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The following year, his sculpture debuted at the Salon d’Automne, where he met the French master Auguste Rodin.
At the age of 30, Brancusi’s career path seemed secure when he joined Rodin’s Paris studio. But after just two months he left the employ of Rodin with the explanation “Nothing grows well under the shadow of big trees.”
Within a year Brancusi’s stone sculpture “The Kiss,” marked this change of direction. His reputation as one of the great innovators of modern sculpture was assured with the first “Sleeping Muse,” a marble ovoid head with delicate stylized features lying peacefully on its side.
The sculptor had settled in Paris but returned frequently to Bucharest and exhibited there almost every year. In 1913, five of Brancusi’s sculptures were included in the Armory Show in New York. Alfred Stieglitz presented the first solo show of Brancusi’s work at his gallery “291,” New York, in 1914.
In 1920, Brancusi sent his sculpture “Princess X” to the major Paris exhibition Salon des Independants. It was denounced by a conservative faction as indecent and police removed it from the show.
After the incident, Brancusi’s studio became his gallery and exhibition space. He was so disgusted with the Paris art world that he never exhibited in Paris again for the rest of his life.
Before his death in 1957, Brancusi willed his studio to the Paris Museum of Modern Art with the proviso that it be preserved intact. The Atelier Brancusi collection consists of of 137 sculptures, 87 bases, 41 drawings and over 1,600 photographic glass plates and original prints. Architect Renzo Piano successfully preserved the intimacy of Brancusi’s workshop studio while protecting it behind glass walls.
While Atelier Brancusi is free, most Paris museums have admission fees. The Museum Pass for Paris is a convenient multi-museum pass available online or at The Paris Tourist Office’s Main Welcome Center at 25 Rue de Pyramides. Skip the queues and visit as many times as you like. The Paris Museum Pass is available for 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days.
Enjoy great wine and beautiful vistas on a scenic California road trip to Paso Robles. The hilly inland Paso Robles terroir offers superb and tasty full-bodied reds, because of its hotter, drier climate and riverbeds. Paso Robles is a three hour drive north from Los Angeles or a 3 hour drive south of San Francisco.
On your first day, take a drive east along Highway 46 to Opolo Vineyards at 7110 Vineyard Drive. Owners Rick Quinn and Dave Nichols have produced Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Muscat Canelli on 280 acres of vineyards since 1999. Our favorite out of many great bottles? Opolo’s fantastic tempranillo. Pair it with one of their tasty gourmet pizzas for a memorable lunch.
Just a few minutes away, drop into the Brecon Estate winery at 7450 Vineyard Drive. We love their 2017 Forty Two –a red Rhone blend that scored 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. This was their first screw cap red wine, but, as they say, “the romance is in the glass, not in the cork.”
Another few minutes further along at number 8530, stop by Pasolivo for a different tasting experience – a taste of palate-cleansing olive oils. Pasolivio offers personal one on one tutoring sessions and lots of great recipes.
Where to Eat in Paso Robles
Road-trippers will appreciate dinner at ThomasHill Organics in Paso Robles, thanks to a menu of local fresh ingredients used in the imaginative and colorful dishes. The emphasis here is on organic, regionally-produced food: poultry, fish, grass-fed beef, lamb and exotic meats. Nearby farmers provide all the fruits and vegetables, and breads are baked locally.
On the next day, visit pet-friendly Eberle Winery, 3810 E Highway 46, for a tasting and cave tour. For a one of a kind experience, book a private tasting in the underground caves, one of the most unique aspects of Eberle Winery.
In the 1990s, American Wine Legend Gary Eberle expanded underground, building the first wine caves in Paso Robles. Gary still greets guests daily with complimentary wine tastings, public tours of the production facility and the 16,000 square feet of underground caves.
From here, a 20-minute drive southeast takes you to Cass Winery at 7350 Linne Road. In addition to wine tasting, the on-site café offers lunch – try the succulent Benny Burger. The knowledgeable staff have great suggestions for wine pairings with lunch.
At Cass Winery, guests have the option of staying on site. Choose between The Geneseo Inn, a contemporary boutique hotel created from shipping containers or the Guesthouse, a three bedroom ranch house.
Where to Stay in Paso Robles
Start your Central California road trip with a stay at the 4.5-star Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles, where U.S. 101 meets Highway 46. It’s a perfect base for exploring many great Paso Robles wineries all connected by scenic road trips.
The excellent onsite Cello Ristorante is available for all-day dining. The resort also offers an upscale tasting room, spa services, steam room and an outdoor pool in peaceful surroundings of lush gardens and vineyards.
The billionaire space race has reignited public interest in space exploration and travel, an interest not seen since millions watched Neil Armstrong make one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
It’s easy to forget that space travel was the dream of one man. In 1961 John F. Kennedy asked America to commit to sending men to the moon “before this decade is out.” Sadly President Kennedy did not live to see his dream come true.
When the space program began, NASA chose Merritt Island, Florida for two reasons: the launch would occur over unpopulated areas and an east coast location meant rockets leaving Earth would get a boost from the Earth’s rotation.
If you’re interested in space travel and the science of space exploration, a visit to the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast is probably on your bucket list.
Top Tips for Kennedy Space Center Visitors
First time visitor? KSC is overwhelming. Will you have time to see everything? What should you see first? Start early and make use of the helpful concierge at the information center.
They can plan out a visit based on what you most want to see and your time available. The free map has good must see suggestions. A multi day ticket is also available – good for multiple admissions within one year.
My suggestion: Start where it all began – take the bus ride from KSC to Launch pad A. The world’s fascination with space travel was ignited by Apollo 11, the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on July 2oth 1969.
See the actual control room, not a replica but the control room used for the first moon landing in 1969. These computers cost $3.5 million a piece and were the size of a car. Now your smartphone is millions of times more powerful than the Apollo 11 guidance computers. You can walk under a gigantic Saturn V rocket and touch a moon rock, which unremarkably feels just like an earth rock.
Looking like a model kit built by giants, the Saturn V rocket fills the room. The three-stage liquid-propellant reliable, but non-recyclable Saturn V was the NASA rocket that launched humans to the moon.
After you return, join the timed entry for space shuttle Atlantis. Choose your KSC visit partner carefully. This is not the time to have the argument that space travel is a waste of government money – money better spent improving lives on earth. That may be true but it’s a total buzz kill.
After all that time on your feet, you’re ready to sit down. Visit the Imax Theaters for a film. When you visit the IMAX theater, take the stairs to the very back – the experience will be more immersive. Also families with fidgety, coughing children will stay together on the first level by the entry doors.
While the Kennedy Space Center is the feature attraction of Florida’s Space Coast, there are plenty of other places and attractions to visit. Cities in the area include Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island (unincorporated), Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Indialantic, Palm Bay, and Viera.
Cocoa Beach, south of Cape Canaveral, is known for its beach and surf breaks. Inside a surf shop, the Florida Surf Museum traces the sport’s local history. Nearby Cocoa Beach Pier has eateries and shops. The maritime forest at oceanfront Lori Wilson Park attracts birdlife. If you’re looking for unique crafts and curiosities or vintage clothes, check out Historic Cocoa Village.
Viera’s Duran Golf Club features a championship 18-hole links-style Florida golf course which plays 7151 yards from the tips. Designed by Chip Powell, Duran opened to the public in 2005.
The par-4 18th is the signature hole at Duran. This long, sweeping dogleg left wraps around a large lake, a challenging finale to your round.
Duran Golf Club Invitational annually hosts top women’s college golf teams from Louisville, Florida, Florida State and UCF,South Carolina, LSU, and Auburn.
Where to Stay on Florida’s Space Coast
Just steps from the Atlantic, the pet-friendly Windemere Inn by the Sea is situated on a barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Indian River to the west, located on A1A, in Indialantic, Florida.
The Windemere Inn B&B features eleven comfortable guest-rooms.
Tesla and Universal/J1772 charging stations are provided as well as parking. Pets travelling with their owners are welcome in the secluded English Garden and the Windsong rooms.
Guests have the choice to swim in the ocean or the heated pool. Beach towels, umbrellas and beach chairs are all available to take to the nearby beach.
We enjoyed comparing notes with other travellers over delicious homemade complimentary breakfasts and our genial host had great suggestions for local bars and restaurants including Meg O’Malley’s Irish bar in downtown Melbourne. Try the famous 18-cent bean soup and the best Guiness ever – in Florida!