Backfilling: A Walk To The Lighthouse

I am on my way to Helsinki from Paris, and tomorrow, I will fly back to Chicago. There are 400+ photos in my picture gallery, and I know that the moment I am back in Chicago, other things will take priority. That’s why I will try to show more while I am still en route.

Going back to my first day in Dublin, I discovered that the air temperature felt different than in Chicago, and what I thought of as late spring weather was anything but. The first day was the warmest, even with the strong winds from the sea.

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“How did you find Paris?..”

That was a line from the “Titanic” musical: How did you find Paris, Mrs. Astor? – Oh, thank God I didn’t have to find it – John knew exactly where to go! That is to say, I was not well prepared for one free day in Paris. And Paris was not kind to us. Both times I was here before, it was the same time of the year, but the weather was much warmer, and I could not imagine Paris not being welcoming enough for us to wander the streets aimlessly. And also, with so many things going on in my life, I didn’t spend time on the VisitACity app and didn’t book any tickets in advance, except for the Louvre a night before. It was still not bad; we got “almost” as much as we could out of the day.

We bought a Botobus day ticked, and it was fun – I didn’t take a boat on the Sienna before. Because of the boat, we checked at least some touristy points.

Pg Day Paris

Today, I presented a talk in Paris for the first time! Once again, I saw many people I didn’t see since October and had great conversations! And – I am in Paris again!

We arrived yesterday, and guess what – there is another transportation strike going on! Fortunately, it was not as bad as in London last week! We walked around a little bit; saw the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame, and returned back to the hotel.

A view from our hotel window

More to come!

Still Traveling

I have 300 more pictures and 30 more stories to tell about the time I spent in Ireland, but life goes on, and I can’t keep up with it!

I arrived in Stockholm last night and spent the whole day not leaving the hotel, attending the conference, and talking to friends and peers. And tomorrow morning, I am leaving for Paris!

The whole conference was great, filled with presentations, meetings, and conversations!

Glendalough National Park

On Saturday, my friends took me to two places outside Dublin. The first place we visited was Glendalough National Park. First of all, it’s an exceptionally beautiful park, the nature is amazing, there are hills, lakes, waterfalls, and old trees. Most important, however, is that it is the oldest monastic site, founded in the 6th century!

The trees covered with moss
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What’s Going On In Chicago

That was the counter-protest I blogged about last week.

Unfortunately, this website is not showing in the EU, so I had to go to the VPN to see it. For those who are in the US, here is a link:

And copying the whole thing here so that my friends outside the US could see it as well.

Anti-war coalition rallies 20 years after Iraq invasion: ‘Fund the people’s needs, not the war machine’

ANSWER Coalition

An anti-war coalition rallies outside of the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago. The group said the United States should be trying to lead peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia — not sending military aid to Ukraine. Photo credit Brandon Ison

 By Brandon Ison

WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

2 hours ago

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — With temperatures in the teens and an added chill from the breeze, dozens of people from several local anti-war groups gathered in front of the Wrigley Building Saturday.

“They say, ‘More war;’ we say, ‘No war,’” protesters chanted.

The Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition was formed in the days after the 9/11 attacks and initiated an anti-war movement in the months leading up to March 18, 2003. Twenty years later, Emil Mitchell was among the speakers representing the ANSWER Coalition in Chicago.

“There’s a war machine out there, and we all know it’s funded with trillions of dollars, but here at the ANSWER Coalition, all of our groups, we are building a peace machine that will end war for good,” he said. “It will take all of us.”

The rally was one of several nationwide demonstrations marking the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War invasion.

Mitchell said the U.S. government claims there’s not enough money for schools, healthcare, housing, wages, or climate change.

Anti-war protesters

“They say, ‘More war;’ we say, ‘No war,’” protesters chanted outside of the Wrigley Building on Saturday. Photo credit Brandon Ison

“Yet they find almost $1 trillion for war every war,” he said. “That’s why we demand that they must fund the people’s needs — not the war machine.”

To Mitchell, and others at the anti-war demonstration, this would include a stop to military aid in Ukraine. A counterpoint on Saturday came from someone who may seem like an unlikely source: Anastasia Voronova, a Russian who came to the United States four years ago to study.

Voronova told WBBM that it’s not safe for her to return to Russia with her firm held belief in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty. She was part of a two-person counterprotest to the anti-war rally, Russian-born Igor Studenkov joining her. He said the situation in Ukraine would be much worse without global support.

Pro-Ukrainian protesters

Igor Studenkov (L) and Anastasia Voronova showed up to counterprotest Saturday’s anti-war rally. Studenkov said lasting peace in Ukraine will be impossible without Russian troops leaving the country, detained Ukrainians being freed and a trial for those accused of war crimes. Photo credit Brandon Ison

“Ukraine is being invaded, and it needs help,” he said. “The sooner they can get help, the sooner this war can be over, the sooner Ukrainian cities can stop being bombed, and the sooner — hopefully — that all the people who had to flee will be able to go home.”

Studenkov said Mitchell’s groups should direct their anger at Russian president Vladimir Putin, and he added that Ukraine should receive all the help it can get.

“We believe that any lasting peace in Ukraine is impossible without Russian troops getting out of Ukraine, without all of the detained Ukrainian civilians being freed, without all the people accused of war crimes being tried before an international tribunal,” Studenkov said.

Other Pictures From Saint Patrick’s Day Parade In Dublin

I made tons of very short videos to capture the dynamics of the parade, and the easiest way to show them here is by embedding the Instagram posts. Take a look, and scroll through them – there are several videos in each!

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade In Dublin

It is very different from what we have in Chicago, and I am so glad I was here today! What an amazing experience!

Everybody asked me whether it was different from the Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day parade – and it was. It was a little bit shorter (two hours at any point of the parade route) and way less loud. The streets were not as crowded as in Chicago. There were fewer bagpipe bands and fewer Celtic dances, no politicians, no elected officials, and no political parties. Noboby was giving away goodies. There were many American marching bands – go figure! And there were a lot of beautiful floaters!

It will take me some time to post even a small fraction of pictures, just a few today!

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First Day In Dublin

It’s great to see old friends after many years! It’s great to get to know a new country you never visited before.

All great. We took a long walk to the Lighthouse, visited the national Irish Gallery, when to Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells…

And St Patrick Day is tomorrow – I can’t wait!