Friday, December 31, 2010

ATLANTApix: Georgia on My Mind

Georgia State Capitol Building
As I reflect on 2010, the one thing that I'm happiest about is being "home" Atlanta.

"What's so great about it," one might ask. So many things come to mind, but to name a few: her majestic skyline; her international culture; her phenomenal arts scene; her palette of restaurants; her moderate climate; all her incredible attractions and events...but most of all, I can say with 100% confidence, the best thing about Atlanta is her people.

Atlanta is the heart and soul of southern hospitality. I've never met friendlier people...people from all walks of  life, from every socioeconomic  background, from children to young professionals to Atlanta's cherished seniors, you'll not find a more beautiful hive of generosity and kindness.

By the way, today's photo is the dome of the Georgia State Capitol Building, topped with the statue "Freedom," where the American and Georgia flags fly every day.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

ATLANTApix: Levy Parterre at Sunset

Levy Parterre at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Levy Parterre at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
As the sun sets on 2010 a lot of exhibits around the city are also coming to a close. But, there's still so much to see and do in Atlanta!

The Levy Parterre at sunset (pictured here) is a sight to behold during any season. And you can get reacquainted with the Atlanta Botanical Garden any time of year with a free, docent-led tour (free with admission, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.).

You can stay warm during a visit to the Garden by visiting the tropical or desert houses in the Dorthy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory, which is as exciting today as it was the day it opened in 1989. While you're admiring the exquisite beauty of hundreds of orchids you also can learn about conservation efforts taking place at the Garden!

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ATLANTApix: High Museum of Art's Meier Building

High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art
Atlanta's High Museum of Art is housed in one of the world's largest art complexes in the world—the Woodruff Arts Center.

This photo of the High is the Richard Meier-designed, award-winning building that opened in 1983 on Peachtree Street.

Originally founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High Museum of Art received its first permanent home in 1926, also on Peachtree Street. Today, the Museum is twice its 1983 size (now 312,000 square feet), the result of a three-building expansion designed by the famous Italian-born Renzo Piano.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Carlos Museum: Ancient World Art

Greek & Roman exhibit
Greek & Roman exhibit

Only a few miles from downtown Atlanta, the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University should be the "X" that marks the treasure on every tourist's destination map.

The Museum's permanent collection, which is what I went to see on this visit, includes thousands of artifacts from pharaoh-ruled Egypt (including the largest collection of mummies in the Southeast); robed, statuesque Greek and Roman gods; the mysterious cultures of ancient America (South America, primarily); multi-armed and golden deities of Asia; and religious and cultural masks of Africa.

I can't believe this place isn't better-known…or maybe it is and just hasn't come up in conversations I've had. Either way, the Carlos Museum is a must-see, totally can't-miss excursion that tourists and locals absolutely must go on.

Egyptian Mummy
Egyptian Mummy

The always visitor-popular Egyptian art at the Carlos Museum is part of the Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art gallery, featuring approximately 500 artifacts.

The highlight of the gallery is its mummies. Several are laid head to toe with their coffins providing an opportunity to fully explore the remnants of Egypt's elite. Displayed in an incredibly beautiful, sophisticated fashion, they retain the mysteriousness that ancient Egypt has long held for millions around the world.

Mummies at Carlos Museum
Mummies at Carlos Museum
Rich in funerary artifacts, in addition to the mummies, there are coffins, statuary, jewelry and papyrus.

Of particular interest, I learned why so many Egyptian statues are carved so tightly, without extended limbs. Many of the local materials used in Egyptian sculpture thousand of years ago were not terribly resilient or strong, thus many are today headless and limbless.

Greek & Roman

Even though I lived in Greece for more than two years and visited countless historical sites while I was there, I don’t think I'll ever tire of Ancient Greek history or Roman for that matter.

The largest artifacts in the Museum, maybe with the exception of some of the mummy coffins, are some of the statuary in the Greek and Roman Art gallery, the statue of Mercury (Hermes) and one of Aphrodite being my personal favorites.

One of the really cool artifacts on display is the first known body armor to include artistic embellishments, shown in 360 degrees.

Shakyamuni Buddha
Shakyamuni Buddha

The Asian Art exhibit is comprised of nearly all religious artifacts, including some from India, China, and a golden Shakyamuni Buddha from Tibet.

Although modest in size, the exhibit is indeed impressive. Some of the statues are incredibly intricate and detailed.

After venturing through the few rooms that house the Asia Art gallery, you feel like you've traversed through much of the far-stretching continent.

African Mask
African Mask

The Africa Art gallery, although more modest in size, has some incredible artifacts in its collection…especially the masks.

Also on exhibit are ceremonial robes, celebratory instruments, pottery, and sculpture that represent many of the cultures of Africa. The gold work in the Africa exhibit is some of the finest I'd seen in the Museum.

There also is a video playing in the gallery, as there are in other galleries in the Museum, expanding learning opportunities.

Ancient America exhibit
Ancient America exhibit
Ancient America

The Ancient American Art gallery actually was the first one I went through, which worked out well because I finished in the Egyptian gallery. Going through the Ancient American gallery held a number of surprises...and room after room kept revealing itself.

One of the rooms I walked into had black cables on the floor, so I began to watch my step…then a couple of steps later, I realized that what I thought were cables are actually ancient city plans drawn on the floor.

Praying Mantis dish
Praying Mantis dish
It was the first time I'd seen the floors used in an exhibit since the Jim Lambie exhibit "Directions" at the Hirshorn Museum of Modern Art (Washington, DC)…I was impressed that the Carlos Museum used their floors so creatively.

The gallery includes a lot of pottery, but also a generous dose of statuary, jewelry, and metalwork. Quite a few of the pieces are rare or are in rare condition, including one dish with a painted praying mantis on it. The mantis is colored purple (rare at the time) and fully intact (rarely found not broken).


Greek & Roman Art Gallery
Greek & Roman Art Gallery
On this particular visit, from all the tour options available, I opted for the self-guided tour, available to visitors during open hours. And for an additional $2, I did the audio tour.

It's extremely rare that I take an audio tour, but I'm so very glad I did this one. It's extremely well done and offers a lot of bonus material including testimonials from industry experts, relative music (including performances using artifacts in the collection), and readings from ancient texts.

Docent-led tours are available on Sundays at 2:30 during the academic year. Docent-led group tours are available, but require prior arrangements.

A special audio tour, Times and Texts of the Bible, discusses connections between the Museum’s permanent collection and the Bible. The Bible tour costs an additional $3.

Upcoming Attractions

African Mask
African Mask
"Monsters, Demons, and Winged-Beasts: Composite Creatures of the Ancient World" is the exhibit that had me sold on the Carlos Museum. Visiting this time was research, learning the lay of the land…and I'm so glad I took the extra time to see the permanent exhibit separately!

Portraying a world of "myth, legend, and high adventure," the Monsters exhibit features works of art in the mediums of "gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stone, terra cotta, papyrus and more."

Also coming up is "Divine Intervention: African Art & Religion" that I had a peek of being installed…looks exciting.

The gist of the Divine Intervention exhibit is about the African belief that "works of art function as a bridge between the human and divine worlds." It's also timed to run during National Black History Month.

Both exhibits, Monsters, Demons, and Winged-Beasts and Divine Intervention open on February 5, 2011. Monsters runs through June 19, 2011 and Divine runs through December 4, 2011.

Getting There

Gallery Floor City Plan
Gallery Floor City Plan
I’d researched parking options before heading to the Museum and from the numerous options I decided on a particular route. There was road work going on, so I could not take the road I’d planned on.

Instead of driving around forever, I found a Barnes & Noble on the campus and parked there. I went inside and asked for directions. The cashier helped me and one of the patrons, presumably a student, capped off the assistance with precise, succinct directions to the Museum.

The morale of the story is that one should have a back-up route or at least ensure you have a map or GPS.

Now when you leave, if you’re hungry or thirsty, there’s a cafĂ© on the 3rd floor where you can dine in or grab something to go. They serve Starbuck’s coffee if you need a little perk-me-up.

Want a unique souvenir? Stop by the gift shop…they have a little bit of everything and the prices are quite reasonable (especially compared to some other gift shops I’ve been in).

Greek & Roman exhibit
Greek & Roman exhibit
Other Events

In addition to an impressive permanent collection and special exhibits, the Carlos Museum hosts a number of other events. Throughout the year a visitor can choose between activities ranging between book signings and book clubs to concerts and tastings.

Check the Museum’s “calendar” on their website for more information.

The Return

Am I going back? I’ve been a huge fan of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece since I was a child, so yes, I will definitely be back…I’m especially looking forward to the Monsters, Demons, and Winged-Beasts special exhibit.

Touring Michael C. Carlos Museum

Date toured: Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Location: 571 South Kilgo Circle, on the main quadrangle (directions and map)
Parking: Fishburn Parking lot; Boisfeuillet Jones lot (details)
Cost: $8 Adults; $6 Student, Seniors, Children
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.; Mondays Closed

Egyptian funerary artifacts
Egyptian funerary artifacts

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ATLANTApix: Fossil at Fernbank

Fossilized Tree at Fernbank Forest
Fossilized Tree at Fernbank Forest
Yes, it's been below freezing this week, so many of us are not likely thinking about strolling through a garden, a park, or Fernbank Forest. But, don't rule out any of them just yet. All three are viable options in Atlanta.

Centennial Olympic Park and Piedmont Park are busy all year long. But remember Fernbank Forest at Fernbank Science Center,'s open to the public, free of charge, and offers 1.5 miles of paved walkways throughout its 65-acre grounds. A fossilized tree (pictured here) is one of the many beautiful sights to be seen in Fernbank Forest.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Monday, December 27, 2010

ATLANTApix: Georgia Aquarium's Red Lionfish

Red Lionfish at Georgia Aquarium
Red Lionfish at Georgia Aquarium
A friend who lives in Los Angeles visited me a couple of days ago. He was here for less than 24 hours, but we were able to see and do quite a lot, including a trip to Georgia Aquarium

He didn't believe me when I told him that it's the world's largest aquarium, but was convinced after seeing four Beluga Whales, petting sharks, and making photos with a bigger-than-life penguin

A tank filled with Red Lionfish (pictured here) was one of the many breath-taking exhibits. We also went through the "Planet Shark" exhibit. Although there are no live specimens in the Planet Shark exhibit, it was highly educational and quite interesting.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

ATLANTApix: Orchid Daze is Coming

Orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Mark you calendars. Orchid Daze at the Atlanta Botanical Garden starts on Saturday, February 5, 2011. This year the headliner is a special exhibit called "Liquid Landscapes" featuring thousands of orchids in full bloom paired with unique water features.

One of the many events during Orchid Daze is the Orchid Society Show, which will take place March 11-13, 2011 with hundreds of orchids on display and available for purchase.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

ATLANTApix: Centennial Park Holidays

Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
In the heart of downtown Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is decked out for the holidays...and it's teeming with activity!

Visitors, locals and tourists, are strolling, ice skating and and making funny photos of each other in the Olympic Rings Fountain.

The evening lights are a spectacular sight to see. Under the backdrop of Atlanta's beautiful skyline, the entire park twinkles.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Friday, December 24, 2010

ATLANTApix: What to Do in Atlanta

Atlanta Visitor Center
Atlanta Visitor Center
The Atlanta Visitor Center, part of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, is a treasure trove of information about places to visit in Atlanta (and Georgia too!). The Visitor Center also houses Atlanta's same-day-half-price tickets, AtlanTIX, and a fantastic city tour via ATL-Cruzers.

Located adjacent to Underground Atlanta, it's easy to get to or if you're not in the downtown area, there's lots of information on their website.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Millennium Gate: Arch of The Gateway City

The Millennium Gate
The Millennium Gate

When I started the tourATLANTA blog, I said that I would share my experiences and discoveries while visiting Atlanta's tourist attractions, museums and hidden gems.

The Millennium Gate is hard to miss, but its role in preserving and sharing Atlanta's rich history is indeed one of the hidden gems I spoke of, but only for now. What's inside the Gate is one of Atlanta's best kept secrets…its riches and splendor are definitely worthy of a visit.

This post covers visits on two days.

The first day was a visit to the grounds. I knew very little about The Millennium Gate, but had seen it quite a few times while driving and when dining in Atlantic Station…my interest was piqued.

On the way home from a book lecture at The Breman on Sunday (December 19, 2010), I had some extra time and it was a beautiful sunny day, so I pulled into Atlantic Station via 17th Street to scope out the Gate.

The Millennium Gate
The Millennium Gate
Excited to be on an adventure, I quickly found parking and was on my way. Driving by the Gate and walking up to the Gate are two totally difference experiences. On foot, you get to really see the grandeur of the structure…you get to see the thought, hard work, and detail that went into creating such a grand monument.

Of course, I was immediately snapping photos. There are some great vistas of the Gate within several blocks and a number of those vantage points puts the Atlanta skyline in the background.

When exploring the grounds of the Gate, I noticed several doors on the lake side of the structure. Well, being the curious creature that I am, I went up and peeked in. Shocked at what I saw—museum cases, chandeliers, and information stations—it dawned on me that there must be some kind of visitor center inside the Gate.

When I got home, I immediately got on the Internet and discovered that there's more than a visitor center, there's a full-fledged museum! I went back two days later to explore further.

The Millennium Gate

The Millennium Gate
The Millennium Gate
The Millennium Gate is fashioned after the Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy. The arch stands 100 feet tall (on the lake side), has seven levels, 12,000 square feet of gallery space, several offices, and an incredible view from its rooftop of Midtown and Downtown Atlanta.

The Millennium Gate was dedicated and opened to the public, to much fanfare, on July 4, 2008.

The Gate was birthed and is today managed by the National Monuments Foundation, which is also known for the World Athletes Monument in Pershing Point dedicated to competitors of the 1996 Olympics.

The Gate's exterior is made from Indiana limestone, as is the Georgia Capitol Building in downtown Atlanta. Coincidentally, the Georgia Capitol Building was also dedicated on July 4th, back in 1889.

The Museum

Century Galleries
Century Galleries
I arrived on Tuesday to visit the Museum and was greeted by Victoria, the Manager of the National Monuments Foundation. She gave me the red carpet treatment. I was escorted to the Museum and given specifics of the Museum layout, including the recommendation to explore the galleries in a clockwise direction.

The Museum has several highlights and there's something for everyone. The Museum is comprised of several galleries—one each dedicated to 18th, 19th, and 20th Century Atlanta—as well as several period rooms, a video gallery, and an Interactive Room that features the wildly popular Wii technology.

The Interactive Room (a video lounge with Wii technology) is immensely popular with young visitors (and those my age, too). The room has a large format video screen, a podium with a touch screen interface, and Wii paddles that visitors use to explore and discover the city. It's a unique and fun museum experience, to say the least.

Museum Display
Museum Display
The Century galleries primarily focus on life in Atlanta, but cover other parts of Georgia as well. Throughout the Museum I discovered more of Atlanta's history (in a succinct fashion) than I’ve seen in any other single place.

The exhibits and videos focus on Atlanta today and yesteryear, her people, and her neighborhoods. There's far more than I could possibly describe here, but know that you'll want to make ample time to explore and ready yourself for a monumental experience!

The Museum is deceptive in size…you would never know that so much information, so many artifacts, so many period rooms, so many galleries and an uber-cool interactive exhibit were all inside the Gate.

Millennium Gate Video

The Best Office in Town

Pink Palace Drawing Room
Pink Palace Drawing Room
When Victoria dropped me off in the Museum, she asked me to give her a call when I was done (and I was given all the time I wanted to explore the Museum) and she would take me to the top of the Gate, which is usually by appointment only. More excitement!

The first stop on the upper level was the 20th Century drawing room of the "Pink House" or "Pink Palace," (called that for its original pink stucco and pink Dogwood tree lined driveway), which was the Rhodes-Robinson home designed by Philip Shutze (who also designed Swan House). This is the largest of the period rooms in the Gate.

As soon as I'd finished viewing the drawing room (which is grand by any measure of opulence), Victoria and I were off down the hall when Mr. Rodney Mims Cook, Jr. himself emerged from the doorway we were quickly approaching.

View from the Top
View from the Top
Mr. Cook and Victoria discussed business for a moment and then Mr. Cook introduced himself to me and asked what I thought of The Millennium Gate. "I'm impressed!" was the best first statement I could manage to get across my lips realizing that I'd just met the man behind the Gate. We chatted for a couple of minutes, mostly about the Gate and future marketing ideas.

Rodney Cook is not only the President of the National Monument Foundation, he was the mastermind behind the creation of The Millennium Gate (He also was the man behind the "Save the Fox" campaign). And as it turns out, he's quite the historian as well. I found myself, much to my delight, in conversation with a man who I believe history will regard as a visionary.

Victoria continued on our tour of the top floor of the Gate (the dark brown structure you can see from the ground). It houses not only the Pink House drawing room, it is also where Mr. Cook's office is located…the "best office in town."

I call it the "best office in town" not only because it's one of the very few offices that tourists get to see, but because it has an incredible view of Downtown, Midtown, Lenox, Atlantic Station, and of course Lake Hylia on the Gate's grounds.

The Gate's Grounds

Bridge over Lake Hylia
Bridge over Lake Hylia

You'll know you’re there because you just can't miss the Gate when driving down 17th Street in Atlantic Station…it's impossible. Immediately behind the Gate are a large courtyard, paths, benches, and Lake Hylia with an iron bridge across the middle and water fountains.

The courtyard has quite a few tables and is a nice place to have the lunch you brought into the office or to bring something that you picked up on the go. You couldn't ask for a more grand setting.

There is also a memorial at the far end of the courtyard dedicated to Georgians who fought during past wars and those who lost their lives fighting for human rights. Carved on top of the memorial is a description of The Millennium Gate and its mission statement.

At the "entrance" to the Gate, on the street corners just before you get to the Gate there are two bronze statues, one representing Justice (Egypt) and the other representing Peace (Greece).

At the far end of the lake there is a great vantage point for making photos, as is the middle of the bridge that spans the lake.

Special Occasions

The Sunday I visited the Millennium Gate grounds, there was a young couple there with a young lady who had a big camera—a professional photographer I presumed because of the camera and the direction she was giving.

The photo shoot was for what I'm sure is to be the young couple's wedding photographs. And the photographers timing was excellent…it was sunset, which offers the most flattering light of any 24-hour period. And the sky was a perfect, cloudless blue.

I learned in my research and during my visit that The Millennium Gate facility is available for events and special occasions. I would not be at all surprised to see the same two lovebirds return to The Millennium Gate for their wedding ceremony or reception in the spring.

The Return

Shall I pass through Atlanta's great portal that is The Millennium Gate once again? Yes, again and again and again. The Gate, the museum, the park…it's a history lesson, it's a respite from the city, it's a monumental must-see!

Touring The Millennium Gate

Date toured: Sunday and Tuesday, December 19 and 21, 2010
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday by appointment

Cost: Grounds free; Museum - $10 Adults, $8 Seniors, $6 Youths, Free for Children
Location: 395 17th Street, NW (directions and map)
Parking: Garage and metered parking nearby

The Millennium Gate ceiling
The Millennium Gate ceiling

ATLANTApix: Coca-Cola Sign Game

Coca-Cola sign at Underground Atlanta
When I and my siblings were kids, we would often entertain ourselves with "car games" when traveling, which frequently centered around spotting the highest number of a particular item.

As a youngster, the subject of the game was usually out-of-state car tags or in December it was almost always counting Christmas trees, which was very cool after sundown when we could see the twinkling tree lights in neighborhood houses.

In Atlanta, spotting Coca-Cola signs, new and old, can provide hours of low-tech entertainment (or you might see who can take and post the most photos of Coke signs to Facebook on a single vacation).

At the very least, it's an ongoing the home of Coke's headquarters, Atlanta is filled with Coke signs. The sign in this photo is in Underground Atlanta, where there are quite a few throughout the location, which is a short drive to the World of Coca-Cola.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ATLANTApix: Climb with Care and Confidence

Climb with Care and Confidence sculpture
"Climb with Care and Confidence"

One of my favorite statues in Atlanta, for its unique design and subject matter, is the "Climb with Care and Confidence" sculpture—an arch fashioned of students and books. The bronze statue, dedicated during the city's beautification project just prior to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, marked $10,000,000 in scholarships contributed by Chick-fil-A, maker of probably the best chicken sandwich I've ever tasted.

The statue is just off Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta across from Woodruff Park.

As well-known as its signature sandwich, Chick-fil-A's namesake football game held on New Year's Eve, the Chick-fil-A Bowl is also a city favorite. The game takes place in Georgia Dome and will be aired live on ESPN. Seems to me the more publicity, the more money for future scholarships! And maybe more statues.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ATLANTApix: Fox Theatre in Detail

Fox Theatre roof detail
Fox Theatre (roof detail)
Have you ever returned home from vacation and only upon looking through your photos discover the incredible detail of what you already thought to be amazing feats of architecture? I have! Cameras can indeed serve as an excellent third eye.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre, one of Atlanta's few historic downtown landmarks, although easily recognizable, has incredible detail. That artistry sometimes is unfortunately overlooked when rushing to a show or concert, such as the current performance of Atlanta Ballet's The Nutcracker.

ATLANTApix of the tourATLANTA blog features a "photo-of-the-day" of Atlanta. Come back tomorrow for a new one!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Breman: Defiance and Remembrance

Against All Odds exhibit
Against All Odds exhibit
Recently, I returned to The Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum to continue the exploration I started earlier this month.

I wanted to see the "Against All Odds" exhibit and I also recently learned of a speaker program focusing on writing one’s autobiography, so I wanted to hear that as well.

The afternoon was spent learning of the courage of three brothers who saved more than a thousand lives during the Holocaust and being inspired to (possibly) one day tell my own story.

Against All Odds

Shirt made for and worn by Tuvia
Shirt made for and
worn by Tuvia
The current special exhibit at the Breman, Against All Odds, tells the true story of three brothers (Tuvia, Asael, and Zus Bielski) who defied the Nazis' murderous plot to annihilate all Jews in Europe.

The exhibit includes graphic panels with photographs and the telling of the Bielski's story; video testimonies of survivors; and personal artifacts from the Bielski resistance group.

Their defiance and resistance movement, from a forest in Belarus that became their home for the duration of the War, resulted in the saving of 1,200 Jews—the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during the entire Holocaust.

Tuvia became the Commander of the Bielski group and often spoke publicly, once quoted after saving more than 100 people from a ghetto scheduled to be liquidated as having said:
"Comrades, this is the most beautiful day of my life because I lived to see such a big group come out of the ghetto…I don't promise you anything, we may be killed while we try to live. But we will do all we can to save more lives."
The originating exhibit, "Courage & Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers," was presented by the Florida Holocaust Museum to coincide with the opening of the film "Defiance" in 2008, also about the heroism of the Bielski brothers.

Ghetto, rescue tunnel marked in red
Ghetto (rescue tunnel marked in red)
When I visited The Breman a couple of weeks ago, Judy, the Membership Director, told me about the current exhibits, both permanent and temporary. That day I wanted to visit the Holocaust exhibit, but recalled Judy telling me about the Bielski brothers and the movie Defiance.

I decided then to make certain to see Defiance (available on NetFlix on their watch instantly feature) before returning to view that exhibit. Having seen the film really brought to life the exhibit…the faces of the brothers were different from those in the film, but everything I read and saw in the exhibit about what they did I could now easily play in my mind.­

"Defiance" Movie Trailer

The exhibit is there for only a couple more weeks; it concludes on Monday, January 3, 2011.

Pictures of Resistance

The Against All Odds exhibit is two parts. The second part is the photography of Faye Shulman, a member of the Russian partisan group, and the only known Jewish photographer to chronicle Jewish resistance fighters during the Holocaust.

"Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photographs of Faye Shulman" features dozens of large format photographs and includes the camera that Shulman used to document the lives of resistance fighters who also lived in the forest during the War.

Upcoming Exhibits

Against All Odds exhibit
Against All Odds exhibit
ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950
January 23 – April 24, 2011

During the Depression and World War II, our superheroes—now cultural icons—provided the message of goodness, hope, and strength. This exhibit showcases mid-Century comic books, mostly created by Jewish authors, and their continued effect in today's culture.

Torn from Home
September 17, 2011 – January 5, 2012

This exhibit will explore the lives of more than 30 million refugees, 10 million of which are children, who have been displaced by war.

In addition to its many programs and a monthly survivor lecture, Bearing Witness, the Museum has two permanent exhibits:
The Autobiography Imperative

In addition to the Bearing Witness program, The Breman offers other programs, classes, and events to its members and the general public. I attended the "The Autobiography Imperative: How to Do It and Why You Must!" author lecture.

My copy of The Complete Autobiography Workbook
My copy of "The Complete
Autobiography Workbook"
Elizabeth Huntoon Coursen presented her book, "The Complete Autobiography Workbook," through an inspirational speech about creating the book, stories of her family, and recollections of her research…all created vivid imagery in my mind.

Liz owns First Person Publications, a company that specializes in helping writers become published authors and then marketing their literary works.

At the end of the book presentation, Liz conducted a (free) raffle and the prize was an enlarged, mounted vintage Atlanta postcard. Liz also owns American Postcard Art

After the lecture, I told Liz about the only item I have that belonged to my paternal grandmother, Mary, who passed away on her 70th birthday in 1979.

It's a postcard of her, dressed to the nines, playing the slot machines at Lady Luck Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, which opened the year before I was born. From what I recall being told, she loved Las Vegas and traveled there many times…obviously enough times that the Lady Luck made a postcard of here to sell in their gift shop.

The Return

Will I return (again) to The Breman? Indeed, I will. The upcoming programs are enticing and I want to hear some of the survivor lecture series. While I can never imagine what it was like to live during World War II and the Holocaust, I can listen to the stories and use them to help me live a life of acceptance, tolerance and to celebrate diversity.

Touring The Breman

Date toured: Sunday, December 19, 2010
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.; Closed on Saturdays and most Jewish and Federal holidays.
Location: 1440 Spring Street (at 18th Street) (directions and map)

Cost: Adults $12, Seniors $8, Students $6, Children (3-6) $4, Children (under 3) free
Parking: Free onsite parking

Typewriter used in the Belarussian forest
Typewriter used in the
Belarussian forest