I have not participated in Thursday Doors for awhile, in spite of my passion for doors! However, due to the pandemic, I haven’t had a chance to photograph any doors. So in keeping with the (new) host Sherry, I have delved into my archives for some red doors – and I’m sure I have posted some of them in the past, but never together!
Dan at No Facilities is now hosting Thursday Doors. Yesterday and today, Dale and I walked the halls of the apartment building here, working on a scavenger hunt of Christmas decorations that residents have put up. There’s also a door decorating contest!
Here are some of the doors we saw yesterday.
The most amazing thing is that very few of these are the same decorations these residents put up last year! Such creativity! Perhaps it’s because of the door decorating contest. But I think the contest will be won by this woman, a former teacher who lives on the 3rd floor:
Norm and others have posted colorful and creative doors for Thursday Doors this week. Here are some colorful doors mostly from the De Pijp neighborhood of Amsterdam, which I don’t think I’ve posted before. If I have, so be it – they’re worth having another look!
Norm’s Thursday Doors is back! I haven’t been anywhere, like most of us. So I went into my archives and found photos of this charming place that we stayed one night at in Abu Simbel City, in southern Egypt. This region, which is today southern Egypt and northern Sudan, was traditionally the home of the Nubian people. Nubia (also known as “Kush” in ancient times) was often fought over, conquered and reconquered by the Egyptians while the Nubians rebelled for independence; in the end, Nubia became a part of Egyptian society while retaining some local cultural elements. Egypt even had a few Nubian pharaohs.
Traditional Nubian villages were colorful collections of domed houses. They used dome structures because clay bricks made from the mud produced by the Nile’s annual inundation were conducive to this architectural style. Also the domes kept their houses cool in the hot weather. The men painted the house interiors white, while the women were in charge of painting the exteriors and they chose colorful pigments – blues, oranges, yellows, etc.
Here are some photos of Nubian-style buildings, taken from our tour bus as we drove through Abu Simbel City.
Many Nubian villages were displaced from their land with the building of the Aswan High Dam and had to be relocated, so in the years from 1960-1967, they were moved to a remote area in the desert north of Aswan. The Egyptian government provided them with houses made of concrete, with flat roofs. This caused the interior of the homes to be very hot in the summer. Furthermore, these houses were inadequate because of their size – while previously Nubian families enjoyed houses with nine rooms, they were now forced to live in 4-room houses shared by two families. Crowding combined with the heat caused sanitary conditions to deteriorate. Nubian children began to attend Egyptian schools in which the language of instruction was Arabic. As fewer Nubians grew up reading and writing their native language, their culture threatened to die out.
In recent decades, the Nubian people have sought a revival of their culture and their written language.
The Eskaleh Lodge belongs to a musician and his wife who wanted to share their culture with the world, and is decorated with Nubian arts and crafts. The lodge is built in traditional Nubian style, characterized by domed roofs and archways. The domed ceilings keep the rooms cool. The lodge is a series of hallways and courtyards flanked by rooms.
There is native artwork on display in hallways and public areas.
Traditional Nubian music is heard in the public areas of Eskaleh Lodge. A professor who came to give us a lecture about Nubian history and culture played for us on a mandolin-type instrument.
Most interesting was an instrument called a kisir. This 5-string harp-like instrument became katar (something like this) in Arabic, and in Spain it became “guitar.” The kisir is played by moving one’s fingers on and off the strings as the other hand strummed, much like how the guitar is played today.
Abu Simbel City is a colorful town in which the Nubians have begun to construct their buildings in the traditional way and return to some of their customs. Until recently, few tourists visited the area because it was so remote or took day trips from Aswan (about 2 hours each way) to see the Abu Simbel temples. That is why the Eskaleh Lodge is so important – there are still few lodgings in Abu Simbel and the lodge is a beautiful example of the revival of Nubian culture.
I haven’t participated in Thursday Doors lately, since I rarely go anywhere where there are interesting doors. But last week was my sister’s birthday and we went to Highland Park to visit her daughter. My sister had heard of a Caribbean restaurant in nearby Highwood called El Burén, where there are Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes on the menu. Her husband is part Puerto Rican and loves Puerto Rican food, so she made a reservation for the four of us.
The food was wonderful – we ate outside and it was a very pleasant day – but the service was quite slow. So I got antsy and decided to walk down the block. Next door to this restaurant was a bakery with a very charming – and very pink – façade. There were miniature old-fashioned ovens on display in the window.
Here are the doors of the bakery.
I took this last photo next to my car across the street.
Black Cat Alley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: This alley near downtown Milwaukee has become a place for street artists to share their art. This mural includes a door to a formerly industrial building.
A converted warehouse complex in Lincoln, Nebraska has become an artists’ co-op, its outside walls decorated by local artists.
Cuba, Missouri is located on the famous Route 66 and a popular stop along the historic road. There are many murals throughout the town, depicting historical events (including the Civil War) and scenes of daily life.
Pontiac, Illinois is one of the first, or last, stops on Route 66 (depending on whether you are taking the historic road west or east), and as such caters to Route 66 tourists. Besides murals, there is a museum/shop containing all kinds of Route 66 memorabilia and you can visit the bus-converted-to-home of possibly Pontiac’s most well-known native son, Bob Waldmire, who traveled the Mother Road and lived in his bus-home for several years in the Arizona desert.
Whether real or painted, a door is still a door!
For mural/graffiti/street art connoisseurs, Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley) in São Paulo, Brazil is a must-see. “Graffiti artists” have covered this residential neighborhood – walls, streets, doors, windows, anything paintable – with art!
Street artists in São Paulo find “canvases” for their artwork in many other places as well. These are found in the vicinity of Ibirapuera Park, a large park with museums, bike paths and other amusements.
In my former home town of Des Plaines, Illinois, they are constantly putting up more condo buildings, especially near downtown where the commuter train station is. Last year, right around the time we moved to Arlington Heights, they razed a whole section of downtown buildings to make way for – you guessed it – yet another condo building! The bank on the corner was spared because of its historic significance, and our favorite Mexican restaurant survived also, but the only camera store around (and within walking distance of my house!), a good Italian restaurant and other businesses had to move.
Before any of that took place, however, I took photos of downtown Des Plaines establishments which are no more.
The first two are of doors that were already boarded up long ago, but now the building is totally gone.
This karate studio at 1415 Ellinwood was among those businesses that were demolished.
1411 Ellinwood was a store that sold all sorts of knickknacks or tchotschkies as they say in Yiddish.
Other bygone doors and gate, now bricked up, can be found at ruins whose occupants have been gone for centuries.
St. Simeon – an early Christian monastery in Egypt, near Aswan – was first built in the 7th century CE, dedicated to a local saint. It was rebuilt in the 10th century CE and dedicated to St. Simeon. From here the monks traveled into Nubia with the hope of converting Nubians to Christianity. It was originally occupied by up to 1,000 monks. It was partially destroyed by the troops of Saladin in 1173. On the walls inside, you can find both Christian and Muslim symbols and writing.
Canaanite Gate or Gate of the Three Arches, at Tel Dan Archaeological Site in Israel – it dates from the Middle Bronze Age (1700 BCE), and was the exterior entry archway in the mudbrick gate (only the outer arch is still visible). The city of Dan was named for the Israelite tribe, the Dan, who conquered it in the 11th century BCE. It was a station on the route from Egypt to Syria, and is mentioned as early as the 19th century BCE in ancient Egyptian texts, when it was known as Laesh.
We visited the remains of a major synagogue dating from the 4th century in Capernaum, a fishing village on the Sea of Galilee which was occupied from the 2nd century BCE to the 11th century CE. This synagogue entrance was not bricked up – instead we were standing in the main sanctuary of the synagogue.
Jerusalem retains much of its ancient wall which originally surrounded it. There were several entrance gates into the city. The Golden Gate, which was blocked off in 1541, is the gate through which Jesus entered the holy city to celebrate the Passover. It is claimed that it will be reopened when Jesus returns to Earth. In front of the gate and that portion of the wall is the Muslim cemetery. In 66 CE, the year of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans, when the Second Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, the city had a larger population that it has today, and most residents lived outside its walls.
I am finding photos in my archives that I have never blogged about before, some suitable for Norm’s Thursday Doors challenge. We were on our own our last day in Cairo, because we were going to Israel to join up with a tour group there. On recommendation, we decided to go to the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).
The MIA in Cairo is considered one of the greatest in the world. It has an extensive collection of rare wood and plaster artifacts, as well as metal, ceramic, glass, crystal, and textile objects of all periods, from all over the Islamic world and representing different periods in Islamic history ranging from the 7th to the 19th centuries CE. The collection occupies 25 halls in 2 wings, one wing organized by period and the other organized by category. The MIA displays about 4,500 objects, but their total collection equals approximately 100,000 artifacts.
These photos represent only a small fraction of the items on display, but they were ones I found especially beautiful or significant. And, of course, featuring doors!
Because we’re not going anywhere right now, I have compiled a collection of doors I have photographed during recent travels for Norm’s Thursday Doors. In fact, I don’t think I’ve shared these doors before! (Well, maybe a few of them.)