Archive for June, 2011

watertaxi, trinidad, san fernando, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Waiting to board the Watertaxis in San Fernando,Trinidad

5” x 8.25” ink pens, in Moleskine sketchbook

As you know I LOVE boats. I did this sketch while waiting in the San Fernando terminal to board the water taxi heading to Port of Spain. I went to the southern part of the country (Princes Town), and on my way back up north, decided to saunter through the city to take some photos and do some sketches. The boat on the left is named “Carnival Runner” and on the right, “Calypso Sprinter.” The facilities are nice, and the boats are awesome. It was my first time. My plan was to stay awake and enjoy the sights, but I woke up 5 minutes from Port of Spain with that plan in the same spot in my mind. I had a quiet, peaceful, and energizing nap… smooth sailings!

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Watertaxi ticket

I love the fact that we get to experience the water via the water taxis. I wish I got a stronger sense that I was on an island while in the city of Port of Spain. It is one of my main disappointments… how cut off from the water I feel. This is what I loved about Barbados… I felt like I was on an island. The water taxis affords us this gift of being on the water, using that which we were given. I sketch boats, yachts, etc. from time to time… some are of real boats, others are of ideas that come to my mind. I did more yesterday… Click here to see them >>>

Dreams are free, so free your dreams

Astrid Alauda

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Old Police Headquarters, Port of Spain, Trinidad, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel,

Old Police Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad

I did this sketch of the Old Police Headquarters in the city of Port of Spain yesterday. I got 4 drawings done… which always feels good. This building has historic significance in Trinidad and Tobago, from its commissioning in 1876 to its destruction by fire (for a second time) in 1990, and its restoration in 2004. Another link >>>

The Port of Spain Police Headquarters, built on St. Vincent Street and commissioned in 1876, was gutted by fire in 1882 as a result of a fire started in the lamp room, and restored two years later. It is polychrome Italian Gothic revival, with machicolations in the parapet of its square tower. The major Gothic arch has interesting subdivisions, with a wheel window located above. In the attempted 1990 coup, the building was again gutted by fire.  On the site of this building once stood the barracks of the old West India Regiment which was brought back from Martinique in 1802. It was built in the Italian gothic style of limestone quarried at Picadilly Street in Port of Spain and cost some £90,000 altogether. It was equipped with an iron ball on a flag post, which fell precisely at midday Greenwich mean time. It contained a residence for the head of the force as well as quarters for the volunteer fire brigade and the volunteer corps. At one time, the stipendiary magistrate of Port of Spain held his daily court here.

On July 27th, 1990 there was an attempted coup on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Led by Abu Bakr and the Jamaat al Muslimeen they invaded The Red House (seat of the country’s parliament), and took the Prime Minister hostage, along with members of his cabinet, government and opposition MPs, and others – some seventeen in all. One small group attacked the Police Headquarters, shot the sentry on duty and detonated a bomb which eventually burned the century-old building to the ground (again).

Old Police Headquarters, TT, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, architecture, sketchblog

Old Police Headquarters, Trinidad (Photo taken July 2009)

The building has since then been restored (as seen in photo above) and includes police offices and a Museum of the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service.

References:

Historic Architecture in the Caribbean Islands by Edward E. Crain

National Library & Information Systems (Trinidad & Tobago)

Radical Caribbean: From Black Power to Abu Bakr by Brian Meeks

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thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, sketchblog, sketch, architect, venice, italy

Venice, Italy

5” x 8.25” ink pens, in Moleskine sketchbook
 

 This is a sketch of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. I arrived here at 0815 hrs on June 15th in 2005 with my friends. Javier and I had breakfast (as my journal reminds me), and the hot chocolate was “silky!” We were all ooh-ing and aah-ing at the sights, we could not believe we were there. After looking at photos online and in magazines, we were actually here! It was early and vendors were still setting up their stalls of beautiful produce. I love water and I love boats, this makes Venice one of my FAVORITE cities in the world. I took many photos of dogs there as I did for my entire Euro Trip, in fact my professor often remarked, “What is it with you and the dogs?!!” I would just laugh. As the city, its tourists and its people began to wake, the city bustled… Boats, vendors, people… busy busy busy! The Piazza San Marco (with a size equivalent to two football fields laid back-to-back), St Mark’s Campanile and the Basilica, all tied together to knit this marvelous public space with breadth, height, focal point, facades, and people… The heart of Venice is the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), the entrance to which is marked by a pair of granite columns brought from Constantinople. Topping one is a winged lion, the symbol of St. Mark; the city’s original patron saint, Theodore, crowns the other.

Rialto Bridge, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, venice, italy, arhcitecture, sketchblog

The Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

BUILT on water more than 1,000 years ago by men who defied the sea, Venice has been called “the most beautiful city in the world.” Italians call it “La Serenissima,” which means “the most serene.” With its intriguing maze of narrow winding streets (calli), canals (rios) and squares (campi) – and its majestic palaces (palazzos), churches (basilicas) and museums (museos) reminiscent of Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance styles- “Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go,” Truman Capote once said. Explorer Marco Polo, musician Antonio Vivaldi and adventurer Giangiacomo Casanova wandered this city, which is built on 118 islands four kilometers from the Italian mainland. Modern Venice is crisscrossed by more than 150 canals and 400 bridges. Some 20 million people converge on the city each year to experience its myriad sights and sounds.

thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, venice, italy

Random people randomly pointing

Buses and cars enter Venice’s city center, Piazzale Roma, at the head of the famous Grand Canal (Canalazzo), the city’s main thoroughfare. It’s here that the richest families in Venice built magnificent palaces, and the panorama from the 2-mile-long ribbon of water that winds through the city in an inverted “S” is breathtaking. The Rialto Bridge, where the canal narrows and boat traffic increases, marks the commercial hub of the city, with shops and open-air markets. Venice’s number-one product is Murano glass.

Reference: Venice: City of Canals by Heike Hasenauer

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thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, National Academy for the Performing Arts, (NAPA), Port of Spain, Trinidad

Architecture Sketch – National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain, Trinidad

5” x 8.25” ink pens, in Moleskine sketchbook
 

This is my second sketch of the front view of the National Academy of the Performing Arts in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Click here to see previous sketch.

Have a GREAT week ahead!

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thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, cartoon, sketchblog

You can't please everyone

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visual recipe, cou cou, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, barbados, sketchblog

Visual Recipe - Cou Cou

Today’s Visual Recipe is Cou Cou, courtesy http://www.tasteslikehome.org. This week my blog focused on Barbados and cou cou and flying fish is the national dish of Barbados.  It is also a traditional dish in Trinidad and Tobago. I grew up eating cou cou, callaloo and stewed fish a lot at my grandmother’s. And when there was left over, she would fry it so I could have it as chips (cou cou fries) with ketchup. Yummm!! Grandmothers are the best things ever!

I love cou cou and encourage you to try it. If you are in Barbados have it with a Banks Beer. But the sauce is the icing on the cou cou cake I think. I love a lot of gravy on my food, so I drench my cou cou in fish sauce.. Slurp! If you do try it, let me know how it came out..

Link to recipe >>>

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

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Being in the moment is more important than refined output.

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barbados, wind sailing, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Sailing in Barbados

When I woke up that Sunday morning and looked outside, there was boat racing with colorful sails bellowing in the wind. It looked beautiful and this is a sketch of that moment. Fresh air, blue seas, cool breezes, wonderful views, glistening sun, and brightly colored sails… Bellissimo!!!!

If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
John D. Rockefeller

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Bridgetown, Barbados, waterfront, wharf, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Bridgetown Waterfront, Barbados

This is a sketch of the historic Parliament Buildings on the Bridgetown Wharf in Barbados. The west wing of the House of Assembly building was completed in 1872 and the east wing in 1874. There was a large clock tower in the east wing which had to be demolished in 1884, when its foundations started to sink. In 1886, the two towers of the west wing were remodeled and the clock installed in one of these. Material for the buildings is coral limestone, easily obtainable from Barbados quarries and used extensively in Bridgetown buildings. In the Public Buildings, Gothic-revival style is apparent in the pointed arches, the octagonal tower, and the machicolations on the parapets of both wings. The Gothic windows in the chamber of the Parliament building are paned with stained-glass portraits of the kings and queens of England. “Coolers” added to the exterior fit uncomfortably on the pointed-arch windows.

Reference: Historic Architecture in the Caribbean Islands by Edward E. Crain

My friend and I had lunch at the Waterfront Cafe across from it. We had fish cakes, flying fish, potato wedges, salad, and I can’t remember what else, but it was all delicious!! The service was great too. They had a delicious pepper-sauce. It was like a dipping sauce … it had body and was divine…just divine. I love boats a lot, and while I ate, talked, and laughed, I enjoyed examining them all. I love the Bridgetown Wharf! The water enters the city and one of the things I love most about Barbados is that I felt like I was really on an island. The scale of the buildings, the many views of the sea, waters oh so blue, the Jolly Rogers, people partying on boats. It felt free and wide. After my scrumptious meal and drinks I did this sketch.

History of Bridgetown
Bridgetown is the capital and commercial center and has a population of about 80 000. Bridgetown was originally named “Indian Bridge” for the rude bridge which had been constructed over the river (now known as the Careenage) by the Indians. It was later called the “town of St. Michael” in official documents, before finally being named Bridgetown. The Chamberlain Bridge was opened in 1872 and was a manually operated swing bridge allowing entry into the inner basin of the Careenage. In 2006 the Chamberlain Bridge was replaced with a modern lift bridge. In previous times, the careenage was an important hub of activity for inter-island trading vessels. Nowadays the careenage is mainly utilized by pleasure craft (catamarans, yachts, fishing boats, etc).

Reference: http://www.barbados.org/btown.htm

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.”

~C. Malesherbes

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Codrington College, Barbados, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Main Building of Codrington College, Barbados

This is a sketch of one of the oldest educational institutions in the Caribbean, Codrington College in St. James Parish,  Barbados. It was founded by Christopher Codrington in the early 18th century. The main building was largely finished in the 18th century. It was gutted by fire in 1926, but its main lines survive, reminding us of the contemporary collegiate buildings in England at Oxford and Cambridge. In his 1710 will, Christopher Codrington III, once governor general of the island, left £10,000 for founding this school, which was to promote the study of religion and medicine. The Principal’s Lodge, its most historically significant building, was built before 1700. Approached through an avenue of Sabal palms, the building has a restrained Italian Renaissance–style balustraded parapet and porch.

Click here for photos from Barbados on Flickr.

References:
Historic Architecture of the Caribbean by David Buisseret

Historic Architecture in the Caribbean Islands by Edward E. Crain

codrington_college-drawings, barbados, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Floor Plan & Elevations of Codrington College in Barbados

Additional reading:
A Historical Overview of Codrington College  >>>

Codrington College – A brief history by John W. Holder 

Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.”
Phillip Adams

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Steppa, Studio, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel

Steppa's studio in Barbados

This week I will be posting some of the sketches I did while in the BEAUTIFUL island of Barbados, so look out for them.  I did the sketch above the Friday morning after getting in on Thursday night. On Thursday night I stayed outside on the hotel porch until 5am. I could not stop listening to the waves. If this is what heaven sounds like… it is a wonderful thing. I  sat on a chair and… listened. Enjoying every swish, every crash, every boojoong, every howl and hiss of the wind. By a few minutes after 5am, I decided I should get some shut-eye if I wanted to be perky later on. I left my balcony door open and slept on the couch in the living room… I could NOT let these waves have all the fun without me. So my waves and I went to sleep together.

Later on my friend Malika picked me up and carried me to the studio where she was working on her songs for this year. She is an extremely talented singer, with a great voice. I met great guys like Steppa, Tito, and Frank. What a bunch!! I laughed so much… Frank was golden! He lost it when someone bought him not just vanilla milk (which he dislikes), but VERY vanilla milk. I was rolling laughing. I want to thank Malika, Steppa, Tito, and Frank for such a great time. Keep up the great work guys, and see you soon. Have a great Crop Over!

Click here for photos from Barbados on Flickr.

I also want to say Happy 2nd Anniversary to

Architecture Caribbean

Keep up the great work!

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