Winter Is An Occupation

my eye is on winter accessories and seasonal enjoyments.

Buy a cozy knitted hat. Splurge on a GucciGhost Fall/Winter pendant. Don a pair of ice-blue shades. Unwind with a winter spruce candle. Try a smokey floral. Hygge and dive into poetry.

Headline Quote: Sinclair Lewis


Cities tire, and
Tear me down
They make me dream
Of mountain towns
Alpine air and stars
You see
Demarcate peace
And privacy

I must march West
So I can be, away
From all calamity
Ambrosial days and
Country ways are all
I need
To be set free

But heed, a little yet
And lastly see
You’re meant to go
Where I will be
Though leaving love, is
A daring feat
God changes hearts
In just one beat

Tracey Greenstein © 2016

Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi

Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi served as the architectural inspiration for the Taj Mahal. 

Think of it as a precursor to the Taj Mahalthe tomb looks exactly like it, but is awash in shades of brownish red and slightly smaller. The tomb is a world heritage site and definitely worth seeing. It's a national landmark, representative of classic Mughal architecture. 'Mughal' refers to a member of the Muslim dynasty in India, a tribe of Mongol origin, who ruled India from the 16th-19th centuries. It was built for Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor of India, by his widow Biga Begum. Built 14 years after his death, it cost 1.4 million rupees...constructed in 1569-70!

The tomb is a beautifully preserved site and a must-see while in Delhi. In the shot where the light shines in, the center of the inner-most circle is carefully pointed toward Mecca.


The Silent Forest

I shot this while wandering around the Amatola Forest in Hogsback, a village in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

They say Hogsback inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings. This part of the forest is completely silent; there's not a single bird to be heard. Why? Well, when colonists came to this part of South Africa, they planted trees thatunbeknownst to themwere diametrically opposed to the naturally occurring wildlife in the area. Because these foreign trees have nothing to offer the native animals, birds or insects, the critters inhabit other parts of the forest and this spot is dead quiet. Fascinating? Yes.

Lovely Bones

My eye is on scrimshaw jewelry, which is made of fossilized ancient bone or ivory.

I guess scrimshaw has never been particularly trendy, but I know if I saw someone wearing one of these Me&Ro skull pieces, I would demand to know where it's from! These are all limited edition, but you can find resale pieces from this collection on Pinterest. Adorned with crosses and roses to symbolize rebirth, I'm reminded of Georgia O'Keeffe's still life skulls and flowers paintings.

Scrimshaw is a technique developed over 200 years ago in New England, when whaling was one of the largest industries in America. As the bones and teeth from whales were always found on the ships, sailors idle at sea would scratch them with knives or sailing needles and fill their etchings with ink. 

Headline Quote: Alice Sebold

Unplug And 'Pause' In The Moroccan Desert

A mere 28km (17m) from the busy city center of Marrakech, Morocco, find La Pause: an off-the-grid starry sanctum in the middle of the desert with 360° views of the Agafay Hills.

This is a hotel with a mission. La Pause, or 'to pause' in French, is a place to disconnect, literally and figuratively. You won't have wi-fi, cell service or any electricity here. It's desert, mountains, stars and minimalist luxury.

La Pause is where a traveler goes to retreat. As part of the effort to maintain a restful environment, guests have very few decisions to make during their stay, even when it comes to diningthere are no menus provided for meals and every dish brought to the table is a surprise. There is only one place to eat, one swimming pool and no spa. The idea is to exude effortlessness.

Candelabras and tea lights lit at night provide just the right level of illumination. While the indoors may be a bit dark at certain times during the day, the rooms stay dry and cool. Suites are spacious and romantically styled and the beds are a heavenly place to fall into at night. Trees and cushy lounge chairs surround the no-frills pool, creating a very natural, woodsy feel.

There's no place like the desert for stargazing.

Without electricity, there's an overwhelming sense of peace. Detachment from the outside world allows for isolated relaxation. It is impossible to engage in commotion or noise. The beauty of La Pause is in its simplicity: there is no opportunity for distraction.

Hot, bright, dry desert by day and stunningly starry at night. It's pretty close to perfect.

Photos courtesy of La Pause.

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