Weekly Photo: Horizon

Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Horizon by NVS

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My favorite ghost stories

Text and photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Fear is in the air...
Fear is in the air…

Now that Halloween is around the corner, I’ve been remembering some of the ghost stories I’ve heard while traveling around.

Some of them are quite funny, like the one that talks about an Irish goblin whose spirit likes to go around the London Pubs to drink the customers beers while they’re distracted, or the adventurous stories that are told around the blacksmith shop located on Bourbon street, New Orleans, which it is said housed many of the plots developed by the pirate Jean Lafitte, whose ghost is either present around that city, or navigates the waters if the Gulf of Mexico.

Some others are quite ghostly, like the one that says that a mariner, who died about two centuries ago, shows up once in a while on the deck of the USS Constellation Ship, currently docked at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. According to the legend, this ship is haunted by three ghosts, but this particular mariner, shows himself to the visitors, who think he’s another memeber of the crew until they realize that the mariner is a vanishing apparition.

Other ghost stories I’ve heard come from Mexico. The first one, called in Spanish “La Llorona” (The Weeping Woman), takes place in Mexico city some time after the Spaniards came to this country. According to the story, one day, a woman drown her children out of pain after her man told her he didn’t love her.

Gone crazy out of pain, the woman drowns herself afterwards, but due to her crimes, she’s condemned to dwell between two words, and the legend says that every now and then, the white figure of a woman can be seen floating around the place the kids were drowned while she cries aloud “Ay mis hijos” (“Oh! My Children!”).

The next story also happens in the same time (around the XVII century) and it’s called “La Calle de Don Juan Manuel” (Mr. Juan Manuel Street). This legend tells the story of a man that blinded by jealousy, walks every night around 11 pm and whenever he sees a man getting closer to his wife’s balcony, he asks the man about the time, and when the unfortunate man answers “it’s 11 pm”, Don Juan Manuel tells him “You’re blessed, because you know the exact time when you’re going to die.”

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Weekly Photo: Infinite

Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

And then, there was peace.
And then, there was peace.

And then there were the buildings, and behind them, more buildings, and behind them, the lake, and after the lake, the mountains, and above all, such a magnificen sky.

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Weekly Photo: Good Morning!

Photo by Nora Vasconcelos

Good Morning by NVS

Who cannnot have a good morning with this outstanding view?

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The Baltimore that Tom Clancy might have seen

Text and Photos by Nora Vasconcelos

Baltimore Inner Harbor by NVS
Yesterday I got deeply moved when I learned about the death of the American writer Tom Clancy, whose books, like The Hunt for the Red October and The Sum of all Fears have accompanied my reading collection for a long while.

Then, while reading on the papers the stories about his life and how much he enjoyed being a Baltimorean writer, one thought came to my mind: How many places of this beautiful American eastern city might Clancy have visited often? and I even pictured him walking around, at a slow pace, looking at the horizon with the Chesapeake bay as a background and the flickering Inner Harbor lights around him, or even jumping out of happiness while celebrating a home run at the Oriole Park.

Baltimore downtown by NVS

According to The Baltimore Sun, Mr. Clancy liked to eat at Aldo’s restaurant, in the Italian neighborhood, owned a house in Inner Harbor and enjoyed going to the Orioles baseball games.

I also imagined him observing with interest the changes that his hometown went through throughout the years, like the addition to the Baltimore National Aquarium that made it even more beautiful; the restaurants and shops that went out of business due the world financial crises, the ships that came and went during the regattas, and the variations of the Baltimorean landscape during the different seasons that make this city either strongly bright during spring time, or all white during winter time.

Old Baltimore by NVS

All this thinking about Tom Clancy going around the streets of his loved city have also made me wonder, how much of this Baltimorean images influenced him on his work? How the sometimes foggy climate served him to create the images of the misty scenes of his novels? Was he ever touched by the Edgar Allan Poe’s mysterious spirit?

I think it might be difficult for me to find answers to all this questions now, but one thing is for sure, I’ll see his work in a new light from now on.

Baltimorean Sunset by NVS

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