Friday, 11 November 2011

The Pusan Reefer and the environmental research ship Sabella in Øresund

The Liberia registered Pusan Reefer (a refrigated cargo ship) this afternoon passed Helsingborg/Helsingør on its way to its destination port Flushing. The 142x20m ship, built in Japan in 1984 and owned by Laskarides Shipping in Athens, might need a little paintwork. The Pusan Reefer is one of the ships specialising in the banana and other fruit trade.

The Swedish environmental research ship Sabella returned to its home port Helsingborg this afternoon. Who knows, maybe it was out checking that the Pusan Reefer did not add to the pollution in Øresund?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Anna G and UBC Onsan passing by

These two ships passed Helsingør at about 16.45 this afternoon. This time of the year the sun is almost setting at that time here.

The Antigua Barbuda registered Anna G (101x18m) on its way to Halmstad

The tanker UBC Onsan´s (Netherlands, 263x42m) destination is Kokkola, Finland

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Memories of the Pacific (2): "The World´s Most Beautiful Restaurant"

A previous post brought another wonderful culinary and architectural memory from the Pacific to my mind: A July 1981 dinner at Canlis´, "The World´s Most Beautiful Restaurant", in Honolulu.

The language of advertisements is often exaggerated, but in this case it came close to the truth; Both the exterior, and particularly the interior of the Honolulu Canlis´ restaurant were architecturally stunning. The restaurant was designed by the legendary Honolulu architect, George J. "Pete" Wimberly, who, when he died in 1996 at the age of 80, had established himself as perhaps the most succesful resort architect in the world. G

George J. "Pete" Wimberly eorge J. "Pete" Wimberly
In an arcticle in the Honolulu Weekly ( Dec. 2000), Curt Sanburn describes Wimberly´s design:
... "and, of course, Canlis’ Restaurant (1954), which seemed to be everyone’s sentimental favorite of Wimberly’s buildings. With its open-air dining room, bold Polynesian decorations, wall of orchid plants, koi pond, garden setting and legendary kitchen, Canlis’ Restaurant asserted Honolulu’s status as a uniquely stylish crossroads-of-the-world in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Indeed, palm-lined Kaläkaua Avenue itself, with all of its Wimberly-designed buildings, was among the most gracious boulevards of any tropical city in the world".

Also the owner and founder of the restaurant, Peter Canlis was legendary. In the early 80´s he owned three top class Canlis restaurants; the most famous one in Honolulu, one in San Fransisco and one in Seattle.

On July 16, 1981, my dinner at the Canlis´ included the following delicious "Canlis´ Special Salad":

Try it. You will not be disappointed!


The Canlis family still operates the fine restaurant in Seattle, but sadly the Honolulu Canlis´ is gone.

Wimberly´s architecture firm, now called WATG, has over the course of six decades become "the world's leading design consultant for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries".

The Metropolitan Opera´s outstanding 2007 production of Eugene Onegin

            Ramón Vargas again proves that he is one of the best contemporary tenors

There are many excellent versions of Tchaikovsky´s masterpiece Eugene Onegin available on video. One of the best ones must be the Metropolitan Opera´s 2007 production, which is now available on blu-ray. This disc is another proof of the fact that live performances of opera look and sound great on blu-ray.

Renée Fleming (Tatiana), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Eugene Onegin) and Ramón Vargas (Lenski) are all in top form in this recording. And the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra led by Valery Gergiev does not disappoint either.

About the only thing that one could object to is the staging, with its simplified, rather monochrome background and all the autumn leaves on the floor. But this is of course a question of personal taste; some people, like the person who wrote the text on the disc, may consider Robert Carsen´s staging "beautifully evocative".

Monday, 7 November 2011

Memories of the Pacific

On a dark late November day it´s nice to think of places like this

This time of the year, as we are approaching the darkest days of the year here in Scandinavia, it is maybe not surprising that nostalgic memories connected with places like the one above cross ones mind.

"Some enchanted evening", with Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi
Another inspiration for Pacific memories is the 1958 production of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific". The new blu-ray version of the old classic brings out the full visual and musical beauty of this lavish film. Highly recommended on dark autumn or winter days!

Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi are outstanding in the main roles. (Giorgio Tozzi, who did the actual singing for Brazzi, should also be congratulated).

My own memories of the Pacific go back to the early 80´s, Honolulu and the gorgeous Kahala Hilton, the hotel that "has arguably hosted more presidents, royal families, performers, professional athletes and corporate executives than any other Hawaii resort".

"The Magic of Danny Kaleikini" at the Kahala Hilton (1981), where Danny performed for over 30 years

Although unfortunately not part of any of the above mentioned categories, I still had a chance to enjoy the Kahala (which is not part of Hilton Hotels anymore) for a couple of days. The dinner in the Kahala´s superb restaurant and the show with the legendary ambassador of Hawaiian music, Danny Kaleikini, without doubt made it "some enchanted evening"!