Istanbul (not Constantinople)

More than 50 years ago “Istanbul (not Constantinople)” was the very popular song in the Soviet Union. At that time only élite at the top could get permission to travel and to see Turkey or any other country.

After we became Americans we visited more than 50 countries including Turkey.

Istanbul is a wonderful city! It has so much to offer that you need to stay there long time just to get a proper feeling of it. Unfortunately, we had only one week for travel in the country.

However, it is impossible to forget the word Istanbul in America. You can see It all over the country.

ISTANBUL ON HOLLYWOOD BROADWALK

ON HOLLYWOOD BROADWALK

 

 

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Pocono Manor and my photos

In 1977 my wife and I visited Pocono Manor first time. We liked it so much that then we stayed there (in the Carriage House) when we could.
After my retirement we went there every summer and enjoyed peace and beauty of this small town.
In the old post below I gave you information about past and future of Pocono Manor.

As far as I know Kalahari Resorts already bought the historic Inn at Pocono Manor and will finish soon construction of the largest in the world indoor water park and other facilities.
Will the place be better or worse?
We’ll know the answer this summer.

In the meantime I want to show you my photos taken last summer.
I placed them in a page “POCONO MANOR GALLERY”. Please click on the first photo and you’ll be able to see all pictures in proper sizes and colors.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

What is Pocono Manor?

Wikipedia says: “Pocono Manor is an unincorporated community in Monroe CountyPennsylvaniaUnited States, located at approximately latitude 41.1 and longitude -75.359, at an elevation of 1,706 feet, on Pennsylvania State Highway 314 east of Pocono Summit and west of Swiftwater.[1] It is the location of a resort and golf course called The Inn at Pocono Manor, with a Donald Ross-designed golf course,[2] site of the Pocono Northeast Classic; and of the Pocono Manor Historic District.”

We are now in Pocono Manor and it is clear that the definition above is not very good.

First of all, there is the Carriage House in Pocono Manor. It is an independent time-sharing property.

Secondly, there are many private houses (the Cottage Colony).

Thirdly, until last year there were two 18-holes golf courses. Currently one course is intact…

View original post 198 more words

Abram Petrovich Gannibal

In 1704 a black slave (born in present-day Cameroon) was bought by a Russian in Constantinople and presented to Peter the Great. The Emperor liked 8 years old boy Abram and immediately adopted him.

In 1705 the boy was baptized with Peter as his godfather and he became Abram Petrovich.

The boy became Peter’s valet on various military campaigns and journeys.

In 1716 Peter the Great visited France. He then left his godson there to study engineering and mathematics at a military school. Two years later, Abram Petrovich joined the French army and fought in the war against Spain. During his time in France Abram Petrovich adopted surname Gannibal in honor of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.

In 1723 Gannibal returned to Russia. Soon Peter the Great died and Prince Menshikov, who disliked Gannibal, assigned him to Siberia.

Abram Petrovich Gannibal

Abram Petrovich Gannibal

Gannibal’s fortunes changed in 1741, when Empress Elisabeth (daughter of Peter the Great) took the throne.

Elizabeth made him the military commander of city of Reval ((now Tallinn, Estonia). He served in this place between 1743 and 1751.

Then Gannibal oversaw expansions of the Ladoga Canal and Russian fortresses throughout the empire. By 1760 Abram Petrovich had been promoted to the rank of a full general.

In 1762 Gannibal retired to the Mikhailovskoye estate in Pskov. The estate with hundreds of serfs was given to him in 1742 by Elizabeth. He died there in 1781.

His great-grandson was Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, the famous Russian poet and writer. 

Anna and Nikolay

In 1903 fourteen years old Anna met seventeen years old Nikolay. She wrote poetry since she was 11 and he published in 1902 his first book of poetry.

In 1905 Nikolay first time asked Anna to marry him. However, they married 5 years later, in April of 1910. Before marriage Anna wrote to her friend: “…I believe that it is my fate to be his wife. Whether or not I love him, I do not know, but it seems to me that I do.”

The couple honeymooned in Paris. In September of 1912 their son Lev was born.

Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Gumilyov and Lev Gumilyov

Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Gumilyov and Lev Gumilyov

Before marriage Nikolay extensively traveled in Europe and Africa. From Wikipedia: “Gumilyov was fascinated with Africa and travelled there almost each year. He explored, helping development of Ethiopia, … and brought to the Saint Petersburg museum of anthropology and ethnography a large collection of African artifacts.”

At that time Nikolay published two more books of poetry. While in Paris he published a literary journal and there one Anna’s poem was published.

Soon after marriage Nikolay started to rebel against its restrictions. At the end of 1910 he left Anna for a six-month trip to Africa. Anna wrote to a friend that Nikolay “lost his passion” for her.

During Nikolay’s absence Anna became one of founders of the Guild of Poets. Her magnetism and allure attracted many great men. It is known that Anna had affairs with some of them.

Nikolay also was a founder of the Guild of Poets. To illustrate their ideals, he published two collections of poems,The Pearls in 1910 and the Alien Sky in 1912.

In 1912, the Guild of Poets published Anna’s book Evening..

Anna was recognized as “a new and striking young writer”.

“The Rosary …appeared in March 1914 and firmly established her as one of the most popular and sought after poets of the day.” (from Wikipedia).

At that time she “became close friends with Boris Pasternak (who, though married, proposed to her many times).”

In July 1914, Akhmatova wrote “Frightening times are approaching. Soon fresh graves will cover the land”.

On August 1, Germany declared war on Russia.

Nikolay volunteered to serve in an élite cavalry unit. For his bravery during the war he was awarded two St. George crosses.

His book of war poems The Quiver was published in 1916.

In 1917, when Russian Revolution started, Nikolay was in the Russian Expedition Corps in Paris. He returned to Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). There he published several new books of poems.

In August of 1918 Anna and Nikolay divorced.

Soon after divorce Anna married prominent assyriologist and poet Vladimir Shilejko.

She later said “I felt so filthy. I thought it would be like a cleansing, like going to a convent, knowing you are going to lose your freedom.”

There was no cleansing. She began affairs with theatre director Mikhail Zimmerman and composer Arthur Lourie.

Nikolay In 1919 married Anna Nikolaevna Engelhardt, a daughter of a well-known historian.

Three years after Anna and Nikolay’ divorce Nikolay was shot with 61 others for conspiracy against the state.

Anna wrote:

“Terror fingers all things in the dark,
Leads moonlight to the axe.
There’s an ominous knock behind the
wall:
A ghost, a thief or a rat…

The case against Nikolay Gumilyov and all others was completely fabricated and all victims were rehabilitated by Russian authorities in 1992 (71 years after their deaths).

Painting by JF

Painting by JF

 

Anna Akhmatova (introduction)

I thought long and hard how to describe life of a famous woman on this blog so that you could understand this woman, her problems and her decisions, her achievements and her tragedies.

I also want to show how government of the country can take away your freedom, your loved ones and totally control your life if you allow it.

Finally, I want to show that outstanding women did not fight for equality with men. They worked hard and often achieved more than men.

There is no doubts in my mind that live of every person can be a basis for a historical novel with wide specter of events, emotions, problems, choices and their results. 

However, a blog should use short posts as many bloggers follow hundreds of posts daily.

I also believe that in a blog characters and events must be painted with few words.

Now I want to remind you that recently I published the post GET A FEELING OF ANNA AKHMATOVA’S POETRY. If you missed it or forgot it please click on the title of the post and read it.

I want to add here one detail..

Anna Akhmatova’s ancestor was Khan Akhmat. From Wikipedia: “He was killed one night in his tent by a Russian killer-for-hire. Karamzin (Russian historian – JF) tells us that this marked the end of the Mongol yoke on Russia. …It was well known that this Akhmat was a descendant of Genghiz Khan.”

This explains how Anna Gorenko became Anna Akhmatova.

I am a history

I found out that many of the followers of this blog do not know how to find what they are interested in among almost 800 posts of the “Pursuit of Happiness”.

Actually, it is very simple if you know meaning of pages on the WordPress platform.

A header of each post includes a photo and a black field below it. On the black field there are words that express different topics (humor, travel, my writings, artists, etc.).

When you click on any topic a page appears. Sometimes there is an introduction to the topic. In all cases a page has links to all posts on this topic in the blog.

For example, if you click on words “My writings” on the black field on the header you will get exactly the same result as if you click on “MY WRITINGS” here.

You’ll get an introduction to my writings and links to many, many posts.

You will understand my words “I am a history” and will find life stories, fiction, humor and tragedies, book reviews and other interesting information.

Try it and I guarantee you compensation for your time if you are not satisfied!

Please don’t forget to let me know that you like my writings.

Best to you!

THIS IS FROM ANOTHER TOPIC ON MY BLOG

THIS IS FROM ANOTHER TOPIC ON MY BLOG

I was proud of America in 1941!

There are people in America today that are not proud of their country.
These people don’t know history or prefer to forget it.

The post below reminds how America saved the world from the Nazi Germany.

During my lifetime America helped many countries to recover after the WW2, saved or freed many countries from Communism, helped and continues to help many countries to develop their economies, to fight diseases.

I was shocked today to find out that students of UCLA voted to ban the American flag in the student area.

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

On June 22, 1941 without declaration of war Germany invaded the Soviet Union. At that time I was 7 years old.

In 73 years I wrote about that day and the Great Patriotic War in the post MY MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY.

Odessa was occupied during the war and my mother and I were fortunate to reach Sverdlovsk in the Ural Mountains and to rent a small room there. My mother was a nurse in a military hospital and she was able to come to our room only on Sundays for several hours

All other days I stayed in the room reading everything I could find. Our landlords, two mighty sisters about 65 years old, helped me daily to do the most important thing: to get my food ration.

During winter the situation in the city was especially bad. Food rations were tiny and there was impossible to get berries or…

View original post 381 more words

About faith and God

I know there are many people who don’t believe in God. They call themselves atheists and other names.

During 40 years of my life in the Soviet Union I knew that “religion is the opium for the people”, that there is no God, that no intelligent person can believe in God.

However, even at that time I wondered why majority of physicists and astronomers believed in God. Those people were discovering new stars, laws of universe, laws of matter. How could they believe in God?

During 40 years of my life in America I studied philosophy, history and essence of different religions. I learned much more about life, about human psychology, about sufferings and faith.

Today I chose the quote below:

god

Thomas Sowell and his quotes.

Several days ago I reblogged wise quotes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today I want to introduce to new followers and guests quotes of Thomas Sowell. You’ll find link to an article about him in the post.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

I just returned home from a nice party and found an email with Thomas Sowell’s quotes. I read all quotes and then went to Google to find out who was Thomas Sowell.

Here is what I found:   THOMAS SOWELL

Then I went back to the email and copied several quotes.

You can see them below and make your own conclusions.

“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

“One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for…

View original post 104 more words

“Gods, Graves and Scholars”.

One of my followers asked me recently what are my favorite authors. I was unable to answer her question. I read books of thousands of authors written in different countries, in different times, in different genres. It’s impossible for me to choose 10-20 favorite writers.
However, it is very easy to name some books that I read and that impressed me very much. “Gods, Graves, Scholars” is one of these books. If you are interested in travel in space and time, in history, in religion, in lives of famous archeologists and their discoveries this is the book for you. It is written as a novel (or as a thriller).
Make yourself a gift by reading this wonderful book.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

About 60 years ago I read a wonderful book “Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology.” 

The book written by C. W. Ceram (January 20, 1915 – April 12, 1972). It was the pseudonym of German journalist and author Kurt Wilhelm Marek.

I was a little younger at that time and the book impressed me very much by facts about lives of all famous archaeologists, about all major discoveries and by its literary style.

After reading the book I’ve  never stopped learning about archaeology and history of civilizations.

If anyone of you did not read the book I highly recommend it.

Wikipedia says: “Published in 28 languages, Ceram’s book eventually received a printing of over 5 million copies, and is still in print today…

Other books by the author include The Secret of the Hittites, March of Archaeology and The First American, a book on ancient…

View original post 12 more words

A joke?!

My wife told me today that my recent posts are too serious.
So I had to reblog a joke.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

I got an email from Chicago with Russian jokes in it.

During our morning’s walk I told my wife one of them and she liked it.

Then I asked Google Translate to help me and edited the translation.

Here is what we got:

“Adam and Eve frolicking in the garden. God descends to them and says: “My children, I have two gifts for you. You’ll have to decide which one to whom. The first gift is peeing standing up “…

Adam begs to let him have the first gift. He says that it is his lifelong dream. Eve yields to him. And Adam runs through the garden, rejoicing, jumping, screaming, and peeing on trees, flowers, insects and simply on the ground.

Then Eve asks: “Lord, what is your second gift?”

God answers: “Brains, Eve. Brains.”

Okay, I've done that stupid trick of sticking my paw up in the air. Now where's that tasty treat you promised me? Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

PS. I hope that translation is good enough to express the idea. 

View original post 14 more words

Why do I love Pocono Manor?

You already saw many photos of Pocono Manor’s houses, views and animals here.

Is it possible to love a place so much to return to it for many years?

Believe me it is.

It is possible if you can walk to the Pocono Manor Inn every morning and see a view like this one:

A MORNING VIEW by JF

A MORNING VIEW                                                                                                             by JF

It is possible if you can enter the Pocono Manor Inn and take the photo below (it is my hat on the chair).

INSIDE THE INN by JF

INSIDE THE INN                                                                                                         by JF

It is possible if you enjoy two paintings below:

PAINTING IN THE INN by JF

PAINTING IN THE INN                                                                                                 by JF

 

PAINTING IN THE INN by JF

PAINTING IN THE INN                                                                                             by JF

It is possible if you can go in the library (usually there is nobody there) and find many precious books of long forgotten wonderful authors.

Add to all these reasons sweet memories of wonderful times here with family and friends.

I am sure that you understand that my love to this place grows with each year.

About Pocono Manor.

What is Pocono Manor?

Wikipedia says: “Pocono Manor is an unincorporated community in Monroe CountyPennsylvaniaUnited States, located at approximately latitude 41.1 and longitude -75.359, at an elevation of 1,706 feet, on Pennsylvania State Highway 314 east of Pocono Summit and west of Swiftwater.[1] It is the location of a resort and golf course called The Inn at Pocono Manor, with a Donald Ross-designed golf course,[2] site of the Pocono Northeast Classic; and of the Pocono Manor Historic District.”

We are now in Pocono Manor and it is clear that the definition above is not very good.

First of all, there is the Carriage House in Pocono Manor. It is an independent time-sharing property.

Secondly, there are many private houses (the Cottage Colony).

Thirdly, until last year there were two 18-holes golf courses. Currently one course is intact and the other has only three holes (see below).

In 2013 a part of Pocono Manor bought by the family owned Kalahari Resorts. It started on the territory of the western golf course construction of the largest in the world indoor water park, a huge convention center, a separate outdoor water park and other facilities. You can read about Kalahari in Pocono Manor HERE.

It is very interesting how Pocono Manor was born and progressed. You can read about it HERE, see views of the Inn at Pocono Manor and read about its operations.

Today I want to show you my photos of two houses on the Manor Drive (it is a major asphalt road in Pocono Manor). Near the Inn Manor Drive is very narrow (one way traffic). Some houses are on a hill above the drive and houses on the other side of it are below the drive.

ONE OF HOUSES ON THE HILL (MANOR DRIVE) by JF.

A HOUSE ON THE HILLY SIDE OF MANOR DRIVE                              by  JF.

 

A HOUSE ON THE OTHER  SIDE OF MANOR DRIVE. by JF

A HOUSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MANOR DRIVE                             by JF

 

Several quotes about justice.

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.

Aristotle

In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.

Albert Einstein

Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.

Plato

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.

Haile Selassie

I know, I know!

After I published yesterday the short post “Do you believe in evolution? Our relative?” one of my followers (M-R) asked me to clarify my beliefs. I do it by reblogging this post.

Rimantas Dichavicius.

Rimantas Dichavicius is a photographer and an artist.

He is a born romantic. It is a romantic touch that helped him to publish an album, glorifying feminine beauty. The album ”Flowers of Flowers” was presented at the International Book Fair in Moscow in 1987.

Rimantas Dichavicius recalls: “There was censorship. This topic has been banned…Adherents of strict morals did not attack me. Just had a surprise – not up to criticism. ”

Foreign experts wondered how such high level of skill emerged in the country where the photos in the genre of “nude” have been banned for 70 years?

Rimantas Dichavicius never thought about that. He just did poetic, upscale photos elusive beauty.

Read about Rimantas Dichavicius and see his photos HERE.

 

Several quotes about peace.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

Jimi Hendrix

A people free to choose will always choose peace.

Ronald Reagan

It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.

John F. Kennedy

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.

Benjamin Franklin

Several quotes about treaties.

Charles De Gaulle – “Treaties are like roses and young girls — they last while they last.”  


Benjamin Franklin – “Mad kings and mad bulls are not to be held by treaties and packthread.”

——————————————————————————————————————– 
I am sure you know what I have in mind. Any comments?

Thomas Sowell and his quotes.

I just returned home from a nice party and found an email with Thomas Sowell’s quotes. I read all quotes and then went to Google to find out who was Thomas Sowell.

Here is what I found:   THOMAS SOWELL

Then I went back to the email and copied several quotes.

You can see them below and make your own conclusions.

“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

“One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.”

“I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
*
“Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions — and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.”
*

“Gods, Graves and Scholars”.

About 60 years ago I read a wonderful book “Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology.” 

The book written by C. W. Ceram (January 20, 1915 – April 12, 1972). It was the pseudonym of German journalist and author Kurt Wilhelm Marek.

I was a little younger at that time and the book impressed me very much by facts about lives of all famous archaeologists, about all major discoveries and by its literary style.

After reading the book I’ve  never stopped learning about archaeology and history of civilizations.

If anyone of you did not read the book I highly recommend it.

Wikipedia says: “Published in 28 languages, Ceram’s book eventually received a printing of over 5 million copies, and is still in print today…

Other books by the author include The Secret of the Hittites, March of Archaeology and The First American, a book on ancient North American history. 

…The Ceram Prize in archaeology is named after him.”