Have you ever wanted to cre­ate a des­ti­na­tion with-in a des­ti­na­tion? Places that both spark and sate curios­ity?  Muse­ums and gar­dens that restore and moti­vate the human spirit?

In the midst of Marekkesh, Morocco, Yves Saint-Laurent, helped cre­ate an artis­tic oasis that now offers vis­i­tors a won­der­ful Museum of Berber cul­ture, the restored gar­dens of Majorelle, and a rest­ful café . In the 1920s and 30s,  Jacques Majorelle a French artist, land­scaped the gar­dens as canvases.

He also used blues and yel­lows and oranges in build­ings for con­trast, and the vivid cobalt like blue is named after him– Majorelle bleu.  In the 1980s, fash­ion designer Saint-Laurent and his part­ner Pierre Berge  restored the place and now vis­i­tors can walk peace­ful paths between cacti, palms, coconut trees, bam­boo and foun­tains as well as immerse in authen­tic Berber arti­facts in the museum.  There’s even a YSL gallery that includes the “love” cards he made each year for friends as hol­i­day greetings.

This eclec­tic des­ti­na­tion within the great des­ti­na­tion of Mar­rakesh was one of many mem­o­rable places we vis­ited as part of my recent, won­der– filled  Access Trips culi­nary jour­ney of Morocco, and it prompted many mus­ings while I meant to be writ­ing about the delight­ful  riads of the royal king­dom of Morocco. Good trav­els tend to stir dreams, mem­o­ries, and ideas for new mixes.

FAMOUS MAGNETS

I grew up explor­ing the Hunt­ing­ton Library and Gar­dens in San Marino, Cal­i­for­nia just a few miles from the Pasadena Rose parade route.  Thanks to Henry E. Hunt­ing­ton, and the trans­for­ma­tion of his for­mer home, the Guten­berg Bible, Gainsborough’s Blue Boy paint­ing, the Shake­speare Gar­dens, an imag­i­na­tive range of grow­ing fauna, and the big bell in the Japan­ese gar­dens were a part of my child­hood and are avail­able to the many thou­sands who visit the peace­ful grounds and rich repos­i­to­ries of knowl­edge and beauty.

The Getty Museum, thanks J.P Getty, is another visual feast inside and out in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.  Perched on a moun­tain top over free­ways and high-rises with far reach­ing views out­side and exten­sive art inside, it’s one of my favorite spots to meet friends and fam­ily for a meal, shared walks in the gar­dens and some sati­at­ing gawk­ing in galleries.


Thanks also to Solomon R. Guggen­heim whose epony­mous spi­raled museum in New York is a lovely respite from the inten­si­ties of New York city streets.  The Guggen­heims also spon­sored pub­lic muse­ums in Venice, Berlin, and Bil­bao, Spain.

The Bil­bao, designed by Frank Gehry, inspired the trans­for­ma­tion of a whole region of the Basque Coun­try for locals and tourism. Who knows how many vis­i­tors the art­ful des­ti­na­tion has sparked?

YOUR OWN

Many trav­el­ers I know, have places in their homes that are aes­thetic sanc­tu­ar­ies with good­ies culled from the globe, inte­grated domes­tic shrines to the won­ders of the world. But those places are only avail­able to friends.

What cul­tural pub­lic oasis would you love to leave that oth­ers could enjoy?

POSSIBILITATOR PARK
If I were to write a mega best seller or win some stu­pen­dous lot­tery so I had a sur­plus of funds, I would love to cre­ate “Pos­si­bil­i­ta­tor Park”  with a library full of eclec­tic inspir­ing works from around the world and dif­fer­ent times , and gar­dens full of places to sit and think or stroll and muse. Trees that are sym­bolic and lit­eral parts of sto­ries would be spa­ciously placed so peo­ple could pic­nic or nap or sketch the lyri­cal branches.  It worked for Bud­dha and New­ton… There would also be con­served wilder­ness with run­ning water, and open spaces for cloud watch­ing, and, and.. well I have more than a few ideas gath­ered over the year while think­ing about such a place.

Right now I imag­ine this sanc­tu­ary and stim­u­lus on some moun­tain top acreage in the Santa Mon­ica Moun­tains with a view of the Pacific Ocean, but places along the Hud­son River in New York also come to mind—some gor­geous nat­ural set­ting not far from an urban cen­ter, acces­si­ble to locals and trav­el­ers.  The library would make avail­able (via lat­est tech­nol­ogy) all kinds of exem­plary sto­ries, quotes, art, social his­tory,  and research about cre­ation and inven­tion and “dreams turned deeds”—tales of true “Pos­si­bil­i­ta­tors”  both the famous and the unsung.

On our first date, hours into our con­ver­sa­tional mean­der­ing, I told this attrac­tive, intel­li­gent man named Vic­tor that I wanted to res­ur­rect a word I had found in the OED(Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary)– the verb “pos­si­bil­i­tate” mean­ing “to ren­der pos­si­ble.”  “How could the Amer­i­can lan­guage have lost the active use of a verb con­vey­ing such a great con­cept?” I asked him.

He leaned over the wooden table at the Mir­a­cle Grill in New York and said,  “Why don’t you and I be Pos­si­bil­i­ta­tors?”  He made it a noun, and a lov­ing chal­lenge.  I had writ­ten in a jour­nal weeks ear­lier “I want to meet a man who is a vic­tor not a vic­tim.” Now I had met him. We were mar­ried five months later– the first mar­riage for both of us. We will enjoy our 15th wed­ding anniver­sary this Fri­day, 12/21/12 on the Sol­stice.  And I smile deeply think­ing how for­tu­nate I am to be in love with the per­son I am mar­ried to, a man who inspires mus­ings and is amusing.