Columbus – November 2018 – Science Center Revisit

In checking the events calendars for something to do I noticed COSI had a model train exhibit, so we headed down for a Sunday morning.

2018 11 04 1 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

We headed straight to the upper floor exhibit area where the model trains were set up. Disappointingly we found they are the same ones we see set up elsewhere (such as the fair, etc).

2018 11 04 6 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

While nice, we were hoping for more.

2018 11 04 14 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

One unique one though was this group who have built their entire train display from Legos. The tracks, the trains, the cars, are all built out of Legos!

2018 11 04 21 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

Outside along the hallways are a number of art pieces made out of scrap material. Among other things this one has piano keys, roofing metal, paint brushes, a garden hose and other ‘stuff’.

2018 11 04 27 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

All sorts of pieces/parts including license plates.

2018 11 04 35 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

A giant frame skeleton hovers over all.

2018 11 04 36 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

This display shows the miles and miles of veins and arteries in the body.

2018 11 04 42 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

I wish I could remember what this was, but I can’t. No worries – he looks cool.

2018 11 04 46 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

One exhibit that they have had since the 1960s is the exhibit ‘Process’. This shows an American street at two different times, one in 1898 then the same street in 1962 (which is when the center was opened at it’s original location).

2018 11 04 57 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

It was amusing to see teenagers all running for the various corded telephones, as most under 15 have never used one.

2018 11 04 62 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

We happened to be next to one of the presentation areas when they were starting an exhibit on chemistry where the presenter entertained us with liquid nitrogen and others like potassium and their reactions to hot and cold.

On this display she had someone give her a $20 bill, dipped it in hydrogen and set it on fire. In the end the person got his $20 back unscathed, except for being wet where she ‘rinsed’ it.

2018 11 04 77 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

She also demonstrated how different gases make different colored flames when exploding (yes they were very loud booms)

2018 11 04 78 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

Honda is a big sponsor, with a display on automotive components such as how pistons drive engines, how shocks work, etc.

2018 11 04 87 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

The American Museum of Natural History has a very large display that is being presented for a year or so. There were a number of fossils on display.

2018 11 04 95 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

There were many on exhibit.

2018 11 04 97 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

The display was very large, and very well done.

2018 11 04 98 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

Some were models to show the full size of the dinosaur.

2018 11 04 104 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

But the actual fossils were best.

2018 11 04 109 Columbus COSI.jpg

 

 

 

Cleveland – November 2018 – Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

In Mexican culture the Day of the Dead is celebrated the first two days of November. This celebration honors the memory of those who have passed on.

Presented by the Cleveland Public Theater and Artistas Latinos Unios, Cleveland has had a Dia de Muertos for 14 years.

2018 11 03 134 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Most participants paint their faces.

2018 11 03 136 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

While it might seem morbid, it is in fact a joyous occasion that is intended to dispel fear of death and embracing the cycle of life.

2018 11 03 137 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

In Cleveland many non Latino people participated.

2018 11 03 143 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

While most had face paintings, traditionally hand made clay skulls are also used.

2018 11 03 145 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

The Cleveland Public Theater is housed in a former church. Inside they had a number of exhibits set up.

This young lady had one honoring her family.

2018 11 03 150 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

As did this young lady. Note in the back numerous photos and offerings to her deceased family members. Throughout the church/theater and outside in the ‘pop up’ cemetery were a number of such altars (known in Spanish as ofrendas)

2018 11 03 152 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

One of the event coordinators was ready.

2018 11 03 181 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

It was a really cool event, with lots of great looks.

2018 11 03 184 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Stylish and macabre at the same time.

2018 11 03 185 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Finally it was time for the procession to begin…..

2018 11 03 190 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

One of the bands lead the march.

2018 11 03 193 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Anyone who had signed up and was in ‘costume’ could participate.

2018 11 03 194 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Some clearly had spent more time putting together their look.

2018 11 03 195 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

One of my favorites.

2018 11 03 201 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Many entire families participated.

2018 11 03 215 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

This young lady had the face painting but the rest of her family wore the masks.

2018 11 03 216 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Happy skeletons!

2018 11 03 218 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

The origins date back thousands of years and coincide with the annual harvest. It combined Aztec and Christian practices.

2018 11 03 224 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Today is has become so popular in the United States even places like Party City sell merchandise for the celebration, although these ladies clearly did better than going down the local Party City.

2018 11 03 232 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Not sure why, but it seems every Cleveland parade has a number of people on stilts. But what’s not to like in a 10′ skeleton lady coming down Detroit Avenue!

2018 11 03 239 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

More stilted skeletons.

2018 11 03 248 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

A few had more simple masks, which this guy used to accent his great suit.

2018 11 03 254 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Historically in Cleveland most of the Latinos were Puerto Rican, but they too have embraced the event.

2018 11 03 262 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Also participating was a Horse Drawn Funeral Carriage. Note the very stylish job on the horse’s hooves.

2018 11 03 268 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

The carriage had a mannequin complete with mask.

2018 11 03 271 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

Dia de Mertos was a fantastic event – I can’t wait for next November. Look for one in a city near you.

2018 11 03 280 Cleveland Day of the Dead Parade.jpg

 

 

 

 

Cleveland – November 2018 – A Traditional Zoo

The Cleveland Metroparks is one of the best parks systems in the United States, circling Cleveland in what is known as the Emerald Necklance

One of their main features closer into the city is the Metroparks Zoo, only 5 miles from downtown Cleveland.

2018 11 03 34 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

While much smaller than the more famous Columbus Zoo, in my opinion it is nicer in that there is far less commercialization.

The Metroparks Zoo does have a number of themed exhibit areas including the Rain Forest.  This building, as the name indicates, brings together the plants and wildlife of the jungles.

This little guy is a Golden Lion Tamarin, a highly endangered animal from Brazil.

2018 11 03 2 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

The bird below is a Scarlet Ibis. The zoo found it was losing it’s natural color, until they added shrimp to it’s diet.

2018 11 03 6 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

A Capybara. While he was in his controlled habitat here, we once had the opportunity to meet one up close in British Columbia. The Capybara is known as the world’s largest rodent, but they seem pretty cool to me.

2018 11 03 8 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

Bornean Orangutan. So much for that vegetarian diet keeping weight down – this guy can weigh over 300 pounds.

2018 11 03 14 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

The Emerald Tree Boa. 8 feet long with fang like teeth!

2018 11 03 29 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

We left the Rain Forest and headed up through the main section of the zoo, stopping to check out the elephants.

2018 11 03 41 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

Cleveland has some ravines, and the zoo is built in, and up above one. After the hike up the hill we made our way to the Primates, Cat & Aquatics indoor habitat (with some outdoor space as well).

The Mandrill below is a large monkey, weighing up to 80 pounds.

2018 11 03 68 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

One of the many Lemurs.

2018 11 03 70 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

This cat like animal is known as a Fossa, from Madagascar. Those in the animal business apparently debate if it is more like a mongoose or a cat.

2018 11 03 72 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

More Lemurs – the is time Ring Tailed. This is the most common Lemur.

2018 11 03 74 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

Another Lemur – I tried to have a staring contest, which I obviously lost.

2018 11 03 77 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

But it was time to move over to the Aquatic side of the house. Our first tank we came to gave us this great view!

2018 11 03 90 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

And more…

2018 11 03 95 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

We headed back down the hill to the African Savanna section for lions…

2018 11 03 102 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

And Zebras

2018 11 03 103 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

Our final section was the Wilderness Trek. As I always note on trips to the zoo, I am always torn by being in the presence of such great animals, and the fact that they are stuck in cages. But as with the Tamarin without some conservation some breeds would be totally lost.

2018 11 03 114 Cleveland Zoo.jpg

 

 

 

Columbus – October 2018 – Highball

Columbus, despite being a medium sized city not on either of the coasts, is known as a fashion city primarily because it is the home of the Limited Brands. As a result there are more clothing fashion designers in Columbus than anywhere else in America except Los Angeles and New York.

The annual Halloween festival, Highball, is intended to mix fashion with Halloween. Unfortunately for us, we were there too early in the evening, and it was raining, so the crowd as sparse. Despite this, we did see some great looks….

All the ticket sellers at the north end were in 1920s looks.

2018 10 27 1 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

The beer truck people were ready…

2018 10 27 4 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

While it was mostly adults, a couple of kids came along (again we were there much too early for the really good crowds – next year we will go much later in the evening).

2018 10 27 9 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Luigi and Friends.

2018 10 27 11 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Johnny Ramone and friend.

2018 10 27 13 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

The first band was dressed from the Wizard of Oz.

2018 10 27 16 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Dorothy was the lead singer and keyboardist.

2018 10 27 38 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

The Tin Man apparently had a synthesizer.

2018 10 27 39 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

And coupled on backup singing with the lead guitarist the Lion

2018 10 27 35 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

2018 10 27 41 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

While the Scarecrow was on drums.

2018 10 27 43 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

 

2018 10 27 19 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Likely the only male Indian nun in Columbus..

2018 10 27 20 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

This group has their seasons mixed up, they are ready for Christmas far too early.

2018 10 27 28 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Party On Wayne – Party on Garth.

2018 10 27 30 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

A really knit beard.

2018 10 27 53 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Steam Punk meets Scottish.

2018 10 27 54 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

What happens when light swords appear.

2018 10 27 57 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Battles ensue.

2018 10 27 61 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

They were fashionable in the drizzle.

2018 10 27 66 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

The next band were all super heroes.

2018 10 27 70 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

2018 10 27 71 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Including the lead singer in drag as Wonder Woman.

2018 10 27 73 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

A Bat Bass.

2018 10 27 76 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

Finally we had had enough drizzle, and the crowds were still getting drunk in nearby bars, or at the hockey game, so we decided to head on out.

2018 10 27 82 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

But not before we were greeted by one more group. Next year – hopefully no rain, and we will go much later to get the real show…

2018 10 27 85 Columbus Highball.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chicago – October 2018 – Open House Chicago Special Tours

We were fortunate enough to get tickets to two Open House Special Tours.

Our first tour was of the CTA El Train Repair Shops in Skokie. Directions to our tour was to go to the Howard Street Station on the Red Line and gather on the far end of the platform.

2018 10 13 10 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

For this Saturday morning the platform was jammed with many people not used to taking the train, as they were in town for the University of Nebraska game against Northwestern in Evanston. To the normal commuter seeing a 1922 El Car come rolling into the station would be a surprise, but to this large out of town crowd it was stunning.

2018 10 13 15 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

One of the volunteers was dressed in a period uniform.

2018 10 13 20 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

While others had their safety vests on. All of the vintage cars are maintained by volunteers – many retired CTA workers.

2018 10 13 136 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

The passengers were excited…

2018 10 13 26 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

As we arrived at the yard we were greeted by other vintage cars awaiting restoration, as well as the revenue generating current cars.

2018 10 13 30 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

The 400 series cars really stand out against the modern cars in the yard.

2018 10 13 37 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

But it was time to tour the shop.

2018 10 13 79 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

Our tour guide was the manager of the facility.

2018 10 13 41 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

The shop.

2018 10 13 40 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

There were El cars in various states of repair.

2018 10 13 42 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

 

This station refurbishes the wheels.

2018 10 13 43 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

While another lifts the entire car for easy access.

2018 10 13 49 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

 

They also have some bays with pits to get underneath the cars.

2018 10 13 54 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

A great Chicago tradition is the Holiday Train. Started in 1992, the Holiday Train is a labor of love for the CTA employees who volunteer to work on the cars, as well as the public. During the holiday season the Holiday Train visits every El station on every line, usually taking food baskets to local organizations.

2018 10 13 125 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 120 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 122 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 57 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

Another vintage car along ithe snow removal engine (minus the blower)

2018 10 13 58 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

The El Cars have springs and shocks like a regular car, just much larger.

2018 10 13 63 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

An axle and wheels.

2018 10 13 101 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

A pile of wheels waiting on refurbishing.

2018 10 13 69 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

A collection of contact shoes that connect the train to the third rail to provide power to the engines.

2018 10 13 74 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

A series of trucks ready to go. After this we headed back to our vintage car and returned to Howard Street Station.

2018 10 13 103 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

 

Our second tour of the day was the Chicago Tribune Printing Facility

The Chicago Tribune Freedom Center is a printing and inserting facility located along the Chicago River. Built in 1981, it was located along the river with the theory of bringing the paper products directly into the facility by boat, but the first shipment showed that with the bend in the river, the bridges and the building itself they couldn’t get to the dock. While the doors are still there they have never been used for their original purpose.

2018 10 13 141 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

Our guide was someone from the receiving department.

2018 10 13 155 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

 

Our tour of the 800,000 square foot facility started in the warehouse with massive 1 ton rolls of paper.

2018 10 13 147 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 232 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 154 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 173 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

From this warehouse they are loaded onto carts that are electronically routed (via a wire in the floor – 1980s technology at it’s finest) to the appropriate press.

2018 10 13 184 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

There are a total of 10 massive presses that are used. The Tribune facility prints not only their own newspaper, but also for the regional suburban newspapers, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for the Midwest, and even their local competitor the Chicago Sun Times.

2018 10 13 176 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 182 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 188 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

The tour group was very focused.

2018 10 13 212 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

 

The massive printing presses are very cool.

2018 10 13 190 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 196 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 200 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 211 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 215 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

2018 10 13 218 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

The Chicago Tribune Printing Facility was a great tour – one of the best we have done.

2018 10 13 235 Chicago Open House.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago – October 2018 – Open House Part 1

Our Chicago Open House weekend started on Friday, before the official event started on Saturday. We made our own tour of places that were open.

 

James Thompson Center – Designed by Helmut Jahn, the Thompson Center is a 17 story curved glass building housing many government offices. From the interior all 17 floors are visible in the impressive atrium.

2018 10 12 12 Chicago.jpg

 

2018 10 12 17 Chicago.jpg

 

On the plaza in front of the building is a sculpture from Jean Dubffet called Monument with Standing Beast. Standing at 29’ high, the sculpture weighs in at 20,000 pounds.

2018 10 12 18 Chicago.jpg

 

 

Cook County Office Building – A classical 12 story office building located in the government section of downtown Chicago, to me it is most famous for where the Blues Brotthers went to pay the property tax for the childrens home (and yes the Cook County Assessors office is located in this building).

The building has the classic Art Deco look on the interior.

2018 10 12 20 Chicago.jpg

 

2018 10 12 23 Chicago.jpg

 

Chicago Temple – The First United Methodist Church of Chicago was the first church to be founded in the city, even before it was a city, in 1831. In 1838 it moved to it’s current location at the corner of Washington and Clark.

In the early 1920s with downtown Chicago rapidly developing the church debated selling their valuable land and moving out to one of the neighborhoods. Eventually they decided on a novel approach, build a skyscraper with a church included, and in addition, put a chapel on the top. The result was a 568’ tall building with what is to this day the highest church from street level in the world.

2018 10 12 33 Chicago.jpg

 

The first level has a traditional church.

2018 10 12 42 Chicago.jpg

 

Known as the Sky Chapel, it was part of the original building but not fully completed until 1952 as a gift from the family of the Walgreen’s Drug Store founder.

To this day the church is self funded by the rents paid by other tenants in the building, allowing it to fully focus on serving the diverse community it serves.

2018 10 12 55 Chicago.jpg

 

2018 10 12 51 Chicago.jpg

 

2018 10 12 62 Chicago.jpg

2018 10 12 69 Chicago.jpg

 

Outside is some unique art.

2018 10 12 77 Chicago.jpg

 

 

Marshall Field’s (Macy’s) Tiffany Dome – With over 1.6 million pieces it is the largest Tiffany  mosaic in existence. Designed by Louis Tiffany in 1907, over 50 artisans worked on scaffolding for 18 months to complete this amazing masterpiece.

2018 10 12 81 Chicago.jpg

 

The Pedway hosts a collection of stained glass.

2018 10 12 82 Chicago.jpg

 

2018 10 12 85 Chicago.jpg

 

 

Some general scenes around the city.

2018 10 12 91 Chicago.jpg

 

A tourist boat on the Chicago River.

2018 10 12 107 Chicago.jpg

 

One of the lift bridge control buildings frame by a 60 floor building.

2018 10 12 109 Chicago.jpg

 

Classic Chicago – The Merchandise Mart with a Brown Line El train coming in.

2018 10 12 113 Chicago.jpg

 

Old street light and new skyscrapers.

2018 10 12 128 Chicago.jpg

 

 

Up Wells Street from the 10th floor of a parking garage.

2018 10 12 138 Chicago.jpg

 

A building along Madison Street.

2018 10 12 141 Chicago.jpg

 

 

Millennium Park

Cloud Gate is a public sculpture located in Millennium Park. While the artists inspiration was liquir mercury, it is commonly referred to as The Bean. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

2018 10 12 143 Chicago.jpg

 

The buildings along East Randolph Street.

2018 10 12 157 Chicago.jpg

 

Pritzker Pavilion – A Frank Gehry design, the pavilion is a band shell that hosts numerous events each year. For this mid October night it was quiet, but still stunning with it’s red lighting.

2018 10 12 161 Chicago.jpg

 

Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest museums in the United States. From this part of the park, you get a great view of one of the modern additions along with the Michigan Avenue skyline.

2018 10 12 166 Chicago.jpg

tomorrow the official events starts.