Philadelphia – May 2018 – Views of the City

A Sunday afternoon in downtown Philadelphia…

 

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Flowers outside Independence Hall Visitor Center.

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Everything in Philadelphia seems to be dedicated to Benjamin Franklin. Apparently his newspapers are laying on the ground to this day.

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The Benjamin Franklin Parkway that leads to the Art Museum (and the Rocky statue)

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An Airplane outside the Franklin Institute

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As well as the grand front entrance.

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A fountain in the Franklin Parkway looking back towards City Hall.

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The Pennsylvania Convention Center – built in part in the old Reading Railroad Terminal.

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Baltimore – May 2018 – American Visual Art Museum

At the base of Federal Hill in Baltimore is the American Visual Art Museum. For those who enjoy the unusual, this is a museum for you.

Founded in 1995 by Rebecca Ann Hoffberger, the museum started out as a display of artwork from Ms. Hoffberger’s psychiatric patients who had created the art as part of a program known as People Encouraging People.

 

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The museum is now located in two buildings housing over 60,000 square feet of exhibit space.

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One of Ms Hoffberger’s goal was to encourage and promote artists who come from outside the academic or institutionalized learning spaces.

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As a result you get a great eclectic mix of exhibits.

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Including a life size sculpture of a man made out of small gauge wire.

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As well as interesting interpretations of the human form.

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The dress below was made on 3D printers from the original, the artists mother’s wedding dress from the 1940s. Each circle was hand created to celebrate her mothers life.

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As a finale (for us) – a Pez collection.

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Chicago – December 2017 – Museum of Science and Industry

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry was the perfect choice for another exceptionally cold December day.  Located in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the South Shore of Chicago, it is located in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World Columbian Exposition.  It became the Museum of Science and Industry during the 1933 Century of Progress Worlds Fair.

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The famed ‘Christmas Around the World’ tree greets you as you arrive during the holiday season, standing 45′ tall with 30,000 lights and ‘snow’ falling twice an hour.

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My main purpose for the visit to what is essentially a children’s museum was to see the ‘Great Train Story’, a 3500 square foot HO model railroad display.

This model leads you from a large Chicago model along a 2200 mile journey to Seattle. It is located in the transportation hall, underneath a Boeing 727.

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The downtown Chicago model has many details including the El.

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When you reach Seattle it is complete with the Space Needle.

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The other exhibit I wanted to check out was the lego ‘Brick by Brick’ display. Interestingly despite all the interesting architecture in Chicago from Frank Lloyd Wright they chose to use Fallingwater, located near Pittsburgh (although it is the best architectural home in America)

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The Pyramids were represented, including a cutaway to show the interior.

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Same as with the Roman Colosseum. While the exhibits were nice, we have seen better exhibits for both the Lego’s and model railroad displays (Cincinnati History Center comes to mind, as well as Entertrainment Junction). Still it beat being outside in -2 Ft (-15 C) weather.

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Cleveland – September 2017 – Lego Convention

The new downtown Cleveland Convention Center was the site of a Lego fan convention called BrickUniverse. This show featured a number of Lego artists, as well as vendors with a large collection of specialty pieces.

As we entered the hall we were greeted by Jonathan Lopes, who had a number of very large pieces. Jonathan, a San Diego resident who used to live in Brooklyn, which was featured extensively in his grouping.

 

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Nearby was Lia Chan who specialized in Air & Space.

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There were a number of ‘paintings’ made of Lego throughout the exhibit. The detail was amazing.

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A 12′ long model of the USS Missouri had thousands of small sailors, as well as the table and dignitaries that signed the surrender terms ending World War II.

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Displayed nearby was a large collection of famed military leaders.

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Eventually I pulled out the zoom to get close ups.

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The tallest building in Cleveland is the nearly 1000′ high Key Tower. For this show King Kong was on top.

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The Eiffel Tower.

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Another of Lia’s pieces up close showing the details.

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The Moulin Rouge complete with Can Can Dancers.

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Finally a close up of Jonathan’s Woolworth Building, showing the amazing detail on the cornices.

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Seattle – September 2017 – Museum of Pop Art

The Museum of Pop Art in Seattle started life as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix by Paul Allen, one of the founders of Microsoft. Recently they rebranded themselves and have some nice other exhibits.

 

The guitar collection was amazing.

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The Hendrix area

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A large area for sci-fi

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Urbana, OH – August 2017 – Cedar Bog

Champaign County, Ohio is the home to Cedar Bog, a nature preserve created by the receding glaciers and the ground water from the Mad River. As a result there is a great deal of vegetation that is not common in Ohio. The result is a beautiful,  but bug filled, boardwalk through the bog.

 

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Hamilton, OH – August 2017 – Remote Control Airplane ‘Flying Circus’

The Cincinnati Remote Control Airplane Club has been around for over 50 years. Once a year they host a ‘Flying Circus’ at the Butler County Airport in Hamilton, Ohio. This event allows them to showcase to the public their love of their airplanes, as well as their skill in flying them.

There were a number of models both in scope of the time of aviation design as well as scale.

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One of the highlights was an event to break balloons by flying low and fast and clipping them with (hopefully) their wheels. Not all used their wheels.

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A few slammed into the display holding the balloons.

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Some of the landings made it but a bit off course.

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The pilots went to pick up the remains of those that crashed.

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A Wright Flyer model was flown, albeit very briefly before crashing.

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The models were amazing in detail – from a distance it is tough to tell they are models.

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The coordinator had a great hat.

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A model Valkyrie deloyed a chute to slow it down when landing.

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Some of the landings were dicey, but made it.

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A trio of Red Baron bi-planes put on a great show.

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Some model jets made an appearance.

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Another close landing.

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In the end it was a great show.

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