Favorites of 2019

A great year of sights – these are my favorite 30 photos of 2019, with brief explanations why they are my favorites.

Chicago – Willis (Sears) Tower. The perspective of people out of their elements.





Washington – The former Capital Columns in the Arboretum. The morning lighting with the wildflowers and contrast of the columns.





Washington – Embassy Open House Day – and a young lady’s perfect timing next to their logo.





Near Frankfurt, Kentucky – I have a thing about old, seemingly abandoned buildings. This however had been reclaimed and re-used for it’s original purpose – bourbon storage and aging.





New Orleans – Mardis Gras World. It was like stepping into some psychedelic movie.





Avery Island, Louisiana – The symmetry of the rice fields with another old building.





Houston – The home of quirky art. This is from Lucky Land, a very cool place.





Houston quirky art part 2 – Giant President Heads.





San Antonio mission. Symmetry and historic architecture.





Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch, but after a storm where they appeared to be in a pond.





Columbus Zoo and a zoom lens. The statement in the face and amazing beauty of the animals.









Montreal – Ferris Wheel in Old Montreal – Perfect timing and lighting (just lucky on the timing).





Marietta, Ohio – Sternwheeler festival.





Chicago – Open House and another fantastic ceiling/light.





Buenos Aires – obviously the extended period spent in Argentina has opened a new world of photo possibilities. Recoleta Cemetery is the most popular tourist spot in the city, and I had the good fortune of some young lady there for (I suspect) a photo shoot when she ran by the row I was in, turned and posed for me! Who doesn’t want a photo of a young lady running through a cemetery with a knife.




Recoleta Cemetery provides so many great shots – the cob webs are natural, not staged.




The tomb of San Martin.





The La Boca neighborhood is known as a working class neighborhood in love with their team – La Boca juniors. The old car symbolizes the working class neighborhood and it was parked in front of the soccer practice fields with their bright colors on the walls.






Chacarita Cemetery is not as famous as Recoleta, but still a very stunning place.





The sunrises and sunsets can be amazing.









An hour drive out of town to San Antonio de Areco, and their gaucho festival was the event of the year. 4000 people and horses dressed for the occasion.





The Jacaranda trees are fantastic in bloom.






On a walking tour of street art the passer by’s sometimes fit the theme.






The Casa Rosada. A great courtyard and a bemused guard.










Hockey in Argentina – bring that soccer passion inside and combine it with hockey.





Finally – Bariloche, a beautiful mountain and lakes region.





Buenos Aires – December 2019 – Club Atletico River Plate

One of the two most popular soccer teams in Buenos Aires is River Plate. It’s name comes from the era of the construction of the Port of Buenos Aires, when the workers disappeared to play soccer, the boxes they were unloading said the English name for Rio de La Plata – River Plate – and the name stuck.

Their stadium, and museum, is located in the Nunez section of the city.




The team’s logo has been fairly consistent in the 115 years of their existence.





As has their jersey’s.












They are one of the most successful teams, including a recent Libertadores Cup winner.

























The museum has a list of all of the players who ever played for the team listed on the walls.





The museum also has replicas of their stadiums over the years, including the current one.









We went outside with a group for a tour of the real thing.





Including more trophies.





The initials stand for Club Atletico River Plate – CARP!





The stadium is officially known as Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, or El Monumental. At 70,000 seats it is the largest in Argentina, and home to the Argentina national team as well as River.













While Argentina has banned visiting fans from stadiums, the section they used to use is penned off in the upper deck.




It is very close to Aeroparque Jorge Newberry, giving it a ‘Shea Stadium’ feel.





Outside is a massive statue of a soccer player.





The tour guide was informative to most, and helpful to us translating some of the Spanish to English as we walked from stop to stop. Some though were apparently there to keep their husbands happy.





River Plate – In Buenos Aires they are either loved or hated, nothing in between.







Buenos Aires – December 2019 – It's a Hockey Night in … Argentina ???

Most of my adult life I have looked forward to CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night (despite living in the USA). Well this Saturday night found us 6000 miles south but fear not – they had hockey. Well roller hockey, but still it looked and sounded like hockey – 4 on 4 on a much smaller rink!

It turns out it was the championship game and the two finalists were local rivals. The couple of hundred fans went crazy the entire game, which went back and forth – double overtime – then won by the home team in a shootout.




























Buenos Aires – November 2019 – A Night of Football

Most people when they are in Buenos Aires want to see some soccer/football, as the Argentine fans are known as some of the most passionate. When they come to the city they usually want to see one of the two ‘big time’ teams, Boca Juniors or River Plate.

I however had the chance to go to a very cool old stadium in the Parque Patricios barrio to watch a game with friends and their neighborhood team the Huracan (Hurricanes in English). What an atmosphere.

The small crowd was passionate, with drums and singing occurring throughout the game. Soccer the way it is meant to be, and to attend it with my friends and her family (her father has been coming to games here for almost 70 years) was a bonus.

































Buenos Aires – November 2019 – The Palace of Polo

Buenos Aires is the center of the Polo World. Argentinian polo players make up the top 5, 8 out of the top 10, and 22 out of the top 25. In November and December they come home for the biggest tournament in polo.




The Campo Argentino de Polo is the center of this universe. It is like going to the Kentucky Derby and finding polo.







Each major sponsor has their own pavilion, some seemingly unusual for this setting like Case Tractors.












But now the polo ponies are being prepped and ready for action.










Being Argentina a bit of soccer mentality takes over at the start of the game.




It is time for polo. The players are indeed very skilled, with little delay in their game. The horses as well have been bred just for this sport.

























It is so popular it is televised, but for now our afternoon of polo is over.







San Isidro, Argentina – October 2019 – Racing Argentine Style

The San Isidro Hippodromo was opened in suburban Buenos Aires in 1935. In addition to horse racing, they often have concerts here.



Because it’s primary tracks are grass, it is known as the Casa de Turf.







Unlike most American tracks, the starting gates were far away from the finish, so the horses only passed the grandstands once.







On this day there the track was having an open house, with food trucks and entertainment in the infield.
















For the most part you could get up close to the horses and jockeys.










When we arrived the lady at the gate strongly encouraged us to take the free ‘bus tour’. This tour took us around the grounds.

It turned out we had a local model/tv ‘personality’ on our tour.




We stopped in the far back corner of the grounds at one of the starting gates where people were allowed to play on the starting gates before the horses arrived for the next race while our TV host did her story.




Our location allowed us a great close up of the start.




And they were off! It was a nice afternoon at the San Isidro Hippodromo.






Buenos Aires – August 2019 – Day Long Urban Trek

With the weekend by myself in Buenos Aires I was looking for something to do when I came across an 18km (11 mile) ‘Urban Trek’ across much of the city.

Note – with an all day hike this post is somewhat long…

The tour started out at the visitor information center in La Boca, a working class neighborhood along a seriously polluted river. It reminded me of Youngstown and Cleveland in the 1970s.



Our trek started out with 7 intrepid hikers and a guide. It would not finish that way.



The people of La Boca are proud of their neighborhood…



The center is a tourist area packed with colorful shops.









The area was setting up for a Sunday artist market.



We quickly left the area and passed by the colorful houses which legend says were painted various colors with the left over paint from ships.



La Boca is most known for their soccer team. The stadium is called La Bombonera, which translates to the Chocolate Box, from the shape of the stadium. The seating is in an incredibly steep pitch.

This 49,000 seat stadium is jammed in the middle of the neighborhood.



The walk through the rest of La Boca provided a number of interesting views.





Eventually we made our way to the San Telmo neighborhood, along with more diverse photo ops.















We passed under a freeway that once housed an interrogation center during the military dictatorship era in the 1970s. Sadly during the construction of the freeway they found remains of many who never made it out of the center. There are tributes to those lost during those times.



Port Madero is a new area of tall buildings built in the former port of Buenos Aires.







One young lady on our tour, who was from Mexico, took selfies at virtually every stop along the way. She was very entertaining in making sure she had the perfect look – and a great sport when I asked to photo her taking her photo.



Our final stop on the morning part of the hike was the Plaza de Mayo.







After a break for lunch we headed out for the afternoon with a new guide, and only 4 hikers.

Having spent a few weeks in this part of town I was familiar with much of what we were passing, but it was still entertaining as our new guide was a very funny young lady.







A review of San Martin Plaza and Palacio.









Pelligrini Plaza.



The Addams Family Palacio (not really but it seems as though it should be)



An finally a stop at Recoleta Cemetery. Our hike continued for another couple of miles but didn’t produce any interesting photo, or the photographer was too tired to take them 🙂

While long, it was a very worthwhile day. Both guides were knowledgeable and entertaining, and I was able to see many areas of the city that most don’t. If you have an entire Sunday to spend in Buenos Aires I highly recommend putting on your best walking shoes and heading out…