Pittsburgh – August 2018 – Sights on a Saturday

In town for the Regatta, we were able to check out a number of other sites for sights during the day.

Throughout downtown there were ‘earths’ painted with messages of making the world a better place.

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Flags of the world on the relief of the countries.

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A very artistic earth.

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Market Square is always busy with something going on.

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Meanwhile on the North Shore a large artistic installation graces the riverfront.

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I believe that architecture is the most beautiful art form – and functional.

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Alcoa Headquarters building.

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After we left the Photo Antiquities Museum we came across a festival in a park where they were promotion the protection of animals, including many vegan food options.

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There were many artists as well.

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But most booths had various animal protection themes.

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He needs our help.

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The cat rescue group leader.

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Origami art

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A novel use for test tubes.

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I was tempted to bring home a beagle rescue – but we travel far too much – it wouldn’t be fair to the dog.

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Nearby is the Children’s Museum – formerly the Buhl Planetarium – with a nice carved relief.

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A series of tubes would occasionally created a fog cloud.

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Making our way to the river for the Regatta we passed by the baseball stadium, and the Willie Stargell statue.

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As well as Roberto Clemente, along with the bridge they renamed for him.

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As we made our way to our seat for the regatta fireworks nature provided one last shot for the day.

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Pittsburgh – August 2018 – Ya Gotta Regatta

For Decades now Pittsburgh has celebrated their position on the rivers with an annual Regatta. More than just boat races, the Regatta features all sort of events – on the water, on the land and in the air.

First up – The Red Bull Paratroopers.

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They came down fast, dropping into the valley from above.

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Before pulling up just before they….

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Hit the water!

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The XPogo crew were on hand for some amazing acrobatics.

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They have amazing skills on a pogo stick.

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Doing backflips while dismounting their stick.

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Flipping the pogo stick between their legs in mid air.

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These guys were crazy – but very skilled.

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Next up – the Anything That Floats competition. When we would come to the regatta back in the 1990s there were 20 or more contestants.

While fewer this year, those that were here were enthusiastic.

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A nice water touch.

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The boat was misnamed.

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The Isaly’s Ice Cream Shop boat wasnt fast, but it was steady.

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Not sure if the beer cans were empty or not.

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Sharks and Pirates together.

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As they made their way down the river they met up with one of the Tiki Hut floating bars.

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Which left them at the finish to sail into the sunset.

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The water jet guy came out to wow the crowd.

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Followed by the jet ski’s, who all were adapt at doing flips.

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They seemed to be upside down as much as upright.

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A perfect shot – an upside down jet ski with the Point Fountain, Ft Pitt Bridge and Mt Washington in the background.

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But it was time for boat racing – the officials surveyed the river.

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The crews were ready for the start.

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Some less intense than others.

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And it was time to race – first up were smaller boats that made a turn before the Ft Duquesne Bridge.

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They were quick down the straights.

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The larger boats finally took over the course.

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The south turn was right at the point where the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio Rivers meet.

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Another nice view of the Point Fountain.

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It is amazing how fast the boats separate – just a few laps and they were all over the course with little grouping together.

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Downtown Pittsburgh offers great backdrops for the racing.

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After the races, we headed over to Point Park where they had other activities. One was an amazing sand sculpture dedicated to the historic (and defunct) Pennsylvania Railroad.

This entire sculpture is sand.

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The detail was fantastic.

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The train.

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Detail of the train wheels.

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After dinner we headed back to the North Side for…..

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FIREWORKS!

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A great ending to a great day.

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Cleveland – July 2018 – A Day in Town

Having come to Cleveland for the Fuel Cleveland event, we had enough time to check out a few other sights.

I had recently read they had a velodrome in the Slavic Village neighborhood, so on the way into town we went to check it out – only to find that the freeway was closed due to construction.

Never fear – we eventually made it there.

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Amazingly there are only 28 velodromes in all of America.

When we arrived late morning there were a few people practicing.

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The track had a steel structural frame with what appeared to be layers of plywood for the track.

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I was surprised at how steep the banking is.

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We watched them run a few laps and headed out.

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After the motorcycle event, we headed over to Edgewater Park and Wendy Park, where the restoration of a classic old coast guard house continues.

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With a warm July day watercraft of all sizes were out.

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Many seemed content just to park and hang out.

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The railroad lift bridge was down for an extended time, causing a backup of boats – but the trains over-rule pleasure boats every time.

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A sailboat with the high rise apartments in Lakewood in the background.

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An interesting mix of old an new – the newer apartments and Lakefront Rapid (light rail) framed by the old Shoreway Bridge and some of the older buildings that have been restored.

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A mix of skyscrapers downtown.

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Look familiar? It is the light house on this blog’s home page – just not covered in frozen mist.

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I am always amazed that the kayaks will get in the same water as the massive ore boats. Note a view of a portion of the Cleveland Browns Stadium on the right.

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The top of a Cleveland landmark – the Terminal Tower.

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A lift bridge and a skyscraper.

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From upper Edgewater the view across the harbor shows just how busy it was on the water.

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While on land some artwork makes for an interesting setting for hanging out.

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While we were there 4 different wedding parties came along for their photo opportunity. Running of the Brides Cleveland version.

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Staten Island, NY – May 2018 – Island Life

After Coney Island we headed to Staten Island for the rest of the afternoon. To get there we crossed the impressive Verrazano Bridge.

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At one time the longest span suspension bridge in the world, it is still an impressive structure with 8 lanes on each of the two decks.

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We arrived at the other side and went to Fort Wadsworth.

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Being on a hill at the narrows entering New York Harbor, this site has been a military post since the 1600s with the Dutch. The existing structure was built in the mid 1800s.

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As we continued our hike we had a great look at the underside of the bridge.

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When the Verrazano Bridge was being designed the community insisted they bypass both this fort and Forth Hamilton on the Brooklyn side. They did bypass it, but not by much.

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Just south of the fort is South Beach, a bit of tropics in Staten Island. The view in the distance is Brooklyn.

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Our final view was of a large cargo ship passing under the bridge.

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McKean County, Pennsylvania – May 2018 – Kinzua Bridge

The Kinzua Bridge was a railroad trestle that was constructed out of steel in 1900, replacing an earlier one that was built from wrought iron.

As with many things it was billed as an eighth wonder of the world, as it held the record as the tallest railroad bridge in the world for a few years.

It was in service until 1959, at which time it became part of a state park.

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Rising to a height of 301′ above the lowest part of the valley it is an impressive structure.

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Unfortunately in 2003 a tornado struck the bridge and took out a large portion of it.

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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania however had preserved it since they first received it in the early 1960s, and they had no intention of letting the rest come down.

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When you hike down to Kinzua Creek you get the first up close view of the destruction.

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Twisted steel is everywhere.

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Huge beams came down, pull the rest of the structure with it.

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From the bottom of the valley you get a real sense of how high the remaining structure is.

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Taking a different path back up rewarded us with a great view underneath.

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From back on top (and using a zoom lense) you get a sense of the impact of the tornado.

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With one final look at the twisted steel.

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The most impressive piece of the remaining structure is the skywalk – with it’s Plexiglas viewing spot of the valley 300′ below.

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The Kinzua Bridge is a great place to visit and explore.

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Vancouver – September 2017 – Views of the City

Vancouver is Canada’s 3rd largest city, and with height limits on skyscrapers has numerous fairly tall ones, without the massively tall buildings blocking views of the mountains.

In addition it is a center for cruise ships heading to Alaska. Personally I have no desire to be on a boat with 3000 other people.

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The harbor has steady seaplane traffic

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The harbor front area is lined with condo buildings.

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The Olympic Cauldron

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8 Bit Orca

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One of the cruise ships going under the Lions Gate Bridge.

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An evening view from the ‘Vancouver Lookout’ observation deck.

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Vancouver – September 2017 – Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Park is a natural area in North Vancouver that has a deep gorge running through it. Since the 1800s a private park, close but not included in the main park, has featured a suspension bridge across the ravine.

Today the park has a number of other attractions, and as a ‘tourist spot’ is well done.

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The park features a nice display of replica Native Totem Poles.

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The ‘Cliffwalk’ is hanging along the side of the cliff on a narrow walkway.

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The “Treetop Adventure” is suspended high above the ground giving interesting views of the canopy

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As well as the activities below.

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The the main attraction is the bouncing, swinging bridge.

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