New York City – June 2019 – Gargoyle Graveyard

City College of New York is located far up in Manhattan, near Harlem. Since the early 1900s their elegant buildings, designed by famed architect George Post, have featured gargoyles. Technically because they do not drain water they are officially known as grotesques, but gargoyles sounds so much better.

Unfortunately by the 1960s many of the gargoyles had fallen into disrepair, at times falling off the buildings. In the 1980s a campaign began to restore the buildings and gargoyles. As part of this the broken ones were taken off, cataloged, and recreated.

The old broken ones then sat in a dumpster for the next 20 years. Eventually they were removed from the dumpsters and placed in the lawn next to the School of Architecture, resulting in a ‘Gargoyle Graveyard’.

Fear not – the new ones and the buildings of CCNY are featured on the next posting.









































New Orleans – May 2019 – St Charles Streetcar Line

The St Charles Street Streetcar line is the oldest continuously used street railway route in the world. Streetcars first started rolling down this way almost 200 years ago, in 1833.

The current cars were built by a company called Perley Thomas in the 1920s.



As the route leaves downtown it passes through the Garden District neighborhood, with a number of small shops and cafes.



Some of the homes have been converted into B & Bs.



Further out you pass educational facilities such as Tulane and Loyola.





The Audubon Zoo is along this route as well.



The homes of the Garden District are a highlight. Many are quite large, and all are beautifully maintained.











As you make your way past Riverbend and onto Carrollton Avenue the homes become somewhat smaller, but still nicely maintained.



It takes about an hour and a half to ride the entire distance out and back on the St Charles Streetcar, but it is well worth the time, and the very low fares.






Baltimore – May 2018 – George Peabody Library

 

George Peabody was one of Baltimore’s first commerce leaders, and as such made a fortune. To give back to the community he funded the Peabody Institute in 1857.

In the 1860s the institute built the impressive library. Today it stands as one of America’s most amazing buildings. The photo below is a panorama of the library.

 

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The library is 6 levels high, with all 6 levels full of stacks. Unfortunately the upper levels were off limits.

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Still used today by Johns Hopkins students, a steady flow of tourists came in and took photos as we did.

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The railings are amazing.

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There are numerous alcoves to study in.

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The lighting adds to the overall atmosphere.

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Not to mention the classic old Dewey Decimal System card file. A visit to the George Peabody Library is a must for any architecture, history or book fan.

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Columbus – Ohio State Sports

Throughout the winter, and now into spring we have been catching some Ohio State sports events to fill gaps when there is nothing else to do.

 

Women’s Rowing – Competition – Notre Dame, Duke and Michigan

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Baseball – Opponent Purdue

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Next door at the basketball arena they had a great mosaic in the floor of a baseball player.

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Women’s Soccer – Opponent Kent State

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Softball (a scrimmage to start)

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Women’s Lacrosse – Opponent Cincinnati

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Indoor Men’s Lacrosse – Opponent Detroit Mercy

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Men’s and Women’s Swimming

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Women’s Volleyball – Opponent Purdue

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Women’s Hockey – Opponent Wisconsin

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Indoor Track & Field

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Men’s Volleyball – Opponent USC

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Women’s Tennis – Opponent Alabama & Florida State

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Synchronized Swimming

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Gymnastics – Opponents Michigan and Rutgers

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Pittsburgh- June 2016 – Weekend in the ‘Burgh

A quick weekend road trip to Pittsburgh was in store in late June, primarily to go to a Pittsburgh Pirates game. But first up was a stop at the University of Pittsburgh, specifically taking a self guided tour of the Cathedral of Learning. Built in the late 1920s, and finished in 1934, it is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere at 535 feet high, built in a gothic style.

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As you enter the building you come into the lobby, a massive 3 story high room. Around the perimeter of the first floor, and third floor are 30 Nationality Rooms designed by the various ethnic groups (mostly European) from throughout Pittsburgh.

When we arrived we immediately went to the 42nd floor, where we could look out small windows to the north, south and east, providing vistas across much of Pittsburgh, but unfortunately not a complete downtown view. Prior to the construction of Three Rivers Stadium on the north side in 1970 the Pirates played at Forbes Field, which was just to the south of the campus. A very famous photo shows fans watching the 1960 World Series from this vantage point.

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Returning back to the ground level we received a key from the attendant and wandered in and out of the various Nationality rooms for about an hour. Most of the rooms had a religious feel to them, but the furniture and artwork was very interesting, and dramatically different from room to room.

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We left Pitt to head downtown to park the car at our hotel, a Hilton Garden Inn near Market Square. Once downtown we found that numerous streets were closed or re-routed, or had changed course since I regularly drove them. Eventually we did make it to the hotel and into the garage. The Hilton Garden Inn had recently opened, and our room on the 10th floor had a decent view of the surrounding buildings.

We dropped the bags off and headed out on foot to find a couple of the Roadside America attractions previously missed. The one I really wanted to find most was the Lawrence Welk bubble making machine supposedly at the William Penn Hotel, a classic old hotel. The difference in the look and feel of the new, contemporary hotel we were staying and the William Penn were striking, but all we wanted was a bubble machine. After asking a couple of the workers we finally found a maintenance man who was familiar with it. He took us to an area that had a small museum of the hotel, and we look, and looked again, still not finding it. Finally I  went back upstairs where I found a display underneath a stairway that contained the famous bubble making machine.

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After a lengthy walk out to the Strip District and back down Penn Avenue through a jazz festival we headed to the game. A full house, beautiful weather and an exciting Pittsburgh Pirates game made for a great evening. The return trip the next day was uneventful with no interesting side trips.

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Eugene, Oregon – Spring 2016 Road Trip – Day 11

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Day 11 was a fairly uneventful day. Leaving Ashland going north on I-5 up the Rogue Valley, with our first stop being Grants Pass, where their effort at public art are fiberglass bears decorated with local flair.

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Our first stop is at a Wildlife Safari, where we opted to just walk around the small animal park bypassing the alternative of an extensive drive through the open range of large animals but chose to walk the path of the small animal park. I saw a kookaburra for the first time, a Burmese python, maned wolf, and a few other small animals before we took off on Interstate 5 North.

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Cottage Grove is the town where the parade scene for the movie Animal House and some scenes for Stand by Me were filmed. There was not much for us to do there but walk about trying to recall movie scenes. I recalled certain spots in the movie as we walked down the street, specifically the store where Bluto (John Belushi) came flying down from the roof holding onto a torn banner. The town also had more than a dozen painted murals.

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Eugene, Oregon was our next stop and this town also provided areas for filming the movie Animal House. We saw the fraternity house where the actor, Kevin Bacon, in his first movie asked, “May I have another, sir.”

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Keeping with our goal to eat local as much as possible we had lunch at the First National Tap house in Eugene. After lunch we went to the industrial west side of town to find the clock museum, which was on the list for us to see in Eugene but it was closed. The clock shop across the street said the clock museum closed permanently a month earlier when the owner retired.

Eugene is known as Track Town, a result of their long history of track and field, as well as the birthplace of Nike shoes. On campus in town is Hayward Field, one of the most well known track and field stadiums in America, built in 1921.

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As we continued walking around the campus, we decided to take a break. While sitting there two ducks waddled in front of the bench where I sat. Thoroughly amused since the mascot of the University of Oregon are the Ducks, thus provided the perfect photo op, I started clicking away.

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Later we drove to the edge of town where a newer football stadium is located, which of course I needed to check out, as well as a visit to the gift shop for a Oregon Ducks t shirt.

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After checking Tripadvisor.com, we went to McMenamin’s Pub for dinner, sitting outside on the deck overlooking the Willamette River, perfect for watching people jog and bike on the path next to us. It was only a short walk for us from our hotel, La Quinta through the park and up the bike path.

The restaurant had an eclectic menu, including out choices of pasta with elk meatballs and a spicy sauce and a hamburger with bacon and fried egg.

On the walk back to the hotel, quite a few homeless people set up camp to spend the night. In the end this was the least interesting day, but the beautiful 85oF weather with no clouds all day made up for it.