Chicago – December 2017 – Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial purpose is to “provides a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience.”

As part of that this years exhibit includes an exhibit called “Make New History”. This exhibit features a number of architectural interpretations of a redesign of the iconic Tribune Tower.

Interestingly the venue for this very modern exhibit is the classic Chicago Cultural Center, including the stunning stained glass dome in the Grand Army of the Republic rotunda.

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Before arriving at the main exhibit room we visited some displays of miniatures.

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The details on most were amazing, although some of the more abstract ones looked like a discarded toy box. This model was an Asian interpretation of the Tribune Tower.

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Full view of the Serie Architects ‘Far Eastern Headquarters’ model.

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The Tribune Tower is a Neo Gothic building completed in 1925. The various interpretations varied greatly from that design.

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6a architects view was meant to resemble a totem pole of stacked artifacts.

 

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Architect and ‘urbanist’ Charles Waldheiim went even further with a number of interpretations of famous Chicago buildings including the John Hancock Center, Willis Tower, Marina City and the Thompson Center.

Called Heliomorphic Chicago it is set up in the classic Chicago grid street system.

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Columbus – December 2017 – Krampus

This year I learned something new, the legend of ‘Krampus’.  According to the legend (and Wikipedia), Krampus is a half goat- half demon who during the Christmas season punishes children who have been bad. Over time the legend coupled Krampus with Saint Nicholas to encourage children to be good.

For a full description please see the Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus

Krampus celebrations are a big deal in Germany, Austria and other countries in the region. This was the first I had seen any celebrations in the states, and while small, was entertaining.

The group gathered in the a parking lot in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus.

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Noise makers and elaborate costumes were the order of the day.

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Apparently the Grinch and Mrs Grinch fit the bill as well. The costumes were great.

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Three horned ladies.

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The legend says they use sticks to ‘whip the children into behaving’. Clearly not a 21st century approach.

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The parade went down the sidewalk for about 3 blocks.

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I behaved myself.

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Another Krampus monster.

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Mrs Claus has a new look, along with apparently a Clint Eastwood fan. Hopefully this celebration catches on and grows larger each year – it is a nice change from the repetitiveness of the usual Christmas celebrations and festivals.

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Columbus – December 2017 – Revisiting the Chinese Lantern Festival

December has brought the Chinese Lantern Festival back to town. Celebrating the art and craft of Sichuan, China, the lanterns are a beautiful combination of fabrics and light.

As you enter the grounds you are immediately greeted by a canopy of lanterns.

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The displays are very large – the one below is approximately 50′ across by 15′ high.

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Many dealt with wildlife, most coming from the Chinese Calendar.

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More nature is celebrated with giant flowers.

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The Lovers arches.

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This year the entertainment was moved inside, avoiding the extreme cold that often occurs in December in Ohio. These young ladies had amazing agility and strength.

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The face-changing actor was the only return act from last year  – still amazing.

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The plate spinners. While we don’t often repeat activities the Chinese Lantern Festival will be an annual event.

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Delaware, Ohio – October 2017 – Can’t Be Bored at a Gourd Show

The Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio was the host for the annual Gourd Show. Apparently a lot of people like making art out of gourds. With the results it is obvious there are some skilled gourd-artist around.

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There was also entertainment. While we were there a band called the ‘Rum River Blend’ played a mix of acoustic rock, bluegrass and folk. Their fiddle player, Carl, was 95 years old (he was the 1948 Ohio Fiddle Champion)!

Let’s give it up for Carl!

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Calgary – September 2017 – Views of the City

Calgary, Alberta was the next stop, where we arrived right as the Pride Parade ended. People were in a festive mood.

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There is a bluff just north of downtown Calgary offering a nice view of the downtown skyline.

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The river was a favorite rafting spot.

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The impressive pedestrian/biking ‘Peace Bridge’.

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While there are some older buildings downtown, much has been replaced with new skyscrapers.

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Calgary is famous for it’s rodeo, the Calgary Stampede. Part of the grounds is the arena, the Saddledome.

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The city has been celebrating Canada 150.

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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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