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.
We had a great couple of days in Houston, coming away with a great feel for the city. This posting is to cover the random sights that don’t fit anywhere else, like the featured image above from the Sam Houston Park Village with a little church in the middle of the skyscrapers downtown.
Even though I had been in Houston briefly a couple of times previously I had never seen the Astrodome. The world’s first indoor baseball and football stadium when it was completed in the early 1960s, it still stands unused.
The Wateralls across from the Williams Tower is 64′ high, 1 foot for each floor of the nearby skyscraper.
The ‘Twilight Epiphany Skyspace’ is located on the campus of Rice University. I had read that this was a cool thing to see, but when we got there in the middle of the afternoon I couldn’t understand why. It turns out you must be there at sunset or sunrise – maybe next time.
Houston is notorious for their traffic, with over 6 million people in the area and very little public transportation. They do however have a streetcar that covers a few miles in the center of the city.
As well as crossing a man made pond in the middle of Main Street.
Discover Park has an interesting pinwheel display with a device that when you blow into it just right, kicks off fans that make all the pinwheels spin.
Buffalo Bayou Park is a nice urban park space complete with a skateboard park.
The highlight of the park though was our tour of the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Once used for retaining water for the city, it is now a cool space to explore on a guided tour.
The city has numerous examples of public art.
I have often wondered who has the concrete contracts for road construction in Texas as they build ramps that seem far longer than needed, and never pile up dirt to make the overpasses shorter.
In the theme of ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’ – As we left the city and reached the suburb of Katy, Texas we made a stop at a Buc-ee’s. A Texas based chain, Buc-ee’s are massive – this one has over 60 gas pumps (the photo is only showing about 1/2 of them)!
The highlight though was the World’s Longest Car Wash (according to the Guiness World Records) – the 255′ long one at Buc-ee’s easily cleaned off 2,000 miles of dirt and grime. Now it is off for San Antonio!
Since the Houston Astros had a home game, and we were staying a couple of blocks away, we checked out the scene. As with most stadiums they have sold the naming rights, so they play at Minute Maid Park 🙂
The crowd was gathering outside before the gates opened.
Anytime I visit a new stadium I like to get there early and walk around to check out the sights.
The TV people were preparing for their broadcast.
As with all the stadiums built in the last 25 years, all have ‘quirky’ features. This stadium has a retractable dome (which was closed because it was 90 and humid), as well as a giant glass wall facing the downtown buildings.
The bullpens were empty.
Some basic instructions were occurring.
Marketing + Marketing = Excess.
The left field scoreboard and stands.
Finally it was time for the game and the obligatory national anthem. This group of young string instrument players were excellent.
The Phillips 66 Home Run Pump, brought to you by Phillips 66.
They have a large train along the glass wall. This train weights 60,000 pounds, and the driver actually drives (and stops) it. In researching this there is no apparent reason why there is a train there other than someone liked the idea.
The massive main scoreboard – everything you need to know about Jose Abreu.
If you can’t hit a real baseball virtual reality gives you the chance.
They have cheerleader at a baseball game…. The most excited the crowd got was for the free t shirts.
Almost forgot – there was a baseball game played.
Crowds going for, or dodging, foul balls always make good subjects.
David Adickes is a Texas born sculpture who, among other works, created large busts of American presidents for a park in Virginia. That park no longer exists, and many of the heads have made their way back to David’s studio in an industrial part of Houston in the shadow of a freeway bridge.
The overall feel of a bunch of giant presidents heads is surreal, but very cool.