Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 18 Art and History of Maui

Day 18 of the Hawaii trip is a travel day, so we stayed fairly close to the airport for our late afternoon flight. We found a number of interesting artistic and historic sites to visit.

 

First up was the Sacred Gardens. This location seemed to be part gardens, part religious, part cosmic and more.

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They did have a ‘Buddha Garden’, with some nice sculptures.

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Their claim to fame though is their labyrinths.

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Just down the road is the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. Situated on the grounds of a former sugar plantation owner, there are a number of buildings for various uses including a tiny high school.

The grounds are immaculate.

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Makai Glassworks is located in another former sugar plantation. We were able to observe the artist at work.

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In the same area, but off the tourist path, is the Dingking surfboard shop.

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A true find, they make custom surfboards.

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In addition to the surfboards, they do other custom woodwork including this great canoe.

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But their specialty is surfboards.

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Our next stop was the Surfing Goat Dairy, and as our directions had us turn into the road we were amazed that a dairy would have such a fancy entrance – until we realized the entrance was for a neighborhood of multi million dollar houses, and the dairy was off to to the side.

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But they did have goats, and surfboards.

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While most of the employment in Maui now is tourism, they once had thriving businesses in agriculture, primarily the sugar plantations and pineapples. They even once had railroads to bring the goods to the port, as evidenced by this former railroad office.

In my 3 weeks in Hawaii I did not see 1 railroad track (although there are apparently a couple of historic railroads around).

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Sugar cane processing was once a big business, but it is all now gone. This was the last processing plant, and it closed a few years ago.

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The history is celebrated by a museum housed in the former superintendents home.

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The interior has a nice display of the people and lifestyles of the plantation life. Outside they have some of the equipment used in the processing.

This truck and trailer was used to bring in massive amounts of the sugar cane into the factory.

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While these large claws picked up the cane in the fields.

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A quick stop at Target – where they are ready for Christmas Hawaiian style.

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And a great Hawaiian pizza – and it was off for our flights to Kauai.

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Cleveland – July 2018 – “Fuel Cleveland”

Fuel Cleveland is an effort to bring together motorcycle art, culture and design. In existences for just 3 years, the annual event has become huge.

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Cleveland has always been a center of transportation manufacturing, with the famed ‘Cleveland’ motorcycles being produced between 1902 and 1929.

Today the name has been revived by the Cleveland Cycle Werks.

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The show has a limited number of motorcycles inside, but is attended by thousands who arrive on their own bikes.

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The collection on the street where we parked was better than most shows, and that was just the beginning.

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As previously noted, art is a critical part of this show. This photographer specializes in using the old school camera, developing his own film. He came to the event from New York City.

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Inside were some of the best bikes. The restorations are amazing.

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While many are customized choppers.

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Held in an old factory on the east side, the setting was perfect for this event.

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Many of the custom jobs had death as a subject matter.

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The art was mixed in throughout.

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There were plenty of colorful people as well.

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Your usual retro living room based on motorcycle parts.

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Even the vendors had character.

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While most of the bikes were Harley Davidson’s, I did come across a few others including this great old BMW.

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Next up was the Skidmore Garage. A working garage specializing in old bikes, most were up on the stands for easier access.

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This bike, called Junk and Disorderly used random, non traditional motorcycle parts. Note the seat is made out of an old tire.

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The mix of the custom bikes and eclectic art of old gas tanks provides a good idea of the atmosphere in the Skidmore Garage.

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The Detroit Brothers have an interesting approach to gas tank accessories.

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Hells Angels softer side – a pink chopper.

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There were numerous helmet design artists on hand.

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Even the air cleaners looked cool.

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This area of the east side of Cleveland was always an industrial neighborhood. While most of the industry has left, there are still a number of buildings remaining. The neighborhood definitely added to the gritty feel with the bikes.

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The parking lot was packed with bikes and riders.

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The classic winged Harley logo.

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Old bikes and old factories – a perfect combination.

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Even more – bikes everywhere.

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Lining the tree lawns along the street.

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A sweet cherry red chopper by itself in front of the building across the street.

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Welcome to Cleveland.

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By now we were dog tired and headed home, just not in a dog chariot – we took the car.

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Nazareth, PA – June 2018 – Martin Guitar Company Factory Tour and Museum

The Martin Guitar Company has been making guitars since 1833. The current CEO is the 5th generation of Martin’s to run the company.

The business started in New York City but moved to Pennsylvania after a few years, being located in Nazareth ever since.

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As you enter the facility you are immediately greeted by the company museum.

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The museum houses over 130 guitars from the 1830s until now. It is striking to see how similar they are from 200 years ago.

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In addition to the guitars they have some components from over the years.

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The craftsmanship is amazing.

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Martin also makes ukuleles and mandolins.

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The museum housed some custom ones, including one from the Grand Ole’ Opry.

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Having finished the museum portion, we headed out on the factory tour. The guide handed each person a headset and we headed out. First stop was where they are ‘booking the wood’, basically splitting it and attaching the pieces so the grain matches and is wide enough for the body.

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Nearly all of the manufacturing is done by hand.

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After formed they sit for an extensive amount of time with their collection of clothes pins to hold it together.

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The build process involves weeks and months of time as components dry.

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Fret board assembly.

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It was amazing the workers could focus with the continual tours walking by taking their photos.

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A polishing/sanding station.

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Closer to being completed, but still more waiting – it takes months to get a custom guitar from Martin.

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One of the few automated functions – a polisher.

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Note someone from a tour watching the worker.

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This person was applying the detail around the edge of the body of the guitar.

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Similar to this worker – their lighting has been custom built to provide the optimum view.

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The work continues….

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Throughout the plant….

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Applying the strings.

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And a final polish.

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Before a test drive!

The visit to the Martin Guitar Factory Tour is easily one of the best we have done. Having the chance to walk the factory floor and take great photos of the quality work and hard working craftsman was fantastic.

If you ever get the chance to go to Nazareth, Pennsylvania and visit them – it is well worth the effort.

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Bethlehem, PA – June 2018 – Steel Stacks

From 1915 until 1995 the Bethlehem Steel Works was one of the largest steel factories in America. As with much of the steel industry in America the facilities became aged and expensive and close.

Rather that tear the factory down Bethlehem took a novel approach and developed portions of it for a number of uses. Today their visitor center greets you as you arrive.

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Nearby they have added an amphitheater and the local PBS station.

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While next door are vacant buildings.

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The tallest stacks are over 200′ high.

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The entire facility is massive.

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Featuring a huge engine room.

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An elevated walkway parallels one side of the entire complex.

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It is always amazing how fast nature can take back over in inhospitable locations.

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At the south end are more vacant buildings along with a new Sands Casino – a bizarre mix.

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One last look at the vacant mill.

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And the nearby buildings.

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But some have been redeveloped into condos.

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Boston – May 2018 – The Waterworks

The Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston has been providing water to the city for 130 years. For about 100 years the impressive Waterworks pumping station was the engine behind the supply.

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The huge pumps and pipes pushed millions of gallons of water a day.

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Driven by large steam engines, it is an impressive sight.

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The 3 massive steam engines take up most of the building.

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Giving the entire building a true ‘steam punk’ vibe.

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The wheels are massive, nearly 10′ high.

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The building is roughly 40′ high, with the view from the balcony providing an excellent overview.

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Some of the other buildings have been converted to condos.

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A visit to the Boston Waterworks Museum is well worth the time.

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North Adams, MA – May 2018 – Mass MOCA

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is located in the small far northwestern Massachusetts town of North Adams. With a name like that it has been abbreviated to Mass MOCA.

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Located in an old factory complex it is now home to 19 galleries and 100,000 square feet of space. As we arrived we stopped by the cafe for lunch and had the opportunity to listen to some musicians.

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The galleries are scattered throughout the buildings – mixing new construction with the existing buildings.

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As with many contemporary art pieces, they are sometimes subjective to interpretation.

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A fencing mask with feathers.

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Pallet art with a record player (that was stuck on the same part of the same song).

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You have to hand it to them – they are creative.

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At first this seemed like a re-used satellite dish.

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But upon closer inspection it had hundreds of small reflective panels at different angles. All the little red spots are actually reflections of a nearby exit sign.

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The building itself is interesting with it’s high ceilings.

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My favorite gallery was by an artist named Gunnar Schonbeck – who specializes in making giant music instruments.

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A guitar from a large wooden box.

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Xylophones – they encouraged you to ‘play’

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Which many did – to the amusement of their friends.

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Another gallery had commentary on the American involvement in foreign affairs – complete with walls of (somewhat redacted) U.S. intelligence memos displayed in giant form.

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Many of the pieces are huge.

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As well as the statements.

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Mass MOCA is not an easy place to get to – a 3 hour drive from Boston – but it is a very popular artist town and museum.

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Galeton, PA – May 2018 – Pennsylvania Lumber Museum

The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum highlights the history of lumbering in the state – from the time it was settled by Europeans, the deforestation that occurred over the years, to the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps to bring the forests back.

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The Main Building houses the administration offices and a nice museum. Recently built it has the wonderful wood smell throughout.

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The exhibits show the early cutting methods.

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As well as later ones, including 2 man chain saws – what could possibly go wrong there.

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The grounds includes a complete lumber camp.

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Including a Shay Locomotive that would’ve pulled the timber to the various ports for distribution.

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Of note is a lumber loading car.

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The camp had all the basics required to operate.

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The mill itself feature huge saw blades.

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Driven by steam powered engines below.

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