Hyderabad – November 2017 – The Charminar and the Market

The Charminar is a monument and mosque in the Old City section of Hyderabad. Given that we passed on a Friday (Muslim Holy Day) the area was packed with the market in the surrounding area. Unfortunately we were unable to tour the interior because of it being Friday.

 

There were numerous fruit stands.

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Rug delivery by bicycle.

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One of the many buildings with numerous small shops, most had displays out in the street. The old city had far more took tooks than it the newer areas near Hi-Tech City.

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A close up of the Charminar – note the bamboo scaffolding.

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An overview of the area.

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The shopping apparently complete it was time to march home.

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Past the chick pea (??) vendor

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And out of town.

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Buffalo – May 2017 – Downtown and Harbor Area highlights

Buffalo is an old industrial city that has had a declining population for 50 years. As a result of being a major city prior to 1950 they have a lot of interesting older architecture. As with many rust belt cities, they have also worked to reinvent themselves, sometimes in creative ways.

Buffalo had more grain silos than any city in the world, as a result of their position on the Great Lakes. Many are now abandoned.

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Some have been partially torn down and now serve as a restaurant setting, albeit a very unusual one complete with rebar. Next door on one of the standing silos is one of the largest climbing walls in the country.

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Some have been repainted as giant beer cans.

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The harbor has a mix of old and new, complete with lift bridges.

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Built in 1900, and serving Buffalo ever since the Edward Cotter is the worlds oldest active fireboat, and it serves as an ice breaker in the winter.

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Buffalo & Erie County Military Park

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Federal Courthouse – old and new.

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Grover Cleveland – Buffalo native

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Art deco Buffalo City Hall. Note the Canadian flag alongside the American flag. With Canada a mile away across the Niagara River nearly every place that had a U.S. flag had a Canadian flag.

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McKinley Monument at the location of his assassination.

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A cool old bank building.

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Amazingly for such a small city Buffalo has a train system.

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A great theater district.

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Finally the Liberty Building has twin Statues of Liberty.

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Dayton – April 2017 – National Cemetery

On a hill on the west side of Dayton is one of the National Cemeteries, where nearly 50,000 former soldiers are buried. Not all of the soldiers died during service, however anyone interned there served in the military.

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With it’s commanding view on likely the highest hill around, and topped with a 50′ high column and statue as a monument to soldiers from Dayton.

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Also within the cemetery is a bell tower. The bright blue skies coupled with the exceptionally well kept headstones and column gave this solemn place an impressive look and feel.

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Washington & Baltimore – Late Fall 2016 Road Trip – Day 3

We woke up in our top floor room to a great sunrise with a view of the Capital.

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Sunday morning started out by getting the car back from the valet, and running around the mall area with the car, since there was no traffic. After finding a spot near the Lincoln Memorial, we walked over to check out the monument, and the view down the mall.

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On our way back to the car we had a nice walk along the Potomac River.

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Returning to the car we wanted to see the FDR Memorial but found all the streets to it were closed, a recurring theme downtown. Instead we drove to Georgetown where the homes were old but well-kept and stately with upscale shops in the business district.

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From there, we drove until we reached the White House encountering more closed streets for a cancer benefit marathon made it difficult to find parking. I realized that parking is a premium in this city and there seemed to be very few parking garages, so we made our way to Capital Hill where we found an open spot to park on First Street near Louisiana Avenue and walked the four blocks to the Newseum.

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The Newseum is dedicated to communication, journalism, radio, TV, and the internet from America’s historic start until today. Our self-guided tour began with a ride up a glass elevator to an open observation deck that provided a great view of Pennsylvania Avenue, the U.S. Capitol, and the Smithsonian as we moved along reading the historical timeline of communication and journalism that stretched the length of the open deck.

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Upon reentering the building 800 front pages of different newspapers of major cities from around the world hung on the wall. This was a clear picture of how the same news is viewed from around the world by different cultures on the same day and what constitutes as headlines news for different areas.

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Situated near the elevator on the ground floor were slabs of concrete from the original Berlin Wall. The eight 12-foot tall slabs erected side by side were painted with graffiti of slogans as “You Are Power” and “Step by Step” from the West Berlin side of the Wall. A three-story East German guard tower that loomed near Checkpoint Charlie — Berlin’s best-known East-West crossing stood behind the Berlin Wall slabs.

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One of the most interesting exhibits at the Newseum was “Inside Today’s FBI.”  The FBI exhibit explored how the FBI fights crime in the age of global terrorism and cybercrime with news stories and dozens of artifacts. We got to see the work of the FBI and how they detected and solved crimes.

Real evidence of actual cases such as: The handcuffs and fingerprints of the Boston Marathon bombers; the Unabomber’s cabin filled with items of the Unabomber; and bomb materials used for a failed car bomb at Time’s Square. Engine parts and landing gear from United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center South Tower on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as, materials of terrorism from the Atlanta Olympic Centennial Park and Oklahoma City, and shoes worn by shoe bomber Richard Reid in an attempt to blow up an American Airlines flight in December 2001 were shown.

We also saw the confiscated terrorist’s machine gun from a thwarted attempt to blow up the U.S. Capitol in 2012 and an abandoned car filled with explosives found at Dulles airport on 9/11.

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Another room encased 400 front pages from newspapers and magazines stacked atop each other and slid out for viewing as part of the largest exhibit of the museum. The News History Gallery boasts a timeline of news stories from the 1400’s to the present time. I was able to view newspaper headlines from the 1700’s.

The archive held sport championships, news of war and other historical noted events. Videos of current TV programs ran clips of Stephen Colbert, skits from Laugh-In and Saturday Night Live in relation to modern modes of communications within this gallery. The News History Gallery confronted war reporting, sensationalism, media credibility and objectivity. I thought that the volume of early material was really impressive.

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The 9/11 Gallery had the upper section of the 360-foot antenna mast that toppled from the World Trade Center’s North Tower when the building collapsed. The antenna served most of New York City’s television stations. The antenna was mangled and twisted within its metal frame. Next to the antenna was a wall with an inscription “Peace be with you, You live on in love” Julie. As I read this inscription, voices of survivors and their families telling their personal stories of the tragedy from that day were heard.  On September 11, 2001, the lives of 2,749 people were lost. These first person accounts of that day were heartbreaking.

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A fun factoid at the Newseum stated that 20% of Americans can name all five Simpson characters but less than 10% of Americans can name all five freedoms of the 1st Amendment. The five freedoms of the First Amendment are: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assembly, freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and a free press.

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As we moved down the multi-level building exploring the exhibits level by level, we came upon the Journalists Memorial Gallery. The soaring, two-story glass memorial bears the names of reporters, editors, photographers, and broadcasters who lost their lives reporting the news.

The gallery also featured photographs of hundreds of the journalists whose names are etched on the memorial’s glass panels. Each year, the Newseum selects a representative group of journalists whose names are added to the memorial and whose deaths illustrate the dangers faced by journalists around the world. I looked up at the soaring wall of photos and felt so much grief knowing that these people died due to conflict of others misunderstandings.

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We ate lunch at the Newseum cafe when we reached the ground level then left to see the Spy Museum. The Spy Museum was very crowded and so we passed on it thinking that we would not have enough time to go through it and make it on time to the restaurant in Baltimore to meet our friends for dinner.

We left Washington D.C. on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and once again got stuck in traffic. After an hour we arrived in Baltimore, we went to Federal Hill and hiked up the steep grassy slope to the park with great views of the Inner Harbor and the city of Baltimore.

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The camera lens let us zoom in on a submarine, a tall ship, yacht, and Navy warships at the Inner Harbor. The harbor was also filled with many personal yachts. The city looked renovated from when we last visited here with new commercial businesses, townhouses, and condos.

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Leaving the park , we drove the streets discovering new sights as we tried to get to Camden Yards, the baseball stadium. This proved to be frustrating as we were unable to get to the stadium because we got stuck in traffic again from the release of fans from the Steelers/Ravens football game that just ended. Every way we tried to maneuver resulted in a traffic jam.

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We gave up seeing anything else downtown so we went to Barracudas Restaurant, a classic neighborhood restaurant near Fort McHenry to meet our friends for dinner. Our dinners were tasty and the time passed quickly with an easy flow of conversation.

We left Baltimore for Annapolis where we reserved a hotel room at the Springhill Suites, arriving fairly late in the evening.

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Muskingum Valley, OH – July 2016 -River Road Tour

For this trip we decided to take a drive all along the Muskingum River, which runs throughout Southeastern Ohio. Our first brief stop was at Dillon Dam, an Ohio State Park surrounding the man made lake above the aforementioned earthen dam. The visit was brief, a quick look at the lake, and below the dam, and we continued on our way.

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After passing through Zanesville Ohio Route 60 follows the river all the way to Marietta, our final destination of the day. At McConnellsville, 30 miles downriver from Zanesville, is a 1913 steel truss bridge. While no longer the main bridge for the town, it is nonetheless a classic looking structure and well worth the drive across. At the south end of town is the still functional Muskingum River Lock 7.

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As we continued downstream we came to the Big Bottom State Historical Park. This location was the site of a Native American attack on settlers who were encroaching on their land, at the encouragement of the Federal government. Twelve settlers were killed, and war continued in this area for another 3 years, with this event often cited as starting the conflict. A monument exists in the small park along the riverfront.

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When we arrived in Marietta we went straight to the Ohio River Museum. This museum celebrates the steamboat age of river traffic, with a timeline well documented as you enter the museum. Other exhibits on the museum grounds include the pilothouse from the steamboat the TELL CITY, a full-scale reproduction of a flatboat from Ohio’s early settlement period, and an 1800 dug-out canoe. Docked in the Muskingum River is the W.P. Snyder, the last intact steam powered pool type stern wheeled towboat in America.

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