Virtual Travel – New York

Welcome to the Empire State – New York. While there is some doubt as to where the nickname came from, most attribute it to a comment from a George Washington letter to New York City mayor James Duane where he referred to it as ‘The Seat of the Empire’.

While the state is dominated by New York City, the capital is Albany. The entire center of the city is known as the Empire State Plaza, and is surrounded by government buildings.

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Unique State Symbols

State Beverage – Milk. The state ranks 3rd in the amount of milk produced. (photos from statesymbols.org)

 

State Muffin – Yes, we have another state muffin, the Apple Muffin. As you may recall we featured the blueberry muffin of Minnesota, however I missed the Massachusetts state muffin – corn muffin.

New York also has a state snack – yogurt. The state is the leading producer of yogurt, likely as an offshoot of that dairy business.

 

While most states have a slogan – New York’s is ‘official’

2018: Summer of I LOVE NEW YORK | Empire State Development

 

 

Highlights of the State

1947     1975     2004     2005/2009/2011     2006

 

 

While all the maps on these postings have been road maps, transit in New York is much more. New York City has a long subway history that is celebrated at the Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn.

 

 

If you are lucky enough you can get a tour of the vacant, but fantastic City Hall Station in Manhattan. This was one of the original stations, but because the platform is curved when they introduced new, longer trains in the 1940s it became obsolete.

 

 

New York has a plethora of great bridges – including the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge (top row). Other bridge featured below include the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands Bridge, the South Grand Island Bridge near Buffalo, and of course the Brooklyn Bridge.

 

 

No trip to New York City can be complete without admiring, and photographing the great architecture.

 

 

Back upstate is the Watkins Glen Racetrack. This legendary track hosted the U.S. Grand Prix for 20 years, and has continued to host racing for over 60 years.

 

 

 

 

Beyond the City

1982     1987/2011 Boldt Castle     1989     2009 Fire Island Lighthouse     2013     2017 Whihteface Castle – Lake Placid

 

 

Long Island – Land of endless suburbs and massive estates, Long Island’s most famous residence is likely Sagamore Hill. This was President Theodore Roosevelt’s home.

But there are many more estates, thanks to the ultra rich looking to have country homes outside the city.

 

 

When most people refer to Long Island they think the area beyond Queens, but the reality is both Brooklyn and Queens are on Long Island – making it one of the most populated islands in the world with over 7 million people.

 

 

Woodstock – Well technically it is nowhere close to the actual town of Woodstock, it is near Bethel since Woodstock. The festival, with 400,000 spectators, took place on Max Yasgurs farm in 1969. Today the site has an amphitheater, arts center and museum.

 

 

Back to Watkins Glen – only this time to the actual Glen. This picturesque park and gorge is just at the edge of town.

 

 

Niagara Falls and other great tourist attractions of the state.

1985     2016

 

 

Niagara Falls – One of the world’s greatest waterfalls.

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Buffalo – Just upriver from Niagara Falls. This once great industrial city has some great relics like the Buffalo Central Station (bottom photos).

 

 

Western New York is home to a number of Frank Lloyd Wright design structures. The Martin House is featured in the top photos, the boathouse on the left middle was from a FLW design. The gas station on the middle right is in Pierce Arrow Museum, and finally the lower house is Graycliff, located along the shores of Lake Erie south of the city.

 

 

New York City has a number of major tourist attractions. Featured here is Times Square, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, The High Line, Radio City and others.

 

 

Public Art abounds in the city. My favorite is the collection from Tom Otterness located in the 8th Avenue/14th Street subway station.

 

 

Public Art is scattered throughout the city. While we could go on for a long time on great sights of New York, we will end here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Louisiana

Bonjour de la Louisiana. Our trip today takes us to the bayou.

 

1977 – Bogue Chitto River. This river is 65 miles north of New Orleans in a park with more than 1,000 acres.

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1979 – Bayou. Much of southern Louisiana is made up of bayous and swamps.

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2005

Government State Louisiana 2005

 

The residents of these parts are very proud of their alligators.

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The bayous have a unique beauty.

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1981 – Acadia. This area of Louisiana has the strongest French culture. In Louisiana the counties are known as parishes. Some of the parishes in this area are over 25% French speaking (although not a French someone from Paris or Montreal would likely easily understand).

Government State Louisiana 1981.jpg

 

We passed through this area in 2019, making a stop at the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island.

 

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Acadia is rice growing country.

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In New Ibiera is the Conrad Rice Mill, America’s oldest.

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1984 – Mississippi River. The river is the economic driver for Louisiana.

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Bridges in New Orleans.

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Many overseas freighters come up the river to New Orleans to dock and offload.

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The tourist sternwheeler leaves for a tour.

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Upriver at the crossing from Vicksburg, Mississippi to the town of Delta, Louisiana.

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1986 – 1992 – 2001 – Music

Government State Louisiana 2001

 

New Orleans is music, food and partying.

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1990 – Flowers

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With the warm weather and abundant rain, Louisiana has amazing flora and fauna.

 

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1998 – State Capitol. While New Orleans is the center of the world for all things Louisiana, Baton Rouge is the capital.

 

 

 

2002 & 2007 – Food

 

Louisiana is known for food, primarily (photos from Wikipedia)

Crawfish

Louisiana Crawfish Boil - This Ole Mom

 

Po-boys

Best Po-Boys in Louisiana - Thrillist

 

And Beignets

Beignets Recipe: New Orleans-Style Fried Dough - PureWow

 

 

 

2003 – Louisiana Purchase (historic New Orleans)

Government State Louisiana 2003.jpg

 

New Orleans was the center of the French owned territory in the new world.  The Cabildo is beside St Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter.

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The French Quarter is representative of the city at that time (except for all the dive bars).

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2018 – Birds

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2019 05 20 206 Avery Island LA Tabasco Factory and Gardens.jpgAvery Island, Louisiana has a very impressive bird sanctuary.

 

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Vicente Lopez, Argentina – February 2020 – Carnaval

Everyone knows that Carnaval ends on Fat Tuesday. For whatever reason the good people of Vicente Lopez, a huge Buenos Aires suburb, don’t seem to care that date has passed. They had their Carnaval 5 days later!

This worked perfectly for me as I was on an airplane coming back from North America for the large parade downtown. Completely disappointed I missed my chance, I was elated that I was given a second chance in Vicente Lopez.

The parade was long enough it started in the hot sun of the day and ran into the night. And it was everything you could hope for from an Argentina Carnaval Parade – Murgas (drum crews), dancers, elaborate costumes, and general fun.

Enough fun this posting is 44 photos long!



















































































































































































After what seemed like the final group came through and we left we ran into one more group who was clearly late to the parade!

What a parade it was. While it obviously isn’t Rio, it was far better than we could’ve hoped for, and an experience that will live with us for a long time.









Buenos Aires – February 2020 – Tango-ing Through More Subway Art

Easily the most recognized aspect of Buenos Aires culture to tourists is the tango. It is sometimes referred to as 2 x 4, as a reference to the rhythm of the dance.

The newest subway line is the city is Line H, and the artwork on this line is known as a Homage to 2 x 4. As with the others this posting is not intended to provide a comprehensive view of all the artwork, as it is far too extensive.

The first station is Facultad de Derecho (The Law School). The mural along the platform is aptly titled ‘Buenos Aires City of Tango’. It recalls the origins of the dance in the immigrant neighborhoods of the city.












The Las Heras Station has some fantastic mosaics and murals by Marino Santa Maria. We had met Marino earlier where he had decorated his entire neighborhood, but here his art is visible by tens of thousands of people a day.





Marino pays tribute to the 1930s tango artist Hugo del Carril, who became the leading tango singer after Carlos Gardel passed away.





The Santa Fe – Carlos Jauregui Station has many tributes to the LGBT community.





At the Cordoba Station you find three large works entitled ‘The Day That You Love Me’, ‘Kindly’ and ‘South’.

The murals are tributes to great tango artists, but it seems to be more of an artistic interpretation than something that is obvious.









The Corrientes Station is one of the major stops along the H Line. One of the archways to the tunnels features Enrique Santos Discepolo, another of the 1930s tango singers.

It is said his song Cambalache was critical of 20th century corruption. The later Argentine leaders/dictators so objected to this song that it was often banned.





This postings feature image, as well as the image below features Discepolo and Gardel. There is significant imagery throughout, including Lady Justic with a Squeezebox.





The next stop is at the Once Train Station, where the artist Hermenegildo Sabat portrays a number of the 1940s tango artists including Anibal Troilo.





As noted much of the H Line celebrates the musical history of the city. At the Once Station however there is a large collection of artwork serving as a memorial for the 194 young people who were killed in a fire at a nightclub on December 30, 2004 – hence the name change of the station to Once – December 30th.

So many of the victims left behind shoes at the scene it has become the symbol of the tragedy.










The Venezuela Station (as with most stations they are named for the cross street the station is located at) has a plethora of works honoring more 1930s artists and bands.





The work below features a trio known as Fresedo, Delfino and Roccatagliata. They were most known for going to the United States to record ‘Buenos Aires Style’ tango in the 1920s.





Humberto Station continues the tour with a large tribute to Francisco Canaro. He had a very long career in tango, with the cariactures being humorous.













At Inclan Mezquita Al Ahmad Station both ends have large murals featuring many of the female stars of tango, including the one below where the lead female singer is dressed as a man.

Most of the station celebrates the early days of tango making into the movies.













The panels on the sides of the station appear to be box seats at the theater with patrons watching the show.





The composers are honored at the Caseros Station including Eduardo Arolas, Julio de Caro, Pedro Maffia, Luis Petrucelli and others.









The Parque Patricios Station had more interesting art outside the station than inside.

As you enter the station you are greeted with a mural from Ricardo Carpani entitled ‘Who Are We, Where Do We Come From and Where Do We Go’, serving as an anthropoligical map of Argentina. It is intended to show the real jungles of Argentina and the urban jungle of Buenos Aires.






Another interesting aspect of this station is the decorated air vents above the platform. Six well known Argentine artists applied their vision to the vents.





Back in the station are a number of pieces from Marcello Mortarotti entitled ‘Bright Memories of Buenos Aires’. The works feature Tito Lusiardo, a dancer and actor from the 1930s and beyond.





The final station is Hospitales, where the singer and actress ‘Tita’ is featured.






As we continue to tour the 6 Buenos Aires subway lines, the quantity and quality of the art continues to impress us. We are looking forward to touring the final 3 lines in the upcoming months.







Marysville, Ohio – July 2019 – Music Machines

For more than 60 years Dave Ramey has been one of the best in the country in restoring old music machines. These mechanical devices date from the early 1900s, and feature a number of instruments including pianos, banjos, drums and others.

Dave’s business has been located in Marysville, Ohio for more than 10 years. In an effort to encourage people to check out downtown Marysville, they have placed the machines in a number of the small shops. All you have to do is show up, use one of the free nickels, and get a song from a cool machine.