New York City – August 2019 – Circling Manhattan

With a trip for work to New York City I had little time for sightseeing, but my wife didn’t! This is her photo blog of a 4 hour New York Architectural Society (almost) circumnavigation of Manhattan. I say almost, since there was a bridge on the Harlem River in a down position so they had to backtrack back around.

They set sail from a pier in Chelsea.



And headed for the harbor…





Passing by Jersey City…



The trip was actually offered for college credit, so there was an instructor on board whom reportedly spoke ‘constantly’. The trip took them past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, which I wouldn’t think would need any dialog to explain.





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It was time to head up the East River…



This carousel in a park in Brooklyn came from a defunct amusement park in my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.



Nearby was a jet ski school!



As you make you way up the East River you go past many areas that are undergoing gentrification.



An interesting view of Roosevelt Island, and the 59th Street (Queensboro) Bridge.



The United Nations Building



Roosevelt Island was once home to a Tuberculosis Hospital, but now is home to thousands in new apartment buildings.



A great view of the bridge and the Roosevelt Island Tram.



A series of bridges on the far end of the East River, where they ended up turning around.



If you have plenty of money ($850 one way for a 30 minute plane ride) you can get from Manhattan to the Hamptons in a hurry on a seaplane.



Or a helicopter…



The cruise continued back down the East River




The late afternoon sun made a interesting view of the Staten Island Ferry with the statue in the background.



The World Trade Center from the Hudson River



One of the many New York Waterway ferries.



Finally some interesting new architecture along the Hudson.

I think you will agree her photos were great – I am so jealous I had to work, it looks like it was a great cruise 🙂





Montreal – July 2019 – Random Views of the City

We end the visit to Montreal with the random views of the city starting with this stylish building – once a gas station designed by none other than famed architect Mies van der Rohe. Today it serves as a community center.



Montreal has an efficient subway system, built in the 1960s and 1970s. This station is on Ile Notre Dame.



This island, and one next to it (Saint Helen’s) were greatly expanded to be the grounds of Expo 67, a World’s Fair. Today it is the home to a very large Park Jean Drapeau as well as the Formula 1 race track.

The city has recently started tours of the island on electric carts. We opted for this tour where Sonya and Andre provided amusing and interesting information about the island, and Montreal in general. Unfortunately we didn’t get much over 20 MPH on the track.



Unlike most World’s Fairs, Montreal has retained many of the pavilions that were built. This one was the French and Quebec pavilions, and now serves as a casino.



This geodosic dome is known as the La Biosphère de Montréal. Today it serves as an environmental museum, but during the expo it was the U.S. pavilion.



From the island you have a nice view of downtown Montreal.



Montreal is the 2nd largest French speaking city in the world, and at times they like to take their cues from Paris – like this retro (but accurate) Metro sign.



We say adieu to Montreal with some random scenic views of the city.














Montreal – July 2019 – Olympic Park

The city of Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics. The area that most events were held still exist in the east side Olympic Park.



A number of the venues are still used for sporting events.



While it has recently been remodeled, the pool complex dates from the 1976 games. It is used for competitive events, with seating for 3,000, but is also used as the neighborhood pool when not in competitive use.




The Montreal Olympics are the poster child for cost overruns often associated with hosting the games. It is estimated it cost 720% (not a typo) more than originally planned.

Much of the cost overruns was due to the construction of Olympic Stadium.

Today there is a small museum dedicated to the games and the construction of the stadium.





The stadium looks like a 1970s sci-fi movie space ship. The large tower on the left was originally built to remove what was to be the first retractable stadium roof in history. Unfortunately it was not completed in time for the games, and when it was eventually completed it didn’t work.

So for the first 12 years or so of the stadium it was open air, and after that a permanently closed dome.



Walking around the large concrete plaza on this day with very few people gives one the feel of desolation in the middle of a large city.

Many North American stadiums used to sit in the middle of large concrete plazas like this – the newer generation of stadium more integrated into the cities are far nice, even if one can question the cost for holding so few events a year.



After the Olympics the stadium became home of the Montreal Expos baseball team. Unfortunately in 2004 they left town, moving to Washington DC. leaving the stadium largely quiet, except for a few concerts and other events like monster truck racing.



The cavernous domes stadium echos with the smallest noises. I did have the opportunity to attend a couple of baseball games here (one with the open stadium, the other with the roof in place). It was a great experience, baseball in French, with passionate fans using their own unique to Montreal style of cheering on their team.

Hopefully some day major league baseball returns to Montreal (but to a more appropriate venue).



The tower is now a tourist attraction. The inclined elevator is billed as the longest in the world.



The top of the tower offers panoramic views of Montreal.



The view of the Olympic Pool, and other venues in the park.



The Olympic Village apartments are still used. The soccer stadium is a recent addition.



The day was a bit hazy, but made the views towards downtown interesting.



Montreal’s east side is a working class neighborhood with numerous row houses.



The view of the islands in the middle of the St Lawrence River, as well as some of the bridges crossing the river.



Because much of Europe is fairly far north, the port of Montreal is the shortest route between a European port and North America.

Olympic Stadium cost the city of Montreal and all of Canada significant money, but as with most things Canadian, they have made the most of it.





Ottawa – July 2019 – Capital Views

As the Capital of Canada, Ottawa has a number of historic government buildings. With their longstanding connection to England, they tend to have a similar look to those in London.

The majority of the buildings are located on Parliament Hill.



The large Central Block (right with clock tower) has just started undergoing a 10 year restoration.




They offer tours of the House of Commons. With the Central Block under construction they enclosed this former courtyard to make it the new meeting chamber.

One interesting fact – the seats are green because the seats in London’s House of Commons is green. Why is England’s green – nobody knows.






A committee room.



Many other buildings in the city have the same look.



The Canadian Supreme Court.


Another government building on Parliament Hill.



The Canadian Mint.





The entrance to the Prime Minister’s Residence.



The Canadian History Museum across the river in Gatineau, Quebec.







The Alexandra Bridge.







The famed Rideau Canal.











The Rideau Falls.



Our day in Ottawa ended with an impressive light and sound show, detailing the patriotic history of Canada.





New York City – June 2019 – Random Views

As with any week spent in the city, you always run across interesting sights.

Starting with the Puerto Rico Day Parade





The view from the Roosevelt Island Tram





A Public Art exhibit on the High Line.









Brooklyn Subway Station Details – those familiar with the area will notice it is actually from two different stations.









Staying in Brooklyn – Barlay’s Center Arena.



A cool art deco power substation for the subway in Greenwich Village



Park Avenue just north of Grand Central Terminal.



Hudson Yards





The Alexander Hamilton House



And finally – the Apollo Theater in Harlem!






New York City – June 2019 – Different Ways to Get Around Town

On the ground, on the water, or in the air there are many ways to get around the city.

Let’s start with a city bus. Not just any bus, but a collection of historic buses from the MTA Museum:











Via the water…









Always a favorite – the Roosevelt Island Tram.



Or the train…



For now it is time to get out of town – over the swamps of Jersey.






New York City – June 2019 – East River Views

Most of my time in New York City is spent on the Jersey side, therefore most of the photos of the skyline is from across the Hudson. On this trip I had a chance to view Manhattan from the East River.