Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 6 Hilo

Day 6 started with some rain as we made our way down the mountain towards Hilo. As we drove along in the rain to our first destination I found the Apple Maps (the rental car has Apple Car Play) can let you down.

It had me turn on this ‘street’, which after about a mile I decided to give up, and back up until I could turn around. It is literally at the edge of town, so we weren’t way out in the middle of nowhere.

2283.jpg

 

 

Eventually we reached the town of Kalapana, about 20 miles south of Hilo, and Kaimu ‘Beach’. At one time it was a black sand beach, but in 1990 a lava flow overtook the beach and filled the entire bay.

As noted yesterday many believe that Hawaii is an independent Kingdom, not part of the U.S., especially for any new land that wasn’t part of the U.S. acquisition.

2287.jpg

 

 

This lava flow had some large cracks in it when it cooled.

2296.jpg

 

 

We are standing ‘in the bay’ looking back towards town.

2294.jpg

 

 

Further down the road is where the Spring 2018 lava flow wiped out 700 houses. While I feel bad for the people and their loss, who builds their house in the path of a volcano that has been flowing nearly continuously for 100 years or more.

2314.jpg

 

 

Yet here they are again, already popping up these little houses on the freshly cooled lava.

2324.jpg

 

 

Returning the other direction along the coast, we passed through some great forests.

 

2335.jpg

 

 

Eventually we reached MacKenzie State Park. Note the fisherman climbing the precariously placed ladder on the left and his fishing pole on the right. I am not sure what he is catching, but I hope it is worth it.

2345.jpg

 

 

On another recent lava flow people have placed Cairns made out of coconuts and leaves instead of the traditional rock piles.

2420.jpg

 

 

But it did lead to another great coastal view.

2430.jpg

 

 

Returning to Hilo, we went to Wailuku River Park, and found this impressive Banyan tree.

2455.jpg

 

 

The highlight of the park is Rainbow Falls. If you are there in the morning you will most likely see a rainbow, but it was afternoon so alas, we only saw the waterfall.

2475.jpg

 

 

About 20 miles north of Hilo is Akaka Falls. The hike down was through another ‘jungle’, although this one was nicely paved.

2481.jpg

 

 

At 442′ high it is one of the tallest waterfalls in America.

2485.jpg

 

 

There are even small waterfalls coming out of the rocks to the side of the main falls.

2501.jpg

 

 

The falls in located near the town of Honomu.

2544.jpg

 

 

Interestingly many small Hawaiian towns are built in the ‘old west’ style, albeit much more colorful.

2540.jpg

 

 

Once again we had a great view from our hotel, facing west across Hilo Bay towards the mountains (obscured by clouds in this photo).

2547.jpg

 

 

Next door was Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens. The site was donated by Queen Lili’uokalani, with the park being built in 1917 in the Edo style Japanese Gardens.

It is thought to be one of the best in the world outside of Japan.

2555.jpg

 

 

Well maintained with beautiful trees and landscaping.

2561.jpg

 

 

Along with some sculptures.

2565.jpg

 

 

I am not sure what these are known as so I called them Bonsai Palms.

2572.jpg

 

 

The park was very relaxing, and a great way to end the day.

2588.jpg

 

2604.jpg

 

 

Many of the native trees have really cool, funky looks to them.

2605.jpg

 

2608.jpg

 

 

Chillin’ on Coconut Island.

2624.jpg

 

 

2640.jpg

 

 

Our hotel grounds were directly on the bay.

2656.jpg

 

 

As the sun was setting the last of the days flights were arriving. The airport was nearby, and the flight path brought the planes down the coast with a hard left turn just before the field. The clouds and setting sun added to the look.

2788.jpg

 

 

Another great Hawaiian sunset. Note that Manua Loa has come out of the clouds in the background.

2734.jpg

 

 

With that it was time for dinner, with entertainment.

2803.jpg

 

 

 

 

Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 4 First Look at the Big Island

The Hawaiian Road Trip continued with an early flight to Kona. As with many things in travel, even getting there can be amusing.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:45 AM. About 6:15 they announced a gate change, so we moved down 1 gate only to look out and see the mechanics working on the front wheels of the plane. They changed the front wheels – 4 times!

Finally satisfied we were ok to leave the first passenger boarded – a shackled prisoner with a goofy smile being lead down the jetway by a policeman.

Thankfully the flight itself was short and uneventful, and after about 25 minutes we found ourselves on the Big Island.

About an hour south of the Kona Airport we arrived at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, a National Historic Park.

This park preserves a site where Hawaiians who broke a law could avoid death sentences by fleeing here as a place of refuge. By serving their penance, they could be absolved by a priest and set free.

1821.jpg

 

 

The site is considered sacred to native Hawaiians. Out of respect to the native Hawaiians, no activities occur within the park. It is a place for reflection and inner thoughts and peace.

1834.jpg

 

 

After leaving the park, we continued south along the coast. This area has for centuries been impacted by volcanic activity. Amazingly many of the houses are built on the lava flows.

1870.jpg

 

 

Our next destination was the South Point of the island. As we made the turn onto South Point Road, we stopped at a farm called Paradise Valley, where we met Raccine.

Paradise Valley is a small working farm where they have an assortment of Hawaiian specialties including Macadamia nuts, coffee trees, and banana trees (among many others), Raccine was more than happy to share with us an assortment of flavored nuts, and their specialty coffees. Later she took us on a tour of the farm.

1882.jpg

 

 

I was particularly amused with the banana trees.

1880.jpg

 

 

Finally we left (chowing down on the local chocolate and macadamia nuts), we made our was to the South Point of the Big Island. For those who have been to Key West and seen the ‘Southernmost Point in the United States’ marker, they are way off.

This part of Hawaii is on the same latitude as Guatemala. The point, as with much of the coast here, is from lava flow.

1926.jpg

 

 

While nearby the sea cliffs make an impressive view.

1913.jpg

 

 

People jump off he cliffs into the ocean!

1902.jpg

 

 

Many native Hawaiians feel their land and culture was stolen from them by the U.S. (very similar to the natives across the entire continents). We saw a number of signs stating – This is not the U.S., this is the Kingdom of Hawaii.

It should be noted that almost all of the people we met were very pleasant, receptive and welcoming, they just feel their land and culture has been hijacked.

1936.jpg

 

 

Nearby is the famed ‘Green Sand Beach’. I had read about this place before we arrived, so we made our way over to the parking lot at the top of a bluff overlooking the ocean.

As we walked across the parking lot there were old 4 wheel drive pickups that said ‘shuttle’. One of them asked us if we wanted a ride – nah I can see the ocean just down the hill.

With a total lack of preparedness we set off – only to figure out much too late it was a 3 mile hike across lava fields and dusty trails to get to the beach. To top it off I forgot water as I thought I was just heading down the hill.

1946.jpg

 

 

It was a long dusty hike to reach the beach. As we arrived one of the pickup shuttles was parked there. I told the driver I had 2 questions – first, do you do 1 way trips. Absolutely (whew)

Two – do you have any water for sale. Nope, but I can help you out. With that he opened his cooler in the back and handed me a cold beer! My new best friend.

With that cold beer I could finally enjoy the view of the famed green sand beach.

The ride back was insanely bumpy (almost so much I spilled my second beer).

1948.jpg

 

 

Safely back at the car we continued our journey, with our next stop being the Honu’apo Black Sand Beach. Thankfully it was only about 100 yard walk to the beach, and the sand was indeed black.

It was beautiful, and had an interesting somewhat coarse texture that felt good on the feet.

1996.jpg

 

 

It is also a turtle habitat.

2005.jpg

 

2010.jpg

 

Our first day on the Big Island complete, we headed to our hotel at Volcano National Park in preparation for tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pittsburgh – October 2018 – Doors Open Part 1

Having been in and around Pittsburgh for most of our lives, we were excited to find that they offer an Open House like Chicago and New York.

Known as Doors Open Pittsburgh, the event took place over a weekend featuring 50 buildings downtown and on the North Side.

I had the opportunity to email a number of times with Bonnie Baxter, the founder of the organization that coordinates the event. Her input was instrumental in our planning that allowed us to visit over 30 of the sites over two (busy) days. Bonnie has done a great job pulling together an event of this scale – it shows her pride in her hometown.

The next 4 posts are fairly long but give a brief overview on each of the venues we visited.

 

Frick Building – As we were walking down Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh waiting for the start of Doors Open Pittsburgh we saw a couple of people in their orange DOP volunteer shirts. Striking up a conversation with them, we found out that one of them, Al, was headed to the nearby Frick Building.

Al also volunteers with the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, and was more than happy to share his knowledge of Grant Street, and the nearby buildings as we walked along. This was a precursor of what was to come, as for the entire weekend we met enthusiastic volunteers who are proud of their city and the architecture.

Once we arrived at the Frick Building we entered the lobby from the Fifth Avenue Side. Al then gave us a personal tour of the lobby.

2018 10 06 50 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

This unique lamp served as a cigar lighter feed by natural gas with a perpetual flame (since there is no smoking in buildings anymore the flame has been extinguished.)

2018 10 06 42 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

The current main lobby elevators reflect the Art Deco look.

2018 10 06 43 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The re-purposed telephone booths are fantastic. Al pointed out that most people under the age of 25 can’t even guess what they were used for.

2018 10 06 46 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

In what started a trend that we kept most of the weekend, most of the buildings have very stylish mailboxes that had to be photographed.

2018 10 06 52 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Grant Street in Pittsburgh used to have a large ‘hump’. In 1914 this hump was taken out, but as a result what used to be a ground level entrance sudden was 15’ in the air, so any building that pre-dates the removal had to be retrofitted with a new entrance in what was the basements. The Frick Building is one of those buildings, having been completed in 1902.

2018 10 06 54 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

As a result the second floor/mezzanine level has a very ornate elevator lobby since it used to be the primary entrance.

2018 10 06 57 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The elevator doors are a piece of art in themselves.

2018 10 06 59 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

One final look at the lobby; a stained glass window by John LaFarge titled Fortune and Her Wheel.

Whatever history thinks of Henry Clay Frick, he did build an amazing building. Thanks to Al we had a great tour of the lobbies.

2018 10 06 62 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

 

Benedum Trees Building – Our first ‘official’ visit was to the Benedum-Trees Building. I had been fortunate enough to secure ‘insider tour’ tickets for this building, with a visit to the 18th floor to visit the offices of the Benter Foundation.

The 19 story building was completed in 1905 along the Fourth Avenue financial district. The name came from the Benedum Trees Oil Company, founded by Mike Benedum and Joe Trees in the early 1900s.

Our tour started in the lobby with another classic mailbox, along with the building directory sign and some great lighting.

2018 10 06 130 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 136 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 154 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

We then headed up to the 18th floor.

2018 10 06 140 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival

 

2018 10 06 141 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 77 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Our visit was topped off (literally) by checking out the roof top terrace, with commanding views around downtown – despite being somewhat surrounded by newer, taller buildings.

2018 10 06 161 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 162 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 169 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 171 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 174 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Later that afternoon we were able to look back from Mt Washington to see where we had been.

2018 10 06 563 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

 

 

Bank Tower Building – Completed in 1902 as the Peoples Savings Bank Building, the Bank Towers exterior features figures carved by John Massey Rhind.

2018 10 07 111 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Easily the most impressive feature of the building is the spiral staircase that goes the entire 16 floors.

2018 10 06 184 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 187 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 206 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 202 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

A very nice bonus to this stop was visiting the offices of MCF Architects, where one of the principals showed us the offices, and some of the amazing work they have completed, as well as historic drawings they have.

2018 10 06 193 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Their security gate is modeled after da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

2018 10 06 201 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

 

Dollar Bank – Designed by Isaac Hobbs & Sons of Philadelphia in the late 1860s, the Dollar Bank Building on Fourth Avenue is built primarily out of brownstone. Hobbs was known for his ornate design of houses, and it is clear it was carried over to this design.

2018 10 06 90 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

Built in the Beaux Arts style, it’s most famous exterior feature are the large lion sculptures, symbolizing a ‘guardianship of the people’s money’.

2018 10 06 108 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The original lions are located inside the building.

2018 10 06 94 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

 

The lobby is impressive, and is used to this day for it’s original purpose, a bank.

2018 10 06 120 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 96 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 97 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 102 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 100 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

 

The Park Building – We spent most of our time at the Park Building staring up at the cornices.

Built in 1896, this 15 floor building depicts men kneeling, holding up the building. We have seen this used previously, most recently in the ‘Ruins’ in Indianapolis.

2018 10 06 23 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

2018 10 06 24 Pittsburgh Doors Open Festival.jpg

 

continued in the next 3 postings.

 

 

New York City – September 2018 – Historic Skyscraper Details

As noted on other postings New York City has a plethora of skyscrapers, many that have been built in the last 50 years that are massive glass boxes.

Prior to that the buildings were built with much more style. This posting looks at some of the architectural and artistic details of those early skyscrapers.

The Corbin Building is at Broadway and John Street in lower Manhattan. Dating from 1889, it was built in the Romanesque Revival style with French Gothic details.  It was restored in 2014 by the MTA as part of the Fulton Subway station complex.

2018 09 25 34 New York City.jpg

 

 

The Woolworth Building was completed in 1912 as the world’s tallest building, at 792 feet high. The exterior is limestone colored, glazed Terra Cotta panels.

2018 09 26 175 New York City.jpg

 

 

The Woolworth Building is built in a Gothic style, with it’s impressive crown visible still above most of the buildings in the city.

2018 09 25 39 New York City.jpg

 

 

 

The Equitable Building is a massive structure on lower Broadway. It has been credited (or cited) as the reason for the 1916 set back law to allow light and air to reach the streets, as this building goes 40 floors straight up from the sidewalk.

With this density it provides 1.2 million square feet of office space on a plot of less than 1 acre.

2018 09 25 54 New York City.jpg

 

 

The  Equitable Building does provides this impressive eagle.

2018 09 25 56 New York City.jpg

 

 

The sculptures above the New York Stock Exchange Building. The original sculptures from 1904 were replaced in 1936 as they were too heavy and were causing cracking in the building.

The theme of this sculpture is to show that money is not the root of all evil, rather it is required for the betterment of man.

2018 09 25 61 New York City.jpg

 

 

The buildings along Beekman Street show the contrast to the new  Frank Gehry 76 story ‘twisted’ skyscraper.

2018 09 25 93 New York City.jpg

 

 

Surrogate’s Courthouse, completed in 1907

2018 09 25 102 New York City.jpg

 

 

A sculpture outside of the Custom’s House on Bowling Green.

2018 09 25 103 New York City.jpg

 

 

Rockefeller Center provides numerous reliefs and sculptures including these two.

2018 09 26 7 New York City.jpg

 

2018 09 26 2 New York City.jpg

 

 

The French Building on Fifth Avenue in Midtown has an impressive entrance.

2018 09 26 15 New York City.jpg

 

 

A contrast of style along East 42nd Street.

2018 09 26 46 New York City.jpg

 

 

The Brunswick Building is on Fifth Avenue at 27th Street. Completed in 1906 is has served as a hotel, a warehouse and a sales showroom for gift wholesalers, thus earning the unofficial name as the New York Gift Building.

It is now luxury apartments.

2018 09 26 69 New York City.jpg

 

 

The famed Flatiron Building. Everyone takes a photo of the narrow front section, this is the side section.

Clearly it does not have central air conditioning.

2018 09 26 85 New York City.jpg

 

 

A detail on the Flatiron.

2018 09 26 87 New York City.jpg

 

 

A close up of the Met Life clock.

2018 09 26 91 New York City.jpg

 

 

The Met Life Building crown.

2018 09 26 92 New York City.jpg

 

 

The classic art deco – with the ubiquitous eagle. There are eagles on nearly all the older skyscrapers.

2018 09 26 99 New York City.jpg

 

 

Another contrasting styles view.

2018 09 26 100 New York City.jpg

 

 

70 Pine Street – Completed in 1932. The top area of the building was once an observation deck.

2018 09 26 116 New York City.jpg

 

 

 

Detail of a building along Broadway near Trinity Church.

2018 09 26 119 New York City.jpg

 

 

Cascading cornices in downtown Manhattan.

2018 09 26 120 New York City.jpg

 

 

The very cool American Express building.

2018 09 26 127 New York City.jpg

 

 

Another sculpture in front of the Customs House.

2018 09 26 137 New York City.jpg

 

 

Cunard Lines building – note the ships.

The new buildings like the World Trade Center are great, but nothing beats the detail on the early 1900s skyscrapers.

2018 09 26 140 New York City.jpg

 

 

 

 

New York City – September 2018 – Faces at the Met

An afternoon at the Met gave me a subject – The Faces at the Met (real and art).

They speak for themselves.

 

2018 09 23 121 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 151 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 123 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 125 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 126 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

2018 09 23 138 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 140 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 163 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 146 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 173 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 153 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 157 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 171 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 184 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 195 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 200 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 205 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 209 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 212 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 213 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 23 219 New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

New York City – September 2018 – Grand Central Details

America’s greatest train station is Grand Central Terminal. While hundreds of thousands of people commute through the terminal every day, and nearly every tourist who comes to New York stops by, I had the opportunity (and the zoom) to check out close ups of some of the details.

The feature photo is a closeup of the clock and sculptures that are at the top of Grand Central facing south towards Park Avenue.

Let’s head inside.

2018 09 23 56 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

The iconic information kiosk clock backed by one of the schedule boards. The information kiosk is reached via an internal spiral staircase from the lower level of the terminal.

The clock was made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company. The clock has made appearances in numerous movies including North by Northwest, The Fisher King, the Godfather and others.

2018 09 23 31 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

The Beaux Arts Chandeliers frame the Main Concourse, with five on both the north and south side.

The bulbs have a basic look to them, but in reality they were replaced in 2009 with far more efficient fluorescent ones.

2018 09 23 14 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Looking up from one of the lower level walkways you see a chandelier, skylights in the ceiling and the famed ceiling.

There are numerous photos on display in the terminal showing sunlight beaming through the side windows – something that is no longer possible because of the tall buildings surrounding GCT.

2018 09 23 18 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Also in the lower level are some classic wooden benches. Before a restoration in the 1970s these benches were used for waiting passengers in the Main Concourse.

Since then, their primary use has been in the food court in the lower level, but others are in the corners of the lower level.

In addition the Springfield, Massachusetts train station recently installed some restored GCT wooden benches that were unused. They are currently on ‘permanent loan’ to Springfield, who restored them as part of the deal.

2018 09 23 12 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

While technically not in Grand Central Terminal, the Graybar Building has been closely associated with GCT since it’s construction in 1927.

2018 09 23 21 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

The building has the classic art deco mailboxes in the granite wall, as you walk through the GCT passage to Lexington Avenue (more on the Graybar Building later).

2018 09 23 22 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Back in the Main Concourse one of the chandeliers accents the departure boards perfectly.

2018 09 23 32 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

The famous sky ceiling – 125 feet across and hung from steel trusses, the ceiling has 2,500 gold stars.

One of the earliest passengers in 1913 quickly figured out that the sky is ‘backwards’, on the ceiling east is on the west side of the concourse, and vice versa.

2018 09 23 33 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Until the 1990s the grime was so bad the ceiling was barely noticeable. As a reminder they have left a black patch to show how dirty it was.

2018 09 23 36 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

A random look up shows amazing detail.

2018 09 23 37 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

GCT ‘hidden’ high up on one of the side walls.

2018 09 23 40 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

A ticket sellers window.

2018 09 23 48 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Down in the lower level even the elevator lobbies have amazing detail.

2018 09 23 58 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

As do the track entrances.

2018 09 23 59 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Heading out onto Lexington Avenue we see the main entrance to the Graybar Building. Note the giant reliefs on each side.

2018 09 23 86 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Eagles are a recurring them in GCT, and the entire area.

2018 09 23 67 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

More detail on the exterior of the Graybar Building.

2018 09 23 71 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

The Graybar Rats – The sculpted rats are depicted as though they are climbing ropes that anchor a ship. In reality it is what is holding up the canopy over the entrance.

2018 09 23 73 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Other canopy supports have more traditional artwork on them.

2018 09 23 76 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Easily one of the most overlooked vintage New York Skyscrapers, the Graybar is worth spending some time looking up at.

2018 09 23 80 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Another building that is closely associated with GCT is the Helmsley Building.

While not quite as famous as GCT’s clock facing south, the Helmsley clock greets the Park Avenue traffic coming from the north.

2018 09 23 98 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

This building too has numerous gargoyles and other sculptures throughout.

2018 09 23 94 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

More Helmsley Building detail.

2018 09 23 99 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

The former Postum Building at 250 Park Avenue is a prewar survivor where all the other buildings of it’s time (circa 1924) have long since been torn down and replaced with taller, newer giant glass boxes.

2018 09 23 101 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

Finally one last look at another of the famed GCT Eagles.

2018 09 23 78 New York City Grand Central Terminal.jpg

 

 

 

 

Battle Creek, Michigan – September 2018 – Fantasy Forest

There was once a forest of ash trees near the Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek, Michigan. As with thousands of these trees across North America, they fell victim to the Emerald Ash Borer disease and died.

But in the ultimate ‘if life gives you lemons make lemonade’ story the park brought in chainsaw artists who transformed them into a ‘Fantasy Forest’.

2018 09 03 620 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

They had a competition in 2015 for the artists, who came from all over the country.

2018 09 03 624 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

Some are the more traditional animals that you see from chainsaw artists.

2018 09 03 626 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

 

Others are more whimsical.

2018 09 03 630 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

Even though I have thousands of destinations on my list this was not on it, we just got lucky and drove by.

2018 09 03 631 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

The website for the arboretum has before photos of the dead trees – what a great transformation.

2018 09 03 633 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

Battle Creek Bigfoot?

2018 09 03 636 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

2018 09 03 645 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

My favorite – the strange disappearance of Farmer MacDonald.Notice the UFO abducting the farmer. Not seen on this view is the wife outside the cabin with a shotgun trying to fend off the aliens.

2018 09 03 652 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

A close up of the Tree Wizard.

2018 09 03 654 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

The sculptures are at least 10′ high.

2018 09 03 655 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

This sculpture gives an idea of how some of trees appeared before being transformed.

2018 09 03 656 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

A centaur keeps guard over the forest.

2018 09 03 665 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

While a tree genie appears.

2018 09 03 666 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg

 

 

 

The Fantasy Forest in Battle Creek, Michigan was a great find – even if it was by dumb luck.

2018 09 03 667 Battle Creek MI Fantasy Forest.jpg