Buenos Aires – June 2019 – Views of the City

It was a great 10 days in Buenos Aires. I am not certain what I was expecting but whatever it was, BA exceeded it!

The Nueve de Julio Avenue is the center of the city. Created in the 1930s by wiping out an entire city block wide, and nearly 3 miles long, it is an impressive sight.



The city exists because of the huge estuary of the Rio de La Plata, creating one of the world’s great ports.



The city is full of great architecture starting with the Retiro Train Station.





The Torre Monument is in the plaza in front of Retiro. The tower was completed in 1916 by the same architect who built Big Ben.



Just down the street is the Kavanagh Building, an Art Deco masterpiece.



One of the highlights of the city is the number of ‘Palacios’ remaining from the early 1900s. While there were once more than 100, less than 40 remain, but those that still stand are magnificent.













In addition to the Palacios there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of impressive buildings.

















The city was the first city in South America to have a subway, starting over 100 years ago.





As with any city, not all are enjoying the good life. Buenos Aires has some ‘Villa’s, basically shantytowns for the very poor. The city says they have a plan to help improve the lives of the people living in the Villas, but only time will tell.



No visit to Buenos Aires is complete without a stop at the Obelisk.



For now it is time to fly, but not before joining the crowd to watch a soccer game while waiting on the plane. True Buenos Aires!






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 – 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.




































San Antonio – May 2019 – Historic Homes and Buildings

As a historic city San Antonio had a decent amount of older homes and buildings in the center of the city.

The King William Historic District is just south of downtown. It has a great collection of restaurants and shops, but the highlights are the beautiful old houses.







As we reached downtown we passed by a couple great old buildings.





A classic clock, which we appear to have caught at high noon.



Nix Hospital s housed in a very fine example of an Art Deco building.






There are still a couple vintage theaters in town.





The Post Office and Court House is located across the plaza from the Alamo.





The Tower Life Building was completed in 1927. This eight sided classic Art Deco skyscraper also housed San Antonio’s first Sears store when first opened.








The Drury Hotel occupies the former Alamo National Bank building. Located along the famed Riverwalk the 24 floor building has many impressive details in the lobby.









We chose instead to stay at the Gunter Hotel, another great old hotel.



The Gunter Hotel is famous for being the location that blues legend Robert Johnson recorded most of the 29 songs he ever recorded. The bar celebrates the fact that he recorded in room 414, by calling themselves the Bar 414.



Despite the fact that Robert was from Mississippi, he was brought to San Antonio by a talent scout for Vocalion Record, Ernie Oertle. A producer from the label, Don Law, set up a recording studio in room 414 and 413 of the Gunter Hotel.

The drawing below is from an album cover of Robert’s music that was re-released in the 1960s depicting this recording session.



This is the room today, with the small white chair in the corner where Robert was sitting, facing the wall for the acoustics. How do I know this? This was our room for the night!!!

When we arrived every cushion was turned on end, every drawer was open. I immediately assumed it was Robert welcoming us! We spent the night hanging out listening to Robert’s music, either his original or the hundreds of covers from the Stones, Clapton and others.





Houston – May 2019 – Modern Skyscrapers – Updated

Believe it or not there is a rating system for skylines, and in most of these rating systems Houston’s comes in 4th place in the country (behind New York, Chicago and Miami). Houston’s is a bit interesting in that not all of the tallest buildings are downtown.

This posting features some of the more interesting perspectives of the modern Houston skyline. After realizing I missed the 2nd day’s photos this posting has been updated with additional photos.














































Houston – May 2019 – Vintage Buildings

As noted on the previous post the vast majority of the buildings in Houston are new, built in the last couple of decades, much as a result of an area that has grown from a metro population of 2 million in 1970 to 6 million + today.

But in downtown Houston there are a few architectural gems from the early to mid 1900s that are worth checking out.

An interesting block is on Main Street. For this one block it looks like you are in small town America (if small town America had 60 floor buildings in the background).





The Great Southwest Building was for many years home of the Texas Company, better known as Texaco. Built in the Art Deco style in the late 1920s, today it is high end apartments.





The Rice Lofts was formerly a hotel. This location is famous as it once was the home of a national capital – the Republic of Texas! The current building was completed in 1913.





Completed in 1929 as the Gulf Building, the current JPMorgan Building, with a Chase Bank branch in the lobby is the finest architectural building in the city.














The Julia Idelson Library is part of the Houston Library system. Dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers, it provides an oasis in the sea of glass.



Dating from 1926, the Spanish Renaissance style building houses Texas an local history archives.






Houston City Hall is one of the city’s few Art Deco style buildings.





The ceiling of the lobby has a relief of the world, with Texas standing out in gold and an X marking the spot (for Houston).



The murals add to the majesty of the room.




Even the water fountain has style, and a well state quote – build it to last forever. With the unchecked growth for the last 60 years or so I am not certain how much of Houston is built to last forever, but it is an impressive city nonetheless.





New Orleans – May 2019 – Then and Now

With a few days in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to search out some ‘time travel’ photo ops.

Carondelet Street at Canal Street. The buildings on the corners seem similar in size, but very different. Looking down the street reveals one that is still the same.




Chartres Street in the French Quarter.





The Cotton Exchange. As noted in a previous posting the Cotton Exchange Building was torn down in the early 1920s and replaced with a more stable, but less opulent, building.




The End of Canal Street. There used to be a statue at the streetcar turnaround. The statue still exists, just a few blocks away in a park (which is shown in the Public Art posting). The streetcars are still there, just not horse drawn.

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The French Market. The market has a checkered past, but now is a coffee shop.




The Opera House. This building was located in the French Quarter. It has been torn down and replaced with a new, but period correct, hotel.





St Charles Street headed into the CBD. The first block is very similar, beyond that are dramatically different with the skyscrapers replacing the smaller buildings.