With February being summer time in Argentina, it is time for the annual professional tennis tour stop. With this being the first round, the crowds were light, but the action and scenes at the grounds were entertaining.
It was a good day to bring the kids to the tournament.
In true Argentina fashion the trophy is a mate cup.
As with most events like this there were numerous corporate sponsors.
A nice collection of food trucks kept everyone fed.
There was an exhibition of Beach Tennis.
But the best action was on the courts where a number of the top players in the world were competing.
One of the two most popular soccer teams in Buenos Aires is River Plate. It’s name comes from the era of the construction of the Port of Buenos Aires, when the workers disappeared to play soccer, the boxes they were unloading said the English name for Rio de La Plata – River Plate – and the name stuck.
Their stadium, and museum, is located in the Nunez section of the city.
The team’s logo has been fairly consistent in the 115 years of their existence.
As has their jersey’s.
They are one of the most successful teams, including a recent Libertadores Cup winner.
The museum has a list of all of the players who ever played for the team listed on the walls.
The museum also has replicas of their stadiums over the years, including the current one.
We went outside with a group for a tour of the real thing.
Including more trophies.
The initials stand for Club Atletico River Plate – CARP!
The stadium is officially known as Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, or El Monumental. At 70,000 seats it is the largest in Argentina, and home to the Argentina national team as well as River.
While Argentina has banned visiting fans from stadiums, the section they used to use is penned off in the upper deck.
It is very close to Aeroparque Jorge Newberry, giving it a ‘Shea Stadium’ feel.
Outside is a massive statue of a soccer player.
The tour guide was informative to most, and helpful to us translating some of the Spanish to English as we walked from stop to stop. Some though were apparently there to keep their husbands happy.
River Plate – In Buenos Aires they are either loved or hated, nothing in between.
Most of my adult life I have looked forward to CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night (despite living in the USA). Well this Saturday night found us 6000 miles south but fear not – they had hockey. Well roller hockey, but still it looked and sounded like hockey – 4 on 4 on a much smaller rink!
It turns out it was the championship game and the two finalists were local rivals. The couple of hundred fans went crazy the entire game, which went back and forth – double overtime – then won by the home team in a shootout.
Buenos Aires is the center of the Polo World. Argentinian polo players make up the top 5, 8 out of the top 10, and 22 out of the top 25. In November and December they come home for the biggest tournament in polo.
The Campo Argentino de Polo is the center of this universe. It is like going to the Kentucky Derby and finding polo.
Each major sponsor has their own pavilion, some seemingly unusual for this setting like Case Tractors.
But now the polo ponies are being prepped and ready for action.
Being Argentina a bit of soccer mentality takes over at the start of the game.
It is time for polo. The players are indeed very skilled, with little delay in their game. The horses as well have been bred just for this sport.
It is so popular it is televised, but for now our afternoon of polo is over.
Amazingly the Chicago History Museum was founded in 1856, just a few years after the settling of the town. Although twice destroyed by fire (once during the Great Chicago Fire), they still have a vast collection of artifacts celebrating the history of the city.
During our visit to Chess Records I had heard that the History Museum had a nice exhibit on the Chicago Blues, which was our encouragement to go to the History Museum.
In the display is this map showing the amazing collection of recording studios and clubs that featured the blues that have existed in Chicago over the years.
Raeburn Flerlage was a famed photographer of the blues scene from 1959-1971, although his career in music lasted much longer.
His photographs were used for many album covers.
Included in the collection is a copy of what is generally acknowledge as the first blues record of all time, St Louis Blues by W C Handy, from 1925.
The south side of Chicago was the hub of the blues, with Maxwell Street being the epicenter.
All of the blues greats were celebrated here, including Muddy Waters.
In the 1950s record companies were only allowed to have so many records in radio station airplay rotation at one time, so they would just start another record company.
This record of Koko Taylor’s Wang Dang Doodle is on Checker Records, the sister company of Chess Records.
Moving on from the blues display we checked out Chicago – Crossroad of America. This documented Chicago as the transportation hub of the country since the early days of the railroad.
Also on display was one of the original El cars from 1892.
A number of focus displays included one of the infamous gangland activities during prohibition in the 1920s.
Keeping with the infamous Playboy Magazine started in Chicago, as did the original club with the hostess (bunny) outfit on display.
As noted in other postings, Chicago was always mail order center of the country.
Another section celebrated entertainment events in Chicago including the 1893 World’s Fair.
As well as the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair.
Finally there was a small section celebrating the professional sports teams of Chicago – baseball’s Cubs and White Sox, football’s Bears, basketball’s Bulls and hockey’s Blackhawks.
A late September sunny, cool & breezy Saturday was the perfect setting for the US Sailing Championships in Cleveland. Held near Edgewater Beach, the event features teams of 6 competing together in 3 boats.
The headquarters for the event was the Old Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.
We had visited this location before, but never had the chance to go inside. The boathouse was fantastic, and on this day actually being used as a boathouse.
The action took place inside the breakwater.
As they would sail around the harbor, the boats would tip steeply, forcing the crew to quickly jump to the other side to balance them out.
There were a variety of great backgrounds to shoot. From this view the Edgewater Marina sailboat masts framed the small crafts.
A freighter was offloading coal nearby.
The apartment buildings along the Gold Coast in Lakewood is directly across the lake from the Coast Guard Station vantage point.
While we watched the Nautica Queen passed by.
At times it appeared to be more like roller derby than sailing.
Their routes around the harbor took them near one of the lighthouses at the mouth of the river.
Clearly having the boats pitched side to side was the fastest way around the course.
They race identical boats provided by a local sailing group known as the Foundry. Most had sails with a giant Cleveland logo on them.
The Chamber of Commerce moment number 1 – Sailboats with Cleveland sails going past the art deco Coast Guard building.
Most of the teams were male/female, which is apparently how you get to the ideal maximum weight of 290 pounds for the crew.
The Chamber of Commerce moment number 2 – Sailboat with a Cleveland sail going past the lighthouse.
The racing was continuous with numerous heats constantly coming and going.
More close action. Amazingly nobody went into the water, but these are some of the best sailors in the country, as the teams came from all over for this event.
This event was one of the best photography moments I have had in some time.
The Cleveland Crusaders are an amateur rugby team that plays Division 2 Rugby with other teams in the Great Lakes area. On this Saturday afternoon they played a team from Pittsburgh at a makeshift field in Edgewater Park.
I have played, coached and seen many sports but my rugby knowledge is very limited. Thanks to google, we could follow along with the game’s rules. Additionally by watching it for a bit it was easy to follow the strategies, and the identify the skills that were necessary.
The action was intense, coupled with the quick pace it makes for an enjoyable sport.
The tackling is fierce.
When a ball went out of play, it is thrown back in. Unlike soccer teammates will literally lift one of the players up in the air to get the ball.
The most basic rule that was noticed is the ball is always thrown to the side and beyond where the player who previously had the ball is stopped.
A ruck starts with the interlocking of most of the players, while another rolls the ball in.
Eventually popping out, and play ensues.
Rugby is something I will have to check out more often, in my opinion far more interesting that football, but not as good as hockey!
The Arnold is billed as one of the largest sporting events in the country, with over 18,000 contestants and 200,000 attendees jamming the Convention Center and the Fairgrounds complex.
While it originally started out as a body building contest, which continues to this day, they also showcase a number of other sports. The Fairgrounds in particular hosts a large number of youth sporting events in conjunction with the Arnold.
We had a great day, although challenged at times with the inconsistent schedules claimed times for events, and when they actually occurred. Regardless, 10 hours and 10 miles of walking later, we had seen much (resulting in a long blog posting) including:
Gymnastics (we missed the collegiate men, instead caught the younger gymnasts)
Power Lifting exhibitions in the insanely jammed vendor expo area
Women’s dead weight lifts
Female Body Building
Crossfit – This used to be at the Fairgrounds Coliseum, which was a far better venue for viewing
Indoor Scottish Highland Games
Martial Arts – I am not sure why this was separate from Taekwando but it was, but it apparently bored one of the other contestants.
Attendees could compete is some feats of strength.
An extremely flexible woman
Extremely fast jump rope people – over 100 jumps in 30 seconds.
Golden Gloves Boxing
and finally Powerx competition (lifting a weight 20 times in 2 minutes)