Virtual Travel – Oklahoma

Today’s stop is Oklahoma.

2019 05 29 44 Shattuck OK

 

In the early 1800s the United States government was taking over Native American land at a fast pace. One of the concepts they came up with for the people they were displacing was to create ‘Indian Territory’ in the middle of the country. The map below shows how the area that was to become the state of Oklahoma was divided up amongst the various tribes.

Okterritory.png

 

In 1889 the government was going to open up the area in the middle that was ‘unassigned’. The plan was to allow people to head for this land at noon on April 22, 1889, however a number of people took off early, despite a ‘sooner clause’ stating anyone who did would be denied land. Originally the term Sooner was derogatory, but now it is embraced by most Oklahomans.

In downtown Oklahoma City there is a large statue collection celebrating that day.

 

 

Oklahoma became a state in 1907. The current State Capitol building was completed in 1917, and has the unique feature of a working oil well on the grounds.

 

 

Unusual state symbols of the day

Official State Caricature Artist – Teresa Farrington

 

State Monument – Golden Driller – This guy is huge – 76′ tall.

The Golden Driller monument in Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

 

Native Americans

1958     1991     1993

Government State Oklahoma 1958.jpg

 

 

The Native American culture is celebrated far and wide throughout Oklahoma. The largest celebration is the Red Earth Festival.This multi day cultural event includes a parade. (photo from Wikipedia)

 

 

Everywhere you go you see signs of the Native culture. Many are excellent tributes, but some are a bit more commercial (like the gas stations with tepees).

2015 09 23 61 Oklahoma City OK

 

 

 

 

Nature

1975     1977     1983     1985     1986     2009     2011

 

Oklahoma is mostly a vast plains.

2019 05 29 178 Jet OK

 

Oklahoma is known as the center of tornado alley, having suffered from numerous deadly tornadoes each year. The National Weather Center is located in Norman, and has a collection of weather collecting devices on display.

 

There are a few areas that aren’t flat plains, like Gloss Mountain.

 

 

There are also hills in Southeastern Oklahoma. (photo from Pintrest)

Aerial View of the Kiamichi Mountains-Southeast Oklahoma-The ...

 

As you travel around the state you come across a number of random sights.

 

 

 

 

Transportation

1980     1995     1996     2008    2011

 

 

Wait, was it left on 28 or right on 82….

2019 05 30 28 Langley OK Pensaolca Dam

 

 

Oil is big business in Oklahoma, once home of Phillips Petroleum.

2019 05 29 288 Bartlesville OK

 

 

Darryl Starbirds’ National Rod and Custom Hall of Fame is located in far eastern Oklahoma. Well worth going out of your way to get there.

 

Grand River Dam.

2019 05 30 17 Langley OK Pensaolca Dam

 

 

 

 

Cities and Towns

1999    2001    2003     2005     2007     2015

 

 

Oklahoma City is the state capitol, and largest city (not by much – Tulsa is nearly as large). It is a nice city, with a decent downtown, and a hipster neighborhood called Bricktown.

 

 

Tulsa – As noted, Tulsa is nearly as large as OKC. It has long been a center of the oil industry.

 

Tulsa has always been a center of the music scene, with the ‘Tulsa Sound’. Eric Clapton is such a fan, most of his band is usually made up of Tulsans.

tulsa, cains ballroom

 

Bartlesville was the headquarters of Phillips Petroleum. It is home to a landmark Frank Lloyd Wright skyscraper.

 

 

Oklahoma seems to be a center for statues.

 

 

Just south of Oklahoma City is the Museum of Osteology.  Oklahoma was surprisingly interesting, well worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – North Dakota

Today’s stop is North Dakota. A sparsely populated state along the Canadian border, North Dakota is a place with cold winters, hot summers and vast prairies.

 

History 

1954 – Natural Resources     1983 – State Capitol

 

Bismarck is the state capital. The Capitol is the tallest building in the state, measuring 241′ (73m) high. Nearby is the North Dakota State Museum.

The grounds include a number of statues and monuments including Sakakawea, a Shoshone woman who helped Lewis & Clark make their way to the west coast.

2015 09 07 133 Bismarck ND

 

Unique Symbols of North Dakota

Official State March – The Flickertail March. I am not certain it would work for the military but the Flickertail is a squirrel that has a distinctive jerk of their tails, or flicks, while running – and North Dakota has saw fit to make this their State March! (photos from statesymbols.org)

 

State Fossil – Teredo Petrified Wood. This petrified wood is unique in that it has ‘worming’ of the original wood that is clearly present in the fossils.

 

 

 

The Landscape

1958 & 1983 – Theodore Roosevelt National Park     1994          2002/2003     2011     2013

 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the far western part of the state. This massive park is a tribute to Roosevelt, who came to the area in 1883. After family tragedy, he returned to North Dakota the following year, and spent a few years in the area.

The area’s badlands and wildlife make for a scenic experience.

2015 09 08 108 Theodore Roosevelt National Park ND

 

 

 

Uniquely North Dakota

1965 – Rest Area     1984 – Interstate in the Badlands     2005 – Trail of Legends

 

 

Fargo is the largest city in the state, with 125,00 residents. It is on the Red River, which forms the border of Minnesota. The visitor center has the woodchipper from the movie ‘Fargo’

 

 

Medora is a small town near the national park. Among the attractions here is the cabin that Roosevelt lived in.

 

 

As you leave Bismarck headed west you come to the small town of New Salem, with the giant fiberglass cow – Sue.

 

 

 

1973 & 2009 – Native Americans

 

Native American’s have inhabited the North Dakota area for thousands of years. Today there are 30,000 Native Americans living in the state, one of the largest percentages of any state, giving the state a strong native presence.

Sisseton Wahpeton Powwow Grounds (photo from Flickr)

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate powwow grounds, Agency Village, La… | Flickr

 

 

Many have capitalized on the ability to have casinos to sustain their tribes, including Spirit Lake

Spirit Lake Nation suspends referendum on liquor sales at casino

 

 

Today’s younger Native American’s continue to take pride in their culture and lands. (photo from Earthjustice.com)

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Takes Action to Protect Culture and ...

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – New Jersey

Welcome to New Jersey – my usual first views of the state are landing at Newark airport, for better or worse.

 

At the other end you can take a ferry from Delaware.

1988 06 14 2 Ocean City-Cape May.jpg

 

 

 

Overview

1955     2000     2002/2003/2004

 

 

The New Jersey State Capitol is in Trenton. (Photo from Flickr)

 

The unusual state symbols of the day include:

State Colors – Jersey Blue and Buff. This dates from the Revolutionary War when Washington assigned the colors to the regiments of the New Jersey Continental Line. It is thought he chose these because New Jersey (as well as New York) were settled by the Dutch, and those colors are the Netherlands colors.

 

 

State Tall Ship – A.J. Meerwald. This ship, built in 1928, is featured on maps below. It is a Oyster Schooner.

 

 

Officially known as the New Jersey State House, the building was completed in the 1790s, behind the capitols in Maryland and Virginia.

New Jersey State Capital | State capitals, Capitol building, Building

 

 

 

Let’s visit some other cities in the state starting with Atlantic City. It’s main business since being started in the 1850s has been tourism. It was marketed to the crowded city folks in New York and Philadelphia as a healthy resort on the ocean.

By the 1870s more than 500,000 people a day made their way to Atlantic City. By the early 1900s it had large hotels lining the coast, along those streets whose names have been made famous by the board game Monopoly, as well as the notoriety from the Miss America Pagent.

The mayor of the time quoted during Prohibition ‘we have whiskey, wine, women, song and slot machines. I won’t deny it and I won’t apologize for it.’

 

 

By the 1970s it had fallen on hard times, so they introduced legalized gambling. These photos show the rebirth in the 1980s, but the convention hall still being the showpiece.

 

Today it is similar, only with so many cities introducing gambling, the city has one again fallen on hard times. (photo from NJ public radio)

What do you think of when you think of Atlantic City?

 

Much of the Jersey Shore (not beach or coast) has some cool/kitschy features, but the best is easily Lucy the Elephant in Margate. This 140 year old elephant still brings in the tourists.

Lucy2011.JPG

 

 

 

 

Jersey City – The second largest city in New Jersey has the good fortune of being located just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan. While the city has had it’s ups and downs, peaking out at 316,000 people in 1930, it dropped down to a low of 223,000 by 1980. This reflected the exodus of people from New York City as well, as everyone was headed to the suburbs.

Since then though, with significant renewal of the waterfront area the population has gone back up to 265,000, and continues to grow.

2019 08 08 28 New York City

 

 

Just upriver Hoboken is experiencing a similar rebirth, but retains the fabulous Hoboken Terminal for New Jersey Transit Trains, and ferries to Manhattan.

2018 04 30 22 New York City

2019 06 11 38 New York City

 

 

 

 

Statue of Liberty

1983     1986

 

It is interesting that New Jersey has featured the Statue of Liberty on the cover of some of the maps, as technically it is in New York. The island that the statue sits on is in New Jersey water, but is a federally owned island that belongs to Manhattan.

This is a result of a dispute dating (amazingly) from 1664, that stated the New Jersey borders did not extend to the middle of the river, or bay. In 1834 the US Congress did set the boundary in the middle of the waterways, however specifically exempted Liberty Island, stating it would remain in New York. This was held up in 1908 by the Supreme Court, and again in 1987 when New Jersey sued to take control of the island. Clearly these maps from 1983 and 1984 were when Jersey was confident the island would once again be theirs.

 

Ellis Island however is much simpler, it is in New Jersey. So all those ancestors of ours who were so proud to step of the boat onto New York, really set foot in New Jersey.

Interestingly it is connected to New Jersey by a bridge that is not open to the public, just park service personnel.

Those immigrants – unless you were headed to New England, you were herded onto barges and sent to the train stations in Jersey City and Hoboken, having never set foot in New York.

2018 05 30 40 New York Ellis Island

 

 

Liberty State Park in Jersey City is along the mainland near both islands. The park is on an area that was once large rail yards, with the centerpiece being the Jersey City Terminal of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. This building dates from 1889, and is currently undergoing renovations (for years).

2018 05 29 179 Jersey City NJ Liberty State Pkark.jpg

 

2018 05 29 181 Jersey City NJ Liberty State Pkark.jpg

 

 

 

Outdoors in New Jersey

1988     1990     1992     2007  Holgate    2009     2012/2014/2015  AJ Meerwald

Government State New Jersey 2007

 

 

Sandy Hook is a spit at the far northern end of the Jersey Shore, sticking out into New York Harbor. It is home to a vacant military facility, but is now a vast park, including large areas of natural settings with views across the harbor to Brooklyn and Manhattan.

2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 4.jpg2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 10.jpg

2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 7.jpg

2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 6.jpg

 

 

 

New Jersey Palisades.  This geological feature along the Hudson River just north of New York City has been protected since 1900, as the industry of the times were blasting it away for crushed stone. (all photos in this section fromonlyinyourstate.com)

The Palisades: a National Natural Landmark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Delaware

Our visit to the smallest state in area in the country will also result in the smallest posting, with only 5 maps in the collection, all in the last 20 years. With very few photos of Delaware, this posting will share photos found on the internet.

 

2001 – The Delaware Memorial Bridge. These twin bridges cross the Delaware River, carrying an average of 80,000 cars a day. As the main route from New York, Philadelphia and points north to Baltimore, Washington and points south this route is constantly busy with car and truck traffic.

The bridge was designed by firm HNTB. This same firm designed the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia, and the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge in New York City. All have a similar look.

The Kalmar Nyckel was a Swedish ship built in 1638 to carry settlers to the New World. A replica of that ship was built in Wilmington in the late 1990s.

Government State Delaware 2001.jpg

 

This photo from the American Bridge website shows a view from high above the bridge deck.

 

 

 

2003 – Smith Bridge, Brandywine Valley. In 1839 Isaac Smith and his son Edward built a mill, and a covered bridge. This bridge, while reinforced in the 1950s, stood until 1961 when an arsonist burnt the bridge.

It was originally replaced with an open deck wooden bridge, but in 2002 this reproduction bridge was built. It uses the same truss design but the road deck is reinforced steel.

Government State Delaware 2003.jpg

 

 

 

 

2006 – Brandywine Park in Wilmington. Located along Brandywine Creek, this park dates from 1886 with assistance from Fredrick Law Olmsted.  The park is listed on the National Historic Registry.

Government State Delaware 2006.jpg

 

 

This photo from the Delaware State Parks website shows the park in spring.

The Van Buren Street bridge, built in 1906

 

 

 

Delaware has a small coastline. This photo show the remains of the Fort Miles Observation Tower. These towers were built during World War I. Later the fort was used as a secret listening post assigned to identify route submarines.

Government State Delaware 2008.jpg

 

 

 

2012 – Delaware is very proud of Caesar Rodney. While Paul Revere gets all the notoriety for his ride in Massachusetts, Rodney made a 70 mile ride through a thunderstorm on the night of July 1, 1776. His goal – to arrive in time for a July 2nd vote to break a deadlock for Delaware’s addition to the Declaration of Independence.

Government State Delaware 2012.jpg

 

This statue is located in downtown Wilmington. Photo credit to a website called ‘Onlyinyourstate.com’.

Delaware – our small visit to this small state is complete.

 

 

 

 

 

Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Argentina Cartoon Character Statues

One of things we have noticed are a number of statues of cartoon characters scattered around town. It turns out there are currently 16 of them.

Armed with a list and a map we set out on a cartoon character scavenger hunt.

We start in front of the Museum of Humor with a work by Guillermo Mordillo called La Girafa (the Giraffe). Mordillo was a famous cartoonist who works featured mostly long necked characters, hence the giraffe.




This guy is known as Don Nicola, a friendly landlord in the Italian immigrant neighborhood of La Boca. The character was created by Hector Torino in 1937.




Meet Indoro Pereyra with Mendieta, a talking dog, both enjoying a mate. Sadly, and true with a number of them, people have graffitied the art. This cartoon started in the 1970s.





Dating from 1945 this is Prawn (Langostino in Spanish) and his trusty, but very small ship Corina. The cartoonist was Eduardo Ferro.





This is Diogenes ( a ‘mutt’) and the Linyera (a vagrant). It has been published since 1977 in the newspaper Clarin, originally by an Uruguayan cartoonist named Tabare. After he passed away others have continued the strip.




These two characters also date originally from the 1970s. They are Negrazon and Chavella, who hail from the Argentine city of Cordoba. They are riding a locally made Puma motorbike. Meant the represent the challenges and life of middle class life in Cordoba, they were the work of the artist Cognigni. Sadly they too have graffiti on them, including an A with a circle around it – a symbol for Anarchy.




This nice lady is Aunt Vicenta, by the famed artist Landru’ – whose real name was Juan Carlos Colombres. He portrayed political and social life of Argentina for 60 years.




When we first arrived in Argentina I thought I kept seeing a Garfield the cat who had gone crazy. It turns out it is from 1993 and is called Gaturro, by Cristian Dwzonik. He has been accused of plagiarism numerous times with content, as well as the obvious look.




These too are Patoruzito and Isidorito. While graffiti free, they are in rough shape, hanging out under the trees in a park.

They are the work of Dante Quinterno, starting in the 1940s. Patoruzito is the childhood representation of the Chief Patoruzu – the last of the Tehuelches, whom Spanish conquerors saw as giants with amazing strenght. Living in the world of today he and Isidorito, a true Porteno, find adventures; but in this world Isidorito is the one with the stength.




Evoking the look of the 1950s, by Guillermo Divito, these two are simply known as The Divito Girls. Women of the 1950s took to mimicking the style shown in this weekly comic magainze ‘Rico Tipo’. Not represented, but equally influential were the male characters, with their double breasted suits.




Our friend below is Clemente. Without wings, but with very cool horizontal stripes, he became an interesting character during the military dictatorship.

The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina during this period. One of the rules that they implemented was ‘no confetti’, in an effort to present a ‘good’ image of Argentina to the world. The artist (Caloni) had Clemente warn Argentinians of the real intentions of rules like this, and launched a ‘paper rain campaign’.

This became so popular that Clemente became the unofficial mascot of the Argentine National team. So I guess the anarchy symbol here might actually be appropriate, as in the final, broadcast around the world, confetti rained down as they won.

The cartoon from 1978, from a very interesting website detailing that period in Argentina. http://papelitos.com.ar/home




This is Don Fulgencio, dating originally from 1938. He is the man who had no childhood. This left him as a very ‘correct’ gentleman, but with childish customs. He was created by Lino Palacio.

In addition to the comics, in the 1950s he made it to the big screen.





Matis has been on the back cover of the newspaper Clarin for many years. He is the ‘boys boy’. The writer is known as ‘Sendra’.





These two characters are Laguirucho and Super Hijitus (on the right). Hijitus is a poor boy who, when putting on his hat becomes a super hero.





Another character from the 1930s is Isidoro Canones, a typical Argentine little rich playboy. He too was created by Dante Quinterno.




Meet Susanita – friend of Mafalda. She is the gossip specialist of the neighborhood.




And finally we meet Manolito and Mafalda. Easily the most recognized face throughout Argentina is Mafalda. This little girl is everywhere.

Somewhat backwards of most U.S. comic characters, Mafalda started out strictly as an advertising character who became so popular she was made into a comic strip. She represents the views of the educated middle class of Argentina.







Buenos Aires – January 2020 – The Costa Norte

Back on the Rio De La Plata for a late afternoon cruise – this time towards the city of Buenos Aires. The city and suburbs runs for about 40 miles along the coast of the river, mostly lined with mid rise apartment buildings.

The shore itself has a number of parks and other features that add to the scenery. The highlights include the soccer stadium for River Plate, and the airport Jorge Newberry.


























































































Buenos Aires – December 2019 – Random Scenes for the Last Days of the Year

With some spare time due to the holidays at the end of the year we checked out a few sites in the Recoleta neighborhood including a visual arts museum, which of course because of the holiday’s was closed.








The library itself was also closed. Good thing there are a number of public sculptures nearby.












The famed Floralis Generica. The pedals close each night and reopen in the morning.




Next door is the law school, which has a great lobby which was…closed.




The former design center.




A museum next to the Recoleta Cemetery. The museum was closed but the cemetery was open 🙂





Enough closed buildings, lets go hang out in Olivos Harbor.
















The setting sun gave a great ‘Olivoshenge’ – not quite Manhattanhenge, but still cool. And the sun has set on 2019!






Buenos Aires – August 2019 – Day Long Urban Trek

With the weekend by myself in Buenos Aires I was looking for something to do when I came across an 18km (11 mile) ‘Urban Trek’ across much of the city.

Note – with an all day hike this post is somewhat long…

The tour started out at the visitor information center in La Boca, a working class neighborhood along a seriously polluted river. It reminded me of Youngstown and Cleveland in the 1970s.



Our trek started out with 7 intrepid hikers and a guide. It would not finish that way.



The people of La Boca are proud of their neighborhood…



The center is a tourist area packed with colorful shops.









The area was setting up for a Sunday artist market.



We quickly left the area and passed by the colorful houses which legend says were painted various colors with the left over paint from ships.



La Boca is most known for their soccer team. The stadium is called La Bombonera, which translates to the Chocolate Box, from the shape of the stadium. The seating is in an incredibly steep pitch.

This 49,000 seat stadium is jammed in the middle of the neighborhood.



The walk through the rest of La Boca provided a number of interesting views.





Eventually we made our way to the San Telmo neighborhood, along with more diverse photo ops.















We passed under a freeway that once housed an interrogation center during the military dictatorship era in the 1970s. Sadly during the construction of the freeway they found remains of many who never made it out of the center. There are tributes to those lost during those times.



Port Madero is a new area of tall buildings built in the former port of Buenos Aires.







One young lady on our tour, who was from Mexico, took selfies at virtually every stop along the way. She was very entertaining in making sure she had the perfect look – and a great sport when I asked to photo her taking her photo.



Our final stop on the morning part of the hike was the Plaza de Mayo.







After a break for lunch we headed out for the afternoon with a new guide, and only 4 hikers.

Having spent a few weeks in this part of town I was familiar with much of what we were passing, but it was still entertaining as our new guide was a very funny young lady.







A review of San Martin Plaza and Palacio.









Pelligrini Plaza.



The Addams Family Palacio (not really but it seems as though it should be)



An finally a stop at Recoleta Cemetery. Our hike continued for another couple of miles but didn’t produce any interesting photo, or the photographer was too tired to take them 🙂

While long, it was a very worthwhile day. Both guides were knowledgeable and entertaining, and I was able to see many areas of the city that most don’t. If you have an entire Sunday to spend in Buenos Aires I highly recommend putting on your best walking shoes and heading out…





Toronto – July 2019 – For This Collection You Need a Large Garden

In the 1960s Spencer and Rosa Clark started a collection that required a very large garden – they acquired architectural artifacts from large buildings in downtown Toronto that were being torn down and replaced with even larger ones.

This garden is located in suburban Scarborough, in what is now Guild Park and Gardens.



The archway from a long gone building leads you into the park.



What were once decorative pieces on the Toronto Star newspaper building are now giant building blocks.



Remnants from a Music Hall.



Smaller pieces are integrated directly into the gardens.



While others are added together to make a new sculpture.



Toronto’s second fire hall was located at Richmond and Portland Streets. Dating from 1871 it was torn down in 1968. In the background is a brand new events center.



The Greek Theater (also the featured photo for this posting). What was once the Bank of Toronto Building is now a theater in a park.




The grounds are immaculate, with the artifacts well spaced throughout.





The facing from the Quebec Bank Building has porcelain lions.



Additional random artifacts.












Easily the largest collection is from the former Bank of Montreal Building at King and Bay Streets in downtown Toronto. With this many fantastic items, this must have been an amazing building!



















Columbus – July 2019 – Greenlawn Cemetery

Our Saturday continued with a tour of Greenlawn Cemetery. While nowhere close to as impressive as Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, or even Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Greenlawn is the final resting place for numerous famous Ohioans including 5 governors, as well as a number of military sections for the various wars since the mid 1800s, among the 150,000+ people buried here.

























Columbus’s favorite son – famed aviator and more – Eddie Rickenbacker.