Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Central Park montage

Central Park is one of New York City's treasures. I have been able to spend quite a bit of time there in the past few months, and I always carry a camera. Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

One aspect of Central Park that I like is the presence of water - ponds, streams, and lakes, that its architects designed.

The Pond at 100th Street and Central Park West

100th Street Pond

100th Street Pond

Boat Pond - 76th street and 5th Ave

The Lake - 72nd Street and Central Park West

The Lake

The Lake

The Lake

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Milwaukee's 3rd Ward - old buildings and new shoping

Milwaukee is an old industrial city. And one of the centers of that industry was The Historic 3rd Ward of the city, just south of downtown. For many years, this area was run down and in disrepair. Today it is one of the places in Milwaukee where the development of high end housing, shops and restaurants have changed the life of neighborhood.

The 3rd Ward was first developed in the early 1830’s. It was mostly a community of Irish immigrants. The businesses were mainly warehouses and factories, due to its proximity to the mouth of the Milwaukee River and the railroad that came in in the 1850’s, connecting Milwaukee to the Mississippi River. In 1892 the ward was deeply damaged by a huge fire that destroyed over 440 building and left over 1000 families homeless. As the 3rd Ward was being rebuilt over the next 30 years, they developed a community of buildings that were all very similar in style and today present a unified look throughout the ward.

Milwaukee River Downtown – Third Ward from the UW-Milwaukee Collection

Today the 3rd Ward is home to over 500 businesses. It has become the center of Milwaukee’s arts and fashion community with boutiques and galleries. It has become the center of one of Milwaukee’s largest art events – the monthly Gallery Night, where over 50 art galleries open their doors well in to the evening. 

I spent a Saturday morning walking around the 3rd Ward. It is a beautiful mix of old and new. When you walk along the Milwaukee River you can see the old industrial buildings sitting next to new and rebuilt ones. As you walk along the river you get to newer buildings, mostly apartments that have replaced many of the old warehouses in the 3rd ward. If you follow the river you will arrive at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park, which is home to Milwaukee’s many summer festivals.

Old train bridge in the Milwaukee River

Wisconsin Cold Storage

Shops on N. Broadway.

N. Broadway.

Jennaro Bros.

The two primary thoroughfares in the 3rd Ward are N. Water Street and N. Broadway. They run parallel to each other connecting the north to the south ends of the Ward. They are the main shopping and dining streets and get very crowded on a nice summer day.
Goll & Frank - and the building cracked

River overlook at E. Buffalo St.

My Favorite place in the 3rd Ward is the Milwaukee Public Market. Opened in 2005, this is the place to come for really good, fresh food at reasonable prices. Choices include salads and sandwiches, seafood, sausages (Here is a complete list of vendors). You can take your food home, or walk upstairs and enjoy your lunch right there.

One last thing, I spent the day playing with the “monochrome” setting on my camera. Please let me know what you think of the photos.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Minnesota History in St. Paul

Minnesota History Center

When you visit the Minneapolis-St. Paul area there are many things to see. In my opinion two places that should definitely be on your list are the Minnesota History Center and the Cathedral of St. Paul. These two buildings are near each other on Cathedral Hill. Together they present parts of the history of St. Paul, along with some beautiful views of the city.

Minnesota State Capital

The Minnesota Historical Society and its museum occupy a beautiful building on a hillside overlooking downtown St. Paul. This very modern facility belies an interesting fact, The Historical Society was founded before Minnesota was even a state. Founded in 1849, the society had been around for 8 years when the state of Minnesota entered the Union in 1858. So even before it was officially formed, the state of Minnesota was aware that having an organization to collect historical documents and artifacts for future generations was important. Today, those artifacts are housed in an excellent facility that includes both permanent and temporary exhibits on history of the state.

 The main permanent exhibit is called Minnesota’s Greatest Generation. Here you can walk through some of Minnesota’s history. Step behind a 1930’s soda fountain or sit in an old movie theater. Take a ride with paratroopers on a mission over WWII Germany. But most importantly, take the time to sit and enjoy the videos of the people who lived these experiences. Hear about their lives. Their stories are presented in a way that is not nostalgic and that presents a realistic vision of what life was like during era from 1935-1955.

1930's Soda Fountain


round tube TV

Note the 3-digit phone number

Another permanent exhibit is Weather Permitting. Dedicated to all of the types of weather that you might run into in Minnesota, from thunderstorms to snow storms to tornadoes, this exhibit shows how Minnesotans have dealt with what mother-nature has thrown their way over the years. You can enter in ice-fishing house or ride out a tornado in a storm cellar. You will also see how people dressed for weather in decades past.

There are also temporary exhibits. When I visited over the summer the art work of Chuck Jones, one of the main animators for Warner Bros. during the heyday of Bug Bunny and others, were on display. Right now (Oct. 2016) there is a traveling exhibit from the Football Hall of Fame called Gridiron Glory. Over 200 photos and artifacts are on display along with several interactive displays.

I really enjoyed visiting the Minnesota Historical Museum. The exhibits are presented in a way that engage visitors of all ages. I watched kids playing at the soda fountains and at a replica munitions assembly line. I sat with people my age in a C-47 living through the Second World War. All of us were completely engaged in learning some of the history of Minnesota.

Continue up the hill from the Historical Museum and you will arrive at the Cathedral of St. Paul dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, name sake for the city of St. Paul. Built in 1915, it is the fourth largest and third tallest church in the United States. The church is decorated with 24 stained glass windows, has four main chapels and, behind the altar, six more small chapels dedicated to the national saints of the countries whose immigrants made up the majority of the Catholic population in St. Paul one-hundred years ago, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland and the Slavic countries. 

Cathedral of St. Paul

Maybe of an exorcism?

In my opinion, this cathedral is one of the most beautiful in the United States. I would suggest walking up to it from the parking lot at the Historical Museum. It’s setting on top of a hill, overlooking St. Paul says a lot about the role of the Catholic Church in the city. The beauty of the church’s statuary outside and inside says a lot about the money that the Church was able to raise in building this cathedral. As with many of the old European cathedrals, this building is truly awe inspiring.