30 December, 2009

Double Take...

This is my first entry for Window Views and Doors Too . I took this shot last August in Saint Louis while walking along Citygarden trail (please see post below). I love the reflection of the old courthouse against the many window panes and the slight distortion.

28 December, 2009

Citygarden in Downtown Saint Louis-My World

Untitled, Martin Puryear (2008) stainless steel

Big White Gloves-Big Four Wheels, Jim Dine (2009) a painted bronze

Samarkand, Jack Youngerman (1981) enamel on aluminum

Aesope's Fables, Mark di Suvero (1990) painted steel

2 Arcs x 4, Bernar Venet (1999) steel

This is Kiera and Julian Walking, Julian Opie (2002) LED

Citygarden is a project of the City of Saint Louis funded by Gateway Foundation. It is comprised of three acres in the heart of downtown. It features modern and contemporary sculptures, lush landscape, reflecting pools, a cafe' and a playful spray plaza. The Citygarden is free to explore. Enjoy

This is my contribution for MY WORLD-TUESDAY . Do stop by the fab meme and check out the many contributors from all over the world. That's My World is hosted each week by Klaus and the My World team, Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

23 December, 2009

Metro Travel ...Saint Louis Style

La Clede's Landing Metro Stop...where the Casino action is!

View of Saint Louis Arch from LaClede's Landing Metro Stop...love this shot

More shots from Saint Louis trip. I just loved zipping around Saint Louis on the METRO. It was carefree travel all over the metro area.  Now if I lived in Saint Louis, I would be a frequent rider.

17 December, 2009

SKYWATCH FRIDAY from Saint Louis, Missouri

Taken from the Metro train in August when we were attending the Airport Purchasing Group Conference in Saint Louis. I really liked this shot of the stadium against the brilliant blue sky.

Be sure to check out SkyWatch Friday . It's where I go to visit skies from around the world on a weekly basis. Do stop by when you have a chance.

16 December, 2009

Highlights of Visit to The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum-Yorba Linda, California

Fountain at entrance to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Reflecting pond

The pergola that Tricia Nixon-Cox was married under in the Rose Garden of White House in 1971.

House where President Nixon was born in 1913. It has been fully restored.

Army One/Marine One
Helicopter was called either Army One or Marine One depending on who was piloting it

In 1972, I was old enough to vote for the first time. I was very active with the Republican Party in the 43rd Assembly District and worked as a Youth for Nixon campaigner. Not only did I work registering young voters, I attended many events and worked the precincts getting out the vote. The highlight of my summer was attending the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach. It was a momentious occasion for a young person and I met many of the movers and shakers of the day including: President Nixon, Vice President Agnew, Howard Baker, Henry Kissenger and Ronald Reagan. Somewhere in my historical paperwork I have a picture taken of me with both President Nixon and Vice President Agnew. A very nice Secret Service agent took the picture for me.

President Nixon's policy that opened the door with China encouraged me to travel there in the early 80s. Needless to say, it was a momentious trip that, I will never forget.

03 December, 2009

Brachiaosaurus Spotted in Chicago's O'Hare Airport

I had the opportunity to fly through Chicago's O'Hare Airport three times this year.  One of my favorite sights at the Terminal is the brachiosaurus in the B concourse of Terminal 1.

The brachiosaurus   model is four-stories high and  72 feet long. It's on loan from the Chicago Field Museum (another favorite place of mine).

22 October, 2009

The View from the Other Side of the Mississippi River - Sky Watch Friday

This image of the Saint Louis Gateway Arch was taken on the metrolink from the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. Do click on it to enlarge.  It is difficult to get a full on shot of the image as the structure is so large.  Actually the Illinois side provides the best unobscured view(s) of the Arch whereas on the Missouri side you have the tall buildings encroaching on three sides and there is not enough room on the river side to capture the Arch, all 630 feet in its full glory. My apologies for the glare and dirty window of metrolink. For detailed information on the history of the Gateway Arch, please click through to my post Saint Louis-Gateway to the West .

For more skies from all around our wonderful world, please stop by and visit Sky Watch-Friday . It's a favorite stop of mine each week. I am sure you will enjoy photographs of the skies from around the world.

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend everyone.

19 October, 2009

Morning Walk in Saint Louis....My World


On one of our morning walks around downtown Saint Louis we came across this little place. The view(s) were perfect so, we stopped for a bite to eat. It was quite delicious.

Be sure stop in and take a peek at other's My World posts this week. I so enjoy seeing what everyone has been doing. It's one of my favorite photograph memes.

15 October, 2009

Riding in the Sky... SkyWatch Friday

A few more captures from the West Virginia State Fair. I so loved the skies the day we visited, the colors of the carnival rides popped against it. Do click to enlarge them.

For more skies from all around our wonderful world, please stop by and visit Sky Watch-Friday . It's a favorite stop of mine each week.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

12 October, 2009

The Train Shed at St. Louis Union Station...circa 2009 - My World

Saint Louis Union Station is a stop on the MetroLink and a favorite stop for lunch and dinner of many sports fans coming into the downtown area to attend games. All three stadiums are located in downtown Saint Louis. Busch Stadium (Cardinals baseball), Edwards Jones Arena (Rams football) and Scott Trade Center (home of the Saint Louis Blues)and located off the MetroLink.

I had a bit of trouble photographing inside the Train Shed. The bright sky, the shadows, the glass, the water, the massive beams, all seemed to contribute to my problems with clarity. Including the koi! The water was merky or I would have shared a shot of the many koi. Here's a few of my better captures:

In August 1985, after a $150 million renovation, Union Station was reopened with a 539-room hotel, shopping mall, restaurants and food court. The hotel is housed in the headhouse and part of the train shed, which also houses a lake and shopping, entertainment and dining establishments. Omni was the original hotel operator, followed by Hyatt Regency Hotel chain and now Marriott Hotels as of December 2008.

The Midway, once serviced more than 100,000 rail passengers a day. The 610-foot-long and 70-foot-wide concourse was connected to the massive Train Shed, where passengers lined up to board trains through one of 32 boarding gates. The Midway was constructed with a light steel trussed roof of glass and iron. Today it serves as a passageway filled with an array of shops and restaurants.

The Train Shed, 11.5 acres of sweeping arches, was the largest single-span train shed ever constructed. It once covered the greatest number of train tracks (32) than any other station in the nation. Measuring 606 feet wide by 810 feet long, the Victorian-engineered shed soars to 140 feet with its massive space divided by five structural bays. The Shed currently houses retail and restaurant facilities, a portion of the Marriott Hotel, the lake, event and parking areas.

Please do stop by and take a peek at other participants My World submissions this week by clicking My World . I so like seeing what everyone else is up to around the world. Enjoy.

05 October, 2009

The Grand Hall of Saint Louis' Union Station-My World-August 2009

From its magnificent 65-foot, barrel-vaulted ceiling in the Grand Hall to its Victorian-engineered train shed totaling more than 11 acres, St. Louis Union Station remains one of our nation's true architectural "gems." Built at a cost of $6.5 million in the 1890s St. Louis Union Station was designed by German-born architect Theodore C. Link of St. Louis who won the prized project in a nationwide contest.

Union Station was split into three main sections; the Headhouse (where the Grand Hall was located featuring mosiacs, gold leaf details and scagliola surfaces); the Midway (which was the main concourse measuring at 610 feet long by 70 feet wide); and finally the Trainshed which featured 32 tracks on nearly 12 acres of ground for the dozens of trains calling there.

A building of mammoth proportions and elegant ornamental decoration, St. Louis Union Station was intended to accommodate thousands of travelers and workers daily. The monumental head house featured numerous amenities including a luxurious hotel, a saloon, a dining hall, lunch rooms, gender-oriented lounges, a ticket office, several offices for the Terminal Railroad Association, and the world's first barrel-vaulted train station concourse, or "Grand Hall."

A most impressive feature of the Grand Hall is the "Allegorical Window," a hand-made stained glass window with hand-cut Tiffany glass strategically positioned above the Station's main entryway. The window features three women representing the main U.S. train stations during the 1890s -- New York, St. Louis and San Francisco.

The architecture of St. Louis Union Station is an eclectic mix of Romanesque styles. The Station's interior and exterior details are a combination of both Richardsonian Romanesque tradition and French Romanesque or Norman style.

In fact, Link modeled the grandiose Station after Carcassone, a walled, medieval city in southern France. These designs are most evident when entering the Station's Headhouse and the impressive Grand Hall, with its sweeping archways, fresco and gold leaf detailing, scagliola surfaces, mosaics and art glass windows. One can imagine the incredible impression the room created in 1894 on opening day. Today, the Grand Hall continues to awe visitors as the Marriott Hotel's lobby and lounge area

I will share some a few more photographs from Union Station in my next post.
Please do stop by and take a peek at other participants My World submissions this week by clicking MyWorld . I so like seeing what everyone else is up to around the world. Enjoy.

01 October, 2009

All Aboard-Saint Louis Union Station-Skywatch Post for October 2, 2009

Today, I am sharing some more of my recent visit in August to St. Louis with you. Hope you enjoy.

St. Louis Union Station, a National Historic Landmark, is a former passenger train terminal in St. Louis, Missouri. Once the world's largest and busiest train station, it was converted in the early 1980s into a luxury hotel, shopping center, and entertainment complex. Today, it is one of the city's major tourist attractions and an easy trek on the Metro from downtown. (please click on photographs to enlarge them)

Union Station's headhouse and midway are constructed of Indiana limestone and initially included 32 tracks under its vast trainshed terminating in the stub-end terminal.

At its height, the station combined the St. Louis passenger services of 22 railroads. At its opening, it was the world's largest and busiest railroad station and its trainshed was the largest roof span in the world. In 1903, the station was expanded to accommodate visitors to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

In the 1940s, it handled 100,000 passengers a day. The famous photograph of Harry S. Truman holding aloft the erroneous Chicago Tribune headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman," was shot at the station as Truman headed back to Washington, DC from Independence, Missouri after the 1948 Presidential election.

As railroad passenger services declined in the 1950s and 1960s, the massive station became obsolete and too expensive to maintain for its original purpose. With the takeover of national rail passenger service by Amtrak in 1971, passenger train service to St. Louis was reduced to only three trains a day. In 1978, the last train left St. Louis Union Station. Amtrak trains are now located one block to the east in St. Louis' Gateway Transportation Center which houses Amtrak, Greyhound Buses, and inner city Metro Buses and subway and rail.

I will post more photographs in the future of the area that was once the trainshed and housed the tracks that now has restaurants and shops . The Metro rail drops you off across the street and many a sports fan stops off here prior to sporting events. The day we visited there was an early afternoon Cardinal baseball game and many of their avid fans were stopping off for lunch. Busch Stadium is located two stops down the line toward downtown.

For more spectacular and unusual SKYWATCH posts do stop by. Click on this link and you will be whisked away to all of the other participants this week - SKYWATCH.