a.k.a. Photo of the Week

“Pic of the Week”, August 6, 2021: Marienkirche, Berlin

01 Marionskirkche

Situated in Alexanderplatz, beside the tall Soviet-era TV tower (Fernsehturm), sits a medieval church known as Marienkirche (St. Mary’s church).  It’s one of the oldest churches in Berlin and is worth at least a quick visit if you’re in the area.
Construction of Marienkirche began around 1250 A.D. in the then recently established town of Berlin. In the late 14th century it was damaged by fire and rebuilt. Originally a Roman Catholic church, it has been Lutheran since the Protestant Reformation.
The church underwent an extensive overhaul in the 18th century yielding the appearance you visit today. During World War II, Marienkirche was heavily damaged by bombs and was nicely restored in the 1950s by East German authorities.
A …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 30, 3032: Strömparterren—Stockholm’s oldest Public Park

05 Stromparterren

Located on a small island called Helgeandsholmen is Stockholm’s oldest park, Strömparterren (1832), which has been recently renovated.  You descend to the park from stairs on the Norrbro bridge.  It’s not a large park but is pretty and offers beautiful views of the city, so it’s worth the effort to reach.  Strömparterren is surrounded on three sides by the Royal Palace, the Parliament Building and the Royal Opera House.
It’s a great place to sit and relax, people-watch, and enjoy the scenery. The park is a popular place from which to fish and it’s possible to catch salmon, trout and pike.
The park is best known for its statue The Sun Singer (Solsångaren) crafted by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. This statue sits on …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 23, 2021: Benny Benson Memorial, Seward

Seward Benny Benson Memorial (1)

The story of Alaska’s state flag is an interesting one, well worth sharing. Additionally, the Alaskan flag is elegant in its simplicity.
A contest was held in 1927 to select a design to be used for the Alaska Territory’s flag (up to that point, only the US flag was flying since the territory was purchased from Russia). The winning entry was from Benny Benson, a native Alutiq orphan. Benny designed the flag when he was just 13 years old and in the 7th grade, and he won a $100 prize. Benny was living in an orphanage in Seward, his mother having died of pneumonia when he was 3 years old. Alaska was not to become the 49th state for another 32 …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 16, 2021: Grass Cutters of Machu Picchu

00 Llama, Machu Picchu

It’s tough for people to cut grass that’s terraced or growing on steep hills, but it’s enjoyable for llamas and alpacas.
When we visited Machu Picchu, we noticed a number of these woolly creatures grazing on the grass, or resting and chewing their cud.  The grass was well trimmed throughout the site.  A practical solution to a problem.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge and right arrow to advance slideshow)


 
 

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“Pic of the Week”, July 9, 2021: Storm over Salt Lake City

00 Storm over Salt Lake City

We were shopping in an outdoor mall in Salt Lake City when the previously clear sky begin to get dark to the north. A storm was approaching and it moved on us rather quickly.
In a matter of minutes, the heavens opened and buckets of water drenched the area. A few minutes later the storm moved on and a rainbow emerged.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, July 2, 2021: Pinelands Trail, Everglades National Park

00 Pinelands Trail, Everglades

Pinelands Trail is located seven miles (11 km) from the southern park entrance. It’s a fairly short trail, just 0.4 miles (650 m), and you walk on a pavement or boardwalk so it’s easy to do. It’s also handicap accessible.
I think this walk is a great way to experience this unique ecocystem of the Everglades up close. The ground is swampy but home to a forest which contains pines, saw palmettos, and assorted wildflowers — quite a bit different than the “river of grass” which dominates this landscape.
There are many better places for alligator viewing than from this boardwalk — to this end I recommend Shark Valley.  We visited Pinelands Trail in December and there were …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 25, 2021: Family of Man, Calgary

02 The Family of Man

The “Family of Man” is a grouping of 10 sculptures crafted in aluminum, 6.5 m (21 feet) tall. It was created for display at the British Pavilion during Montreal’s Expo 67. After Expo 67 concluded, the sculptures were bought by Maxwell Cummings and Sons and donated to the city of Calgary. A committee picked a spot in downtown (1st Street and 5th Ave SE) close to the Calgary Board of Education, where they have been on display since.
The sculptures were designed by Spanish artist Mario Armengol. Their arrangement is different than it was in Montreal, now forming a circle of naked, raceless individuals.
The attraction is surprisingly popular. I’ve still not decided how I feel about it.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 18, 2021: Key West’s Old Custom House

00 Custom House, Key West

One of the most impressive buildings in Key West’s historic seaport is the old Custom House, today the Key West Museum of Art & History.
Key West was an important and growing city in 19th century Florida. Authorities saw the need for a proper Custom House and authorized its construction in 1885, adjacent to the U.S. Naval base. It was completed in 1891 and became home to the island’s customs office, postal service, and district courts.
In 1932, the building transferred to the U.S. Navy and became headquarters for their Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico operations. The Navy no longer needed the building in the 1950s and it was abandoned for many years. Despite being abandoned, it was placed on the National …

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