a.k.a. Photo of the Week

“Pic of the Week”, April 3, 2020: Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Key West

Key West, Florida (500)

Sloppy Joe’s Bar is located on Key West’s main business street, Duval Street.  The bar opened in 1933, the day prohibition ended.  It was to move locations and have a name change or two before it ended up being at its current site in Key West.  The name finally chosen was borrowed from the original Sloppy Joe’s bar in Havana, Cuba, although today the name has really stuck to the Key West location.

Local legend has it that Joe Russell, the original owner, was a friend of author Ernest Hemingway who lived in Key West at that time, and that Joe provided Mr. Hemingway with some illegal hooch during prohibition. It seems likely that Hemingway would have visited the bar when …

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“Pic of Week”, March 27, 2020: District of Columbia War Memorial, Washington DC

03 District of Columbia War Memorial

In a city filled with a lot of memorials, including some grand ones named after men like Lincoln and Washington, this memorial seems tiny in comparison.  I didn’t even know it existed until I came across it while making my way from the Reflecting Pool to the newish Martin Luther King Memorial.  It was built as tribute to the 26,000 residents from the DC area who served in the First World War.

The site occupies 2-acres and is surrounded by a deciduous trees.  At the center is the circular memorial designed to resemble a small Greek temple, with 12 Doric columns supporting a domed roof.  The white marble used to build it was quarried in Vermont.  It is …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 20, 2020: Alpenglow on the Kootenay Rockies

03 Kootenay Rockies, February

I was passing through the Kootenay Rockies of Eastern British Columbia at dusk, just as the sun was setting.  That occurs early during the winter months, around 4 – 5 pm.  It was a clear day and I could see a bit of the alpenglow on the snow clad mountains. 

The alpenglow is a band of reddish light observed in the direction opposite of the setting sun, and occurs just as the sun dips below the horizon.  It’s best appreciate on the mountain tips, as you see here. The phenomenon lasts just a minute or two, then it’s gone.  But it was a lovely scene.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


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“Pic of the Week”, March 13, 2020: Grand Ducal Palace, Luxembourg City

Luxembourg 2013 118 Palace

The Grand Ducal Palace is the official home of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.  It is here that most of his duties as head of this small country are executed.

The building, which has a beautiful Renaissance facade, was originally the city hall of Luxembourg City (1572 – 1795).  During the 19th century it served a variety of administrative functions.  In 1890, following an extensive renovation, the palace became the home of the Duke and Duchess.

The Nazis occupied the palace during the 1940s and turned it into a tavern.  During the occupation, it was damaged and much of its furniture and art were stolen or destroyed.  It was extensively restored in the 1990s and today is used as the Duke’s residence, …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 6, 2020: The Mona Lisa

03 Mona Lisa, Louvre

What’s that small thing everyone’s staring at?  Arguably it’s the world’s most famous painting.  If you want a closer look, you’ll have to push your way through the crowd at Paris’ Louvre to get to it.  And be sure to lock your valuables somewhere on your person because the room is well known as a den of thieves.   Pickpockets rule here, and signs everywhere warn you to be careful.

One of my most anti-climatic moments as a traveler came when seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time.  I’d read and heard so much about it — one of the great Leonardo da Vinci’s few paintings, and of a mystery woman (possibly Lisa del Giocondo) with such an unusual smile.  …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 28, 2020: The Hurricane Monument, Florida Keys

01 Hurricane monument

A quick stop worth your time when driving along the Overseas Highway (Highway 1) is to see the Hurricane Monument in the small island town of Islamorada, at mile marker 81.5.

The monument commemorates the more than 400 people killed in the severe hurricane which swept through the area on September 2, 1935.  The number of deceased is an estimate as an exactly count was not possible as many bodies had been washed out to sea.  Many of the perished were World War I veterans who had been working on the construction of the Overseas Highway as part of a Great Depression work project.

The Hurricane that hit the island was a Category Five storm and one of the strongest hurricanes ever …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 14, 2020: St Mary’s Parish, Banff


A special place to visit when you’re exploring Banff is this pretty mountain church.

Catholic missionaries have had a presence in the Canadian Rockies for almost 200 years, including during the founding of the Banff townsite in the late 19th century.  A log cabin church was built in Banff in 1888 and it was consecrated as  ‘Our Lady of the Assumption’, but known by the locals as St Mary’s.

The church you see today was built in 1951 by Fr. Robert McGuinness, and it replaced the original building.  Fr McGuinness had attended seminary in Europe and loved the stone churches he saw there, inspiring him to build something of this type in his beloved town, Banff.   Fr. McGuinness had been a structural …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 7, 2020: A Winter’s Day in Idaho

02 Fresh Snow in the Rockies

While driving through the mountains in the winter can be risky, on a clear day it’s an absolute pleasure to do so, especially if there’s been some recent snow.  These photos were taken in in southern British Columbia and northern Idaho.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)


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