Sunday, October 26, 2014

That toddlin' town...

At the end of September, I went to Chicago to attend the wedding of good friends.  The wedding was on the roof top garden of The Public Hotel located on the Gold Coast just a few blocks north of all that shopping along Michigan Avenue.  The wedding was in the evening and it gave me a perfect opportunity to capture a sunset shot across the Chicago skyline.  What a fantastic view!

The hotel is the home of the infamous Pump Room, a gathering point for the rich and famous of the 40's, 50's, and 60's.  The hotel restaurant has retained the name but, the decor has changed dramatically.  I had dinner here a year ago when I was in Chicago and I can assure you that the food was excellent and the service fantastic.  I snapped the above photo in the late afternoon before the dinner crowd had arrived.  On the lower level of the hotel there are two walls of photographs, floor to ceiling, of the many celebrities that dined at the Pump Room during it's hey-day back when the hotel was called The Ambassador East.

The above photo shows the bar of the Pump Room.  I love that minimalist look.

Everything about this hotel is elegant and modern.  Staying there made the weekend even more special than it already was.

There is a Wikipedia history of the Pump Room that lists some of the many famous people who frequented the place.  Just click the link.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Waterlow Park

Back in January I posted about my visit to Highgate Cemetery on my last visit to London.  You can see that post here.  In order to get to Highgate Cemetery I had to take the tube to the Archway station and then take a bus up the hill two stops and get off at Waterlow Park.  Then a walk through the park led me right to the entrance of the cemetery.  I didn't expect that the park would be such an inspiration for photo taking but, it was.

Along the path, I passed beautiful trees, some of them decked out in brilliant fall colors.

Next, I saw a gorgeous pond reflecting those same fall colors and serving as home to several types of water birds.  I learned that the pond is fed by a natural spring that gave this area a water supply back in the 16th Century when the rich and famous discovered this area and built grand homes here.  The park itself incorporates some of the gardens from those old homes into the park area.  It is said that the gentry were attracted here by the clean air and the views looking over the city of London.  If I close my eyes, I can imagine a very hazy view with many chimneys piercing the sky and all spewing coal and wood smoke.  The air up here must have been far superior.

The walk through this park was extremely pleasant and there were many people out enjoying a stroll in the park with their families and pets.

As I rounded a curve in the path, I could see the entrance to Highgate Cemetery looming large at the end of the path.  After my tour of the the old part of the cemetery, I was actually looking forward to a more leisurely stroll back through this beautiful and quiet park.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Wedding Cake House

The Wedding Cake House in Kennebunk Maine is said to be the most photographed house in the state of Maine.  It's official name is The George W. Bourne House and it was built in 1825 by Bourne who was a shipbuilder.  Bourne spent most of his life adding the the embellishments of this house and it's those embellishments that have given it the name Wedding Cake House.  It's still a private residence but, it was opened to the public once back in 2005 as a fund raiser for Hurricane Katrina relief.  I was only passing through Kennebunk back in the late 90's, but this house caught my eye and I had to turn around and go back to get a photo.