A Travellerspoint blog

January 2022

My favorite paintings from the Met in NYC, pt 4

Circus Sideshow, Georges Seurat, 1888; the Met's collection of Asian art—35,000  objects, ranging in date from the third millennium B.C. to the 21st century—is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world

Circus Sideshow, Georges Seurat, 1888; the Met's collection of Asian art—35,000+ objects, ranging in date from the third millennium B.C. to the 21st century—is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world

Mada Primavesi, Gustav Klimt, 1912; Mada, the 9 year old daughter of a Viennese industrialist, stands tall in a specially-made dress amid a profusion of spring-like patterns in this work

Mada Primavesi, Gustav Klimt, 1912; Mada, the 9 year old daughter of a Viennese industrialist, stands tall in a specially-made dress amid a profusion of spring-like patterns in this work

Maria Teresa, Infanta of Spain, Diego Velazquez, 1651; I know I'm not one to comment on someone else's hair (I hadn't had mine cut since 2019 when I visited but have since) but where is the appeal with this hairstyle?

Maria Teresa, Infanta of Spain, Diego Velazquez, 1651; I know I'm not one to comment on someone else's hair (I hadn't had mine cut since 2019 when I visited but have since) but where is the appeal with this hairstyle?

Eugene Murer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1877; It has been suggested that Murer’s pose and gaze in this work served as a model for Van Gogh’s famous portrait of another great Impressionist collector, Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet (Murer's neighbor in Auvers)

Eugene Murer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1877; It has been suggested that Murer’s pose and gaze in this work served as a model for Van Gogh’s famous portrait of another great Impressionist collector, Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet (Murer's neighbor in Auvers)

Rouen Cathedral-the Portal (Sunlight), Claude Monet, 1894; Monet painted 30  views of Rouen Cathedral moving from one canvas to another as each day progressed

Rouen Cathedral-the Portal (Sunlight), Claude Monet, 1894; Monet painted 30+ views of Rouen Cathedral moving from one canvas to another as each day progressed

Two Young Peasant Women, Camille Pissarro, 1891; the artist wanted to preserve the values of agrarian society that were being threatened by the rapid industrialization of France; this was a favorite work of the artist which he gave to his wife

Two Young Peasant Women, Camille Pissarro, 1891; the artist wanted to preserve the values of agrarian society that were being threatened by the rapid industrialization of France; this was a favorite work of the artist which he gave to his wife

Apples and Grapes, Claude Monet, 1879; a spell of bad weather forced Monet to retreat indoors for this work but I liked seeing that he could paint more realistic subject matter

Apples and Grapes, Claude Monet, 1879; a spell of bad weather forced Monet to retreat indoors for this work but I liked seeing that he could paint more realistic subject matter

Bouquet of Chrysanthemums, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1881; the artist felt that he had greater freedom to experiment in still lifes than in figure paintings

Bouquet of Chrysanthemums, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1881; the artist felt that he had greater freedom to experiment in still lifes than in figure paintings

A Cowherd at Valhermeil, Auvers-sur-Oise, Camille Pissarro, 1874; I've always loved Pissarro's works, like this one from his village NW of Paris, that reflect his interest in the pulse of daily rural life

A Cowherd at Valhermeil, Auvers-sur-Oise, Camille Pissarro, 1874; I've always loved Pissarro's works, like this one from his village NW of Paris, that reflect his interest in the pulse of daily rural life

Irises, Vincent van Gogh, 1890; just before he checked himself out of the asylum at Saint-Rémy, Van Gogh painted four exuberant bouquets of spring flowers, the only still-lifes of any ambition he had undertaken during his yearlong stay

Irises, Vincent van Gogh, 1890; just before he checked himself out of the asylum at Saint-Rémy, Van Gogh painted four exuberant bouquets of spring flowers, the only still-lifes of any ambition he had undertaken during his yearlong stay

The Dancing Class, Edgar Degas, 1870; this is Degas's first depiction of a dance class; because the artist did not yet have privileges to go backstage at the Paris Opéra, his subjects came to his studio to pose

The Dancing Class, Edgar Degas, 1870; this is Degas's first depiction of a dance class; because the artist did not yet have privileges to go backstage at the Paris Opéra, his subjects came to his studio to pose

The Cathedrals of Art, Florine Stettheimer, 1942; this is a fantastical portrait of 3 of NYC's major museums—MOMA, the Met and the Whitney —and abounds with depictions of real-life art critics, dealers, and even the artist herself

The Cathedrals of Art, Florine Stettheimer, 1942; this is a fantastical portrait of 3 of NYC's major museums—MOMA, the Met and the Whitney —and abounds with depictions of real-life art critics, dealers, and even the artist herself

Trees and Houses near the Jas de Bouffan, Paul Cezanne, 1886; the artist is remembered for his important contribution to the rise of Modernism in the 20th century; this work was done at the family estate in the south of France

Trees and Houses near the Jas de Bouffan, Paul Cezanne, 1886; the artist is remembered for his important contribution to the rise of Modernism in the 20th century; this work was done at the family estate in the south of France

Two Young Girls at the Piano, Auguste Renoir, 1892; Renoir lavished extraordinary care on this work as it was going into a new museum in Paris, the Musée du Luxembourg, which was to be devoted to the work of living artists

Two Young Girls at the Piano, Auguste Renoir, 1892; Renoir lavished extraordinary care on this work as it was going into a new museum in Paris, the Musée du Luxembourg, which was to be devoted to the work of living artists

Potato, Joan Miro, 1928; the painting's title appears to be derived from the representation of an actual, recognizable potato: lodged in the woman's forehead is a small, brown, oval object with three tendrils

Potato, Joan Miro, 1928; the painting's title appears to be derived from the representation of an actual, recognizable potato: lodged in the woman's forehead is a small, brown, oval object with three tendrils

Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse, Rembrandt, 1665; born Rembrant Harmenszoon van Rijn with Harmenszoon indicating that his father was named Harmen, and van Rijn referring to his hometown near the Rhine; he added the silent d for reasons unknown, in 1633

Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse, Rembrandt, 1665; born Rembrant Harmenszoon van Rijn with Harmenszoon indicating that his father was named Harmen, and van Rijn referring to his hometown near the Rhine; he added the silent d for reasons unknown, in 1633

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Johannes Vermeer, 1662; the first work by Vermeer to enter an American collection, this painting embodies the artist’s interest in domestic themes, giving an almost voyeuristic glimpse into the private life of a woman

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Johannes Vermeer, 1662; the first work by Vermeer to enter an American collection, this painting embodies the artist’s interest in domestic themes, giving an almost voyeuristic glimpse into the private life of a woman

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:03 Comments (0)

Ek' Balam Mayan ruins near Valladolid worth a visit

Archaeologists believe Ek' Balam was founded around 300 BC and became an important commercial center, its influence peaking in 700-1100 AD; the site is only 30 minutes from Valladolid but receives a fraction the tourists of Chichen-Itza

Archaeologists believe Ek' Balam was founded around 300 BC and became an important commercial center, its influence peaking in 700-1100 AD; the site is only 30 minutes from Valladolid but receives a fraction the tourists of Chichen-Itza

At 105 ft high and 515 ft wide, the Acropolis is bigger than Chichen-Itza's main pyramid, and is one of the largest Mayan pyramids ever built; the palapa roofs have been added to protect stucco reliefs

At 105 ft high and 515 ft wide, the Acropolis is bigger than Chichen-Itza's main pyramid, and is one of the largest Mayan pyramids ever built; the palapa roofs have been added to protect stucco reliefs

Ek' Balam is noted for the preservation of the plaster on the tomb of Ukit Kan Lek Tokʼ, a king buried in the side of the Acropolis; known as The Throne, this frieze was untouched until the 1990s when workers discovered it beneath a hidden chamber

Ek' Balam is noted for the preservation of the plaster on the tomb of Ukit Kan Lek Tokʼ, a king buried in the side of the Acropolis; known as The Throne, this frieze was untouched until the 1990s when workers discovered it beneath a hidden chamber

With the discovery of the Throne, Ek' Balam (Maya for black jaguar) has become increasingly important to Mayan scholars and a more popular tourist draw;  admission is roughly $22 but you can enjoy the ruins without the usual mammoth tour groups

With the discovery of the Throne, Ek' Balam (Maya for black jaguar) has become increasingly important to Mayan scholars and a more popular tourist draw; admission is roughly $22 but you can enjoy the ruins without the usual mammoth tour groups

Excavations on the Acropolis didn't begin until 1998; elaborate wall paintings discovered here consist of texts, amongst these the 'Mural of the 96 Glyphs,' a masterwork of calligraphy comparable to the 'Tablet of the 96 Glyphs' from Palenque

Excavations on the Acropolis didn't begin until 1998; elaborate wall paintings discovered here consist of texts, amongst these the 'Mural of the 96 Glyphs,' a masterwork of calligraphy comparable to the 'Tablet of the 96 Glyphs' from Palenque

The view from atop the 105 ft high Acropolis was impressive; given the flat terrain, it seemed we should be able to see the pyramids of Coba or Chichen-Itza and we saw a few possibilities but nothing definitive

The view from atop the 105 ft high Acropolis was impressive; given the flat terrain, it seemed we should be able to see the pyramids of Coba or Chichen-Itza and we saw a few possibilities but nothing definitive

La Rodunda, or the Oval Palace, has an eclectic array of overlapping lines and curves, stairs and terraces; it underwent numerous iterations with experts thinking it had both astronomical and ceremonial purposes at different times

La Rodunda, or the Oval Palace, has an eclectic array of overlapping lines and curves, stairs and terraces; it underwent numerous iterations with experts thinking it had both astronomical and ceremonial purposes at different times

Cenote Xcanche is very convenient as it's right next to the Ek' Balam ruins; the last admission to the cenote is at 3:30pm, for some reason much earlier than all of the other cenotes in the Yucatan

Cenote Xcanche is very convenient as it's right next to the Ek' Balam ruins; the last admission to the cenote is at 3:30pm, for some reason much earlier than all of the other cenotes in the Yucatan

Of the 20  cenotes we visited, Cenote Xcanche was one of my two favorites; you could enjoy the swinging rope or jump (the water is about 90 feet deep) off one of the wooden platforms

Of the 20+ cenotes we visited, Cenote Xcanche was one of my two favorites; you could enjoy the swinging rope or jump (the water is about 90 feet deep) off one of the wooden platforms

Unlike some cenotes, particularly on the Riviera Maya, Cenote Xcanche is community-owned: there is a huge focus on sustainable ecotourism and any profits benefit the local community; I loved the roots and vines which gave the cenote a jungle atmosphere

Unlike some cenotes, particularly on the Riviera Maya, Cenote Xcanche is community-owned: there is a huge focus on sustainable ecotourism and any profits benefit the local community; I loved the roots and vines which gave the cenote a jungle atmosphere

There was a lifeguard on duty most of the time who didn't seem to mind kids jumping into the cenote from the top of the stairs; snorkeling isn't worthwhile since all you see is the same type of small catfish that live in all the Yucatan cenotes

There was a lifeguard on duty most of the time who didn't seem to mind kids jumping into the cenote from the top of the stairs; snorkeling isn't worthwhile since all you see is the same type of small catfish that live in all the Yucatan cenotes

Built in a form that changed remarkably little during 2,700 years, 1,300  Mesoamerican ballcourts have been identified; all ballcourts have the same general shape: a long narrow playing alley flanked by walls with both horizontal and sloping surfaces

Built in a form that changed remarkably little during 2,700 years, 1,300+ Mesoamerican ballcourts have been identified; all ballcourts have the same general shape: a long narrow playing alley flanked by walls with both horizontal and sloping surfaces

Deciphering the purpose of Mayan buildings is challenging because the custom of their architects was to use structures from earlier periods as the foundations for new ones; the lack of signage also contributed to visitors wondering what they were viewing

Deciphering the purpose of Mayan buildings is challenging because the custom of their architects was to use structures from earlier periods as the foundations for new ones; the lack of signage also contributed to visitors wondering what they were viewing

Ek' Balam is surrounded by two concentric walls which served defensive purposes; these walls (the inner wall was 6 1/2 ft high and 10 ft wide) were the largest in the Late Classic Yucatan, and had a symbolic meaning of protection and military strength

Ek' Balam is surrounded by two concentric walls which served defensive purposes; these walls (the inner wall was 6 1/2 ft high and 10 ft wide) were the largest in the Late Classic Yucatan, and had a symbolic meaning of protection and military strength

Unlike most of the Mayan sites we visited on this trip, Ek' Balam is very compact and can easily be seen in an hour; if you visit, definitely see Cenote Xcanche next door which was one of the most enjoyable cenotes we found

Unlike most of the Mayan sites we visited on this trip, Ek' Balam is very compact and can easily be seen in an hour; if you visit, definitely see Cenote Xcanche next door which was one of the most enjoyable cenotes we found

The decoration of the building facades at Ek' Balam was not done with figures carved in stone (as at Chichen-Itza and Uxmal, for example) but with stucco or limestone mortar, modeled into distinct forms and painted

The decoration of the building facades at Ek' Balam was not done with figures carved in stone (as at Chichen-Itza and Uxmal, for example) but with stucco or limestone mortar, modeled into distinct forms and painted

At its height from 770 to 840 AD, Ekʼ Balam provides a rich resource of information for understanding northern Classic cities, due to the poor preservation of many other notable northern Maya sites (e.g. Coba and Edzna); it's 35 miles NE of Chichen-Itza

At its height from 770 to 840 AD, Ekʼ Balam provides a rich resource of information for understanding northern Classic cities, due to the poor preservation of many other notable northern Maya sites (e.g. Coba and Edzna); it's 35 miles NE of Chichen-Itza

Ek' Balam was rediscovered and explored first by influential archaeologist Désiré Charnay in the late 1800s but extensive excavation didn't take place until a century later; only the center of Ekʼ Balam has been excavated so more discoveries are expected

Ek' Balam was rediscovered and explored first by influential archaeologist Désiré Charnay in the late 1800s but extensive excavation didn't take place until a century later; only the center of Ekʼ Balam has been excavated so more discoveries are expected

Posted by VagabondCowboy 11:22 Comments (0)

Highlights from LA's Iconic Getty Center, pt 1

The Getty Center is ranked the #1 thing to do in all of CA; admission to the museum is free but parking is $20; proof of vaccination was required when I visited and you also had to reserve a ticket online with specific arrival time

The Getty Center is ranked the #1 thing to do in all of CA; admission to the museum is free but parking is $20; proof of vaccination was required when I visited and you also had to reserve a ticket online with specific arrival time

Irises, Vincent van Gogh, 1889; in 1987, it became the most expensive painting ever sold ($53.9 million); it had a gallery to itself here as most of the European Impressionist works were in a building that was temporarily closed

Irises, Vincent van Gogh, 1889; in 1987, it became the most expensive painting ever sold ($53.9 million); it had a gallery to itself here as most of the European Impressionist works were in a building that was temporarily closed

Portrait of Martin Looten, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1632; J. Paul Getty bought this painting in 1938 and gave it to the LA County Museum of Art in 1953; there are few works of art the Getty can't buy today

Portrait of Martin Looten, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1632; J. Paul Getty bought this painting in 1938 and gave it to the LA County Museum of Art in 1953; there are few works of art the Getty can't buy today

Chandelier, Gerard-Jean Galle, ca. 1818-19; the form of this whimsical chandelier was inspired by the hot air balloon; the blue globe with gold stars symbolizes the heavens; the 12 signs of the zodiac encircle it on the gilt-bronze band

Chandelier, Gerard-Jean Galle, ca. 1818-19; the form of this whimsical chandelier was inspired by the hot air balloon; the blue globe with gold stars symbolizes the heavens; the 12 signs of the zodiac encircle it on the gilt-bronze band

Portrait of the Marquesa de Santiago, Francisco de Goya, 1804; the leading painter of the Spanish royal family, aristocracy and liberal intelligentsia, Goya refused to idealize his subject here, depicting her with a frankness unusual for the time

Portrait of the Marquesa de Santiago, Francisco de Goya, 1804; the leading painter of the Spanish royal family, aristocracy and liberal intelligentsia, Goya refused to idealize his subject here, depicting her with a frankness unusual for the time

Three Brushstrokes, Roy Lichtenstein, 1984; the Getty's concrete and steel frame is covered with polymer-coated aluminum and travertine limestone mined from the same quarry used for the Roman Colosseum

Three Brushstrokes, Roy Lichtenstein, 1984; the Getty's concrete and steel frame is covered with polymer-coated aluminum and travertine limestone mined from the same quarry used for the Roman Colosseum

The Drawing Lesson, Jan Steen, ca. 1665; not only is this subject rare among Dutch paintings, but the technique is unusually refined for Steen, who generally used a looser style and painted more comical scenes

The Drawing Lesson, Jan Steen, ca. 1665; not only is this subject rare among Dutch paintings, but the technique is unusually refined for Steen, who generally used a looser style and painted more comical scenes

Fruit Piece, Jan van Huysum, 1722; this work combines the lustrous realism of Dutch paintings of the 1600s with the bright colors and sinuous rhythms characteristic of the Rococo style of the 1700s

Fruit Piece, Jan van Huysum, 1722; this work combines the lustrous realism of Dutch paintings of the 1600s with the bright colors and sinuous rhythms characteristic of the Rococo style of the 1700s

Bust of Pope Paul V, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1621; this masterpiece was kept in the Villa Borghese in Rome until 1893 when it was sold; it's whereabouts had been unknown until the Getty bought it in 2014

Bust of Pope Paul V, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1621; this masterpiece was kept in the Villa Borghese in Rome until 1893 when it was sold; it's whereabouts had been unknown until the Getty bought it in 2014

Display Cabinet, Augsburg, Germany, ca. 1630; sometimes called a cabinet of curiosities, this type of furniture was designed to contain and classify miniature examples of the world's artistic and natural marvels

Display Cabinet, Augsburg, Germany, ca. 1630; sometimes called a cabinet of curiosities, this type of furniture was designed to contain and classify miniature examples of the world's artistic and natural marvels

Head of a Woman, Michael Sweerts, ca. 1654; this portrait looks so real it could almost be a photograph; there was something about the woman's face that reminded me of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Head of a Woman, Michael Sweerts, ca. 1654; this portrait looks so real it could almost be a photograph; there was something about the woman's face that reminded me of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

During the Middle Ages in Europe, books of hours - illuminated manuscripts that prescribed the schedule for daily worship - were prized by the literate upper classes; this example is from NE France circa 1300

During the Middle Ages in Europe, books of hours - illuminated manuscripts that prescribed the schedule for daily worship - were prized by the literate upper classes; this example is from NE France circa 1300

Portrait of a Man, Veronese, ca. 1576; Veronese's fluid technique and sensitive use of color are typical of Venetian paintings of the 1500s; his sitter's qualities suggest he is of high military rank or a member in an order of knighthood

Portrait of a Man, Veronese, ca. 1576; Veronese's fluid technique and sensitive use of color are typical of Venetian paintings of the 1500s; his sitter's qualities suggest he is of high military rank or a member in an order of knighthood

Pilgrim Flask with Boys Holding a Blank Shield, Venice, ca. 1500; this free-blown colorless glass piece was likely a stock item to which prospective owners could apply their own coat of arms to the blank shield

Pilgrim Flask with Boys Holding a Blank Shield, Venice, ca. 1500; this free-blown colorless glass piece was likely a stock item to which prospective owners could apply their own coat of arms to the blank shield

Saint John the Evangelist, Frans Hals, 1625-28; known for his vivid portraits, Hals used his expressive brushwork here to endow a lifelike quality to a religious figure - a subject rarely found in his work

Saint John the Evangelist, Frans Hals, 1625-28; known for his vivid portraits, Hals used his expressive brushwork here to endow a lifelike quality to a religious figure - a subject rarely found in his work

By the 1500s cabinets, such as this French one from circa 1580, were among the most sumptuous pieces of furniture in the house; very few examples of functional furniture dating from the Renaissance still exist

By the 1500s cabinets, such as this French one from circa 1580, were among the most sumptuous pieces of furniture in the house; very few examples of functional furniture dating from the Renaissance still exist

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:04 Comments (0)

More sights from Boston, one of my favorite cities, pt 1

Paul Revere presided over the the cornerstone laying for the Massachusetts State House in 1795; for the building's design, architect Charles Bulfinch was inspired by two buildings in London: William Chambers's Somerset House and James Wyatt's Pantheon

Paul Revere presided over the the cornerstone laying for the Massachusetts State House in 1795; for the building's design, architect Charles Bulfinch was inspired by two buildings in London: William Chambers's Somerset House and James Wyatt's Pantheon

Fenway Park, built in 1912 and the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, is the second smallest (Tampa is smaller); home to the Red Sox, the stadium is famous for the Green Monster in left field with the small confines resulting in plenty of home runs

Fenway Park, built in 1912 and the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, is the second smallest (Tampa is smaller); home to the Red Sox, the stadium is famous for the Green Monster in left field with the small confines resulting in plenty of home runs

Old South Church is a historic United Church of Christ congregation (members have included Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Phyllis Wheatley) first organized in 1669; its current building, built in Gothic Revival style on Copley Square, dates from 1873

Old South Church is a historic United Church of Christ congregation (members have included Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Phyllis Wheatley) first organized in 1669; its current building, built in Gothic Revival style on Copley Square, dates from 1873

John Glover was a brigadier general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War; his units, composed almost entirely of seamen, mariners and fishermen, were famous for their nautical skills; his statue is on the popular Commonwealth Avenue Mall

John Glover was a brigadier general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War; his units, composed almost entirely of seamen, mariners and fishermen, were famous for their nautical skills; his statue is on the popular Commonwealth Avenue Mall

The Fairmont Copley Plaza (w/ John Hancock Tower at left) opened in 1912; Frederick Kerry, paternal grandfather of Senator John Kerry, committed suicide here in 1921; in the 1920s, John Singer Sargent kept rooms here where he painted portraits

The Fairmont Copley Plaza (w/ John Hancock Tower at left) opened in 1912; Frederick Kerry, paternal grandfather of Senator John Kerry, committed suicide here in 1921; in the 1920s, John Singer Sargent kept rooms here where he painted portraits

These granite spires, which are lit at night, form part of the Boston Marathon bombing memorial dedicated to the 5 lives lost in April 2013; the marathon was always the highlight of my running year as a million enthusiastic spectators would cheer us on

These granite spires, which are lit at night, form part of the Boston Marathon bombing memorial dedicated to the 5 lives lost in April 2013; the marathon was always the highlight of my running year as a million enthusiastic spectators would cheer us on

Trinity Church, a Romanesque Revival masterpiece, was completed in 1877 on Copley Square; Phillip Brooks, the 9th rector of Trinity Church, wrote the beloved Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem in 1868 after visiting the Holy Land

Trinity Church, a Romanesque Revival masterpiece, was completed in 1877 on Copley Square; Phillip Brooks, the 9th rector of Trinity Church, wrote the beloved Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem in 1868 after visiting the Holy Land

The Boston Public Garden was established in 1837 and was the first public botanical garden in America; adjacent to Boston Common, the Garden is designed in the style of an English landscape garden with formal plantings and popular swan boats

The Boston Public Garden was established in 1837 and was the first public botanical garden in America; adjacent to Boston Common, the Garden is designed in the style of an English landscape garden with formal plantings and popular swan boats

1975 Fiduciary Trust Building; what should be a Jeopardy! answer some day - the only state capital in the contiguous United States with an oceanic coastline - with the correct response, what is Boston?

1975 Fiduciary Trust Building; what should be a Jeopardy! answer some day - the only state capital in the contiguous United States with an oceanic coastline - with the correct response, what is Boston?

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway stretches more than a mile across 17 linear acres where the JFK Freeway once stood; each block of the Greenway is different with gorgeous parks and public art making this one of the best new attractions in the city

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway stretches more than a mile across 17 linear acres where the JFK Freeway once stood; each block of the Greenway is different with gorgeous parks and public art making this one of the best new attractions in the city

First Baptist Church, established in 1665, is one of the oldest Baptist churches in the US; this building dates from 1872 and is best known for sculptures by Bartholdi (of Statue of Liberty fame) atop its tower (currently under restoration)

First Baptist Church, established in 1665, is one of the oldest Baptist churches in the US; this building dates from 1872 and is best known for sculptures by Bartholdi (of Statue of Liberty fame) atop its tower (currently under restoration)

A small plaza across from Boston Common is named in honor of Edgar Allan Poe who was born here; the statue, dedicated on the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth, shows a giant raven flying from his baggage

A small plaza across from Boston Common is named in honor of Edgar Allan Poe who was born here; the statue, dedicated on the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth, shows a giant raven flying from his baggage

Beacon Hill's Acorn Street is described as the most photographed street in the country (what about SF's Lombard St?); the area retains much of its original Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian architecture in structures built from the early to mid-1800s

Beacon Hill's Acorn Street is described as the most photographed street in the country (what about SF's Lombard St?); the area retains much of its original Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian architecture in structures built from the early to mid-1800s

The Athenaeum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the US; treasures include the largest portion of Washington's library from Mt Vernon;Houdon busts of Washington, Franklin   Lafayette owned by Jefferson; 1st edition of Audubon's Birds of America

The Athenaeum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the US; treasures include the largest portion of Washington's library from Mt Vernon;Houdon busts of Washington, Franklin + Lafayette owned by Jefferson; 1st edition of Audubon's Birds of America

Little Italy, in Boston's North End, is the city's oldest residential community, where Europeans have continuously lived since it was colonized in the 1630s; I noticed the cannolis at Mike's Pastry were extremely popular

Little Italy, in Boston's North End, is the city's oldest residential community, where Europeans have continuously lived since it was colonized in the 1630s; I noticed the cannolis at Mike's Pastry were extremely popular

TD Garden, home to the Celtics   Bruins, opened in 1995 replacing the original Boston Garden (and hosted the 2004 Democratic convention w/Obama's keynote address); it's the most visited sports arena in New England, with 3.5  million people visiting each year

TD Garden, home to the Celtics + Bruins, opened in 1995 replacing the original Boston Garden (and hosted the 2004 Democratic convention w/Obama's keynote address); it's the most visited sports arena in New England, with 3.5+ million people visiting each year

The 1875 Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Roman Catholic church in New England; on October 1, 1979, Pope John Paul II held a 38-minute prayer service for 2,000 priests in the cathedral during his first pilgrimage to the US

The 1875 Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Roman Catholic church in New England; on October 1, 1979, Pope John Paul II held a 38-minute prayer service for 2,000 priests in the cathedral during his first pilgrimage to the US

Duck boats have been linked to more than 40 deaths since 1999 so, despite the enticing graphics, I didn't take their tour; Boston's Beantown nickname came as a result of a love among the city’s earliest settlers for baked beans in molasses

Duck boats have been linked to more than 40 deaths since 1999 so, despite the enticing graphics, I didn't take their tour; Boston's Beantown nickname came as a result of a love among the city’s earliest settlers for baked beans in molasses

Posted by VagabondCowboy 11:25 Comments (0)

Our group tackled several fun hikes in the Palm Springs area

In the spring and early summer there's a 60 ft waterfall at the turnaround point on the Tahquitz Canyon Loop; it was a nice starter trail for our group although we didn't see the bighorn sheep other hikers have seen here

In the spring and early summer there's a 60 ft waterfall at the turnaround point on the Tahquitz Canyon Loop; it was a nice starter trail for our group although we didn't see the bighorn sheep other hikers have seen here

The Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail was the most fun and unique hike we did while in Palm Springs; the trail is just north of the Salton Sea which is being looked at now for its vast lithium reserves

The Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail was the most fun and unique hike we did while in Palm Springs; the trail is just north of the Salton Sea which is being looked at now for its vast lithium reserves

The slot canyons on the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail were super cool, with us amazed that they could have been created in this desolate desert environment; it was very thoughtful of the person who brought ladders to the trail to make it hikeable

The slot canyons on the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail were super cool, with us amazed that they could have been created in this desolate desert environment; it was very thoughtful of the person who brought ladders to the trail to make it hikeable

We needed a longer ladder for this climb on the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail; there were lots of interesting geologic oddities to admire along what was supposed to only be a 4 1/2 mile hike

We needed a longer ladder for this climb on the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail; there were lots of interesting geologic oddities to admire along what was supposed to only be a 4 1/2 mile hike

The 5 mile Pushawalla Palms Loop in the Coachella Valley Preserve took us along desert ridges down into an oasis of date palm trees; the San Andreas Fault has trapped groundwater which then created the oasis

The 5 mile Pushawalla Palms Loop in the Coachella Valley Preserve took us along desert ridges down into an oasis of date palm trees; the San Andreas Fault has trapped groundwater which then created the oasis

The Ladder Canyon Trail ended up being 6  miles with 1000 ft of climbing; the Salton Sea is CA's largest lake with twice the salinity of an ocean and is home to North America’s largest population of migratory waterfowl outside of the Everglades

The Ladder Canyon Trail ended up being 6+ miles with 1000 ft of climbing; the Salton Sea is CA's largest lake with twice the salinity of an ocean and is home to North America’s largest population of migratory waterfowl outside of the Everglades

The most popular hike in Palm Springs is at Tahquitz Canyon on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation; admission is $15 per person with the 2  mile trail gaining 350 in elevation for nice views over the city

The most popular hike in Palm Springs is at Tahquitz Canyon on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation; admission is $15 per person with the 2+ mile trail gaining 350 in elevation for nice views over the city

Many of the slot canyons and gullies on the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail had been worn smooth over time making it difficult to find good handholds; the nearby Salton Sea is considered the biggest environmental disaster in CA history

Many of the slot canyons and gullies on the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail had been worn smooth over time making it difficult to find good handholds; the nearby Salton Sea is considered the biggest environmental disaster in CA history

One morning we played pickleball at DeMuth Park which has nice courts dedicated for pickleball; it's right next to the Palm Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant which explains why this truck stopped (kudos to the creative person behind the idea!)

One morning we played pickleball at DeMuth Park which has nice courts dedicated for pickleball; it's right next to the Palm Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant which explains why this truck stopped (kudos to the creative person behind the idea!)

The Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail was challenging enough for us with the ladders not always long enough for my tastes; Bob and David missed the excitement as they met with old friends back in town

The Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon Trail was challenging enough for us with the ladders not always long enough for my tastes; Bob and David missed the excitement as they met with old friends back in town

The Ladder Canyon Trail offered views of the Salton Sea; roughly 15 by 35 miles, the Sea was a huge tourist destination in the 1950s and 1960s before agricultural runoff full of dangerous chemicals turned the area into something from the Twilight Zone

The Ladder Canyon Trail offered views of the Salton Sea; roughly 15 by 35 miles, the Sea was a huge tourist destination in the 1950s and 1960s before agricultural runoff full of dangerous chemicals turned the area into something from the Twilight Zone

We came across this car frame from the 1940s miles from any road on the Pushawalla Palms Loop; there were steep slopes all around us so we were left to imagine how this car ended up where it did

We came across this car frame from the 1940s miles from any road on the Pushawalla Palms Loop; there were steep slopes all around us so we were left to imagine how this car ended up where it did

Bob took this photo of Gary climbing his way out along the Ladder Canyon Trail; Gary, Mike and Bob all took photos on our hikes which they've generously shared and are featured here

Bob took this photo of Gary climbing his way out along the Ladder Canyon Trail; Gary, Mike and Bob all took photos on our hikes which they've generously shared and are featured here

It was astonishing to me that so many people were paying $15 each to hike 2  miles to a dry waterfall at Tahquitz Canyon!; maybe they were just excited to get outside after spending months inside away from the scorching summer heat

It was astonishing to me that so many people were paying $15 each to hike 2+ miles to a dry waterfall at Tahquitz Canyon!; maybe they were just excited to get outside after spending months inside away from the scorching summer heat

The wind along the ridge on our Pushawalla Palms Loop had to be 60  mph!; a storm front was approaching that created horrendous conditions at Indian Wells contributing to some surprise losses like Coco Gauff

The wind along the ridge on our Pushawalla Palms Loop had to be 60+ mph!; a storm front was approaching that created horrendous conditions at Indian Wells contributing to some surprise losses like Coco Gauff

Posted by VagabondCowboy 12:57 Comments (0)

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