One of the most unusual and interesting places I visited in Minneapolis was the Mill Ruins near Stone Arch Bridge. The old Gold Medal Flour Mill ruins weren’t torn down, but instead incorporated into the design of the new building. I love the way this city celebrates its roots while openly welcoming the future. There are a lot of historic buildings here as well as so many modern ones, with construction underway on even more. This is definitely a forward-looking city and a beautiful one.
Minneapolis had so many surprises for me– not the least of which was the Mighty Mississippi creating this breathtaking scene at sunset. The sun set slowly and gently as a light, cool breeze blew over the Stone Arch Bridge where I stood. The distant roar of St. Anthony Falls was little more than a whisper, but it was enough to drown out all of my thoughts while I sat in awe at the beauty of this midwest metropolis that I have somehow missed out on for so long. With the day’s last light the city tightened its grip on my heart and made it certain that I will be returning here whenever I get the chance.
My travels took me to Baltimore this weekend. It was threatening to rain, but it held out and became a beautiful, sunny weekend. Federal Hill has always been one of my favorite places to view the city. The park at the top of many steps is a great place to sit in the shade and take in the skyline and watch the people being active at the harbor. The skyline view is much nicer at night from this angle, but you can see a lot of the factories and old industry that is a huge part of Baltimore’s history, including the Domino Sugar sign which is a local icon.
Providence is a beautiful, small city with water everywhere, making the sunrise quite picturesque from wherever you see it. I was lucky enough to be working about 100 feet from this view at dawn so I was able to sneak off and watch the light arrive and start reflecting off of everything. A lone kayaker paddled down the river in the morning calm. Sadly I had to pull myself away to go back to work, but the views from all around the nearby park were fantastic. This is certainly a city I haven’t spent enough time in for how close it is to where I’ve lived most of my life.
Walking through Cambridge I simultaneously feel smarter and completely unintelligent. To be surrounded by such storied buildings of intellect can do that to a person. Hallowed halls aside, it’s a beautiful place with a great trail along the water in view of bridges and the modest Boston skyline. Strolling along here really helps me clear my head and brings back memories to wandering those streets aimlessly with friends years ago. I understand why it’s such a popular place to live.
Of all the times I’ve been to Utah, I’ve only casually passed through Salt Lake City a couple of times. I never spent much time in the streets or seeing the sights. Unfortunately this time wasn’t all that different, but we did get a chance to see Temple Square and check out the Museum of Contemporary Art. Of all the shots I got of the city, this skewed perspective of Salt Lake Temple was probably my favorite. The whole city seems great, but this site has some of the most curious and interesting buildings and fountains I’ve seen anywhere.
As we travel museums are a frequent stop for us. There are so many fantastic museums across the country we’ve had the opportunity to visit, but this was our first time doing so in Denver. The MCA was a little disappointing only because it featured a single artist in all of its galleries whose work I wasn’t totally interested in. I loved this reflective view from outside the main entrance. We spent the day biking the streets of Denver as the sun went in and out. I would definitely recommend biking this city, and, if you want an art museum, I’d suggest the Dikeou Collection.
Omaha surprised me last year with how much they have going on. This year I had to stop again, so we went to Gene Leahy Mall for sunrise. I love the views of the skyline from along the water and the morning light was great. There are lots of trails to take around this area whether you are biking or running or just out for a walk. After shooting some photos we went down the big slides they have built into the park (it’s true!) and then went for a run through Heartland of America Park and over the awesome pedestrian bridge into Iowa.
Washington, D.C. has always been one of my favorite cities. There’s something great about seeing so many iconic landmarks on a short walk around town. There’s so much history concentrated in a few square miles, and it feels like you’re a part of it while you’re there. Like this country and our constitution, the building need constant maintenance and work to keep them up to date and functioning properly. I really like this metaphor of imagery for the U.S. and I think the Capitol Building looks the best while under construction.
We just got back from a couple of days in D.C. and we had a great time rushing around to do what we wanted to in the short time we were there. One of my favorite museums anywhere is the Hirshhorn Museum, which always has rotating exhibits of amazing contemporary art. This piece, Lawrence Weiner’s “Reduced, Cat. No. 102,” is just the word repeated on windows in a second-floor room of the museum. I love the idea of this and that it is so open to interpretation. As such, I will not spend any time philosophizing on my thoughts about it, but instead I’ll leave it up to anyone viewing to do it for themselves; it’s much more fun that way!
New York has so many vantage points, be it a rooftop from Brooklyn, a waterfront, the subway, a random window, or an alley, that a visitor is offered endless perspectives. These are two of my favorite views from within a short period of time when I visited the Top of the Rock observation deck. I like the difference and the similarity; the emptiness of both, but the potential to hold so much. That’s New York.
Cleveland is a city I had no preconceived notions about, but I had a nice time there both times I visited. It’s a compact city with wide streets that are great for biking, which is my favorite way to get around and explore new places. The waterfront is beautiful, and Great Lakes Brewing is not far from downtown. After a day of biking, sampling beers, and watching the sunset over Lake Erie I found this great overlook across the river. While the skyline is small, it really is a pretty sight when the sun goes down.
Chicago is a great city for views. No matter where you stand there’s a great view of the skyline from across the lake or from just below (or above if you go up in the Hancock Tower or Sears Tower) or down the river that runs through the city. Basically, anywhere is a good view in my opinion. From the observatory is one of my favorite views, clearly. The sunset is great, but once the lights start coming on the skyline really shows its best side. Just after sunset is my favorite time to shoot cities, and Chicago is no exception. The path around the waterfront is great for views, but it’s perfect for a sunset run or bike ride too. There’s just something about this town.
From atop the Divine Lorraine hotel north of the city you are afforded a fantastic view of the skyline, and when the clouds reflect the sunset perfectly it is an amazing experience to sit there and watch the city light up. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there is renovation underway at the urban exploring goldmine that is the Divine Lorraine, so it can no longer be accessed easily. But getting to see this sunset from the roof once was good enough for me.
Just north of center city Philadelphia there is an abandoned hotel called the Divine Lorraine. While almost unassuming when you drive up Broad Street, avoiding pedestrians and careless Philly drivers, when you get a chance to stop and look at it you’ll wonder how you missed it in the first place. The building itself is magnificent, though the inside has been gutted and is covered in broken glass and graffiti from years of neglect and homeless inhabitation. From the roof, the views are incredible. At sunset the old sign looks over the new city like an elder over her village.
Even in cities where I don’t feel like a tourist anymore I still find myself always looking up at the buildings. Once in a while I get self-conscious about it, and then I realize that maybe I’m noticing things that others are missing. Either way, I love being downtown among the skyscrapers and feeling their immensity. Unlike New York, Chicago is a little more open so it doesn’t feel quite as cramped when you stop to look up. The Hancock Center has been a favorite building of mine since before I’d even visited for the first time. Its facade is so unique and simplistic that it stands out in my mind to this day.
The weather has been moody since we arrived in Montreal last week. First it was bitterly cold, then it was warmer and snowing, then it was raining followed by a beautiful, warm day with all the white stuff washed away. We took advantage of this perfect autumn weather to climb to the top of Mont Royal just outside of downtown and, after our eyes adjusted to the almost total darkness, we followed the winding woods paths and stairs to this brilliant overlook. It was chillier up there to be sure, but the worst part was the gusting wind. It was hard to keep the tripod still for a photo, but I was happy with this one as well as some others we had fun with.
As much as I love traveling around the country and discovering new places, the place I miss the most while I’m gone is Philadelphia. It feels like home. And despite living 45 minutes away in New Jersey, I find myself there more often than not. As well as I know the city I’m always discovering new things. New places, new people, and new angles. This shot of the Cira Center building is from the Schuylkill River Banks Trail near Walnut Street. I’ll put up more shots from here soon. This building always fascinates me from whichever angle you catch it or whatever time of day. At sunset it catches some beautiful light, which plays differently on each side because of the unique architecture. The reflections of the sky are unmatched by any of the taller buildings the usually get the attention.