My travels and iPhoneography continued this summer. I went to fewer, but more interesting places for picture taking. All the pictures are clickable if you want to enlarge them. Feel free to use them as you wish (with attribution). And, as I say every time I post, I am indebted to my friends who let me couch surf and to the schools and conferences I spoke at.
This summer saw me traveling to:
- Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates
- Nantucket, MA
- Portland, OR
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, DC (x2)
- Tampa, FL
- Provincetown, MA
- San Jose, CA
- Richmond, VA
On deck for the rest of the year:
- Detroit, MI (just completed)
- New York City, NY (just completed)
- Charleston, SC
- Washington, DC
- Raleigh, NC / Blacksburg, VA
- Milwaukee, WI / Chicago, IL
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
(May 20 – 29, 2014)
The month of May brought intentional travel and a trip to the United Arab Emirates where I was able to speak at American University in Dubai and spend a longer time with some old friends.
The flight over to Dubai wins my personal record for the longest flight I’ve ever taken, clocking in at 13 hours. We also flew over Iraq, which was something I never thought I’d do… and given current events, will not likely do for the foreseeable future.
Incredibly modern and new, Dubai is a sight to behold. The pictures above and below were taken as I was heading to the subway at sunset. Above a view of the Burj Al Arab, below the ultra-modern metro station.
I had the immense privilege of staying with my fiend Rachel, my former supervisor when I was in college, and her family including Scott and Sophie. Here we are in front of the Atlantis hotel, similar to their original location in the Bahamas. Tis was out on the Palm Jameirah (the man-made palm shaped peninsula).
The Emirates were small fishing villages and derived most of their income from pearling until oil turbo-charged their economy. There was a small shack near the Gulf that still friend up fresh fish caught that day… yummy. 😉
What is there to do in Dubai? Go to the mall. Lots and lots of malls. Here I am in front of a four-story waterfall. The malls also have indoor ski slopes, an aquarium, an ice rink, indoor theme park with rides… you name it. If it’s extreme, they have it. The most impressive of them all, and the biggest mall in the world, is the Dubai Mall.
The malls are also immaculately decorated with amazing ceilings and architecture. The Ibn Battuta mall has different wings themes on different countries and regions. India, China, Persia…
The Dubai Marina was close by and a fascinating place to take a walk. It is enormous and surrounded by ever-growing skyscrapers. The amount of wealth present is staggering.
The Dubai Marina also has some of the more interesting architecture I’ve seen along with a completely indoor walk, so you don’t have to suffer int he heat as you walk along the water.
On Jumeriah Beach next to the Burj Al Arab, the world’s third tallest hotel, and the only “seven star hotel.” It’s design is intended to invoke the sail of the ship.
From the spice souk, or market, in Dubai.
Random view from the subway train at dusk, passing a golf course. I loved how the sun would make everything shine golden in color.
The Dubai Miracle Garden had a number of topiaries and the following installation of colorful umbrellas overhead. One of the few things I saw there that wasn’t “perfectly manicured.”
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. In fact, it was so tall, I had to take this picture on vertical panorama (which is why it looks a little curved at the top. I took this on the covered walkway front he subway to the Dubai Mall.
Not my best picture, but the sun caused the buildings to shimmer like gold. Despite the fact they’re silvery in color normally.
The plaza in front of the Burj. Below, views front he top of the building as well as views of it at sunset and at night. Again, I had to use a wide angle of fisheye lens to get it to fin in the picture. At night, the large water pool in front has a water show similar to that of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas… but of course bigger. 😉
(May 26, 2014)
On a day trip, I rented a car and drove over to nearby Abu Dhabi, the government-centered emirate. It’s not quite as glitzy and commercial as Dubai, but it’s developing rapidly as well.
While in Abu Dhabi I met up with my friend Audrey who works at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus. We went to the Palace of the Emirates, an insanely lavish hotel.
The domed ceiling inside the Palace of the Emirates.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi constructed from 1996-2007. The eighth largest mosque in the world.
The largest chandelier in the Mosque and the third largest in the world. Ten meters in diameter and 15 meters in height.
(June 1 – 2, 2014)
I flew the shortest JetBlue flight I’ve ever taken only 90 miles onto Nantucket Island. The airport was the location of the fictional TV show, Wings. I only went for one day, but you wouldn’t know it from how many pictures I took.
The harbor and the inner town were classic New England with perfectly manicured houses and everything clad in weathered cedar shingles.
Views from outside the whaling museum and more of the harbor.
The Sankaty Lighthouse on the eastern edge of the island. Still in use in the village of Siasconset.
The tiny little Brant Point Lighthouse on the Northern shore. Established in 1746 and still in operation. Rebuilt multiple times up until the current structure in 1901.
More views of the Brant Point Lighthouse.
(June 6 – 11, 2014)
A view of Mt. Hood as I flew in to Portland. Absolutely amazing!
I happened to end up in Portland during their annual Rose Festival. The city is also home to the International Rose Test Garden with an absolutely crazy array of different roses all in different colors.
No trip to Portland is complete without getting VooDoo Doughnuts. While there I picked up a GINORMOUS glazed doughnut, a Grape Ape doughnut, A Double Bubble doughnut, a Fruit Loops doughnut and an original VooDoo (Doll) doughnut. Check out their full menu. Amazing.
Above a view over Portland from Pittock Mansion.
Portland is a foodie paradise. If you want the oddball and the weird when it comes to food combinations, you’ll find a lot of winners here. I picked up some amazing ice cream at Salt and Straw: Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Black Pepper.
I found this hidden gem, known as The Grotto. It’s a catholic sanctuary built into a steep rock cliff. A replica of the Pietà is on display. In order to get the entire view in one shot, I had to use panorama mode and a wide-angle lens attachment on my phone.
Portland has an amazing Japanese garden that’s quite extensive… filled with waterfalls, sculpture and a lot of little details. Definitely worth a stop. One of the best I’ve seen in the United States.
In addition to having a great Japanese garden, there is an excellent Chinese garden right in the middle of downtown Portland. The Lan Su Chinese Garden.
More views of the Chinese garden.
I was super excited to see the Dr. Seuss exhibit at the World Forestry Center. They had pieces I never knew that Geisel had created, such as this “fake taxidermy” head. It also had an amazing collection of his original pairings and work. You should read up on Dr. Seuss’ extensive range. I never knew.
San Francisco, CA
(June 11 – 14, 2014)
Having never been to Alcatraz, I ended up picking the perfect day to go. Right before the boat left the pier to head over, the fog cleared and it became a beautiful day on the Bay.
A view through one of the old windows on Alcatraz… the dust and dirt giving it a frosted effect.
Birds. So. Many. Birds. Here you can see a colony of what I think are Cormorants. One of the few breeding areas for this type of bird.
Fort Point, which is tucked just under the Golden Gate Bridge, offered excellent close up views of the steel and beams of the bridge. Other than that, not much to see in the fort. The Bridge is the winner here.
A view looking up at the Palace of Fine Arts with my fisheye lens attachment.
The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio is AWESOME. It’s in a building that you wouldn’t think much of front he exterior, but is quite large inside and gives a full history of Walt Disney, his cartoons, characters, and ultimately his park. It also included items such as the Snow White and the Seven Dwarf’s Oscars.
And apparently I have my own restaurant. Farmer Brown‘s was pretty good. Contemporary twist on classic southern cooking… and AMAZING cocktails
(June 14 – 17, 2014)
After San Francisco, it was on to Seattle. Oddly, I had never been before. I enjoyed it, has a lot to offer, but I actually think I liked Portland a little bit more.
Public Market? Of course. Isn’t it required. I was actually surprised how huge it is. Multiple levels, floors, it goes on and on.
The original Starbucks… sort of. There was actually another location which they moved from which no longer exists. You can read the story. Amazingly I was able to take this picture without massive lines snaking their way outside. (It’s not quite as crazy at the beginning or end of the day).
Beautiful flowers from the market as well.
The infamous chewing gum wall. The alley actually smelled a little bit like fruit and bubble gum.
Strawberry shortcake from the Steelhead Diner.
A view looking up at the Space Needle.
Red velvet ice cream in a red velvet cone from Cupcake Royale.
I took this shot in one of the back alleys while on The Underground Tour. The tour is a must do if you’re in Seattle. They give you the history of how the city was raised from the ground… wight he first floors of buildings still visited in underground alley ways below the sidewalks. Super cool and nerdy. Tour guides… hilarious.
Hemp milk mocha from Seattle Coffee Works. It was good.
The Experience Music Project (EMP) had this amazing sculpture IF IV WAS IX that incorporates over 500 musical instruments and 30 computers to produce art that makes music. The instruments are tuned once a year and you can listen in via headphones.
The EMP Museum also includes the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, along with an exhibit dedicated tot he history of Horror Films. Lots of original stuff including this Dalek.
My FAVORITE things in Seattle was Chihuly Garden and Glass. The iconic glass artist exhibits some of his most famous work in a setting that truly allows them to stand out.
The main glass atrium of the Garden and Glass installation looks up at the iconic Space Needle. If you go, know that your ticket allows you to go during the day and come back at night, so you can experience the outdoor glass lit up at night.
A view of Sun, the large iconic glass sculpture both at night and during the day.
The following are views from a top the Space Needle at sunset. (My secret travel tip. Any time you head up into a tall structure, schedule your tour time for about an hour before sunset. This way, you get views during day, sunset and night. Great for picture-taking.)
A view looking up at the Space Needle.
The Pacific Science Center is housed in structure that was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair.
(July 4 – 6, 2014 and July 9 – 11, 2014)
Views from the roof where I was able to watch the DC fireworks!
With so many free museums in DC, it’s easy to overlook some of the great paid museums, including National Geographic‘s. Highly suggested.
Flying back into DC, I spent three days with these crazy fold talking social and digital technology and inter stations with higher education and colleges students. Fun times.
(July 14 – 17, 2014)
A view of the marina outside our hotel.
Catching up with my good friend, John, at Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s. Every Monday.
A nighttime view of downtown Tampa.
(July 17 – 21, 2014)
Views of the Provincetown Harbor.
Posing with the “Edies” of Grey Gardens. Never a dull moment.
(July 23 – 30, 2014)
For the second year in a row, I was ale to head out to San Jose to visit my friend Jared. Above, a view of the flight in at dusk.
I took the CalTrain into San Francisco for the day…
I got a chance to hang out with the iconic painted ladies along Alamo Square Park…
The weekend brought a trip out to Sausalito.
Amazing french toast at Le Garage Bistro. And while we’re on the topic of food, if you find yourself in San Jose, go to the ice cream shop, CREAM, there specialty is ice cream sandwiches. You pick the type of fresh baked cookies, ice cream, and toppings. Add in a sandwich from Ike’s and you’ll consume 5000 amazing calories in one day.
A view up the Golden Gate Bridge as we’re crossing over to the Marin Headlands.
And finally to the Point Bonita lighthouse.
Only a few people are allowed over the bridge to the lighthouse at any given time. Most likely because this bridge, which sways… a lot…, can’t handle too much traffic at once.
(August 6, 2014)
August brought a day trip to Richmond to visit my friend Melissa and take in all the sights (and food… Nutella Mocha pictured) of the city.
Richmond’s Monument Avenue has some beautiful old homes punctuated by various monuments along this broad street with old trees.
The Thomas Jefferson state inside the rotunda at the Jefferson Hotel.
Melissa and I ending the day at the Virginia State Capitol grounds.
Along the James River walk.