iPhoneography Photos From My Travels, 2014 – Second Third

IMG_3240My 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.

IMG_7345This 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)

IMG_1090The 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).

IMG_0027Traveling just an hour outside of the city and you’re in the middle of the desert.  Nothingness for miles… except camels randomly roaming about.  Saw a few.  Decided not to get too close. 🙂



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.IMG_0648


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…IMG_0438

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.

IMG_0431The 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.IMG_0477

IMG_0167A view of one of the many fountains to be seen in Dubai.  Given this is a desert nation, the amount of water use is obscene.  Also, a view of the marina at night with its beautiful colors and lights.


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.


Click on this picture to enlarge it and you can see window washers scaling the building.  It was nearly 100 degrees when they were doing this, too.

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. 😉



Abu Dhabi
(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 reflecting pools around the Mosque were perfectly still providing reflections all around the structure.


Walking around provided one with views of perspective and perfect symmetry.  White marble stone, with flower imagery inlay and gold columns.IMG_1197


The smallest chandelier in the mosque, viewed from the side and from directly below.  Imported from Germany and with thousands of Swarovski crystals.IMG_1444


The largest chandelier in the Mosque and the third largest in the world.  Ten meters in diameter and 15 meters in height.


Views outside the mosque at sunset.IMG_1188


Nantucket, MA
(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.IMG_1593


The harbor and the inner town were classic New England with perfectly manicured houses and everything clad in weathered cedar shingles.


IMG_2225Views from outside the whaling museum and more of the harbor.


IMG_2227The figurehead bow ornamentation of an old whaling ship.



Views along the beach out into the Atlantic Ocean.  The cliff is slowly wearing a way to the point that it had almost consumed this swing set.IMG_1941


The Sankaty Lighthouse on the eastern edge of the island.  Still in use in the village of Siasconset.IMG_2195


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.IMG_2200


More views of the Brant Point Lighthouse.IMG_1883


Sunsets on Madaket Beach.  The waves were enormous and constant.  Beautiful views.IMG_1882





Reflection of the moon on a creek on the interior of the island and the outline of birds flying across the sky.IMG_1897

Portland, OR
(June 6 – 11, 2014)


A view of Mt. Hood as I flew in to Portland.  Absolutely amazing!

IMG_2557Portland is full of amazing retro signage.  Everywhere.  I kind of fell in love with it all.  In fact, it was one of my favorite cities I’ve visited.


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.IMG_2497


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 StrawHoney Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Black Pepper.IMG_3153


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.IMG_3165


At the top of the sanitary, looking out over the valley below.  There was also a new chapel with floor to ceiling windows allowing for amazing unobstructed views.IMG_3135


I was grateful to be able to crash on the couch of my friend John who works for Nike.  As a double bonus I was able to go to the headquarters and the company store.

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.IMG_2894

IMG_2983In 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.IMG_2986


More views of the Chinese garden.IMG_2988

IMG_3179I 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.IMG_3201

San Francisco, CA
(June 11 – 14, 2014)


After Portland, I flew down to San Francisco to spend my birthday.  I was lucky that my friend Richard, who I had met in London 10 years ago, happened to be over for work.  Best birthday gift ever.IMG_3763


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.IMG_3452


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.


Alcatraz provides for excellent pictures of ruin porn with the buildings in half-states of disrepair.IMG_3500


The birds seemed to like to cooperate.  In fact, they were pretty fearless, allowing me to get super close in framing all of my shots.IMG_3540


The main administration building is “the main traction” with many of the features still intact and recreated views of what a cell would look like furnished.  (Skip the audio guide…)IMG_3732


I was able to sneak away one day to walk the beach down to the Golden Gate Bridge.  Again, beautiful day with little fog.  Photog’s paradise.IMG_3712


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.IMG_3720



The ONE thing I’ve always wanted to do was head to the Palace of Fine Arts.  Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, it’s incredibly large… and detailed.IMG_3632


More views of the amazing structure.

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.


San Francisco city hall


And apparently I have my own restaurant.  Farmer Brown‘s was pretty good.  Contemporary twist on classic southern cooking… and AMAZING cocktailsIMG_3559

Seattle, WA
(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 produce was absolutely amazing.  I ended up buying some and just eating it raw as I went.  It doesn’t quite win over Hawaii, but it was close. IMG_4191


There’s also the famous Pike’s Place Fish Market, origin of the “Fish! Philosophy.”  It’s exactly how you would expect it to be.

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.IMG_4255


I was able to capture these amazing shots in and around the waterfront at sunset.  the lighting was perfect and it was just a bit overcast to provide an interesting mix of clouds and light.IMG_4256


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.IMG_4329



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.IMG_4764


A view of Sun, the large iconic glass sculpture both at night and during the day.

IMG_4782 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.IMG_4752

The Pacific Science Center is housed in structure that was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair.


Seattle has AMAZING street art around every corner.  Beautiful colors and work.

Washington, DC
(July 4 – 6, 2014 and July 9 – 11, 2014)

IMG_5212The Fourth of July brought me to DC… twice.  One trip to enjoy the Fourth, then back to Boston for a day, then back to DC to participate in the ACPA Presidential Task Force on Digital Technology.


While in DC, I was able to take a tour of the new campus for the Department of Homeland Security and headquarters for the United States Coast Guard.

Views from the roof where I was able to watch the DC fireworks!


The only Smithsonian museum I had yet to visit was the Museum of Natural History.  The set part was their collection of gems and minerals.  Total nerd alert.  They also have the Hope Diamond on display.

IMG_5149With 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.

Tampa, FL
(July 14 – 17, 2014)

IMG_5304I headed to Tampa to participate in the ACPA Leadership Meeting.  Beautiful weather and views.


Me with the other ACPA Assembly Leaders, Lisa with Commissions and Mathew Antonio with State Divisions.IMG_5344

 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.

Provincetown, MA
(July 17 – 21, 2014)

IMG_5402No summer would be complete without an annual trip to Provincetown… at least once. 😉  As usual, this trip was strange, full of surprises, and an a whole lot of fun.IMG_5478

Views of the Provincetown Harbor.


The bears outside the Marc Jacobs store are an annual tradition.  Last year they were construction orange. This time they added a third bear to the family and represented in red, white and blue.IMG_5394

Posing with the “Edies” of Grey Gardens.  Never a dull moment.

San Jose
(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…


And had the most amazing lunch with my friend, Kevin.  He never disappoints.IMG_5624


The weekend brought a trip out to Sausalito.


10565167_10101786951945848_5514881986818666738_n      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.IMG_5802


Great views of the Bay on the other side.  The roadway throughout the Headlands follows right along the cliff and has numerous turn offs for great picture-taking views like this.IMG_5817


Getting out of the car, it was a brief hike to the Point Bonita lighthouse with some more great views.  Along the way you have to duck through tunnels cut though the rock.IMG_5816


And finally to the Point Bonita lighthouse.IMG_5727


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.

IMG_5913Flying back into Boston at daybreak.

Richmond, VA
(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.IMG_6060

The Maymount Estate and Gardens.


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.

IMG_6176Melissa and I ending the day at the Virginia State Capitol grounds.


Along the James River walk.

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