Photo Gallery

I’ve created a new Photo Gallery page of photos some of my photos taken over the last 48 years.  The sole deciding factor on whether or not I added a photo to the gallery was if I liked it.

The great thing about photography is that you can document events that bring back memories.  Another great thing about photos is you can share your memories with people.  The gallery is meant as a way to share these memories with those who may be interested.

The photo gallery is published on this site as a page and can be reached at the link at the top of the page or by visiting this link.

I hope you enjoy perusing our photos, but I do ask that you don’t use or share the photos without my permission.  Thanks.

Denali National Park, Alaska

We were fortunate to be able to visit Denali National Park in May 2016.  Although we didn’t know it at the time, May is probably the best time to visit the park.  Around the beginning of June, the plants leaf out and it’s much harder to spot the amazing wildlife.  I also like the incredible colors you see before everything greens up.

This is a photo of Polychrome Pass which, to me, is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  It’s rugged and ancient and epitomizes the term “wilderness.”

Polychrome Pass C

Everything is just beginning to green up, giving just a bit of color to an otherwise monochromatic scene.  You see one of the many braided rivers that crisscross Alaska and the row after row of mountains are evidence of how, over millions of years, the land has shifted and pushed the land skyward.

I was fascinated by the landscape and, even today, I love looking at the photograph.

Memorable Dining Experiences in Portugal

My wife and I enjoy food experiences, and we were excited about exploring the food and restaurants of Portugal.  These are a few of the more memorable experiences we had on our first trip to the country.

Dinner at Flor de Laranja, Lisbon.  The Moors have a long history in Portugal and the Moorish influence is scattered throughout the country, from castles originally built by the Moors to the beautiful azulejos that are seen everywhere.  We were excited about a chance to eat genuine Moroccan food and were surprised at how few Moroccan restaurants were to be found in Portugal.

Fortunately, we found a good one in the Bairro Alto neighborhood of Lisbon.  This very small restaurant is tucked into a narrow street and is a one person operation.  The owner is cook and hostess all rolled into one.  The atmosphere was appropriately exotic, the service was great, and the food was phenomenal.

Flor da Laranja

A couple words of warning, though.  Reservations are a must.  The owner only seats one or two groups at a time and will not allow anyone else into the dining room.  Also, because of personal attention the owner pays to her guests and the fact that she also cooks the food, do not expect to run in, slam down your food,  and then run out.   We found this to be true pretty much everywhere in Portugal.  The Portuguese love their food and take the time to enjoy the experience.  I suggest you do the same.

Dinner at Ze Manel dos Ossos, Coimbra.  This restaurant came highly recommended in several of the travel guides I’d read.  It’s a tiny little place located on a narrow alley near Hotel Astoria.  We arrived in a drizzling rain and had to wait outside in the alley with other hopeful diners until tables were available.  It was worth the wait.

The inside is tiny, with just a handful of tables and the walls are covered with notes and odds and ends left from past visitors.  Interesting place.  One word of warning, though; it’s cash only.  On the bright side, the bill was very reasonable, so you won’t break the bank to dine here.

The food was fabulous, what I would describe as country cooking.  We had braised goat, soup, and homemade red wine served in a stoneware jug.  There was so much food that we couldn’t finish it all.  And, as the waiter pointed out, we had ordered a half serving!

Breakfast at Cafe Guarany, Porto.  This place is an elegant old restaurant located on Avenida dos Aliados, right in the heart of Porto.  Established in 1933, this old cafe was once a favorite hangout of intellectuals and businessmen.  Named after an indigenous Brazilian tribe, the restaurant celebrates this with a beautiful painting by Porto artist Graça Morais  called “The Lords of Amazonia.”

Cafe Guarany

The food was great, as was the service.  It’s probably the first time in my life that I’ve had ice cream for breakfast.  If you want to experience one of Porto’s iconic cafes, this would be a great place to go.  We were so impressed that we stopped back later in our Porto visit for coffee and dessert.

Francesinhas in Porto.  Porto is famous for a sandwich called the “Little Frenchie.”  It’s anything but little, though.  We’d read so much about it in the guide books that we had to try it, and we weren’t disappointed.

The francesinha is a sandwich filled with a variety of meats including ham and sausage, and covered with melted cheese and a wonderful beer sauce.  It’s usually served with fries, and ours were.

Francesinha

It was a wonderful, delicious, messy delight.  We sat outside a cafe near the beautiful monument to Dom Pedro IV, in .  It’s a lot of food, though, so be prepared to either stuff yourself of leave your plate unfinished.

Dinner at Maria do Mar, Nazaré.  It was raining the night we wandered into Maria do Mar.  It’s a great little place that was full of locals, which is a good sign when you’re looking for good food.  It’s also a favorite hangout of the surfers who come to Nazaré for the giant waves at North Beach.  Maria proudly displays a trophy given to her by a young Brazilian surfer a couple years ago.

It was karaoke night, and several of the staff took their turns singing fado favorites for the locals.  It was a fun place and service was great.

We shared a big pot of seafood stew and a bottle of wine.  The food was excellent and Maria was a very attentive host.  It was a great way to spend a rainy night at the beach.

These are just a few of the memorable dining experiences we had in Portugal.  We had many other great food experiences, and I’m sure on our next visit we’ll find more to enjoy.

Porto, Portugal

I love the look and feel of Porto.  The bright colors of the buildings seem to reflect perfectly the vibrant feel of this city.  It may, in fact, be very old, but Porto seems to have a young feel to it.  It helps that it was a beautiful day when we ventured across the Dom Luis I bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia.

Porto 1

Brooklyn Bridge, NYC

New York’s Brooklyn Bridge is iconic landmark in one of the world’s most famous cities.  The Brooklyn Bridge was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge and is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States.

John Augustus Roebling, the bridge’s designer, was seriously injured before construction actually began, when his foot was pinned against a piling by a ferry while he was conducting surveys for the project.  Roebling developed tetanus from the injury and died in 1869, the year construction began.

Washington Roebling, the son of the designer, was designated to take his father’s position as lead engineer in what was, at the time, the largest engineering project of the time.  The younger Roebling became seriously ill from decompression sickness shortly after construction began and, for the next dozen years, supervised the construction of the bridge from his apartment, which overlooked the site.

He was assisted by his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, who did many of the complicated mathematical calculations required to make the great bridge come to life and acted as a link between the on site supervisors and her disabled husband.  Emily Roebling helped supervise the construction of the bridge for the next eleven years and, when the bridge opened in 1883, she was the first person to cross the bridge.

Originally named the East River Bridge, it was nicknamed the Brooklyn Bridge before construction even began.  The name stuck and in 1915 the City of New York officially changed the bridge’s name to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Interestingly, the two towers that support the bridge contain vaults that were rented out by the city to help fund the construction of the bridge.  Because of the constant temperature of the vaults, they were uniquely suited for the storage of wine.  How’s that for making use of available space?

The Brooklyn Bridge handles both automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic.  For more that 135 years the bridge has been a major thoroughfare in the city.  More than 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclists cross the bridge each day.  It’s a beautiful structure and a remarkable feat of engineering.

 

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