Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Some World's Fair Goodness in our own Backyard

I was working in Riverside California this week and came across this confection of Beaux Arts Delight!  My theory if you haven't picked this up from my blog, is that all American Architecture of the Twentieth Century can be traced back to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.   The Riverside County Courthouse adds another nugget to my thesis.
Built in 1903, by the firm of Burnham and Bliesner, Franklin Pierce Burnham (no relation to Daniel Burnham, one of the geniuses who laid out the 1893 fair) was the primary architect.  Franklin was also the architect of the somewhat notorious and tragic pavilion at the Chicago World's Fair; The Cold Storage Warehouse building, which due to faulty construction  (not design) burned on July 10 1893.  15 people lost their lives; 12 Firefighters and 3 civilians. 
The Cold Storage Building refrigerated all the food used at the fair, as well as hosting a skating rink on the roof. The Smokestack was 14 feet shorter than the surrounding tower - the fire was caused by the lack of flashing protecting the exposed wood from the smokestack which was specified but never built..

The Riverside Courthouse also bears a striking resemblance to another World's Fair Building. 
The Grand Palais at the 1900 Paris Exposition. 
Here is the Grand Palais entry way:

And here is our wonderful Riverside Courthouse

And here are some more:
Vintage Paris Postcard

Judy's iPhone with Marquee Effect

The Chicago World's Fair demonstration of the City Beautiful Movement deeply affected even the smallest most remote municipalities in the U.S.  The movement's basic tenet being that monumentality and grandeur was intrinsically linked with moral and civic virtue.  How appropriate for a courthouse no? 

Riverside is a wonderful City and I look forward to sharing more gems.  Thanks for visiting GRILLED CHEESE IS ALWAYS SAFE

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Awhleans!!

New Orleans seems to offer whatever it is that you need. I needed visual stimulation. I got it big time. The food, the music, the architecture, the people, all so freakin' great. This is not a normal travel blog so I won't go on and on...but the signage was just one of the outstanding things I saw. The best music I heard was on the street, and wafting out from the clubs...The best food well that is hard to say. I never had raw oysters before, and the experience was wonderful. I loved the buffet at Lil Dizzy's Cafe, I inhaled the Burger at Port of Call. The barbecued shrimp at Deanie's was worth the yummy.
My friend Ken took me to the lower Ninth Ward where Katrina hit the hardest. I think I only saw a tiny fraction of what destruction was wrought. I was however bowled over by the innovative house designs I saw, with extensive solar panels and thoroughly modern facades.
He told me that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were
instrumental in helping to rebuild the area.
It was hopeful and inspiring.

Another Hollywood connection, although less uplifting
is the future tomb of Nicholas Cage. I guess the pyramid refers to the Masonic imagery in National Treasure but Nick, c'mon. You're in with the New Orleans Hoi Polloi for eternity, a little nod to your surroundings might be more appropriate.
I know I only experienced a taste of this complex and wonderful city. It seems there are many many layers yet to explore. But I know it is a visit I will never forget.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


No, our photo skills have not suddenly taken off! These are some shots by Bennett Marks of the Florida native fauna.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jacknife Big Rig meets Boat on Trailer

We broke the hotel snow shovel digging the Prius out this morning but generally had fun until we looked down the Grand Slalom driveway after a passerby alerted us that we would not be going anywhere soon.

There was a jacknifed big rig right at the bottom of the driveway. He told us last time that took 4 hours to get a tow truck large enough to deal with a big rig, but this time there was a hotel guest with an SUV pulling a LARGE boat who had tried to go around the big rig and was now stuck, blocking any smaller cars like Prius' from any hope of leaving.

The Flying J restaurant where we may be having our 3rd meal later today behind is to the left of the truck.

View Comfort Inn & Flying J, Northeast Maryland in a larger map

The Goddesses of Travel

Comfort Inn was nice enough to provide a Mongolian sherpa to lead us to our car. Wow. Full service huh? Oh, and while we were at the Flying J we came across the Trucker Goddess. She is the ultimate combination of boredom, strength, and skank. OK hittin' the road now. Stay tuned.

Snowerk, New Jersey to Saltimore, Maryland

The Flying "J" sun room was empty due to lack of the essential element. The windows did allow for some contemplation, in spite of the fact that the local School of Original Thought was closed yesterday due to weather conditions.

Judy and I are leaving the hotel room shortly with the idea of making it out the downhill hotel driveway, which looked like a Giant Slalom run last night. If we succeed, the Interstate is a quarter mile and freedom from the snow on the other side of the Capitol. Richard, our french correspondent warned: "if the snow between here and the D.C. summit does not force us to pass through the mines of Moria."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

snow schmoe

I could possibly bore you with countless shots of my Prius covered with snow, or perhaps the drifts outside my new home - The Comfort Inn in North East Maryland, but no, I won't do that. Instead, I will ponder the question that has been plaguing me all day. Since when is it okay for a junk food, in this case, candy to have flavors derived from another junk food (soda). As my friend Mikey would say, this is just wrong on so many levels. And while I am getting stuff off my chest, is it right that my dogs love their dogsitter Heather so much, that they didn't even bat a bug eye at me leaving with all my stuff...that too, is wrong. Maybe all this freakin' snow has left me grumpy, but don't fret, Julie and I will be back to our peripatetic ways tomorrow, and my cheerful demeanor will return. Okay. Heading back to the truck stop for some jello cubes and beets. Maybe some soda poppers for dessert.