My Virtual Vacation Day 8—Versailes France

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is the Paris suburb of Versailles. There are so many reasonable day trips from Paris. Unpack once and train your way to a variety of amazing places.

The Palace of Versailles is an amazing world herbage site, It was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometers southwest of the centre of Paris.

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My Virtual Vacation Day 7—Orléans France

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is Orléans France. I was so excited to visit this city since I have spent a fair amount of time in its sister city of New Orleans.

It is a short train ride from Paris and provides a wonderful day away from the vibrant Capitol. The setting is beautiful along the banks of the Loire river. The culture and history is fascinating and best known as the home of Joan of Arc and her statute dominates the main square. The statue was partially destroyed during World War Two and rebuilt with help from the city of New Orleans in the USA. I hope some day to cruise the river and hopefully return.

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Orléans France

Orléans City Hall

Joan of Arc

Siam Restaurant

Saint Anne

Barcelona in Monochrome

Barcelona is a colorful and vibrant city. The buildings are colorful and so are the people. Eating at a tapas restaurant is colorful as is the color of Mediterranean sea. Everywhere you go you see color yet the city is also perfect for monochrome photography. Here are a few from our trip last year.

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Sculpture and Man

My Virtual Vacation Day 5—Milan Italy

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop Milan in Northern Italy. Many bypass this city for Rome or Florence but Milan has its own fascinating history and is the gateway to the beautiful lakes of Tuscany.

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Candidate#3–Canals of Milan

The Girl in The Blue Dress

Milanese Fashion

At Prayer

Pittsburgh”s Art All Night May 16th

At 4 PM on May 16 the first online Art All Night event will take place. Normally for 24 hours artist and performers display the works in a warehouse in Pittsburgh. It is a large and fun event with food trucks, beer, performance art, music and free for all to enter and attend. This year the event will be virtual but still have on line music, performance art and a gallery of two dimensional art and sculpture. Anyone can submit art and you will professional art displayed side by side with children’s finger paintings.

This year I am submitting Steel City Flyer. This is a photo I took of a jet ski flyer soaring in front of Heinz Field.

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Steel City Flyer

Finally released ! Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All Time

On April 22 the three part mini series, Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All Time will be released on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Apple TV, cable systems, etc. My images and the part about Dawn of The Dead ]will be in episode 2.

In 1979 I went on one of my last photographic assignments for Pittsburgh Magzine. You can read all about it in Zombie Nights: My Two Nights with the Living Dead.

I have licensed some of the images to be used in the upcoming mini series, Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All Times.

I have seen the teaser reel and it contains great interviews with Pam Grier, Jeff Bridges, Sean Young, Rob Zombie and hundreds of others. The episodes are finished and they are working of a distribution deal. This is one of the images they will use.

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Tom Savini

Moment of Hope #9

We are living in some scary times right now. I am old and have lived through others but this one is somehow different and maybe more frightening. So until it is over each day I plan to post an image that provides calmness and a moment of zen. We all need a lot of moments like these right now.

Even in the darkest of time there is always some light and joy. Your job while you are in quarantine is to find some joy each day and latch on to it. I call this one dark waters. It was photographed in Tampa Florida and edited in Pittsburgh PA using photoshop.

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Dark Waters

A Moment of Hope #5

We are living in some scary times right now. I am old and have lived through others but this one is somehow different and maybe more frightening. So until it is over each day I plan to post an image that provides calmness and a moment of zen. We all need a lot of moments like these right now.

I am a spiritual but not religious person. Dogma is not my thing. However religion gives many people hope and to not allow people to attend services must add an additional level of anxiety. So I am pleased to see that most religious services are available online.

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Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

The Miniature Trains at The Living Desert

One of the great surprises of The Living Desert in Palm Springs was the extensive miniature railroad exhibit. I have always loved miniature railroads. I have a great set as a kid and have seen some amazing exhibits. The exhibits at the Barnum Museum in Sarasota, at The Science Center in Pittsburgh and The science and Industry Museum in Chicago are unbelievable However, the one at The Living Desert in Palm Desert California is truly unique.

The exhibit is outdoors and is almost an acre large It consists of more than 3,300 feet of track, six different loops and a variety of trains in different gauges. There are all sorts of surprises in this exhibit including Most Rushmore. I imagine the fact that it is outdoors creates all sorts of maintenance costs. Throughout the exhibits are miniature road signs of the corporate sponsors.

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Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore Part Two

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. It is one of the Churches referred to as The Vatican Beyond the Walls. Eve though it is outside the Vatican it is part of The Papal See and guarded by the famous Swiss Guard instead of the roman police.

The inside is astonishing and has one of the most beautiful ceilings in existence. It is very large with many different areas for worship and truly one of the most beautiful and accessible churches in the world.

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The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore