My Virtual Vacation Day 16—Wien (Vienna)

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 Wien (Vienna) in Austria.

I didn’t know what to expect from Vienna except that that Mozart lived there for a while and my parents told me that they were terrible to Jews even before the Nazis. Vienna was a surprising delight. Maybe it was the great hotel we stayed at or maybe seeing the
famous stalions at the Spanish Riding School or maybe the great food and music, whatever it was Vienna was very special. They also have one of the best Jewish History Museums in the world.

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Nymphenburg Palace

Karlskirche Wien

Saint Stephen’s Cathedral in Wien.

The Hotel Bristol Wien

Karlsplatz Wien

Schloss Nymphenburg

Early Reviews of Worlds Apart

Pittsburgh’s Jake Webber and Rose Youngblood provide some excellent escapist fiction as they battle evil across parallel worlds. While Jake and Rose are jaunting through dimensions, Detective Janet Pizzutti tries to figure out a mystery at the site of the Greenfield Bridge implosion. The stories intertwine making for a fun adventure to help you escape Covid 19 and turmoil in the streets.

From our newest reviewer, “Great story with lots of mystery, plot twists, and even some chuckles. If you are familiar with Pittsburgh and its landmarks, you will really enjoy the tie-ins to many historic and popular spots of the city. This book does what every book should do —leaving you wanting more. Will there be third novel? Who knows, but don’t put off reading either of these gems — especially if yinz are from the Burgh.”

Another reviewer said, “I am a non-fiction guy; I prefer my books to be solidly grounded in reality. But reality has become overwhelming in these days of pandemic and political hyper-polarization. I needed something to take me away, to transport me to some alternate reality – or realities. “Worlds Apart” by Richard and Hinda Burke has done just that.”

Read a sample or order your copy by clicking here.

Pittsburgh In Monochrome

Since I am traveling virtually this year I am revisiting places I have been and editing some of my images in monochrome. I look for images where the color does not add any value to the image and then see if I can convert it effectively. Of course Pittsburgh is my home but right now I miss traveling to my favorite places. I miss the museums, The National Aviary and the Phipps. I miss being able to do street photography. Yet looking through some of my images I found a few that were worthy of converting to monochrome.

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River View

PNC Park View

Schenley Park View

Pittsburgh

My Virtual Vacation Day 15—Monaco

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 Monaco.

Monaco is one of the richest places on the planet. An estimated one-third of residents are millionaires, and the GDP per capita is $165,420 — the second-highest in the world. From the palaces to the casinos to the yachts, everywhere you look you see the wealth. Montecarlo is also home of the Grand Prix and everywhere you turn you see race cars. Hotels and private residences overlook the raceway and during the race people sit on their balconies overlooking the mayhem.

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Monaco Palace

Changing of The Guard

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Casino of Montecarlo

Casino of Monte-Carlo

Casino of Montecarlo

Casino of Monte-Carlo

My Virtual Vacation Day 14—Chicago

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 Chicago.

This city is really important to me. Our daughter and her family live there. It is also historically and strategically important to the USA.It is one of the largest lake shipping ports in the world. Thanks to the Saint Lawrence Seaway it is a major point of entry into the United States. It is also the latest rail hub in the United States. Culturally and ethnically Chicago is unique and important to the cultural fabric of our country.

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Horses on Michigan

Jumping Bean

Window Patterns on Chicago River

My Virtual Vacation Day 13—Palm Desert California

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 Palm Desert of California.

We have visited a few times. The desert has its own unique beauty. Joshua Tree National Park and Indian Canyons are two great spots for desert hikes. The resorts are luxurious and the area has more fountains than any place I can think of. It is so dry that the fountains offer a unique bit of luxury taken for granted in other areas of the country.

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A Desert Oasis

Joshua Tree National Park

Palm Desert

Missing the Phipps

I miss my friends and relatives but also just miss people in general. Each season we would make a visit to the Phipps Conservatory, The Aviary and Pittsburgh Museums. As members you begin to recognize the staff members. I hope they are all OK. Here are some pictures from previous visits to the Phipps Conservatory of Pittsburgh.

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Phipps Spring Flower Show

The Phipps Summer Garden

A Perfect Bloom

The Phipps Summer Garden

My Virtual Vacation Day 12—Praha (Prague) Czech Republic

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 Praha (Prague) in the Czech Republic.

One of the most beautiful and historically important cities of Europe, Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic and was once the home of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV (r. 1346–1378).[10] It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1989, after the riot police beat back a peaceful student demonstration, the Velvet Revolution forced the split up of Czechoslovakia and the current Czech Republic was formed.

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Color Guard

Praha CZE

Candidate #12…Prague Castle

Autumn in Praha

The Charles Bridge

Wien (Vienna) in Monochrome

Since I am traveling virtually this year I am revisiting places I have been and editing some my images in Monochrome. One of the best images I have ever produced was taken in Vienna in Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. It was part of my exhibition, Moments and Souls and is entitled Doppleganger. In revisiting Wien I found a few more images well suited for treatment in monochrome.

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Doppelganger

My Virtual Vacation Day 11—Strasbourg 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 Strasbourg in the Alsace region of France

Strasbourg is the capital city of the Grand Est region, formerly Alsace, in northeastern France. It’s also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences. Its Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame features daily shows from its astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River from partway up its 142m spire.

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Strasbourg France

Real Onion Soup

Rhine River

Strasbourg FR

Strasbourg FR