New York – Statue of Liberty

I took the ferry out to walk around the Statue of Liberty. While I was in line I met a woman from Iran who was also visiting the US, her name was Shirin. So we rode out on the ferry together and walked around Liberty and took photos. It was good to have someone to talk to and we got some good pictures. She remarked that I wasn’t much chop for photographing, which is probably true, but here is some of what I saw anyway. And thanks to Shirin for taking the picture of me in front of Liberty. This post also contains some photos of the new World Trade Centre they are building to replace the old one and a very cool war memorial that was at the pier.

Liberty…

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New York – Empire State Building

As far as I know since the towers came down the Empire State Building is again the tallest building on the Manhattan skyline, though I am not absolutely sure about that. The day I went to visit it was rainy and foggy and my heart began to sink as I travelled up the elevator – I figured there would not be much to see. However, as I was wandering around on the observation deck the clouds cleared away and I was able to take in some great views. It was a great view and you can really appreciate that you are on an island between two rivers as you walk around the observation deck and look down from all four sides. However, it was very windy and damn cold, I kept having to go back inside so my hands did not lock up because of the cold. Just to orientate you: the Bronx is to the North East, the East River is (of course) to the East, Brooklyn is to the South East, the Statue of Liberty is to the South, Queens is (I think) to the South West, the Hudson River is pretty much to the West, and New Jersey is pretty much to the North West. Something else you might not know, but the Empire State Building has been transformed into a model for sustainable skyscrapers – good to see a famous icon put to an excellent use. Then it was off to Macey’s to buy a very cool Fossil bag.

Enjoy the views….

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New York – Guggenheim Museum

I got a chance to visit here and take in the various works on display – it was great! Among my favorites were Mountains at Saint-Remy by van Gogh, Still Life with Gingerpot 1 by Mondrian, and Saint Severin by Delaunay, in fact the last painting struck me in particular. The layout of the gallery is fantastic, as you ascend the ramp round and round in circles you also journey through modern art, maybe not to everyone’s taste but certainly to mine.

Anyway, these are just some photos of the iconic building, obviously I couldn’t take many inside…

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New York – Central Park

I pretty much fell in love with Central Park when I was in New York. It’s huge and even after spending most of a day walking around it I was still only able to explore about a third of it. As a quick example: it took me well over forty-five minutes to walk around the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir of which there are pictures from various angles. You should also check out the stuff about the Mayor of Central Park, it’s pretty cool. I know the titles are bit unimaginative, but this is just what I saw.

Anyway, enjoy a walk in the park…

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Pittsburgh

Obviously this post is written post arrival back in Australia – I got so busy traveling that I didn’t end up blogging, mostly because I was talking to people or seeing stuff.

The photos in this post are of the Cathedral of Learning at Pittsburgh University. Apart from the Archives of Scientific Philosophy and the Andy Warhol Museum this was all I found time to see – I had a lot of work to do.

I think the Cathedral of Learning is a pretty cool idea in any case. The most interesting feature is that they have a whole series of nationally themed classrooms that you can go and see. There are lots of special things about the classrooms that I didn’t get time to take note of but the Cathedral has it’s own website so you can visit that for information, these are just my person pictures and they are not in the order that I viewed the classrooms, but all the images of any one classroom ought to be together.

Enjoy.

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Minneapolis 2

This is out of order, but that is just how I am doing it. Anyway, here are some photos of Minneapolis. On the last day of the conference I took half the day off to go and sight-see. Most of the photos are from a historic walk that crosses the Mississippi River which more or less begins in Minnesota Minneapolis and ends in New Orleans – so I have been from one end to the other of America’s largest river system.

And here are some more photos.

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Chicago – Northwestern

A bit of wrangling at the Minneapolis APA and the kind and efficient efforts of Sanford Goldberg and my old MA supervisor John Burgess got me a gig to present my paper at Northwestern University in Chicago. This meant I didn’t see much of the city, but I had a chance to present my stuff to what turned out to be the biggest audience it has seen outside of Oz.

John and his wife Carol live on 6 acres outside of Northwestern Chicago. So I got to see middle-class america up front, including inside the home, and it is like television, basically think Buffy when they aren’t killing vampires etc. Northwestern University is the same, obviously middle-class. That said it has to the prettiest campus I have ever seen, wouldn’t mind walking through that every day. Interestingly it is mostly on reclaimed land. I got some glimpses of lake Michigan, but I was pretty much busy presenting the paper and being shown around by John.

John and Carol live in generously-sized house, big enough for there to be separate studies for almost everyone and plenty of storage. They near a forest in which birds of many kinds, badgers, squirrels and sometimes turkeys roam. The house is secluded and has an interesting design, looks like it was built in the 80’s on a 60’s inspired design. They are both very pleasant people and John and I had a good laugh over breakfast – he has written some hilarious mock exam questions that none the less are actually questions you could use, one example should suffice, for an environmental ethics exam: Can a dude be an ecofeminist? (Think about it because it is actually a damn good and still funny question, vintage John.)

So that was Chicago, unfortunately no photos – I was too absorbed in what was going on to remember to photograph stuff but I had a great time and I am most grateful to Sandy, John and Carol.

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Minneapolis 1

Well, I’m sitting in the lounge of the hostel. It’s an old mansion with wooden floors and two staircases – the one I climb is rather narrow – the two kind of run in parrallel, it’s a bit of an Escher house. So it’s cold here, obviously, it’s the end of winter and there are all these clumps of snow that has not yet melted and that the rain has turned to ice, over time it gets dirty with the grit, the car exhaust, and the general flavour of this town. Like the ice that hangs on as the leftover of winter, there seem to be people on the streets that seem to be leftovers of a past time when times were better here. The place looks like it is a bit down at heel, at least the way that it looks around here. There are guys (mostly black I am sorry to say) who stand on street corners and ask you for change, so far not too different from Melbourne. There little independent grocers all over this part of town, the few I have walked into seem to have pensive owners who don’t seem very interested in their jobs. The day after I arrived I got a coffee from the McDonalds around the corner because there are no other coffee shops I could see. While I was waiting for my order this bloke who looked like he was imitating 50 cent came up to me and said I had nice shoes (um, my shoes cost me $50 from the snowgum factory-outlet at Southern Cross station), so I said “Thanks, they are just cheapo’s”, but he insisted they were good shoes, odd. Food: if you wanted to live on fast food here you could do it, it’s everywhere and it’s not very expensive (but I guess it depends on the dollar). Walking tonight along Nicollet Avenue, which stretches between downtown and the hostel, I passed quite a few people carrying fast food home for dinner, an easy diet if not a healthy one. Last night I went to dinner with some of the philosohy grads here at a German resturant – very strange experience, a waitress who was on top of us, almost literally, it was almost like she was on something, learned my first lesson: don’t hand over big notes to waitresses that need to be bothered so you can get your change, even if you do leave them an appropriate tip

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