Friday, December 31, 2010

Destination of the Day: Macy's-State Street, Chicago, IL

Destination 6 in the series "2 Megapixels"


A world-class city is not complete without a great downtown department store.  Regardless if you still call it Marshall Field's or  now Macy's, the store at State and Randolph is one of the original greats.  Built when people dressed up for all day shopping excursions, it puts to shame the generic big-box stores and faceless shopping malls many of us have grown up with.  At eight stories and the size of a city block it was the mall of its time.  Fortunately for residents and visitors alike it has remained true while adapting to the needs of today's demanding public.  During the holiday season do not miss the decorated widows along State Street. For lunch or dinner there is almost nothing more special than enjoying a meal with friends under the Walnut Room Christmas Tree.


The photo from the seventh floor looking down from the central atrium during the holiday rush.  


Macy's State Street is located in Chicago-Downtown with a direct link to the CTA Red Line Lake Street station.


Link:
http://www.visitmacyschicago.com/


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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Destination of the Day: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, MI

Destination 5 in the series "2 Megapixels"


Gerald Ford could not have selected a more difficult time to serve his country.  He became Vice President after the then-current Vice President was charged and pleaded no contest to tax evasion and money laundering.  On 9 August 1974, he assumed the presidency when President Nixon resigned.  He inherited a country deep in recession and unresolved conflicts. 


The Gerald Ford Museum was dedicated in 1981.  Its rich collection includes a selection of dresses worn by First Lady Betty Ford (see photo), a replica of the Oval Office, and artifacts from President Ford's childhood up through the end of his presidency.  This CTer recommends scheduling two to three hours to tour the entire museum.  


The Gerald Ford Museum is located in downtown Grand Rapids on the Grand River, within walking distance of downtown hotels and across the street from the Grand Rapids Public Museum.


Link:
http://www.ford.utexas.edu/museum/aboutmus.asp


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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Destination of the Day: Twig and Leaf, Louisville, KY

Destination 4 in the series "2 Megapixels"


Twig and Leaf, located on Bardstown Road in Louisville's Deer Park neighborhood, would probably not make an appearance on anyone's must visit list.  This rundown restaurant is best known for its comfort food and late night hours.  In August a developer, faced with community opposition, dropped plans to purchase the site and replace the restaurant with a CVS.  The city is currently considering adding the diner to the local protected landmark's list.  Hopefully that will be the needed nudge to convince the owner to make some overdue repairs.  


From downtown take the TARC Route 23-Broadway bus.  


Link: 
http://louisville.metromix.com/restaurants/american/twig-and-leaf-highlands/498345/content



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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Great Lakes & Upper South in the News: WSJ article on major development project near Saugatuck, Douglas, and Fennville area.

Billionaire Aubrey McClendon Finds Dune Project a Tough Climb - WSJ.com


"Aubrey McClendon is used to getting his way. He isn't getting it from a township of 3,000 people that has raised taxes and flirted with insolvency in a battle over his proposed project on the dunes of Lake Michigan."


Link:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395904576025993432953986.html

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Destination of the Day: "What We Are to Expect", Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, IN.

Destination 3 in the series "2 Megapixels"


When Fort Wayne's Lincoln Museum closed many were concerned what would happen to its vast collection of documents and artifacts.  Fortunately the Indiana State Museum was able to secure a portion of the collection and in 2010 held a special exhibit to present the museum's investment.  Included in the collection is the pamphlet "What Miscegenation Is!".  


The Indiana State Museum is located in the western section of downtown Indianapolis and within walking distance of most downtown hotels.  


Link:
http://www.indianamuseum.org



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Monday, December 27, 2010

Destination of the Day: The Joans at the Flesh Hungry Dog Show, Chicago, IL

Destination 2 in the series "2 Megapixels"


After a long day hiking, visiting historic sites, and attending a game, it can be a little difficult for the CTer to enjoy an area's music scene.  But for those who can take just a few more hours of exploring might stumble across the next big thing, or maybe just someone's mid-life crisis!  


The Flesh Hungry Dog Show (http://www.fleshhungrydog.com/) offers the CTer an opportunity to sample three or four interesting and imaginative bands.  Held in a bar in the city's Rogers Park neighborhood (take Red Line from downtown to Loyola Station, walk west to North Clark and West Devon) a brave soul can feast on some good music, great conversation, and if nothing else, a cool beverage.  


Link:
http://www.fleshhungrydog.com/



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Great Lakes & Upper South in the News: National Geographic article on Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Quick, when someone asks you what are must sees in Saint Louis, what do recommend?  Forest Park museums?  Seeing a game?  The Arch?  All are great ideas and I would like to have CTers add one more: Cahokia Mounds State Park (see 5 October Photo of the Day).  In the January 2011 issue of National Geographic (pages 126-145), writer Glenn Hodges explores the poor treatment and amazing history of this once major city.  Oh, just FYI, while the name is modest, its importance is internationally recognized-it is also a World Heritage Site!   


Link:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/cahokia/hodges-text


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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Destination of the Day: Davenport SkyBridge, Davenport, IA

Destination 1 in the series "2 Megapixels"


This striking structure, located downtown between Main Street and South Brady Street with its entrance on 2nd Street, offers a full view of the city while providing a safe and sheltered walkway connecting downtown hotels and convention center with the riverfront casino. A balcony at the east end makes for a great vantage point to take perfect photos of the Mississippi River. Unfortunately due to graffiti problems the walkway is closed late night to early morning. 


Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davenport_Skybridge


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Series of the Week: "2 Megapixels"

Even a few years ago the camera on the iPhone 3G was considered poor by most experts.  For this CTer though the camera was just one more option to capture that special photo that could never be planned or prepared for.  It is a modern day Polaroid.  So what if the photos are a little fuzzy and the lighting is off.   This week's series are photos from the 2010 GLCT iPhone collection.  


If you would like to contribute to this series contact me at rmaihoferii@gmail.com. Include your name, the establishment, a short description, and a photo if you have one.


Robert Maihofer

Moderator 

Great Lakes Casual Traveler (GLCT)






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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Destination of the Day: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Destination 9 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4-0). Opened on 18 August 2001, seating 65,050. Sitting on the Ohio River across from downtown, Heinz Field is one of a impressive collection of new attractions in the North Shore area: PNC Park, the Rivers Casino, and the Carnegie Science Center.  Plans also include extending the T from downtown to the district making it much easier for the CTer to visit the area.  A hockey fan?  You are in luck.  The annual NHL Winter Classic will be played there 1 January between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.  


Link:
http://www.steelers.com/tickets-and-stadium/

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Destination of the Day: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH

Destination 8 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Cleveland Browns (5-9-0). Opened on 12 September 1999, seating 73,200.  Named after John Brown (also of Cincinnati fame) it is a perfect example of honoring a person or a group while also tapping into modern marketing.  While the stadium is named after the team, each of the main entrances had their naming rights sold.  I wish more cities would consider this option (no more Enron Fields!).   The RTS West 3rd Street station and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are nearby.  The CTer will find downtown Cleveland and RTA-connected neighborhoods enjoyable with plenty of activities for the entire family.


Link:
http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/stadium/index.html


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Destination of the Day: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

Destination 7 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Cincinnati Bengals (3-11-0). Opened on 19 August 2000, seating 65,790.  Named after John Brown who is credited with founding two professional football teams, it is one of the few stadiums not named after a corporation or brand. Replacing the dual major sports stadium Cinergy Field/Riverfront Stadium, Paul Brown Stadium also sits right on the Ohio River in the southwest corner of downtown Cincinnati.  The football stadium also has the unique distinction of appearing on Harris Interactive's "America's favorite 150 buildings and structures".  Also nearby is the Underground Railroad museum.  


Link:
http://www.bengals.com/stadium/index.html


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The Missing Stadiums

Not even the GLCT has visited every professional football stadium (yet!).  Still awaiting their photos are stadiums in Hamilton, Nashville, and Toronto.  Maybe a GLCTer can share?


Hamilton, ON-Ivor Wynne Stadium
Home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-9-0).  Opened in 1930, seating 30,000. 
http://www.ticats.ca/index.php?module=page&id=4015


Nashville, TN-LP Field
Home of the Tennessee Titans (6-8-0).  Opened 27 August 1999, seating 69,143.
http://www.lpfield.com/


Toronto, ON-Rogers Centre, formerly Skydome.
Home of the Toronto Argonauts (9-9-0).  Opened 3 June 1989, seating 31,074.
http://www.rogerscentre.com/

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Destination of the Day: Ford Field, Detroit, MI

Destination 6 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Detroit Lions (4-10-0). Opened on 24 August 2002, seating 65,000. The Lions made the smart decision to leave the isolated Pontiac Silverdome (located in a suburb of a suburb of Detroit!) for this well-designed space.  Located in the northeast corner of downtown it is across the street from Comerica Park (Tigers) and near the Fox Theatre, the three downtown Detroit casinos, and a good number of bars. The Detroit People Mover provides a great view of the city and the Broadway Station and Greektown Station are within walking distance of the field.  Tours are available of the stadium.


Link:
http://www.detroitlions.com/ford-field/index.html


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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Destination of the Day: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

Destination 5 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Indianapolis Colts (8-6-0).  Opened in 16 August 2008, seating 63,000.  This oversized fieldhouse sits just south of the downtown core and, for better or worse, can been seen from nearly every direction.  The retro look includes a nice little surprise - a retractable roof.  The area immediately around the stadium still has a warehouse feel, but that should change.  For the CT the stadium is only a quick walk from most downtown hotels and bars and the Amtrak station is next door.  


Link:
http://www.lucasoilstadium.com/


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Destination of the Day: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO

Destination 4 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Saint Louis Rams (6-8-0). Opened on 12 November 1995, seating 66,965. What this stadium lacks in character it makes up with its convenient downtown location and the nearby MetroLink-Convention Center station.  Within walking distance you can visit casinos, a great entertainment district, and The Arch.  The downside is that one might not find a place to have the traditional football tailgate.  


Link:
http://www.explorestlouis.com/edwardJonesDome/public.asp



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Destination of the Day: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Destination 3 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Green Bay Packers (8-6-0).  Opened on 29 September 1957, renovated in 2003, seating 73,128.  If you can only visit one professional football stadium, this is the one.  One of the largest structures in this modest working class city of 101,025, you immediately feel that this place is very special.  The 2003 added a fantastic atrium, a few restaurants (many open year round), the Hall of Fame, and warming areas, yet kept the seating bowl pretty much the same.  Stadium tours are offered.  For the CT, the Number 12 bus will take you right to the stadium from downtown, but there appears to be no service on Sundays.  


Link:
http://www.lambeaufield.com


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Destination of the Day: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

Destination 2 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Chicago Bears (9-4-0).  Original structure opened 9 October, 1924, reopened 29 September 2003, and seats 61,500.  Want to start an interesting discussion?  Walk into a Bears' sports bar and ask someone what he/she thinks of the renovated stadium.  On second thought, that could get very ugly.  Either people will admire how an aging stadium was refitted and updated or want to track down the design staff and send them on a long trip.  Either way the stadium does make a statement but lacks any real shelter from the elements.  The CT will like the location near three major museums and within walking distance of commuter rail stations, bus lines, and the El.  While a little isolated there are plenty of great bars on the way to the stadium.  


Link:
http://www.soldierfield.net/


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Destination of the Day: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome/Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, MN

Destination 1 in the series "Fourth and Goal"


Home of the Minnesota Viking (5-8-0).  Opened 3 April 1982 and seats 64,000.  Yes, this is the same Metrodome that made headlines last week with the roof deflating.  Yet for all the headlines it was only the fifth time and the only time in last 20 years that the roof had major problems.  I wish my roof was that reliable!  For the CT the stadium offers a mixed bag.  While downtown and near a light rail station, the area immediately surrounding the stadium lacks that nice urban feel of nearby restaurants and sports bars.    


Link:
http://www.msfc.com/


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Series of the Week: "Fourth and Goal"


If you are a football fan there may be no other place (well, maybe Texas) better to be than the Great Lakes and Upper South region.  With 10 NFL and 2 CFL teams you are bound to find a great game nearby.  With the NFL regular season winding down and the CFL championship recently played its time to take a quick tour of the region's stadiums.

If you would like to contribute to this series contact me at rmaihoferii@gmail.com. Include your name, the establishment, a short description, and a photo if you have one.

Robert Maihofer
Moderator
Great Lakes Casual Traveler (GLCT)











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