Thursday, March 31, 2011

Destination of the Day: "Source Code" and "Transformers 3", Chicago, IL

Bonus to "Ready for my close-up"


Chicago gets a reluctant starring role in two big upcoming films, one opening this weekend and the other this summer:


Source Code-
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/summit/sourcecode/


The trailer includes a flyby of Cloud Gate/The Bean, METRA's Rock Island commuter rail line, and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago-Douglas. 


Transformers 3 (Big Game Spot posed on 6 Feb 2011)-
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/paramount/transformersdarkofthemoon/


The trailer includes the SouthShore/Electric commuter rail line, McCormick Place in Chicago-Downtown, the Chicago River, LaSalle Street, and Wacker Drive.


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Destination of the Day: Busch Stadium, Saint Louis, MO

Destination 4 in the series "Opening Day!"


Opening Day is 2 April at 3:10 pm against the San Diego Padres. This 43,975 seat stadium literally took the place of Busch Memorial Stadium with the new outfield well within the previous stadium's (see photo below) footprint.  The remaining space will be the home of BallPark Village, envisioned as a complex of condos, office towers, and retail/entertainment.  For CTers, you are in luck-MetroLink has two nearby stations and Illinois and Missouri have been improving the rail links between Saint Louis and Chicago and Kansas City.  Another plus is that the stadium is surrounded with blocks of bars, restaurants, and other activities within easy and safe walking distance.  


For more information visit its Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busch_Stadium


Address:
Busch Stadium
http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/ballpark/information/index.jsp
700 Clark Street
Saint Louis, MO 63102-1727
314-345-9500 (for baseball tickets)


From Wikipedia Commons














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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Destination of the Day: Miller Park, Milwaukee, WI

Destination 3 in the series "Opening Day!"


Opening Day is 4 April at 1:10 pm against the Atlanta Braves. This 41,900 seat stadium is only one of three baseball stadiums not in its host city's downtown district.  Fortunately for CTers the Milwaukee County Transit System has three lines that either deboard right at or run close to the stadium (Best Option: Route 90-Miller Park, from downtown to park).  Unlike the other two though it was built suburban style with the stadium surrounded by massive surface parking lots, expressways, and a cemetery.    Similar to Rogers Centre (Toronto) the stadium sports an innovative retractable roof that permits year-round use, yet allows fans to enjoy warm summer breezes. 


For more information visit its Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_Park_(Milwaukee)


Address:
Miller Park
http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=mil
South 1st Place
Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-902-4000 (for baseball tickets)












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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Destination of the Day: Target Field, Minneapolis, MN

Destination 2 in the series "Opening Day!"


Opening Day is 8 April at 3:10 pm against the Oakland As. This stunning 39,504 seat stadium is only one year old and a far cry from the Twins previous home, the Metrodome.  Do not just take this GLCTer's word for it - ESPN The Magazine ranked Target Field the best sports stadium in North America.  In addition to being a well designed and innovative complex (it is even LEED certified), it is also convenient with a commuter rail station on one end and a light rail station on the other end.  


For more information visit its Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_Field


Address:
Target Field
http://mlb.mlb.com/min/ballpark/index.jsp
1 Twins Way
Minneapolis, MN
(800) 33-Twins (for baseball tickets)























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Destination of the Day: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON

Destination 1 in the series "Opening Day!"


Opening Day is 1 April at 7:07 pm against Minnesota Twins.  This 49,539 seat multi-purpose stadium was cutting edge when it opened in 1989 on Toronto's lakefront.  The retractable dome was a first in North America, permitting the eventual summer sun and warmth in, while protecting those attending winter events and allowing for other year-round uses.   The Rogers Centre was one of the last of its kind as owners and fans slowly rejected, among many other things, the poor sight-lines when the seating arrangement had to be reconfigured for very different sports (The CFL's Toronto Argonauts also play in the stadium).  Tours are available on many non-event days.  


For more information visit its Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_Centre


Photo is from  Wikimedia Commons.  


Address:
Rogers Centre
http://www.rogerscentre.com
One Blue Jays Way
Toronto, ON  M5V 1J1






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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Great Lakes & Upper South in the News: NPR's 'The Secret Bunker Congress Never Used'

Link:
http://www.npr.org/2011/03/26/134379296/the-secret-bunker-congress-never-used


"In a groundbreaking series of reports in 2010, Washington Post reporters Bill Arkin and Dana Priest revealed that 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area since September 2001.


Before that building boom, however, another secret bunker lay in wait for the apocalypse, behind a giant reinforced steel door. For 30 years, it was kept secret. Hidden in West Virginia's Greenbrier Resort was a massive bomb shelter stocked with supplies for members of Congress in case of an emergency."








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Series of the Week: "Opening Day!"


Say what you want about baseball, but few other sports have the opening day draw and excitement than baseball.  With ten of 30 MLB teams in the region there is plenty of excitement to go around.    Of the 16 large and major cities in the Great Lakes & Upper South regions, nine have MLB teams with many of the remaining hosting minor league teams (those will be highlighted later).  Time to put on that heavy jacket, gloves, and hat, it is time to head out to the old ballpark and take in the traditions of "Opening Day".

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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Friday, March 25, 2011

Destination of the Day: Ohio River

Destination 5 in the series "Rolling on the river" (Photo: Louisville, KY)


Origin: Pittsburgh, PA, formed by the Allegheny River and Monongahela River
Mouth: Cario, IL, where it enters the Mississippi River
Length: 981 miles


For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_River



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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Destination of the Day: Chicago River, IL

Destination 4 in the series "Rolling on the river" (Photo: Chicago, IL)


Origin: Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL
Mouth: DesPlaines River via Illinois and Michigan Canal and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
Length: 156 miles


For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_River


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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Destination of the Day: Mississippi River

Destination 3 in the series "Rolling on the river" (Photo: Minneapolis, MN)


Origin: Lake Itasca in Itasca State Park, MN
Mouth: Gulf of Mexico at Pilottown LA
Length: 2,320 miles


For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_River


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Destination of the Day: Kanawha River, WV

Destination 2 in the series "Rolling on the river" (Photo: Charleston, WV)


Origin: New River in Ashe County, NC
Mouth: Ohio River at Point Pleasant, WV
Length: 97 miles


For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanawha_River


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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Detroit-Midtown

Overview: Detroit-Midtown is located north of downtown and is generally bounded by the four major expressways.  Home of Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, and the College for Creative Studies the area has seen a bit of a rebirth over the last few years, but caution should still be taken especially in the southwest corner of the neighborhood (sadly, right around the Masonic Temple Theatre).  Use DDOT Route 53-Woodward to travel from downtown to the major museums.   




Places Visited:
-Detroit Institute of Arts (http://www.dia.org/): At $8/adult, this might be one of the least expensive art museums in the GL&US region.  Entrance is now on Farnsworth Street.  Light breakfast is available in Kresge Court with lunch available there and in CafeDIA.  Layout is a little difficult at first but worth the effort.  DO NOT MISS THE RIVERA COURT!


 

-Detroit Historical Museum (http://www.detroithistorical.org/): Okay for about an hour and a half visit and covers strictly Detroit and some suburbs.  Displays have not been updated since 1996 so a little dated.  Streets of Old Detroit a little underwhelming when compared to other similar exhibits elsewhere.  




-MGM Grand Detroit (http://mgmgranddetroit.com/):  Located downtown, I can see why this casino is the most popular of the three downtown casinos (two more are located in Windsor).  Plenty of games, tables, and restaurant options.  Only ONE place to get free soda, and not at all marked.  Unfortunately smoking is allowed on the gaming floor, but only saw a few people actually smoking.  The non-smoking area looked like an afterthought and was packed.  Casino itself feels a bit isolated in the northwest corner of downtown with few places within comfortable walking distance.




-Traffic Jam & Snug (http://www.trafficjamdetroit.com/): NICE!  A casual restaurant, bar, bakery, and brewery.  Waiter was fun, but it did seem to take a bit for a simple burger order.  Beer was tasty.  The restaurant does offer off-street parking across the street.  If parked there, check with waitstaff before departing with the intention of visiting the brewery across the street.






Robert Maihofer






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