Civic Architecture 2.0

North Vancouver city hall and civic center are designed with a minimalist theme that evokes the modern designs of someplace in Scandinavia. To get here I crossed the Vancouver Harbour in a ferry and trekked up the hill for about a kilometer or so. Turning around I had a panoramic view of Vancouver across the bay and jagged rocky peaks at my back, it’s hard to imagine a more scenic location in a cosmopolitain setting. These are my impressions of the architecture at the North Vancouver city hall.

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Casa Monica

I almost ruined our mini-vacation by booking a hotel room about 90 miles away from our destination. It was a good thing I checked out the drive using the hotel address on Google maps the day before we left. When reality sunk in I begged and pleaded my way into the last hotel room at our original destination. Not knowing the town I didn’t know what to expect, however this is the first thing we saw when we approached the check-in desk. I came back to take this photo early the next day when the lobby was empty. This is the lobby of the Casa Monica in St. Augustine, Florida.

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Not what I came for

This is what happens when you focus the lens in the wrong direction. Actually, at the base of this building is a colorful sculpture that I was determined to capture, but instead focused up as I was captivated by this building. (Hey, I’m from a small town.) My mind wanders from time to time, and sometimes I just gotta go with it. You know, that whole right brain, left brain thing…

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Bank of Montreal

In Florida where I live it seems that a lot of small banks have been purchased by big Canadian banks. They’ll put up a new sign and logo which I then recognize as Canadian. Other than the new logo, the buildings are fairly nondescript as many local banks tend to be. However, when I walked by the same bank on a busy street in Vancouver, well, there’s something to look at. In any case, here’s to the architecture of Canadian banks…, in Canada.

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Welcome to Hogwarts

It was with these words that our guide (an upperclassman two weeks away from graduation) introduced us to the dining hall at Flagler College, a four year liberal arts school with the distinction of having some of the most impressive architecture in Florida. The college was built as the Ponce de Leon hotel for the well to do back in the gilded era. Imagine eating your tacos before class surrounded by priceless Tiffany widows and fourteen carrot gold chandeliers. From the looks on some of the faces at lunch when we dropped in, they couldn’t have cared less.

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Cherry Blossoms

In the last few days the Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver have been in full riot mode. It’s really the most amazing thing to see, not just the Cherry Blossoms but the residents of Vancouver looking at the Cherry Blossoms. Silly me, I thought I could just go out and take a few photographs, but as it turns out it seemed that I was only one of about a half million people doing the same thing. There are surely millions of photos of the Cherry Blossoms taken in the last three days. I pointed the camera up in order to get the blossoms without the people taking pictures of the blossoms and in this small way I claimed these Cherry Blossoms as my own, …that is until the next ten people took the same shot.

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Castillo de San Marcos

This is the entrance to Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine, Florida. I got here for this shot just after sunrise. For a couple of hundred years this draw bridge was a crucial link to the outside, and for weeks it would be raised as the fort was under siege. Possession of the fort has changed six times through various treaties over the centuries, yet it was never defeated in battle. However, if you come here a couple hours after sunrise, you just might be defeated by the tens of thousands that visit this sturdy bastion daily. I wonder if the Spanish had that in mind when they built it.

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Looking for a Sunset

Looking for sunsets can be a blessing and a curse. I find myself always mindful of the direction of the sun and the cloud layer, two prerequisites of a good shot. On this particular day I had very little to look forward to so, being on a mini vacation, I found myself in the hotel bar sipping a drink that was way too colorful. My resolved to ignore the hour gave in and I quickly headed up the elevator to snap this through the window of our 5th floor room which looked out across Flagler College in St Augustine Florida. I quickly performed the task, having given it that “college try” and made haste back to the bar before the next round. This is how I try to keep my priorities. No comments to this post will be accepted, …unless you’re buying the next round.

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Spring in the City

Winter can last so long that some of us need visual cues that it’s coming to an end. Such was the case when I walked by these plants in the city park. Until this point, it never even dawned on me there would be an end to winter. Irrational yes, but very good news nonetheless.

Spring In The CityWinter can last so long that some of us need visual cues that it's coming to an end. Such was the case when I walked by these plants in the city park. Until this point, it never even dawned on me there would be an end to winter. Irrational yes, but very good news nonetheless.

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Bridge of Lions

I’m fascinated by bridges so they’re natural subjects for my photography. This is the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine. The lions at the entrance of the bridge are a tribute to Ponce de León and are a symbol of the Spanish royal family, harkening back to St. Augustine’s past as a Spanish colony. According to our guide, these lions are carved from the same quarry as that used by Michelangelo. I thought they we’re impressive enough to get up before dawn and capture them without the normal traffic experienced at the height of spring break.

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