Category Archives: Travel

Samovar Tea Lounge, San Francisco

I was in San Francisco for business this week and only had my iPhone 4S with me. I snapped these first two shots with that. The image of the “guest” asleep in front was taken a year before with a D7000. As I noted at the time on my flickr account,

The mild weather no doubt contributes to the large number of homeless people in San Francisco. The Samovar Tea Lounge is a beautiful and amazing place for tea and treats at the Yerba Beuna Gardens. It is very expensive, however, and the condition of the gentleman in the foreground shows in stark contrast to the average Samovar customer.

The iPhone (or any phone camera) makes for a nice surreptitious shot. I certainly would not (and did not) hide the fact that I was taking a picture, but it is so common place now that no one took notice. I like the active expressions of those engaged in conversation in this picture.

Red Rock Canyon, NV

This past spring a business trip took me to Las Vegas. I persuaded my colleague to get up before dawn with me to drive out to Red Rock Canyon. I learned that it is very hard to capture the grandeur the eye sees in such a wide-open space. A beautiful experience of which the images are but very poor reflections.

This is New York City


Save the United States

No, this is not a political appeal or a reference to the upcoming election. It is about the SS United States. A few weeks ago we went to see Real Madrid v. Celtics at the new Eagle’s stadium. I left the ladies shopping at Ikea and directly across the parking lot was this old, rusting hulk of a ship. Clearly formerly majestic, now it was just sitting there waiting to become scrap…unless. Unless we save it! That is the appeal and I have to say, it’s history is compelling. At one time she held the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing record:

July 7, 1952

SS United States passes Bishop’s Rock at 6:16 A.M. ship’s time (5:16 A.M. Greenwich Mean Time), marking the end of the official transatlantic passage. She completed the transit in 3 days, 10 hours, and 40 minutes, with an average speed of 35.59 knots, utterly shattering the Queen Mary’s standing record.

You can find out more and help with the restoration at

Oxford 2007

My wife and I spent the first 4 years of our marriage in Oxford (UK, not MS). It was a wonderful time. I have been back just a few times, but 10 years after we left we returned with our children. That was 2007 and these are just a few pictures taken with a Minolta DiMAGE Z1. (This was produced a few years before they went out of the camera business; Sony bought their SLR division and the Alpha line was born.) I wonderful city, especially for an aspiring scholar. Next year we will be returning with a dozen students in tow for a two-week class.


We took a 15 minute train ride to Koog Zaandijk, famous, apparently, for its windmills. Cute place, a bit like a Dutch Williamsburg and not a bit like Dutch Wonderland.

Bikes in Amsterdam

There are a lot of them, in all shapes, sizes and conditions.


From my “Some of My Favorites” collection on flickr, this is the entrance to “The Press Club” wine bar in San Francisco.

Political Commentary in Medieval Form

These are a pair of Wasserspeiern or gargoyles from the Münster in Freiburg. The story I was told is that the buildings across the way were the headquarters, if you will, of the guilds of the town. Each guild gave to the building of the Münster…except one. That one was acknowledged with the gargoyle on the left which is “mooning” the house of the guild in question. (I also enjoyed the fact that my host knew the English term “mooning” but could not recall the English for Wasserspeier.)

Keeping a watchful eye on the market

I am back from my trip to Freiburg, Germany. It was a very productive time and on the last day, yesterday, the sun broke through just long enough to get some pictures at the flower market taking place in the Freiburg Münsterplatz. This statue, presumably of St. George, since he is slaying a dragon, and this older women were vigilant.

Headed Home

After a great 2.5 days with colleagues I am headed home. I am currently in Frankfurt Flughaf after an easy 2 hour train ride and awaiting a mere 14 hours more of travel.