Stiltsville in Florida

13 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Stiltsville as seen from Cape Florida Light © Mr3641

Stiltsville as seen from Cape Florida Light © Mr3641

Stiltsville is a group of wood stilt houses located one mile south of Cape Florida, on sand banks of the Safety Valve on the edge of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The structures stand on wood or reinforced concrete pilings, generally ten feet above the shallow water, which varies from one to three feet deep at low tide. Most sources claim the first stilt shack was built in the early 1930s, but some Dade County historians say that there were a dozen shacks in “the flats” as early as 1922. Today there seven houses remaining. Stiltsville’s frontier era ended with Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Beginning in August 1965, the state of Florida required building owners to pay $100 annually to lease their quarter-acre circular “campsites.” No permits for new construction were issued, and structures that sustained more than 50-percent damage could not be rebuilt. Building codes were implemented and the state banned commercial operations after 1969.   read more…

Great River Road along the Mississippi River

10 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Great River Road route marker © Thomas R Machnitzk/cc-by-3.0

Great River Road route marker © Thomas R Machnitzk/cc-by-3.0

The Great River Road is a collection of state and local roads that follow the course of the Mississippi River through ten states of the United States. They are Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. It formerly extended north into Canada, serving the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.   read more…

Roosevelt Island in Manhattan

8 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

© FEMA - Kenneth Wilsey

© FEMA – Kenneth Wilsey

Roosevelt Island is a narrow island in New York City‘s East River, within the borough of Manhattan. It lies between Manhattan Island to its west and the borough of Queens, on Long Island, to its east. Running from the equivalent of East 46th to 85th Streets on Manhattan Island, it is about 2 miles (3.2 km) long, with a maximum width of 800 feet (240 m), and a total area of 147 acres (0.59 km²). Together with Mill Rock, Roosevelt Island constitutes Manhattan’s Census Tract 238, which has a land area of 0.279 sq mi (0.72 km²), and a population of 11,700. The island was called Minnehanonck by the Lenape and Varkens Eylandt (Hog Island) by New Netherlanders, and during the colonial era and later as Blackwell’s Island. It was known as Welfare Island when it was used principally for hospitals, from 1921 to 1973. It was renamed Roosevelt Island (after Franklin D. Roosevelt) in 1973. Roosevelt Island is owned by the city but was leased to the New York State Urban Development Corporation for 99 years in 1969. Most of the residential buildings on Roosevelt Island are rental buildings. There is also a cooperative named Rivercross and a condominium building named Riverwalk. One rental building (Eastwood) has left New York State’s Mitchell-Lama Housing Program, though current residents are still protected. It is now called Roosevelt Landings. There are attempts to privatize three other buildings, including the cooperative. The FDNY also maintains its Special Operations Command facility at 750 Main St. on the island. Due to its proximity to the headquarters of the United Nations, Roosevelt Island is home to a large number of diplomatic sector employees. At one time these included then-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.   read more…

Old Billingsgate Market in London

6 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Market door detail © MRSC

Market door detail © MRSC

Old Billingsgate Market is the name given to what is now a hospitality and events venue in the City of London, based in the Victorian building that was originally Billingsgate Fish Market, the world’s largest fish market in the 19th century.   read more…

Gorky Park in Moscow

3 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Gorky Park main portal © A.Savin

Gorky Park main portal © A.Savin

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a central park in Moscow, named after Maxim Gorky in 1932. In August 2018, the Park’s 90th anniversary was celebrated. Gorky Park, located at Krymsky Val and situated just across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro station, opened in 1928. The park followed the plan of Konstantin Melnikov, a widely known Soviet avant-garde and constructivist architect, and amalgamated the extensive gardens of the old Golitsyn Hospital and of the Neskuchny Palace, covering an area of 300 acres (120 ha) along the river. The history of the Neskuchny Garden can be traced back to 1753, when it emerged in the area between Kaluzhskaya Zastava and Trubetskoy Moskva river-side estate. The neighboring area to Neskuchny Garden, from Krymsky Val to Neskuchny Garden, received little attention right up until the 1920s. Initially it was covered with park gardens, meadows and vegetable gardens belonging to the owners of neighboring estates. It formed a wasteland by the end of the 19th century, and served as a waste heap.   read more…

The European Union: Presidency of the Council of the European Union

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General

The presidency of the Council of the European Union is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU legislature. It rotates among the member states of the EU every six months. The presidency is not an individual, but rather the position is held by a national government. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “president of the European Union“. The presidency’s function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme and facilitate dialogue both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions. The presidency is currently, as of July 2020, held by Germany. Three successive presidencies are known as presidency trios. The current trio (2020–21) is made up of Germany (July–December 2020), Portugal (January–June 2021) and Slovenia (July–December 2021).   read more…

The Albatros

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0

entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0

MS Albatros is a cruise ship, operated by the Germany-based travel agency Phoenix Reisen. She was built in 1973 by Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard, Finland for Royal Viking Line as Royal Viking Sea, and has also sailed under the names Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star, and Crown. She is the second Albatros for Phoenix Reisen as she was the replacement of the original SS Albatros. MS Albatros is also known for her QE2-esque funnel. Her home port is Nassau in the Bahamas. In spring and summer, the albatross is usually in the North and Baltic Seas. In autumn she goes to the Mediterranean and Black Sea before going on a world tour (or another big trip with more exotic destinations) over the winter.   read more…

Kontorhaus District in Hamburg

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hamburg, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage

Sprinkenhof © Dietmar Rabich/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sprinkenhof © Dietmar Rabich/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Kontorhaus District is the southeastern part of Altstadt, Hamburg, between Steinstraße, Meßberg, Klosterwall and Brandstwiete. The streetscape is characterised by large office buildings in the style of Brick Expressionism of the early 20th century. The Kontorhaus District consists of 12 Kontor buildings. Since 5 July 2015, parts of the Kontorhaus district and the adjacent Speicherstadt district have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The buildings were mainly made of a reinforced concrete skeleton construction. The new buildings were to be individually designed. Characteristic features are clinker brick facades and copper roofs. In order to make the street canyons more open at the top, the upper floors are often set back from the main front of the house. Decorative elements on the facade are also made of clinker brick; in addition, elements (often sculptures) of ceramics were used for the design, most of which have a connection to Hamburg trade and crafts.   read more…

Parc Astérix in Plailly

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Paris

© Loïc Corbasson/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Loïc Corbasson/cc-by-sa-3.0

Parc Astérix is a theme amusement park in France, based on the comic book series Asterix by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny. With more than two million visitors yearly, Parc Astérix is the country’s second biggest theme park after Disneyland Paris and its 14 million annual visitors.   read more…

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