TWA Hotel, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, NY, USA

“The TWA Hotel now occupies Eero Saarinen’s stupendously restored 1962 TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, midcentury modernism’s great tribute to sex, adventure and the golden age of air travel”

“The TWA Hotel now occupies Eero Saarinen’s stupendously restored 1962 TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, midcentury modernism’s great tribute to sex, adventure and the golden age of air travel”, New York, NY, USA – text credit The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/twa-hotel-jfk.html; photo credit: http://www.twahotel.com

 

We enjoyed 10 days on the East Coast of the U.S. with our children and grandchildren for the Thanksgiving holiday period, and decided our last night in the New York City area to spend the night at the recently opened TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy Airport.  While we had read very favorable reviews about the refurbishment of the old TWA Flight Center terminal at Kennedy and knew that two new building wings were constructed for the soundproof guest rooms, our experience far exceeded expectations.  So much so that we would recommend the hotel for anyone flying out of JFK on an early morning flight (to avoid the long and nerve-wracking drive) or arriving late afternoon or evening and wanting to relax before heading into Manhattan or another destination in the New York area the next morning (after rush hour).  Our stay was too short to take advantage of either the roof-top swimming poor or the expansive, well equipped gym, but both look terrific – unexpected amenities at an airport hotel.  The gym, in fact, is open to day visitors (including those with a long layover at JFK between flights).

 

The entrance to the former TWA Flight Center (terminal) is now the entrance to the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

The entrance to the former TWA Flight Center (terminal) is now the entrance to the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA; note the split flap departures board with TWA flights from the 60s – the first departing flight was nostalgic for me, as my hometown growing up was Jacksonville, Florida!

 

“The new TWA Hotel is a seven-story split structure that humbly perches behind Eero Saarinen’s Jet Age landmark, the TWA Flight Center, at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Designed by Brooklyn-based firm Lubrano Ciavarra Architects, the glass-clad building features 512 rooms, a rooftop infinity pool, and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck that looks out over incoming international flights in Jamaica Bay.  It’s these things and more that have allowed the revered terminal to reopen as the hotel’s lobby and reception after being closed to the public for over 18 years.” — https://archpaper.com/2019/05/

 

The former terminal check-in area is now the hotel check-in area – now heavily automated with guest self-check-in on computer screens; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

The former terminal check-in area is now the hotel check-in area – now heavily automated with guest self-check-in on computer screens; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

Set in the iconic former TWA flight center designed by architect Eero Saarinen, this chic airport hotel on the grounds of John F. Kennedy International Airport features soundproofed floor-to-ceiling windows.  The stylish, retro rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus minifridges, safes and fully stocked cocktail bars.  Some have airport views.  There’s a sleek 1960s-inspired bar, a food hall with grab-and-go options, and a celebrity chef-helmed restaurant/cafe.  Amenities include a 10,000-sq-ft gym, meeting space, and an outdoor pool with runway views.

 

Outside the terminal (hotel) entrance there is a vintage Lincoln Continental parked for nostalgia – inside the terminal (hotel) by the snack and coffee stand is a 1960s Chrysler; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

Outside the terminal (hotel) entrance there is a vintage Lincoln Continental parked for nostalgia – inside the terminal (hotel) by the snack and coffee stand is a 1960s Chrysler; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

The central area of the former TWA terminal, now the TWA Hotel, opens up to the check-in area, the snack and coffee stand, the restaurant, lounge and special exhibits areas; JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

The central area of the former TWA terminal, now the TWA Hotel, opens up to the check-in area, the snack and coffee stand, the restaurant, lounge and special exhibits areas; JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“In 2015 MCR, a New York development company led by Tyler Morse, won the right to lease the disused Flight Center and turn it into a hotel. Mr. Morse’s business owns and operates the High Line Hotel in Manhattan along with dozens of midrange chain hotels around the country. He saw TWA as a shrine for architecture buffs and a potential retreat for transients power-napping between flights. It lets guests rent rooms for the day as well as overnight.

“The room designs by the interior design firm Stonehill Taylor are crisp, compact and clean — pretend time capsules from 1962 — with brushed-brass fixtures, walnut paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows of 4.5-inch glass to keep out the sound of jet engines. Maybe I missed it, but I failed to locate a USB port. Each room is stocked with pole lamps, Saarinen tulip tables and womb chairs, martini glasses, cups of bright red TWA-embossed pencils and copies of Life magazine.” — www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/

 

Our grandchildren have no idea what these devices – wall-mounted pay telephones – are, or what they are used for; they can’t imagine not walking around with a telephone (and Internet computer) in your pocket, e.g., a smartphone

Our grandchildren have no idea what these devices – wall-mounted pay telephones – are, or what they are used for; they can’t imagine not walking around with a telephone (and Internet computer) in your pocket, e.g., a smartphone; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

How many readers – yes, you! – know or remember what “TWISTER” was?; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

How many readers – yes, you! – know or remember what “TWISTER” was?; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

When Saarinen built the TWA Flight Center (terminal) at Idlewild Airport, two long concrete tubes like this one connected the main terminal to the airplane gates – today the tubes lead to the elevators of the hotel wings

When Saarinen built the TWA Flight Center (terminal) at Idlewild Airport, two long concrete tubes like this one connected the main terminal to the airplane gates – today the tubes lead to the elevators of the hotel wings and the Saarinen tunnel also leads directly to an elevator in the new Jet Blue Terminal 5; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“The room designs by the interior design firm Stonehill Taylor are crisp, compact and clean — pretend time capsules from 1962 — with brushed-brass fixtures, walnut paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows of 4.5-inch glass to keep out the sound of jets

“The room designs by the interior design firm Stonehill Taylor are crisp, compact and clean — pretend time capsules from 1962 — with brushed-brass fixtures, walnut paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows of 4.5-inch glass to keep out the sound of jet engines”, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA; text credit The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/twa-hotel-jfk.html

 

The desk in our room had a functioning rotary dial telephone (another device our grandchildren have never seen and have no idea what it does) along with snack items, along with a mini Etch-A-Sketch, for purchase; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport

The desk in our room had a functioning rotary dial telephone (another device our grandchildren have never seen and have no idea what it does) along with snack items, along with a mini Etch-A-Sketch, for purchase; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

The Sunken Lounge was returned to its original 1962 design, including the same historic shade of chili pepper red carpet and another split flap departures board in operation – it serves 1960s classic cocktails as well as the Royal Ambassador

The Sunken Lounge was returned to its original 1962 design, including the same historic shade of chili pepper red carpet and another split flap departures board in operation – it serves 1960s classic cocktails as well as the Royal Ambassador (Champagne, orange juice and Grand Marnier) which was once served to TWA passengers in gold-flecked glasses; TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“Connie,” a 1958 TWA Lockheed Constellation L-1649A Starliner has been converted into a 60’s-era cocktail lounge, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

“Connie,” a 1958 TWA Lockheed Constellation L-1649A Starliner has been converted into a 60’s-era cocktail lounge, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

We enjoyed a nice dinner in the Jean-George Vongerichten Paris Café Restaurant, now occupying the space of the original Paris Café and Lisbon Lounge in the 1960s, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

We enjoyed a nice dinner in the Jean-George Vongerichten Paris Café Restaurant, now occupying the space of the original Paris Café and Lisbon Lounge in the 1960s, TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

Enlarged reproductions of photos taken at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA and in the photo booth in the hotel lobby

Enlarged reproductions of photos taken at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA and in the photo booth in the hotel lobby

 

“Now & Then – Instant Photos:  The first photo booth – dubbed the Photomaton – opened in New York City in 1925 and soon became a sensation.  (Wait time for the ‘instant’ pics back then? About 10 agonizing minutes.)  By midcentury photo booths were everywhere.  Newlyweds John and Jackie Kennedy stepped behind the curtain to pose on their honeymoon, Marilyn Monroe used one of her 25 cent images as her passport photo and Andy Warhol took models to Times Square photo booths to sit for portraits that later appeared on a 1965 cover of TIME.

“Today, of course, mobile phones make it possible to carry a photo booth in your pocket.  Since the TWA Hotel opened on May 15, 2019, tens of thousands of visitors have snapped and shared their memorable moments.  [Including your blogger!]  Use some of our favorites as the backdrop for your own self-portrait — then grab some friends, hit the booth and try a few the old-fashioned way!” – sign at the TWA Hotel Photo Booth

 

Period TWA flight attendant uniforms – here from 1968-1971 by Dalton of America -- and flight bags are in one of several museum-quality exhibitions curated by the New York Historical Society at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport

Period TWA flight attendant uniforms – here from 1968-1971 by Dalton of America — and flight bags are in one of several museum-quality exhibitions curated by the New York Historical Society at the TWA Hotel, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

A lounge for hotel guests at the TWA Hotel, near the flight attendant uniforms exhibition, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

A lounge for hotel guests at the TWA Hotel, near the flight attendant uniforms exhibition, JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

 

“When was the last time you lingered for pleasure at Kennedy Airport? When was the last time you felt happy to be there? An architectural advertisement for the thrill of air travel at the sunny dawn of the jet age, Saarinen’s reincarnated terminal is an unavoidable reminder of just how sad and degrading the experience of flying has become, if you’re not rich.

“Some history: In 1955, the architect Wallace Harrison came up with a master plan for what was then called Idlewild Airport. It prescribed stand-alone terminals built and run by competing airlines encircling a traffic loop. The plan was a kind of recipe for architectural scene-stealing. During its early years, Kennedy boasted the world’s longest continuous cocktail lounge (in the since-demolished American Airlines terminal designed by Kahn and Jacobs), and Tippett-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton’s (now also sadly demolished) 1960 Worldport for Pan Am, the architectural analog to Marilyn Monroe’s billowing skirt in ‘The Seven Year Itch.’

“The 1950s and 60s were the days before airline deregulation, when the government still set ticket prices. So airlines competed not over who could offer the cheapest, no-frills fares but over who could offer the best-dressed flight attendants, the most scrumptious Chateaubriand on the plane and the best terminal experience. Back then, Howard Hughes’s TWA was the nation’s glamour carrier, the Veronica Lake of airlines. Hughes is said to have spent his five minutes with Saarinen demanding something truly out of this world — money being no object.

“Saarinen earned his spurs conjuring up a raft of rectilinear behemoths for big companies and swooping spectacles of sculptural engineering like the St. Louis Arch, Ingalls Hockey Rink at Yale and Dulles Airport in Washington. He was a chameleon and a master of corporate branding.

“For TWA, he seems to nod both toward Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp Chapel and the Las Vegas Strip. The building, an amazing feat of technological improvisation in the days before computer design, was a populist proto-emoji for flight, all free-flowing, liquid curves, improbably poised on four slender buttresses like a winged bird on skinny legs. Its sheer formal poetry kept the aviary and female allusions from tipping into kitsch. This was high modernism at its most seductive and crowd-pleasing.” — www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/travel/

 

The TWA Flight Center architect, Eero Saarinen, on the cover of Time magazine in 1956 – famous before he won the commission to design and build the TWA Flight Center (terminal) [now the TWA Hotel] at JFK International Airport, New York

The TWA Flight Center architect, Eero Saarinen, on the cover of Time magazine in 1956 – famous before he won the commission to design and build the TWA Flight Center (terminal) [now the TWA Hotel] at JFK International Airport, New York, NY, USA

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat Local: Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Pâté Of Louisiana Rabbit & Chicken Livers, perfumed with truffles, country bread croutons, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Pâté Of Louisiana Rabbit & Chicken Livers, perfumed with truffles, country bread croutons, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

After a morning walk of more than 10,000 steps in the French Quarter (see our previous blog post “New Orleans, Louisiana, USA”), we then headed off to eat brunch at Luke (restaurant), just west of the Quarter. We were very glad we had made a reservation, as the restaurant is very popular with the locals and many were enjoying brunch before they headed to the New Orleans Saints NFL playoffs football game later that afternoon.

 

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana--

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

“Luke is a Creole-inspired Brasserie located in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District on world-famous St. Charles Avenue, steps from the French Quarter neighborhood.  A lively atmosphere surrounds the raw bar offering the freshest seafood and oysters procured daily from the Gulf of Mexico.  Chef Erick Loos is at the helm of the kitchen featuring dishes that highlight local purveyors and farmers’ market ingredients. Behind the bar, a selection of bartender-created specialty cocktails are offered among a carefully-curated list of wines from throughout the world and locally crafted brews… Erik Loos IV is currently the Executive Chef of Luke Restaurant showing homage to the grand old Franco-German brasseries that once reigned in New Orleans.  Since opening in 2007, Luke has been hailed by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and The Times Picayune, which applauded Luke for its “disarmingly home-spun culinary touches and broad-shouldered dishes that satisfy something more than just an appetite.” – www.lukeneworleans.com

 

Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp "En Cocotte", roasted jalapeño cheese grits, andouille & green onion sausage, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp “En Cocotte”, roasted jalapeño cheese grits, andouille & green onion sausage, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Stuffed P&J Oysters, gulf shrimp and blue crab, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Stuffed P&J Oysters, gulf shrimp and blue crab, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, the National World War II Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive col

Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, the National World War II Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today — so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.  Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, the National World War II Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world. Beyond the galleries, the Museum’s online collections, virtual field trips, webinars, educational travel programs, and renowned International Conference on World War II offer patrons new ways to connect to history and honor the generation that sacrificed so much to secure our freedom.

Why is the D-Day museum – which became the National World War II Museum — in New Orleans?  Because as President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated to Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose, noted World War II historian, author and professor at the University of New Orleans: “Andrew Jackson Higgins is the man who won the war for us.  Without Higgins designed boats that could land over open beaches the whole strategy of the war would have to be rethought.”  Fact: in September 1943 — the very middle of the war — the American navy totaled 14,072 vessels.  Of these boats 12,964, or 92% of the entire U.S. Navy were designed by Higgins industries; 8,865 were built at Higgins plants in New Orleans.  By wars end 20,094 boats had been built by 30,000 new Orleanians at the seven Higgins plants in New Orleans.  This explains why the National World War II Museum is located in New Orleans.

Founding of the National World War II Museum:  Stephen Ambrose, (1936-2002) PhD, inspired and guided the early development of The National D-Day Museum with his close friend, Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD, a colleague in the History Department at the University of New Orleans and Vice Chancellor of the University.  Ambrose’s role as founder of the institution that would later become The National WWII Museum was strengthened in many ways by his celebrity as a bestselling historian who was sought after as a speaker and film consultant.

“Ambrose’s work for the Eisenhower Center, specifically his work with D-Day veterans, inspired him to found the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans [with Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller].  Ambrose initiated fundraising by donating $500,000.  He dreamt of a museum that reflected his deep regard for our nation’s citizen soldiers, the workers on the Home Front and the sacrifices and hardships they endured to achieve victory.  He secured large contributions from the federal government, state of Louisiana, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and many smaller donations from former students, who answered a plea made by Ambrose in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  In 2003, Congress designated the museum as ‘America’s National World War II Museum’, acknowledging an expanded scope and mission for the museum.” — Wikipedia

 

An anti-aircraft gun from World War II in the lobby of the The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

An anti-aircraft gun from World War II in the lobby of the The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

A small group of us had an insider’s opportunity to visit the museum when we were in New Orleans, starting with breakfast in the museum’s Stage Door Canteen on the premises, followed by a presentation on the founding and operations of the museum by President and CEO, Stephen Watson, plus insights into the exhibits by a senior historian.  Before visiting the exhibitions, we began our immersion in World War II history with a screening of the museum’s award-winning 4-D film, Beyond All Boundaries – produced and narrated by Tom Hanks — in the Solomon Victory Theater.  The movie gave us an overview of the war on every front.  Next we toured the Arsenal of Democracy Galleries where the exhibition gave us insight into the monumental efforts on the Home Front in America and to the beaches of Normandy – focusing on the thousands of men and women who made the Allied Forces victory in World War II possible.  To understand the timeline and decisive strategies and battles of the War in the Pacific, we then toured the Road to Tokyo exhibition in the Campaigns of Courage Pavilion (alternatively, some in our group toured the Road to Berlin exhibition).  We ended our visit to the museum with a curated tour of the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center filled with tanks, trucks and WW II Airplanes, along with photographs of all of the nearly 500 U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for their service in World War II.

 

Throughout his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke directly to the public using informal radio speeches or “Fireside Chats”; addressing listeners as “my friends,“ Roosevelt p

Throughout his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke directly to the public using informal radio speeches or “Fireside Chats”; addressing listeners as “my friends,“ Roosevelt provided news of Allied military progress and setbacks, inspiring Americans and keeping them united; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

While the message conveyed in this 1942 propaganda poster is that racial unity is necessary for victory, African American workers often experienced discrimination and inequality, The Nat

While the message conveyed in this 1942 propaganda poster is that racial unity is necessary for victory, African American workers often experienced discrimination and inequality, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

As industry began mobilizing for war, many factories continued to refuse to hire African American workers.  Under pressure from civil rights leaders, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1941.  Hailed as the first federal action to promote equal employment opportunity, the order banned racial discrimination in defense industries.  This allowed many black Americans to move and find jobs in growing industrial areas around the country.  With economic opportunity, however, came conflict.  While some African Americans were welcomed in their new communities, others became victims of racial violence and rioting.

 

Part of the exhibition on World War II in the Pacific Ocean arena, The Road to Tokyo, this ship_s bridge and navigation equipment had introductory movies playing on the window screens,

Part of the exhibition on World War II in the Pacific Ocean arena, The Road to Tokyo, this ship’s bridge and navigation equipment had introductory movies playing on the window screens, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands, was the first major island (land) offensive by the Allied Forces, led by the United States, to stop the Japanese in their march across the Pacif

Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands, was the first major island (land) offensive by the Allied Forces, led by the United States, to stop the Japanese in their march across the Pacific Ocean to the southeast to take Australia – the expected short battle in the summer of 1942 ended up lasting 6 months until February 1943, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana; see our blog post on the Island from our visit there in 2017: “The Guadalcanal WW II Campaign, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands”

 

The battle at Iwo Jima was another milestone battle in Admiral Halsey_s strategy of island hopping across the north Pacific Ocean from Midway to Tokyo

The battle at Iwo Jima was another milestone battle in Admiral Halsey’s strategy of island hopping across the north Pacific Ocean from Midway to Tokyo; the photograph of six United States Marines raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945 became one of the iconic images of the war; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Some of the World War II airplanes in the collection of The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, on display in the U.S. Freedom Pavilion- The Boeing Center, which is the

Some of the World War II airplanes in the collection of The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, on display in the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, which is the now largest building on the museum campus, having opened in 2013 (paid for by a major grant from Boeing Company along with a then larger grant from the U.S. Department of Defense with Congressional approval)

 

The F4U Corsair first entered combat in 1943 and gave Allied naval aviators a winning edge against their opponents.; renowned for its speed, ruggedness and fire power, the Corsair excell

The F4U Corsair first entered combat in 1943 and gave Allied naval aviators a winning edge against their opponents.; renowned for its speed, ruggedness and fire power, the Corsair excelled as both a fighter and an attack aircraft supporting ground forces; the F4U-4 variant, with its more powerful engine, was the ultimate corsair to see service during World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The Tuskegee Airmen -- the popular name of a group of African American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who formed the 32nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the Unit

The Tuskegee Airmen — the popular name of a group of African American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who formed the 32nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces – flew these P-52 Mustangs; when the pilots painted the tails red, the nickname “Red Tails” was coined; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Dive-bombing requires exquisite maneuverability and accuracy to fly at steep trajectory and hit a moving target; the Douglas SBD Dauntless, the Navy_s primary dive-bomber at the war_

Dive-bombing requires exquisite maneuverability and accuracy to fly at steep trajectory and hit a moving target; the Douglas SBD Dauntless, the Navy’s primary dive-bomber at the war’s start, earned its reputation — and helped earn victory — at the 1942 battle of Midway, sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers; by some accounts, the Dauntless sank more Japanese ships than any other plane; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The B-17E is the airplane dubbed “My Gal Sal”, famous for having been lost over Greenland and recovered 53 years later, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

The B-17E is the airplane dubbed “My Gal Sal”, famous for having been lost over Greenland and recovered 53 years later, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

A portion of the two walls of the U.S. Freedom Pavilion- The Boeing Center that displays photographic portraits of all of the nearly 500 U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for

A portion of the two walls of the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center that displays photographic portraits of all of the nearly 500 U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for their service in World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

General Douglas MacArthur_s fervent wish for the future, at the end of the fighting in the Pacific Theater that ended World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louis

General Douglas MacArthur’s fervent wish for the future, at the end of the fighting in the Pacific Theater that ended World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #1

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #1

 

New Orleans, Louisiana ignites the senses with a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, scents and activity.  The costumed spirit of Mardi Gras, the stellar jazz of Preservation Hall and Candlelight Lounge, the bawdiness of Bourbon Street, and the Cajun and Creole cuisines that in many ways define the Big Easy.  It would be hard to leave without sitting down to a café au lait and beignet at Café du Monde or shopping for artisan ingredients at the French Market.  Visitors who want to see another side of the city can explore New Orleans City Park, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, the many galleries on Julia and Camp Streets, or the historic Southern homes in the Garden.  It is true — eating, drinking and merriment-making is very easy to do in New Orleans (also known as “NOLA”).

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #2

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #2

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #3

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #3

 

The French Quarter (Vieux Carré) is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans.  Despite its name, most of the oldest surviving buildings in the French Quarter date to the days of Spanish rule; many older structures were destroyed by fires in 1788 and 1794.  The original 20 blocks laid out after the city’s founding in 1721 fanned out from the Place d’Armes, now known as Jackson Square.  One of the stand-outs is the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously active Catholic cathedral in the U.S.  As we walked along the narrow streets of the Vieux Carré, we enjoyed the numerous and quite varied architectural styles.  Well-tended gardens, intricate iron balconies and glimpses of the Mississippi were revealed as we traversed the French Quarter and then walked over to an “eat local” brunch at Luke (restaurant) — see our forthcoming blog post — just west of the Quarter, popular with many locals before they headed to the New Orleans Saints football game later in the afternoon.

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #4

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #4

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #5

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #5

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #6

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #6

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #7

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #7

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #8

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #8

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #9 – local jazz musicians playing mid-day on the sidewalk

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #9 – local jazz musicians playing mid-day on the sidewalk

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #10

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #10

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #11 -- St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #11 — St. Louis Cathedral

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #12 -- St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #12 — St. Louis Cathedral

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #13 -- St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #13 — St. Louis Cathedral

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #14

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #14

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #15

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #15

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #16

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #16

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #17

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #17

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #18 – a shoeshine man on the street with a Mardi Gras-beads tie

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #18 – a shoeshine man on the street with a Mardi Gras-beads tie

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Miami, Florida, USA (2017)

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (I), Miami, Florida, USA

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (I), Miami, Florida, USA

 

The allure of Miami, Florida, is undeniable, from chic South Beach with its beautiful beach-goers posing against the pastel hues of Art Deco hotels, to the on-fire arts scene in the Wynwood district, to the vibrant clubs and restaurants of Little Havana.  Couture fashion and luxe home décor shopping is at its finest in the Design District, along with an array of hip cafés.  In the evenings, sway in the warm breeze to the Latin rhythms on a rooftop lounge overlooking the Atlantic.

 

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (II), Miami, Florida, USA

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (II), Miami, Florida, USA

 

Condominiums and hotels are cheek-and-jowl all along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Miami Beach, Florida, the peninsula on the east side of Biscayne Bay and the city of Miami

Condominiums and hotels are cheek-and-jowl all along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Miami Beach, Florida, the peninsula on the east side of Biscayne Bay and the city of Miami

 

Beach chairs and umbrellas for the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, where we had a day pass with our family (including 3 grandchildren, ages 3, 3 and 6) to enjoy the beach, swi

Beach chairs and umbrellas for the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, where we had a day pass with our family (including 3 grandchildren, ages 3, 3 and 6) to enjoy the beach, swimming pools and restaurants

 

Before midnight on December 31st, boats and yachts line up across from Dodge Island (home of the Port of Miami and the cruise terminals) to have prime viewing of the midnight downtown fi

Before midnight on December 31st, boats and yachts line up across from Dodge Island (home of the Port of Miami and the cruise terminals) to have prime viewing of the midnight downtown fireworks, Miami, Florida, USA

 

The beginning of the fireworks, north of the InterContinental Miami Hotel, just after the midnight countdown when the “Big Orange” (ball) celebrated 25 years of rising to the top of

The beginning of the fireworks, north of the InterContinental Miami Hotel, just after the midnight countdown when the “Big Orange” (ball) celebrated 25 years of rising to the top of the InterContinental Miami for the City of Miami’s New Year’s Eve celebration; Florida, USA

 

More fireworks, welcoming the year 2018, Miami, Florida, USA

More fireworks, welcoming the year 2018, Miami, Florida, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Key West, Florida, USA

The Naval Depot and Storehouse, known as building one at the U. S. Coast guard headquarters in Key West, Florida, was completed in 1861 and during the Civil War served as the headquarter

The Naval Depot and Storehouse, known as building one at the U. S. Coast guard headquarters in Key West, Florida, was completed in 1861 and during the Civil War served as the headquarters for the Union‘s West Indies blockade squadron; It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and remains Key West‘s oldest brick structure

 

The southernmost city in the Continental United States, Key West is closer to Cuba than to Miami.  With a mixture of Cuban and Bahamian culture, Key West provides ample cultural exploration.  Those interested in history can learn about wreckers, fishermen, spongers, cigar makers, and the variety of famous people who called the island home.  Visitors also enjoy golf, shopping, and some of the many cafes, restaurants, and pubs that line the streets.  Our ship docked at a pier at the edge of Mallory Square, the heart of Key West, with restaurants, shops, theater, museums, and live entertainment.  It is best known for its famous sunset celebrations when people from all over the world come to see performers, eat food, and watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House, Key West, Florida, USA

The Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House, Key West, Florida, USA

 

The much larger-than-life sculpture in front of the Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House represents the U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger in New York Cit

The much larger-than-life sculpture in front of the Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House represents the U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger in New York City’s Times Square when the end of World War II was announced (August 14, 1945) in photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous image (V-J Day in Times Square), Key West, Florida, USA

 

The Key West Naval Station was established on April 3, 1823 as a Supply Base for an Anti—Pirate Squadron of the U.S. Navy; it was disestablished on March 31, 1974, having reached a max

The Key West Naval Station was established on April 3, 1823 as a Supply Base for an Anti-Pirate Squadron of the U.S. Navy; it was disestablished on March 31, 1974, having reached a maximum staffing of over 15,000 military and 3,0000 civilians in 1945g, Key West, Florida, USA

 

This house, built in 1890 as quarters for Navy officers, was later used by President Harry S. Truman used for 175 days during his administration of 1945-1953, giving the house the nickna

This house, built in 1890 as quarters for Navy officers at the Key West Naval Station, was later used by American presidents William Howard Taft, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton; President Harry S. Truman used this house for 175 days during his administration of 1945-1953, giving the house the nickname The Little White House; Key West, Florida, USA

 

“The Little White House, built in 1890 as quarters for Navy officers was later used by American presidents William Howard Taft, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.  Truman used the facility as a vacation home and functioning White House between 1946 and 1952.  National legislation was drafted and official government business was conducted daily from the site.  Perhaps the most important of these actions occurred on December 5, 1951, when Truman enacted a Civil Rights Executive Order requiring federal contract doors to hire minorities.  The house is considered the birthplace of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force as a result of the Key West Accords of 1948.  President Eisenhower used the site in 1956 while recuperating from a heart attack.  In 1961, the house was the venue for a summit between President Kennedy and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan during the Bay of Pigs incident. Kennedy returned in 1962 after the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Secretary of State Colin Powell and foreign leaders held an international summit here in 2001.  The Little White House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.” – A Florida Heritage Landmark sign

Truman’s Little White House: President Harry S. Truman used this house for 175 days during his administration of 1945-1953.  He spent 11 working vacations here and the building became known as the Little White House.  In 1948, the Joint Chiefs of Staff met at this house to create the Department of Defense by merging the Department of War and Department of the Navy.  It also created the CIA, U.S. Air Force and National Security Council.  While here the President discussed the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine that changed American foreign policy and the recognition of the State of Israel. He wrote his fourth Civil Rights Executive Order requiring federal contractors to hire minorities and he drafted a letter that called for a two-week cease fire in Korea.  The reaction of General Douglas MacArthur to this letter led to his dismissal as Allied Commander.  President Truman made five post-presidential visits to Key West between 1957 and 1969, each time visiting his former Little White House, but staying in a private residence in town.

The Navy base was named the Truman Annex in 1973 following the death of President Truman.  In 1974, this portion of the base closed.  For 12 years the property was abandoned.  In 1986 the Truman Annex, including the Little White House, was sold by the government to developer Pritam Singh.  On January 1, 1987, Mr. Singh transferred this property to the State of Florida in exchange for certain easements and development rights.  It is held in trust by the State for the citizens of the world. Over the next three years Mr. Singh privately funded and directed the restoration of the Little White House building and grounds to reflect the Truman era.  In 1996, President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter used the house for a family gathering.  In 1999, Historic Tours of America entered into agreement with the State of Florida to help continue the restoration and became a major donor and corporate sponsor of this important historic site.  The Truman Little White House is administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. – source: Florida Department of State

 

One of the more architecturally interesting homes in the Truman Annex (the new name for the former U.S. Navy Base at Key West, Florida, USA), has a widow_s walk on the upper level

One of the more architecturally interesting homes in the Truman Annex (the new name for the former U.S. Navy Base at Key West, Florida, USA), has a widow’s walk on the upper level (dating back to the early days of the country in New England when ship captain’s wives would go up to the top level of the house to a railed or balustraded platform to see incoming ships and the sign that her husband was coming home)

 

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, the former home of the Nobel Prize winner, is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark, Key West, Florida, USA

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, the former home of the Nobel Prize winner, is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark, Key West, Florida, USA

 

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, the former home of the Nobel Prize winner, is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  Visitors can enjoy the beautiful grounds while learning of the life and writings of Hemingway.   Descendants of his original five-toed cats can be found throughout the property

 

A side entrance (decorated for the holidays) to one of the best local restaurants, Blue Heaven, where we had an excellent dinner with friends in Key West, Florida, USA

A side entrance (decorated for the holidays) to one of the best local restaurants, Blue Heaven, where we had an excellent dinner with friends in Key West, Florida, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Charleston, South Carolina, USA (2017)

A beautiful three-story home in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, USA, a city in the American South that blends early American history with a youthful ambiance punctuated by speakeasy

A beautiful three-story home in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, USA, a city in the American South that blends early American history with a youthful ambiance punctuated by speakeasy-themed bars and casually chic cafes

 

Part Southern charm and part trendy culinary and musical scene, Charleston, South Carolina, blends early American history with a youthful ambiance punctuated by speakeasy-themed bars and casually chic cafes.  Visitors frequently begin their explorations in the city’s French Quarter lined with cobblestone streets and churches and the iconic Drayton Hall Plantation beguiled with Georgian-Palladian architecture.  Historic homes in the Battery District such as the Heyward-Washington House and Middleton Place, home to signers of the Declaration of Independence, tell a lot of history.  Fort Sumter National Monument commemorates the location where the first shots were fired that started the American Civil War on April 12, 1861.  The city is famous for its Southern cuisine, restaurants and welcoming people.  We enjoyed excellent dinners at Husk, Southern Living’s South’s Best Restaurants 2017, and The Ordinary, widely known for its fresh seafood.

 

Construction of the United States Customs House started in 1853 (before the Civil War, 1861-1865) but was not completed until 1879, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Construction of the United States Customs House started in 1853 (before the Civil War, 1861-1865) but was not completed until 1879, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

A graphic sign indicating the “menu” for the restaurant in the downtown district of Charleston, South Carolina, USA

A graphic sign indicating the “menu” for the restaurant in the downtown district of Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

St. Philip_s Church, the state_s oldest congregation dating from 1681, is the church that gave the name to the street (“Church Street”) that conveniently bends around the 1838 ch

St. Philip’s Church, the state’s oldest congregation dating from 1681, is the church that gave the name to the street (“Church Street”) that conveniently bends around the 1838 church building, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

Washington Square is named after the general of the American Army in the Revolutionary War (against Great Britain) and the country_s first president, George Washington, Charleston, Sou

Washington Square is named after the general of the American Army in the Revolutionary War (against Great Britain) and the country’s first president, George Washington, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

St. Michael_s Church, built in the 1760s with a massive steeple and cedar pew is where George Washington sat in 1791, is flanked by the United States Postal Service and Postal Museum B

St. Michael’s Church, built in the 1760s with a massive steeple and cedar pew is where George Washington sat in 1791, is flanked by the United States Postal Service and Postal Museum Building, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

Charleston_s Holocaust Memorial in a corner of Marion Square, located less than one block away from the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston’s Holocaust Memorial in a corner of Marion Square, located less than one block away from the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

“This memorial arises out of a collaboration between the board of officers of the Sumter Guard and Washington Light Infantry, the City of Charleston, and the Charlston Jewish Federation.  It is erected to remember those who were murdered in the Holocaust in Europe between 1933 – 1945, and to honor the survivors who came to South Carolina to rebuild their lives.

“The denial of human rights, combined with advanced technology and a pity less willing to dominate others, caused the death of innocent millions in the annihilation of most of the Jews of Europe.

“We remember the holocaust to alert ourselves to the dangers of prejudice, to express our outrage at the scourge of racism, and to warn the world that racism can lead to genocide.” – Holocaust Memorial, Marion Park, Charleston, South Carolina

 

The Emmanuel A.M.E. Church has the oldest African-American congregation south of Baltimore, MD, and was the site of a mass shooting in which white supremacist Dylan Roof murdered nine Af

The Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church has the oldest African-American congregation south of Baltimore, Maryland and was the site of a mass shooting in which white supremacist Dylan Roof murdered nine African Americans in 2015, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

The oldest African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in the south, Emmanuel A.M.E. Church was organized as Hampstead Free African Church in 1818 by Reverend Morris Brown.  After seceding from the Methodist Church, Charlestonians organized three churches that were named collectively the ”Bethel Circuit“. Reverend Brown and other African-American ministers then sought to have the Hampstead Free African Church affiliated with Reverend Richard Allen‘s African Church movement in Philadelphia.  In 1865 Bethel Circuit acquired the present site on Boundary Street (now Calhoun Street) and constructed a wooden church under the direction of its minister, Richard Harvey Cain.  The church was renamed “Emanuel“ meaning “God with us“.  Emmanuel A.M.E. Church has the oldest African-American congregation south of Baltimore, Maryland.

“The Charleston church shooting (also known as the Charleston church massacre) was a mass shooting in which white supremacist Dylan Roof murdered nine African Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States, on the evening of June 17, 2015.  Roof, a 21-year-old domestic terrorist and white supremacist, killed nine people (including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pickney) during a prayer service.  Three other victims survived.  The morning after the attack, police arrested Roof in Shelby, North Carolina.  Roof confessed to committing the shooting in the hope of igniting a race war.  The shooting targeted one of the United States’ oldest black churches, which has long been a site for community organization around civil rights.  Roof was found competent to stand trial in federal court, and in December 2016 was convicted of 33 federal hate crime and murder charges stemming from the shooting.  On January 10, 2017, he was sentenced to death.  Roof was separately charged with nine counts of murder in the South Carolina state courts.  In April 2017, Roof pleaded guilty to all nine state charges in order to avoid a second death sentence and was sentenced to life imprisonment for each, clearing the way for his eventual federal execution.” – Wikipedia

 

A three-story house of wood construction with a beautiful “X” outdoor stairway, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

A three-story house of wood construction with a beautiful “X” outdoor stairway, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

A monument to the Confederate defenders of Charleston during the American Civil War (1861-1865) in the waterfront White Point Garden Park at the southeast corner of Charleston, South Car

A monument to the Confederate defenders of Charleston during the American Civil War (1861-1865) in the waterfront White Point Garden Park at the southeast corner of Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

Beautiful homes along the southeastern waterfront (along East Battery Street) in Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Beautiful homes along the southeastern waterfront (along East Battery Street) in Charleston, South Carolina, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.