Is Someone Watching Me?

In Gothic architecture, a gargoyle is a carved figure with spout to move water away from the building and prevent damage from rainwater eroding the mortar between the bricks.

A gargoyle is often times a fantastic creature, an animal or grotesque creation.

The French word gargouille which means throat or gullet leads to the name and gargoyle calls to mind the sound of the water rushing out it’s mouth as it gargles.

A carved figure that does not act as a rainspout is called a Chimera or grotesque.

The Majesty of Koln

The German city of Koln or Cologne is just a short train trip from Papenburg, where we were staying. A city renowned for it’s Eau de Cologne and it’s imposing Cathedral. Kolner Dom or Cologne Cathedral is the third largest church and the tallest cathedral in the world.

During WWII, Cologne lost 93% of it’s population, mostly due to evacuation. Most of the thousand year old city center was destroyed by allied bombs. Despite recieving 14 hits from the bombing, the Cathedral still stood among the desolate landscape. There is a legend that the Cathedral was such a doo landmark for the BRitish and American bombers that they secretly conspired to not destroy it. The repairs were finished in 1956, but the Cathedral is in a constant state of repair.

The Cathedral’s sandstone facade gets it’s grey appearance from exposure to acid rains. Among the saints and apostles covering the outside are also gargoyles, grotesques. Out of sight on the Cathedral’s roof are statues of John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Charles de Gaulle, a buxom Tanzmariechen, one of the high-kicking women dancers at Carnival parties, a local boxer, a handful of soccer players and the billy goat mascot of the FCKoln. The goat is named Hennes and Hennes IX is the latest incarnation. In 2018 a small gargoyle of Pope Francis was added very quietly. It took the locals a week to spot him.

The Rathaus

A Unesco World Heritage site, the Bremen Rathaus is one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe. The brick gothic hall was built in the 15th century. This incredible building was designed and built in 1400. While a large protion of Bremen was destryed in WWII, the Rathaus was unscathed.

The Rise of The Resistance

SPOILERS AHEAD – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

The newest Star Wars attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is the most technologically advanced ride ever.

After you’ve maneuvered The Millennium Falcon to safety, explore the temple ruins and current Rebel Base.

Board your own Transport and get ready! I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

After narrowly escaping the Empire, you have one final foe to face.

If you are planning to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World, plan your day carefully. Rise of The Resistance is a hot ticket and there are limited opportunities to enjoy it!

Searching for Easter Eggs…

Avenger’s Campus is full of Easter eggs for the entire Marvel universe. Keep your eyes peeled and you never know what you might see.

In WEB, Worldwide Engineering Brigade headquarters teenage superheroes in training have been assembled by Tony Stark to develop new technology. On the way to your look for the hallway full of lockers. So many young heroes are taking part in the Campus, Miles Morales, America Chavez and Harley Keener have all decorated their own lockers.

While waiting for your turn, don’t forget to check out the bulletin boards.

Even the cleaning supplies in WEB Slingers may hide a secret. Do you know characters Monkey Joe, Wal Rus, and Goom? WDI 1401 is a reference to Walt Disney Imagineering at 1401 Flower Street, Glendale, Ca.

Over in the Web Supplies store, you never know what may be lying round in plain site. Look up high and read the labels.

Here’s A Story….

Driving around Los Angeles, you may have a sense of deja vu when you pass 11122 Dilling St. in Studio City. Here is the house where Mike and Carol Brady lived with their six children, their dog, Tiger and their housekeeper, Alice. Sometimes cousin Oliver was there too.

The Brady Bunch house was sold to HGTV for $3.5 million and subsequently renovated by the original Brady kids. Former N’Sync member, Lance Bass, had put an offer on the home, but it was turned down when someone said they wanted the house at any cost.

After The White House, it is the second most photographed house in the United States. The house at 11222 Dilling St. was only used for the exterior shots. The interior of the Brady abode was done on a soundstage at Paramount Studios, in reality it only had 3 bedrooms.

During the renovation, the house was remodeled to look like the classic show. HGTV hosted a very Brady scavenger hunt for fans to help source the many bits of set decoration necessary. Among the props that were found were the Horse statue in the living room, a stuffed giraffe from the girl’s room and that flower covered couch in the sitting room.

Next time you’re in California, take a trip back to the 70’s and say hi to Alice.

https://www.hgtv.com/shows/a-very-brady-renovation

Towers of Steel and Glass

As of 2021, there are 41 skyscrapers in New York City. Among those are Central Park Tower, the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. If you’re in the market for a new apartment a small studio can cost $1,000,000. If you need some more space be prepared to pay as much as $95,000,000 for a 4 bedroom apartment.

In 2020, the tallest office tower in Manhattan opened. One Vanderbilt Place is the 4th tallest building in the city. This structure boasts a glass elevator that travels up the outside of the building and an amazing observation deck.

Out of all of the buildings in The Big Apple, The Chrysler Building is my favorite. It was constructed by the chairman of the Chrysler Corporation but funded the entire project himself so that his children could inherit it. It was the tallest building in the city for only 11 months, losing out to the Empire State Building. Among it’s ornaments are gargoyles, 1929 Chrysler radiator caps and American eagles.

The People of Times Square

When visiting Times Square, it’s very important to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. With 350,000 pedestrians visiting every day, the streets get very crowded and attract a lot of individuals looking to make a quick buck.

Unofficial costumed characters can be aggressive, pulling tourists to take pictures with them and expect a tip. These are not the same characters you might see at Disney World, so beware. Everyone from Elsa to Mickey and Minnie Mouse share the area with Bumblebee from transformers and The Incredible Hulk.

Other street performers try to get your attention even for a few moments in their quest to separate you from your money. Break Dancers, Musicians, Singers, Artists and Musicians can be found at all hours of the night.

Buddhist monks, evangelical preachers and others add to the overall chaos and mayhem that is Times Square.

Late night in Times Square

Spending a few weeks in New York City, I had lots of time to explore. One of the most interesting places is Times Square. It’s loud, bright, colorful, smells funny and is full of unique individuals. Named after the New York Times, Times Square was their headquarters beginning in 1905. By the end of World War I, most theaters had moved uptown to Times Square. High-end hotels and restaurants attract over 50 million visitors a year. On any given day, almost 350,000 pedestrians cross Times Square.

Statue of George M Cohan

In 1959 a statue honoring Broadway composer, George M. Cohan was erected in the square. His song “Give My Regards to Broadway” became a well know standard all over the world.

Vendors selling “Street Meat” can be found every few feet

If you’re feeling a bit hungry on your way, you may stop at one of the dozens of food vendors operating out of their mobile carts. “Dirty water” dogs are a popular staple in Times Square.

Looking for a souvenir? There’s a lot to choose from.

You can find everything here from Mickey Mouse hats to Hershey’s Chocolate, M&Ms, Hard Rock, The MTV Store, The CBS Store, Sanrio and Sephora. No matter what you’re looking for, you are bound to find it here.