My goodness, it has been a busy week of travel!
- Attend the Main Street Now 2016 conference on Monday and Tuesday in Milwaukee and get energized by all the work going on in downtowns across the country – check.
- Stop by and visit the amazing Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory Domes in Milwaukee – check.
- Catch a bad head cold and endure a 4 1/2 hour flight from Chicago to San Francisco – unplanned, but check.
- Have lunch in Carmel with one of the elder statesmen of preservation – the indefatigable Knox Mellon and his wife Carlotta – check.
- Celebrate the beginning of the construction phase of our work at Cooper-Molera historic site with more than 100 people from the city staff, California State Parks, our local stakeholders, and our development partners in Monterey – check.
- Over a wonderful dinner celebration in Monterey, talk baseball with the wife of one of our partners at Cooper- Molera, who has the perfect marriage…she’s a Red Sox fan and her husband is a Giants fan…so on the west coast with the MLB package they can start watching the Sox games at 4 p.m. and follow that with the evening Giants game (how amazing is that!) – check.
- FINALLY begin to shake the head cold and take off to Los Angeles for two days of family R&R with my Claire, where we celebrate on Friday evening with some of her housemates in the Jubilee Consortium at the wonderful Church and State bistro – check.
- Make a return visit to the Huntington Gardens with Claire, and spend all day wandering through that amazing landscape – check.
- To top it off, Claire and I take in a LA Angels game in Anaheim (after finding a great local craft beer brewery) to check off another stadium from the old bucket list – check.
Let me hit a few highlights:
The Shaw Neighborhood in Washington, D.C. was one of three Great American Main Street Award winners in 2016. They were featured in this amazing video, which I encourage you to watch. Congrats as well to Audubon Park, Florida, and Dahlonega, Georgia, the other GAMSA winners.
While I was in Milwaukee, I made a stop by The Domes. Located in Mitchell Park, these three conoidal (bee hive shaped) glass structures are the first and only domes to house plants in different climates. The shape allows for an excellent angle for efficient solar heating and it also gives more height for taller plants. The Domes were designed by local architect Donald Grieb and drew accolades from around the world when completed in the mid 1960s. No less than Lady Bird Johnson – then the First Lady of the U.S. – officially dedicated The Domes in 1965. It just goes to show that Calatrava wasn’t the first to design amazing modern architecture in this Midwestern city.
Speaking of modern architecture…
I’m staying at the historic Biltmore Hotel while in LA, which is just a few short blocks from the new Broad Museum and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. I took a stroll down the street after arriving to check both out up close.
The Broad is a new contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. It sits next to the already iconic Disney Concert Hall, which has won accolades from its opening in 2003. The mix of landmark contemporary and historic buildings (such as the LA Central Library) has helped revive this part of downtown in a city that is not known for a strong core. I don’t have time here to go into all the different aspects (positive and negative) of this new development in LA, but I’ve tucked these images and thoughts away for future mulling.
Claire and I also explored another part of LA – the revitalized Arts District – when we went with friends for dinner at Church and State bistro. Good friends and good food – always a treat!
For my last full day in Southern California before heading home, Claire and I decided to revisit the beautiful Huntington Gardens, which we first visited a couple of years ago. As usual, Claire captured some wonderful scenes with her camera.
Claire and I wrapped up our weekend by taking in a baseball game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim – which allowed me to check off another MLB stadium from my bucket list. On the drive down, Claire went online and found a microbrewery within walking distance so we could sample some local IPA. We succeeded – drinking IPAs at Noble Ale Works and making new friends in Brooks and Jen.
Then it was off to the stadium. We found a local favorite food – the grilled cheese sandwich – at The Big Cheese. Though not traditionally a ballpark food, the grilled cheese is hugely popular with fans. I had mine with short ribs, while Claire had arugula and tomatoes with her sandwich. The home team looked to be on a roll when Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back jacks (or homers, taters, four baggers, dingers, you name it) in the first inning, setting off an impressive fire display in the waterfall just beyond the center field fence, but that was about it for the offense and the local nine fell to the Houston Astros 4-2.
We realized that with her joining me tonight at her seventh stadium, Claire has been my companion at more stadiums that anyone else. (By my count, I have been to five stadiums each with Candice and my former work colleague Dolores McDonagh.) For those keeping score, here is the list of ballparks visited:
- Atlanta Braves – Fulton County Stadium (multiple visits in 1980s; never got to Turner Field before they tear it down, but this counts given my rules)
- Baltimore Orioles – Camden Yards (multiple visits in 1990s and 2000s)
- Boston Red Sox – Fenway Park (1988)
- Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field (1964, 2007, 2012)
- Chicago White Sox – US Cellular Field (2013)
- Cleveland Indians – Progressive Field (2014)
- Colorado Rockies – Coors Field (2008, 2013)
- Kansas City Royals – Kauffman Stadium (2009)
- Los Angeles Angels – Angels Stadium (2016)
- Milwaukee Brewers – Miller Park (2005)
- Minnesota Twins – Target Field (2014)
- Oakland A’s – Oakland Coliseum (2008)
- Philadelphia Phillies – Citizens Bank Park (2008)
- Pittsburgh Pirates – PNC Park (2013)
- San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park (2012 and 2014)
- Seattle Mariners – Safeco Field (2009)
- St. Louis Cardinals – Busch Stadium (old – 1993; new – 2012)
- Tampa Bay Rays – Tropicana Field (2012)
- Washington Nationals – RFK (multiple times) and Nationals Park (multiple times + part of a season ticket group since 2012)
And here is the ballparks remaining to visit list:
- Arizona Diamondbacks – Chase Field
- Cincinnati Reds – Great American Ball Park
- Detroit Tigers – Comerica Park (Another park I’ve seen but haven’t made a game.)
- Houston Astros- Minute Maid Park (Which I am planning on visiting later in June)
- Los Angeles Dodgers – Dodger Stadium (This is the only park that a family member – Claire – has seen before I have had the opportunity. Three or four times, no less. That’s just not fair!)
- Miami Marlins – Marlins Park
- New York Mets – Citi Field (I think this is an easy one to do, but it never works out.)
- New York Yankees – Yankee Stadium (I know – how can I not have made it to Yankee stadium yet?! Just goes to show I’ve never been a big Yankees fan)
- San Diego Padres – Petco Park (our new friends Brooks and Jen were raving about this stadium)
- Texas Rangers – Texas Stadium
- Toronto Blue Jays – Rogers Centre
Hopefully, by the end of the season I’ll be at 10 or less left to go! If I keep traveling as much as I have this week, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Heading home on Sunday, and ready to check off another Memorial Day holiday.
More to come…