Posts tagged ‘Florida’

July 30, 2018

My Florida!

As I am on a nostalgic run, and we are still sunny and cool at 21C or about the 70F mark, in my new neck of the woods, the Morbihan Breton, let me tell you about another dear spot on Earth for me. After doing the trajects America ,Europe, and back to America, I first settled in New Jersey (see previous blog post), and then came to live in the Sunshine State of Florida.

It was a spade of luck that searching for an University to go to, saw one of my liking and trade in Daytona Beach, Florida and went there for 4 years Bachelor of Sciences degree.  This was ERAU or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, simply the best in its field. Liking it so much or rather liking Daytona Beach so much, once back in NJ could not remain there so decided to moved back to DB to live to the surprise of my parents. The independant boy was a determine young men and the beaches and bikinis was it lol!!!  This was the beginning of a beautiful story.

Daytona Beach

Living just north of DB in Ormond by the Sea OB area working and having fun (my parents follow me within a year yikes!) welcome, really we were very close and are with my Dad still with me. Growing up there made me visit other lands and one of them was France, as Daytona Beach at the time was the spring training site for the baseball team of the Montreal Expos (French Canadians). French taken as a language in High School stay with me and friendly with French students at the University.  For a shorter story, time went on and while traveling met a young French girl (Martine) working in Paris living in Meaux Seine-et-Marne dept 77 ïle de France region in 1989.  This was quickly followed by visits to her family and hers to mine and before I knew it, this independent young men was married on December 26, 1990 at City Island municipal courthouse in Daytona Beach, deciding to live there. We went all over together, visiting France every year and moving in the State from DB to OB (together) in Volusia County, then North Miami, then Hialeah,in Miami-Dade county, then Miramar in Broward county (while here became French at the French consulate in Miami in 2000) before moving permanently to France in August 23, 2003.  We had 3 wonderful boys, one older (born in DB) and then identical twins,(born in Hialeah); the trip ended with my dear late wife Martine passsing due to cancer here in the Morbihan Breton on April 30 2018, sad and still sad and will always be sad, there is no words. My blog posts sweeting the pain a bit.Thanks.

Daytona Beach

married at city island Daytona Beach 26 dec 1990

I like to tell you briefly, really short as too many towns and places in dear Florida, a State will never forget the experiences and which have many family members still living all over.  So not to bother with the tourist sites will give a historical and local view on the State, counties ,and cities we lived there for me 18 years!!! Warning: It will be a long post!

First, let me post my previous blog posts about Florida, it will give you a more touristic view of the Sunshine State.

Florida ,here I come!

My University days in Florida

Shopping in Florida

Restaurants of Florida

Florida, the Sunshine State

My Photo Album on Florida

Cities of Florida

Beach Volleyball in Florida

Always wonderful memories of Florida

I am used by now on Europe to use kilometers ,but below anything in km to miles is equal to 1km = 0,621371 miles.

Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Florida is a peninsula of 700 km and a narrow part in the form of a narrow “stove tail” (Panhandle). Its geography is marked by an extensive coastline, by the ubiquitous water and by the threat of hurricanes. Climate change from North to South and has such iconic animals as the manatee and the alligator, especially in the Everglades, one of the world’s best-known national parks.

The coast of Florida extends for some 1 930 km. Considering the bays and capes, the cumulative length reaches about 13 600 km. No other U.S. state, except Alaska, has a longer coastline then Florida with as well more than 4 500 islands. The largest island is Key Largo (47 km long). It is just 105 meters above sea level, Britton Hill is the highest point in Florida ; with almost 18% of its area under waters , Florida is marked by the ubiquitous aquatic environment , it has nearly 1 700 courses of water, 7 800 sweet water lakes, 700 springs, 44 500 km2 of wetlands;  Florida has the largest concentration of  springs/water sources in the World. Okeechobee is the most extensive with more than 1 800 km2; It is shallow ,between 4.5 and 6 meters, like most Floridian lakes.

Florida has five geographical areas such as the East Coast, West Coast, Central Florida, Panhandle (North), Southern Tip (Keys), and 12 National Park Service parks. More here: https://www.nps.gov/state/fl/index.htm

The main highways are Interstate 4, Interstate 10, Interstate 75 and Interstate 95. The U. S. Route 1 connects Key West to the Canadian border. This section of the US Route 1, in the Keys, called Overseas Highway, is about 150 km long and has 42 bridges including the Seven Mile Bridge, the longest in Florida with 10.8 km . The TRI-Rail is a regional line of trains stretching for 118 km and which has 18 Stations along the southern coast of the Atlantic and serving the three international airports in this region. The main airports, by number of passengers, are Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.

A bit of history I like.  Since its discovery, in 1513, by the Spaniard Juan Ponce de León who baptized it “La Pascua Florida” (“Easter Flowers” in reference to Palm Sunday), Florida is an issue for the European colonial powers before integrating  it into the United States in 1845. The Spaniard Juan Ponce de León would have discovered Florida by looking for the fountain of youth. He landed on the eastern coast of the peninsula between in 1513,  near the present city of Saint Augustine. He then made his way to the south where he was wounded in a clash against the Calusa’s Indians. He returned to Florida in 1521 to find gold and evangelize the Amerindians.

The Pánfilo de Narváez expedition discovered the West coast of Florida, but he is killed in an Amerindian attack in 1528.In 1539, Hernando de Soto landed near the present day Bradenton near Tampa Bay and explored the interior of the land. An attempt to settle in Pensacola led by Tristán de Luna in 1559 was finally abandoned in 1561.  The French Huguenot Jean Ribault approached the eastern coast of Florida in 1562 and took possession of Florida in the name of the king of France. He built the Charlesfort fortress to defend the new colony of French Florida. In 1564, René de Laudonnière founded a second fort in French Florida, Fort Caroline (Jacksonville). In 1565, after a great battle with the French at Fort Matanzas (massacre of the French…) the Spanish colony of San Augustin was founded by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés: It thus became the oldest colony of the United States occupied continuously by Europeans.

Saint Augustine

The Treaty of Paris (1763) ended the seven Years ‘ War and altered Considerably the map of the North American colonies: Spain must cede Florida to the English in exchange for Cuba. Florida is an issue of the American War of Independence (1775-1783). Unlike the Thirteen colonies, it remains loyal to the English crown and even accommodates Royalists refugees. The Spaniards took over Pensacola in 1781 and much of western Florida. The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave Florida back to Spain, without specifying its borders. The United States wants the old pre-1767 limit to be resumed. The Treaty of San Lorenzo ratified this choice in 1795. Florida was ceded to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty, signed in1819, and formed a territory in 1822. The capital is located in Tallahassee, halfway between Saint Augustine and Pensacola.

After the First Seminole War (1814-1819), they tried for the Americans to move the Amerindians. In 1832, they signed the Treaty of Payne Landing with some of the Seminole chiefs, promising them land west of the Mississippi if they agreed to leave Florida.  In 1835 the US Army arrives to enforce the treaty signed earlier, which triggers the Second Seminole War led by Chief Osceola. After his arrest, cease-fire negotiations were launched in 1837. He died in captivity less than a year later. The war was drag on  until 1842 and became the most costly of the Indian Wars of the 19C. After the conflict, the Seminoles were mostly deported to the west of the Mississippi; only 300 of them were allowed to remain in the Everglades. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States. The Third Seminole War (1855-1858) was waged to defeat the resistance of the last Amerindians. At the end of the conflict, there are only a hundred Seminoles left in Florida. Following an insurrection in 1859, 75 of them were deported to the west. The others, including Chief Apopka,( Sam Jones), remain in the Everglades, refusing to leave the land of their ancestors. Today, their descendants are still present in the region.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida , which is headquartered in Hollywood, Broward County , and control the Big Cypress Indian Reservation, Brighton Reservation, Fort Pierce Reservation, Hollywood Reservation, Immokalee Reservation, and Tampa Reservation. The Miccosukee branch of the Seminoles held to a more traditional lifestyle in the Everglades region, simultaneously seeking privacy and serving as a tourist attraction, wrestling alligators, selling crafts, and giving eco-tours of their land. They received federal recognition as a separate nation in 1962 and received their own reservation lands, collectively known as the Miccosukee Indian Reservation, including a 333-acre (1.35 km2) reservation on the northern border of Everglades National Park, about 45 miles (72 km) west of Miami. This one we have been many times for the Festival as they divide their overall reservation in three sections, the one for operations, festival ,and our visits was the Tamiami Trail Reservation. More on them here. Miccosukee Arts Festival and more

During the US presidential election of 1860, Florida refused to vote for Abraham Lincoln and eventually separated from the Union by signing the order of January 10, 1861. Florida joined the Confederate States of America a few weeks later and became involved in the civil war. In May 1865, Northern General Edward M. McCook was charged with regaining control of Florida. He challenged Colonel George Washington Scott, hoisted the flag of the United States on the state Capitol in Tallahassee, and read the proclamation of emancipation of the slaves on 12 May. The American Civil War is over in Florida, which is officially reinstated in the Union on 25 July 1868.

The Cold War (1947-1991) intensified the development of the military-industrial complex; Florida is becoming a major issue because of its proximity to the communist island of Cuba. It accommodates thousands of Cuban refugees. Due to this immigration, Miami gradually became one of the major economic centers of Latin America. During the Missile crisis of 1962, the region could be directly threatened by Soviet nuclear missiles. As part of the competition with the USSR and because of its geographical location, Florida hosts the Patrick Air Force base and the launch base of Cape Canaveral (NASA).

State of Florida Tourism https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us.html

Volusia County stretches between the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean. Volusia County was named after its largest community, Volusia, when the Florida legislature created it by dividing Orange County on December 29, 1854. The county is geographically divided into East Volusia,  also known as the Greater Daytona Beach Area, or the Halifax Area;  Southeast Volusia,  also known as the Greater New Smyrna Beach Area, and  West Volusia,  also called Saint John’s River Country (named for the Saint John’s River which lies nearby),  Adjacent counties are on the north ,Flagler , on the south Brevard, also south is Orange, and southwest is Seminole, west is Lake ,and northwest is Marion and Putnam counties.

Daytona Beach

Halifax Hospital

Volusia County Public Transit System (VOTRAN) is the local Volusia County bus service. Passenger Train service to Volusia County is provided by Amtrak on the Silver Meteor and Silver Star routes. Service between Volusia County and Orlando is provided by SunRail, a commuter rail line running from Volusia to Orange County. Interstate 95 is the main south-to-north interstate highway along the east coast of the state (an up to Canada)  as well as in Volusia County it has eight interchanges  or exits, three of them in Daytona Beach.  Interstate I-4 is the main west-to-east interstate highway through Central Florida (going from DB to Orlando to Tampa), however it also serves as the westernmost interstate highway in the county. It has  seven interchanges and becomes State Road 400 east of I-95. US 1.is the main local road through eastern Volusia County, running south to north. This one is more city central and slower traffic. US 17  is the main local road through western Volusia County, running south to north. US 92 (can go to Deland and Orlando)  west-to-east route shares a concurrency with US 17 further south in Polk County until branching off onto the International Speedway Boulevard in DB. Florida A1A.is the scenic coastal alternate route to US 1, which also includes some county road spurs and extensions. It goes parallel to the Atlantic Ocean.  SR 40, a west-to-east road in northern Volusia County enters the county from the Astor Bridge over the St. Johns River and heads east towards Ormond Beach or towards Ocala and west Florida on the other direction.

Volusia county on visitors: https://www.volusia.org/visitors/

Ormond-by-the-Sea is an unincorporated town in Volusia County,the boundaries of Ormond-by-the-Sea include the Volusia/Flagler county line on the north, the city of Ormond Beach on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Halifax River on the west. The area has traditionally been called the North Peninsula, although other nicknames such as OBC or OBTS are sometimes used.  My oldest boy was born in Halifax Hospital in nearby Daytona Beach.

Ormond by the Sea

Ormond by the Sea paperwork

Ormond by the Sea

Ormond by the Sea house

There are two principal roads, State Road A1A (also known as Ocean Shore Boulevard), which runs along the Atlantic Ocean, and John Anderson Drive, which runs along the Halifax River.

A bit of history I like . The Timucuan Indians, who in the 16C occupied a large village called Nocoroco, located at the site of Tomoka State Park. Another nice area which I used a lot is the North Peninsula State Park, comprising approximately 800 acres (3.2 km2) along the A1A Atlantic Ocean road facing the sea! This is where I lived most. The wonderful Bicentennial park facing the ocean we love is at the city of Ormond Beach webpage here: Bicentennial Park Ormond by the Sea

The city we live is not a city but an incorporated area of the county of Volusia, however, our services and leisure activities like the park most were done out of the city of Ormond Beach. More here: City of Ormond Beach

 Miami Dade County . Dade County was created on January 18, 1836, under the Territorial Act of the United States. The county was named after Major Francis L. Dade, a soldier killed in 1835 in the Second Seminole War, at what has since been named the Dade Battlefield. On November 13, 1997, voters changed the name of the county from Dade to Miami-Dade to acknowledge the international name recognition of Miami. Adjacent counties are north, Broward, southwest Monroe, and northwest Collier. It has great wonderful National Park Service such as the Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, and Everglades National Park.

Miami

Zoo of Miami

Key Biscayne

Key biscayne bill boggs beach

Miami International Airport, located in an unincorporated area in the county, serves as the primary international airport of the Miami Area. One of the busiest international airports in the world . Public transit in Miami-Dade County is served by Miami-Dade Transportation and Public Works, and is the largest public transit in Florida. Miami-Dade Transportation and Public Works operates a heavy rail metro system Metrorail, an elevated people mover in Downtown Miami, Metromover and the bus system, Metrobus.  Tri-Rail also services the county. Miami-Dade County has 10 major expressways such as  I-75,(to go home!) ,  I-95, I-195 / SR 112,  I-395 / SR 836,  US 1,  US 27,  US 41,  US 441, and  SR A1A(ocean).

Tourist office of Miami dade county http://www.miamiandbeaches.fr/

Cultural affairs of Miami Dade county: http://www.miamidadearts.org/calendar/month

North Miami, The city lies on Biscayne Bay.  Originally the town of “Arch Creek”, the area was incorporated as the “Town of Miami Shores”, which was renamed the “Town of North Miami” in 1931. It was reincorporated as a city in 1953.

The city is also home to the Oleta River State Park, which is the state’s largest urban park. The park contains one of the largest concentrations of Australian pine trees found in a Florida state park. The Arch Creek Park  opened in 1982. Today, Arch Creek is an 8-acre (32,000 m2) site at the junction of N.E. 135th Street (right where our apt was!!!) and Biscayne Boulevard, and offers many opportunities for botanical, historical and archaeological study. It has a museum/nature center modeled after an early Florida pioneer home, displaying Indian artifacts dug from the grounds, and live animals from the nearby hammock. Remains of the original coontie mill are still visible across the creek, and the park exists as the only preserved archaeological site in the County. There is, also, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) a museum located in the heart of downtown North Miami, and the Miami Auto Museum displays a large collection of classic cars, Hollywood cars, mini cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles from the collection of Michael Dezer.

More on the city of North Miami: City of North Miami on parks

Hialeah the sixth-largest city in Florida and is the only place in the county, other than Homestead, Florida, to have its own street grid numbered separately from the rest of the county (which is otherwise based on Miami Avenue at Flagler Street in downtown Miami, the county seat).  Hialeah has the highest percentage of Cuban and Cuban American residents of any city in the United States, at 73.37% of the population(2016), making them a distinctive and prominent feature of the city’s culture. My twin boys were born in Hialeah Hospital!

Hialeah

Chuckee Cheese Hialeah

Hialeah is served by the Miami Metrorail at Okeechobee, Hialeah, and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer stations. The Okeechobee and Hialeah stations serve primarily as park-and-ride commuter stations to commuters and residents going into Downtown Miami, and Tri-Rail station to Miami International Airport and north to West Palm Beach. The best here was the old Hialeah racecourse full of flamingo birds. Now some horse races are done and there is a casino: more here: Hialeah race track and Casino

The city’s name is most commonly attributed to Muskogee origin, “Haiyakpo” (prairie) and “hili” (pretty) combining in “Hialeah” to mean “pretty prairie”. Alternatively, the word is of Seminole origin meaning “Upland Prairie”. The city is located upon a large prairie between Biscayne Bay and the Everglades.

City of Hialeah on history: http://www.hialeahfl.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=385&lang=en

Broward County Its county seat is Fort Lauderdale. It was founded on April 30, 1915. It was intended to be named Everglades County, but then-Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Ion Farris amended the bill that established the county to be named in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909. In 1915, Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land to create Broward County.  Adjacent counties are north Palm Beach, south Miami Dade, west Collier, and northwest Hendry.

Fort Lauderdale

las olas beach FLL

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport serves as the primary airport of the Broward County area. The airport is bounded by the cities Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach;  three miles (5 km) southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale  and 21 miles (34 km) north of Miami. The airport is near cruise line terminals at Port Everglades and is popular among tourists bound for the Caribbean. Public transportation available are the Broward County Transit, Tri-Rail, Sun Trolley, and the major roads passing by it are the Interstate 95, I-75 ,I-595 (Port Everglades Expressway), Florida’s Turnpike (SR 91) Florida’s Turnpike Homestead Extension (SR 821) ,and Toll State Road 869 (Sawgrass Expressway).

Broward county tourist office : https://www.sunny.org/

Cities of Broward county: http://www.broward.org/Publications/ResidentsGuide/Pages/BrowardCountyMunicipalities.aspx

Miramar  is in Broward county, my last town in the USA, and it was name after the city of Miramar in Havana, Cuba (also near where I was born). The city has adjacent towns such as Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, West Park ,and  Miami Gardens. To the extreme west you find the Everglades!.

Miramar (en. seaview) was founded by A.L. Mailman to serve as a “bedroom community” for nearby Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He bought the original property he was to develop from H.D. Perry, Sr. in 1953.  The city was incorporated on May 26, 1955 bordered by the following cities,Pembroke Pines to the northwest and north,Hollywood to the  northeast, east West Park, and south Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, and a bit of Miami Lakes. My sons went to school here at Silver Lakes Elementary School, memorable last school in the USA and they fondly remember it as well as their teachers! We lived at Silver Lakes Division west of I-75 interstate road on Sapphire Bay sub division our last spot in the USA and very fondly remembered it.

Miramar

home in Miramar

Miramar

visiting school silver lakes miramar

City of Miramar on history: https://www.miramarfl.gov/257/Miramars-History

There , now you got all you need on Florida,and heck even me lol!!! Love the Sunshine State. We made a decision to move to France and we do not regretted either as it has been a roller coaster of fun and memories. Now ,the French reason is gone, but we still very much attach to France thanks to her courage and determination. Never to be forgotten. Enjoy the State of Florida.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 25, 2018

Captain General Residence and Museum of Havana!

And I am coming back to my Havana of childhood, never to be the same again. Well I have written pieces on it in my blog just do search; however, never a post alone and so deservingly. I am coming right at you on La Habana, Cuba. Oh yes I meant , the Captain General Residence of the governor of Cuba under colonial period of Spain.

This one was done way way back when a boy of around 10, so memories are loose. I have decided to use the pictures that I kept from the text tranlation of Ecured Cuba from Spanish to English.

To begin with,the visit Cuba tourist site has some info on the wonderful building here in English. Museum of Havana, Captain General

The place is very nice, historical and architecturally and a must to visit while in Cuba. In addition, the museum of which is, give you an overall look of Cuban history from zero. Again, if one building to visit in Cuba, this is it, in my opinion.

Ahh yes I am talking about the residence of the Captain General of Cuba (this was the governor of Spain in Cuba), over the years use for many things and now a wonderful museum of Havana, Cuba.

Considered the most important example of baroque architecture in the city, this grand building on the west side of the plaza was built in 1792, on the sight of the former parish church, as the imposing Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. It served as Spanish colonial government headquarters until 1898 and housed 65 Capitanes Generales (governors), after which it served as the center of U.S. military administration (1898-1902), then as the Cuban President’s resident, and finally (1920-67) as the City Hall.  The two-story limestone building was not completed in its final form until 1835; the façade is adorned with the shield of the city and features a deep loggia supported on thick columns. Peacocks roam the tree-filled courtyard, where a Carrara marble statue of Christopher Columbis presides.  It is today the Museo de la Ciudad—the fabulous City Museum telling the tale of the city’s history. The Captain General’s apartments are furnished in the sumptuous style of their epoch, as is the Salón del Trono (Throne Room) with its throne prepared for a visit (which never happened individually) by the King of Spain but it did finally when King Juan Carlos I visited in 1999 during the Ibero American conference.  The his and hers Carrara marble nautilus shell baths are particularly wonderful.

My pictures still with me should be from 1998 last family trip to follow:

Havana

Havana

Havana

Now let me give you the translation because in Cuba they have more information than anywhere else on the building and museum. Here it goes, excuse me if the lenght of it is long and my typing sloppy.

The building/museum is in front of the Plaza de Armas, occupying part of the space of the Parish Mayor’s demolition, the palace was erected between 1776 and 1791 . From its beginnings, it also sheltered, in the West Wing, the public prison until 1834.  This provoked subsequent remodeling to achieve the harmony that is enjoyed today. The city hall of Havana met uninterruptedly 176 years in the palace halls.  Since 1938, the Office of the city historian was based in the building, under the direction of Dr. Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring . In 1967 the municipal government moved to a new headquarters, so that the building began to be restored in order to allocate it to the Museum of the City of Havana, whose first showrooms were inaugurated from 1968.  The city Museum has 40 permanent exhibition halls, dedicated to preserving the memory of Cuban independence and the need of the search for national identity, until the definitive revolutionary victory in January 1959.

The different halls or rooms:

Sala Parriocal or Parish Hall: The passage through this room proposes the remembrance of the Parish Mayor or Parroquia Mayor, a primitive Church that opened its doors to the Catholic cult in the Villa San Cristóbal de la Habana in 1577, and that in 1741 was devastated as a result of the explosion of the invincible ship. Archaeological remains of its existence, jewels of the oldest churches of Havana, of the first religious orders that were established in this city between those that appear of Santo Domingo and San Francisco, as well as pieces of convents and portraits of the first Bishops, are memories of the Catholic Church in Cuba exhibited in this space.

Sala Giraldilla  (lady symbol of Havana like Sevilla) symbol of Havana has become the first molten sculpture in the city, Wind vane, done for  the tower of homage of the Castle of the royal force (Castillo de la Real Fuerza)  between 1630 and 1634.

Heraldic room  (or Sala Héraldica) small room designed for exhibiting objects and documents that testify to the importance that the Cuban nobility attributed to heraldic symbology.  Certifications of weapons, cleanings of blood, facsimiles of nobility titles, military orders, as well as banners or confectioners that displaying especially in the balconies on the day of Kings, allow us to catalogue the heraldic imprint of the Cuban family, on All of the 19C.
Room set B (or Sala Ambientada B) (19C) in the mid 19C, after the great sugar boom of the Creole Sacarocracy,  luxury is gala with its presence in the great palaces, and grows the importation of furniture and objects of art from the most diverse styles. Coupled with this, it increases the national productions in which beauty and good taste almost always prevail. From then on, the so-called eclecticism appears in the interior environments, as shown in the room, which also occupies the space of the first room in the museum.

Carriages room (Sala Cochera)  in the area occupied by the garage and Palace stables are exposed various models of cars: The Quitrin, introduced in Cuba at the beginning of the 19C; The well-known Break of English origin, from the late 19C, with capacity for a greater number of people; Finally, the Phaeton, convertible carriage and quite light. In the showcases are shown costumes calesero, objects related to daily life and caricatures in customs of the Basque painter Víctor Patricio Landaluze. Another of the relevant pieces is the locomotive, a remembrance of the first that circulated on November 19, 1837 by the station of Villanueva. This Cagney 15-type piece, manufactured in 1905 in the United States, is a jewel of Cuban railway heritage.

Sala Emilio Roig:  retains pieces belonging to the personal collection of Dr. Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring, whose arduous work bequeathed fruit as the founding of the Office of the historian of the City of Havana in 1938 and the Museum of the city of Havana in 1942, located in the Lombillo Palace, in the Cathedral Square(Plaza de la Catedral). Promoter and founder of these institutions, Roig played the position of the historian of the city until his death. The room exhibits around the important work table pieces of the collection of Emilio Roig, among them an excellent caricature made by Conrad Walter Massaguer which recreates the members of the retail group, composed of transcendental figures of the Cuban culture that represented the most progressive wing of intellectuality in the first half of the 20C.

Pinacoteca : shows a series of important works of key artists within the Cuban plastic, covering different periods within the history of this artistic manifestation. In it, is possible to admire creations of figures of the 19C art, governed by canons of the academy, like Leopoldo Romañach and Armando Menocal; of representatives of the avant-garde of modernism in the Cuban plastic, among them its initiator, Víctor Manuel, and other prominent artists such as Amelia Peláez, Mariano Rodríguez, René Portocarrero and Wifredo Lam, who were interested in recreating the  Cuban reality, its cities, traditions and symbols, and a sample of the most recent work of our contemporary creators, who are launching to renew the universe of expressive resources, each one with its language and its way of seeing and reflecting the world.

Cuban copper room (Sala de los Cobres Cubanos) within the vital offices of the old City is the blacksmith, which, by its application in construction works, in shipyards, agricultural, industrial and defensive work, occupied a significant place in the development of the city; However, in the 16C there was an insufficient number of artisans to practise it, and it is not until the last decade of that century when by Royal Order the foundation of blacksmiths in the city began. In the room dedicated to the exponents of this noble trade, a great diversity of objects of domestic and military use can be appreciated, result of the tenacity and mastery of the craftsmen of the metal.

Sword Cemetery (Cementerio de Espadas) Bishop Juan José Díaz de Espada and Fernández de Landa distinguished himself during the first three decades of the 19C for his progressive and enlightened work. Among his many works is the creation of the first Necropolis, which took its name and was inaugurated in 1806. Sculptors and Quarriers performed beautiful marble works for niches and tombstones of this cemetery, where the homage is perpetuated in crowns with capricious shapes, biscuit flowers, metal sheets and glass beads, while the desire for preservation forged coffins of Iron. These works of funerary art, a reflection of the customs of an epoch and of the economic power of its high classes, were transferred, as the old cemetery closed, to the new Christopher Columbus Necropolis (cementerio Cristobal Colon), of which by donation of the families arrived at this museum.

Statuary and stoning room ( Sala Estatuaria y Lapidaria) the economic and cultural development of the island in the 19C enabled the abundant entrance of marble and the visit of Italian artists of more or less relief. In the main cities, elegant Marbre were introduced, which were given by private individuals and the town hall for Courtyards, avenues and public places. Many of the sculptures that are shown today in this room witnessed the life of Havana along with the stone tombstones of Jaimanitas or quarry that in former times beautified streets and precincts.

Spanish uniforms Room (Sala de Uniformes). The costumes used by the different bodies of the Spanish army and their attributes, including decorations, canes, sabres and others, are exhibited. Among the uniforms is the one of Ramón Herrera Sancibrián, colonel of the Corps of Volunteers who encouraged his troops to request the death penalty for the 8 medical students who would be shot in 1871.

Public office (Despacho publico) .This room shows one of the two offices with which was used by the captain Generals of the island of Cuba, where were attended the matters related to the political and military situation of the country, fundamentally. Among the personalities received in this office was the German sage Alexander  Humboldt, in 1800. Likewise, in 1890, the general of the Libertador Army, Antonio Maceo Grajales, was sent by this space, received by the general Captain Camilo Polavieja y del Castillo. In its showcases stands the first telegraph equipement that entered Cuba in 1865. In addition, several documents issued by the Crown and the general captains of the island of Cuba, including the concentration camp dictated by Captain General Valeriano Weyler and Nicolau, on October 21, 1896.

Spanish banners, flags and pennants room (Sala de Estandartes, Banderas y Banderines Españoles) flags, pennants and banners of different bodies of the Spanish colonial army are exposed. In the showcase are retained flag spears used to prevent the passage of Cubans on the enemy formations and thus avoid the machete, the main weapon of the independence fighters aka Mambises. Outside the showcase appears a shield representing the Bourbon dynasty and three Spanish flags used in combat.

Spanish armaments Room (Sala de Armamento Español) It gathers a small but varied sample of the weapons and allied equipment used by the Spanish forces in Cuba. They appear here from the primitive flint-key rifles to the modern mauzers, employed in many countries until well into the 20C. There are also regulatory white weapons, a valuable piece of artillery occupied by colonial forces, bugles of orders, and a handkerchief of military instruction.

Anteroom and Hall of the Cabildo (Antesala o sala del Cabildo) .The Cabildo was one of the forms of local government existing in Spain later applied in its Hispanic colonies. Once the palace of the general captains has been built, the Capitulars are moved to this room, which prioritized each step to promote the socio-economic and cultural development of the city. As representatives of the Creole class that held economic power, they introduced fundamental advances such as the application of the steam engine in the sugar mills and the construction of the first section of the Havana-Bejucal railway, in addition to creating Important institutions such as the Royal Economic Society of Friends of the country, the Royal Consulate of Agriculture and commerce and the first public library. In this room, Leonor Pérez, mother of José Martí, was veiled in ardent Chapel in May 1907.

Room of thought (Sala del Pensamiento)  It addresses the ideological currents that were manifested in Cuba at the beginning of the 19C, which constituted a sample of the discontent of the slave bourgeoisie with the regime imposed by Spain on the Antillean island, characterized by the iron control over its Products. The movement known as Reformism had among its most representative figures Francisco Arango and Parreño and José Antonio Saco. The Anexionismo,(Annexionists)  a trend that enlisted in its ranks to those Creoles who saw the United States as the only country able to procure the island the necessary economic support, had Narciso Lopez among its main representatives. To these tendencies was counterbalanced by the independentists,  initially supported by a group of students and members of the illustrated sectors, among which was highlighted the priest Félix Varela and Morales; But these ideas did not take force until the second half of the 19C, and their maximum expression was the first  cry of independence of October 10, 1868. The portraits made by the painter Santiaguero Federico Martínez, located on the wall , allow to visualize some of the most outstanding figures of 19C Cuban thought.

Heroic Cuba (Cuba Heroica) , After the failure of all the actions of the Cubans, either by the reformist way or by the annexationist, it will be shown that the contradictions metropolis-colony were insurmountable and the impossible annexation. And this is demonstrated by the independent outbreak of October 10, 1868, in front of which was located the radical and patriotic wing of the Cuban landowners, headed by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes.  In a short time the war spread to Las Villas and Camagüey, but because of regionalism, caudillismo, divisions within the liberating army and lack of logistical support from outside, the belligerent did not reach the west, region of greater economic potential of the island and which supported the Spanish army. Therefore, after two decades of heroic battle for the independence of Cuba and the abolition of slavery, Yara’s revolution ended with the signing of the Pact of the Zanjón, which meant the maintenance of the Spanish dominion.

Hall of the flags (Sala de las Banderas) The halls of the flags are the most relevant of the City museum due to the national treasures they expose: The original flag that flew for the first time in 1850 and that, once the war of the ten years began , became national insignia; It teaches that it began this emancipatory feat, and others that put the ideals of the liberation very high. It also shows personal objects of the highest leaders of the wars of independence, among them belongings of Jose Martí, political chief of the Epic of 1895 and unifier of its forces in the Cuban Revolutionary Party.  Portrait on the fall in combat of major General Antonio Maceo (outside my native town of Punta Brava) , reflects a crucial stage of the last battle against Spanish colonialism, when it materialized one of the most important aspirations of the leaders of the Cuban wars of the 19C: the Invasion of east to west, to put to the island of Cuba on war footing for the fight for the independence.

American Intervention Room  (Sala Intervencion Americana) On February 15, 1898, the explosion of the American-flagged battleship cruiser Maine  was produced in Havana Bay, in which 266 members of its crew, including 2 officers, were killed. The funerals were held in the Hall of the Palace Council. The event was the pretext used by the United States to intervene in the conflict between Cuba and Spain. This war, called Hispano-Cuban-American, (but only Spanish-American in the USA still today)  concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, on December 10, 1898.  In compliance with this Treaty, in which no Cuban representation was involved, the Spanish authorities handed over power to John Brooke, the American military Governor designated for Cuba, on 10 January 1899. In 1901 the Constituent Assembly was convened to draft the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, a document establishing the constraints (Platt Amendement) that defined the future Cuban dependence.

Wicker Salon (Salon del Mimbre) .The wicker boudoir reflects the atmosphere that dominated the palace during the last two decades of the 19C. It highlights the art Nouveau furniture, artistic style that erupted in the late 19C and became fashionable in countries such as Belgium, France, Spain and the United States.  It also has pieces made by the jeweler and French modernist glassmaker René Lalique, as well as Émile Galle, Master in all the techniques that existed in the production of Glass with the company Daum Frères, founded in 1889 in France.  It also shows exponents of Art deco, French Gobelins, toys and a work by Cuban painter Guillermo Collazo.

Dining Room  (Salon del Comedor) Set in the style of the colonial palaces of the 19C, it is located in the same space that occupied during the colonial period and the first decades of the 20C, and where they offered great banquets to commemorate or to celebrate political events or Simply for celebrations sponsored by the Captain General himself.
The silver-plated copper trays that belonged to the General captain of the island of Cuba are integrated as original pieces. In the walls there are interesting Flemish tapestries from the 17C and 18C, hunting trophies and a collection of special attractive tableware that belonged to more than a hundred Cuban families.

Trinchante, Small hall that exhibits luxurious tableware and pieces destined for the service of table, between portraits that the American painter Elias Metcalf made for the wealthy family Ximeno.

Coffee Room (Sala del Cafe) It denotes one of those spaces destined to the receipt of the General captain. It highlights a set of room of knob of the 19C. A collection of pieces from the Millenary Oriental Art integrates the permanent exhibition with fans that use Cuban ladies during the colonial era. Works by foreign painters of the 19C such as Landaluze, Mejasky, Valentin Sanz Carta and Henry Cleenewerck, among others, can be appreciated there.

Infanta’s Room( Habitacion de la Infanta) ; In 1893 the Infanta Eulalia of Bourbon visited Havana, and during her seven-day stay she occupied this room that served as a bedroom for Captain General. The Habanera aristocracy hosted with parties and gifts, some exhibited in this room. Among the most important pieces are two portraits, one of the Spanish painter José María Romero and another of Esteban Chartrand, the main exponent of Cuban romanticism. Also significant is a set of furniture designed by John Henry Belter and two vases made with the technique of cloisonné.

Bath room (Sala del Baño) .Despite the fact that the Cuban tropical climate imposes a daily need for the bath, it is not until the middle of the 19C that the act begins to be integrated into the life of the inhabitants of the city of Havana. Until then, most of the hotels and private houses did not have a bath room, although the establishments of public baths, especially those destined for the male sex, were very crowded, and some became very comfortable. At that time the medicinal water spas were also very visited.
However, the most usual was the weekly washing with the Aguamanil and jofaina basin, with the complement of a touch of perfumes and flavourings. Many objects were brought by the aristocracy of Europe or the Orient.. The room displays French glassware, Czech crystal decorated by Mary Gregory, Chinese porcelain of exquisite firing, as well as pieces of Cuban silversmiths , and Italian marble baths in the form of snails or gondolas that constitute real treasures.

Room set A (19C) (Sala Ambientada A. The splendid way of life reached by the Cuban aristocracy in the mid-19C reveledan elitist interior environments characterized by the mixture of various foreign influences. Elizabethan period medallion furniture, French porcelains, English and Italian pottery contributed to distinguish these spaces. This piece that was available in the private part of the palace was used as a dormitory by the wife of the Captain General. In the room two portraits of landscapes were done by Esteban Chartrand.

White Room (Salon Blanco) . The Spanish and Creole elites selected recreational places among the halls of their elegant residences. The anteroom of the main hall of the palace was used as a complement to receive guests on holidays and space for musical auditions.
Decorated with Louis XV and Louis XVI furnishings, oil portraits and European porcelains, it preserves among its most valuable pieces two beautiful 18C Meissen porcelain vases.

Hall of Mirrors (Salon de los Espejos). It was the space of greatest political and social importance of the Palace of the Captain General. Photographs and documents of the archives reveal some important events that took place in this Hall: transfer of powers of the Spanish colonial administration to the American government, on January 10, 1899; Birth of the Republic on May 20, 1902; Funerals of Máximo Gómez and Salvador Cisneros, in the first two decades of the 20C, among others. Illustrious personages who visited the island in the 19C received in this enclosure, also known as Hall of the Besamanos (hands kissing), the homage of the Havana high society.

The webpage in Spanish on the above was Ecured, a Cuban site. Ecured on Museo de la Habana

Hope you enjoy, a bit long, but worth it me think. A must visiting Cuba and for sure if Havana is your destination, cannot missed it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

July 24, 2018

Presidential palace of Havana!

Let’s get back to the deep roots and come up with something written before briefly in my blog, it deserve a single post. Therefore, I have decided to tell you a bit more on the Presidential Palace of Havana, Cuba.

My previous blog post on Havana , spoked a bit of it ,and for reference here is that post. San Cristobal de La Habana

There are so many buildings in Havana, once the Unesco did a report that I lost track of it but mentioned 144 buildings of the 14C, 15C, 16C, and 17C in Havana ;more than on any other city in the Americas. The multitude of beauty is enormous even if the history is sad. Hemingway once call it the Paris of the Americas, and he should know some.

Havana

In 1909 the governor of Havana decided to build a new headquarters to host the Provincial government. The project was carried out by the architects Rodolfo Maruri (Cuban) and Paul Belau (Belgian), while the construction phase was assumed by the General Contracting Company.  Meanwhile the interior decoration was under the responsibility of Tiffany Studios of New York.  The Salon de Espejos or Hall of Mirrors, which was conceived in the image and likeness of the homonymous Galerie des Glaces or Gallery of Mirrors of the Palace of  Versailles, France. Its floors and staircases are made from the famous Carrara marble of Italy. The building, built on the basis of the canons of eclecticism.

In 1917 the history of the building had a transcendent turn that marked its subsequent destiny. At the end of that year, the first Lady of the Republic visited the works, and was captivated by the magnificence of the building and the privileged of its location. No more needed to be said, she turns to her husband , Mario Garcia Menocal, President of the Republic, and took over the necessary legal quibbles and dispossessed the Provincial government of the property of the palace. In the beginning of 1918 everything was arranged so that the building located in Calle Refugio No. 1 between Monserrate and Zulueta became the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Cuba.

The construction work followed its course and on January 31, 1920 the official inauguration of the Executive Mansion took place. The work, in all its details, was not completed until the 12th of March of 1920.

Havana

The palace building  has four floors: the ground floor served to accommodate the dependencies that secured the main functions; Telephone exchange, auxiliary offices, power plant and even the stable for police horses. The first floor welcomed the most important spaces of the palace: presidential office, Gallery of Mirrors, Chapel, Golden Hall and the place where the Council of Ministers made decisions. On the second floor was installed the Presidential residence and in the last of the floor was placed the garrison responsible with the custody of the Presidential mansion. The building is crowned by a dome clad in the exterior of glazed ceramic pieces that, at the time, was one of the highest in the city. In all, there are 38 rooms that speak of more than a century of struggles and heroic epics of Cuba.

Havana

In the building are present paintings and sculptures of representatives of the artistic avant-garde of the moment: Leopoldo Romañach, Emilio Hernández Giro, Enrique Cabrera, Esteban Valderrama, Esteban Betancourt and Armando Menocal.

At the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959 ,not much was decided on what to do with it and came some periods of neglect.  The first revolutionary Provisional Government was established in the former presidential palace. From there the commander in chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, assumed the position of Prime Minister and carried out the great process of nationalization of all the private companies that existed in Cuba until that moment; including the American companies that gave rise later to the US Embargo due to non payment.  Later, the former Presidential palace houses since 1976 the Museum of the Cuban revolution with  holes  in the wall of historical shots as if they were the bones of a saint, as well as weapons, tanks or boats (the mythical Granma that brought the revolutionaries from Mexico) that led to the eventual drastic changes in the country for the worse.

Among the most visited areas of the museum is the Granma Memorial, founded on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the landing of the Granma yacht. It occupies the grounds of the old Parque Zayas, which President Alfredo Zayas had commanded to build during the last years of his term, in honor of himself, in front of the South Gate that divides the Memorial from the Palace.

You read up more about in English here: Visit Cuba on the Presidential Palace, Revolution museum

And see some of the beauty of it on the inside on this youtube video.

 

Hope you have enjoy this brief description of an icon of Havana for different points of views and reasons, divided as Cuba has been for the last 60 years.  A must visit to understand the tumultous history of Cuba.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 24, 2018

Well Havana does have other Churches!

Sitting back and looking over my photos, I realised that I as many like to write about the big ones, the Cathedrals etc, and famous Churches. Well , there are many wonderful temples that are not yet discovered or not enough and are just as beautiful and full of history and architecture that I like. This is especially the case with La Habana, or Havana, Cuba. The island nation has plenty of wonderful Churches and with loads of history and beautiful architecture.

I have decided to write about them even if long post, I just took the ones that I remember from childhood and got some old books at home out and even pictures;hope you like it. These are my favorites Churches of Havana.

As you can see from the list below, there are differences between the terms of Cathedral, Parish, Church and Chapel.  Religious temples in the Catholic Church differ by their territorial hierarchy.  The archdiocese is an area with several temples under the jurisdiction of an archbishop and the main church that is its headquarters is named Cathedral.  The parish is still in importance and has under its authority one or several nearby churches and chapels, the latter of a simpler structure. The hermitages are small temples usually far away from the towns.  The sanctuaries are temples to which many faithful pilgrims, where an image or relic is venerated or where a miracle took place.

For addresses and contact this unofficial site has plenty of info on Cuba and in this case the Churches: http://www.cuba-junky.com/cuba/help-churches-comunities-havana.htm

The official archidiocèse of Havana site is here: Havana Archdiocese webpage

Official Catholic Church in Cuba: Catholic Church in Cuba

And here we go!

Church San Francisco de Assisi located at Calle Cuba, Old Havana (Habana Vieja). Its construction began in the year 1548 and lasted until 1591, although it was inaugurated in 1575, it was completely finished almost 200 years later, with a series of structural reforms occurring from 1731 to 1738. The facade is located on the Calle Oficios where you can see three stone statues representing the Immaculate Conception, San Francisco de Assisi and Santo Domingo de Guzmán. It is composed of three large naves, which are held by twelve columns representing the Twelve Apostles, of the Catholic Church. It has a tower of 48 meters of height, which in the colonial era was the highest structure of the city for several centuries. The tower was crowned by an image of Saint Francis of Assisi, in stone, whose head was torn by the wind during the hurricane of 1846. A garden in honor of Mother Teresa of Calcutta has recently been built in the back.  The Franciscans monks used it as a high school for centuries; they taught grammar, philosophy, theology and mathematics. The Spanish colonial government takes in 1841 the property of the religious communities and the friars moved to the Church of St. Augustine, relatively close to the convent.  After this the convent is destined as warehouse and office of the General Archive and the Customs of Havana. After independence, in 1907, it is destined to the General Directorate of Post and Telegraph. In 1916 it was transformed again to host the General Directorate of Communications, which would later become a ministry. In 1941 and in 1944 it had restorations done.  In 1957 it moved the Ministry of Communications , and the Cuban revolution, it is given the category of Museum of Colonial History and one that  incorporates many historical objects of religious character to its collection. It was located in the lower basilica of the convent, after restorations, a room of sacred music and chamber.

Havana

Havana

Church of Our Lady of Mercy ( Nuestra Senora de la Merced) also located at Calle Cuba , corner of Merced, Old Havana (Habana Vieja), aka as the Church of the Mercedes. You will have the privilege of knowing one of the most emblematic religious temples of the greater of the Antilles, of singular beauty. In its interiors it is an imitation of the Italian churches erected in the likeness of the one of Saint Peter, in Rome. It consists of three naves separated by monumental arches of half a point. They call attention to the abundant and beautiful decorations of shades of gold and gleaming yellow, which contrast with the chestnut of the benches and the magnificent frescoes of the ceilings. The luxurious murals, the images of the vaults and the rest of the works of plastic arts, make up a collection of paintings from the last quarter of the 19C thanks to renowned Cuban artists of the time, including Manuel Lorenzo, responsible for the lofty main section, and Juan Crossa, who decorated the dome and the upper edges of the vaults of the greater Altar. The mural of the lower part of the Chapel, which refers to a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Lourdes, is the work of Didier Petit, while the landscaper Esteban Chartrand painted the background of the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, located at the end of one of the two side aisles of the temple. They complete the constructive space the beautiful altars and the convent  annex, which maintains its original functions and is defined by a beautiful cloister patio. Father Geronimo Viladás asked that his remains be buried in La Merced after his death. Thirty years after he died, his desires were finally fulfilled and from 1913 he rests in the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes within the aforementioned church.

The construction of the temple began in the year 1630 at the hands of the faithful of the Lady of Mercy. The process, however, required more time and effort than expected. More than a century later, in 1742, the section between the facade and the pulpits had barely been completed, as well as a poor adjacent convent house. For 1834, the government employed the building as a warehouse, housing customs goods, until in 1863 it was handed over to the Vincentian fathers. The occasion was celebrated with a big popular festival and with the revival of the construction by Geronimo Viladás, Superior of the Missionary Friars now responsible for the enclosure. In the new task the established community poor and rich again intervened. Finally, on January 31, 1867, the renovated temple was inaugurated.

Parroquia de Sagrado Corazón de Jesús y San Ignacio de Loyola (Sacred Heart Parish of Jesus and St. Ignatius of Loyola) ,located at Calle Reina # 463, Centro Habana, district;  known in the city as the Church of Reina (Queen), is the highest church in Havana and one of the most majestic. Built in neo-Gothic style, is the highest church in Cuba and one of the most beautiful, its elevated tower of 50 meters can be seen from various points of the city.  It began approximately in 1907 due to needs that had the Jesuit fathers to have a place dedicated to their trades, the area chosen was that of Reina and Belsacoaín streets, the first stone was put on August 7, 1914 and on May 2, 1923 was consecrated , inaugurated the following day. It has the fundamental elements of this neo gothic style with pointed arch, high pointed vaults, reduced walls, large windows and luminous stained glass windows.  The altarpiece was made in Madrid, made of alabaster, wood and bronze, was brought in pieces and mounted on site. From the Calle Reina, you can see the great image of the Sacred Heart, carved in wood, whose base is the central capital that represents the parable of the Prodigal Son and the two saints who make guard; San Ignacio de Loyola and San Francisco Javier . Within the Temple, there are beautiful windows with stained glass, representing the life of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, passages of the Life of Ignatius of Loyola and some Jesuit saints. The Church has a central nave, supported by six lateral columns topped by ornate capitals, those that end at the main altar, which highlights a gigantic image of the Sacred Heart in an attitude to bless the faithful. To the right and left they are accompanied by two lively groups of Jesuit saints, as well as other saints and church doctors. A set of five angels, formed with their wings deployed a docility there is a bronze plaque on the altar of the Mass, where Jesus Christ is depicted as the slaughtered lamb and standing, symbol of his death and his subsequent resurrection, accompanied by a multitude that He sings praises to. The parish count also, with one of the most elegant organs of Cuba. The floor of the central nave is made by elaborate mosaics of stone and Crystal tesserae, it has in its entry the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, which signify Christ, and Ji and Ro, C and R initials of the Son of God in Greek.  In the end, there is an ancient anagram of Jesus in Latin: JHS Jesus Homo Salvator (Jesus Man Savior).  The two aisles form a Latin cross, one is dedicated to San José (St Joseph), where there is also an image of the Virgin of Charity of Copper (Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre), patron of Cuba, along with the Cuban flag. The altar of the other nave is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and is where the tabernacle that holds the consecrated hosts is located. At the bottom of the temple is carved an image of the Virgin of Fatima.

 Parish of Santa María del Rosario, located at Calle 24  between 31 and 33 avenues, Cotorro district, built in Baroque style was inaugurated in 1776 was built between 1760 and 1766 and is known with the title given by the Bishop : The Cathedral of the fields of Cuba (Catedral de los campos de Cuba)  has a baroque altar of great beauty.  The gigantic altar still looks like its gold-covered spiral columns. It also presents four beautiful pendentives painted by the first Cuban painter of which it is mentioned, José Nicolás de Escalera. The first Cuban scientist graduated in medicine, Dr. Tomás Romay y Chacón, was baptized in the parish Church of Santa Maria del Rosario in 1764. Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier married in this Church in 1940 something. José María Chacón y Calvo, a prominent  Hispanic historian and sixth Earl of Casa Bayona, was baptized in this Church. In addition, the Church was visited by Queen Sofia of Spain in 1999.

Iglesia Jesús de Miramar Church, 5ª Ave y 82 street, Miramar, Playa, Centro Habana district, the second largest church in Cuba. Built in a Roman-Byzantine style surmounted by a giant dome. Built between 1948 and 1953, it houses one of the largest tube organs in the world. The church murals, representing the 14 stations of the Via Crucis, were painted between 1952 and 1959 by the Spanish artist Cesareo Marciano Hombrados y de Onativia. The Roman soldier who stripped Jesus of his garments is a self-portrait of the artist himself.  The artist, also used as models for the murals by his wife Sara Margarita Fernandez and to all the people who contributed to the construction of the temple. The garden there is an imposing sculpture of 1.8 meters high  made in Carrara marble, replica of the Virgin of Lourdes (France).

Parroquia de Nuestra Senora del Rosario y San Luis Rey de Francia , (Our lady of Rosary and St Louis of France Church ) located at Calle 44  between 279 and 279 street, Guatao, Centro Habana district, this is the small town of the cemetery of my native área, and the Church is not far. Just for the memories; my native town Church is the Iglesia Nuestra Senora de la Caridad  Church of Our Lady of Charity, also Cuba’s Patron Saint)  located at Ave. 249  betwen  42 and 44 streets, Punta Brava, Lisa, Centro Habana. Again not much on it just for the memories.

Punta Brava

The first church built in Havana was on the grounds where the Plaza de Armas of Old Havana is today, its construction cost only 32 pesos and was destroyed by the French pirates in 1538. Some of the old ones are here:

Church of Santo Cristo ,at calle Villegas between Lamparillas and Lieutenant Rey streets.Old Havana. Built in 17C, rebuilt in 1755 and renovated and enlarged in 1932. When the Plaza del Cristo was created, in the year 1640, this Church was drawn by the Franciscan Order. Its position was destined to the culmination of the ceremony of the way of the cross that started from the Church of San Francisco of Assisi and was of the preferred ones between the sailors and the Navy that made stay in Havana on their travels from Spain. Originally built as a hermitage and converted in 1693 in auxiliary of the major parish, it elevated to the category of parish in 1703. In the year 1899, after the American occupation, it was handed over to the American Augustinian Fathers. In the possession of these, the residence of the friars, a parochial school and the private School of St. Augustine were built in the surroundings.

Church of the Holy Spirit  (Iglesia del Espiritu Santo ) located at Calle Cuba between Acosta and Jesús María streets in Old Havana. Original Hermitage in 1638. Tower in 1707. Vault of the Presbytery in 1720. General reconstruction and lateral nave in 1760, remodeling in 1847. The oldest Church in Havana.  Although the original building, erected as a hermitage for free blacks, and built  towards 1661 in the second parochial Church of the village, dates approximately 1638, very little remains of it due to the successive works of repair, reconstruction and remodeling that are carried out until the 19C. The tower was built in 1707, the vault of the presbytery towards 1720 and around 1760 an almost total reconstruction was executed that included the erection of new walls and the addition of a lateral nave. Other elements of interest in this temple are the funerary crypts discovered inside in 1953; The tomb of Bishop Gerónimo Valdés, found in 1936; And the fact that it was declared in 1773 as the only church in Havana with the right to grant protection to those persecuted by the authorities.

Convento e Iglesia de Santa Teresa de Jesus (Convent and Church of Saint Theresa of Jesus) located at Calle Compostela corner of  Calle Lieutenant Rey. Old Havana.  Built on 1707, the Church and the Convent in the second half of the 18C.  This Church is one of the three jewels of the Colonial Baroque of Havana of the 18C, as far as religious buildings are concerned, in the times of greatest splendor, the convent occupied a plot of 6,900 square meters which was more than half of the block contained in the Calle Teniente Rey and, between Calle Aguacate and Calle Compostela. By Royal Certificate of the King Charles III of Spain, dated in Madrid on March 14, 1700, the foundation of the convent was authorized, which was originally destined to the religious order of the Barefoot Carmelites. On January 28, 1702 was dictated by Bishop Diego Avelino de Compostela, the decree authorizing the founding of the monastery in the building that then occupied the Church of Our Lady of Bethlehem (Nuestra Sra de Belén), with the houses and plots that he donated for the foundation of the east. The convent was called for many years monastery of the Barefoot Carmelites of Our Lady of Bethlehem of the Carmelitas Descalzas de Nuestra Senora de Belén). In 1753, the restoration of the Church that needed proper maintenance in the face of the deterioration of its ceilings. A few years later, the old walls of earth were replaced by stone walls. In 1928, the Carmelite mothers leave the residence because they were deprived of the closure that provides the order, as the height of the buildings that were built surrounding the monastery, specifically a building of the famous pharmacy Sarrá that It consisted of seven plants. After the nuns left the building that occupied the church and convent  was very much changed. In what was the Church of Our Lady of Bethlehem, another Church was founded with the name of María Auxiliadora, which remains its name today. Their gardens were abandoned and gradually lost the charm of other eras until they came to disappear. What once was orchard became a social dining room, in the part that gives to the Calle Compostela and in which it gives to the Calle Aguacate, in a child care center. The curb of the well and the cross that embellished the courtyard of the monastery, disappeared from the place many years ago.

Again ,these are some of my memories that are still there, and a beacon of hope for many of Havana. Plenty of history and architecture too, and if you are by there feel free to stop by, there are looking great after all these years.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

July 17, 2018

A nostalgic look back, Gran Teatro de La Habana!

So  ,therefore, it is time to go back way back in my life when family immigrate and re immigrate we find ourselves with many nationalities and customs blending nicely thank  you. If you have read my blog careful, you will know that I have four passports! yes ! Welcome to the real world.  One of these passports is Cuban ,another is Spanish, later American, and finally I am French. However, it all goes back to the DNA and that is from Tenerife (Candelaria and Pàjara) Canary Islands of Spain.

One of the buildings that most explain the mixture of this immigration back and forth across the Atlantic ocean is embedded in Havana or San Cristobal de La Habana and the great history of the Gran Teatro or grand theater.  I was too young to visited, and when back had no time too many places to find your roots and show the new family. However, my parents told me a lot about it and I just passed by. It is time I give it the honor it deserves in my blog.

The Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso  as it is known today is located in the Paseo del Prado in the block formed by the interceptions of the current streets San Rafael, San José, Consulado and Paseo del Prado.

The theater has been home to the Cuban National Ballet and, on its main stage, to the International Ballet Festival of Havana. Its facilities include theaters, a concert hall, conference rooms, and a video screening room, as well as an art gallery, a choral center, and several rehearsal halls for dance groups and dance companies.

The  old Teatro Tàcon  across from the Parque Central (Central Park) had occupied part of the site for decades, it was named in honor of Captain General Miguel de Tàcon y  Rosique, governor of Cuba between the years 1834 and 1838 in the colonial period.

During the first years of Cuban independence when thousands of immigrants arrived in Cuba from Spain, a new building was constructed around it, preserving the original theater.  It was then known as the Centro Gallego or Galician Center, constructed to served as a social center for Galician immigrants to Havana. The building is decorated with a stone and marble statue as well as sculptures by Giuseppe Moretti, representing allegories depicting benevolence, education, music and theater. On the first picture below you will see part of the old ramparts walls of Havana over 4000 meters long at the time of Spain in Cuba.

Havana Havana

The old theater Tàcon was arguably one of the best in the continent for its elegance, comfort and exceptional technical preparation. Years later, in 1914, the theater itself and the buildings around it were purchased to build in that location the Centro Gallego, which took up the entire block.  The construction of this building, financed by donations of Galician emigrants, began in 1908 and it opened in 1915 with an opera season offered by important artists of the period. In 1985, at the initiative of the prima ballerina Alicia Alonso, the building was renamed the Great Theater of Havana (Gran Teatro de La Habana).

In 1961, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of García Lorca’s death, the board of the Centro Gallego announced that the theater would change its name to that of the Granada poet as  Teatro Garcia Lorca. Then in 1981, the entire complex changed its name to Complejo Cultural del Gran Teatro García Lorca, now under Prima Ballerina Alicia Alonso Director of the National Ballet. Finally, in 1985, it received the name of Gran Teatro de La Habana. Following extensive renovations, the theater has reopened on January 1, 2016 and renamed to honor the Cuban prima ballerina Alicia Alonso or Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso.   The principal venue is the Garcia Lorca Auditorium, with seats for 1,500; it provides a stage for the Cuban National Ballet Company, as well as for other dance and musical performances.

During the 19C and 20C performances took place on its stage by artists of the highest rank, such as Ole Bull, Enrico Caruso, Fanny Elssler, Jenny Lind, Anna Pavlova, Antonia Mercé , Ruth Saint Denis, Ted Shawn ,Teresa Carreño , Vicente Escudero, Maya Plisetskay, Clorinda Corradi, Sarah Bernhardt, Wajd Alianabi, Carla Fracci, and Alicia Alonso as well remarkable companies such as the American Ballet Theater, the Royal Winnepeg Ballet, Ballet Antonio Gades , the Ballet of the Colont Theater of Buenos Aires, the Ballet Folclórico of Mexico, plus many other highly respected artists and ballet companies of the times.

A wonderful historical building gone thru many periods and still there. One of the sights to see in Havana indeed.

Some webpages on it are hard to find so will give you a couple to enjoy it, you can always look up the tourist board of Cuba in your country.

Infotur on the Gran Teatro

Cuba Travel on the Gran Teatro

For example for France info can be obtain here

Consulat de Cuba en France :
14 rue de Presle 75015 Paris – Tel : 0145383112- Ambassade de Cuba en France :
16 rue de Presle 75015 Paris – Tel : 0145675535- Office de tourisme de Cuba : 
280 bd Raspail 75014 Paris – Tel : 0145389010

Hope it helps. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!
March 17, 2018

The dream world of Disneyland Paris!

So on a rainy cloudy, cool Saturday and just a short trip out with Rex, I have stay home and work on my blog. I still need to go out again with son and his moto accessories needs, he pays !

However, why not come back to my old post on Disneyland Paris. My sons went there and we stayed at the old H0liday Inn Disneyland, then the Vienna Magic hotel and now the Vienna Dream Hotel. And I had several meetings held there when working with the hotel chain IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group).

I have been to the Walt Disney park in Orlando FLorida so many times lost counts , with me on concerts, with my boys, and then taken friends/family there. We never visited Disneyland Paris from the USA as not needed we thought. However, once in France , the itch became too great not to try and see it. Well ,there is no contest in my opinion to the one in Orlando ,but at least folks in Europe have a more affordable Mickey place to see and enyoy.

My previous blog post on Disneyland Paris is here: Previous Blog post Disneyland

Let me tell you a bit about the parks and the history in France.

Disneyland Paris, previously called Euro Disney Resort and before that Disneyland Resort Paris is a tourist entertainment park of 22,3 km located in the town of Chessy in the department 77 of Seine et Marne. It includes two parks,; the Disneyland and the Walt Disney studios as well as 27 hotels and a golf course and covers into the shopping and aquarium area of Val d’Europe. All link from Paris by the train line RER A as well as by car on the expressway or autoroute A4 direction Metz, as well as a TGV train line.

This huge complex in addition to the above mention items mainly the two entertainment parks , hotels and golf of 27 holes ; it also, has Disney Village with stores, restaurants and shows. 7 hotels on Disney property such as Disneyland hotel, New York, Sequoia Lodge, Newport Bay Club, Cheyenne, Santa Fe, Ranch Davy Crockett; and 10 partner hotels such as Villages Nature Paris, Elysée Val d’Europe, Algonquin Explorer , Kyriad, Adagio city Aparthotel, Marriott Village ile de France, Vienna international Dream Castle, Radisson Blu, and B&B hotel disneyland.

Disneyland Park

indoor heated pool HOliday Inn disneyland today Vienna Dream

The 3 train stations, RER A, regular trains line Serris-Montévrain Val d’Europe, and the TGV Marne la Vallée-Chessy. Two shopping centers or malls such as Val d’Europe (includes Sea Life aquarium) and the La Vallée Village outlet shopping.. In all, a business park Goodman, and several residential communities. Coming by car as we have , you take off the Paris boulevard périphérique the A4 direction Metz and get out at sortie or exit 14 follow road D344P all well posted; around the parks there is the big boulevard du Grand Fossé easy link to hotels and Val d’Europe shopping.. Bear in mind, there is a cost last was 20€/day for parking in the park. The RER A from Paris proper you can take it at Nation, Gare de Lyon, Châtelet-Les-Halles, Auber (Great department stores and gare St Lazare) and Charles de Gaulle-Etoile (Arc de Triomphe). You have local bus service such as from the bus terminal at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy from the stations of Serris-Montévrain-Val d’Europe, Meaux, Château Thierry, Lagny, Thorigny, Crécy-la-Chapelle, Coulommiers, Provins and Esbly The network Pepy’s on lines 6, 23, 24, 34, 43, 50 and 54 is the most extensive from Marne la Vallée-Chessy to Bussy-Saint-Georges, Lagny-sur-Marne, Chessy, Serris and the Val d’Europe urban and shopping center. SEME or Seine-et-Marne Express on bus lines 17 and 50 ; Tramy network on line 38, marne –et Morin on lines 12, 19, 57, 59, 59E, and 62 , Procars network on line 13 ,and Noctilien N130 and N141. The airport CDG is easy to come here by navettes Magical Shuttle and on the TGV train from CDG to Marne la Vallée Chessy.

Marne la Vallee Chessy

Marne la Vallee Chessy TGV train station

The official webpage info on Disneyland Paris is here:  Disneyland Paris

By 2002, the park is enlarge with the opening of Walt Disney Studios located on the south side of Disneyland and along the line of the RER A. Opening with 10 attractions with the cinema and cartoons as principal attractions. Recently reported in the news and my blog, there was the announcement of a new investment by Disneyland of about 2 Billion Euros so doubling the park Walt Disney Studios into 3 zones between 2021 and 2025 on the themes of Frozen, Star Wars, and Marvel. The Parc Walt Disney Studios is by Val d’Europe in Marne la Vallée . Once entering to the left you have the huge store boutique and on the right the information desk, and visitor services. At the center, there is a fountain with a statue of Mickey. Studio 1 is a building facing the entrance to the park serving as the shopping street but is covered showing a Hollywood as it was in the golden age of the 1930’s. On it you see the boutiques of the Hollywood legends in three consecutive spaces; the second space show the luxury boutique of Rodeo Drive , and the last space show the Crossroads of the World change into a service station selling DVD’s. The Toy Story Playland at the Place de Rémy is a section of Toon Studio representing the Paris of the film Ratatouille. In the section Production Courtyard you have on the left of the exit of Studio 1, and includes the attractions located on the main square decorated with a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse . The highlight is the Tower of Terror showing the mysteries of Hollywood Tower Hotel where the riders in an elevator/lift disappeared in a night of lightning scary. Hollywood boulevard installations include a replica of the Hollywood Boulevard of Los Angeles on the right and the Backlog on the back left of the park showing the scenaries of what it looks like the studios today.

The official Walt Disney Studios webpage is here:  Walt Disney Studios

I like to give some webpages that will help plan your trip here:

For those seeking to work here :  employment at Disneyland

To find Disney stores in France :  Disney store locator

Navette Express bus to from Disneyland :  navette bus Express

Magical Shuttle transport :  Magical Shuttle from airports

RER A train schedule just type Paris where you are and Disneyland:  RER A train schedule

Val d’Europe shopping, our favorite here:  Val d’Europe shopping Center

Disney village shopping in the park  : Disney Village shoppint/restos

Disney Village Natures :  Disney Village Natures

Other places to see around Disneyland Paris (obviously I like the City of Meaux and the Museum of the Great War or WWI :  Other things to see around Disneyland

Well coming on business meetings and part of the group of hotels on Disneyland property had many perks at greatly reduce or nothing at all; but that is another story. I like to tell you when I took my family there.

We drove over of course, as we have family not far and combine the trip with a visit north of Meaux. Even thought the official site tells you to get off on exit 14 of the A4 , we got in by exit 12.1 going into the D345 road and into the D344 and boulevard du Grand Fossé and our hotel(see above). The parking was reduce pricing for me at 5€ (it is 20€), the hotel was half price and the food well eventually did not pay anything. But that was the business discount. My boys were small in the early teens so the trip was memorable for them; now it is not so much an interest as they are in their 20’s.

Disneyland Paris

game room Holiday INn Disneyland today Vienna Dream

We remember the hotel was all deco in a clown theme or dream world with a large wonderful restaurant, and an even better indoor heated pool! The current hotel webpage is here:  Vienna Magic Dream Hotel

The boys really like the indoor pool and the ice creams on the restaurant; we just relax…as one can with 3 young boys. And we hit the attractions of Disneyland starting by Disney Village and eating at the old favorite from Florida, the Rainforest Cafe! The food and the attractions ::) were memorable the same; site here in English:  http://rainforestcafe.fr/en/

Disneyland Paris

Rainforest Cafe Disneyland village

And ok, we finally went into the park lol!!We got into the park early by opening time, a must , much more today. The favorite still is Space Mountain ride, the Star Wars galaxy ride, the IMAX movie cinema, for French eating the Auberge de Cendrillon at Fantasyland. The pirates of the Caribbean, and Adventureland. The park really needs two days to see it all at leisure; and now another day for Walt Disney Studios and the movies stars.

Like I said, for teens this is a must to visit in France now, and the most visited park in Europe! I believe they will do as in Orlando; an old marshy swamp area totally change by men into a sparkling metropolis with all kinds of entertainment. By the time they finish all the investment money here it will be the same. Already they are American style home communities shopping centers and a housing and business boom in all the towns around it.

The new town of Marne-La Vallée was created in the 1960’s. It includes for about 20 km wide the towns from Bry-sur-Marne to Bailly-Romainvilliers, and divided into four districts or sectors. These are sector I or Porte de Paris with the towns of Noisy-le-Grand, as well as Bry-sur-Marne ,and Villiers-sur-Marne. Sector II or gate of Val Maubuée including the towns of Champs-sur-Marne, Croissy-Beaubourg, Émerainville, Lognes, Noisiel, and Torcy. Sector III or gate of Val de Bussy including the towns of Bussy-Saint-Georges, Bussy-Saint-Martin, Chanteloup-en-Brie, Collégien, Conches-sur-Gondoire, Ferrières-en-Brie, Gouvernes, Guermantes, Jossigny, Lagny-sur-Marne, Montévrain, and Saint-Thibault-des-Vignes . Finally , sector IV with the towns of Bailly-Romainvilliers, Chessy, Coupvray, Magny-le-Hongre, Serris ,and Villeneuve-le-Comte. This new town is cross by the RER A on the line along the expressway A4 including nine stations such as Bry-sur-Marne,Noisy-le-Grand – Mont d’Est,Noisy-Champs,Noisiel,Lognes,Torcy,Bussy-Saint-Georges,Serris-Montévrain – Val d’Europe, and Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy.

Other things to see around Disneyland that are worth seeing in my opinion are the historical town of Meaux only 20 minutes from the park in the region of Brie (cheese) and mustard Pommery. Visit the gothic Cathedral (one of the last ones done in France), its episcopal palace and garden done by Le Nôtre and the museum Bossuet, the Eagle of Meaux and confessor of king Louis XIV. Follow the road of the Impressionists painters in Moret-sur-Loing with the likes of Monet, Renoir, and Sisley that walked on this town. See Barbizon, the town of painters and amateurs of Art on a pretty town following the footsteps of Corot, Millet, and Rousseau. The painters leaders of the 19C that did their most important work here; see the School of Barbizon,the museum of painters or the workshops of Rousseau and Millet.

Hope you enjoy the ride into magical Disneyland Paris. It is worth a detour with family, and shopping is great too. Have a great weekend to all. Cheers!!

March 12, 2018

The big beautiful and samba country, Brazil!

Well ,it’s about time I recap my previous trip to this huge beautiful country. Of course ,a few post won’t do justice to everything in it, but I will try . I have been coming here since 1994-5 , first from the USA and then continue from France until just last year. Of course, I am talking about Brazil.

As usual on these nostalgic posts, I will give you the link to my previous blog posts on the country.

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/780

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/5457

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/9884

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/11635

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/12721

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/16366

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/16421

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/16450

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/16472

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/16483

Well , do not know where to start, just to tell you that in addition to regular visits for several years from a week to three weeks for which I learned the language-Portuguese, I did eventually went there for a job of 3 months with an apart hotel valet parking and all expenses paid! So always living is different than visiting, you learned more and get more from the experience. Nice memories and nicer friendships that endure even over 30 years!

A bit on the history I like:

Brasil /Brazil/ Brésil is officially the Federal Republic of Brazil, the biggest country in the Latin America covering almost half the surface of South America. It shares borders with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana (also France), and Surinam; only Chile and Ecuador do not have borders. The country is ,also, the 5th biggest in the World and the only heritage of Portugal in the Americas. It is, also, the second Christian country in the world and the first Catholic (per population).

The Brazilian flag has a yellow triangle as a background in green meaning the imperial union upon the birth of Brazilian Royal house . The green represent the Royal house of Braganza  of which belonged the first emperor of Brazil , Pedro I .  The yellow represent the Austrian Royal house of Habsbourg  because Maria-Leopoldine of Austria, was the wife of Pedro I and was an Austrian princess. As far as language ,the Portuguese is the official language but also has Indian heritage in languages such as the tupi-guarani, macro-jê  ,and Arawak (the same later went to the Caribbean islands).The main tribes are the  Tupiniquims,  Guaranís, and  Tupinambas. The tribe of Tupis was the first one to be in contact with the arriving Portuguese, therefore the cultural attachment is more important today.

In 1500, Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered the Brazilian coasts coming from Portugal and declare the new lands as part of Portugal. Brazil is the country that have received the largest number of black African slaves, mostly from West Africa in the 16C to the 1850’s. By 1807, to avoid the attack of emperor Napoléon to Portugal, the Royal family of king John VI escapes to Brazil. In 1815, Portugal raise Brazil as a Vice kingdom and the Capital of its empire. Brazil becomes the Vice-monarchy of Brazil and the Algarves. In 1821, king John VI returns to Portugal but Dom Pedro became the regent prince of Brazil and starts the war of independence facing the Portuguese army against the colonial army . By 1822, Pedro takes side with the locals and declare the independence finishing in 1824 with the victory of the Brazilian troops and the signing of the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro of 1825. The first constitution was done in March 1824. Pedro II continues and make the most prosperous period of the history of Brazil.

During early in the 1860’s Brazil face two critical periods.  A war beginning with a civil war in Uruguay (at the time a province of Brazil) and the Army is sent to put down the rebellion  with final victory in 1865. The, real danger comes when the Paraguayan army taking advantage of the situation in Uruguay invade the Brazilian province of Mato Grosso, and four months later invades the Argentina as well.  This campaign was also pacified in favor of Brazil. By 1889, the emperor is dethroned and a Republic is proclaimed but not a democracy but led by an oligarchy of rich landowners, local electors, and Coronels until the crises of the 1930’s. By 1930, on a coup d’Etat the country goes into dictatorships. Brazil entered WWII in 1942 on the side of the Allies and by 1945 the dictator Vargas leave. From 1964 there were many military juntas and stays for over 20 years. Democracy comes in an economic and financial difficult time and a new constitution is erected in 1988.  All difficult moments afterward , due to corruption in democratic elected government to our days still in critical cycle.

The Brazil has known three Capitals, which are Salvador from 1549-1763, Rio de Janeiro from 1763-1960, and Brasilia, since 1960 and current Capital. The country is divided into States and they are in no particular order Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina , Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambouro, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte ,Sergipe, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás ,Brasilia,Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima ,and Tocantins.

It is a vast country so transport is best by air as much as possible. this is the way I have done it. Took a bus once in Curitiba, rode the Serra Verde Express train to Paranagua, which I would highly recommend, the site in Portuguese is here: https://serraverdeexpress.com.br/

Curitiba

Botanical gardens Curitiba

And drove myself a car in the Paranà State area around Curitiba. The rest was done by airplane.  For brief information: Cities with metro/Subway/tube that I have tried are Belo Horizonte ,Fortaleza ,Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, and  São Paulo. The tramway is ok in Rio de Janeiro. The airports were the  São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport. Belo Horizonte is the main international airport outside Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Natal, and  Fortaleza has accepted international flights. Some city buses can get extremely crowded during rush hours (7h – 10h and  17h – 20h, You should also refrain from riding buses after dark.

Rio de Janeiro

view from my hotel Othon palace Copacabana beach

The bus network are (only rode in Curitiba)

Sao Paulo: http://www.sptrans.com.br/

Rio de Janeiro: http://www.rioonibus.com/servicos/terminais/

Belo Horizonte: http://www.bhtrans.pbh.gov.br/portal/page/portal/portalpublico/Temas/Onibus/novo-terminal-rodoviario-2013

Curitiba : http://www.urbs.curitiba.pr.gov.br/horario-de-onibus

Bus terminal Curitiba: http://www.urbs.curitiba.pr.gov.br/comunidade/rodoferroviaria

The main city metro sites which not taken any are:

Sao Paulo:  http://www.metro.sp.gov.br

Rio de Janeiro:  http://www.metrorio.com.br

Belo Horizonte: www.metrobh.gov.br

And the airports of my trips are here:

Airport Curitiba

http://www.aeroportocuritiba.net/en/

Sao Paulo

https://www.gru.com.br/en

Rio de Janeiro

http://www.aeroportosantosdumont.net/en/

Porto Alegre

http://www.aeroportoportoalegre.net/en/

Natal

http://www.natal.aero/en/

Fortaleza

http://www.aeroportofortaleza.net/en/

Fortaleza

arriving airport Fortaleza

Manaus

http://www4.infraero.gov.br/aeroportos/aeroporto-internacional-de-manaus-eduardo-gomes/

Belo Horizonte

http://www.bh-airport.com.br/en/p/1/home.aspx

And I leave for last some of the things to see in Brazil , of course I have a few good ones in my blog posts above, these are the ones everyone has on their agenda when they think of Brazil.

Pao do açuçar, Christ the Redeemer statue, Carnaval of Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls,  Copacabana beach, Amazon Rain Forests ,  Salvador’s Pelourinho ,Ouro Preto MG, Pernambuco Beaches ; Belo Horizonte; Art Museums of Sao Paulo;  Ipanema Beach; Maracanã stadium, Villa Morretes; in  Petrópolis  the  Cervejaria Bohemia;  Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago of 21 islands that sit 330 miles off the northeast coast. Some of the beaches here are considered to be among the very best in the world, like Baia do Sancho.

Morretes

My restaurant off the river at Morretes

Brazil has many choices for all, and they are all wonderful experiences. Hope it helps plan your trip to the country of carnival,samba, and Churrascarias!!  Have a great week everybody. Cheers!

 

 

March 11, 2018

The land of the Aztecs and Mayas, Mexico-Belize!

Hard to come up with a title for a country with so much to offer and many still untapped for other reasons. I have been coming here since 1994 and for a time ,every month to DF; later moving to France had the opportunity to continue visiting and even going to other areas. Of course ,the country is Mexico. Of course so vast and rich one blog post won’t do justice to it, but its my small contribution to a country from where now have family ties, twice! As well as many friends.

I have some blog posts on the country especially Mexico city or CDMX, and other areas. They are here to help your future trip there. I have included the country of Belize as I went from Mexico by car!

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/4023
https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/6242
https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/7056
https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/9156
https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/10511

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/19181

https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/21129

On Belize
https://wordpress.com/post/paris1972-versailles2003.com/9134

A bit of history I like.

Mexico is officially the United Mexican States and is a federal Republic in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico.

Mēxihco is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely,the Valley of Mexico, and its people, the Mexica, and surrounding territories. This became the future State of Mexico as a division of New Spain prior to independence. After New Spain won independence from Spain, representatives decided to name the new country after its capital, Mexico City. This was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. The declaration of independence signed on November 6, 1813 by the deputies of the Congress of Anáhuac called the territory América Septentrional (Northern America). On two occasions (1821–1823 and 1863–1867), the country was known as Imperio Mexicano (Mexican Empire). All three federal constitutions (1824, 1857 and 1917, the current constitution) used the name Estados Unidos Mexicanos ,all of which have been translated as United Mexican States.

Ciudad de México or CDMX (Mexico City) is the capital of Mexico. Founded early on the 14C by the Mexicas (Aztecs) on the island lake of Texcoco, the pre-Columbian town of Tenochtitlan was replaced by the conquering Spanish when the Aztec empire perished in 1521, becoming the first big city of European origin in the Americas in 1522,when Hernán Cortés took the decision to built on the same spot the capital of New Spain, called Mexico.

Mexico has traditionally been among the most visited countries in the world according to the World Tourism Organization and it is the most visited country in the Americas after the United States. As of 2016, Mexico was the 8th most visited country in the world and had the 14th highest income from tourism in the world which is also the highest in Latin America. The vast majority of tourists come to Mexico from the United States and Canada followed by Europe and Asia. A smaller number also come from other Latin American countries. In the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, Mexico was ranked 22nd in the world, which was 3rd in the Americas.

Tepatitlan de Morelos

Church San Francisco in Jalisco, Tepatitlan de Morelos

Bacalar

Fortress San Felipe in Bacalar, Quintana Roo

It has an elaborate excellent cuisine base on the Spanish colonization and the indigenous population ,this meeting of millennia old two culinary traditions, were born the pozole, mole sauce, Mexican barbecue and tamale , the chocolate, a large range of breads, tacos, and the broad repertoire of Mexican street foods. Beverages such as atole, champurrado, milk chocolate and aguas frescas were born; desserts such as acitrón and the full range of crystallized sweets, rompope, cajeta, jericaya and the wide repertoire of delights created in the convents of nuns in all parts of the country. There are many beverages typical of Mexican cuisine such as mezcal, tequila, wine, tepache, charanda, and tejuino.

Some of the areas to see the best of Mexico city are here:

The Basilica Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, with its feast day on December 12; The old colony of Santa Maria la Ribera in the district or Delegation  of Cuauhtémoc; The Alameda, a Moorish building used for the universal exposition of New Orleans as the Mexico pavilion in 1884-1885.  The historic center with wonderful old squares such as Plaza de la Constitución, as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico ; Palacio Nacional, Templo Mayor, gardens of the Alameda Central,this near the Palacio de Bellas Artes (fine arts) and the Plaza Garibaldi; The wide wonderful Paseo de la Reforma, and my IN area every time no matter what you read (been coming here since 1994 and as late as 2017) the Zona Rosa district.  You head over to some upscale areas such as Polanco ,and the great dept store there Liverpool; The Soumaya museum with a collection of Latin American art and one of the most important collection outside of France of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin ; modern shopping galore center district of Santa Fe, and the district of Tacuba with it’s tree of the sad night or Arbol de la Noche Triste,and the modern mansions found here. The bicentanial park or  Le Parque Bicentenario, second biggest green space in Mexico DF. The wonderful green area, biggest and so much arts with museums galore ,Chapultepec. The district of San Angel where you find the house of Diego Rivera. Xochimilco, the water source of  DF built by the old lake of Texcoco. Coyohuacán district has the huge architecturally good Autonomous University of Mexico or UNAM .

Mexico

Palacio de Bellas Artes DF

Mexico

Angel de la Independencia at Paseo Reforma

Some webpages to help in your trip planning are :

Tourism Mexico city:  http://turismo.cdmx.gob.mx/

Tourism of Mexico:  https://www.visitmexico.com/en/

Tourism of Jalisco State :  http://visita.jalisco.gob.mx/

Tourism of Quintana Roo State:  http://caribemexicano.qroo.gob.mx/

Tourism of Belize:  https://www.travelbelize.org/

Belize City

craftmarket in Belize city

Hope you enjoy this small wrap up on Mexico and a bit of Belize. The choices are unlimited and the welcome always warm. Enjoy Mexico as I have over the years. Have a great Sunday , Cheers!

February 25, 2018

Some distant cities in the USA!

Ok on a Sunday evening, I kind of becoming nostalgic and try to remember places I have been in the USA but not lived. Well , if read my blog ,you know I lived in New Jersey and Florida for a total of 31 years…. yes.

However, I did went out to other areas and can’t believe very little pictures or memories that can be recall now. These areas were Boston, Washington DC ,Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Richmond/Midlothian, New York, and Omaha ,Nebraska, also Chicago. Then, from France, I did visit San Francisco for a week and again little pictures. These were older times before blogging and love of pictures.

I used to collect post cards and have still over 4000 of them from about 79 countries. Once, began to like photos ,stop collecting postcards. In the switch something go lost…

Maybe the kind readers of my blog can help me remember some of these places. Just let it all out !!!

I will start with Boston, I remember going to Brighton. It must have been many many years back, as one of my cousins was going to marry someone from there, (which eventually did not lol!!) We met the family,stayed in their home, and got a car tour of the city center, even to Harvard and MIT campuses. It is said that it was later had the area change to become Cambridge and the part of old Brighton became part of the city of Boston in 1874 as a neighborhood. Brighton/Allston (aka Brighton, MA and Allston, MA, 2 subdivisions of Boston proper) are known for their large population of students. Boston University and Boston College bookend the Brighton/Allston neighborhood. Found out here: https://www.bostonusa.com/about-boston/boston-neighborhoods/brighton-allston/

Then, it was Pittsburgh, I remember staying in the Hilton by the water point across from Three rivers stadium as 3 rivers do meet at the point (Allegheny,Monongahela,and Ohio). We went up in a group of friends up to Liberty avenue and had a good time indeed… the hotel was tops first time staying in a fancy hotel it was an experience. There was the Three Rivers Park and then the Point Park with lush looks over the rivers. I believe the hotel name has been change, do not recall been a Garden, just a plain Hilton back then in and around 1984 ::) I believe this was the hotel:  http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/pennsylvania/hilton-garden-inn-pittsburgh-downtown-PITFAGI/index.html

 Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Hilton postcard

 Pittsburgh

Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh postcard

I like to tell you about Omaha ,Nebraska. This was way back to around 1984/85 and believe me the city was pretty serious not much to do then watch an American football game, and of course go Cornhuskers! I remember was there trying to become an insurance salesperson right out of college, and the company well still there ,as of 2017, Mutual of Omaha holds the 367th rank on Fortune 500’s top companies !! but did not stayed with them lol! We stayed in a nice hotel ,can’t remember the name, and ate in fancy restaurant taken a taxi with a group of us but do not remember the restaurant name lol!  Ok got one picture of the training class, hope somebody remembers me not sorry.

Omaha

Class training MO Omaha I am on left

Chicago, went part of the same training class as Omaha, it was the first test and we were put in an hotel by the waterfront can’t even remember the name. WE were just in the hotel for about 3 days with all day testings. But again , I was there ::)  The class picture here:

Chicago

MO training class in Chicago

Washington DC was even older, it was a high school trip to see the Smithsonian Institute complex of museums, very nice air museum there is all I can remember. It was a bus tour for a day, and all I know we had a great time on the bus !!! I came back later with my mother to do some paperwork but also a roundtrip in one day. just can say, I were here ! https://www.si.edu/museums

Going from high school in NJ to university in FL did by bar cheapest and awesome ride along the I-95. Well my car a Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1977 had break problem from the factory, and I was left without breaks near Richmond VA. The tow truck from the highway took me to Martin Chevrolet in downtown Richmond and there was taken care by Sales Manager Ray Palmer. The part needed to be ordered from Petersburg down south a bit so needed an overnight stay. The gracious Mr Palmer took me to his house!! his older son was hunting in the VA mountain and slept in his room! played Atari games with the younger son , got dinner and breakfast with the family, got my car fix at no cost, not even for the tow truck; and went on my way. Amazing good Samaritan gesture, and I kept in touch with uncle Ray for many years. Even from France, he was 81 and retired, now handling his farm of 100 cows near Midlothian west of Richmond, this was a couple years ago. I need to get back at him. Anyway I did not see much of Richmond other than the dealer. It was at Cowardin ave US301, and now I read is the Richmond Christian Center !!!

Back in around 1980, while in university got a tour of the Delta airlines facilities at Atlanta international airport and stayed at a Days Inn. The fun part was the bus and me waking up everybody at 6h when we needed to get out at 8h, I just fake the school guide voice over the phone and got everyone up earlier ,terrible feeling lol!! The Delta L-1011 airplane were cool. indeed. The hotel is shown with Wyndham webpage but I believe it was this one:  https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/days-inn/college-park-georgia/days-inn-and-suite-college-park-atlanta-airport-west/overview

Atlanta

Me ready to take off Delta L 1011 jet

Atlanta

people mover transport at Atlanta Hartsfield Inter Airport and me

Atlanta

bus trip rest stop and me indulging to Atlanta HIA

Atlanta

bus trip Atlanta HIA break down panic and me taking pictures

atlanta

breakfast at the Days Innn airport Atlanta with buddies me on right bottom maybe

Atlanta

Days Inn atlanta airport party room me in front

Atlanta

hangar Delta L 1011 Atlanta HIA

Atlanta

Postcard shot Atlanta downtown believe Peachtree

I went several times with my father to Philadelphia as he had business there and I accompany him. We were on the road selling to grocery stores, discount,convenience stores and went in the city along Broad and Market Street that I can remember. I was still a teenager and later took my first car ride getting lost into the city, a State trooper police help me out get out lol! terrible times I know…..::) We never stayed in hotels ,these were just in and out same day trips.

Then, it was New York, well this was across the street I mean the Hudson river, and my first going trip just fresh from my driver’s license was to see Yankee Stadium in the Bronx! well on the way back read above the end in Philadelphia along the Garden State Parkway!! Here went also by bus to Shea Stadium in the Queens borough and had a train ride on the World Trade Center to see the Yankees again (of course unfortunately the old World Trade Center, it was destroyed by terrorists attacks). Then, went several time for dance clubs and just plain ride even by car on those crazy young days always lots of fun . Went to Madison Square Garden to see the NY Knicks basketball and NY Rangers ice hockey lol! great times. And waited New Year’s in time Square and skated in Rockefeller center , and did my walks in Central Park. I again help my father go into the meat market area around 14st and the Bronx Terminal Market for groceries for our store in NJ. This was tough wakeup at 4am all day work…but it help my future face to reality in the real world. Also, spent my high school senior class trip at the Rocky Horse Ranch in the mountains with horse rides and wild pool activities which cannot mention here lol! Which I see now is an all inclusive resort of world renown wow!! here is the webpage:  http://www.rockinghorseranch.com/

New York

the Brooklyn bridge over to New York postcard

New York

Rockefeller Center NY postcard

New York

Rocky Horse Ranch graduating class HS77 me on right cheap camera!

New York

NY Yankees Bronx stadium postcard

New york

statue of liberty New York postcard

Of course, if I drove to college along I -95 I passed by many states, and several times stop for a night sleep at South Carolina or Georgia or Virginia. I passed from New Jersey to Delaware, Maryland, W DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The trip took from 17-20 hrs depending on the driving ::) did that twice in the summer and twice at Christmas every year for 4 years! In Virginia I stopped around Emporia, South Carolina around Santee, and Georgia around Savannah or Brunswick.

While coming and going from college, I did rode with a college buddy to drop him off at Lancaster, PA on the I-83 to York and then the US30 to Lancaster. I continue on the D30 to Downingtown to connect with the I-95 home north of Philadelphia. Those were the roaring days on the road. Or put your pedal to the metal and rock !!!

I even did a post here in my blog on the trip to San Francisco but no photos. I spent a week there at the Hotel Nikko and got around to Pier 39, the Golden Gate bridge, and Union square area, several places;road the tramway trolley cars, and ate at Bastille Cafe, and John’s Grill where the Maltese Falcon movie was filmed part of it.  Here is the post I did on early in my blog: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/05/09/san-francisco-golden-and-more/

San Francisco

multiview sights San Francisco postcard

San Francisco

believe union sq postcard

I search for photos but not too many, too old on paper copies ,and had to resort to some postcards for the post. So sad, no wonder nowadays we keep things better with better technology, back them paper photos were shuffle in moves, and I do average one every 5 years ! so thinks gets lost or trip where a camera was not necessary as was thinking more postcards. Well you get the picture, any heads up on the places is appreciated for my memories of the good old days ::) Enjoy your week, mine is tomorrow yikes! Cheers!!!!

February 11, 2018

Simply E R A U ,Eagles Soar!

As my blog says travel and anecdotes well it’s time to come back to a bit of a story on my past. We write about beautiful interesting places we visit and or live/d and I recount my every day living on my series Some news from …. but I have souvenirs never to be forgotten either ,such as my university days. Do you have university days stories to tell? I have plenty but let’s keep it clean lol! I will tell you a bit more on my university ERAU, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA.

I was living in New Jersey where I grew up, and college time came in , my dream at those tender ages was to go into aviation and from a friend heard about ERAU= Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One application form and I was accepted right away ,this was back in Augusut 1977 ::)

I have written a post early in 2011 on this episode here:
https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/01/12/my-college-days-in-florida-usa-erau/

Now I want to tell you a bit more on the University per se. Briefly, here it is the story.

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is a private university system offering associate, bachelor, master’s, and PhD degree programs in arts and sciences, aviation, business, engineering, computer programming, cyber security and security and intelligence. It is the largest, fully accredited university system specializing in aviation and aerospace, and has campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, and other 22 locations around the world mostly in US military bases.

On December 17, 1925 ,Talton Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle founded the Embry-Riddle Company at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. In spring 1926, the company opened the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation. In 1939 Riddle, John Graham McKay and wife Isabel re-established the school in Opa-Locka airport near Miami, Florida. It is still there as a general aviation/business airport, webpage here: http://www.miami-airport.com/opalocka.asp

John Paul Riddle I had the pleasure of meeting him. He had admission to both the US Naval Academy and West Point and finally chose the first one. He met later on one of his former flying student now with some wealth Talon Higbee Embry and with a contract from Waco Aircraft both founded the Embry-Riddle Company in 1925! The only had two Jenny airplanes and a dream.

They won several air mail routes and eventually Cincinnati got air mail service By now the service was flawless and by 1927 was the only of two companies that could fly passengers, the other was the Boeing Air Transport Company. On a led by Gen Doolittle the flying school got to be one of the first instrument flight instruction in the USA. The Aeronautic Board of the Dept of Commerce gave the school the endorsement as a safe flight company, only five in the USA in 1929. As the business grew financing was found by W Averell Harriman and Co and Lehman Brothers to create a financial aviation company, Aviation Corporation of Delaware in March 1929. They purchase several smaller companies and this company later became the famous AVCO. By 1930, a new holding company was founded called American Airways (today still goes on as American Airlines)

In Florida, he came to continue his dreams by purchasing other companies in the aviation industry. In 1939, he founded in association with John G Mckay the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation, leaving the name of the original founder on the name of the school. the school flew even seaplanes on the McArthur Causeway in Miami. The school provided help to Great Britain in WWII, they were exposed directly as Europe had surrender to Nazi Germany and needed pilots to defend the island. they were shipped to Jacksonville (now major naval base at Mayport here: https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/installations/nas_jacksonville/about/history.html

From there ,they were transported by bus to the now famous fields of Carlstrom, Clewiston (no 5 British flying training school) , Dorr field, and the seaplane base in Miami. ERAU trainers did all the work on them, and later trained American pilots too! they have lease the Old Fritz hotel in Miami as headquarters located at NW 27 avenue or SR9. They trained pilots up to August 6 1945. By the time of the peace treaty more than 26K men and women had graduated their wings by the school.

In 1944 however, they have created the first flight training school in Brazil under the Escola Tecnica de Aviaçao in Sao Paulo, training 3500 Brazilians on how to flight before turning it over to the government. The School was now called the Embry-Riddle International School of Aviation. It signed contracts for training for advance flight to the Free French Republic pilots. By October 1947, the school finally moved to Opa-Locka.

The school contracted with the US Air Force to trained pilots there with more than 1500 graduating. Later, it continue training USAF pilots in the ROTC program ( Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). The school grew internationally training pilots from many countries including Cuba, China, Turkey, Belgium, England, Canada, etc. etc. By 1958 the 1000 students came from 21 countries and 44 US States. By 1963, the facilities at Opa Locka were too small for this growth. While the operations in South Florida the school trained over 40K students!

The new president (with John Paul Riddle on the board) became Jack Reed Hunt, he was famous as been the one piloting the first non stop round trip flight across the Atlantic in a US Navy blimp ZPG-2 in March 1957. The route was Massachusetts to Portugal, Africa, Puerto Rico, Cuba, to Florida. He received his presidential medals.

President Hunt (my school president during my time) did immediately the decision to move to bigger place a location needed to be found, candidates were Sebring, Fort Pierce, Plant City, outside Miami in Dade County ,and Daytona Beach. The city of Daytona Beach got going and did all it could to win the prize, and I am so glad they did!! Operation Bootstrap started moving the school ,setting up new campus there and all help from shoestrings by donations and help from the business community there. All was moved by ourselves and on trucks. Ormond Beach (where I later lived) decided against the move so the decision was to set up by the Daytona Beach Regional Airport (now name international) ,and also next to the Daytona Beach Speedway (NASCAR auto racing) on 185 acres of land. The school arrived at Daytona Beach operational on May 19 1965. Only 239 students including the 168 relocated from Miami.

By 1968, we had Cessna 150s, Piper Cherokee, single engine Aero Commanders, twin engine Beech B-18 and some biplane stearmen; by 1968 the school was accredited to the SACS or Southern Association of Schools and Colleges! By 1968 the first dormitory was built to housed 386 students, this was known as Doolittle Dorm 1 (my first dorm)!! three stories high. By 1970, the school was known as the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute earning approval by the FAA =Federal Aviation Administration. The info on the Dorm 1 Doolittle now see it here: http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/campus-life/housing/residence-halls/doolittle/index.html

Daytona Beach

By 1972, the school is known as we know it today , Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the one I came in on August 23 1977 to start classes! I visited many times President Hunt residence on the beach at Ormond by the Sea (now sold and gone a while back). This house we call it the Battleship as it look one from the distance, and we had the University Center where the cafeteria was at ,to eat and mingle you know. By my first year 1977, the school already counted with 2 725 students! me included lol!

Daytona Beach

By 1979, Times Magazine called us the “Harvard of the sky” And before that in 1978, we purchase Prescott college in Prescott Arizona to serve as our western campus. The International Campus was started ,now call the Extended Campus with over 100 locations many online. Now the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses have both about 5000 students. President Jack Hunt passed away of cancer in January 7 1984 RIP. He said, ” it may be easy to get in to Embry-Riddle, but it is not easy to get out” amen.

As the new team took over the school continues to grow and influence the world of aviation. In 1986 , the school was awarded the management training of the FAA and a specific center was opened in Palm Coast.

Ok not all is goody goody, the Administration announced in July 2014 that Embry-Riddle has been accepted into the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II membership. Embry-Riddle began intercollegiate athletics competition on its Daytona Beach Campus in 1988. Well not really, from the photos you will see that I participated in the NCAA Div 2 soccer program already in 1978-1980 playing against much bigger schools like FIU, Univ of Florida, Univ Central Florida, South Florida Tampa, etc with good results, winning records. However, the school decided to leave sports in 1981 and even with petitions by students the decision remained until starting again in 1988. The unfortunate thingy here is that those who participated before are not been recognized in school records!!! We had , also, baseball, tennis, and golf teams.  And of course, we had intramural sports and I did volleyball and softball, photo. The special site for athletics is here: http://erauathletics.com/index.aspx

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

The school has won several prizes in aviation flight competition; these are call NIFA/SAFECON , and remain the provider of about 50% of US Air Force pilots the best flyboys in the world! Following a short illness, on April 6 1989, John Paul Riddle passed away at his home in Coral Gables, near Miami he was 87 yrs. old. RIP sir. His last airplane ride took place on April 10th when following funeral services and a memorial service at the University, his ashes were sprinkled over Biscayne Bay and in the Oak Ridge cemetery at Arcadia, Florida.

Information gathered from memories, yearbook Phoenix from graduation 1982,(and my yearbook photo!)  and the book “The Sky is Home”, and the Alumni directory of 1998 all jealousy guarded by yours truly.

 

Daytona Beach Daytona Beach Daytona Beach

There is an ERAU alumni network, that has tattled with lack of support for a long time. I was on the first meeting to do an alumni network at Harley Hotel in Atlanta, GA back in 1984; then another try from Florida at the city hall of Hollywood Fl back in 1994, and finally as the Director of Alumni relations in France where we have over 60 French students graduated from my university now working French aviation/Aerospace industry, some of them quite well designing the wings for the A 380 to test pilot on maiden mission Toulouse-Hamburg, to working on the Arianne rocket etc. I helped organized the Paris Air Show of several years back believe it was 2013 with a dinner organized by me at the prestigious Aviation club de France ; but nothing of support so I decided to leave the organizing back in early 2017, and the position still vacant. More on the alumni ERAU here: https://alumni.erau.edu/s/867/index.aspx

Another organization that does not exist no more and I was very active was the Management Club; I was the Treasurer 1981-82 and helped created the club as a non profit organization with the help of Accounting professor Mr Campbell and created the first scholarship fund to helped students pay for their book with the help of my Finance professor Mr De la Rosa back in 1980.  Both with the help of our councilor professor Mr Knabe.  These pictures are some of the souvenirs of this period;

Daytona Beach Daytona Beach

I, even kept some photos from class trips this one visiting the Hartfield Atlanta International Airport on a thrill bus ride and fun antics in the Days Inn hotel we stayed, location forgotten but the actions did not ::) The planes are Lockheed 1011 from Delta!

Daytona Beach Daytona Beach

Some more facts: Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University is ranked by  U.S. News & World Report magazine in several categories for 2017:

Regional Universities South – Tie – 12th;  Best Colleges for Veterans – 8th; Best Engineering Programs (At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) – Tie – 84th;   Best Graduate Engineering Schools – Tie – 104th;   Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical (At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) – Tie – 16th;  Best Online Bachelor’s Programs – 1st;   Best Online MBA Programs – Tie – 100th;
Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA) – Tie – 55th

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University is also ranked by Forbes’ List of America’s Top Colleges for 2016:

Top Colleges: 480;  Private Colleges: 319;  Grateful Grads: 381;  Forbes Financial Grade: B
America’s Best Value Colleges: 280

See the link info by the US News magazine here: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/embry-riddle-1479

And Forbes’s both campuses here: https://www.forbes.com/colleges/embry-riddle-aeronautical-university-daytona-beach/

https://www.forbes.com/colleges/embry-riddle-aeronautical-university-prescott/

The main webpage for ERAU here: https://erau.edu/

The ERAU bookstore online: https://www.bkstr.com/embryriddleaeronauticalstore/home

The ERAU lift magazine publication here: https://lift.erau.edu/

Still call the Avion campus newspaper here:  http://theavion.com/

And last but not least the story of the school via youtube video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gB4Ke5FrHU

Back in August, 2009, I visited Florida with the family and did pay a visit to ERAU as to show my boys the thrill of college non existent in France. We got a nice ride from the Alumni office to all of us, memories of young at heart.

Daytona Beach

Enjoy it the memories you have, they will follow you all over and the friendships made will stay with you forever. Happy Sunday, Cheers!

 

 

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