Prague and Petřín

Much like Manhattan’s Central Park, Prague’s Petřín is (in part) a demonstration of the will and effort required on the part of a city to maintain green spaces. Once they become part of the city’s identity (as in those aforementioned cases), they exist in a space orthogonal to modern real estate development.

Prague and Petřín

Charles Bridge

Prague’s Charles Bridge is centuries-old, covered in statues, and seemly perpetually mobbed. We visited during the off-season (November) and never saw the bridge without plenty of company. Perhaps the best part of the visit, though, was staying adjacent to the bridge in the Smetana Hotel, looking out over the Vltava (and crossing the bridge on many of our adventures around the city.)

Charles Bridge

From up close, the hotel is easier to find, but small triangle park across the street from the hotel is still not visible from this angle, making the the geometry of the ground floor and the street outside escheresque.

Smetana Hotel

Verticality in Prague

The compactness of European cities, particularly ones like Prague that are situated in valleys, leads to these kinds of spectacularly vertical spaces. Each street seems to be stacked nearly on top of the next.

Vertical Walls Beneath the Castle

On the hilltops above those city streets, inside Prague Castle, the space continues to be used efficiently.

Inside and Outside the Castle II

Above the castle structures, the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral continue the verticality.

St. Vitus Copper

Cantonhenge

Today’s image falls into the category “How have I not posted this already?” This image of a supermoon aligning with the Route 11 principal axis of Canton, New York has been used in the table of contents of St. Lawrence University’s magazine, as well as in several blog posts. In spite of that, I’ve apparently (according to Flickr’s camera roll feature) never shared it to Decaseconds.

Cantonhenge

Visiting Palmaz Vineyards

Very late last fall, we left the already-frigid upstate New York for a weekend in Napa.

Driving Through Napa

During that trip, we visited the Bond-villain-esque Palmaz Vineyards. Almost the entire winery is underground in an 18-story cavern, using gravity to feed grapes and nascent wine from level to level. These enormous fermentation tanks are on a 24-tank rotating rail system so that each can be filled.

Palmaz Wine Processing

Even the dormant vines in “winter” give the setting an idyllic, “classical landscape” look.

Terroir

Water Tower Excavation in Heuvelton

This nineteenth-century water tower in the North Country hamlet of Heuvelton, New York is scheduled for demolition (or disassembly, really) to make way for its modern replacement. In the process of preparing the site, however, it was discovered that the original graveyard that was moved to make room for the tower was, uh, not so thoroughly moved as originally assumed. Now, biological anthropologist Prof. Mindy Pitre and her team are on site (beneath the oak tree) to properly finish the job. I joined her for an afternoon to photodocument the site and its tower before ongoing construction forever alters it.

Water Tower Excavation in Heuvelton