Gorgeous day in the City of Gold Mines

Victor, Colorado – the City of Gold Mines – is located at nearly 10,000 feet on the southwest side of Pikes Peak, in the Cripple Creek Victor Mining District. This well-preserved mining town sits on the side of Battle Mtn., a unique setting of 1890’s structures and turn-of-the-century architecture, with clean, cool mountain air and plenty of year-round sunshine.  http://www.victorcolorado.com/

Today was the perfect day for a visit.

It’s a fine line…

A line is a straight one-dimensional figure having no thickness and extending infinitely in both directions.  The equation of a line is y = mx + b (that’s for all my mathematicians!  And yes, I do realize that equation is the slope-intercept form.)

Lines can run parallel or perpendicular.  We can travel the world via cruise line or airline.  Why not sail across a river gorge on a zip line or sail a boat using a jib line?  We can cross a line or draw the line.  Sometimes lives are forever changed by pickup lines, party lines and picket lines. There are some who define the world with hard lines, fine lines or blurred lines, even straight and narrow lines.

We get in lines, wait in lines, color inside the lines, and tow the line…at least those of us with a certain upbringing anyway.  We can read headlines, bylines, tag lines and between the lines.  We begin at the starting line and end at the finish line.  And to flat line can mean the end of the line.

Lines have tremendous visual appeal to me.  These are some of my favorite photographs with prominent lines.

Cadet Chapel

Setting out on a drive yesterday with no particular destination in mind, I found myself at the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs.  I have lived in Colorado for 30 years, and yesterday – a very gray day – was the day I chose to get off the interstate and pay a visit.  I can’t believe I waited this long.

Here are a few facts for those of you who may not be familiar with this incredible building:

The building was designed by Walter A. Netsch, Jr. of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (think John Hancock Center, the Sears Tower and Republic Plaza for those of you in Denver).  The contractor, Robert E. McKee, Inc. of Santa Fe, New Mexico, began construction in 1959 and finished in the summer of 1963.  The 17-spire building is made of aluminum, glass and steel.  Tetrahedrons form the geometry of the ceiling of the 99-feet high Protestant Chapel (the Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist chapels are one story below).

The main Protestant Chapel seats 1,200. The altar is made of sleek marble with travertine marble legs.  The most striking element of the chancel is the aluminum cross – 46 feet high, 12 feet wide and weighing 1,200 pounds.

The organ in the chapel, pictured taking up most of the window below, is one of the most magnificent pieces in the country.  The pipes range in size from 32 feet high to the size of a pencil.

The focal point of the Catholic Chapel is the beautiful mosaic on the wall behind the altar.  Superimposed on the mural are the Blessed Virgin Mary (pictured below) and Archangel Gabriel.  The side walls of the chapel are amber glass with multi-colored cast glass strip windows.  The 14 Stations of the Cross are made of 4-inch thick marble slabs.

If you haven’t already visited the Cadet Chapel, you should.  Bring your camera.

Perspective allure

Glamorous moments are found in the most unexpected places:  wandering past an often ignored bush along a sidewalk, peering into a dried up field of weeds, or catching the long, low rays of sunlight at day’s end.

Enhance your view of the world by looking at it from a fresh perspective.  Underneath, sideways, crooked or askew.  Above, below, or cross-eyed.  Darkened, lightened, softened, or hardened.

The allure is often left in the dark and unexplained.

Images of a walk in the park and a stroll under a bridge (Red Cliff, Colorado).

The fantasy of Las Vegas is fascinating

Bedazzled in sequins and dripping in diamonds, the glitz and glamour of trendy clubs and flickering neon signs is dizzying. Costumed or perfumed, strutting or staggering, throngs of people on the streets are submerged in a sea of enticements. The Strip’s flirtatious, beguiling, eye-popping extravaganza of escapism is where the wildest of dreams can come true…more accurately, be purchased.

As alluring as that may be for some, what I found in Las Vegas was something different, a bit calmer, something perhaps less obvious. For me, the fantasy of Las Vegas revealed itself in the architectural details of caricature buildings. A ghostly shadow, a shimmering reflection, a tortured angle, or a unique perspective; all a sublime illusion.