Category Archives: travel

Hello Downtown Atlanta Skyline from the Jackson Street Bridge

It was a recent Fall morning in Atlanta. My brother and I were heading to Condesa Coffee in the Old Fourth neighborhood. I had been to this coffee shop and part of the city numerous times before. This visit would be different though.

Condesa Coffee sits along Freedom Parkway, knowing that driving westward on gets you straight on shots of the Downtown Atlanta skyline. I’d always pass under the Jackson Street Bridge, a popular skyline viewing spot. Guess what? Until this very day, I had never driven or walked across that bridge.

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

It was worth the wait, seeing a perfect shot of the Downtown part of the Atlanta skyline. I love how Freedom Parkway seems to sit perfectly in the foreground. It was just as beautiful as I had seen on so many Instagram posts. Many of you will recognize this scene as it’s a major part of the movie, “Walking Dead”.

Being the morning, but past rush hour, traffic was limited on Freedom Parkway making it easier to get my camera in focus. It definitely should be on your Atlanta bucket list.

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Looking off to the right, I was able to get a shot of the Downtown skyline with Atlanta’s tallest skyscraper, Bank of America Plaza, just off to the north.

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Tip: When going to Condesa Coffee I usually have no problem parking on John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE just east of Boulevard NE. Make the quick one block track over to the bridge via the Freedom Park Trail, which is something to experience in its own right.

The perfectly blue morning sky made for a great first experience on the Jackson Street Bridge. I look forward to checking out the same view at night and on days with various cloud types in the future.

What other scenic spots would you recommend for checking out the Downtown or other parts of the Atlanta skyline?

Juneau, Alaska: A Million Skyline and Cityscape Looks

I’ve done big cities so far in the A Million Skyline Looks series. Time to mix things up a bit. It is time to show off the skyline of Alaska’s state capital in Juneau. I did so mostly from aboard the Celebrity Solstice during an Alaskan cruise.

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Coming into the popular cruise port, the city’s skyline was front and center. The green, steep and majestic 3,500 foot tall mountains stood right against Juneau highlighted by Mount Roberts. It was hard for me to imagine a better natural city backdrop.

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Tip: One thing we wish we would have done was to take the Mount Roberts Tramway. You can view the Juneau skyline and cityscape from way, way, way up-top.

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau sits along the Gastineau Channel, with some housing opposite. Scenic views also awaited looking straight down the channel.

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

We docked for the afternoon and evening, giving us the chance to walk some of Juneau. I captured some of the colorful, tourist friendly cityscape. We walked to some local Heritage Coffee Roasting Company brew.

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

Juneau, Alaska skyline and cityscape

It was a fun day capturing a million skyline and cityscape looks in Juneau, Alaska.

What city skylines have seen up close and captured from a cruise?

The Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas

When in Vegas exchange the neon lights of Las Vegas Blvd, with those of Downtown and old town at the Fremont Street Experience. Being only at the Fremont Street Experience during the day before, my friend had never been, we had no idea what to expect once the sun went down, the lights turned on and the streets filled up.

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Arriving there recently at dusk we quickly became exposed to what I would describe as part carnival, part tourist trap, part family fun and part adult playground. We were amongst families, couples, barely dressed ladies dancing on the bars, street performers throughout and basically a bunch of people walking around with their camera out or an alcoholic drink in hand. A true, fun Las Vegas party was in full effect!

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada

I have never seen so many neon lights concentrated in one place. Within the heart of the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown are all the old-town and famous hotels and casinos. At the intersection with S. Casino Center Blvd on the four corners sit the Golden Nugget, Binion’s Gambling Hall, the Fremont Casino and Four Queens.

Four Queens Resort and Casino Las Vegas

Fremont Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Golden Nugget Las Vegas

As we walked we saw dozens of places to eat, one outdoor open bar after another and tourist souvenir shops. Music and videos were playing over our heads on the larger than life ceiling panels that cover much of the enclosed five block entertainment center. Tip: Get your souvenirs here versus along the Strip.

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Speaking of music, the party really begins every hour on the hour with the Viva Vision Light Show, currently between 6 pm and 1 am. The casinos neon lights will go away, the lights of people’s cell phones will come on and all the eye balls will be focused up-top at the world’s largest video screen. Each hour will feature the music of a different performer. We caught Green Day and Heart.

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show, Green Day

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show, Green Day

Check out a glimpse of Heart’s Magic Man being played.

While watching the shows and walking about we randomly heard people screaming from up above. Look closely a few seconds into the video above. People are zip-lining! You can Zipline half-way across or Zoomline from one end of the experience to the other. The adventurers take off from the world’s largest slot machine. Everything does seem to be bigger in Vegas.

In fact, the first question people asked me when they realized I visited Fremont Street was whether I zip-lined? Unfortunately no. Something to think about for next time.

Fremont Street Experience - Viva Vision Light Show , The D Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

In between all the experiencing of Fremont Street we grabbed some Irish pub food and Jameson whiskey at Hennessey’s Tavern. A relaxing, quieter place if there is such a thing in this part of town.

The first taste of the Fremont Street Experience at night is in the books. It is definitely worth the short Uber or cab ride from The Strip when in Las Vegas. Tip: Make sure to check out the old-school casinos and hotels themselves as well!

Downtown Las Vegas - Fremont Street Experience

Checkout the Fremont Street Experience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Atlanta: A Million Skyline Looks.

The skyline. Anyone who follows me on this blog or on social media knows I like to capture city skylines. With that I got excited starting the A Million Skyline Looks series.

Toronto, Chicago, Auckland and now it is Atlanta’s turn. The unofficial capitol of the South has distinct skylines in both Midtown and Downtown.

Photo opportunities to capture both from parks, bridges, high up-top sky rises and from right out on the open road (as a passenger of course) have presented themselves, along with many more. Coming up with a million skyline looks of a place I’ve lived in and visited a lot is easy. Well without further ado:

Atlanta skyline - from The Varsity

Eat a burger from this ATL institution, the Varsity, while capturing the city.

Atlanta skyline

Sometimes random Atlanta city skyline shots just present themselves.

Atlanta skyline from immy Carter Library and Museum

Head to the park behind the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood.

Atlanta skyline from immy Carter Library and Museum

Skyline trying to peek out from the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

Atlanta skyline from near Turner Field

The Downtown skyline and state capitol from near Turner FIeld.

Atlanta skyline from near Turner Field

The Downtown skyline and state capitol from what was once Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium.

Atlanta skyline from World of Coca-Cola

Downtown helping to protect the World of Coca-Cola.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

Midtown view from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

View from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant. SunTrust Plaza is standing tall.

Atlanta skyline

Love looking straight up in a big city.

Atlanta skyline from up-top The Sun Dial restaurant

View from 73rd floor of The Westin Peachtree Plaza at The Sun Dial restaurant.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown standing tall from Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

The skyline is playing peekabo in Piedmont Park.

Downtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Exit for the Downtown ATL skyline anyone?

Midtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

One Atlantic Center, the tallest building in Atlanta, standing in Midtown.

Midtown Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading right into the heart, northbound on the Downtown Connector (I-75/I-85).

Atlanta skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading southbound on the Downtown Connector (I-75/I-85). Skyline hugging the guard rail.

Midtown skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading into the city from the south. Can you see the Georgia State Capitol?

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

The pond and spot to grab a city shot within Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown will greet you at the end of a climb in Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Piedmont Park

Midtown in Autumn, straight ahead at Piedmont Park.

Atlanta skyline from Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

Good reason you think to pull off the road on Boulevard NE in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood?

Atlanta skyline from Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

More Atlanta skyline opportunity out on the open road in Old Fourth Ward.

Midtown skyline from the Downtown Connector

Heading off the interstate and into the heart of the Midtown skyline.

My favorite place to capture the ATL skyline is the 17th Street Bridge, my peaceful place.

Atlanta skyline from the 17th Street Bridge

Many, many, many lanes heading into the city from the 17th Street Bridge.

What other spots would you recommend capturing the Atlanta skyline from?

The 2016 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

Happy Holidays to all! Another caffeinated year is in the books. 2016 brought more memorable coffees and coffee shop experiences. Lots of lattes, pour overs, nitro brews and cold brew coffees were consumed from all around Michigan, Chicago and Ohio. Some of these were enjoyed alongside my son and first child, who was born this year. 🙂

The year ib coffee is highlighted in a short video snippet. The background song is the appropriately named “Coffee Shop” by Gorilla Zoe. The cover photo is a Military Latte from Sawada Coffee in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. I would easily say this is my favorite coffee drink and moment of the year.

Too many more coffees in the new year! Hope to see you all out on the caffeinated open road. Aaron 🙂

Check out the great coffee moments from last year in The 2015 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.