Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The not-so-pretty side of lots of snow!

Sorry! The snow was so pretty when it was falling the other night, but that beauty doesn't always last long. This picture shows the stage between the end of snow and SPRING! I'm hoping that spring comes soon. Tomorrow, I promise an especially pretty picture to make up for today's lack of beauty.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dancing ghosts??

Dsole, from Madrid Daily Photo, a super nice commenter, and who has some great photos on her blog (really, go check it out!), was nice enough to comment yesterday that maybe I would show a little of the interesting happenings that go on in the great downtown buildings. I would love to! And I'm sure there will be many more to come. I usually hang out down there more often when it is warmer out, because it is so much fun to walk around then, rather than now in the snow. However, this is another photo that I took at the Arte del Amor event that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. In case you missed it, check out that post for more info on the event. The Dance Party was held at the Bemis Art Gallery, which is located in one of those great buildings in the Old Market. (Not one from yesterday's photo, but similar.) The room in this picture was for dancing to salsa music all night long. It was great fun. Now, I'm not sure if the craziness of this photo had more to do with me playing around with my camera settings or with the fact that the entrance fee included open bar all night long! Just was dark, and I'm just learning to use the more "fun" settings on my camera. This was supposedly one of the mistake photos, but I actually kind of like it. Here is another one where you can see there are actual people dancing, and not ghosts.

(Side note: It is a newish camera, so bear with me as I learn to be a better photographer)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Is 20 posts an Anniversary?? :-)

Ok, just kidding. But it's fun for me that this is my 20th post! And I'm so excited to look back and see the comments that other city photo bloggers have left for me!! Thank you all so much for making me feel welcome as I join in on the fun.

Here are a few more of the buildings from The Old Market, the downtown area of Omaha. I took several pictures in this area over the weekend, but I was more focused on the snow!
Here is a little bit of what the official Old Market website has to say about the area:
"The Old Market district was crucial to the commercial development of Omaha as the wholesale jobbing area flourished in the 1880’s and continued well into the twentieth century. The district, then comprised of former light industrial and warehouse buildings and wholesale jobbing houses, served as the distribution center for a variety of goods shipped on the Union Pacific Railroad and its branch lines all the way to the west coast. Today, the Old Market Omaha is a multi-block collection of renovated brick warehouses, quaint storefronts, old-fashioned lampposts, uneven brick streets, horse-drawn carriages and street-side musicians."

Definitely more to come on this area. Especially later in the year. When it's warmer outside, people hang out in the Old Market at all hours of the day and evening. There are always interesting things happening.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Winter is back!!

As soon as I get my computer fixed I won't likely be missing any more days. We got a few more inches of snow again yesterday, and after watching 4 out of 5 cars struggle to make it up the hill in front of my house, I decided that posting could wait until it was a little safer to drive out in the snow to get to a computer. I took lots of pictures of the snow today in a few different parts of town. This one, however, is the same view as one of the first photos I posted on this site. Click here to take a look at the old one, then come back to the snow version. Now you can see our snow, and you can see that most of the lake is frozen over. The dark part in the middle, near the fountain, is the unfrozen part. If you would like to see more images of the snow, click here to see a few other photos I've taken recently in Omaha. The first ones in the set are the snowy ones from today.

Friday, February 23, 2007

More Joslyn Castle...

Another image of Joslyn Castle (see yesterday's post). This image is of the front of the building.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A castle in Omaha!!

One thing that I love about travelling is being in places where it feels like HISTORY has happened. I love going to ruins, and I love any kind of an area that makes me feel as if I have been transported back in time. Omaha is relatively young. We don't have ancient ruins or huge medieval castles. However, we do have Joslyn Castle. It was built in 1903 as a private residence for a businessman and his wife. What's funny is that it is on 40th street, which used to be the "outskirts" of Omaha (the streets go in number order up from 1 as you go west). Now, the west outskirts of Omaha would be somewhere around 200th street. I grew up partly in this neighborhood and can remember running and playing around here when I was younger. It is a beautiful house. I took several pictures that show off the house a little better, but I liked this one with the sky, tree, and shadows the best.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lunch outside - is it Spring yet???

I was driving during lunch (to get a Jimmy John's sandwich!) when I noticed this group eating outside. I was so excited to see people getting to enjoy the day outside that I snapped this pic while I waited for the stoplight to change. Unfortunately, I think that Spring has only been here temporarily the last couple of days. I hear we are supposed to get another snowstorm this weekend.

This is a new Jimmy John's sandwich shop that has just opened up close to my work, and I think I'm in love. They have cheap, delicious sandwiches with fresh ingredients, the staff is super friendly, and they only charge 50 cents for delivery with no minimum order (well, I guess a one sandwich minimum). So, I have already eaten here 3 times this week, and must somehow try to restrain for a bit.

I spent the rest of my lunch time taking pictures at another nearby landmark - the Joslyn Castle. Yup, you read right, we actually have a castle in Omaha!!! It was built in the early 1900s (haha, that's old for here!:-) ) and is now used for events and tours. It is beautiful and I will be posting a few pics in the next few days.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit today!!!!

Yea!!!!! I can finally say that I went outside to take pictures without a winter coat on!! I went during lunch to Saint Cecilia's Cathedral for some quality time with my camera. I ate my sandwich outside and snapped some photos before heading back to work. It was great! I took several pictures, but for some reason this one is my favorite. I think it is the brightness of the sky. St. Cecilia's Cathedral is a beautiful old church near the neighborhood where I spent part of my childhood. I remember being small enough to not really know where I was in the city, but I could look around from almost anywhere and see the two towers of the cathedral and know that my house was close by. The point in the middle is the center, and you can barely see the top of the bell tower sticking up from the top left of the building. There is another identical tower on the other side to make the building symmetrical. The cathedral was restored a few years ago, and I went with a friend to see it one day. They were still working inside and the art director for the project ran into us and started explaining the restoration to us. We were very interested so he kept explaining. He took us to the top of one of the bell towers, where we stayed as the bell rang! He also let us explore wherever we wanted. It was so much fun! We went down into the basement, and kept going through halls and rooms until we finally came to an area that hadn't even been finished. It was almost just a tunnel into the dirt. There was a work table with a newspaper spread out on it and a cup - as if someone was taking a break and had just stepped away.....except the newspaper was dated from 1978!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Memorial Park

The snowboarding picture that I posted yesterday was taken at Memorial Park. It is a large park in the center of Omaha honoring those men and women from Omaha who died in World War II. It is a large open park, with plenty of trees and open grassy areas. There is a large concert held every year here along with one of the best fireworks displays around. On a typical warm day you can see plenty of people out enjoying the park with their kids, their dogs, or sometimes groups will organize football or soccer games on the largest open area. It was nice yesterday (during our heatwave of +/- 30 degrees Fahrenheit) to walk around a little bit in the snow and see people once again out enjoying the sun with their dogs. I prefer the park with a little less snow and a little more warmth, but the view was definitely pretty yesterday with the setting sun casting looong shadows.

"Sled at your own risk..."

I promised some real sledding pics, but (un)Fortunately, the weather was a little warmer the past few days. (I can't believe I'm calling 28 degrees 'warm'.) I went to one of Omaha's large parks and saw these guys. There are signs up around the park that say "sled at your own risk", which seem to have been meant for kids like these. You might have to zoom in to believe me, but this snowboarder is in the air. I know a few days ago there was no green/brown, only white, towards the top of the hill (bottom of photo) and there were lots more sledders, but these guys seemed perfectly happy to have the hill to themselves!

*So, I've been working in the ER all night long, and it's now after 4am and I haven't been to bed. For me, this means that it is still Sunday, and I'm not too late to get in a photo for "today"!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Entering the Old Market...

No visit to Omaha would be complete without seeing the Old Market! It is an area of downtown Omaha filled with great shops, restaurants, clubs, bars, and history! This was where Omaha started, and most of the buildings date back to the first days of Omaha's existence. The area still has cobblestone streets. Definitely more views to come of the Old Market. This shot was taken from a hotel looking down on one of the streets that marks the beginnings of the Old Market.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Swimming with the sharks....

I've been missing the zoo lately! Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is one of the best zoos I've seen. It has the world's largest indoor rainforest, the Lied Jungle, an amazing Aquarium where you can walk through a 70 ft long tunnel and walk under the sharks (where my photo was taken), and we also have the world's largest Desert Dome. I will definitely be heading to the zoo with my camera soon, and will show off more. Work today, however, felt a little like swimming with sharks, (I love my job, so in a good way), so I chose this for today.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Have snow....must sled!!!


One great thing about all of this snow in Omaha is SLEDDING!! If there is still snow over the weekend, then I will go to the major sledding places and try to get a good shot. For now, this is the best sledding place I've seen. I walked up to my friends' house tonight and realized that their entire front stairs (this is only the top half), down to the street, was only half cleared for walking. The snow had been left on the other half, and very obviously had been already well-used as a sledding "hill" leading down to a bump, made by plowed snow, that ideally keeps you from going right into the street. This was one of my favorite things about winter as a kid, and I would have loved to have these stairs to sled down!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day! Feliz Dia del Amor y la Amistad!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More snow! High temp tomorrow - 7 degrees Fahrenheit! (-14C)

Well, here we have more snow! I couldn't post about snow in Omaha without showing the mountains that the plows leave behind...especially like this one! This is the corner of the parking lot in front of the new Target in Crossroads Mall, which is at 72nd and Dodge Streets in Omaha. Omaha is a pretty easy city to find your way in - Dodge is the main dividing street between north and south, and the number streets start at the river (border of Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa) and the numbers get bigger as you go west in the city. When I was little, 72nd and Dodge was the center of the city. If you heard someone talking about going to the "mall", they were most likely talking about Crossroads. Lots of life has taken place around this mall. Supposedly it is thanks to my generation, there are no U-turns on this part of Dodge street, due to the teenage "cruising" causing too many problems. Teens (oh yes, we were so cool, I know!) used to drive in groups up and down Dodge street (making U-turns at the ends of the cruise route), all the while, yelling back and forth to friends and enemies and gossiping about who was riding with who. I don't know if that is the real reason for the rule, but I do know (from personal experience, ouch!) that you can get a ticket for making a U-turn!
Later, with new malls like Westroads and Oakview, Crossroads lost some popularity. And 72nd is no longer the "center" of the city. With huge new shopping centers being built out at 168th, and even 180th, the center long ago moved farther out west.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Arte del Amor

Saturday night, our Arte del Amor Dance Party got every guest in the mood for Valentine’s Day with sizzling Salsa beats and sensuous, driving percussion. Expert choreographer & instructor Blandon Joiner gave the quick and dirty on Salsa steps to the beat of live, driving percussion, while novice and expert dancers kept the Salsa Room smoking all night long. In the Ultra Lounge, DJ Brent Crampton and Shif-D kept couples grooving with their smoothly pulsing blend of music that featured Latin, African and R&B beats. And Espana Restaurant provided sumptuous tapas and prepared a mouth-watering, three-foot round pan of paella live on site for the crowd to indulge in and savor along with their specially blended Arte del Amor cocktails. Add the passion of exceptional contemporary art for sale through our Arte del Amor benefit, and love wasn’t just in the air, it’s going to stay around all year long. And if you missed out on the Art of Love, our benefit sale continued through Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 14. For that special Valentine, don’t say it with flowers, say it with art—the art of love.

The above article is from the news archive on the Bemis Center website. The Arte del Amor Dance Party was a great event, and I hope to see more like it in the future!! It was special for me to be there because I'm lucky enough to be friends with all those involved. Hence, the photos for today.....(2nd photo is a bonus since I missed posting yesterday!)

Below are Blandon and Jennifer showing off their dance moves on the floor! Check out their website.

Below is award-winning DJ, Brent Crampton, at the Arte Del Amor event at the Bemis Center this past Saturday. ***Stay tuned for more to come in the future about Salsa instructor Blandon Joiner, and also Espana Restaurant, mentioned in the above article.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Still dreaming of warmer weather! This view is from the viewpoint area of ConAgra's complex. If you look waaaay on the other side of the lake, I was standing near that shelter to take yesterday's photo. Both photos were taken last fall. The structure in the middle of the lake is a fountain that runs all day when it's warmer outside. At night they shine colored lights on it, and it looks beautiful.

Friday, February 9, 2007

This is part of the downtown Omaha skyline. The picture was taken from the far side of the park by the ConAgra complex. I am counting the days before the park looks like this again!! Right now I'm sure it is covered with snow, and the lake is probably frozen....I don't actually know for sure because it is entirely too cold to get out of the car!
**ConAgra was founded and has its headquarters in Omaha, NE. Check out a list of their consumer brands, and I'm sure you will find many household brand names that you use every day!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

You'd think that sun could melt anything....

So, it seems I'm a little stuck on the theme of winter. Maybe because I am slightly freezing! I wore my scarf all day long at work today. One would think (or in my case hope/wish) that a bright sun like this one could melt anything....but this lake between downtown Omaha and the airport is FROZEN. Yup, beneath that snow that you see is a layer of ice that is the top of the lake! So, I'm hoping to soon be able to take some interesting outdoor photos of Omaha without freezing my fingers off. In the meantime, this is what my city means to me.
--Carter Lake, close to Eppley Airfield, Omaha, NE

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Getting snowed in.....

Back to dreary winter weather here in Omaha! I heard that yesterday the temperature got up to a balmy 30 degrees! Today I had to brush snow off the windshield before I could go to lunch. You can definitely tell who the early arrivers were.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Where do all of these trains go?? Omaha has been the headquarters of Union Pacific Railroad since its beginnings. I remember going to the train yards and to the museum when I was little. My dad used to take us and teach us about the trains. I used to imagine what it would be like to travel the country hopping trains like people I had seen in the movies. Somehow it always looked so easy to jump onto those moving boxcars.......

Monday, February 5, 2007

Sunset after the storm

This was taken after an amazing thunderstorm. I have several pictures of the clouds during the storm, but this one has a peaceful feeling that draws my eyes back again and again. It seems to be full of hope for a new day after the storm.