Upstairs Downstairs

Years ago, there was a popular Masterpiece Theatre series called Upstairs, Downstairs, examining the lives of the British upper class (who lived upstairs) and their servants (who lived downstairs). The popularity of that series inspired more recent series on this subject, including Downton Abbey.

From the Vault: 'Upstairs Downstairs' Was The Original 'Downton Abbey' |  Tellyspotting
Principal cast of the 1971 British series Upstairs, Downstairs

Those of us who had young children in the 1970s or later cannot have been completely ignorant of the popular children’s series Sesame Street. There was a silly series called “Monsterpiece Theatre” with a sketch entitled “Upstairs, Downstairs.” It showed the Muppet Grover climbing a staircase while a deep voice intoned, “Upstairs…” and as he went back down again said, “…Downstairs.” I think Sesame Street was made to appeal to parents as well as their children. Many of its sketches and songs have stuck in my mind to this day – and now my son is 35!

A similar sketch, in which Grover and Kermit discuss opposites up and down.

So even now, when I think about staircases, I can hear that voice in my mind, proclaiming in a serious, deep voice, “Upstairs…downstairs.”

So for Becky’s January Square photo challenge with the topic UP, here are some squares of stairs (hey, that rhymes!) going up.

April Squares 29: Iowa State Capitol

The Iowa state capitol in Des Moines is atop a hill and offers a panoramic view of the city’s downtown. The exterior is entirely of stone with elaborate columns, cornices and capitals.20180927_094019
Looking up inside toward the top of the dome
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Posted for Becky’s April Squares with the topic TOP.

The Iowa state capitol building is one of the prettiest I have seen, so I am including more photos highlighting the decorative tile floors and ceilings. The interior is constructed with several types of Iowan wood as well as 29 types of imported marble.
The House of Representatives, looking down:
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and above, elaborate decor.SONY DSC
Colorful designs mark the floors, stairways and ceilings.
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Mosaic murals
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Looking toward the center of the building, the rotunda below
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The library is a real gem!
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If you are ever in Des Moines, the state capitol is worth a visit – bring your camera!

Source:
Wikipedia: Iowa State Capitol

April Square Tops: Optical Illusion

For Becky’s April Square Tops challenge, these are pictures of the Nebraska state capitol dome:

INSIDE the top of the building – this is one of the most beautiful capitol domes I’ve seen.
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OUTSIDE – the dome at the top of the state capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska. Notice the statue at the top. Then look at the next picture of that same statue…
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Is this the same statue?? It has to be the same one, but I have trouble seeing how it could be … I guess it’s an optical illusion, a different perspective.
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SquareTops: Utah State Capitol

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Looking up to the TOP of the state capitol of Utah in Salt Lake City, for Becky’s April Squares: #SquareTops

We visited the Utah state capitol in Salt Lake City in June of 2018. Here are more views of the capitol building.
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Side view, which is where you enter

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I don’t know why the sculptor of this lion made his right paw different from his left. Perhaps it was a nod to the Lincoln statue in Washington D.C., with one of his hands in a fist to symbolize strength.

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View of the Rockies from the capitol

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On the grounds were buffalo painted with different designs and colors.

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Seal of the state of Utah in the rotunda

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We took a tour – this is one of the elegant state rooms they showed us.

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Statues representing different parts of society were in niches around the rotunda.

Symmetrical designs on the marble walls – the builders matched up marble panels to make symmetry.

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Above the entrance to the Supreme Court

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House of Representatives

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Mural depicting women gaining the right to vote

Lens-Artists #82: Capitals & Capitols

The Lens–Artists photo challenge this week has a guest host, Viveka, whose topic is capitals.

On our road trips around the United States, we try to visit as many capitals as possible – not just the capital cities, but also their capitol buildings. I have a series of posts featuring some of the capitols we’ve visited lately. (Check them out in my archives – that’s why I’ve put the dates in below.) These are the ones that we have seen in the last 3 years.

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA (May 2017)
Capitol exterior and its dome from inside

Some of the memorials and statues on the capitol grounds

BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA (May 2017)
Capitol building exterior (no, it doesn’t have a dome) and view of grounds from the top floor viewing area

Some famous North Dakotans

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA (May 2018)
Capitol exterior (the dome is at the top of this multistoried building), floor of the rotunda, visiting school group

Artwork viewed from the rotunda, including a colorful door

DENVER, COLORADO (June 2018)
Exterior and view from the dome

Stained glass portraits

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (June 2018)
Exterior and staircase

Slideshow of some of the sights inside

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SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO (June 2018)
The capitol building in Santa Fe is shaped like the Zuni sun symbol, which is also depicted in the rotunda and on the state flag. The first two photos are a partial view of the exterior and one of the curved hallways.

The New Mexico capitol building has a lot of artwork by New Mexican artists. The slideshow shows some of them.

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA (June 2018)
The Oklahoma state capitol has the distinction of being the only capitol in the U.S. that has an oil rig visible at every cardinal direction. Two of these can be seen below. The middle photo is the dome from the rotunda, and the photo at right is a commemoration of Oklahoma’s native tribes, each of which has its own flag.

Sculpture, artwork, and artifacts in the capitol

DES MOINES, IOWA (Sept. 2018)
Capitol exterior and chamber of the legislature

Iowa’s capitol has colorful designs and patterns on its floors.

On the capitol grounds, there is a Holocaust memorial.

Interestingly, this post does not contain photos from my home state capital (Springfield, IL – I was last there in 2012) nor the capital of the state north of here, the state where I was born and I grew up (Madison, WI – I can’t remember the last time I visited the capitol).

I have also visited several foreign capitals in recent years (2017-2019), but not their government buildings – can you figure out which cities these are? One is a provincial capital, the others are national capitals.

 

 

 

October Squares: Lines in New Mexico’s Capitol Building

At the capitol in Santa Fe, New Mexico, there is some amazing and beautiful artwork by New Mexico artists. The lines of the capitol building itself are also interesting, because the building is shaped in the form of the Zuni sun sign which is also found on the New Mexico flag.  I have posted a few of these before, but the emphasis here is on lines and squares for Becky’s October Month of Squares.

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CFFC: Fashion Near and Far

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge this week is about fashion.

In The Bistro Restaurant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, there is always one of the beautiful dresses worn by the lead female character on display in a case with a mirror behind it so you can see both front and back. This was the dress on display last December for Il Trovatore.
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These miniatures were on display at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines, Sept. 2018, as 19th century public figures decked out in their finery.
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1960s fashions – exhibit at Evanston History Center (Dawes House) during Open House Chicago, Oct. 2018.
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Muslim women & men in Old Jerusalem, Israel, January 2019.
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At the Israeli Diamond Center, Tel Aviv
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Mannequin, Le Pijp Market, Amsterdam, Holland (June 2019)
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Store display – for bridesmaids (?), Wurzburg, Germany (June 2019)
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Ribbons for hats, Regensburg, Germany (July 2019)
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Not sure what this mannequin is advertising, but she looks rather fashionable, don’t you think? (Regensburg, Germany)
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When I saw the design on this T-shirt in Regensburg, I had to go into the shop and purchase two of them for our daughter and son-in-law, who have a particular fondness for skulls and food!
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CFFC: Walkways I Have Traveled

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is about the sidewalks, trails and walkways we walk on, usually without thinking much about them.

Rio de Janeiro is famous for its wide sidewalks with mosaic designs – common places to walk, jog, and meet – and play with dogs. (Nove. 2016)
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In July of 2017, we spent a week at Blacks Cliff Resort on Upper Kaubashine Lake, near Hazelhurst and the location where we used to have a cottage. The cabins we rented were high above the lake. This is the walkway down to the pier.
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An artist drew squiggly lines that made faces on the sidewalk in front of the Convention Center in Denver, interspersed with messages. (June 2018)
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Path through the “farm” (a vegetable and flower garden – the veggies raised provide natural ingredients for meals at the school) at Verde Valley School, Sedona, Arizona (June 2018)
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Garden path at Chicago Botanic Gardens, July 2018
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The State Capitol building in Des Moines, Iowa, has beautiful tiled floors, such as this walkway leading to stairways up and down. (Sept. 2018)
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Winterset, Iowa – most famous for the bridges of Madison County – has a tiny park dedicated to George Washington Carver. We almost missed it because it is wedged between two downtown buildings. (Sept. 2018)
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In downtown Chicago, off Michigan Avenue, is a restaurant called the Purple Pig. This is the entrance to its outdoor patio. (Oct. 2018)
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Walkway among the ruins of Karnak, near Luxor, Egypt (Dec. 2018)
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This walkway under an arch is at the ruins of Caesarea Philippi on the Mediterranean Sea in Israel. (Jan. 2019)
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