Thursday, January 29, 2015

St. Augustine (Florida) - In Another Minute (Week 248)

St. Augustine (Florida) - In Another Minute (Week 248)

St. Augustine in Northeast Florida is considered the nation's oldest city, having been established in 1565 by Spanish settlers. In September 2015, the celebrations of St. Augustine's 450th anniversary will start in earnest. But I believe this historic town on the Atlantic Ocean is always worth a visit. And I'm not just saying that because Scott's family lives there.

There are so many attractions, like the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States ), the Bridge of Lions, Flagler College, the St. Augustine lighthouse, the oldest wooden school house, all the old churches and hotels and always crowded St. George Street with its shops and cafes. There are quite a few attractions that "us locals" usually avoid, like the Fountain of Youth (moved several times, as I hear), Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum and the Alligator Farm (although I've been and thought it was quite cool) and all the tourist trolleys and ghost tours. My personal favorite attractions are the beaches, like Vilano Beach and the beaches of Anastasia State Park, the Matanzas River and its wetlands.

This week, Scott and I spend a few days visiting his family in St. Augustine (and some of our oldest friends in Gainesville, where I didn't have enough time to shoot a video, unfortunately). Whiskey finally got to experience the ocean for the first time, and we spent an afternoon running around with Scott's mom, Ellie Snapp, and his dad, Billy Solary, to capture a few shots of this lovely town to share with you in this video. Because there wasn't that much time, I didn't get to film everything and I had to shoot handheld (like in the early days of this video series). So I ended up swapping some filmed shots with still photos in the edit. I'm sure, I'll be back to film some of the missed attractions another time...

If you'd like to see more of Florida, please check out these other Moving Postcard videos:

North Florida – In Another Minute (Week 79)

Relaxing Beach – In Another Minute (Week 83)

Sanibel + Captiva Islands (Florida) – In Another Minute (Week 104) 

The featured song is "Sunburn" by Jason Matherne of Goonygoogoo Productions. It was wonderful visiting with him in Gainesville this week. I definitely want to film a In A Minute Portrait video with him next time I'm in town for a bit longer.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
St. Augustine, Florida

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Crazy Horse Memorial (South Dakota) - In Another Minute (Week 247)

Crazy Horse Memorial (South Dakota) - In Another Minute (Week 247)

Crazy Horse Memorial, near Custer, South Dakota, is a huge work-in-progress mountain sculpture of Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse... riding a horse. A similar creative endeavor to the four presidents' faces on Mount Rushmore (only 17 miles away), the sculpture is being carved into and blasted out of Thunderhead Mountain in the Black Hills.

Unlike Mount Rushmore, this sculpture isn't finished yet - and might not be finished for another 50 years or longer. The other difference: this work of art, memorial and tourist attraction is not financed by any government but is a private family endeavor!

Originally commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, Polish-American artist Korczak Ziolkowski began work on the mountain sculpture in 1948. He has since passed away - but his family continues the work of getting the monument finished. They also manage the memorial, which includes the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Cultural Center, a restaurant, and several other smaller sculptures, like the Nature Gates, the Fighting Stallions and a tribute to 9/11 victims and first responders.

Personally, I was a lot more excited to see the Crazy Horse monument than those Mount Rushmore heads. As many Germans are, I'm very fascinated with Native American culture and its heroes and was very moved by Henry Standing Bear's statement “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too.”

Yet, when we arrived at Crazy Horse Memorial after just having explored Mount Rushmore, I was quite disappointed how far away the area where you're allowed to be (museums, shops, theater) is from the actual monument. For a lot of money, you could take a bus up onto Crazy Horse's arm and stare him right into his huge face. It didn't fit into the Moving Postcard budget. By the time we realized that for only a few dollars you could take another bus to the bottom of the mountain, we had already spend more time than planned there and were eager to explore some nature before having to head back to Colorado that day. I do regret not seeing the monument a little bit closer-up - but I have no regrets about what we got to see instead that afternoon and evening... which I will share another week...

What was really cool is to see such a large-scale work in progress and to know that it's been worked on for over 50 years and probably won't be finished for as many decades. This visit, the whole trip and including the day at Bear Lodge (aka Devils Tower) have made me contemplate the situation of the Native Americans (past and present) even more than before and will be something I'll continue to explore.

I think it's great that this monument is being built to give us pause and contemplate issues of Native Americans and their status within history and today and to remind us of their heroes. Unfortunately, it also turns out that this memorial is rather controversial for various reasons, including outrage over the sculpture being carved into a sacred mountain.

When the Crazy Horse monument is finished, it will be the largest sculpture in the world (unless someone else builds something taller). Already, the head of Crazy Horse is bigger than the four presidents.

If you’d like to see more from the Black Hills trip, please check out these previous videos:

Devils Tower aka Bear Lodge (Wyoming) – In Another Minute (Week 228)

Spearfish Canyon (South Dakota) – In Another Minute (Week 229)

Mount Rushmore (South Dakota) – In Another Minute (Week 246)

The featured song in this video is the instrumental version of “Motionless Land” by Josh Woodward. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Thank you, Josh!

Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Monday, January 19, 2015

Favorite songs from the 3rd 1/4 of 2014

I hope you'll enjoy my favorite songs from the 2014 summer quarter (July, August and September) as much as I did - maybe they'll even take you back to some wonderful summer memories as well...

If you'd like to get a copy of the mix tape, just let me know.

Links within the list will take you to posts from this blog featuring the song's music video.

Cover and song list of the summer mix -
with a photo I took of Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park, South Dakota, in September
1. My Silver Lining - First Aid Kit
2. The Second Summer of Love - Pink Mountaintops
3. Do You - Spoon
4. Just One Of The Guys - Jenny Lewis
5. Archie, Marry Me - Alvvays
6. Brill Bruisers - The New Pornographers
7. Miss My Friends - Zeus
8. Dangerous Days - Zola Jesus
9. Master Pretender - First Aid Kit
10. Dark Side Of The Moon (Live on KEXP) - Chris Staples
11. Small Window - Luluc
12. Coffee - Sylvan Esso
13. Hunger Of The Pine - Alt-J
14. The Chauffeur - Warpaint
15. Fade Into You (Feat. Nikolai Fraiture) - Au Revoir Simone
16. Two Weeks - FKA twigs
17. Coming Down (Feat. Matt Berninger) - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
18. That Black Bat Licorice - Jack White
19. Out Of Control - Bonaparte

Watch the videos for the songs on my Pinterest music board.

Listen to most of the songs on Spotify.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mount Rushmore (South Dakota) - In Another Minute (Week 246)

Mount Rushmore (South Dakota) - In Another Minute (Week 246)

Mount Rushmore, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, features the faces of four United States presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) carved into the granite of the mountain.

From the beginning intended as a pure tourist attraction that would bring more people and revenue to South Dakota, the sculptures were initially created by Gutzon Borglum starting in 1927 and eventually finished by his son Lincoln Borglum in 1941 -  with the help of many workers, of course.

Today, Mount Rushmore National Memorial attracts between 2 and 3 million visitors a year.
While the image of Mount Rushmore is so iconic that it seems like you've seen it with your own eyes a dozen times, I was quite struck how different it felt to actually finally do see it with your own eyes.

Here you are on a lovely road trip through the Black Hills and suddenly there they are, peeking over the tree line. The best part about this memorial is really to see it in the context of the hills and woods around it. It's so surreal! And quite cool!

I never expected I would take the time in my life to travel to South Dakota and see Mount Rushmore. Now that I find myself (also never planned) living in Colorado, so many American road side attractions are within reach and I'm happily indulging in one of my favorite pastimes: road tripping!

This trip, we actually took in September 2014. I had saved a few videos from last year to share throughout the winter when it's a bit more of a challenge to find interesting subjects to share with you, besides snow, snow, snow.

If you'd like to see more from the Black Hills trip, please check out these previous videos:

Devils Tower aka Bear Lodge (Wyoming) – In Another Minute (Week 228)

Spearfish Canyon (South Dakota) – In Another Minute (Week 229)

And come back for the upcoming videos from Crazy Horse Monument, Custer State Park and Needles Highway...

The featured song in this video is the instrumental version of “Good To Go” by Josh Woodward. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Thank you for all your great (and free) music, Josh!

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Favorite songs from the 2nd 1/4 of 2014

Just because I hardly wrote Music Monday posts in 2014 and hadn't published my quarterly favorite song mixes, doesn't mean I didn't listen and over-listen to some songs. It's just been a very busy year with fun, work and creative endeavors, which are also fun.

Since now it's already 2015, it's about time to share the three missing quarterly mixes so you can check them out and let me know if you'd like to get the mix tape from me.

Today I'll start with my favorite new songs from April, May and June. I plan to publish the other two lists within the coming week.

Links within the list will take you to posts from this blog featuring the song's music video.

Cover of the spring mix - with a picture I took near Red Mountain in Colorado

1. Little Pieces - The Beaches
2. Sick Of You - Ida Maria
3. Girls Talk - Garbage (feat. Brody Dalle)
4. Disco/Very - Warpaint
5. Do I Wanna Know (Arctic Monkeys Cover) - CHVRCHES
6. No Rest For the Wicked - Lykke Li
7. Looking Too Closely - Fink
8. Start Again - Bishop Allen
9. Don't Blow It - We Are Scientists
10. After the Disco - Broken Bells
11. Let It Decay - Silversun Pickups
12. Zigzagging Toward the Light- Conor Oberst
13. Blue Moon - Beck
14. Every Time The Sun Comes Up - Sharon Van Etten
15. I Never Learn - Lykke Li
16. All White Everything - jj
17. The Body Electric (Live on KEXP) - Hurray for the Riff Raff
18. Everything - Neneh Cherry

Watch the videos for the songs on my Pinterest music board.

Listen to most of the songs on Spotify.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Luluc - "Small Window" (#MusicMonday)

Because I recently noticed that I hadn't published my "favorite songs of the quarter" mix tapes since spring (I only shared Favorite songs from the 1st 1/4 of 2014), I had the very best intentions to post my "favorite songs of the 2nd quarter of 2014" today as a Music Monday post. But I ran out of time yet again...

So right now, I'll just very quickly share a lovely song from earlier in the year that I hadn't posted on the blog yet: "Small Window" by Australian duo Luluc with a video directed and animated by Nacho Rodríguez.

Steve Hassett and Zoë Randell of Luluc

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Stanley Hotel - In A Colorado Minute (Week 245)

The Stanley Hotel - In A Colorado Minute (Week 245)

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is known for its prime location overlooking mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and for being the home and inspiration to Stephen King as he wrote his novel The Shining.

Some people may also be aware of the politicians, royalties and other celebrities who have stayed in the hotel since its opening in 1909. While this is not the hotel where Stanly Kubrick filmed the movie The Shining, it was used for filming Stephen King's miniseries The Shining and the film Dumb and Dumber.

Right now there is a contest (open to anyone) going on to design a hedge maze inspired by Kubrick's The Shining.The deadline for the contest is January 31 and the opening of the maze is scheduled for April 30th, 2015 (during the 3rd annual Stanley Film Festival). More information:

The historic hotel resides at 7,500 feet and is supposedly haunted...

It's also a great place to watch the elk migration in fall... and as of this winter, I'll also remember it as the place where Scott and I spent our 19th wedding anniversary. This trip came as a total surprise to me, which made the whole experience even better.

The hotel is truly lovely with so many old details and styles honored (except for: what's with the TVs playing football in the Whiskey Bar?), the old photographs and paintings, the creepy long hallways and distorting mirrors. The food and drinks at the Cascades Restaurant and the Whiskey Bar were delicious and the staff was great.

Stanley Kubrick's The Shinning plays on one of the TV channels all day and all night. They also offer various tours of the hotel (including ghost tours), which you can enjoy without being a guest. By the way, the hotel is dog-friendly. However, Whiskey didn't get to go on this romantic little trip. Last but not least, we had a killer view from our room.

The only real catch was that it was -30 C (-22 F) that night and the old windows couldn't keep the heat in or the cold out. But the staff provided all the chilly guests with space heaters that fixed room's temperature quicker than we could taste all the whiskey at the bar (there are over 900 different kinds).

All in all, I highly recommend a stay at The Stanley Hotel. And I'm saying this without being sponsored. However, I'd be happy to shoot another more detailed video (after all, I was there for a 19th "honeymoon", not a video shoot) if the hotel would provide me with a free room... ;-)

The song featured in this video is called "It's Enigma Time" written and performed by my friend Jason Matherne (aka Goonygoogoo Productions), who I hope will have time soon to write some new tunes...

Also, everyone else, who produces their own music, please send me songs I can use in my videos for free. My archive is starting to run low...

If you'd like to see more from the Rocky Mountain National Park, please check out these other Moving Postcard videos:

Rocky Mountain National Park (Summer Instagram Photos) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 222)

Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 208) 
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Highlights: Colorado Nature - In A Colorado Minute (Week 244)

2014 Highlights: Colorado Nature - In A Colorado Minute (Week 244) 

This is the second video of highlights from 2014; the other one being last week's "2014 Highlights - In Another Minute (Week 243)", which focuses on states and countries outside of Colorado.

For this week, I was going to share with you a video of highlights from all the In A Colorado Minute episodes. But I quickly realized that with so many different kinds of Colorado experiences, the end result might be a bit chaotic. So eventually, I decided to just focus on Colorado nature this week and maybe during another week publish highlight reels based on other themes, like Colorado wildlife, great drives through Colorado, and other events that I filmed and published this past year.

I hope you'll enjoy this look-back at some of my videos from this past year - or maybe discover these videos for the first time through this post.

Either way, if you want to watch more, here is a list of the episodes I pulled from for this video...

Swetsville Zoo – In A Colorado Minute (Week 194)

Lory State Park (Part 1) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 195)

Snowshoeing With Whiskey Dog – In A Colorado Minute (Week 198)

Mesa Verde (UNESCO Heritage site) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 201)

Arkansas Headwaters – In A Colorado Minute (Week 204)

Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 208)

Arthur’s Rock (Lory State Park – Part 2) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 206)

Spring Wildflowers – In A Colorado Minute (Week 213)

(Flooded) Poudre Trail – In A Colorado Minute (Week 214)

Seaman Reservoir – In A Colorado Minute (Week 218)

Lake Time-Lapse (Horsetooth Reservoir) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 220)

Raptors at ELC / Rocky Mountain Raptor Program – In A Colorado Minute (Week 223)

Rise of the Super Moon – In A Colorado Minute (Week 224)

Cache la Poudre River Swim – In A Colorado Minute (Week 225)

Shoreline Trail (Lory State Park - Part 3) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 235)

The song featured in the video is the instrumental version of “Mona Lisa” by Josh Woodward and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License. Thank you, Josh!


Sunset in Mesa Verde National Park