Casa Flamingo

Monday, August 21, 2017

Archive for the ‘Travel and Tourism’ Category

November 1st, 2015

Nashville (Nov. 1, 2015) - I’m finally getting back to my blog, which I started, with great intentions, several years ago. However, along the way, I became absorbed in my passion for writing biographies.

First, it was Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow. He is now 85 years old and a true legend, having run away and joined the circus when he was a mere 14 years old. That book came out in May, 2014 and Ward and I enjoyed several book signing ventures along the way. No sooner had I finished Ward’s book, I came up with the idea to create a series of biographies about the living legends, those whose timeless wisdom energizes the world’s greatest entertainment venues – theme parks, amusement parks, fairs, carnivals, circuses, sideshows, museums and unique one-of-a-kind attractions.

I call the new biographical series, Legends & Legacies. These books are quick and easy reads about the innovators and their insights and secrets who created these irresistible pleasure palaces. The books reveal the best of those who spent a lifetime delivering smiles and creating value. Unlike many biographies, I only write about living legends because I don’t like to rely totally on secondary research, which one has to do when you cannot personally interview the subject. I’m lucky on that account, because during my 40-plus years chronicling this industry, I have had the privilege to not only know, but to have interviewed the biggest names in our industry!

Each person chronicled in this series has been personally interviewed extensively by me and each biography is based on that primary research. All secondary research has been vetted for accuracy by not only myself, but by the subject of each of my books. My first two are of the legendary and celebrity Imagineer, Tony Baxter. The other is Dick Kinzel, the roller coaster king of Cedar Point. I have spent the last two years on these two biographies and they both are now available. Please check them out.

December 27th, 2013 The Mysterious Man on a Snowy Day at the Train Station

STRATFORD, Ct. (Dec. 17, 2013) -  It was a snowy day when I visited my friend Lane Talburt in Stratford.  I left NYC in the morning and it was hardly snowing, but by the time the Metro North New Haven Line train got me there, it was getting heavier. By the time I left, it had grown into a nice white downfall.  As I waited for my return train, this mysterious looking man with a wide brimmed hat came onto the platform and appeared to be quite anxious for the train to arrive. His black coat and hat and the white snow created a nice contrast, so I pulled out the camera. Too bad the photos don’t show his black eye patch as well. I wish I would have talked to him. Put on your mittens and take a look how cool this scene  looked through my lens.

September 25th, 2013 The Blue Mosque of Istanbul

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Sept. 25, 2013) – It’s hard to miss the Blue Mosque if you approach the city, as we did, by water. It looms over the city from its highest hill.  You can tell this Mosque from the bevy of others as it has six tall, magnificent minarets, rivaling the Mosque in Mecca.  Named for its beautiful blue Iznik tiles used to decorate the interior with intricate floral design, it was built in the 17th century by Sultan Ahmet I, as his answer to the Hagia Sophia, located within view across the park. It is open to the public except for specific prayer times and is an amazing place to sit on the carpeted floor, lean against a large pillar, and relax and contemplate! Enjoy the photo tour.


September 23rd, 2013 Istanbul’s Amazing Hagia Sophia

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Sept. 23, 2013) – My wife Kathleen had planned our two day stop-over in Istanbul and I had no idea what she had planned.  My biggest surprise were the two magnificent structures, The Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, separated by a series of fountains and a large green space on what the city calls its First Hill.  I’ll post photos of the Blue Mosque next, but for now, let’s take a look at the Hagia Sophia, now the city’s most interesting and probably the most visited museum.  Built in A.D. 537 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian as a Christian cathedral, it was converted into a mosque by the conquering Ottomans, and then into a museum in 1934.  The building has a soaring dome, large columns, and massive open space. The Christian-centered mosaics were plastered over when the building became a mosque, and partially uncovered when it became a museum!  Enjoy a photo tour of this magnificent building, its mosaics and its massiveness!