Great Graffiti Art by Bike

Zug Train Station graffiti Art

 

Hopefully you had a few spare moments to catch up on my last post from a recent visit to Switzerland and getting the most out of limited time to see the city sites in a hour.  Also on on my list of sites worth seeing is the train station public art.  Switzerland is one of the most rail connected countries in Europe so it makes complete sense they’d make the train stations more than just basic. In this case graffiti art at the bike racks in the Zug train station.

Luv the vivid colors and the morphing of one art piece into another along the wall. The character art is really interesting too from the familiar to the abstract!  I’m always amazed at spray can wielding artists who can make crazy good art from less than precise paint.

In case you’re wondering, yes there was a great plaque which I’m guessing explained the artwork -but of course it was in German.  Next time I’ll have to be techno savvy and take a photo with Google goggles to see if it can work it’s magic to tell me what it is.  The Zug train station also had a large light installation which appears at dusk.

Zug train station art

 

The other thing you might notice is there are a ton of bikes – this was about a 50 foot long wall all with bike racks and nearly full.  This goes along with my luv of all things related to public transportation art by train or bus.  So many people bike in Swizerland that it makes the US West Coast biking capitals (Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA) look a little lite on pedal power.  I’d be perfectly ok with biking to a train station, have a little R&R on the train going to and from work and take in a bit of art,  instead of battling the freeway jungle.

Enjoy your next trip by bike and catch a bit of art!

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See the City Sites in an Hour!

Lucerne, SwitzerlandIn a new city with limited time to see it? Or maybe you just want to see it at your own pace.   On vacation and business travel I’ve found the best way to see a new city is a morning run or walk. Yes, this means your spare time does double duty – a workout and city tour all in one!  I luv seeing new cities in the morning best. The city is quiet which makes it easier to navigate and any crazy people aren’t up an out yet.  By running or walking you get to see nooks and crannies you can’t see from a moving vehicle.  It’s also a great time to get a flavor of the everyday life.

Whether you run or walk it’s always easy to take your ‘fitness equipment’ with you – a pair of running shoes-  it doesn’t take up much room in your travel bag. I’ve found the hotel front desk is a great source for recommending running paths and never steers me into the wrong parts of town.  In fact some even provide pre-printed running maps!

Last week I was on business travel in Lucerne, Switzerland for 4 days. My first time in the country with the likelihood I wouldn’t return, at least anytime soon.  I wanted to be sure I saw beyond the hotel walls.  Working days were long, which meant leaving at 7:30 am and arriving back at the hotel after 9:30 pm.  I checked a couple websites on ‘the places to see’ in town and most were just blocks from the hotel. Two mornings I decided to get up a bit earlier, lace up the shoes and throw on a warm layer of clothes.  The first morning was an amazing run along Lake Lucerne (Lake Luzern).  The path was paved and lit, the Lake amazingly beautiful and serene.  It also gave me the chance to see the historic Grand Hotel National -at least from the outside!

The second run was along the River Reuss, across the longest canopied wooden footbridge in the world – the Chapel Bridge and next to the watchtower, one of the most photographed sites.  On my running loop I also had a chance to see one of the Nine Towers that is part of the old city wall and run through the cobblestone streets of old town. These two early morning runs covered at least 6 tourists sites on the must see list in an hour! Talk about making the most of my time.

Chapel Bridge Lucerene Switzerland

Chapel Bridge, Switzerland

Old Town Lucerene, Switzerland

Old Town, Lucerne

Need more reasons to spend your spare time taking a leisurely run or walk through the city? You find great local shops with handmade goods like Change Maker, plus you are guilt free in trying delicious little treats like Luxemburgerlis (a Lucerne macaroon)!

Luxemburgerli, Lucerene Macaroons

 

Hopefully I have convinced you enough to skip that extra hour of sleep – you can sleep when you get home- and spend your spare time taking a morning run (or walk) through a new city!

 

Parklet an Oasis on the Street

San Francisco Parklet in Misson District

 

What’s almost as good as great as a city park? A parklet on the street!  If you luv green space or at least something other than cement and pavement, parklets are an oasis on the street. Not new, but quickly growing in numbers, city’s are allowing business and residential owners to reclaim parking spaces and recreate them as small parks. Some businesses use them for outdoor dining, residents often use to a bit of pride in their city and provide literally a breath of fresh air in a city of traffic.

The parklet above was a fabulous residential oasis on the street in San Francisco’s Mission District. A parklet with personality.

So are you wondering if other parklets might be worth the spare time to hang out for awhile?  Here’s a few photos to consider the possibility of an oasis on the street…

Divisadero Parklet rendering
http://sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org/divisadero_parklet.html

 


http://logancdc.org/key-programs/logan-parklet/

 

Parklet on 4th Street, San Francisco

http://www.intuitionhq.com/blog/2011/12/city-usability-and-the-rise-of-the-parklet/

 

Duvall Coffeehouse Art

The Duvall Coffeehouse

 

What can you get in the local coffeehouse is great art! Yes I’m admittedly a bit of a coffee snob but who isn’t when you spend years in Seattle, WA during months of the various versions of rain or almost rain.  In my mind, it’s one of the cities with a coffee shop or two on every corner.  Almost equivalent to the number of donut shops in cities around Los Angeles.  Not a donut person but live around LA, go ahead count the number of donut shops in a 5-block radius and you’ll be wondering how they all stay open or maybe you’ll wonder if you’re the only non-donut person in town!

Back to my recent visit to Duvall, WA and The Duvall Coffeehouse. A great local find on the main street. Great cup of espresso! Plus if you have the spare time to enjoy it inside, enjoy the art. Everything from pencil sketches, wood cut panels, black ink drawings and even carved tables make for fabulous coffeehouse art!

Who wouldn’t want to linger over coffee at this great wood carved table! Yep if I could boil life down into only these 6 ideas it would be so simple! It’s a great blend of contemporary text with tribal art.

Dan Cautbell Coffehouse carved Table

 

Looking for more unusual coffeehouse art? The Hillbilly series of wood cut panels are lively, with texture, depth and a bit of color! Pretty sure I could hear the y’all twang of their voices and a banjo in the background.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen any  hillbillies as art subjects but luv this panel series!

Hillbillies series cut wood panel Art

 

So the next time you are in a new town, skip the chain and spend your spare time to find a local coffeehouse. This usually means great coffee or at least guarantees great coffeehouse art!

 

Making Public Transportation Worth the Wait

Bus stop art

If you’re lucky enough to live in a great public transportation city or at least visit one, it’s well worth the time to use it if only to see the public art! This great bus stop art in Duvall, WA was really made into a great public art spot with even the bike- bike rack adding to the story.

Bus stop art Duvall

 

Luv the creativity of “Going Places” which makes me think either the artist was poking fun at the current bus mode of travel by suggesting the future would be by spacecraft or we could really meet some very interesting looking alien people when we are “Going Places”!  Having traveled by public transportation via bus, I’d definitely agree there are interesting people you will meet and some will actually make you feel like they are from another world.

Go ahead and the next time you are in a city with great public transportation try a trip! You’ll be “Going Places” and see the world in a whole new way. Plus you’ll get a free art show just waiting for the bus!

Enjoy your time “Going Places”!