City of Presidents

Rapid city downtown (8)

Rapid City, South Dakota is known as the City of Presidents. It’s a convenient place to stay if you’re visiting the region and is a nice place to spend your time. It’s a city that has a small town vibe.

The downtown area is vibrant with locally owned shops and restaurants, museums and things to do outdoors. Parking is free in their garage on holidays, Sundays and evenings so we never paid to park here.. You see plenty of law enforcement as well as security cameras making it seem safe enough. Abundant flowers, plentiful outdoor seating and a fun park are anchors here.

We did see a few homeless people and a particularly aggressive panhandler but you’ll unfortunately have that no matter where you go.

This is a very walkable downtown and motorists seem to respect the rights of pedestrians, a far cry from how motorists in Ohio seem to feel about them.

One thing that makes this city special is that each former US President and some Native American leaders have been immortalized with life sized statues throughout downtown. They were paid for by donors and each one is unique.

Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

I’ll share more pictures from Rapid City. Meanwhile, have a look their tourism site if you’re interested in knowing more about visiting.

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Athena And The Parthenon

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Just a couple of miles from the hubbub of downtown Nashville you’ll find Centennial Park. Originally farmland, it was developed as the site of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exhibition in 1897. When the Centennial celebration ended, many of the temporary expo buildings were dismantled but a life size replica of the Parthenon was left.

A few years later, the grounds were transformed into a city park and that temporary replica of the Parthenon was eventually rebuilt using permanent materials.

Today, the Parthenon remains a major attraction and the park is used by both tourists and locals alike, It’s well over a hundred acres with a rec center, walking paths, beautiful landscaping, outdoor recreational activities, a band shell and a beautiful pond.

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A quick stroll around the park revealed all sorts of interesting things – people playing Pokemon, high school kids having prom pictures taken, little kids learning to ride their bikes – I even witnessed a wedding. That’s without mentioning the hordes gathered to take selfies in front of the Parthenon.

Venture inside and you’ll find a very nice art museum as well as something quite unexpected – an enormous statue of the goddess Athena. When I say enormous, I really mean ginormous. It took years to fund and to create and was originally plain white clay. In 2002, part of the statue was gilded while details were also added in paint,

Friends, the word gaudy was created to describe this statue but I had an absolute ball studying and photographing it.

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Want to visit the Parthenon? You can walk around the outside and explore the park for free. If you wish to go inside to tour the gallery or to see the Athena, it’ll cost you $6. Learn more at their website.

Grandview Cemtery In Spring

I have a thing for old cemeteries. They feel sacred, peaceful and welcoming to me. I took these photos at one of my favorites – Grandview Cemetery in Portsmouth –  a few years ago. I was involved in a lengthy relationship with a guy who used to live nearby and we sometimes walked in this cemetery. I loved it here. I haven’t been back to Portsmouth since we broke up over a year ago but imagine the cemetery looks like this right now.

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There are a number of old graves here and interesting statuary. I always loved these two.

I have a number of photos from here. Maybe I’ll dig them out and share more with you someday.