Archive for ‘St. Augustine’

September 29, 2012

Between battlements

The whole idea of “between a rock and a hard place” comes to mind here. Standing in one of the many cutouts of the Castillo de San Marcos you get the feeling that you’re not well-enough protected. The fort is firm and steady, but there’s nowhere to hide. You’re left in the open to do your fighting. I guess this was how it worked in the 1500s through 1800s. These days, this place would be a sitting duck for warplanes and ships miles off the coast.
Between battlements
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September 11, 2012

The goods inside

Yes, I know it’s crooked. I took it that way. The walls of the Gourmet Hut have this imperfect perfection to them. They don’t look straight, even if they are. At best they’re a bit off, but aren’t we all? I never went inside to sample any of the ingredients beyond this open window. It appears they’re for smoothies and such. The workers must get eaten alive by the mosquitoes with no screens! Then again, the patrons have no place to sit but outside. Must be a gourmet thing.
The goods inside
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September 5, 2012

To the turret

I like me a good turret hangout every once in a while. I think I would have preferred to man one as a soldier back in the Old World. This one happens to point to the southwest out of the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida. That means it looks over the back door to the city, potentially a very important post strategically. Then again, I think turrets were probably only useful once the enemy got close enough to actually attack, which might have been just a few hundred yards away when this fort was built. So, nevermind some of what I just said, or all of it.

I love the brochure that came with the fort visit. It says the walls are very strong but can easily break, because they’re made of coquina. I looked it up, and that makes perfect sense.
To the turret
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August 26, 2012

Three palms, a gun and a fort

Castillo de San Marcos is the perfect anchor-point of St. Augustine. It is prominently located right on the water and covers 340 of the 447-year history of the city. Begun in 1672, the fort changed hands several times and took several names, but it is back to the original as it is registered as a United States National Monument.

This is the first photo of several dozen I took at the fort. The stone walls sit low in the land that surround the structure, but there are a few places to get nice angles. Palm trees were an obvious and welcome contrast to the heaviness of the militarized space, but a heaviness dominated the atmosphere there. That’s why I left the photo in black and white.
Three palms, a gun and a fort
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August 24, 2012

Outside only seating

I posted on this tiny cafe last week. Here’s the seating area looking toward the second building (a hut like the first building). This is my actual view – no moving around or cropping needed to frame up the vantage point. Wood-chip paths split the grass areas to form walking and sitting areas between the huts. Everything is outside, though I’m surprised they used only umbrellas to create overhead covering. The lighting was just right to make for a nice atmosphere. The Stella Artois didn’t hurt, either.

I took three exposures to make this HDR composite. The man sitting at the table stayed still for two of the three, which worked out nicely. On the third exposure the waiter actually walked right through the frame and approached our table, but you don’t see him because the exposure was 16 seconds long – just long enough to keep his blurred motion out of the image.
Outside only seating
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August 18, 2012

The smallest cafe

The Gourmet Hut is so small, it is dwarfed by anything and everything. Just look at the modest two story next door compared to this diminutive cafe. I call it a “cafe,” for that is what it is most like, but indeed, as its name suggests, it is nothing more than a hut. Actually it’s two huts across a small space of tables and umbrellas and potted plants, which creates a nice ambiance for a drink or whatever. One hut serves drinks and food, the other dessert… or so we ordered. Actually, no food was sampled except for the cheesecake, which wasn’t bad. The beer is fine, too. Only after stumbling upon this quaint little spot did I look it up, and it gets good reviews. I can’t imagine the sitting space is open in the winter, though. I’ll post one of that area in the coming days.
The smallest cafe
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August 17, 2012

St. Augustine is old

As far as United States continuously controlled European colonial cities, St. Augustine is the oldest. I’m not sure you’re sure what I just wrote, but it makes sense to me. This must be one of the oldest streets. It’s nestled close to the waterfront and around numerous hotels, cafes and antique shops. What’s amazing to me is despite being founded in 1565, St. Augustine’s population totals 12,975 as of 2010. That means they’ve grown by an average of 29 people per year over the course of the city’s history.

It’s impossible to separate the new from the old, so I recorded some headlights meandering down the cobbled way. Or is that a ghost? It’s said this is as haunted a town as any, and the notoriously haunted “Old Fort” is just a couple of blocks the other way.
St. Augustine is old
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