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0By Jim McCloskey

The watershape was way off any path I’d ever beaten around New Orleans: It sits north of downtown along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, and I was genuinely surprised to make its acquaintance.

This was back in November 2016, when my wife and I were heading with my brother and his wife to their home in Mississippi after my


Transporting us to another time and place, Mike Gannon discusses one of the great artistic and horticultural convergences of all time -- and brings it all up to date by defining the ways he uses that historic collaboration to inspire his designs in the here and now.
Transporting us to another time and place, Mike Gannon discusses one of the great artistic and horticultural convergences of all time -- and brings it all up to date by defining the ways he uses that historic collaboration to inspire his designs in the here and now.
By Mike Gannon

It’s 1889.   You’re at the World’s Fair in Paris, what the locals call l’Exposition Universelle du 1889, and you’ve joined them in marking the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.  The world is changing:  Paris is at the center of those transitions and you want to see for yourself what’s going on.

You know that the fair has attracted exhibitors from around the world, but you’re drawn to France because

0By Jim McCloskey

I figured in traveling to Iceland early in July, we’d be seeing nature’s bounty on incredible display – and I was right.  The rivers were tumbling, the waterfalls roaring, the wildflowers on brilliant display.  Along the way, we saw geysers, boiling thermal pools and 24 hours of daylight that kept everything on display as long as we had any energy left to burn.

For some reason, I also expected Iceland to be a place where lots of fountains and water displays would be

openerBy Jim McCloskey

It’s been many years since I spent any time wandering in the mid-Atlantic states, but I warmly remember multiple visits to cities from Washington, D.C., all the way down to Savannah, Ga. – mostly related to business but with generous helpings of great food and southern hospitality added in for good measure.

I particularly recall a couple days I spent in Charleston, S.C., in

0openerBy Jim McCloskey

In my visits to St. Louis through the years, I’ve spent a lot of time admiring the compactness of its downtown district:  There’s so much cool stuff within easy walking distance, from the Gateway Arch and the baseball stadium to numerous hotels and restaurants – not to mention several public

6-21-17TL0By Jim McCloskey

As I’ve intimated many times in these Travelogues, I’m a big fan of small water.

I like rain chains.  I prefer narrow scuppers to wide sheet falls.  I like waterfalls with flows the diameter of my thumb rather than the span of a grand, old tree.  What I like most of all these days are described as rills or runnels – little channels that artfully

By Jim McCloskey

Years ago, my wife and I made a pact that we’d do our best to visit Yosemite National Park at least every other year.

With a couple exceptions – including a four-year gap since our last visit in 2013 – we’ve met that commitment.  We took our three girls on the first several trips; we’ve gone by ourselves once or twice since our nest emptied, but we generally try to persuade

By Jim McCloskey

One of my favorite places on earth is the Greek island of Crete.  It’s actually quite large by island standards, stretching for 160 miles east to west as a sort of southern rampart sheltering Greece’s other islands in the Aegean Sea.

When I traveled the world back in 1978, this was one of my few mandatory destinations:  A couple years earlier, some friends

3-22-17TL0By Jim McCloskey

Through all my years of writing these Travelogues, I have discussed less than a handful of traveler-accessible watershapes that didn’t make the grade.  It wasn’t that they were horrible, but rather that they were a little bit “off” in my estimation.

Just recently, however, I saw a fountain that should never have been built – it just wasn’t worth the bother – and it’s the first time in writing more than 100 of these essays that I’m actually advising

2-22-17TL0By Jim McCloskey

In my pre-WaterShapes days, I worked for a publishing company that specialized in technical and scientific magazines.  My job there in the early 1980s was starting new magazines, one after another.

The work involved extensive travel, frequently to Washington, D.C., where I’d attend trade shows and

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_1-25-17Travelogue_1-25-17TL0.jpgBy Jim McCloskey

The Japanese Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens has a huge advantage over its neighbor, the Chinese Garden:  It’s been there about 100 years longer.

As was discussed two months back (click here), the Chinese Garden was first opened at

PiazzaDItalia1990By Jim McCloskey

During the recent International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo, I stayed in New Orleans at an unfamiliar hotel three or four blocks off the waterfront and a couple blocks from the French Quarter.  I arrived late and didn’t have the opportunity to get my bearings, so I started the next day by opening the drapes to survey the city from my 13th-floor vantage point.

It was a first for me:  In all of my travels, I’ve rarely ever stayed in a hotel with

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_11-16-16Travelogue_11-16-16TL0.jpgBy Jim McCloskey

I recently enjoyed my umpteenth visit to the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.  It’s an amazing estate in the city of San Marino, Calif., a well-heeled enclave near Pasadena, and was established by Henry Huntington, nephew and heir to transcontinental-railroad magnate Collis Huntington.  This is a place that shows you what a serious fortune could buy in the early years of the 20th Century.

I like the library and appreciate the art collection, but the reason

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