Serial public art around the world

Public art exhibitions featuring a common sculpture that is multiplied and then embellished by various artists have been popping up in cities worldwide since 1998. Artistic director Walter Knapp first came up with the idea and convinced artists to dot Zurich, Switzerland with a collection of artfully-decorated lions. Within a year, Chicago businessman Peter Hanig had taken the idea and ran with it, using life-sized cows for an exhibition titled CowParade that is still circling the world today.

This idea of serial public art spread like wildfire into over 70 cities across the United States and many other locations worldwide. Tourism administrations seem to think the installations draw a crowd, while the exhibitions typically end in pieces being auctioned off to charity. It’s a win-win for all–unless, of course, you think the artworks are an eyesore.

From mermaids to gorillas, click through the gallery below to see a sampling of serial public art from around the world.


Gulf Coast Oil Spill Watch: June 11th

It’s Day 53 of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s a roundup of links to the latest news affecting travelers:

  • The glow of a controlled burn on the oil slick could be seen off Pensacola-area beaches today, the Pensacola News-Journal says. The Coast Guard is considering burning off some of the oil in a new plume discovered late Thursday 12 miles off the Perdido Pass.
  • The Miami Herald reports that Coast Guard skimmers were working Thursday in the Pensacola Pass, as oil makes its way into the Western Panhandle waterway.
  • BP has agreed to give Florida $25 million to support the state’s contigency plan in dealing with the oil spill disaster. The company signed the agreement with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday, according to WTVT.
  • Will Florida have to start closing beaches? That’s the question Bloomberg asked a number of state and local officials, who described that move as a last resort.

For now, the contrast of workers and tourists on the beaches makes for an unusual scene. “Why are there people in hazmat suits and we are in our bikinis?” said Pensacola Beach visitor Emily Boswell.

[Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Hotel will open despite oil spill

Jimmy Buffett isn’t going to let a little oil spoil his fun. The margarita-loving crooner is set to open his 162-room Margaritaville Hotel in Pensacola, Florida and said the threat of the BP oil wreaking havoc on his beaches isn’t of concern.

Buffet’s $50 million hotel sits on the Gulf near the main section of Pensacola Beach, on land where Hurricane Ivan destroyed a previous hotel in 2004. Clearly not phased by the potential threat of the oil spill, Buffett told news sites he has no plans to delay the opening of his hotel.

“This will pass,” he said as walked along the city’s beachfront and fishing pier with Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist.

“Here’s an opportunity to be a real Floridian, because if we have to shore up here, we can do it.” Buffet told South Florida’s CBS4 reporters this weekend. He has his own marketing campaign in mind to get people to come to the panhandle. “It might be more fun to come down and help clean up than just lay around on the beach.”

Well put, Mr. Buffett. Grab your margarita, find your cheeseburger and sit back in a new kind of paradise in Pensacola. Cheers!

[via CBS4 South Florida]

Haunted Tours for Halloween Fun: East Coast Edition

Want to get spooked this Halloween? If your travels find you in any of these ten East Coast cities, be sure to check out the haunted tours happening on and around Halloween.

Alexandria, VA: This Colonial Tour Group runs their original Ghost and Graveyard Tour, as well as a special enhanced Halloween version, several times throughout the autumn months.

Atlanta, GA: How about a haunted tour on two wheels? City Segway Tours runs a Ghosts and Legends Tour.

Baltimore, MD: Fells Point Ghost Tours is now called Baltimore Ghost Tours. They offer several ghost walks (including a Haunted Pubwalk) and a Haunted Harbor Cruise.

Boston, MA: Boston by Foot will run a one-time-only tour called Beacon Hill with a Boo! on Halloween night.

Charleston, SC: Bulldog Tours offers a variety of spooky walking tours, including the Haunted Jail Tour and the Dark Side of Charleston.

Pensacola, FL: The Historical Society hosts a Haunted House Walking and Trolley Tour – a “frightseeing tour”!

Philadelphia, PA: A walking Ghost Tour of Philadelphia departs daily at 7:30 pm through November.

Newport, RI: Nightly walking tours by Ghosts of Newport run through Halloween. They also run Carved in Stone, a 90-minute tour of the colonial Common Burying Ground.

New York, NY: Ghosts of New York runs an Edgar Allen Poe and his Ghostly Friends Tour each week, plus other haunted city walks.

Washington, DC: Washington Walks hosts a DC Haunted Houses Tour every Wednesday through Halloween.

Don’t miss the list of haunted tours on the West Coast.