galore in Galveston
If the Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens, the Gulf of Mexico and the Strand aren’t enough, Galveston continues to pack in the special events this summer.
The Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival Aug. 30-Sept. 1 showcases 400 beers with tastings, a beer garden, music, food and more. Find out more at brewmastersbeerfest.com.
The Aug. 25 Artwalk will offer a chance to explore the city’s galleries and enjoy hors d’oeuvres free from 6 to 9 p.m. And don’t forget free movies and concerts in Saengerfest Park throughout the summer. Find out more about these and other Galveston attractions at galveston.com.
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Washington’s always a good idea
by Margery Harrington of Austin
Inveterate travelers can’t visit the nation’s capital too often. There’s always something new in Washington. Of great interest to my husband and me were the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Newseum and the Navy Memorial.
We just missed the unveiling of the tall sculpture of Martin Luther King Jr., built to honor his contributions to peace through nonviolence. Just as impressive is the 450-foot wall inscribed with 14 of his most notable messages of justice, democracy, hope and love.
We spent three hours (not enough time) at the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. Among standouts were displays of thousands of newspaper front pages spanning more than three centuries. We grasped the history in the display of numerous photos, too — all winners of the Pulitzer Prize.
Close by the Newseum is the Navy Memorial, a small plaza graced by a statue of a young sailor with sea bag and a visitors’ center. It’s not the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, but the small, quiet visitors’ center houses a theater, uniforms, displays of naval medals, paintings of ships and valuable records. My husband spent a few months in 1945 on a very small Patrol Craft Escort in the Pacific, and a staff member graciously searched and found photos of the ship, names of personnel, ports of call and the ship’s subsequent history. A little lagniappe!
the bike as art
Like Austin, Portland, Ore., is a bike-friendly city, so the current exhibit (through Sept. 8) at the Portland Art Museum was a natural. Called Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design, it offers an entire room full of bicycles suspended from the ceiling, examining their lines, their functionality (consider a bicycle built for two sitting side-by-side) and their portability (bikes that fold up or become a suitcase — albeit a very heavy one).
The museums admission is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and college students. Anyone 17 or younger gets in free. Find out more at portlandartmuseum.org.
By the way, we saw far fewer cyclists in Portland than we typically do in downtown Austin. That could be because there’s another great car-free way of getting around: the Max light rail system. It zips people around the city, out to the suburbs and even to the airport. A day pass is $5.
throws in guitar
It would be hard to find a hotel that rocks harder than Seattle’s Hotel Max. First, it upgraded its fifth-floor rooms with band posters, turntables and music videos as a co-promotion with the local Sub Pop record label.
Now, it has a room package that actually gives you a guitar and amp. The “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” package gets you a room on the Sub Pop floor, two tickets to see the captivating Women Who Rock exhibit at the EMP Museum (formerly Experience Music Project; now it stands for nothing because the museum covers all pop culture), car service to the museum, a glossy black Epiphone guitar, a Vox amplifier and a hot pink guitar strap.
The package is available through Sept. 20 starting at $469. Find out more at bit.ly/1452QSJ.
examines the hotel
Fellow travelers, if you’re going to be in Vancouver, B.C. before Sept. 15, you truly must see the Grand Hotel exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It’s a look at the history and mystery of the microcosm that is the hotel. There are models of truly grand hotels such as New York’s Waldorf Astoria. You’ll learn about Conrad Hilton’s empire, the social scene at New York’s Algonquin and the bomb shelter at West Virginia’s Greenbrier.
One room chronicles the growth of mom-and-pop motels and tells the story of how Holiday Inn got started in 1952 by a guy who yearned for a consistent experience. There’s also a nod to Austin’s San Jose in a section about current motels.
The delightful exhibit is included in the regular museum admission: $20 adult, $15 senior, $5 children. Find out more at vanartgallery.bc.ca.
It was 50 years ago that Takuma Tono designed the beautiful Japanese Garden of Portland, Ore., and it remains one of the city’s top attractions. Turn off your cell phone and enjoy the peaceful gardens, water features and elevated views of downtown Portland.
The best way to get there is public transportation. From downtown, take the Max light rail to Washington Park and transfer to the No. 38 bus, which will let you off between the Japanese Garden and Rose Gardens (which you should also see; they’re free). A second shuttle takes you up the hill to the Japanese Garden, where admission is $9.50 for adults, $7.75 for seniors and $6.75 for youth 6 to 17. Find out more at japanesegarden.com.