The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower, I thought it looked like an oil derrick. I loitered at dusk on a bitter-cold day waiting for the mythical monument to light up like a Christmas tree. As the lavender sky blackened, a computerized choreography of red, blue, and green lights danced up and down the dark steel. The effect was more akin to something you’d find at Disney World than in the center of the most glamorous city in France.
Seventy-five years ago, on May 5, 1939, a group of the world’s preeminent astronomers trekked out to the Davis Mountains to attend the dedication of the McDonald Observatory’s first telescope, the second-largest in the world at the time, boasting an 82-inch, 4,200-pound Pyrex mirror cast from molten glass.
I Am a Camera
In this era of smartphones, many people take the time to crop and color-correct even their selfies and photo-bombs and believe they know a good photo when they see one. So they may revel in—and even learn something about their craft at—“Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos Into the Digital Age,” on exhibit through this weekend at the Harry Ransom Center.
Mack’s Last Stand
When Doves Cry
The entries in the fifth annual Gingerbread Build-Off will not be nearly as ambitious as the one the Texas A&M Traditions Club recently built in Bryan, which, at 39,000 cubic feet, was earlier this month awarded the Guinness World Record for largest gingerbread house. But while these competition houses may be modest in size, they are meticulously detailed.
Menger Bar, Menger Hotel, San Antonio
If anyone deserves a drink, it’s the traveler. Which is why the hotel bar is such an important amenity. It’s the place where, weary from her journey, a wandering soul marks the end of her drive/flight/walk from the office and toasts her impending vacation/sabbatical/happy hour. At a hotel bar anything can happen. You might wind up in conversation with someone you don’t know, someone from another town, another state, another world.