Tag Archives: architecture

A View From “The Bow”

A View From “The Bow”

A panoramic view of downtown Calgary with "The Bow" prominently featured on the far left.

A panoramic view of downtown Calgary with The Bow prominently featured on the far left (the building with the diagonal exterior grid of cross-bracing)..

After talking about it for several years, my dear friend, Bettina, took me on a tour of the building she works in, The Bow. I shared some pictures of it in a previous post, but there is nothing like this skyscraper from the inside looking out.

Construction of this 58 floor, crescent-shaped skyscraper began in 2007 and was completed in 2012 – a billion dollars later.

It's a LONG way down!

It’s a LONG way down!

The design and architecture is absolutely stunning, with graceful rounded curves throughout the interior, incredible views, and beautiful, natural light flooding in through every window.

A view of some of the graceful lines and light.

A view of some of the graceful lines and light.

We picked up lunch at a favourite restaurant of Bettina’s, Chef’s Cafe, situated across the street from The Bow, then took it up to eat at the Sky Garden on the 54th floor to enjoy the view from a beautiful vantage point.

View looking over the Bow River.

View looking over the Bow River.

This magnificent structure literally “towers” over other buildings in downtown Calgary, and its exquisite design will remain a signature of one of the most dazzling corporate structures in Canada and perhaps the world. It has, without doubt, changed the skyline of Calgary with its semi-circular shape and clean, modern design.

A view from the top!

A view from the top (and looking at the new Brookfield Plaza which will be taller than The Bow upon completion – taller perhaps but definitely NOT as impressive)!

Thank you for taking the time, Bettina, to show me this brilliant structure and for introducing me to The Bow, from the inside looking out!

Charleston, South Carolina!

After we left Washington and endured bumper-to-bumper traffic to Richmond, we stayed the night there so Ron could watch the baseball finals and we then headed for Charleston, SC the next morning.

The hotel we had made arrangements to stay in, the La Quinta in North Charleston, had no rooms ready to check into when we stopped by at 4:00 so we drove into Charleston to do some sightseeing and have dinner.

Ron as read most of the books that Pat Conroy has written and I recently read my first book of his, Beach Music, which I enjoyed tremendously. Pat Conroy is perhaps best known for Prince of Tides, but, as a graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, many of his books, like My Winning Season, Lords of Discipline, Broad Street and The Great Santini talk to experiences, both positive and negative, at The Citadel. We located The Citadel and drove and walked the campus and visited the basketball auditorium, tennis courts and other features of this famous military school. Reading Pat Conroy’s work will be more meaningful for me in future and Ron now has a vivid picture of the scenes and stories he’s already enjoyed.


We drove around Charleston, parked and walked along the waterfront to take in the beauty of the mansions situated there. The architecture and preservations of homes and historic buildings throughout the city is incredibly impressive.


We headed downtown and walked the main streets looking for a recommended restaurant named FIG (Food is Good). As impressive as their menu looked, they had a significant line-up, so we headed across the street and had some great food at Sticky Fingers BBQ. Definitely NOT for vegetarians, this restaurant turned out some fine southern barbecue, tremendous Sweet Potato Casserole and a fabulous homemade coleslaw. They’ve served their food to a massive list of celebrities and we can now appreciate why. The food and service were great. While at the restaurant, we called the hotel and our room STILL wasn’t ready and it was now 8:30 at night.


We had dropped by the historic Francis Marion Hotel to admire the architecture and to see if the musicians on the second floor (visible from the street) were perhaps playing some jazz that we could enjoy. An exceptional young man working at the hotel who had just moved from Vermont, Seanan Keleher, asked where we were staying and we told him that the hotel that we had booked earlier in the day through Expedia did not have our room ready when we dropped by at approximately 4:00 this afternoon, nor at 8:30 this evening when we called to check on it. He said that he had one room left and offered to work with the hotel we’d booked and with Expedia to have our money refunded and to arrange for us to stay at the Francis Marion Hotel instead. It took almost a half hour on the phone with various people, but he made it happen. We couldn’t have been more delighted. Seanan went above and beyond any normal expectations of service. It was a real pleasure to stay in this beautiful hotel, built in 1928, with such a magnificent view of this amazing city.


The next morning, we set off to take in as much of the city as we could possibly fit in and took a narrated carriage ride through historic Charleston. Before we left the city, we grabbed a quick lunch at a local Irish pub and enjoyed their version of an “Irish Quesadilla” – corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese cooked in a quesadilla with a side of sautéed spinach. Great idea to replicate for St. Patrick’s Day!