The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #25


A reader writes:

My wife took one look at the picture and thought that it could be Japan, and after a bit of googling it seemed possible (especially considering that the fog may be blocking the more noticeable buildings). So I'm guessing that it is Kobe Port Terminal on Shinko Pier No. 4 in Japan. But I feel like I'm way off, so I fear that this email will be published near the top on Tuesday to demonstrate just how far off some readers' guesses are.

Another writes:

I remember being in Venice in 2008 and looking from the St. Mark's square campanile toward the train station end of the city and thinking about how industrial that side of town looked from up there.  I also remember all of the cruise ships coming in and out of the ports in that part of the city. Venice was the first city that came to mind when thinking where a cruise ship would put in, that looks industrial-ish, and has weather that would get fog. 


That's a pretty big clue given. After quickly checking the Carnival website for destinations and thinking of places that would get fog, I'm just going to wing it and say Halifax, Nova Scotia.


I'm having trouble seeing through the fog. Carnival goes to Halifax and Saint John.  Between the two I'm going with Saint John.


As soon as I saw this picture, I recognized the location:

It's the cruise ship docks in Victoria, BC. The first thing that struck me when I went there in the summer of 2009 was how ugly and out of place that tall building is. I always wondered how British Columbians, who are so proud of the natural scenery of their province, could build such an ugly structure right on the coast.


That looks like Juneau to me. Visited there in the summer with my son, who's about to attend UAS Southeast (taking advantage of the school's low tuition, beautiful location, and interesting math program). We ate pizza in the building in the foreground - best in Juneau, mediocre for the East.


I see fog and immediately think of Eugene O'Neill.  This vignette could well be the harbor in New London Ct, a setting where  O'Neill  spent  his boyhood overlooking the sea, near his  family cottage, Monte Cristo.  There is an active wailing foghorn, a sound that O'Neill incorporated in many of his plays.


I don't have any serious research or knowledge backing this one up, but I figured that since Carnival cruise lines go through Panama City, and this looked similar to the port I had seen while I was there, I'd give it a shot. I don't have any fancy maps or coordinates to put here, but I've got a little story that took place nearby.

I went to see the Bridge of the Americas with a friend while I was visiting Panama, and we came across two fellows standing in the middle of the bridge looking confused, and a little dejected. We struck up a conversation, and they told us they were from Minneapolis, and that they were backpacking through Central America. Someone had apparently told them that they had to come see this bridge, and when they got there, they found that it was very plain, and seemed like a waste of their time. "Yeah, this bridge sucks" one of them said. I asked him if he didn't think it was cool that this was the only narrow spot connecting North and South America, and therefore an actual "bridge between the Americas" and both of them immediately whipped out their cameras and started snapping pictures furiously. The one who had felt that the bridge sucked said "take a picture of me standing here all 'oh whatever, it's just a bridge' so I can be like 'actually, it's the Bridge of the Americas! BOO-YA' "

It turns out they hadn't bothered to buy any guidebooks, do any reading, or talk to anyone from the countries they were visiting, and after they had finished snapping pictures, they told us how boring Central America was and said "let's go see if we can find some pizza!"

No point to the story, really, but it was an exchange that stuck with me! Now watch it not be Panama.

Not Panama. Another:

I would know that tall building anywhere.  I don't know what it is, but it is right off I-10 in Mobile, Alabama, right after the Bay Tunnel. I have driven that section of I-10 hundreds of time in my life.


This was either a really easy one or I didn't do enough research. I'm betting on Galveston, Texas, where a Carnival Cruise ship has been fogged in more than once, according to news stories I found via Google. The two buildings look a  lot like those I found in photos of Galveston, again via Google. Here's the site with the photo that cinched it for me. (I was first going to say Mobile, Alabama, where a Carnival ship also was fogged in. But the buildings in photos of the city I found don't match up.)


Yes!  I would have recognized this even without the clue!  This is Galveston Island.  Growing up near Houston, I've spent a lot of time on the island.  My husband and I even spent our honeymoon here!  The restaurant with the neon sign in the foreground is the Fisherman's Wharf.  I've dined there many times!  Although not visible in the photo, a highlight of this area is the tall ship Elissa, which is moored and serves as a museum.  In early December, this area hosts its annual Dickens on the Strand Festival.  People dress in Victorian costume, and shop and eat, and it's a great time!


A Google image search for "View from cruise ship leaving Galveston" and up came a number of matching photos - this one captures the exact same shot on a sunny day:

Screen shot 2010-11-23 at 4.25.46 AM

Now I'm sure there will be a huge number of correct answers.  I'm afraid no personal, romantic or nostalgic stories. So I can only plea that I was the fellow who narrowly missed out on VFYW #8 - Lausanne, where I managed to take my own photo at the location.


The neon sign is over a restaurant called Fisherman's Wharf, where a young Tillman Feritta learned how to run, then take over, restaurants. My family had an early Thanksgiving lunch there yesterday. My kids fed birds off the small dock to the right of the white yacht below. Just barely visible to the lower left is the Elissa, docked where my grandfather ran a business called Gulf Fisheries between the 1950s and '70s. He bought shrimp from the local shrimpers and packaged them for resale. It's a neat area and I recommend it to anyone who has never been. Sorry I can't be more specific.


To the right is the railroad museum, which used to be the headquarters of the Sante Fe railroad.  My parents met working there.


My heart actually gave a thud this week.  Of course I recognize it - it's my hometown.  My father worked for years in a firm almost at the top of the white building in the back.  It's the Anico building on Moody street.


When I was in high school I worked in that tall white building, American National Insurance Company. Now I live in the UK.


I took a cruise from that same pier and watched the beautiful island go by. The tall building, visible quite far to the north on the mainland, houses an insurance company and is wildly out of place on a barrier island of palm trees, live oaks, Victorian architecture, balconies, slow southern accents, pelicans, beaches, and hurricanes. The nearby buildings are on The Strand, the old original business part of town (from when cotton was shipped out before The [ahem] War Between the States); many go back to the 1800s. Galveston rivalled New York as a port until the Great Storm of September, 1900, still the worst natural disaster in US history in terms of loss of life. The tall chimney in the mid-left of the picture stands alone as a part of Strand history. 


The photo reminds me of Edna Ferber's observation that Galveston has a Miss Havisham quality - it's ghostly and severely faded, but still somehow alluring. (I miss my sad little hometown. Thanks for featuring it.)

The 20-story tower is the island's sole "skyscraper," the corporate headquarters of American National Insurance Co. (ANICO), and many people consider it an eyesore. It does seem out of place, that circa-1970 brutalism looming over all the two-story Victorian office buildings that survived the 1900 hurricane. But the views from inside it are lovely.



Here's the same view in reverse, presumably from the American National Insurance building, with the Conquest at the pier.


Google Maps and the Port of Galveston website helped to find the address of the pier: Terminal 1, 2502 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX 77550. A quick google of "carnival cruise" and "fog" pulled up a bunch of possibilities in the Gulf of Mexico this year.  I think the ship in question was the Carnival Conquest, which was stranded in Galveston in April 2010.  But I'm sure that you'll have a reader who can figure out the correct room, deck level, etc.

Correct ship, wrong date. Another:

Long time reader, first time responder. After a few quick google searches for "Carnival cruises" and "fog" it appears that Galveston is a departure point often tripped up by the weather.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say the photo was taken on August 5th, 2010.  According to the Galveston Daily News, fog delayed the Conquest's return to port that morning, as well as its departure in the afternoon.

Still off with the date. Another:

I've never been to Galveston, but I flew into Google Earth and the pieces seemed to fall into place pretty quickly.  In case the clue made this too easy, I'll try to throw in whatever tiebreakers I can come up with:


1. Attached is a diagram of what I think is the view/photographer's location.
2. Possible date: this photo could have been taken on either April 5, 2010 or December 14, 2009 - two dates I found in stories about cruise ship delays in Galveston.

Correct on the latter date. Another:

The parking lots you see hold special meaning for me. My cousin and his wife took a lovely cruise from here and while they were gone, Hurricane Ike devastated the island. They were diverted to New Orleans upon the completion of the cruise. Their car, which had been parked there, has never been found.


Oh man this one's easy. (You thought the fog would make it hard, didn't you?) I thought I'd have to do all that Google searching to get one of these right, but I used to work down the street from this dock at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


Here's a picture of the front of that restaurant (Willie G's) in the lower left of your picture, taken in October 2008. You can see one of the boats washed up from Hurricane Ike in the parking lot.


We live in Arlington, VA, but 18 years ago we were married in Galveston. Nearby is the Tremont House, where we had our rehearsal dinner before the wedding at the old St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike.


I was there February 2009 for the first Mardi Gras after Hurricane Ike and went to the restaurant in the foreground. The city had yet to completely clean up from the hurricane, but there had to of been over 10,000 people there and the parade was incredible.


I was supposed to have a bachelor party down at the harbor on the weekend of Ike. This should have been me:


I know this view because I returned from a cruise celebrating my cousin's wedding there just a few weeks ago.


Lately we've had several days of Harry Potter-esque level of fog in the Houston/Galveston area, so my hood was the first spot that came to mind when I saw the photo.  Then the cruise hint was super easy, as my boyfriend and I have been on a cruise from Galveston and are set to leave on another one after Thanksgiving. (He's one of those cruise gays.  I prefer television.)


I was just in Galveston this past weekend visiting a friend in medical school. He lives right behind the white building (American National Insurance Company) and you can see the cruise ships in the harbor from his back window. The weather was great the entire weekend. A Carnival cruise ship was docked the entire time I was there.

We need to select a winner, but among the hundred or so correct guessers, no one stands out with a more precise location than all the others. So we're just going to go with the very first person who wrote in with "Galveston." He wrote:

No special story - just that my wife and I were there back in August.

Congrats on the quick draw - 10 minutes after the contest went up. We'll get a window book out to you shortly. Below are a handful of other entertaining emails we received among the hundreds this week.

We don't need no stinkin' clues. Well, many of us probably need them, but that doesn't mean we deserve them. I prefer when the contest sticks to the purely visual, requiring us to think up our own associations before Googling like fools. As I started my search, I tried to pretend I hadn't read the hints, but who was I kidding? The clues had seeped into my brain and it took all of three minutes to find this place once I gave in to that knowledge. I doubt I would have gotten to Galveston otherwise, but some of your readers would - and I bet more entertaining answers too (missed guesses are certainly part of the fun, especially when people are so sure of themselves).


You must have gotten a bazillion replies if I could get this right! But it was really fun to figure it out, and I think the easy puzzle this week was a good way for beginners to get better at this game.


My only previously correct guess was Sarajevo, which I didn't submit.  Most weeks, I'm content to marvel at the technical exploits of fellow Dish mavens.  This one was a low tech reader's dream. Simple google search of delayed Carnival departures narrowed the options to Mobile, Tampa, or Galveston (I'm a recent serial comma convert).  Then a simple search for photos of ports led to this, which appears to show the same single white high rise with a single smokestack. Others will have more detailed coordinates, but you warmed the heart of technologically challenged, lazy reader with a view I could easily figure in 3 minutes.  (And I don't mind not winning since I was one of those who ordered two VFYW books when it launched.)


This is my first attempt at VYFW contest.  I have a feeling I'm not quite as quick as some of your other readers, but it was a great distraction from being stuck in the office on a Saturday. In addition to wasting time at work, it also had the added benefit of likely putting me on a some terrorist watch list for viewing nearly every Carnival Cruise Line port in the U.S on Google and Bing Maps. Oh well. I would not be shocked if the terrorist threat level is raised in the next couple of days due to several hundred Dish readers searching the Internet for information on ports of call for cruise ships.


My boyfriend and I have recently created a contest out of your "View From Your Window Contest." The rules are way too long and complicated, but it works kind of like golf with the winner for each month amassing the least amount of mileage (points). Last week was the first round, and my guess of Buffalo, New York, against his of Rouen, France, left me with a 4,000 mile differential (and about 8 hours of work) to make up.  So I'm hoping this week will put me back in the game a bit. (We get extra points for getting our answer chosen on "The Daily Dish" ... wink, wink.)

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