Friday, October 31, 2014

Andorra La Vella, Andorra

Perfect Halloween symbols. You may think they are out of place in Andorra, but in this setting they have nothing to do with Halloween. Perfect reminders of American culture's old world antecedents. [2005]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sofia, Bulgaria

We are coming to the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it's time to acknowledge the profound impact the pink ribbon has had all over the world.  In Bulgaria, it has even been turned into street art thanks to Avon. Here's a pink ribbon that is decidedly green as it preaches the virtue of both being healthy and preserving the environment. [2010]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Prague, Czech Republic

When the Communist government of Czechoslovakia collapsed, state industries collapsed as well. Among those liberated from their jobs were classical musicians, many of whom took to the streets and became part of the informal free-enterprise economy. That era continued even after the country split in two. [1996]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Norfolk, Virginia, USA

October 28 is Independent Czechoslovak State Day in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic was part of Czechoslovakia from 1918 until 1993. Prior to 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled Czech lands. Today, the people of those Czech lands proudly fly a flag of their own and always carry it proudly during the annual NATO parade in Norfolk, Virginia. [2014]

Monday, October 27, 2014

Four Corners, Arizona, USA

Straight lines used to divide political jurisdictions are called geometric boundaries. Where they meet you often find "tripoints," but rarely do you find "four points." At the spot where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet, the site has been turned into a "teachable place," the geographer's equivalent of a "teachable moment." [2013]

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lebanon, Kansas, USA

A frustum marks the geographic center of the United States. A free-range leghorn seems to be the only inhabitant of the property.  What's happening to the agricultural heartland? It is producing as much as ever, but with fewer farmers. Populations of rural counties across the country are declining as urban centers grow out of control. [2009]

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Amman, Jordan

From the T alone, we know that he is an Assyrian not an Arab, that he is a Christian not a Muslim, and that he is a refugee in Jordan not a citizen. Jordan's job in the Middle East is to absorb refugees: first the Palestinians, then the Iraqis, now the Syrians. In fact, the fourth largest 'city' in Jordan is now a Syrian refugee camp. [1998]