Thursday, July 31, 2014

Havana, Cuba

Thanks to some individual initiative, the modernization of old Havana has begun. In the case of Barbepark, a kid's playground, the initiative has come from a local barber. In one corner of the park, an ice-cream vendor (recognize the outfit?) and his 'Christian brothers' have made themselves the dads of the neighborhood (with help from Shrek, of course). [2014]

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Havana, Cuba

Three women, a little shade, folding stools, kiddie bags, and conversation: It looks like they do this every day. Perhaps they are waiting for their young children to finish summer day-school activities in the building across the street. If you don't like that explanation, make up your own. Or, if you speak Spanish, ask them. [2014]

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Havana, Cuba

He looks like a capitalist, doesn't he? He has invested in a push cart and a small inventory of papayas. Small-scale capitalism has been legalized in Cuba, but only if you have a government license. Let's hope Cuba eventually permits more individual initiative in its agricultural sector. Eighty percent of the island's food is imported. [2014]

Monday, July 28, 2014

Havana, Cuba

He needs the energy. He's been peddling people around Havana, and his work day is only half over. This is what passes for pizza in Cuba: mostly dough. Finding fast food on the street is difficult. Coffee, though, is widely available through "holes in the walls," and fruits and vegetables are vended by push cart operators all over the old city. [2014]

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Havana, Cuba

Because they've been 'cooking' in the Gulf of Mexico before heading to the Florida Straits, waters off Havana are warm and inviting. A lighthouse at Morro Castle has accepted the invitation to guard the port of Havana. Younglings (all male) have accepted the invitation to use a deteriorating seawall as a recreational resource. [2014]

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In the U.S. mind, Cuba has no tourist industry. In reality, Cuba is one of the most popular destinations for Canadians, who are the island's number one tourist market. Canadian relations with the island started thawing in 1976, when Prime Minister Trudeau paid a visit to Fidel Castro. [2010]

Friday, July 25, 2014

Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Much to the dismay of the U.S. (and only the U.S.), the Cuban Revolution has lasted over half a century. Here in West Belfast, 'el Che' has been chosen as the poster boy for celebrating the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. After 1959, he became one of the foundation stones of socialist Cuba. [2009]

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Here be some shadow friends. Fair-weather friends they are. They don't like rain; they don't like clouds; and they don't like night.  Sometimes, though, perhaps this very night, they will come out to play when sister moon sends them an invitation. [2011]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wemyss Bight, Eleuthera, The Bahamas

If you can't go to church, church will come to you. That's the tradition on Eleuthera. Here you see an alter call without the alter, and someone has responded.  Present for the service (from left to right): organist, preacher, soloist, sinner.  Present but not seen: God. [2014]

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

The Enoch subway station was built to proudly anchor Glasgow's subway rail lines in 1897. It's still there, but it now houses a Nero's coffee house and provides no access to the subway. [2004]

Monday, July 21, 2014

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Glasgow is ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, and it seems to get better and better every year. It has transformed its economy from overdependence on manufacturing and shipbuilding, to become a high-end service center and convention hub. When you go to Glasgow, even the kids can have fun. [2004]

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

What would the industrial magnates think if they came back to see what has become of the River Clyde? Their waterfront looked nothing like this. It was lined with wharves and warehouses to serve one of the great world cities of the nineteenth century: Glasgow. [2004]

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Landrum, South Carolina, USA

Someone has made Campbell's Covered Bridge her own. See the graffiti? "Stacie wuz here 8-4-03." How would you classify such inscriptions? (a) Place Makers, (b) Social Indicators, (c) Vandalism, (d) Jail-able Offenses. [2005]

Friday, July 18, 2014

Napier, Pennsylvania, USA

The Colvin Covered Bridge has a good home. It's located on the edge of a Pennsylvania State Park and is owned by Bedford County. In other words, it's well taken care of, as you can tell just by looking at it. It's inspiring when people care about their historical resources. [2010]

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Randolph, Vermont, USA

The Gifford Covered Bridge is one of many in Vermont. It was built in 1904. Almost a hundred years later, in 2001, it was refurbished and raised a bit higher above the river. Vermont has the highest density of covered bridges in the nation: about one for every 10 square miles. [2009]

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meadville, Missouri, USA

The Locust Creek Covered Bridge seems to have been moved here, right? The basis for your conclusion? There's no stream for it to cross. Surprise! The bridge stayed in the same position, but the meander abandoned its channel in the 1940s. As for the old road, Route 8: it was replaced with a new through route a short jog south. [2008]

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Milton, West Virginia, USA

At least it will be well taken care of here. The Milton Covered Bridge, as it is now known, will never again see its original home over the nearby Mud River. The old Sink's Mill Bridge was needed by the citizens of Milton, so they created for it a pond and brought the old timbered tunnel to town where it could be a center piece of their Pumpkin Festival. [2010]

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bridgeport, California, USA

Here's the bridge that silver built, the Bridgeport Bridge over the South Yuma River. Now, it will take lots of silver to restore it: $1.3 million, appropriated by the state just last month. As a link on the toll road which connected the Sacramento Valley to the Comstock Lode, this Burr-arch span (see it?) is indispensable to the teaching of California history. [2006]

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mount Healthy, Ohio, USA

The Jediah Hill covered bridge is so old and so important that it is on the National Register of Historic Places, "the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation." How old is it? The historical marker says it was built in 1850 by one Jediah Hill. [2010]

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA

How do you build community? Use the landscape to your best advantage. Sponsor a kite festival (Fiala Field), announce an art contest (Camp Hill on Canvass), hoist some pole banners (Camp Hill Class of '70), brand your street signs (Boro of Camp Hill), and make sure your town clock has an eagle on top. [2014]

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA

It's along the shore, but it's not driftwood. These lanky, sun-bleached limbs and trunks are the remains of an in situ forest that flourished behind the sand dunes. With rising sea level, however, the dune line has moved landward, and the forest has succumbed to both salt and the forces of the open ocean.[2007]

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA

On July 10, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill that made Wyoming a state. The territorial capital, Cheyenne, became the state capital, but not without a challenge. Both Casper and Lander touted their centrality and future promise, but their case didn't change enough minds in the state legislature. [2013]

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yongdam-Jeong, South Korea

Cheondoism has deep roots in Korean shamanism, hence the cairns on almost every salience surrounding the Dragon Pool. Nevertheless, Cheondoism is a monotheistic creed which believes that God resides in every individual (and perhaps stones like this?). [2012]

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Yongdam-Jeong, South Korea

Architectural embellishments say it over and over again to anyone approaching the Dragon Pool Pavilion: This is not a Buddhist temple. The emblem of the indigenous Korean religion known as Cheondo-gyo has been insinuated into any space that will accommodate a medallion. [2012]

Monday, July 7, 2014

Yongdam-Jeong, South Korea

The grounds of Yongdam-Jeong, birthplace of Cheondoism, are now a national park.  They continue to be used for prayer and meditation. The symbol of "the religion of the heavenly way" is shown here on one of the study pavilions. [2012]

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Yongdam-Jeong, South Korea

Beyond these gates, on the slopes of Mt. Gumi, by the Dragon Pool Pavilion, a new religion was born, a religion indigenous to Korea. It is today known as Cheondoism, or Cheondo-gyo, "the religion of the heavenly way." In 1860, Su-un received a new and universal truth:  Because heaven is within us, it is meant to be experienced here on earth, not in an afterlife. [2012]

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Arwad Island, Syria

There's one island off the coast of Syria: Arwad. Were the Phoenicians able to return to these shores 3000 years after their initial arrival, they would know where they were. Not because they would recognize the landscape, but because they would recognized the name. They called it Arvad. [1995]

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fairmont, North Dakota, USA

Lemonade: 50 cents. Lemonade: the perfect drink for the Fourth of July. Lemonade: sold by kids in their quest to be independent. [2008]

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tlaquepaque, Sedona, Arizona, USA

Improve upon the naked earth?
By a sculpture giving birth
to colors prime and shapes divine.
Is the red of sandstone glowing,
Is the flow of winds ablowing,
Not enough to stand alone
Unadorned?  But, it's not your own.
You must have something monetized,
To take home. It's your prize.
A vain reminder of your place
In a world defined by money's chase.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ute Mountain, Colorado, USA

"In the sky, there are no boundaries," wrote Julia Gregson in her novel East of the Sun. And, as if to mock the very concept of boundaries, high-flying jets etch their fleeting signatures onto the dome of heaven, all the while being watched by jealous earth-bound plantlings. [2013]

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

South Newport, Georgia, USA

Let's play Jeopardy. The answer is 'Memory Park Christ Chapel.' What's the question? 'What is the smallest church in the United States?' It's located under a canopy of Spanish Moss in the heart of Georgia's Low Country. [2008]