Monday, June 30, 2014

Elk Horn, Iowa, USA

Let's play Jeopardy. The answer is 'Morning Star Chapel.' What's the question? 'What is the smallest church in the United States?' It's located on the Iowa Prairie in the heart of Danish America. [2008]

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ochopee, Florida, USA

Let's play Jeopardy. The answer is 'The one in Ochopee, Florida.' What's the question? 'What is the smallest post office in the United States?' It's located along the Tamiami Trail in the heart of the Everglades. [2003]

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Berwyn, Illinois, USA

All suburbs have shopping center parking lots, but only Berwyn had the Spindle. For almost 20 years, it was a place-maker, popular among some and despised by others. The 'car kebab' was disassembled in 2008. RIP, icon of autocracy (rule by the auto). [1989]

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lakeside, California, USA

When you arrive in Lakeside's historic district, the first thing you see is the Burger King. Somebody here needs the help of a geographer with expertise in place-making. [2013]

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

New frames, new windows, new lenses. Does his work make him an optometrist or a refenestrator? Either way, one old dame is getting some new spectacles, which will give yet another generation a chance to bring the world into focus. [2011]

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Genoa, Italy

What's the future of the giornalaio (newspaper vendor)? Ask Borders. What's the future of the telefono pubblico? Ask Bell (or Apple). Change is coming to urban landscapes everywhere, but the clock rising above the neighborhood piano offers hope. Even with the advent of wrist watches and cell phones, 'town clocks' have remained a part of city life. [2008]

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

London, England, UK

The British do pageantry better than anyone on earth. That's why the City of Westminster still has a large population of horses (and riders). Apparently, the Queen still needs the Household Calvary. They are stationed at Horse Guards, right across the park from Buckingham Palace. [2008]

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cape Eleuthera, Eleuthera, The Bahamas

Do you recognize hydroponics when you see it? It's a technology that might move us all toward sustainable habitation of planet Earth. At Eleuthera's Island School, the central curricular question is: How can we live better in a place? That should be the central question of applied geography, too. [2014]

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Delhi, India

Feel free to attach all the scientific terminology you want to the hydrologic cycle, the natural cycling of water from one state to another.  But, also remember that the water cycle has a cultural geography, too. Where would you position a scene like this in the human-use water cycle? [2011]

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan honors Matsu over and above all other deities. Her temples are everywhere and her parades plentiful. These maidens and their big ears remind everyone that listening is a two-way street: Listen for the voices of enlightened beings and know that the worthy ones hear us. It's also a reminder that Buddha had big ears. [2011]

Friday, June 20, 2014

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2011 was the Year of the Rabbit. So, in Singapore, it wasn't surprising to find warrens of rabbits proclaiming love for museums and everything else. We are now in the Year of the Horse. [2011]

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Standup tables are becoming more popular as components of homes, offices, and restaurants. Explanation? Perhaps the fact that we spend so much more of our time (see the clock?) sitting. If this scene were in Prague, we could say that this 'check' needs a mate. Alas, it's in Ljubljana. [2008]

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Penrose, Colorado, USA

He must have gazed upon Medusa. All we can say for sure is that he's not a post-modern Perseus. In fact, he doesn't appear post-modern at all. He appears to be a creature of the machine age. [2005]

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oakdale, California, USA

In what movie set did he originate? Perhaps this is what we will all look like in 2000 years, tail and all. What would you do with a tail if you had one? [2005]

Monday, June 16, 2014

Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Everybody became a little more patriotic after 9-11. Everybody. If we could do nothing else, at least we could raise high the stars and stripes. [2001]

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA

"The white man kills our game, captures our furs, and sometimes feeds his herds upon our meadows. And your great and mighty government . . . leaves us without the promised seed, without tools for cultivating the land, without implements for harvesting our crops." Chief Washakie of the Eastern Shoshone, now memorialized in front of Wyoming's Capitol. [2013]

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Flag Day is today.
Fly the Stars and Stripes.
Fly them over Houston.
Unfurl them in Detroit.
Hoist them high in Boston,
U.S. territories, too.
For sure in Puerto Rico,
Where lions roar with pride
Especially in Ponce,
Which has a Leon on its side.
Does Old Glory mean Utopia
In the here and now?
Or, is it what were're striving for
as we gaze across the prow? [2009]

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sainte-Mère-Église, France

Is that a paratrooper hanging from the parapets of Sainte-Mère-Église? Indeed! It's been seventy years since le débarquement en Normandie, but the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions are still honored by a grateful town, one of the first liberated from Nazi occupation. Want to know more? Read or watch The Longest Day. [2005]

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dublin, Ireland

What element of the cultural landscape is on view here? (a) a street light; (b) a doctrinal catechism; (c) a talisman, (d) a leitmotif, (e) a shepherd's crook, (f) a metaphor; (g) a city brand; (h) all of the above. [2004]

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mastersonville, Pennsylvania, USA

There are various ways of curing tobacco. These leaves are spending a month or two in a tobacco barn being air cured, all under the watchful eye of the farmer. Over the past thirty years, though, conditions have changed so much in the tobacco industry that it would be hard to recapture a scene like this on the American landscape today. [1982]

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Find a bank on Main Street, then look for a clock. Banks are famous for using clocks as architectural add-ons. Both clocks and banks keep lives running efficiently. Clocks help you manage your time; banks help you manage your money. Since time is money, banks and clocks belong together. [2009]

Monday, June 9, 2014

Milan, Italy

Here be basic time: no frills, no bells, not even numbers. These are the time pieces you see all over Milan, standing as if they were punctuation marks on the landscape. Apparently, though, the model was not an exclamation point! [2008]

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Markham, Ontario, Canada

By building its fire stations to tell the time not just house the engines, the city government can provide yet one more service to the public. Here, the architecture exudes pride in a public sector that makes life better for residents of Markham. Perhaps there's even a coded message wrapped up in the tower: It's transparent. [2010]

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Arrington, Tennessee, USA

Why do denizens of the present get so much fun out of acting out the past (e.g., Renaissance Festivals) and imagineering the future (e.g., Star Trek Conventions)? Do you think this creature is a visitor from the past worlds or the future worlds? [2009]

Friday, June 6, 2014

Salomon Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

How do you get to Salomon Bay? You either come by boat or hike about a mile through the tropical scrub forest. Needless to say, it's one of the underpopulated places on St. John. [2014]

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Toulouse, France

The eye-catcher here is the dome of the chapel of the Hôpital de La Grave, a hospital situated on the sandy slip slope of a Garonne meander spur. The large hospital complex started in the 12th century during a time when God, not science, did all the healing. [2005]

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Delhi, India

Think it's been raining? Think again. That umbrella is for the sun. It's also a fashion statement, as is her sari. In the background: Old Delhi's Red Fort. [2011]

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Istanbul, Turkey

Not only is he demonstrating his talent, he is also selling his tools. That's the way he, and numerous others, make a living in the informal economy of Istanbul. Being an artist pays. [2007]

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bergamo, Italy

The payphone was invented in 1889, and their numbers peaked about a hundred years later. The twenty-first century brought neglect, abandonment, and disappearance. And, with the payphone, went a decline in Superman (and Supernun) sightings. Ciao! Ciao! [2008]

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Warwick, Rhode Island, USA

The Providence Metropolitan Area has 25 donut shops per 100,000 people, more than any other metro in the U.S. Next in line are the metropolitan areas of Boston, Hartford, Portland, and Springfield. New Englanders love their donuts (and so do Canadians and New Yorkers). Why? [2008]