Friday, September 30, 2016

Beatty, Nevada, USA

Have you been caught up in the Tesla craze? The Tesla Model S is one of the world's best selling plug-in cars, and here is where you can plug 'em in. There are only 705 of these supercharging stations worldwide and one is here in Beatty. Go figure! [2016]

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Beatty, Nevada, USA

The town's main intersection might look a little slow this month, but in October it will be the hub of activity. Why? "Beatty Days," the time when locals and visitors celebrate the past and salute the desert. See the banner? [2016]

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Beatty, Nevada, USA

Beatty's founding was linked to mining and the railroad, but what characteristic of geography commended this particular site? Here's the answer. This is why Beatty became a crossroads and a permanent place rather than a ghost town. [2016]

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beatty, Nevada, USA

In New England, the open space in the middle of town would be called the 'town commons' and it would be green. Here in Beatty, it's desert brown and looks like it awaits 'improvement.' So far, three elements of upgrading have been added to the park's landscape: a town clock, a boulder of rhyolite, and an evergreen. [2016]

Monday, September 26, 2016

Beatty, Nevada, USA

The railroad used to bring life to Beatty and other mining towns of the Mojave Desert. Now it's US Highway 95 that animates the town, and provides a new role as the Nevada gateway to Death Valley. A mural at the edge of town, however, keeps the memories of an imagined ideal past alive. [2016]

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Calhoun, Georgia, USA

The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, U2, Golden Earring, The Moody Blues: They are decades old but still performing. Just like this rock band in Georgia. And, all are showing their age just a little! [2013]

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bristol, Virginia, USA

So many folks along the The Crooked Road look like this. He was born at the Russell County Career and Technology Center and now graces the lawn in front of a Bristol bank, where he Tries to keep mountain music alive for residents and visitors alike. [2016]

Friday, September 23, 2016

Clearwater, Florida, USA

Rubber ducke, like so many others in the fine arts field, it looks like you couldn't find enough work to keep you afloat. So, how are you finding life as a commercial artist? Perhaps you can use that spa you're sitting on as a nest and start a family. [2016]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Yellow duckie, your career in fine arts has been such a success! The Chrysler Museum's reflecting pool was a perfect place for you, but we knew you couldn't stay. We knew you had gigs elsewhere around the world. So, have you been finding enough work to keep you busy in the fine arts field? We'll come back for an answer tomorrow. [2014]

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waianae, Hawaii, USA

Enjoy the last day of summer. Autumn begins tomorrow. The beaches will have to wait until next year, and rainbows will be scarce until spring rains return. Of course, none of this applies to Hawaii, America's tropical paradise. [2011]

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Brea, California, USA

The Orange Grove Fountain in Orange County is one of many works of public art that grace the Brea landscape. Juxtapose the color of oranges against the color of the town's name. Brea means asphalt in Spanish, and asphalt is black. Sounds like a perfect combination for a Halloween celebration. Brea, are you getting ready? [2016]

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Did you know  that Advanced Placement Human Geography has emerged as one of the most popular AP courses in the United States? Over 200,000 students are enrolled this year. Each one of those students will take a multiple choice and essay exam. The answers to the essay questions will be scored by Readers who assemble here in Cincinnati in June. [2016]

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand

Here at Wat Pathum Khong Ratchaworawihan, a mounted warrior (temple guardian?) is backed up by the full force of the Thai monarchy. Thailand's national flag, though, just seems out of place. Red, white, and blue flags belong in Europe or the Americas. Still, this symbol of Thai nationhood celebrates its 100th anniversary next year. [2016]

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Battambang, Cambodia

The Cambodian flag often flies next to the international Buddhist flag. Since 1850, the Cambodian flag has featured a depiction of Angkor Wat, this being the most recent version. The five colors of the Buddhist flag represent the aura of the Buddha at the moment he attained enlightenment. It, too, goes back to the nineteenth century. [2016]

Friday, September 16, 2016

Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

When independence was declared in 1945, Indonesia's red and white flag (Merah-Poetih) was hoisted, and it has flown as the national standard ever since. Its job is to unite the 17,000 islands that make up the archipelago. The simplicity of the flag serves as an antidote to the complexity of the nation's geography. [2016]

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

If you enjoy flags, the month to visit Singapore is August. Independence came on 9 August 1965. The same flag flew then as flies now. What makes the republic's flag unique? The crescent moon. Muslim nations use it as a symbol of Islam (often with at least one star), and Singapore is not a Muslim nation. [2016]

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand

Grilled bananas for breakfast? They are just one among an infinite number of street foods available around the clock. Bangkok is the street food capital of the world. No other city does it better. In fact, home kitchens go unused because every street is thronged with food vendors, including a full assortment within fifty paces of where you live. [2016]

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand

There's a pig roast every day in Bangkok's Soi Cowboy. This one has been turning on the spit (see it?) all afternoon and is now done. Meanwhile, one of his kindred waits to take his place for the evening shift: Guess what's in the long plastic bag in the background. [2016]

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand

Phra Buddha Wisuthimongkol sits in Benjakiti Park ready to receive supplicants. In Thailand's many open-air 'chapels,' the faithful take off their shoes, light a stick of incense, position themselves in front of the Buddha, assume the simple namaste position, pray, place the incense upright in the bowl, back away, and continue life. [2016]

Sunday, September 11, 2016

O Dambong, Cambodia

Houses in rural Cambodia are built in stages as money become available. People borrow, but only in small amounts that they know they can pay back. And, because labor is provided by family and friends, the cost is largely the cost of materials. Here, lunch is over, and everyone is back to work. [2016]

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Battambang, Cambodia

The French built a new market house in the center of Battambang. Though much in need of a make-over, it still is a hive of activity. Most of the essentials, however, are today sold curbside rather than inside. [2016]

Friday, September 9, 2016

Battambang, Cambodia

She is in from the countryside hoping to sell a load of wood. For cooking, of course, not for heating! Sure, people can use bottled gas, but you need wood to make 'sticky rice,' the all-time best traditonal food. [2016]

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Kampong Phlok, Cambodia

Kok Kodol village is one of some 140 "floating villages" on Tonle Sap (Camboida's 'Great Lake'). Houses are built on pilings and, during the wet season, when the water comes all the way to the tops of the stairs, the only way to get around is by boat. When the rains fail, though, a few strips of terra firma emerge from the lake. [20116]

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Bayon temple is the centerpiece of Angkor Thom, the 'great city' that was built as a new capital for the Khmer (or Cambodian) Empire in the 12th century. Its stone faces (upwards of 200) were probably modeled after the king, a Buddhist. What makes them so enigmatic are the smiles and closed eyes. You can see them but they can't see you. [2016]

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat began as a Hindu temple but transitioned to Buddhism in the 12th century. The five towers on level three represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, the center of the cosmological universe. They are also at the center of Cambodian identity: as illustrated by the country's flag. [2016]

Monday, September 5, 2016

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Two covered bridges, thoroughly Cambodian if you judge by the roof lines, now cross the Siem Reap River to connect the old city to the night market area. They are for pedestrians only, offering shade or shelter depending on the weather. [2016]

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

During Pol Pot's reign of terror, Cheoung Ek was the site of one of Cambodia's "killing fields." One in four Cambodians lost their lives, including 9000 who were brutally hacked to death or otherwise mass murdered here, just 11 miles south of the capital. Their skulls are enshrined in a memorial stupa, which has become a praying place for humanity. [2016]

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Every temple needs a guardian. In Cambodia, the polycephalic serpent Naga serves that function. Naga is usually a seven-headed deity, but here at the mango temple five heads stand sentry. The Cambodian people trace their origin to Naga. [2016]

Friday, September 2, 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The wide and muddy Mekong River has more ferries crossing it than it has bridges. Those ferries carry a lot of fruits and vegetables from the agricultural left bank to the urban right bank. These scallions are headed to market in Phnom Penh, seen in the background. [2026]

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

Do you see the contradiction? The ad is for coffee, the world's premier caffeine delivery system. And, there he is taking a nap! Where is this happening? On the island of Java, the island whose name we use for coffee. [2016]