Monday, October 31, 2016

Todd, North Carolina, USA

Hay! Are you an arachnophobe or an arachnophile? Most people fall in the former category, which makes the spider one of the perfect freights for Halloween. [2015]

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rhyolite, Nevada, USA

The mining town of Rhyolite was served by three railroads. Not a trace of them are left, except for this depot which was built by the Las Vegas and Tonopah line. It must be haunted. After all, we are in a ghost town and it is the day before Halloween. [2016]

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rhyolite, Nevada, USA

Rhyolite lasted only about 15 years, but in that time it became a self-contained community with banks, schools, churches, office buildings, and hotels, plus an opera house and stock exchange. The three-story building here was the John S. Cook Bank, built in 1908. See any ghosts amidst the ruins? [2016]

Friday, October 28, 2016

Rhyolite, Nevada, USA

Look past the steel carcass and you'll see the shell of a building or two. That was Rhyolite, the boomtown. What you see now is Rhyolite, the ghost town. In 1907, it was the third largest community in Nevada, with perhaps 8,000 residents. What made it boom? Gold, but only one mine was ever really productive. [2016]

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rougemont, North Carolina, USA

Soybeans in autumn help nature create a new palette of colors on the North Carolina piedmont. Not so many years ago these fields would have been sewn with tobacco, which only goes to show: Change is possible and often desirable. [2015]

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Royse City, Texas, USA

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  Today happens to be the time for pumpkins: It's National Pumpkin Day! Start carving: Halloween is just around the corner. [2012]

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Indianola, Iowa, USA

Look at these sports cars and imagine the demographics of the owners and admirers. How would their profile contrast with classic car or motorcycle aficionados? Think: gender, age, race, socioeconomic status, and then move on to apparel. [2008]

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dundee, Michigan, USA

"When you got it, show it. Put your hidden treasures on display." These lyrics by The Producers seem to fit the hog show perfectly, and so does the setting. [2008]

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Adairsville, Georgia, USA

A Mercedes on the main street of Adairsville fits the time, but perhaps not the place. A vintage car on a shopping mall parking lot never looks quite right, but here the classic backdrop matches the classic wheels. Even in their heyday, though, the places of Appalachian Georgia never saw many cars like this. [2013]

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rockland, Maine, USA

As a major gateway to the Gulf of Maine, Rockland offers dozens of connections to off-shore islands: real islands that can be reached only by boat (or maybe plane). As residents and visitors return to "the main," it's often, but not always, an uphill climb: The Gulf of Maine has one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world. [2008]

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lawshe, Ohio, USA

Two cows claim an abandoned field.
One barn charms with paint that's peeled.
No future for farming here revealed.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Valle Crucis, North Carolina, USA

Welcome to the Valle Country Fair, where you can stock up on NC Apples with immigrant name like Fuji and Mutsu. Anyone want to send these aliens back home?  Probably not, judging from the proud American flag sported by the orchard's owner. [2016]

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Siler City, North Carolina, USA

The latest in 'Christian pop' are the simple and humble "Thank You Jesus" signs that are appearing all over the North Carolina landscape. And while the government can't mix religion and politics, individuals often do. Refreshingly, these candidates aren't hard-line Republicans but independents that Jesus might even approve. [2016]

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Louisburg, North Carolina, USA

"Before I die I want to become the best engineer in the world." That's his ambition. Students at Louisburg College are invited to finish the sentence in any way they want. Another student wrote: "...I want to travel the world." At the campus wall, it doesn't take much to participate in the art world: just a piece of chalk and a little ambition! [2016]

Monday, October 17, 2016

Holland, New York, USA

If you're in New York, don't be surprised to find anything Dutch! Even a town named Holland with its obligatory windmill in the far western part of the state. It took its name from the Holland Land Company, with investors in New York City (formerly New Amsterdam). What else would be obligatory for Holland? Yes, a tulip festival every May. [2013]

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Istanbul, Turkey

What country has the highest per capita tea consumption in the world? Turkey. Hot tea is served sweet in small glass tumblers, and never with milk. Where does the tea come from? The country's own Black Sea coast. As for the saucer design: It is oh so Turkish! [2010]

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Noosa, Queensland, Australia

Happy Earth Science Week! We need to insist that earth science and geography be taught as required subjects in our local schools, whether public or private! There could be no more relevant disciplines in the 21st century world. Now, just for fun, tell us how the wave-cut terrace along Australia's Pacific Coast came into being. [2006]

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand

Yesterday, Thailand's reigning monarch, King Bhumibol (here at Traimit Witthayaram Temple), passed away, ending a reign of over 70 years. He held the throne during periods of military and civilian rule, always embodying the spirit and culture of the Thai nation. Now the landscape of the country  will change as his son becomes head of state as Rama X. [2016]

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Angola, Indiana, USA

Exactly eight years ago today, this is what was going on in Angola. Obama/Biden won with a majority of the national vote in 2008, and again in 2012. Let's see what happens this year as the too-long campaign draws to an end and we look forward to our 45th President. [2008]

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pisac, Urubamba Valley, Peru

Since Pisac is located in the Sacred Valley, this must be a sacred market. Anyone visiting Machu Picchu will likely become a visitor. Even though Pisac is only a village, it draws thousands of internationals every day. [2001]

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

Well over one hundred years old, the Maghain Aboth Synogogue is the historical focal point of Jewish worship in Singapore. There are about 2,500 Jews in the city-state today, all of whom will be observing, in one way or another, Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown. [2016]

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bandung, Java, Indonesia

He is poised, smiling, and ready to sew. In the cities of Southeast Asia, sewing machines are stationed along sidewalk corridors right out in the open rather than out-of-sight behind closed doors. [2016]

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Marrakech, Morocco

Built in the 19th century, the Bahia Palace is one of the visual jewels of Marrakech. Unlike most other religions, Islam prohibits renderings of human beings, so geometric and floral art thrive as decorative motifs. [2005]

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Around Cambodia's royal palace, the statuary industry thrives, and some of the country's master sculptors can be seen working on the street carving Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for homes and temples. [2016]

Friday, October 7, 2016

Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

The marina at Cabo San Lucas is designed for the rich, and the rich demand places to eat. That's why there is a lighthouse there. Yes, in reality, the lighthouse is a restaurant. Mexico began developing its coastal tourism enclaves in the 1970s, and they have been wildly successful. [2016]

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The National Monument, a memorial to those who lost their lives on the battlefields of World War II, was given center stage on Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam. The Netherlands surrendered to the Nazis in 1940 even before the U.S. got involved in the war. [2004]

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bang Plee, Thailand

Vacant lots invite informal land uses. No one seems to be worried about trespassing, even when a volleyball net is erected as a semi-permanent element of the landscape. In the United States, pick-up activities like this have all but disappeared as society has become over-regulated, over-supervised, and over-legalistic. [2016]

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tbilisi, Georgia

Like a crown atop Elia hill in Tbilisi stands Holy Trinity Cathedral, the largest church in the Georgian Orthodox realm. Today, Pope Francis began his visit to the Caucasus with hopes of mending tears in the Catholic-Orthodox relationship. Too bad the Georgian Orthodox prelate Ilia II could not find it in his heart to welcome him warmly. [2015]

Monday, October 3, 2016

Bristol, England, UK

The 'horned bridge' may be its nickname, but its official name is far more thought-provoking.  It was named after Pero Jones, an enslaved African who was brought to Bristol in the eigthteenth century and spent the rest of his life working for one of the city's wealthy merchants. [2015]

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Izmir, Turkey

Somewhere in the world, today is wedding day. The concept of marriage is common to all cultures. (Are there any exceptions?) But, the performance of marriage has been 'Westernized' worldwide. Izmir, though, is probably the most Westernized city in Turkey. [2014]

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Red Hook, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

There are two public high schools on the island of St. Thomas, and one is located here in Red Hook. When the day ends, students use the island's safaris to make their way home. Do you know what a 'safari' is? [2014]