Thursday, March 31, 2016

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA

Winter brings high pressure and clear skies, fallen leaves and naked boughs, crisp sight-lines and and inviting shadows: all perfect for photographing architecture and townscapes. [2007]

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coulterville, California, USA

They'll never win any beauty contests with such wooden expressions on their faces. In fact, they should be happier since the state they live in honors them on its flag. Their state is the California Republic, sometimes nicknamed the Bear Flag Republic. [2005]

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Meet Cocky, the official, award-winning mascot of USC football. Apparently, he has off today and is stoking up on mellow mushrooms while bringing some attitude to downtown Columbia. [2016]

Monday, March 28, 2016

Washington, D.C., USA

It's time for a stroll around the Tidal Basin. The cherry blossoms have reached their peak; the pageant has begun; the painters are depicting; and the photographers are reining in the spirits of place. [2011]

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Amsterdam, Netherlands

"Before Abraham was, I am." These are the words of Jesus, who came as the great "I am." Today is the day of his resurrection. Happy Easter! As for subject and verb outside the Rijksmuseum, it's a little lingo that invites performance art. If you pull back, it says "I amsterdam." [2016]

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Antwerp, Belgium

The first Saturday of spring brings out the newly weds to take part in the Semini celebration. Think of Semini as the "pagan saint" of Antwerp. To the marriage covenant, Semini brings fertility. In fact, his name means seed. Think: inseminate. [2015]

Friday, March 25, 2016

La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

He can skate. She can't.
He can teach. She can learn.
She can try. He can help.
She can giggle. He can laugh.
They can fribble. They can flirt. [2016]

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tbilisi, Georgia

Independence came to Georgia with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but vestiges of dictatorial rule did not end until 2003 with the Rose Revolution. As a result, roses play a particularly symbolic role in Georgian society. On sale at Tiblisi's flower market, these roses were grown in Colombia! [2015]

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bangkok, Thailand

Wat have we here? A Buddhist temple, a.k.a., a wat.  There are 40,000 wats in Thailand, about one for every 1500 people. On their way to enlightenment, this bevy offers some advice: "Today is better than two tomorrows." But, unless they open their eyes, they are going to miss both today and tomorrow. [2011]

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fes, Morocco

School projects may look the same the world over. Here, a Moroccan youngster has planned a small part of the planet. In the middle of the neighborhood is a mosque; around it, residences. Traditionally, a mosque had to anchor each neighborhood so that everyone could hear the call to prayers five times a day. [1989]

Monday, March 21, 2016

Alamar, Cuba

The revolution has come to Cuba: the organic agriculture revolution! It was born not out of high ideals, but of the Cold War's end. Cuba's sponsor-state, the USSR, collapsed and the raw materials of industrial farming zoomed out of socialism's price range. Let's hope President Obama can find some organic arugula while he is visiting! [2014]

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Yerevan, Armenia

Today is Palm Sunday in the western churches, but for Armenians it's Tsarzardar. The early church fathers had to do something to co-opt pagan believers so they made the day of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem the day to mark the triumphant entry of spring. This year, the astronomical vernal equinox happens to fall on Palm Sunday. [2015]

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

You can watch the transition from raw material to finished product right before your eyes. No long-distance food chains here. In fact, this grass originated somewhere in the nearby tropics. You recognize it, right? Sugar cane and fresh cane juice (the non-alcoholic kind). Natural, local, pure, refreshing. [2011]

Friday, March 18, 2016

Douglas, Isle of Man

How equipped are you to read the symbolic landscape? Seen cold, would this picture pop up on your map of the Irish Sea? It would if you knew anything about the three legs of Man that appear on the ship's bow. Now, tell us what ANZAC means. [2011]

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Delhi, India

The street is the market, but it doesn't seem very busy at the moment. Just think, though, there are potentially 1.3 billion customers for these grains, and the size of the population is closing in on China's 1.4 billion. Think that had anything to do with China's termination of the one-child policy? [2011]

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, UK

A fountain like this is reflective of the wealth that used to pour into Merthyr Tydfil and the steam coal that used to flow out. It was given to the town in 1906 by a wealthy industrialist. Perhaps he was saying thank you for making him a millionaire. Perhaps he was assuaging his conscience. [2015]

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Andorra La Vella, Andorra

Like a bridge between the first half of the month and the second half, the ides of March are upon us. That would make it March 15 on the Gregorian calendar and the 75th day of the year on the Julian calendar. Julius Caesar introduced the new calendar in 46 BC. Two years later, the ides of March were upon him. [2005]

Monday, March 14, 2016

Auckland, New Zealand

Do you recognize stamens when you see them? The flowering pohutukawa tree has become a symbol of strength and beauty in New Zealand, so their flowers make a geographically appropriate subject for public art. [2011]

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

The Cardinals made their decision exactly three years ago today, and the world received a new Pope. He took the name Francis, and soon his picture was appearing everywhere, especially in Latin America. For the first time ever, one of their own, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was going to head the Roman Catholic Church. [2013]

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Seoul, South Korea

Mud masks are the best for improving skin health. Makes sense, right? Deep clean your pores by smearing mud on your face. Or, have someone else do it for you. In Korea, it seems to work for men as well as women. [2016]

Friday, March 11, 2016

Seoul, South Korea

The Gyeongbokgung, or Northern Palace, was originally built in 1395 just a few years after the founding of the Joseun Dynasty. Within the palace, drums were a part of every ceremony and ritual. This one is a double-headed barrel drum in a cradle. [2016]

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Seoul, South Korea

Namdaemun Market, named after the old city's "Great Southern Gate," is the largest in Seoul. Koreans and visitors surge through its main thoroughfares and narrow streets to shop and eat. When they are hungry, hotteok is a popular choice.  [2016]

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Seoul, South Korea

The hanbok, or traditional Korean clothing, is not worn for everyday events, but women (and some men) still wear it on special occasions and sometimes for weekend walks in the older parts of Seoul even when there is nothing special going on. If anything, the hanbok is experiencing a revival, especially among the young! [2016]

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seoul, South Korea

There is so much business in the enormous Yongsan district that merchants spill out of their shops and onto the sidewalks. Their specialties are electronics and computers. All the competition guarantees cheap prices, and the Republic of Korea's flag guarantees that you don't forget where you are. [2016]

Monday, March 7, 2016

Wemyss Bight, Eleuthera, The Bahamas

Places preserve their pumps as visual reminders of the past, but rusty mementos like this fail to capture the energy that went into the water economy of human settlements. Muscles were required to suction the water from down below and then to transport it from the well to its destination. What can no picture capture? How heavy water is! [2014]

Sunday, March 6, 2016

San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

On the Plaza del Pescador, a Mexican fisherman has been pedestalized to attract everyone's attention, but a walking sign ends up stealing the show. [2016]

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Whangarei, New Zealand

The Hatea River Walk starts in the Whangarei CBD and follows the river upstream to the Whangarei Falls. Let's set a goal for American cities:  If a city has a river, it should have a river walk that cuts across the concentric zones of urban development and leads into the country. [2011]

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sofia, Bulgaria

Geography and history are so often captured on canvass. Scenes like this repeat themselves around the world as we seek to frame and interpret what is important to our localities and our nationalities. [2010]

Thursday, March 3, 2016

San Pedro, Belize

Welcome to the village of San Pedro in the English-speaking country of Belize. You experience any cognitive dissonance in reading the last sentence? If you are in Anglophonia, you should be in Saint Peter. Rather saintly looking himself, right? [2015]

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lisbon, Portugal

Winston Smith says: 'Just say NO' to everything that threatens privacy. We now have the technology to watch and record everything everywhere, and we can store all that information forever. It's time to read (or re-read) the most prescient book of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty Four. [2009]

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bucharest, Romania

Why does everyone seem so satisfied with the omnipresence of surveillance? It might seem totally in the interest of security now, but they (not we!) are building a dystopian future that threatens privacy and freedom. And, now they want to extend that surveillance to our cell phones! Just say NO. [2014]