Dec 31, 2009

Windows from Around the World

There is nothing like a window with a good view.

The shuttered windows of Jaipur, India’s City Palace keep out the heat and provide privacy from which to peer.

The colorful colonial architecture of Granada, Nicaragua has no shortage of beautiful windows.

It would be easy to lose count of how many windows there are in this enormous housing block in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Some windows are pure art like this one in Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy 2010. And may your window of opportunity for travel be wide open in 2010.

Previous Posts in this Series:

Graveyards
Beaches
Underground Metros

Dec 27, 2009

City Icons: Seoul South Korea

Located on top of Namsan Mountain Seoul’s icon can be seen throughout the city. Built in the late 1960s N Seoul Tower opened to the public in 1980.

But the best view is from the tower itself from which you can see a full panorama of the city.

To reach Seoul Tower you can hike up Mount Namsan, take a bus or cable car. For a fee you can enter several indoor observation decks. The best time of day to visit is around sunset so you can see the city during daylight and after it is lit up at night.

Previous Posts in this Series:

Portsmouth
Panama City
Tokyo

Dec 21, 2009

What Does Furniture Say About A Culture?

What does the furniture of a country say about its culture? Throughout Nicaragua you’ll see beautifully hand carved rocking chairs and colorful hammocks.

The rocking chairs are symbolic of community spirit. In the evenings people pull them outside of their homes to sit, rock and watch the world go by instead of retreating behind a closed door once the sun goes down. Peering into the drawing rooms of what are deceivingly small from the outside colonial buildings it wasn’t unusual to see anywhere from 6-12 rocking chairs in a circle instead of facing a television.

With a tropical climate hammocks are ideal for laying low during the hottest part of the day. Nicaragua is well known for the quality of its handmade hammocks.

What does the furniture of your country say about its culture?

Dec 12, 2009

Pachinko Parlor Tokyo

Prepare yourself for sensory overload before walking into a Pachinko Parlor in Tokyo. Bright lights and heavy cigarette smoke hover over rows and rows of flashy machines, which look like the offspring of a pinball and slot machine. And the noise is deafening-blaring music and pinging metallic sounds compete.

Pachinko is a popular arcade game in Japan. Small metal balls are purchased and placed into the machines where they fall through pins or into pockets. The latter produces more balls, which can be traded in for prizes. The machines often have anime themes. This parlor in Tokyo’s Electric Town had several floors and most of the players were men.

I’m back in action after a month of photographing the five boroughs of New York City for a guidebook and will be posting at my usual pace.