Tag Archives: China

Mundane Monday: Squares

The Mundane Monday Photo Challenge is under new leadership. The challenge was created by Trablogger an Indian travel blogger named Jithin from Kerala. After three years of linking to “mundane” photos from people’s everyday lives around the world, he handed it off to Dr K Ottoway, a rural physician in the eastern United States. (Reading that paragraph makes me smile. How else other than blogging can you meet people like that and not even have to leave your dining room table?)

SomersetSquareParkThe theme for this week’s Mundane Monday challenge is “All the Squares,” Dr. KO shows an interesting pattern in a fence. I have one like that too: Patterned Leaves, or this one on the left, a square lamp skirt in Somerset Square Park in Cupertino.

But she goes on to say that her post was inspired by this poem by AA Milne:

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I’m ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, “Bears,
Just look how I’m walking in all the squares!”

Square Paul Painlevé
Square Paul Painlevé, Paris France

Over the weeks I’ve been doing this challenge I’ve had to interpret the theme in creative ways. The poem’s reference to the streets of London helps me do that. “Square” is not just a sidewalk shape, but a town meeting point, a place of some importance. I’ve been walking in these squares too.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing China
Tiananmen Square, Beijing China

 

 

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Thursday Doors: Zhujiajiao Part 3, Human Activity

This is the third installment of the doors of ancient water town of Zhujiajiao, near Shanghai. I grouped the pictures into three different blog posts. Part 1 showed doors right on the water.  Part 2 focuses on doors of different colors. Today I will show either actual humans or evidence of recent human activity.

Even in the rain, Zhujiajiao is busy and somewhat crowded. None of these storefronts is large and they are all on top of each other. Sometimes you need a clue where to go.

01Zhujiajiao
Follow the arrow to lunch

Follow the lanterns and go upstairs.

The lions are pretty common but not ubiquitous. Sometimes it just seems like you need *some*thing on each side of the door in China.

 

Then there are the bikes and motorcycles, if you don’t have a boat.

The singer just outside the door.

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Or how about a caged bird? (The dog doesn’t care. He’s seen it all!)

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Lots of firewood (and plants).

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And an odd sculpture in front of a gallery. What is that sculpture supposed to be, anyway? A heart? Lips? A little red person with an abnormally big butt?

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And finally, how many people will understand the irony of what is written on this door handle?

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Thursday doors is a weekly feature in which door lovers share their pictures from doors all around the world. Stop by Norm 2.0’s blog to say hello and see some of the others.

Thursday Doors: Zhujiajiao, Part 2, colors

The ancient water town of Zhujiajiao really has a lot of doors! I grouped them into three different blog posts to try to give them some structure. Part 1 showed doors right on the water.  In Part 2, here, I planned to focus on doors of different colors. China in general and Shanghai in particular was a brightly colored place.

But once I had organized the pictures, I discovered a lot of brown. That was the color of the majority of doors in Zhujiajiao, and you can see that clearly even in part 1. The trim would sometimes be bright red, or more occasionally blue. But most of them were a rich, reddish brown color. So I grouped the brownest ones together here, and what might stand out more are the differences in shape and trim. Some doors certainly look a lot more welcoming than others.

And then there were the occasional different ones. Red. Blue. Teal. Gray. Aqua. (But even these tended to be juxtaposed with brown).

14ZhujiajiaoRed17ZhujiajiaoBlue22ZhujiajiaoTeal26ZhujiajiaoGray27ZhujiajiaoAqua

Why so few red doors? Feng Shui may provide an answer. According to one article I read, red is the color of the South, and of the fire element. Building codes in ancient China stipulated that only high-ranking government officials could paint their doors red, which is one reason why red is associated with prosperity.

Whereas blue is associated with water, and with relaxation. And brown doors are associated with wood and earth elements, and with stability. Based on my very unscientific sampling, stability seems to be highly valued in Zhujiajiao!

Thursday doors is a weekly feature in which door lovers share their pictures from doors all around the world. Stop by Norm 2.0’s blog to say hello and see some of the others.

 

Thursday Doors: The Bund, Shanghai

This week for Thursday Doors, am continuing my series of door posts from my trip to Asia last summer. Last time I posted pictures of our tour of Xintiandi, a hip shopping tourist district in Shanghai.

Bund01

The Bund, on the Western Bank of Huangpu River, is the next stop on the tour. “Bund” means an embankment or quay. The buildings of the Bund are height restricted and built to look European. (There is even a clock tower that chimes like Big Ben in London!) They stand in contrast with the buildings on the opposite bank of the river, which boasts the modern skyscrapers of Lujazui in the Pudong District. Pudong is the location of the Shanghai Tower, as of this writing the world’s 2nd tallest building with the highest observation deck.

As I mentioned in the previous post about Xintiandi, we didn’t have great weather the day we were in Shanghai. Clouds can be seen below in the panoramic picture, and rain on the ground in front of the doors. These doors open into sober establishments like department stores, hotels, or banks. Many of them are labeled (so you can tell them apart?)

I took all of these pictures from the window of a moving tour bus, so the angles can get a little creative, but at least I stayed dry!

Even though there are no doors in these other pictures, I’m including them anyway, because no post about the Bund would be complete without a View from the Top of Shanghai Tower. The clouds add mystery to this view from above. The tower practically has its own weather:

TopofShanghaiTower

And a view of the Eastern Bank, taken from an evening river cruise.

PudongSkyscrapers

The Bund is a study in contrasts: the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the two faces of Shanghai.

BundPanorama

Thursday doors is a weekly feature in which door lovers share their pictures from doors all around the world. Stop by Norm 2.0’s blog to say hello and see some of the others.

Thursday Doors: Xintiandi, Shanghai

Last summer I took my first trip to Asia with my family. Our itinerary was as follows: South Korea (Seoul), China (Beijing, Xi’an, Hong Kong, Shanghai), and finally Japan (Tokyo). I find travel blogging to be challenging without some guiding or organizing principle to follow, so I have been blogging about this trip periodically and showing pictures from it in my weekly photo challenge blogs, especially Thursday Doors. I don’t have any new doors this week, so I’m continuing with the trip. Continue reading Thursday Doors: Xintiandi, Shanghai

Mundane Monday: Lamps

This week’s Mundane Monday challenge asks for pictures of lamps or lampshades. I’ve got a lot of these. Some of them are even artistic!

These are some serious lamps around the door at Gatke Hall at Willamette University, where my daughter goes to college. They look worthy of the Iron Throne; I would not mess with them.

GatkeHall

And there were also plenty of interesting lamps on our trip to Asia last year. I think lamp posts work especially well for the photography “rule of thirds.”

Seoul
Lamp Post in a park in Seoul
BeijingOlympicPlatform
The lamp post is definitely the most mundane of the 3 structures in this picture, near the Olympic Park in Beijing
Beijing
A less futuristic lamp post in Beijing, on top of the old City Wall, where we found our first geocache in China. The lamp post design matches the bare tree branches in the background.
Zhujiajiao
Lamps in Zhujiajiao, a water city near Shanghai

 

For the Mundane Monday Challenge #145.  Mundane Monday Challenge encourages you to take more pictures by being aware of your surroundings. The philosophy of MMC is simple. You can create a beautiful picture even by focusing on a very common looking, dull or so called Mundane subject!

Mundane Monday: Aquatics

It’s hot. Care for a swim?

AquaticsCenter
The National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China. Site of the 2008 Summer Olympics

For the Mundane Monday Challenge #122

Mundane Monday is a Weekly Photography Challenge that focuses on those seemingly mundane subjects that we usually do not consider taking pictures of and make a good photograph out of that subject.

Thursday Doors: Palace Museum in the Forbidden City

Earlier this summer I was gone for 3 weeks on a trip to Asia. Our itinerary was as follows: South Korea (Seoul), China (Beijing, Xi’an, Hong Kong, Shanghai), and finally Japan (Tokyo). I find travel blogging to be rather challenging without some guiding or organizing principle to follow, so I have been blogging about this trip and showing pictures from it in my weekly photo challenge blogs, Mundane Monday and Thursday Doors. Not everything is mundane and not everything is a door, but these two concepts are still covering a lot of ground. Continue reading Thursday Doors: Palace Museum in the Forbidden City

Mundane Monday: Great Wall Shopping

The Mutianyu area near Beijing is a great place to visit the Great Wall of China. It’s not crowded, a long stretch of the wall itself is restored to good condition, the surrounding natural scenery is beautiful, and it has a chair lift and toboggan! But today I’ll focus on the mundane aspects of the visit: what you see when you pay your money. Continue reading Mundane Monday: Great Wall Shopping