Beijing Weekend

I arrived last Friday evening, checked into a hostel/2 star hotel before heading off to the Silk Market for some DVDs. The selection isn’t what it once was. Then I went to “Food Street” to take pictures of the exotic delicacies, starfish, scorpions, and whatnot. I’ll photograph them, but I’ve reached my limit for bizarre food with the pig intestines. Then I walked through some gentrified and not so gentrified charming shopping streets to Alice’s Teahouse.

Alice, whom I’ve mentioned before, speaks great English and runs a small tea shop near my hostel. She’s great to chat with to get the real scoop on Beijing and China in general. When I got back to the hostel I chatted with a young French guy who’s embarking on an 11 day tour of North Korea. I can’t imagine what that’ll be like.

Spring 2014 202

Sunday I tried out a new café near the hostel and had carrot-ginger-beer cake for breakfast. It’s quite good. Then I went to the China National Museum of Art. It’s pretty small considering the country’s long history and huge size. They had some mediocre photos in one gallery. The photographer’s niche was blurred photos of geese and swans flying or paddling through water. The best art was an exhibit of ink paintings from four painters. Gorgeous landscapes and portraits. One artist, who fixated on cartoonish water buffalos, didn’t wow me.

Then I met a friend, Spurgeon, I’d taught with in Guangzhou. He’s now teaching AP calculus at a super high school. We went for a late lunch at a Persian restaurant. The food was great, though Middle Eastern food seems all the same to me.

Next we set off to find teal ties for his students’ school uniforms. Evidently he volunteered to procure them. There was a big market (for knock offs) nearby. Some had “silk” ties in every color of the rainbow, except teal. In the end he found one teal tie and got a weak promise that if he came back next week they’d have more. Spurgeon’s from Sierra Leon and has a good bargaining technique. I hope I remember his approach for my next negotiation.

I checked into a better hotel, the Novotel, because I needed good internet to sign on to my online course’s Saturday meeting. I thought the hostel wouldn’t have reliable service. What a mistake. I tried signing on for 2 and a half hours. Even with the help of the tech whizzes, I had no luck. Such aggravation! On top of that the bed was hard as rock and there was a nightlight that reflected off the fridge that kept me up all night. It was impossible to turn it off. God knows I tried. Around 6 am the neighbors started shouting at each other. I was better off in the $9/night hostel than in the $80/night hotel.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

Suzhou, China

Suzhou, China

Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object #2

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Travel Theme: Silver

Here’s my entry into this week’s travel photo theme of silver. All these items are found at the Art Institute of Chicago

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Chicago, train 129

Regal robe, Shandong Provincial Museum

Regal robe, Shandong Provincial Museum

New Orleans Altar

New Orleans Altar

 

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Jinan’s New Cultural Complex

I got a later start that I wanted but I went exploring this afternoon around the new cultural complex. Far on the westside of Jinan there are two new museums, two theaters (just one is open) and a big new library.

To get there, I suggest taking the 7 bus west till it turns left. Hop off and retrace your steps to the earlier street. Then walk three long blocks west till you get to another bus stop for the 133 bus. (In between no buses travel yet.) 133′s come about once every 15 minutes. The bus will continue a mile or so further west and turn right by the semi-spherical heaters that look space age. The next stop is right in front of the museums and library.

By the time I explored the exterior of the theaters and got to the library and museum, they’d closed. I plan to return during work hours tomorrow.

Impressionism and Fashion

Yesterday I went to the Art Institute of Chicago‘s exhibit “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity.”

C’est magnifique!

By pairing the fashion of the day with French paintings by Impressionists and others from the late 19th century. So in addition to an exquisite collection of paintings by Tissot, Monet, Manet, Renoir, and lesser known Impressionists with the dresses, suits and accessories, the curators illuminate the influence of fashion on art. So many of the dresses, hats, shoes and purses were as exquisite as the paintings.

412px-James_Tissot_-_Seaside

Tissot

The quotations and information posted throughout the exhibit were enlightening and I liked how one gallery displaying works set outside was decorated with artificial grass and park benches. A recording of chirping birds added to the park feel.

Monet

Monet

The exhibit included many fashion plates, illustrations of outfits in 19th century magazines. I’d never known that fashion plate had this etymology. I usually like to take photos in a museum, but due to restrictions from the museums that loaned works, photography was prohibited. Still I highly recommend this exhibit if you’re anywhere near Chicago in the next six weeks.

By Tissot

By Tissot

I hadn’t known Tissot’s work and I liked it the most. His work isn’t impressionistic as it’s very realistic compared with Manet, Monet, et al.

Another innovation with this exhibit is the creation of a character named Jean-Paul, a time traveler from the late 19th century. Jean-Paul and his penny farthing popped up around the city, tweeted and tumbled in social media to create a buzz about the summer’s exhibit.

Renoir

Renoir – my favorite Impressionist in this

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Shandong Provincial Museum, my favorite escape

Shandong Provincial Museum, my favorite escape

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use a “postaday2013″ or “postaweek2013″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

Related posts

Walking Around Da Ming Lake

This afternoon was a picture perfect spring day so I went for a walk around Da Ming Lake, a sight Jinan is particularly proud of. I went into the scholar’s home, which is a small museum. I’m not sure of the era of the home, but the furnishings were exquisite. I’d love to have such furniture, though I’d want modern futon or mattress for the bed.

Flora in Winter

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Flora in Winter, Worcester Art Museum

Worcester Art Museum is offering a terrific event this February. Flora in Winter is a program for which for chosen pieces a florist designs an arrangement inspired by the painting, sculpture or other piece.

The added flowers uplift museum goers who’re no doubt tired of the gray cold of New England or elsewhere.

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Worcester Art Museum has a wonderful collection with pieces from all over the world and from ancient to modern times.

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