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Charming Lijiang

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Travel Theme: History

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Queen Victoria

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Westminster Cathedral, London

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Beijing, West of Tiananmen Square

Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack invites bloggers to post photos on a particular theme. This week’s theme is history and I definitely have some photos of historic objects and buildings. If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome to join in!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: History
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday (unless, of course, I get locked out again!)
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

 

Photos from Sydney

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Indigenous Art at New South Wales National Gallery

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Sculpture at “The Rocks”

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Sydney’s General Post Office (aka GPO)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

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Chicago, Illinois

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Nara, Japan

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Thailand

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 posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other themed photos:

Travel Theme: Arches

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Each week Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack? challenges bloggers with a creative prompt. Last  week we were suppose to post photos inspired by “Arches.” It’s too good to ignore so I found some lovely arches in China, New Mexico, and Thailand.

What arches have you seen? If you want to join the fun, follow these steps:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Arches
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

Check out Where’s My Backpack for more photos interpreting “Arches.”

Clarke and Glessner Houses

Clark House, Prairie Avenue, Chicago

Clark House, Prairie Avenue, Chicago

Saturday I toured Chicago’s Clarke and Glessner Houses south of the Loop on the rejuvenated Prairie Avenue, where millionaires once lived and have recently returned after a bleak era when light industry and parking lots took over the neighborhood.

The Clarke House, above, was built by a prosperous banker and his wife in 1836. It’s the oldest house in the city. According to their letters, the Clarke’s could see Native American campfires from their property in the 1830s. They started building it in 1836 and it took 13 years to complete because shortly after they started it there was a financial crash and Henry Clarke, a banker, lost everything. For a long time the family lived in half the house and Mr. Clarke used the other side for his taxidermy work, a sideline he did to augment his salary as a banker.

A Romanesque, square house, Clarke House looks a bit odd on the outside. I just wanted it to be wider. The house had been moved a few times over the years and in the 1970s they had to lift it over the el tracks to get it to its current location on Prairie Ave. They did that in January and the hydraulic system froze. The house was precariously up by the tracks for two weeks.

Clarke House looks bigger on the inside than from the outside. The Colonial Dames provided the furnishings since the original furnishings are long gone. In the basement there’s a diorama which depicts how open the land was when the Clarke’s first came to Chicago.

Glessner House

Glessner House

The Glessner House was built later and the exterior resembles a fortress. I have to agree with the first neighbor, George Pullman who thought the house was hideous. Since the Glessner’s only lived in Chicago in the winter, (yep, in the winter) they built right up to the property line. No green. The neighbors hated it. There was an interior courtyard with a couple turrets that really looked strange. Inside was better. Lots of wood, artwork and carpets. I’d read an article in the Chicago Historical Society’s magazine from Mrs. Glessner’s diaries. She rarely bothered to learn her servants’ names and at one point they banded together and walked out on the family. The tour guide neglected to share that information. Mrs. Glessner seemed to be a big snob, though our tour guide emphasized how close and happy the marriage was.

English: First Floor Plan of the John J. Gless...

English: First Floor Plan of the John J. Glessner House, 1800 South Prarie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois (1885-87), Henry Hobson Richardson, architect. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our tour guide was great. She had such enthusiasm! Tours alternate between the two houses Weds. – Sunday.

Tour for one house $10 adults, $9 seniors/students, $6 children 5-12.

Tours for both houses $15 adults, $12 seniors/students, $8 children.

Bring a student i.d. for the discount. If you’re over 24, they’ll scrutinize the i.d. but give you the discount eventually.Wednesdays are free.

Harbin

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I just returned from a short trip to Harbin in Northern China. If you know anything about this little city of 6 or 7 million it’s that they host a big snow and ice festival every year.

I went because A) it had some intriguing Russian influence, and B) airfares were cheap (1039 rmb if you get the Chinese rate). I stayed at the Ibis hotel which had a prime location midway between the St. Sophia Russian Orthodox Church and Zhaolin Park. Two blocks south was Zhongyang St. famous for its European architecture from a variety of eras.

Still within walking distance were a couple former synagogues and a mosque. The “Old” Synagogue now houses a small museum with one floor dedicated to Harbin’s architecture and two other floors explaining the influence the Jewish community, which numbered up to 30,000 at its peak, had on the city. Prior to the Russians coming to Harbin as the built a train line from Russia to Harbin, the city was a small fishing community of little significance.

UNESCO Music CIty

UNESCO Music CIty

UNESCO dubbed Harbin a “City of Music” and this summer there are musicians playing every evening up and down Zhaolin Street and in front of St. Sophia. Just delightful.

I have a lot of homework for my class and some research to do for my big summer writing project so I spent each morning at a nearby Starbucks with good wifi. This was one of the best Starbucks I’ve seen as it had several couches and nooks for groups of friends to chat for hours.

I did find Harbin-ites on the gruff side. Not much smiling from the service sector or at least not at my hotel or Starbucks, which is so known for pleasant service. I think it’s just not in their DNA. They do their job, but you can tell they aren’t all that thrilled about helping. At Ibis four people were behind the desk, but only one was helping people check in or willing to sort out a problem with a room. They others just watched the queue. As my room was fine and my orders at Starbucks were completed as they should be, it didn’t bother me. I came to see a bit of Russia and was satisfied that I did.

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Kudos to Lonely Planet for its review of the Harbin Provincial Museum. LP called it musty. I’ve never been to a museum with less on display. They had one ink painting and some posters about it only in Chinese. They had a fake dinosaur skeleton in a room that also had an exercise bike in the corner. Another room had a fake horse skeleton and a model of a horse. One room did have a few jade and stone artifacts, but by Chinese museum standards this was meagre. Like most museum’s it was free, but I am still puzzled why the collection was so paltry. If they just asked people to donate their grandparents’ effects they could put together something interesting about daily life of the Chinese 60 or so years back.

I was also surprised that there were police manning the security station at the entrance and that their helmets and riot gear were at the ready along the wall of the foyer. There wasn’t one thing worth stealing in the museum. What’s up?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Jinan, China

Jinan, China

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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: 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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center

New Orleans church

New Orleans church

Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, IL

Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, IL

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: Inside” 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

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