Tag Archives: travel

petals of metal (friday foto finder: floral)


A gate in Barcelona, with stylized blooms and thorns.

For somebody who is not especially partial to flowers, I sure do take and post a lot of photos of flowers. I guess that’s why this week’s friday foto finder theme of “floral” made me think to find something floral that wasn’t actually flowers. Turns out I also did that once when the theme was “flower,” what with my iron flowers of hardware on a rusty vintage tractor. This time, though, I have a range of metal flowers from near and far that were actually designed to depict flowers.


Close-up of the Barcelona blooms.


Another fence in Barcelona.


Flower-shaped window grates at Boston University.


A Dublin streetlamp with shamrocks. (More leafy than flowery, but still flora if not actually floral…)


An iron bench with a flower pattern (and a lion face) at a Massachusetts farm.

To see what other flowers have been picked for the theme, and/or to share your own, check out the fff blog.

Stately guardian statues near the Forbidden City

When I visited mainland China in 2012 with my cousin for a conference in Shanghai, we also made a quick trip to Beijing so that we could make an excursion to see the Great Wall. Even though it was a short trip, we also wanted to see some of Beijing, including the Forbidden City. Between a hole in the wall place where we had breakfast and the Forbidden City, we encountered this impressive building:

Stone guardian lions are quite a frequent sight in China, but nowhere else did I see a guardian duck. This little (well, actually, it was quite a large duck) welcomes visitors to the Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant. (I’d never have remembered that, but I can make out the English text on the very shiny golden revolving door.) The internets inform me that this is quite a famous restaurant, and possibly the home of the original Peking duck. We did not enter this colorful building, so I can’t speak for the interior, or comment on the quality of the food. I can only vouch for the memorability of the duck.

duck heads in a row

I’m on a roll with my ducks these days. Not that I have any actual ducks. I do, however, have plenty of photos of ducks.

This photo is one that strikes me as funny, probably because it’s not a sight likely to be seen in the US. I saw this display of duck heads on my trip to China in 2012, at a food stall. I believe it was in the city of Hangzhou, which is near Shanghai.

Most Americans prefer to dissociate the meat and poultry they eat from the animals they come from. Typically, these purchases are made in a supermarket, with cuts of meat and poultry wrapped in cellophane, denuded of as many signs of having once had feet and faces as possible. Clearly this is not the case in many parts of the world. I still remember being somewhat shocked as a kid when we moved to France, and encountered butcher shops and market stalls with whole animals hanging from hooks, and being disturbed that the chickens we purchased still had feet and head attached.

In any case, it seems that in China, duck heads are a fairly popular food dish.

minty miniature metropolis (friday foto finder: mint)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “mint.” Seeing as we are heading towards Christmas, mint made me think of candy canes. I haven’t taken many photos of candy canes, it turns out. And I didn’t much in the way of time to take a new photos this week. (Have I mentioned how busy I’ve been?) But I did remember this impressive candy display in the lobby of the Empire State Building when we visited there a few Decembers ago. There are quite a few candy canes to be found in the scene, as well as plenty of other minty candies.

Want to share some mints of your own, or partake of the other mints on display? Pay a visit to the fff blog. (Don’t worry, not all mints there will be as bad for the teeth as these.)

6 unrelated photos

Here are 6 photos I took at different times and in different places in recent(ish) years.


Exeter, New Hampshire. 2008.


Sevilla, Spain. 2009.


MIT. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2009.


Forbidden City, Beijing, China, 2012.


New York City, NY. 2012.


UMass Amherst, MA. 2014.

3 unrelated photos

Here are 3 (largely) unrelated photos that I have taken at different times in recent years.


Botanical gardens in Paris, France in 2007.


Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL. 2010.


Forbidden City, Beijing, China. 2012.

over the river


The Hamilton-Fish Bridge (aka the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge), glowing with rosy light reflected off the Hudson River at sunset in August, 2009.

For the past 5 years or more, we had been going down to my in-laws’ in New York roughly one weekend per month, including most major holidays. In fact, last Thanksgiving was the first that we did not spend down with them for easily more than a decade. (Unless I am forgetting something, which is, of course, possible.) This year, since we have been busy with our move and many other projects, we have not been down to New York since the summer. Happily, John’s two sisters have each been able to visit their mother, and each has even been able to drive her up here for a visit, first see our new house back in September, and then again last week for Thanksgiving. So, we did not make the trip down over the river and through the wood to Grandmother’s house this year. But it did get me thinking, along with my stream-prompted nostalgia for my own grandmother’s house, of the trip we would regularly make over the Hudson river to visit one of my children’s grandmothers. Here are several photos of the Hamilton-Fish Bridge across the Hudson River that I took over the years, from my position in the passenger seat. Most often, the photos were from our departure, as we tend to head down late at night after the traffic lightens. (I do have a few photos of the bridge after dark, but you can’t see much.) I do like the way the bridge looks different at different times of day, in different light conditions.


Looking very stark and gray in December, 2010.


A bright afternoon in January, 2013


Partially wrapped in September 2013.


Silhoutted in August, 2012.


Bright sun and sharp shadows in October, 2012.