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Posts tagged ‘photography’

A Evening Stroll Through Rimini

Sunset and early evening are my favorite time of day in Italy.  Rather than retreating home, it seems like everyone pours into the streets for strolling, shopping, or an aperitif with friends.  Even public festivals and fairs continue on through these waning hours.  While my days in Rimini, Italy where busy with TBDI 2014, it was still a pleasure to enjoy the city with an early evening walk through its historic heart amid the vibrant nightlife.

Piazza Cavour at night, Rimini

Statue of Pope Paul V and the civic Palazzo dell’Arengo building in Piazza Cavour, Rimini

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Holy Souvenirs from the Holy Sepulchre

Besides seeing the amazing architecture and artistic decorations of the church itself, visiting religious sites always gives me the opportunity to learn about cultural practices.  Major destination churches teach me what it means to be a pilgrim by watching how people interact with the place.  Maybe more so than regular tourists or travelers, pilgrims understand the personally transformative aspect of their trip and want share it with others after they have returned home.

Candle holder just after Golgotha in the Holy Sepulchre

Candle holder just after the Chapel of Golgotha within the Holy Sepulchre.  These thin beeswax candles are an important part of Orthodox worship.

The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is a holy place for all Christians and as a result, you have a lot of unique worship practices and customs coming together there.  Still, everything is rooted in a deep faith and desire for connection to the divine in the church, no matter what language was spoken.  Whether through prayers or “making” souvenirs, I also saw a deep commitment from all pilgrims to bring the holy experience back home with them. 

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Exploring Intricate Baoan Temple, Taipei

After visiting several temples in Taipei, I got a feeling for what made each unique – whether it was the size, the deities enshrined within, or the devotion of the local worshipers.  By far, the temple with the most beautiful and extensive decoration was the Baoan Temple in the northern part of the city.  From the elaborate art throughout the complex, it was evident that the community supported the preservation of this historic temple.  It is no surprise then that Baoan was awarded the 2003 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Conservation.  With attention paid to every visual detail, this was such a rewarding temple to explore.

Baoan Temple, Taipei

Baoan Temple, Taipei

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Impressions of Taipei

I recently had the chance to stopover in Taipei on my first trip to Eastern Asia.  What I found was an energetic metropolis firmly rooted in traditional culture while still embracing modernity with a global sensibility.

Taipei 101 down a city street

The modern Taipei 101 tower looms brightly over the city.

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Gilded Age Decorative Arts: Chicago’s Driehaus Museum

front entry Driehaus Museum

Magnificant marble front entrance to the Driehaus Museum

Nothing captures the artistic spirit of an era like a historic home.  Through a coherent assemblage of architectural elements, furniture, and decor, you can get an absolute understanding of a period’s design principles.  I recently visited the Driehaus Museum in Chicago which presents within its luxurious rooms the evolving American decorative arts of the Gilded Age.  This mansion is also a startlingly beautiful oasis in the modern business center of Chicago and definitely worth a visit!

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