Archive for the ‘museum’ Category

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Shanghai Sacred Places

December 16, 2016

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

December is time for the Historic Shanghai Sacred Places tour. We enjoyed seeing a variety of religious buildings – some still in use, some turned into museums, and some repurposed to something completely different. To see all the pictures, click here.

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San Jose Tourist

July 9, 2015

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Almost all of our summer plans have gone wrong. The last time we were in the States we were so tired from running errands, dealing with business, and shopping, we promised ourselves that next time we would just be tourists and do touristy things. So, despite all the disruptions to our plans, I am trying to do a few of those touristy things.

Starting with the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

quilts hanging on a wall

The above quilts are kawandi, quilts made by African Siddi women who live in India. The quilts are made with a unique style that bypasses the initial sewing of the pieces together. They are stitched together as they are attached to the backing.

Hanging art quilt made with embroidery cut from tea towels and pillow cases

Another display focused on embroidery. My favorite pieces were made from found pieces of embroidery (from tea towels and pillow cases) that are reassembled into wall hangings. The designs were very familiar, although it interesting just how many jugs of moonshine there are.

a birds nest made out of glass

There was also a display of works made with glass, some of which were based on quilt arts. I have no idea what this bird’s nest had to do with quilting, but it was beautiful.

Bedouin weavings

A display of Bedouin weavings was quite familiar, too.

San Jose Art Museum building

Next museum – San Jose Art Museum

two pictures, an antique picture of a Native American man, a recreation of the photo showing an Indian woman

My favorite display was a series of pictures in which an antique picture of a Native American is recreated by the Indian artist. The collection was called “An Indian from India.”

two photographs

Another display of interest consisted of found photographs that show young Indian girls in all cases with a bouquet of flowers to the right and a mirror to the left positioned to show the back of the girl in the photo.

displayed color photographs of Indian girls

close up of one of the photographs

The amazing thing is that there are 83 of these. The artist who created the display did not take these photographs, they found them and assembled them. So, it seems strange that they are all posed exactly the same.

entire display of 83 photos

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What We Did on Our Christmas Vacation

January 8, 2015

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

tower lit in multiple colors at night

So, now that it is over, what did we do with our two week stay-cation? Prior to Christmas day, it consisted of going to Christmas markets around the city, drinking mulled wine or cider and eating cakes and cookies.

escalator surrounded by ocean theme painting

We took the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel (also known as the Huangpu River Pedestrian Tunnel). The picture above is the escalator down to the ticket area and pretty much the most exciting part of the tunnel sightseeing attraction. The Tunnel is kitchy and corny. We will probably inflict it on anyone who comes to visit us. (One caveat, we were there on a very low crowd day. I would not stand in line for this or put up with being crammed into the tram with too many people.) To experience a video of the tunnel experience, click here. 

bowls of rice noodles with toppings, bowls of broth, and bowls of black gelatin

We ate interesting food, of course. These are freshly made rice noodles topped with peanuts, green onions, and a few other unexplained but delicious things. There are bowls of broth and bowls of black gelatin. The menu was simple – two entrees and two “drinks.” The gelatin was in the drink category. There was no English on the menu and the clerk pointed to the Chinese writing to ask what we wanted. This is how we ended up with gelatin instead of glasses of liquid. It was refreshing, so it all worked out in the end.

miniature of Shanghai city

We went to a few museums, including the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall which houses the miniature of Shanghai seen above. It isn’t exactly accurate. It contains a few flashy buildings that don’t actually exist. Perhaps they were in the “to be built” stage when this was created, but haven’t materialized. (To see all the pictures, click here.)

bronze vessel with eight yaks on top

The Shanghai Museum in People’s Square has a very interesting collection of bronze and pottery items. We need to go back earlier in the day because we were less than half-way through at closing time. (To see all the pictures, click here.)

dragon like ceramic statue

Our last vacation day was spent in Qibao Water City, which is an old city that was swallowed up by Shanghai.

crowded pedestrianized lane

It was a mildly crowded day. Not bad.

canal between old style Chinese houses

The weather was lovely. Strangely warm for January. Once we got past the entrance to the city (the crowded picture above), it was pleasant and not crowded. (To see more pictures, click here.)

extremely tiny sculptures in a display case

Here we found the Zhou Miniature Museum which contains the sculptures of a father and daughter. Entrance cost 10 yuan ($1.80 USD or 6 AED). Totally worth it (and more). Many of the items that we had seen at the Shanghai Museum (bronze vessels, bronze axe heads, porcelain sculptures) were recreated here in miniature. One should definitely go to these museums in this order. (More pictures here.)

fat golden Buddha statue

Next, we stopped in at the Qibao Buddhist temple. While sitting on a bench to give my feet a little break, a funeral procession went by – monks followed by family members carrying paper offerings to burn for the dead. Off to the right, out of sight, we could hear the monks singing and then the procession went back by returning to the temple. (To see all the pictures, click here.)

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Shikumen Open House Museum

December 23, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

narrow lane between brick buildings

Shikumen neighborhoods are disappearing all over Shanghai. Thankfully, some are being restored and repurposed, like those in the Xintiandi area which now house restaurants and shops. One house in the Xintandi area has been set up as a museum to show how the houses were used in the heydays of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

desk with abacus, papers, other items as museum display

The home would have comfortably housed a middle class, multi-generation family. Later, during the 1950’s and 1960’s, the houses were divided and shared by as many as 3 or 4 families.

canopied bed

dresser

room with small desk and trunks

The room over the kitchen was often rented out to writers or foreigners.

kitchen

To see all the pictures, click here.

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Prague in Miniature

April 10, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

We hopped on the tram and traveled across the river to the Holešovice part of town to the market that is held in the old central slaughterhouse. We roamed around a bit.

two statues one of a woman with a bull and one of a man with a bull

These statues at the entrance were the first clue that this used to be either a cattle market or slaughterhouse. This shot doesn’t show them very well. One is a woman with a huge bull and the other is a man with another huge bull.

large warehouse room full of booths selling vegetables and fruit

DaddyBird was looking for the vegetable market. We found it by watching for people with vegetables and backtracking where they were coming from. We didn’t buy any veggies or fruits since it is late in our time here and won’t be doing much cooking for ourselves, but we did buy a few seed packets for growing herbs in our apartment.

Then it was back onto public transport. This time the metro subway train to the neighborhood of the Prague City Museum. But, first, lunch.

quaint restaurant

Just up the street from the museum is the Pivovarsky Klub which boasts the biggest beer menu. It also has very good food and a great atmosphere. An introvert’s dream.

yellow stone three story building

We were running short on time, but we did a quick tour of the museum to see the Langweil Model of Prague. The staff didn’t speak much English, but they were eager to help. We started with watching the short 3D movie of the model. This is cool because it takes you closer to the model than you will be able to get when looking at the original. The original model is on the top floor of the building along with a nice collection of artifacts nicely displayed. Well worth a visit – a longer visit than we managed.

large model of the city of Prague made out of cardboard

This is the model. It was made by Mr. Antonin Langweil as his hobby. (I would like to point out that he was a librarian in his day job.) It is quite amazing.

As usual, to see all the pictures of the day, click here.

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Ukraine: Day Seven

July 5, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

Day Seven happened to be the Fourth of July and we are Americans. Where did we spend our country’s Independence Day? Why at the National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), of course. Nothing like celebrating Soviet heroes on an American holiday.

But, first, we went to the hydropark to see the miniature Kiev park. (You might remember our visit to Miniaturk in Instanbul – miniatures of key buildings of Turkey.) This is similar, although not quite as well developed or kept.

model of a blue church with golden domes

The hydropark is on an island in the middle of the Dnieper River. People come there to fish, swim, and bask on the beaches.

After this, we went by metro train and bus to the World War II memorial complex.

stainless steel statue of a woman holding a shield and a sword stands 62 meters tall

Mother of the Motherland stands on top of the museum. The museum is well worth a visit. All the displays are in Ukrainian or Russian, but there is an audio tour (which we used) and there are also printed explanations in multiple languages provided in each room. The displays were very well done and very personalized. Every display case had portraits of people involved – ordinary citizens, soldiers, and officers. The most powerful display, for me, was the bone grinder which was used to turn human bones into fertilizer. Mankind’s inhumanity is sometimes overwhelming.

To see all the pictures, click here.

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Sharjah Maritime Museum

June 25, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

After visiting the Sharjah Aquarium, we went to the Maritime Museum. (The entrance fee of 20 AED per person covers entrance to both.)

small wooden model of a galleon

They have several lovely wooden models, some small scale and some full scale.

full size pearling boat

To see all the pictures, click here.