Posts Tagged ‘museum’


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


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


room with small desk and trunks

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


To see all the pictures, click here.


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.


Fujairah Historical Sites

January 4, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

museum display case room

We took BabyBird on a mini Fujairah history tour beginning with the Fujairah Museum.

ancient jewelry made of carnelian (red) stone

The museum has displays of artifacts from ancient sites – forts, burials, etc. – that have been excavated. Carnelian and sea shell jewelry were prominent in the days before pearling.

inside of a restored 300 year old fort

The Fujairah Fort was open (which has been rare in the past) so we took the opportunity to go inside. The fort is approximately 300 years old and has been recently restored.

two people at the top of the fort tower seen between the crenallations

DaddyBird and BabyBird climbed the tower for a good view of the area.

ruins of ancient copper smelting site

Then we drove up the Madhab wadi (valley) to see an ancient copper smelting archeological site.

funnel holes in the dirt indicating the presence of ant lions

I also noticed the many funnel shaped holes which are most likely ant lion traps. (National Geographic video of ant lions)

ancient water channel used for watering a date palm garden

Not far away are the remains of an ancient falaj (water channel) which was used to bring water to a date palm garden. Unfortunately, a gravel road has cut through this channel.

model of well and date palm watering system

Next, we stopped in at the Fujairah Heritage Village. The village includes models of several types of traditional houses and buildings. Above is a model of a typical well and watering system used in date palm gardens. A bull would walk down into this trough pulling the water “bucket” up out of the well. The water would then be poured into a channel (falaj) that conducts the water into the area around the trees.

interior of house with coffee pot, clay pots, woven mats

This is an interior display showing mats woven from date palm branches, clay pots, and a coffee pot ensemble. The coffee pot is nestled in a square container that would have had hot coals in it to keep the pot hot.

There is very little written history about this region, even as little as 300 years ago, so the physical sites and artifacts are even more precious. Unfortunately, they are disappearing under new roads, dams, and buildings.


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.


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.


Singapore: Days Twelve & Thirteen

July 7, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

With only two days to go and a long list of things we hadn’t done, I had to beg off for a bit of a rest, so most of day 12 was spent with my feet up. Then, it was time for dinner.

plate of salmon, tuna, and octopus sashimi

Our friend, Adrianna, guided us on our evening repast adventure. First we stopped for a snack of sashimi. Our final destination was a small Japanese restaurant (Restaurant Chako) in which it is best to call/email ahead to get your order in, because everything is prepared fresh, even the sauces. Therefore, dinner can take a few hours to complete. (We all forgot to take pictures of the appetizers – oops! We had edamame [soy beans], shishamo [small grilled fish], and maguro yamakake [raw tuna with yam sauce])

soup containing mushroom, shrimp, oyster, calamari, tofu, and more

DaddyBird’s dinner was yosenabe (claypot soup with seafood, chicken, mushroom, and tofu).

eel, scrambled egg, rice

Adrianna’s dinner was unatamaju (broiled eel on scrambled egg and rice).

mackerel, breaded chicken, breaded cuttlefish, rice, salad

I had the Chako set meal (mackerel, breaded chicken, breaded cuttlefish, rice, cabbage salad, potato salad, miso soup, etc.).

tempura shrimp and vegetables

We added tempura moriawase (shrimp and vegetables). It was all very delicious. Everything was prepared fresh and it doesn’t get more authentic than this.

sliced fruit and a round gelatin dessert

We capped it all off with several desserts. Above is coffee flavored gelatin, below is green tea ice cream. Not pictured – cappuccino ice cream and black sesame ice cream. The black sesame ice cream was really interesting – almost more savory than sweet.

sliced fruit  and green ice cream

Our plan for the last day was to go to the bird park, but when we woke up it was raining heavily, so change of plans. The Asian Civilizations Museum was within walking distance of our hotel and offered an escape from the rain.

walkway bordered by trees on the right and an ivy covered wall on the left

The rain had let up briefly, so it was a pleasant walk down the riverside.

carved dragon head

We joined a tour that was starting when we arrived. The subject was the influence and use of Chinese art and style in other cultures.

white and blue porcelain elephant with metal additions turning it into a Turkish hookah base

This elephant is Chinese porcelain that was then modified in Turkey with the addition of the metal parts changing it into a hookah base (shisha pipe).

calligraphy artwork in the shape of a lioness

The museum presents all cultures and religions of Asia.

white bowl with blue decoration and Arabic calligraphy

This bowl was made in Iraq attempting to emulate Chinese porcelain, but instead creating a unique and beautiful piece with a style of it’s own.

We left with a long list of places we didn’t go and things we didn’t do, but we enjoyed Singapore very much and will probably go back again.