He was sitting on the edge of the bridge, watching my son and me walk along the edge of the road. I did not notice him until a loud motorcycle came by and drew my attention in his direction. I waved and smiled. He waved and smiled back. I raised my camera and he gave me this look.
I do not know if this look means it was okay to take the photo or not.
This is the gate to Pura Meru, a nearly 300 year old Hindu temple in the city of Mataram, Lombok.
I’m not Hindu, but I am a big fan of their architecture.
The lights at Starbucks, on a long exposure, while moving my camera from right to left at a downward thirty degree angle.
It’s Friday, and I’m done for the week. I’m exhausted and I didn’t even work the full week. This does not bode well for the weekend.
A little bit of both. This is on the corner where Kemang Raya, the main street in our neighborhood, breaks off into two one-way streets. The graffiti, as you’ve seen in the last few days, is in the wreck of a former building. Adjacent to the old building is an old hotel. It sticks out because it is one of the taller buildings in this part of Kemang.
This is another shot from Saturday morning’s bike ride around Kemang. I like how what used to be a building frames the art that’s growing up around the area. I will say this, though: there is little more difficult than trying to figure out which horizontal line in this photo should be straight. One of the rules of a good photo is that the horizon should be straight. The problem with this photo is that there are a couple too many horizons.
I still liked it enough to post it.
How about you?
I find that when I put my camera on the ground, or upside-down on a train ceiling, or against a wall, I get the most interesting results, just because it’s close to something.
This city, my city, is insanely constructed. It has no plan, or maybe “organically planned” is a better way to phrase it. Things just pop up where they do, rather than being planned. From the 15th floor of my school, everything looks well-constructed, but walk these streets…walk the alleys and half-thought-out sidewalks…and you find just how un-constructed this city really is.
What you see above is the Prambanan Temple…or temples, to be more accurate. The Prambanan and Borobudur Temple complexes are both set up as mandalas, which can be seen from above. But what is so impressive is seeing how, from the right angles, the main temple is enhanced with each of the smaller temples in front of it. The line up perfectly.
We hired a guide to take us up the Borobudur temple. He give us some interesting insights, along with some local folklore and some personal interpretations. The reason I titled this post “almost enlightened” is because of some information he shared when we got to the top of the temple.
I asked, “Why are these stupas (bell structures that house statues of Buddha) fitted with blocks that create a diamond shape, when the stupas on the last level, the top level, make square shapes?”
“The architect wanted to show how a person may be enlightened, but still not be entirely stable. The diamond shape can be tipped on its side, whereas the square is stable. Nothing can move it on its side, nothing can upend it,” was his reply.
Because we are still human, even though we may achieve enlightenment, we may still be upended, knocked over. I think there’s a good lesson in that.
I looked up as I walked out of the hall below the Petronas Towers. I saw this, above. A lighting version of a lotus flower, perhaps, but it was fun to shoot.
What do you think? Would this look nice in your living room?
Maybe it’s not the most traditional silhouette, but I snapped this within minutes of the lights of the Petronas Towers, in Kuala Lumpur, going on. The evening sky served as the perfect background to the ever darkening towers.
What do you think? Does it count as a silhouette?
…from KL again. I love this city. There are some weirdnesses, and I’ve really never travelled away from the downtown core, but where I’ve been has been pretty sweet.
So, here’s the Petronas Towers once again.
Worked, ran on the treadmill, had a brilliant taco salad, played tennis, had heart attack when I thought Ben had lost his iPod, felt relieved when we found it, read an inspiring and challenging article, sent emails, now posting photo.
How was your day?
Oh yeah. The buildings are from Central Jakarta, outside the Grand Indonesia Mall.
I can see my school from here. I walk to work each morning, and lately I’ve been taking this new route. It gets me off of Kemang Raya, a major road, and onto some back alleys that zig-zag me through the neighborhood. It’s quiet and calm and I’m meeting some new local people. When I get near the end of my walk, I can see my school building looming over the neighborhood.
“Looming” makes it sound ominous, which it’s not, but it certainly is a major contrast to the surrounding areas.
I took photos on my entire walking commute today, to show you what life looks like from home to work in the morning, but I’ve not finished processing them yet, so you’ll have to wait. But soon…
This building is old. I don’t know how old, but there seems to be little of the building left. The top floor has very little roof. But the first, second and third floors are still occupied. There are signs of life all around: open windows, electric fans, store fronts. The decay is juxtaposed with the signs of life.
I love this city.
Not much to say, except that I’m not going to have time to post later today as I’m flying home to my loving and lovely wife, amazingly talented daughter and awesomely gifted son.
I’ll see you soon family.
Here’s another shot of the Petronas towers – a little ode to symmetry.
I’m liking Kuala Lumpur. It’s an interesting city. Admittedly, though, I’ve only seen a very small part of the downtown area, and I won’t see much more of it. I’m quite comfortably restricted to my hotel and the places to which I can get on foot.
I think that I get a better sense of an area when I can walk it.
Oh. Yeah. That’s the Petronas Towers again. What do you think?
Today was an awesome day. I was in awe quite a number of times. My friends Ian and Karl put together an adventurous day of places to visit and things to learn. Here’s a few of the highlights:
1. The Jakarta Port (the area in which boats are moored that move cargo around the islands of Jakarta).
2. Old Batavia/Jakarta Kota Tua (the old city, built largely by the Dutch).
3. Gereja Katedral Jakarta (a Roman Catholic church built over 100 years ago).
4. The Wayang Museum (wayang are the shadow puppets that are an iconic Indonesia art and drama form).
5. The Misjad Istiqlal (a mosque that holds 200000 worshippers).
I was really excited to get to see all of these places. If I had to be honest, the Istiqlal Mosque was the place I was most looking forward to seeing, and I didn’t even know we were going to see it until halfway through the day. A totally amazing surprise. The place is massive.
The photo above doesn’t do it any justice at all, but I hope that it conveys some of the wonder that I felt standing in that huge place of worship. I should probably point out that the words in Arabic that surround the dome are a prayer that Muslims pray daily (according to our guide). Oh, and the dome you see above is 45 meters in diameter (that’s about 150 feet for my American friends).
Before I left my former school in Canada, I moved from the third floor to the first floor. I did this for two reasons: 1. All of my student leadership activities were on the first floor, and; 2. I hated running up and down flights of stairs just to get from my classroom to the office to the gym and back again.
Then I moved to Jakarta. My school is in a high-rise building. There are something like seven floors of parking before you even get to my school. Once inside, my school has LG (lower ground), G (ground), and UG (upper ground) floors. Then, floors one through eight. Here’s a little math for you: take 400 students; divide by two elevators; multiply by eleven floors…and you get a great number of stairs that must be negotiated every day. It’s easier, and harder, to run the stairs than it is to wait for an elevator. Plus, it’s a good workout. I guess I can eat a little more at dinner tomorrow.
The photo, above, was taken on the sixth floor looking down to the Ground Floor. I guess that makes it nine floors down that you’re seeing. Weirdly abstract.
…this is the way to get into the theater the cheap way. All you need is a crowbar…and a DVD…and a projector…and sound syst…
You know what? This is no longer the cheap way into the theater.
Oh well…I tried.
The architecture at SFU is evocative. It inspires double-takes and depression. Yeah, you heard me. Depression. It’s probably because it’s mostly concrete, which is grey, and at the top of a mountain, so it’s often covered in clouds that only exacerbate the grey-ness.
But it also inspires those double-takes. The “tunnel” above is a walkway leading from the Academic Quadrangle, featured in a photo two days ago, to the W.A.C. Bennett Library, featured in yesterday’s photo. During a sunny day, it is lit in all kids of angled lines and the light keeps shifting as the sun moves through the day. The entire Convocation Mall, the area you can see ahead through the tunnel, is lit in strange angles. At the right time of day, the shadows and light look like they were designed by M.C. Escher. Awe-inspiring.
A classic, old hotel in downtown Chilliwack.
is old and not very symmetrical.
I used to teach a course called Theory of Knowledge. During this course, students have to look at the hardest thing to see – things they’ve taken for granted. The obvious things in front of their faces. One of my favorite parts of the course was esthetics. There was little more entertaining than questioning the ideas of beauty, but also the widely held, completely non-critical idioms of our culture. Let’s try, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
In the case of the photo above, the most beautiful aspects are the fact that the hedge is in line with the bottom line of the porch, right below the bannister. I also like the matching windows on either side of the middle of the house, both upper and lower levels.
What takes away from this house’s beauty is the fact that the front door and the upper porch door are offset from center. Symmetry makes something beautiful. The other thing that really bothers me is that the lines of the house are shifting, probably due to the age of the house. I struggled to straighten the photo – played with cropping the photo – but realized, after a couple of minutes, that the lines of the house are not straight. The upper porch roofline is sagging and kept throwing off my eye.
Don’t get me wrong – I like the tension that creates. I also love old things and the shifting and off-center doors are a sign of the age of the house. Age can be beautiful. I do, however, think that there are certain rules about beauty, certain criteria to what is beautiful. Symmetry is one.
What are your criteria? And don’t be all politically correct. Be truthful.