About the picture: Taken at the Beautique Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan. There is an “atrium” in the breakfast room. In Taipei, most of the buildings are very, very close together. “Green space” is mostly roof top gardens and public parks. Not an ideal situation for a South Dakota grasslands girl. I was intrigued by this ingenius optimization of space usage. The designers installed glass walls (windows) just about 12 inches inside the outer wall of the building and they have created planters for small trees and plants as well as lattice for hanging planters and a wall fountain for irrigation. The plants on the wall change periodically with the seasons. It’s a welcome respite from the constant hub-bub of crowded city life.
About the photos: snapped at the “Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses” in Toyonaka, Japan (near Osaka). The museum is a wonderful collection of historic rural houses from different eras offering a glimpse into 18th century rural Japanese life.
My eyes settled on the old house with it’s battered roof, thatch thinned to the bone and a longing came upon me as I sat upon the aging stoop my wild heart ached for home
You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose ~Dr. Seuss
So having had my business trip pulled out from under me, I’ve decided to makes some different plans, sounds like vacation time to me. 😉 “Good times, riches, and son of a B****s, I’ve seen more than I can recall.”
At Shugakuin Imperial Villa in Kyoto, Japan. At the pinnacle of the upper garden and grounds lies a simple pavilion structure of multiple rooms where emperor Gomizuno could view the panoramic views. Construction began in 1655 and Shugakuin remains one of the finest displays of shakkei (the Japanese garden art of “borrowing scenery”) to be found. Here at the Emperor’s Pavillion you see the extensive use of tatani mats. Note the elevated platform where the Emperor would sit. The paper windows let in light at different times of day and these large “lift out” windows let in the summer breeze.
Suzhou was once at the center of the Chineses silk trade. Today, it is much more celebrated for it’s art, delicate gardens, thousand year old temples, and of course romantic water towns and canals. It is these that have earned it the name “Venice of the East.” A thoroughly charming city all modernized but still holding on to it’s 2,500 years of history and architecture.
And a plus, a traditional gondolier song by what may well be one of the finest voices of our age.