These are some semi-touristy shots of landmarks around New York, mostly Lower Manhattan, which is full of history. In addition to Ground Zero and Wall Street, visitors regularly see Battery Park, Trinity Wall Street (not pictured), South Street Seaport, Federal Hall National Memorial, “The Bull,” and a host of other sites centered around New York’s oldest and most historic district.
Federal Hall (above) is the former home of the United States Supreme Court, Congress, and Executive Branch. George Washington was sworn in here and his statue is a focal point for many tourists. I think it’s quite symbolic/fascinating that it faces the Stock Exchange just across the street.
The Helen McAllister at South Street Seaport (above) is a turn of the century tugboat. South Street Seaport was undergoing a huge renovation, something that I didn’t expect from my former lunch spot while interning in New York.
Above left: the Peking, a tall ship from the last days of the age of sail and on the right, the famous Charging Bull.
Above left: the Battery Park memorial to soldiers, sailors, and airmen who lost their lives crossing the Atlantic during World War II and on the right, a statue that needs no introduction.
Above right: the beginnings of the Freedom Tower have sprung out of the ground in recent months. I was quite amazed to see how much progress has been made.
Traveling back to the US for my “second” wedding last week was great, if not a bit of a culture shock for me. Whether it was driving in a Chevy Suburban (compare that to my 125-cc or 50-cc scooters), experiencing Wal-Mart again (need I say more?), or eating actual “American” cuisine, it was a bit of a change for Yuling and I. We went on a side-trip to New York City about halfway through the trip, where I took the most photos by far. These are from the super-tourist site of Times Square. Even though I had been familiar with the city having been an intern for the city government a few years ago, the “touristy” things were a bit new to me, and I hate to admit, kind of fun.
These photos come from a trip just outside of Taichung at two botanical garden areas that I don’t remember the name… or location of… but can tell you they were in the mountains and quite beautiful. The day itself was pretty exhausting – it consisted of leaving Jhubei early in the AM on Friday the 20th of August and arriving in the Taichung area by about 8:45am. The first stop was a botanical garden which was highly maintained and kind of sold as a relaxation for Taiwanese from the hustle and bustle of city life. The second location, which lacks some pictures here (as I was pretty exhausted) was a harrowing drive through one-way roads in the mountains in search of some lavender fields. We found them… and they were beautiful. Photos of both locations are mixed into this post:
The above photo was kind of an opportunity shot and I’m glad I got it. A girl was blowing bubbles on the way out of the first garden, and I had my 70-300mm lens after shooting (…pictures of!) some ducks in the pond. I liked how the bokeh turned out on this, and even more, it made me realize my 70-300 lens was a good investment as the autofocus was nice and fast – not to mention accurate.
This HDR shows a “castle” located in the center of the park. Like I said, this was the place for Taiwanese to relax… escape. No attractions, sales (minus a restaurant), or amusement park rides. Apparently, this requires a faux European castle! I have to admit – it was somewhat tasteful and added to the presence of the place.
I like the depth-of-field on the photo above. You’ll obviously notice the fish as well – both the fish and ducks were used to, and probably dependent on, people. The water is clear enough and the fish are “trained” to the point that they followed us… Yuling extended her hand (with nothing in it) and their mouths were gaping open, ready to eat…
Gotta love the chemical-fused water :)
There were gardeners all over – my $250 NT entrance fee (about $7.80 USD) seems to be well used!
The above photo shows some of these wish/prayer cards that our second stop, the lavender fields, gave to visitors. The whole operation – which I honestly don’t have many photos of here – was quite a successful draw for many people. Their marketing was full of cute (and sometimes expensive) ways to participate in the “cottage” atmosphere and was a little bit more direct than the first garden. Oh, and it was in the middle of nowhere… really.