Monday, September 30, 2013

Hollum Lighthouse in Ameland, the Netherlands

Postcard NL-2072836 arrived today with a view of the Hollum lighthouse, located at the westernmost part of the West Frisian Islands in Ameland, the Netherlands. The lighthouse, 59 m or 194 ft high, was built in the 1880s.

Next to the Ameland is the island of Terschelling where "Oerol", a Frisian summer festival, takes place every year in June. The festival lasts for 10 days and highlights live, public theater as well as music and the visual arts.

You can find many pictures of the Hollum lighthouse at Flickr Hive Mind

Sunday, September 29, 2013

International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon

Postcard US-1830375 to Taiwan shows a variety of roses in the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon which I visited on September 29, 2010 during my JetBlue AYCJ trip. There are over 7,000 rose plants of approximately 550 varieties in this 18,200 square meter or 4.5 acre garden, where you can see downtown Portland and Mount Hood in a distance.It was mostly cloudy with light rains in the morning I visited so I couldn't see Mount Hood. Nonetheless, the view of roses was not disappointing even it was near the end of their April through October blossom season.

The garden was established in 1917 to serve as a safe haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I. Today new roses are continually sent to the garden from around the world for testing of their colors, fragrance, disease resistance and other attributes. It is the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States. It exemplifies Portland's nickname of the "City of Roses" and the volunteering efforts from Portland citizens who contribute about 500 hours every year in tending the garden.

It was also listed in the Ten Things to Do in Portland by the Time magazine.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Postcard US-2436381 traveling to Germany shows the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. The garden is influenced by many of the famous classical gardens in Suzhou, China, and features covered walkways (廊), pavillions(閣) and bridges (橋) according to the Chinese Fengshui design.

I visited this walled Chinese garden enclosing a full city block, roughly (4,000 square meters or 40,000 square feet), in the the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood on September 28, 2010 as part of my JetBlue AYCJ trip. It was listed as one of the Ten Things to Do in Portland, Oregon by the Time magazine.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Postcard to Iran

President Barack Obama spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today, as the Iranian leader was heading to the airport to leave New York after attending the U.N. General Assembly meeting. During his time in the U.S., Mr. Rouhani made a number of public addresses indicating that Iran was open to restoring relationship with the U.S. and resolving conflict around the nuclear program in Iran. It is the first time leaders from the U.S. and Iran have direct communication since the Tehran hostage crisis more than three decades ago in 1979.

I was given an address in Tehran from PostCrossing on August 23, 2013. I hesitated to send out a card for a few days because I didn't want to give a reason to the NSA spying for communicating with people in Iran. However, since we PostCrossers had already been sending out mails oversea for sometime, we would have been targets already if they chose to do so. Traveling postcard US-2379246 shows a pair of table tennis paddles and a Ping-pong ball. Each paddle is decorated with a U.S. national flag and a Chinese national flag respectively. The postcard refers to the Ping-pong diplomacy that started with the exchange of table tennis players between the United States and People's Republic of China in the early 1970s. The event marked a thaw in U.S.- China relations that had been frozen since 1949 and paved the way to a visit to Beijing by President Richard Nixon. If history can be a guide, I am hopeful that an improved U.S - Iran relationship would contribute to the peace and prosperity in the Middle East and the world.

Update: The postcard was sent on September 2, 2013 and received on October 7, 2013.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Flower Carpet at the Grand Place, Brussels

Postcard BE-230026 from Belgium shows the Flower Carpet in 2010 at the Grand Place, central square of Brussels. The Grand Place is surrounded by guildhalls, the city's Town Hall, and the Breadhouse. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

The Flower Carpet on the Grand Place in its present-day form was first created in 1971 by the landscape architect E. Stautemans, You can watch a YouTube video to see how the 2010 Flower Carpet was made. You can find more information about the Flower Carpet from their website online.

The sender also offers six things you need to survive in Brussels:
  1. comfortable shoes (hilly)
  2. sunshades (weather changes in 10 minutes)
  3. umbrella (weather changes in 10 minutes)
  4. big scarf (weather changes in 10 minutes)
  5. sense of humor (lots of absurdity, but it works out in the end)
  6. photo camera or sketchbook (it's a beautiful city)
The postcard also bears a beautiful postmark.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

100 Reasons to Love Hong Kong

Postcard HK-174627 from Hong Kong arrived today, showing Pink-speckled Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus leptocephalus), a rare, colorful goby with distinctive pink orange spots on the head. It is native to the western Pacific Ocean and lives in coastal reefs, lagoons, mangrove swamps and tide pools. In Hong Kong, it is only recorded in Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. It usually inhabits sandy burrows dug by alpheid shrimps. You can watch a video of the shrimp - goby partnership on YouTube.

The postcard is one of "the 100 Reasons to Love Hong Kong" series. I am looking forward to more of those cards.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Highland Light, Cape Cod

Postcard US-1829598 to Canada shows the Highland Light, the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod, on the Cape Cod National Seashore in North Truro, Massachusetts. The photo was from my JetBlue AYCJ trip on September 24, 2010. 

The first primary lighthouse at this site was established in 1797. However, the latest lighthouse was moved 140 m or 450 ft to the west, away from the beach, to the present location in 1996, as it was in danger of falling off the cliff due to beach erosion. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The New Contax II-A and III-A

Postcard NL-2061870 from the Netherlands shows a vintage poster of the "new" Contax II-A and III-A cameras. Contax was a camera brand noted for its unique technical innovation and a wide range of Zeiss lenses, known for their high optical quality. The Contax II and III models were introduced in 1936. The only difference between II and III was that the model III has a built-in exposure meter. Among the many features the both models introduced are the combined eyepiece for both viewfinder and rangefinder; top placement of the shutter speed dial and film wind knob; fastest shutter speed at the time at 1/1250 s. and chrome plating finish. They became highly sought-after among professional photographers, similar to today's iPhone in some way. However, in the background of the rapid digital revolution in the 2000s, film cameras were rapidly replaced by digital cameras. The production of Contax cameras ceased in 2005, two years before the first iPhone was released.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Curtiss JN-4 Jenny

The postcard shows a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny aircraft with model wing suspended at Edwards AFB, CA in 1921. The Curtiss JN-4 was the type of aircraft used in the first air mail flight, and was featured in the 1918 24-cent stamp with printing error showing an illustration of the plane upside down.

The U.S. Postal Service is re-issuing 2 million of the “Inverted Jenny” souvenir stamps today to mark the opening of the Smithsonian’s William H. Gross Stamp Gallery that hosts the world’s largest stamp collection. The reissued Inverted Jenny has a face value of $2, in mini-sheets of six with a decorative border.

Since the post offices near me do not open on Sundays, I will have to wait until tomorrow to buy the stamps. The postcard is available for purchase at

Update: the postcard was later sent to Poland as US-2509925

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Crow Lodge with Decorations

Postcard US-2424315 is going out to Germany today, showing Native American lodges photographed in 1907-1908 by Norman A. Forsyth. A lodge, or a large tipi, was formed of support poles covered with an average of 12 to 14 buffalo hides. By the 1870s, canvas had replaced the hides for tipi-making among some Plains Indian tribes.

According to Wikipedia, "the Plains Indians are the Indigenous peoples who live on the plains and rolling hills of the Great Plains of North America. Their equestrian culture and resistance to domination by Canada and the United States have made the Plains Indians an archetype in literature art for American Indians everywhere."

Friday, September 20, 2013

Zumanity: a Decade of Sexiness

Zumanity is a mature adult themed Cirque du Soleil show at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The production opened on September 20, 2003 and it's celebrating its 10th anniversary with more than 6.5 million audiences in a decade. The show explores human sexuality with a series of erotic songs, dances, and acrobatics.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mid-Autumn Festival

I received a postcard from Taiwan today. It is one of the serious of Taiwan Retrospective Exhibition by Jau Pang Hsu, documenting farming with black and white. Its arrival coincides the Mid-Autumn Festival which is September 19 in 2013. 

The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節/中秋节) is a popular harvest festival celebrated by people from Asia on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon, which occurs in late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. Family members are gathering and eating moon cakes for celebration. It's similar to the Thanksgiving in the U.S. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

World Water Monitoring Day

Postcard DE-1767000 from Germany can be a good reminder of the World Water Monitoring Day. Established in 2003 by America's Clean Water Foundation, the World Water Monitoring Day is a global educational outreach program that promotes public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. 

It empowers citizens to carry out basic monitoring of their local water bodies with a simple water test kit so that anyone can take a sample of local water bodies to test a set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Results are then shared with participating communities around the globe through the World Water Monitoring Day website.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bangers and Mash

Postcard GB-465150 from the United Kingdom shows a traditional British dish "Bangers & Mash" made of sausages and mashed potatoes. The flavored sausages can be ordinary pork or beef British sausages, or Cumberland sausages that are usually very long and rolled in flat, circular coils. The dish is sometimes served with gravy, fried onions, baked beans and peas, instead of mashed potatoes.

In the United States, the dish is often found at the ubiquitous Irish-themed Pub, although it is not any more popular in Ireland than in other parts of the British Isles. In Las Vegas, you can find it at the Nine Fine Irishmen in New York New York, Todd English Pub at the CityCenter and many other places.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Tower at University of Texas, Austin

This postcard shows the main building at the center of the University of Texas at Austin campus in Downtown Austin, Texas on September 16, 2010. I was traveling from Dallas, Texas to Las Vegas, Nevada that day on my Jetblue All-You-Can-Jet (AYCJ) pass. However, since JetBlue did not have flights to or from Dallas, I took a bus to Austin in the morning for an afternoon flight to Long Beach, California, then onto Las Vegas. I had a few hours around noon, so I took a quick tour at University of Texas at Austin, and had lunch in a Thai restaurant near the campus.

The Main Building is known as "The Tower" since it has a 94 m or 307 ft tall clock tower, designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret and completed in 1937. It is the most recognizable landmark of the University and the city Austin. 

In a massacre on August 1, 1966, architectural engineering student Charles Joseph Whitman, opened fire from the observation deck of the tower of the Main Building, killing 16 Austin residents and wounding many more. He was shot to death by police at the end of 96-minute stand-off.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

International Day of Democracy

Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street Protest Camp Site
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to observe September 15 as the International Day of Democracy for the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy. Part of the resolution reads: “ while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy and that democracy does not belong to any country or region... democracy is a universal value based on the freely-expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems, and their full participation in all aspects of life."

I made this postcard to commemorate the International Day of Democracy from one of my photos at Zuccotti Park, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest camp site, in New York City in 2011.

Occupy Wall Street is a protest movement that focuses on issues such as social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the perceived undue influence of corporations on government, especially from the financial industry. It uses the slogan "We are the 99%" to highlight the income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. To achieve their goals, protesters acted on consensus-based decisions made in general assemblies which emphasized direct action over petitioning authorities for redress. The moment symbolizes a democracy process with the freely-expressed will and the full participation of the protesters.

The postcard shows the protesters gathering in the park by "Joie de Vivre" by artist Mark di Suvero, a 21.3 m or 70 ft tall sculpture of bright-red beams.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Eagle Transforming

Eagle Transforming, 2007
Postcard CA-371352 came from a small reservation in Northern Ontario, Canada. It features a design "Eagle Transforming" by Corey W. Moraes of the Tsimshian First Nation in Canada. The Tsimshian are an indigenous people living along the Pacific Northwest Coast in British Columbia, Canada and Alaska, USA. Tsimshian means "Inside the Skeena River." On the postcard, it notes "The spirit in all beings offers guidance as we transform."

Native Temporary Tattoo
You can also get a "Eagle Transforming" removable tattoo from Canadian Native Products. Corey W. Moraes has a blog called Brain Juice.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Postcard NZ-91131 from New Zealand, showing a Maori carving, arrived on September 13, 2013, the 6th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations General Assembly during its 61st session in New York City in 2007.

According to Wikipedia, the purpose of the Declaration is to "set out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues". It also "emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations". It "prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples"; and it "promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development". The goal of the Declaration is to encourage countries to work alongside indigenous peoples to solve global issues, like development, multicultural democracy and decentralization. There is a major emphasis that the indigenous peoples will be able to protect their cultural heritage and other aspects of their culture and tradition.

New Zealand, along with Australia, Canada, and United States, initially voted against the Declaration. All four countries have since endorsed the Declaration. New Zealand's endorsement came on April 19, 2010,

On the postcard, it noted "Traditional Maori carving designs feature human or near-human figures, with the spiral also an important element."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tula Slavery Freedom Statue

Postcard US-2375984 to Ukraine shows the Tula Slavery Freedom Statue at the Port of Willemstad in Curaçao, an island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast.

Tula was a slave and a leader of a slave revolt in 1795 that lasted over a month. Executed on October 3, 1795, he is considered a fighter for human rights and independence in Curaçao today.

Learn more about the Tula Slavery Freedom Statue from a blog of the Port of Willemstad, Curaçao.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Four Freedoms - Freedom of Speech

Postcard US-2402743 arrived with many autographs from those who attended the Arkansas Meet Up in Little Rock, AR on September 7, 2013.

The postcard features a painting "Freedom of Speech", one of the four scenes of American daily life by illustrator Norman Rockwell, inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt's State of the Union address on January 6, 1941. President Roosevelt declared four fundamental freedoms that people "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy: Freedom of speech; Freedom of worship; Freedom from want; Freedom from fear.

On the twelfth anniversary of the September 11 attacks and just after the nation stepped back from an imminent military conflict with Syria, we can appreciate more the meanings of the freedoms and understand how to protect them.

"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want - which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants - everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear -which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor - anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Knotted Gun: A Symbol for Peace and Non-Violence

Postcard US-2373509 to Virginia, US shows the knotted gun, a bronze sculpture formally named as Non-Violence" and placed outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 1988. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Laureate said: “The sculpture Non-Violence has not only endowed the United Nations with a cherished work of art; it has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man; that which asks not for victory, but for peace”. 

The knotted gun was originally created as a memorial tribute to John Lennon for his vision of a world with less violence when he was shot and killed outside his home in New York City on the December 8, 1980. 

In his song Imagine, John Lennon centered around the message of a world without violence and invite you to join the effort for Peace.

“You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I am not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one…”

The Non-Violence sculpture has been placed at more than 30 strategic locations around the world so far, including, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa; and the Peace Park in Beijing, China. If you have a postcard or photo of the knotted gun sculpture in your country, I will appreciate it if you can send a copy to me.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Postcard US-2378823 to Germany shows a section of the Forbidden City's outer wall and moat at its East Glorious Gate. The photo was taken on October 7, 2007 during my trip to Beijing, China.

The Forbidden City had been the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty for almost 500 years. It is now houses the Palace Museum. Built from 1406 to 1420, the Forbidden City, with 980 buildings on a 720,000 sq m or 7,800,000 sq ft ground, exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture that has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and around the world. 

The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 by UNESCO. The rainbow-colored character on the top right means "PEACE" in Chinese.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas

Postcard US-2260954 to Finland shows the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas. The 1982 Museum opened on October 28, 2011 at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada after it moved from its previous location in Lorenzi Park.

The museum's permanent exhibits include the development of Las Vegas and the natural history of the area. Many interactive exhibits explain how geology shaped the Great Basin and Nevada; how the early flora and fauna survived and evolved; what Native Americans, pioneers, early settlers, miners, railroaders, ranchers and entrepreneurs had contributed to this area. There are some unique artifacts from the Hoover Dam constructions, the atomic testing era and the different stages of Las Vegas as the resort capital of the world.

"Flores Familiares" is the current exhibit that highlights the Mexican heritage embroidery exhibit by Nevada Arts Council. 

The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm, Thursday to Monday. It is currently participating in the Museums on US program sponsored by Bank of America that offers free admission to the Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit/debt card holders on the first full weekend of every month. The free admission dates are September 7th and 8th, October 5th and 6th, November 2nd and 3rd, December 7th and 8th in 2013.

It is one of six Nevada State Museums operated by the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The other five museums are: East Ely Railroad Depot; Lost City Museum, Overton; Nevada Historical Society, Reno; Nevada State Museum, Carson City; Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City; Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Postcard US-2333998 to Ukraine shows an aerial photo of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, taken from a Jetblue plane on approach to Portland, Maine on September 7, 2010. It was the first leg of my All-You-Can-Jet (AYCJ) trip from New Orleans, LA to Portland, ME with a transfer at JFK airport, NY.

Cape Elizabeth is a wealthy town in Southern Maine, with a population of 9015 as of the 2010 census, where the historical Portland Head Light is located. Visible on the lower-left center on the card, the lighthouse is predominant at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor.Built from 1787 to 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. In 1872, an artillery base was built around the lighthouse to guard the entrance to the harbor. It was named Fort Williams in 1899 and remained active until 1962. It then became Fort Williams Park maintained by the town. The Park includes Portland Head Light and the former lighthouse keepers' house that currently serves as a maritime museum museum, remains of the military fort, the ruins of Goddard Mansion, and recreation facilities such as tennis and baseball courts. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 1973.

The United States Postal Service issued a Portland Head Light Forever Stamp as part of the New England Coastal Lighthouses series on July 13, 2013.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Las Vegas Pride Parade

Las Vegas Pride Parade is one of the few, if not the only one, Pride Parades held at night. The 15th Annual Las Vegas Pride Parade will march up the 4th Street from West Charleston Blvd to Ogden Avenue starting at 8 pm on September 6, 2013 in downtown Las Vegas. The 2013 parade, presented by the MGM Resorts International and led by Grand Marshal Edward Padilla and Celebrity Grand Marshals from the cast of Divas Las Vegas, brings together the gay and straight business community, nonprofit organizations, LGBT service agencies, civic groups, and churches for a big celebration.

The postcard shows the banner of Las Vegas Pride projected on the giant Viva Vision LED display canopy at the Fremont Street Experience on April 30, 2010. The parade was changed to be held in September since.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Collage of Texas Icons

I received this postcard today as a private swap from Texas, showing a collage of Texas icons. There are a lot of chili peppers, Tex-Mex food, cowboy hat and boots, Texas map and flag, and a rattle snake! The author is Mark Miselnicky, a local Dallas artist.

For more Texas icons, check out Ways to be Texan.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Survivor of a Mail Catastrophe

Postcard US-2373513 to Finland shows a poster "Apathy is Boring" from the third session of World Urban Forum, established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies and policies. The session was organized by the UN-Habitats and hosted by Vancouver, Canada from June 19 to June 23, 2006. The poster was to promote a broader participation of the world affairs from the youth generation.

The postcard was put into an envelop, along with six other postcards all affixed with United Nations' stamps, to be sent to the United Nations Headquarter for cancellation and mailing. The envelop was posted at a post office counter in the afternoon on August 20, 2013. However, I received the empty envelop back at home next day, indicating the mail was damaged during the processing.

I went back to the post office on August 24, 2013 to ask about the contents of the damaged envelop. I was told they were likely destroyed in the accident. Unconvinced that all the seven postcards would be torn up beyond recognition, I asked what would happen in case any of the postcard was separated from the envelop but otherwise survived. Those postcards, with valid recipients' address but only United Nations' stamps which were not valid for mail directly through the United State Postal Service, became "items found loose in the mail". Since they did not have my return address and were separated from the damaged outer envelope, they couldn't be returned to me. I was told that if that were the case, they might end up at so call Dead Letter Office, officially the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia. I was given the Mail Recovery Center's address and a phone number to call. However, when I later read the Mail Recovery Center Guidelines, I realized that if they were domestic first class postcards, they would not be sent to the Mail Recovery Center since the value was less than 25 US dollars. They would be sent to waste or recycle locally. For foreign mails, their destination would be the "Exchange Office" (per IMM 772). However, my postcards were not exactly the (inbound) foreign mails. They were in fact mails without valid postage once they were separated from the outer envelop. So, I wasn't sure what happened to them. I was able to get the refund of 66 cents postage I paid for the 2 oz first class mail after filling out a refund request form.

To my surprise, the postcard reached Finland on September 3, 2013, without the intended UNPA's postmark, (as a matter of fact, without any postmarks). It appears to be sent through the "Exchange Office" as an item found loose in the mail. I also found this blog "the True Story of Undeliverable Mail" informational. To avoid become a victim of "mail catastrophe", follow the Boxing and Packing Tips at the end of the web page. Make sure to include a return address, even it's a postcard. So that it can be returned to you in case something happens. Register and insure your mail if it is important to you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lake Como at Bellagio

Postcard IT-238410 came from Italy today. It shows Villa Melzi d'Eril by Lake Como at Bellagio in Italy. The villa features English style gardens built in harmony with the lake's banks, surrounded by high mountains. In Las Vegas, the design of Bellagio Hotel and Casino was infleunced by the Lake Como town of Bellagio in Italy, highlighted by the famous dancing water fountain synced with music on a man-made lake at its front gate.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Zion National Park

Postcard US-2387594 came from the neighboring Utah with a splendid view of the Zion National Park. The Park is famous for the 24 km long and 800 m deep Zion Canyon, formed by the Virgin River cutting through the reddish Navajo Sandstone. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the Park has many geological features such as mountains, rivers, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, and natural arches. The Park offers unique bio-diversity as it consists of four distinct habitats: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. It was designated as a National Park on November 19, 1919.

Zion National Park is about 258 km or 160 miles from Las Vegas. Therefore you can visit for a day trip by car. For overnight stays, Zion Lodge, operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, is located inside the Park. Other hotels are available in nearby Springdale, UT. For camping information, visit Campgrounds in Zion at the National Park Service's web site.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic

Postcard US-2388538 traveled from Washington D.C. to Hawaii in 3 days. It was from another exhibition "Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic" at the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C., showing the airship Hindenburg.

Both Hindenburg and Titanic attempted to fill the demands for the mass travel and communication demands at the early 1900's. Both operated as the world's largest mobile post offices promising the fastest mail service in its day. Ironically, both ended in disasters. The exhibition shows rare artifacts including a mail sent from Titanic and burnt mail salvaged from Hindenburg.

The exhibition opened on March 22, 2012 and runs through January 6, 2014. For those who can't attend in person, please visit the online gallery on the web.