Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mühlenmuseum in Hiesfeld, Germany

Postcard DE-3395051 from Germany shows the Mühlenmuseum, the Mill Museum,  in the small neighborhood of Hiesfeld, Dinslaken, Germany. The museum has a watermill and a windmill, serving to show the development of millers' crafts in history. It is one of the 200 museums in the Ruhr District, the largest metropolitan area in Germany.

Surrounded by the beautiful nature, the wind mill was originally built in 1822 at the center of what is now the district of Hiesfeld. The water mill was built close by the Rotbach river in 1693. Both mills have since been restored. The museum also has a collection of over 60 model mills from around the world. The admission is free.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Close the Book on Hate

Postcard US-2869236 to Germany was the product of a joint effort of Barnes & Noble and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that was designed to use education to help break the cycle of prejudice and hatred. The campaign kicked off in September 2000, with thousands of people involved around the country.

Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006, once said: “Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”

In Michael Jackson's music video "Black or White" I mentioned yesterday, it did not include the last four minutes of the original music video where a black panther walked out of the studio and morphed into Jackson. He went on to perform some of his most physically challenging dance moves, which contained sexually suggestive and violent scenes. That resulted in MTV and other music video networks' censorship of the last four minutes from subsequent broadcasts. The censored video ended with a "Prejudice is Ignorance" title card.

In the background of the recent unrest accompanying the protests in Ferguson, Missouri against police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, it occurred to me that Michael Jackson's visionary video had not lost its significance after 23 years. The campaign "Close the Book on Hate, Open Your Mind and Read," started 14 years ago by Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio and Abraham Foxman, ADL National Director, offered "101 Ways to Combat Prejudice." Those methods remain valid and effective today.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy 56th Birthday to Michael Jackson

Outgoing postcard US-2955783 to Italy was made of a magazine cutout from the August 2014 issue of Desert Companion, showing Michael Jackson ONE, a Cirque du Soleil production and a tribute to the work, innovative spirit, and legacy of Michael Jackson as the King of Pop, the genius, the visionary, and THE ONE through aerial performance, hip hop dances and acrobatics with vivid choreography by 63 cast members at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Today on August 29, 2014, Michael Jackson ONE show is celebrating what would have been Michael Jackson's 56th birthday with a special performance.

My favorite Michael Jackson song was his 1991 single "Black or White" from his eighth studio album Dangerous. He declared in the lyrics: "It don't matter if you're black or white" and "I ain't second to none." It also featured morphing animation for the first time in a music video, which seamlessly transformed human faces from various races, symbolizing the celebration and appreciation of diversity.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico

Postcard US-2849000 to Germany shows the Arecibo Observatory, a radio telescope operated by SRI International, USRA and UMET under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF), in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Built between 1960 and 1963, the observatory's 305-meter or 1,000-foot radio telescope is the largest single-aperture telescope in the world, used in the areas of radio astronomy, aeronomy, and radar astronomy researches. Scientists who wish to use the telescope need to submit proposals that are evaluated by an independent scientific board. The telescope was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

The postcard was purchased at Zazzle.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Moulin Rouge

Postcard FR-420722 from France shows Moulin Rouge, meaning Red Mill in French, a cabaret co-founded by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller in Paris, France in 1889.

Marked by the red windmill on its roof, Moulin Rouge is best known as the spiritual birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. According to Wikepedia, "originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. The club's decor still contains much of the romance of fin de siècle France."

It inspired Moulin Rouge!, a 2001 musical film,  that was nominated for eight and eventually won two Oscars at the 74th Academy Awards on March 24, 2002. A music video featuring 1974 "Lady Marmalade" that was used as part of a medley in the movie, was produced in March 2001 with Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink performing. The video won the 2001 MTV Video Music Award for "Best Video of the Year" and "Best Video from a Film" and a 2002 Grammy Award in the category of "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals".  The video reached 100,977,923 views on Vevo/Youtube by the end of today.

In Las Vegas, there was the Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino located in the West Las Vegas neighborhood where the African Americans were forced to live. It first opened on May 24, 1955, with multiple references to Paris: Eiffel Tower appeared on the sign at the entrance, and on the casino chips; a French Chef was the head of the largest restaurant in the casino; security guards were dressed in the uniform of the French Foreign Legion.

The hotel and casino was the first integrated hotel casino in the United States while other casinos on the Las Vegas Strip were still segregated and off ff limits to blacks unless they were the entertainers or labors. The Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino closed in November, 1955. Its short but vibrant life fueled the civil-rights movement in Las Vegas. It was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1992. The shuttered hotel suffered a series of fires between May 29, 2003 and May 6, 2009. The Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission approved demolition of the remains of the buildings in June, 2010,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kõpu Lighthouse, Estonia

Postcard EE-185518 from Estonia shows the Kõpu Lighthouse on the island of Hiiumaa in Estonia. One of the best known landmarks in the country, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world and has been in continuous use since 1531.

The 36-meter or 118-foot tall lighthouse, built on top of the highest hillock Tower Hill, marks the Hiiu sandbank. At the altitude of 102 meters or 337 feet above the sea level, its light can be seen from as far as 26 nautical miles, or 48 kilometers or 30 miles away. It is the highest coastal light on the Baltic Sea.

What special about this lighthouse was its solid base when originally built. Keepers had to use external wooden stairs to reach the top of the lighthouse. A staircase was embedded into the tower during reconstruction in the 1800s.

The postcard has a 2014 the Year of the Horse stamp issued by Estonia Post.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Greetings from Connecticut

Postcard US-2928994 was a "Greetings from Connecticut" map card. Connecticut is the southernmost state in New England, with the city of Hartford as the capital. The state is named after the Connecticut River, seen on the map that approximately bisects the state, meaning in the Algonquian languages, a sub-family of Native American languages, for "long tidal river."

According to Wikipedia, Connecticut is the third smallest state by area, the 29th most populous, and the fourth most densely populated of the 50 United States. It was initially settled by Dutch settlers in present-day Hartford area. Then the first major settlements were established in the 1630s by England, which eventually led to one of the 13 Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

It was the 5th State admitted into the Union on January 9, 1788. (In comparison, Nevada joined the U.S. as the 36th State on October 31, 1864.) The State Flower is Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), and the State Bird is American Robin (Turdus migratorius), as seen on the card.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Luquillo Beach, Puerto Rico

After receiving my postcard US-2869235 to Puerto Rico, the recipient kindly returned a card featuring Luquillo Beach in San Juan area, with a grove of majestic coconut palm trees covering more than a mile long beach of fine sand. Recognized as the most popular beach in Puerto Rico in 2006, it offers cafeterias, public bathrooms with showers, and ample parking spaces, with disabled access.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ЗиС-5 Soviet Truck

Postcard RU-2908071 from Russia shows a ZIS-5, was a 4x2 Soviet truck (Russian: ЗиС-5) produced by the ZIS factory in Moscow since October, 1933. It was widely used during World War II, appreciated for its remarkably simple and reliable construction. It had been used as cargo and troop transporters, light artillery tractors, and bases for refuellers, field workshops, ambulances, portee or Anti-aircraft gun platforms.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hummingbird in Costa Rica

Hummingbird by "Mike" Michael L. Baird, 2012
Postcard US-2738802 to India shows the Violet Sabrewing (Campylopterus hemileucurus), a large hummingbird native to southern Mexico and Central America that lives as far south as Costa Rica and western Panama.

The photographed was taken by "Mike" Michael L. Baird at Bosque de Paz, Rain Forest Lodge, Cloud Forest, Costa Rica on May 8, 2012, near the villages of Palmira and Pueblo Nuevo, and Bajos del Toro. The Volcan Poas National Park and the Juan Castro Blanco National Park were close by. Used under a Creative Common license.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Union Pacific's Living Legend

Postcard  US-2913074 to Ukraine shows Steam Locomotive No. 844 at Sherman Hill, Wyoming. It was the last steam locomotive of a fleet of 45 built for the Union Pacific Railroad by American Locomotive Company, placed in passenger service in December, 1944. After diesel engines took over all of the passenger service, No. 844 was operated in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959. The engine was widely known as the No. 8444 as an extra '4' was added to its number in 1962 to distinguish it from a diesel engine numbered in the 800 series. The steam engine regained No. 844 in June, 1989, after that diesel engine was retired.

Hailed as Union Pacific's "Living Legend," the engine is widely known among railroad enthusiasts for its excursion runs since 1960, with appearances at Expo '74 in Spokane, WA, at the opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, CA in 1981, at the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans, LA, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of  the Union Station in Los Angeles, CA in 1989. The locomotive is currently parked in the roundhouse at Cheyenne, Wyoming, You can get the update from the Up Stream Team via Facebook and Twitter.

The postcard was purchased from National Geographic's store at Zazzle. Copyright:  Kent Kobersteen / National Geographic Stock.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

50 Years since the Beatlemania in Las Vegas

Fifty years ago today, the Beatles played two concerts at the Las Vegas Convention Center on August 20, 1964. It was their first and only visit to Las Vegas.

Interestingly, in spite of the Beatles' surging fame oversea, the establishments on the Las Vegas Strip back then could care less about a band that was perceived to be popular with teenagers. So the city did not extend the red carpet welcome. However, the kids knew better than the casino bosses and their parents, recognizing something new and exciting; the shows were sold out. The rest was history. Some audience to the shows would later become prominent figures themselves. For example, Shelley Berkley was elected as a U.S. congresswoman, representing Nevada's 1st congressional district from 1999 to 2013.

Now, we even have a Cirque du Soleil show Love, a theatrical production since 2006, which combines the music of the Beatles with a circus-based stage performance played at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Postcard US-2293200 to Japan shows the cover of With The Beatles, the second studio album by the Beatles released on November 22, 1963. The cover photograph was taken by the fashion photographer Robert Freeman. It held the top music chart spot for 21 weeks and served as a prelude of the British invasion that led to the Beatles' first live US television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, watched by 73 million viewers or 34%  of the U.S. population in February, 1964, and a 30-concert tour of 23 cities, including the stop in Las Vegas, in August, 1964.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Postcard NL-2619878 from the Netherlands was a produced by ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, showing a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), an endangered species protected by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Founded in 1983, ARCHELON aims to protect sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through research, public awareness campaigns, and restoring habitats. It operates a rescue center built in 1994.

In my previous blog the World Turtle Day, Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (STOP) in Florida was featured for their work in rescuing those new sea turtle hatchlings disoriented by the street lights. You can still help by becoming a supporting member or joining a rescue walk in the 2014 season that lasts from May to October.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Difference One Vermonter Can Make

James Merrill Jeffords, a former U.S. congressman and senator from Vermont, passed away today on August 18, 2014, at age 80. He broke with the Republican Party in 2001 to become an Independent, which created an unprecedented power shift in the U.S. Senate and gave Democrats control of the chamber for 18 months.

With his single-handed tipping of the balance of power on Capitol Hill, Jeffords drew the wrath of Republicans as then-senate majority leader Trent Lott of Mississippi angrily called his action "a coup of one."

However, he became a hometown hero in Vermont, with his decision to leave the GOP spawning a "Thanks, Jim" bumper sticker. A Vermont brewery named an ale for him called "Jeezum Jim" which was a reference to his modest nature and Vermonty accent, citing "a celebration of conviction, courage, and the difference one man can make."

Postcard US-2215732 from Vermont shows the Old Mill, a landmark at the Central Campus of University of Vermont in Burlington. Public education was among the programs that the senator championed. He also supported an increase of the minimum wage and President Clinton's failed comprehensive health plan overhaul.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Answer

When I was assigned postcard US-2921298 to Maine, the recipient stated her loves of poetry in the profile and asked to include a line of a poem on the card. What came to my mind was from the Answer by a Chinese poet Bei Dao (北岛, born August 2, 1949 in Beijing): "卑鄙是卑鄙者的通行证,高尚是高尚者的墓志铭" that would be directly translated into: "Despicable acts are the passport for the Villain; Honorable deeds are the tombstone for the Noble." As Bei Dao is the most notable representative of the Misty Poets (朦胧诗), a group of Chinese poets who reacted against the restrictions of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in China, he opens his 1976 poem by reflecting what a twisted world was where the Villain got a free pass and the Noble was met with death. You can read the full poem with English translation in a blog on or a blog on

Bei Dao has won numerous awards, including the Swedish PEN Tucholsky Prize, International Poetry Argana Award from the House of Poetry in Morocco, and the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, elected in 1996. He has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

While China is moving toward a more open and free society, thanks to many advocates like Bei Dao, it is not lost on me that such a twisted world could exist anywhere where the power is absolute and without supervision. That's why we need to vigorously safeguard our civil rights and civil liberties so that we can maintain a society where the Villain will be punished and the Noble will be honored.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

National Roller Coaster Day

Although its origin unidentified, National Roller Coaster Day has been celebrated for some years on August 16. People celebrate the day by visiting an amusement park and enjoying a roller coaster ride.

In Las Vegas, the Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York Hotel and Casino is offering a buy-one-get-one general admission to its 67-mph thrill ride from 10:30 a.m. to Noon on Saturday August 16, 2014. It climbs up to the highest peak at 68 meters or 203 feet before rushing down 44 meters or 144 feet with a 180-degree “heartline” twist and dive maneuver. The first 100 riders will receive a special “National Roller Coaster Day” T-shirt.

The Big Apple Coaster can be seen on Postcard US-2574059 to Argentina in the front.

Two other roller coaster rides in Las Vegas are offering discounts as well. The Adventuredome at Circus Circus has a two-for-one discount on tickets to ride both El Loco and Canyon Blaster from 10 a.m. to Noon. The Desperado at Buffalo Bill's Resort & Casino is offering two-for-one rides between 12:15 a.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Yehliu Geopark

Postcard TW-1309821 from Taiwan shows the "Queen's Head" (女王頭),  one of the best known hoodoo stones at the Yeliu (野柳) Geopark in the town of Wanli, New Taipei City, Taiwan. The cape, where the Geopark is located, is known by geologists as the Yeliu Promontory that consists part of the Daliao Miocene Formation (中新世野柳群大寮層). It was pushed 1,700 meters or 5,577 feet into the sea when formed as geological forces pushed Datun Mountain (大屯山) toward the ocean. The mushroom shaped rock formation was formed at the influences caused by tidal erosion, rock weathering, ground movement and crustal movement.

Due to the accelerated erosion, the neck circumference of the Queen's head is shrinking by day. Worrying that the Queen's Head may crash within a year or two, especially during earthquakes or other earth-moving events, researchers are testing nano coating to develop a reinforcement plan.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Postcard BY-1337780 from Belarus features an oil painting on canvas made with a palette knife by artist Leonid Afremov, born in the city of Vitebsk, Belarus in 1955. Leonid Afremov graduated from the famous Vitebsk Art School in 1978. The school was founded by Marc Chagall (July 6, 1887 – March 28, 1985), a Belarussian-Russian-French artist, in 1921. Leonid Afremov moved to Israel in 1990, and became known as a Israeli modern painter of landscapes, cityscapes and figures. "The scorching southern sun filled with colors and brightness made Leonid's paintings positive and joyous."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Die Wahrheit übers Lügen

Postcard DE-1599666 from Germany had a simple note: Die Wahrheit übers Lügen, meaning the truth about lying. Mark Twain once wrote in his 1882 essay On the Decay of the Art of Lying: "Everybody lies -- every day; every hour; awake; asleep; in his dreams; in his joy; in his mourning," People tell lies to save face, to shift blame, to avoid confrontation, to get undeserved benefit, to be nice, or to feel better about themselves. More seriously, criminals tell lies to evade justice and cover up crimes. CIA even lied about their spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee who were investigating the CIA’s torture program. However, the truth about lying is that the truth will ultimately prevail in spite of the pains to bring it to light.

Die Wahrheit übers Lügen was the second album by Farin Urlaub Racing Team and the fourth album by Farin Urlaub, a German musician and songwriter.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do More of What Makes You HAPPY

Postcard BY-1247706 from Belarus was one of the Boo and Stu Stories cartoon collections featuring a girl, a bear and a cat. The card was sent on April 7, 2014. It took 128 days to reach me, although the actual mailing time could be shorter.

Monday, August 11, 2014

World Cup Stamps

Postcard DE-3394587 from Germany was made of a series of World Cup stamps from several countries. The three stamps on the left were 1978 North Korea stamps showing World Cup winners: West Germany (1954, 1974), Italy (1934, 1938), and Uruguay (1930, 1950).

Magyar Posta in Hungary issued the three stamps in the middle to commemorate the 1978 FIFA World Cup held in Argentina from June 1 to June 25, 1978.

The top three stamps on the right were issued in R.P. Kampuchea in 1985, dedicating to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

The stamp on the bottom right was also a 1978 North Korea stamp from the 12-stamp History of the World Cup stamps set. Unfortunately, it fell off during the mailing.

The right stamp on the back was a Enthusiastic Germany football stamp issued on May 2, 2012.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bitcoin for the Befunndled

Bitcoin for the Befunddled is a book published by No Starch Press, covering every thing you need to know about Bitcoin: what is is, how it works, and how to acquire, store, and spend bitcoins safely and securely. The advertising card was distributed at DefCon 22, held in Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from August 7 to August 10, 2014.

A week or so earlier, the first Bitcoin ATM "Bitcoin Bodega" by Robocoin was installed on the Las Vegas Strip at the end of July 2014, located inside the Viva Vegas souvenir shop south of Harmon Avenue and across from the Crystals at City Center.

The arrival of Bitcoin ATM indicates increasing popularity of digital currency as an alternative to cash and bank cards. It also highlights Las Vegas as an early adopter for the trending technology and emerging e-commerce.

In downtown area, Bitcoin ATMs were installed in The D Las Vegas in May, 2014.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Rainbow Fleet at Nantucket, MA

Postcard US-2293205 to California features a 1955 poster showing the Rainbow Sailboat Fleet at Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Nantucket Yacht Club chose Beetle Cats, 12.25 ft or 3.76 m catboats first built in 1920 in New Bedford, Massachusetts by members of the Beetle family,  for its fleet with the sails in different colors in 1925.

The Nantucket Yacht Club and the Great Harbor Yacht Club are hosting its 20th annual Nantucket Race Week to promote affordable access to sailing and water sports to the public starts on Saturday August 9, 2014, with the Rainbow Fleet Parade scheduled at 9:30 am on August 17, 2014.

The postcard was purchased from LanternPress's store at Zazzle.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Space Shuttle Columbia

Twenty five years ago today, Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off on August 8, 1989 for a five-day mission STS-28. It was the 30th NASA Space Shuttle mission overall, the 4th secret military mission for the U.S. Department of Defense, and the 8th flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. It was also Columbia's first flight since STS-61-C in January 1986, the mission directly preceding the Challenger disaster.

The featured postcard shows Columbia's Crew Insignia for mission STS-4, the 4th NASA Space Shuttle mission overall, and also the 4th flight for Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission, launched on June 27, 1982 and landed a week later on July 4, 1982,  carried numerous scientific payloads and military missile detection systems. The insignia shows the Columbia trailing USA nation's colors in the shape of her flight number 4, representing the fourth and final flight of the test phase. Space Shuttle was officially declared to be operational thereafter.

Columbia was destroyed on February 1, 2003 during the re-entry of the atmosphere at the end of a 16-day multi-disciplinary microgravity and Earth science research mission STS-107.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Earth Observation from Space

Fifty five years ago, the U.S. satellite Explorer VI was launched by a Thor DM-18 Able III rocket from Cape Canaveral's LC-17A site in Florida on August 7, 1959.  It took the first black-and-white photo of the planet Earth from space, showing a portion of the ocean and the cloud cover over the Central Pacific Ocean. It started an era of the earth observation from space.

Postcard US-1893434 to Russia was one of the six limited edition IKONOS Collector cards from Space Imaging 2003 International Image Festival. It shows the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on the northern bank of the Moskva River, a few blocks southwest of the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia. By comparing the image card with the recent satellite image from the same area on Google Maps, you can find out those changes in the area over the past 10 years.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mountain Lion on a Ledge

Postcard US-2869247 to Finland shows a mountain lion pauses on a ledge inside this swirled rock chasm in Arizona. Mountain lions, usually shy and elusive, are most commonly seen in mountainous terrain. They are solitary animals with the exception of females with kittens or breeding pairs. An average litter has three kittens, which stay with mother for about 18 months. When grown up, they weight 70-150 pounds or 31-68 kilograms and can live up to 13 years in the wild. Mountain lions are good jumpers. They can jump 20 feet or 6 meters vertically and 40 feet or 12 meters horizontally in one leap.

The postcard was purchased from National Geographic's store at Zazzle. Copyright Norbert Rosing/National Geographic Stock.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Dublin

Second annual Rock'N'Roll Dublin Half Marathon, doubled as Ireland’s National Half Marathon Championships, took place yesterday, attracting 7,500 runners from all over Ireland and around the world. The 21 km or 13.1 mile course started at the Docklands by the River Liffey, passing through such attractions as Christchurch, the Guinness Brewery, and Royal Hospital Kilmainham, and ended at the Phoenix Park. British Olympian Scott Overall took the men’s title in 1h 05' 19"; Sarah Mulligan won the women's title in 1h 16' 02". 

The featured postcard was distributed at the Health & Fitness Expo before the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon in 2013.

Monday, August 4, 2014

President Obama Turns 53

Happy Birthday to President Obama, who just turned 53 today on Aug. 4, 2014. He was born in 1961, which was Year of the Ox in Chinese Zodiac. It is said that dependability, strength and determination are among the character traits for those people born in Year of the Ox. they are tolerant individuals who believe that the road to success involves hard work and scrupulous behavior; they do not believe in taking shortcuts.

Postcard US-1948589 to the Netherlands was made with a photo from President Obama's reelection campaign appearance at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas on August 20, 2012, embedded in a template then available at

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Titanic Memorial Lighthouse

Postcard US-2849023 to Portugal shows the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, at the entrance to the South Street Seaport in New York City, New York.

The 60-foot or 18-meter lighthouse was originally built on the roof of the old Seamen's Church Institute of New York and New Jersey at the corner of South Street and Coenties Slip in 1913, over looking the East River. The time ball on the top of the lighthouse, activated by a radio signal from the Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., would drop down the pole to signal 12:00 at noon to the ships in the harbor from 1913 to 1967.

When the Seamen's Church Institute moved to 15 State Street in July 1968, the lighthouse was donated to the South Street Seaport Museum. It was erected on the corner of Fulton and Pearl streets in May, 1976. It is one of those memorials in the U.S., Canada, England and Northern Ireland that remember the people perished on the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

San Francisco Cable Car: 141 Years

Postcard US-2468742 to Czech Republic shows the iconic San Francisco Cable Car, one of the most popular attractions in the city, with Alcatraz Island in the background. It is the last manually-operated cable car system in the world. At its heyday, there were twenty-three cable car lines established between 1873 and 1890. Three lines remain today: the Powell-Mason line that begins at the Powell@Market turntable, runs up and over Nob Hill and then down to Fisherman's Wharf; the Powell- Hyde line that also begins at the Powell@Market turntable, runs over Nob and Russian hills before ending at Aquatic Park near Ghiradelli Square near Fisherman's Wharf; the California Street line that runs East-West from the Financial District, through Chinatown, over Nob Hill, and ends at Van Ness Avenue. The cable car on the postcard runs on the Powell-Hyde line.

141 years ago today, the San Francisco Cable Car started as the Clay Street Hill Railroad, first opened on August 2, 1873. The cable cars were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966, and designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark on January 29, 1964.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hexagonal Pavilion

Postcard DE-2409177 from Germany shows a hexagonal pavilion in a Japanese garden. It was attributed to the Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. However, I couldn't find similar photos from Google Image Search or Flickr Photo Search; and it didn't show up on Nata Metlukh's excellent drawing of the Tea Garden. So, I am not sure. If you know where the pavilion is, please leave your comment below.