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Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Big City Nights (Da Funk)

Big City Nights Bus Stop

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address: 139 2nd Ave #1
Date: January 2019
Website:  daftpunk.com

  Daft Punk caught the world's attention with their single Da Funk back in 1996.  It was a purely instrumental song with a driving beat and funky synthesizers.  The music video directed by Spike Jonze brought even more attention.  The video was a short film called Big City Nights. In the video, Da Funk played in the background behind the dialogue.

Orpheum Theatre where Stomp has played since 1994.

  We were watching the music video for Da Funk and after the dog missed his bus (more on the video's plot later) we noticed something.   Down the street we could see a sign for the musical percussion peformance group STOMP.  In New York, STOMP has been performing at the Orpheum Theatre since 1994.  They are still going strong after more than 10,000 performances.

Deutsches Dispensary

  We did some research and found that a large part of the music video was filmed in New York's East Village on 2nd Avenue near the Ottendorfer Library.  The building was built in 1883 and one part is the library and another part is the Deutsches Dispensary (pictured above).  The building does not make an appearance in the video but its bus stop does as do some of the surrounding buildings.

  The video follows Charles the dog as he hobbles through the street on crutches.  All the while his boom box with a broken volume knob is blasting Da Funk.  Charles is not a real dog but an actor in a costume.  Daft Punk also like to hide behind costumes and usually appear in public dressed as robots.  Charles tries to take a survey, buys a two dollar book called Big City Nights and eventually runs into an old neighbour.

East Village Meat Market

  Charles the dog runs into Beatrice inside a variety store and they walk out into the street.  Beatrice invites Charles to "come with" for dinner downtown.  Charles agrees.  They wait for a bus outside of the East Village Meat Market.  The gold door on the left looks about the same but the white door (pictured above) used to also be gold back in the 90s. 

East Village Ukranian Restaurant

  We know this is the right place as across the road is a restaurant.  You can see the words Ukranian Restaurant reflected in the window behind Charles.

A Bus Travels Along 2nd Ave. Just Like In Daft Punk's Da Funk Video.

  A bus pulls up and Beatrice gets on.  Charles wants to follow her but sees a sign stating "No Radios. No Smoking. No Spitting".  Now he must choose between his music and a girl.   The bus closes its doors and drives away.  Charles hobbles down the street alone.

Map of Our World
Post # 246

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Year of The Pig

Chinese Zodiac Pig Sign
  1. Hawaiian Pigs
  2. Babirusa
  3. CNE Pigs
  4. Miss Piggy
  5. Miss Piggy
  6. Red River Hog
  7. Tamworth Pigs
  8. Pig Pot at the ROM
  9. Pigman at the Campbell House
  10. Warthogs
  People born in the Year of the Pig are said to be thoughtful, polite, reliable, courageous and ready to help others.  They can also be naive, and self-indulgent.  2019 is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac.  To celebrate here are 10 of our favourite swine encounters. Oink Oink.

1 ) Hawaiian Pigs
Mini Pigs At Dan's Green House in Maui

Dan's Green House is located in the town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui, in Hawaii.  They have exotic plants and rare birds as well as mini pigs.  We got a chance to spend some time with these two little guys.  Aren't they just the cutest?

2)  Babirusa
Babirusa with a keeper at the Toronto Zoo.

Speaking of cute, we are sorry but babirusa are just the opposite.  They have long legs, weird curvy tusks and look like all of their hair just fell out.  They are only found on a few islands in Indonesia and are unforgettable.  We saw this pair at the Toronto Zoo.

3)  CNE Pigs
Pig feeding her litter at Canadian National Exhibition.

When the Canadian National Exhibition comes to Toronto at the end of each summer so does "The Farm".  You can experience the sights and smells of livestock.  There are always lots of pigs and usually one big sow who spends her day constantly feeding her litter of piglets.

4)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy in Wedding Gown at Museum of The Moving Image.

In Queens, New York the Museum of the Moving Image has a Jim Henson Exhibition.  Miss Piggy is one of our favourite Muppets and favourite pigs.  Here she is in her wedding gown ready for her big day.

5)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy Plane crash site in Churchill Manitoba.

This Miss Piggy is a crashed freight plane.  It can be found in Churchill, Manitoba still sitting where it crashed in 1979.  Miss Piggy the Muppet made her debut in 1974.  We have read that the plane is named after Miss Piggy because it was overloaded or it once carried a cargo of pigs.

Front of Miss Piggy Plane in Churchill Manitoba.

 We think it should be called Miss Piggy because of its flat snout.

Miss Piggy plane engine in Churchill Manitoba.

  By the way Miss Piggy, your engine is way over here.  Also watch out for polar bears hiding amongst the rocks and wreckage.

6)  Red River Hog
Red River Hog At The Toronto Zoo.

The red river hog is a colourful African pig.  We like its whiskers and red coat.  It turns out that we have a fondness for animals with red coloured fur.

7)  Tamworth Pigs
Tamworth Pigs At Riverdale Farm.

Based on our previously professed love of red furred anuimals you can see why we like Tamworth pigs.  They are one of the oldest breeds of pigs.  You can also see the curly little tail in the photo above that makes pigs even more appealing.  These pigs are from Toronto's Riverdale Farm.


8)  Pig Pot at the ROM
Pig Shaped Pot At The Royal Ontario Museum

This pig shaped vessel was at the Royal Ontario Museum.  We imagine it could be filled with some sort of liquid which could then be poured out of the spout in the snout.  We didn't make note of what was listed as its intended purpose and often the museum uncovers artifacts whose purpose is only assumed.

9 ) Pigman at the Campbell House
Campbell House Museum.

We took this photo of the Campbell House Museum in Toronto.  The Campbell House was built in 1822 and was actually moved to where it sits today.  Looking at our photo later we noticed something odd.

Man Dressed Like A Pig At The Campbell House in Toronto

There was a well dressed pig man on the grounds.  We hope he was there for an event or promotion at the museum. 

10 ) Warthogs
Warthogs At A Waterhole In Greater Kruger Park.

We took a trip to Africa and encountered many wild warthogs.  We watched them come and go at a waterhole in Greater Kruger in South Africa.  We also watched them mow the lawn in Zimbabwe beside the mighty Zambezi River.

A Warthog Kneels On The Grass At A'Zambezi Lodge.

Because warthogs have such short necks they usually have to kneel down on their front legs to eat grass.  In the video below, various African animals eat beside a waterhole until the warthogs come and take over.


New Year Celebrations At Scarborough Town Centre.

  That is our list of favourite pigs.  We took part in some celebrations at the Scarborough Town Centre for the Chinese New Year.  You can celebrate and enjoy pigs all year long.


Map of Our World
Post # 241

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

TAO Downtown

TAO Sign Manhattan

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address:  92 9th Avenue
Date: November 2014
Website:  taodowntown.com

  We arrived at TAO Downtown on a busy weekend evening.  TAO offers Asian cuisine like dim sum, sushi and more all in a mysterious setting.  We encountered a long corridor which was lit by candles.  We slowly moved down the dark corridor towards our dining destination.

TAO New York Elephant Sculpture.
Crouching Statues TAO New York

  Tucked in behind the candles were different sculptures and artwork.  Sitting men and elephants watched us as we made our way deeper into the restaurant.

TAO New York Reclining Buddha.

  We turned a corner and there was a reclining Buddha.  According to TAO's website, the Buddha’s position signifies tranquility and serenity that comes with enlightenment and represents the final passage into Nirvana.

TAO's Impressive Dining Room.

We turned around again and found ourselves at the top of a grand staircase looking out across the restaurant.  It felt like we were entering a large temple.  We were led down the staircase to the main dining area below.

Quan Yin Statue At TAO New York.

  At the far end of the dining room stands Quan Yin.  Quan Yin is the goddess of compassion and has 24 hands.

Quin Yin at TAO New York in Blue
 Quin Yin TAo New York in Colours
 Quin Yin TAO New York in Yellow.

  3D projection makes Quin Yin appear in different colours and outfits.  At some points it looked as if birds were flying past her or if a waterfall was flowing over her.  All of this and we haven't even ordered our food yet.

Little Man Chopstick Holder.
Little Man Chopstick Holder.

  Our group ordered various items from the menu and everyone was pleased.  We also loved the cute little chopstick holder man even if he was a bit cheeky.  After our meal we climbed back out of TAO's temple and into the busy Manhattan streets having had a memorable dinner adventure.

Three Sisters Statue at TAO New York.

Map of Our World
TAO Downtown

Post # 240

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The Grave Of Mother Goose

Granary Burying Ground.

Location: Bostan, Massachusetts, USA
Address: Tremont Street
Date: Sept 2013
Website: www.celebrateboston.com

  Granary Burying Ground in Boston has been a graveyard since the late 1600s.  Many of the graves have been worn thin through the years or had the writing on their faces worn down to where they are unreadable.  Many famous people in Boston's history are buried here.  We were looking for one grave in particular.  The grave of Mother Goose.

Granary Goose Grave.

  Mother Goose is credited with many nursery rhymes.  Some famous ones are "Three Blind Mice", "Humpty Dumpty" or Hickory Dickory Dock".  After hunting around the cemetery we finally located her grave.

Here Lyes Y Body Of Mary Goose.

 Mary Goose died in 1690.  Her husband Issac remarried to a woman called Elizabeth.  Thomas Fleet married her daughter also called Elizabeth.  It is said that grandmother Goose sang songs and rhymes when Thomas and his wife had their first child.  Thomas being a printer made a book of some of these rhymes called Mother Goose's Melodies For Children.  This is said to be the first use of Mother Goose in America but Mother Goose had also been associated with rhymes in England long before even Mary Goose's death.

Who Is The Mother Of All Geese?
 
  So it appears there is no true Mother Goose.  At least not in a cemetery in Boston.  Most people are familiar with some Mother Goose nursery rhymes even if much like the myth of Boston's Mother Goose, they have changed and been re-written through the years.

Just Put Your John Hancock Here. And Here.  And Initial Here.

  The Hancock Tower is the tallest tower in Boston.  It is named afterJohn Hancock Insurance company which had offices there.  The insurance company is named after John Hancock whose signature is on the Declaration of Independence.  Johm Hancock's grave is also located in Granary Burying Ground.

The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere's Statue.

  Paul Revere's grave is also located in the Granary Burying Ground.  Paul Revere is best known for riding through Massachusetts warning that the British were coming.  We didn't see his grave, but did visit his statue in Boston's North End.  Granary Burying Ground is filled with centuries of history and a little bit of mystery.


Map of Our World
Paul Revere Statue
Granary Burying Ground , John Hancock Tower


Post # 231