Two views of a sculpture on the waterfront of Seattle, of Ivar Hagland, a local character who was real and larger than life. Ironically the seagulls in this sculpture are larger than life and Ivar is pretty close to life size. Of course gulls feel bigger than they are when coming at you for left-over french fries.
Here is another sculpture installation that I really liked by the Mihe River in Shouguang, China. It was fun to see it with the different river levels.
This is another of the sculptures that was located in an area that was under construction the last time I was there.
I have been awed by the intricate details carved into blocks of this hard stone. The combination of the intricate carving and the stone’s natural coloration is beautiful.
These photos are from the lobby of a hotel in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China where I have stayed on my way to and from visiting my son.
I pulled in Elbe on our way home from Mount Rainier last week to let drivers in a hurry to get back to the city go past me. Since I was stopped anyway I scooched into this little quick stop turned wood carving studio that was beside the pull out to take a look.
Here are a few of the sculptures we saw when wandering about on the Seattle waterfront yesterday.
The man himself is immortalized at Pier 54 in front of Ivar’s Acres of Clams:
Also at Pier 54 is Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe (moved to a new location). I class totem poles as a type of sculpture:
At Miner’s Landing (Pier 54), a place with several eateries and the giant Ferris-wheel, there were several wooden sculptures:
Two views of a sculpture beside the aquarium (Pier 59):
At Pier 66 , which was for many years the main offices of the Port of Seattle-Dad worked there throughout my childhood), was this fun fish fountain:
Every city that I have been in in China has had spacious, well maintained parks and public square, mostly called “People’s Square” or a minor variation on it. One of my favorite things to do in China is wander around in these parks and public spaces.
Weifang has two with very similar names pretty far apart and it took me quite a while to figure out that the one near where my son lived was not the one referred to most of the time.
If I recall correctly (not a 100% sure thing) these are two view of the People’s Square in Qingdao:
Preparing Tian’anmen Square for National Day:
Many of the parks have really cool art, and artistic details. Here is a sampling:
People using parks
On weekday mornings, even nice ones you might think that these beautiful parks are like the empty high-rises, waiting for more people to come to fill them. On a sunny day, before work or in the afternoon as people start getting off work, or a nice weekend (especially one with enough wind for kite flying) you can see that this is not true.
Parks are places for exercise, to meet friends, to dance, to fish (F is for Fishing) and, of course to fly kites (K is for Kites).
Shouguang, the city where my son lives now, even though it is considered “rural” or a “fifth tier” city, has really nice parks and a lot of nice art in them. I did some posts about this: A walk along the Mihe River , Fall in Shouguang , and, par for my course, never finished my plans to show even more of the park art in Shouguang. Maybe when I get back from this coming trip I’ll finally finish.
Even more than the art in parks, I love to see people out enjoying the parks. On weekdays they are often fairly empty, peaceful places. On nicer days there are usually a few people, often children with their grandparents, but on nice days as evening approaches and on the weekends they are busy places.
I loved this wonderful park along the west bank of the Mihe River. It runs about 3/4 mile (1.25 km) between the two car bridges. Near each of the car bridges was a pedestrian (plus cyclists and scooters) bridge. One of them was obviously the old roadway but the other was a graceful gently arched bridge.
As I mentioned in an earlier post one the Mihe River runs through the eastern part of the city of Shouguang.
You can see a larger version of any photo by clicking on it.
In September and October I visited a “small” city (roughly the population of Seattle) considered rural in China. The city of Shouguang in the prefecture level city of Weifang in Shandong province.
Shouguang merits mention in Wikipedia! It is the vegetable capital of the world (self proclaimed). The city hosts an International High-Tech Vegetable Fair every year in April/May. I went a couple of years ago: I’ll meet you at the giant bok choi. It was a lot of fun, but we didn’t see the city itself at that time.
Fast forwarding, my son got a job teaching at a new school in Shouguang and moved there over the summer, so this fall I had a chance to explore. Shouguang is a seasonal city, they roll out the carpet and have wonderful gardens oriented to being at their peek in the spring. In the fall it has a more relaxed charm. Over the course of this month I am planning to share a little bit about Shouguang in the fall. With any luck I’ll be able to explore it again next spring.
One fun feature of Shouguang was the sculptures around town, especially in the parks. Shouguang has a large amount of land dedicated to parks. Each park seems to have its own personality. The first sculpture I noticed was a giant strawberry tucked among some trees in a park. As I wandered along more of them appeared. Then I saw the giant pumpkin patch.