Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

August 13, 2012

Francis Unson:

When you travel to Budapest, Hungary, you can take the tourist track, do what the locals do, or both.  What does the capital and largest city of Hungary have to offer?

Originally posted on our souls are birds:

ohhhh budapest.  you deserved so much more of my time instead of a scant 28 hours! if only i hadn’t done some bookings while half-asleep, if only i hadn’t gotten lost and wandered around the city for a couple hours, if only i hadn’t had to hang out in my suite and do laundry–we would have become so much better-acquainted!   but, the suite i got to stay in was really cool and communist-looking.  maybe that doesn’t even make sense.  it had the world’s least comfortable couch (seat was 2.5 feet wide, back was maybe 6-8 inches high…), dark carpeting, wallpapers, 12 ft ceilings, and a set of incredibly beautiful 12ft tall doors!

not the building i stayed in, but nearby

budapest was different than the other former-communist places i’d been.  for one, there were sex shops everywhere.  bars open at 8 am, with people drinking.  slightly dingy buildings, not…

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August 8, 2012

Francis Unson:

The Longji Rice Terraces in Guilin, Guangxi, China, are a place you must see up close to believe.  Not only are rice terraces aesthetically appeasing, but they, in short, feed China.

Originally posted on Plus Ultra:

Hair wrapped artfullyin a turban of black cloth, her tough frame is softened by a lilac top and short frilly skirt. As she saunters in and out of the room, I watch the light momentarily catch on her earrings – they are two silver crescents, raw and slightly tarnished, sweeping around a hollow in the shape of the full moon.

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July 2, 2012

Francis Unson:

How do the locals of Montreal, Canada spend their summer?  By shutting down a street so that vendors can setup shop in order to sell food, souvenirs, and other things.

Originally posted on Tomorrow Never Knows {photography}:

Montreal loves any excuse to shut down a street and we Montrealers love walking down the middle of the street without getting hit by a car (though we already jaywalk any chance we get). Two weekends in a row most of the St Laurent Boulevard – aka the Main – was closed for the sidewalk sale and we got to soak in the sun while spending money and eating street food & mango on a stick. Summer in Montreal just can’t be beat.

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June 12, 2012

Francis Unson:

Would you give the gifts TV dads received for Father’s Day?

Originally posted on Childhood Relived:

Like a lot of people, next Sunday I’ll be honoring my dear ol’ dad – perhaps in the form of a Home Depot gift card.  Because nothing says “thank you for life, love and shelter” like new electrical outlet covers.

But being that I was partially raised by a 1981 television set, I can’t forget to pay tribute to the other dads in my life — my TV dads.  So the question is, what do you get for the men who have everything?  Boisterous laugh tracks?   Top Nielsen ratings?  A chance to appear on Hollywood Squares?  Here are a few more tangible items:

1)      Fred Sanford, Sandord & Sons — a storage shed.  You need to face your illness, Dad.  You’re a hoarder.  And you’re a cantankerous old fart who’s managed to survive 2,384 heart attacks.  Your health is obviously fragile so let’s pack away some…

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June 4, 2012

Francis Unson:

Collecting stamps and coins is like collecting mini works of art.

Originally posted on ecrit l'amour | contemporary hand-lettering | modern calligraphy | unique pen-to-paper creations:

Loving a handwritten letter inevitably makes me love stamps. Now that the Postal Service seems to be slipping into the past, it makes me want to collect these tiny little pieces of art even more. Stamp collecting may seem like a super dorky pastime, but I can’t help but admit that I like it. Despite a disgurntuled and impatient postal worker helping me, I know I will never buy a boring or ugly stamp ever again. (No offense to postal workers; I’ve had a lot of nice ones too!)  Some of the new 2012 stamps include the strange and wonderful. This year you’ll find Aloha Shirts, Innovative Chorepgarphers, Weather Vanes, Twentieth-Century Poets, Bonsai Trees and the Carmel Mission just to name a few. (Check the 2012 USPS new issued stamps at Stamp News Now. Here are a few pics of some of my own stamps, although I do have to…

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May 23, 2012

Francis Unson:

Festivals take place year-round in Japan. If Tokyo is too fast-paced for your tastes, try visiting the surrounding prefectures.

Originally posted on life to reset:

If there is one thing that best represent  Japan’s natural beauty, it has to be the highest mountain- Mt. Fuji.   The 3,766m symmetrical cone shaped mountain has inspired poet and artist for decades, where it was often depicted with the top- half covered in snow.

My first visit to the mountain was last year, during the hiking season where the  picturesque snow-capped was gone.  I was a bit sad to see the mountain on its “ordinary” state, so I promised to myself that on one fine day, I shall return to Yamanashi prefecture, to see the mountain on all its glory.

To view the mountain requires exceptional timing and preferably “sunny, clear” weather condition. So, I was checking out the weather forecast almost everyday, as I don’t want to waste a 3 hours commute to the unpredictable spring season.

Last Sunday was just the right day that I was waiting…

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“The Holstee Manifesto” – How to live your life

February 28, 2012
"The Holstee Manifesto" - How to live your life

“The Holstee Manifesto”, written by Holstee founders Michael Radparvar, Dave Radparvar, and Fabian Pfortmüller in 2009.

I came across “the Holstee Manifesto” on Facebook from Xan Pearson, a social media contemporary of mine from Chicago, who shared it on her Facebook Timeline.  As I read and re-read it, I came to realize how much parts of the manifesto alone would benefit my friends and family as well as myself, since we have our own struggles in life and we are working through them at different rates.  The next morning, I also realized that this manifesto should be read from beginning to end, regardless of our current life situation, since other parts of the prose may direct us to take our lives in a very different, more positive direction.  Who knows in what new direction we take our lives after reading the manifesto over and over?

How did the Holstee Manifesto come into being?  According Holstee’s website:

[T]he first thing Holstee’s three founders – Mike, Fabian and Dave – did was sit together on the steps of Union Square and write down exactly what was on their minds and the tips of their tongues.  It wasn’t about shirts and it wasn’t about their old jobs.  It was about what they wanted from life and how to create a company that breathes that passion into the world everyday.  It was a reminder of what we live for.  The result became known as the Holstee Manifesto.

I strongly encourage you to take the Holstee Manifesto at the top of the blog and make it the background of your desktop for your computer.  If you would prefer a non-electronic version for your bedroom, college dorm, or your children’s bedroom, Holstee sells posters on its website.

In case you want to copy-paste the full text of the Holstee Manifesto, here it is:

“This is your life.  Do what you love, and do it often.  If you don’t like your job, quit.  If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.  If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.  Stop over analyzing, life is simple.  All emotions are beautiful.  When you eat, appreciate every last bite.  Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences.  Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.  Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.  Some opportunities only come once, seize them.  Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating.  Life is short.  Live your dream and share your passion.”

Two years after the premier of the Holstee Manifesto in 2009, Holstee released a video called The Holstee Manifesto: Lifecycle Video, which features the manifesto, verbatim, as well as the lively streets of New York City on Holstee’s favorite mode of transportation — bicycle riding.

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Francis Unson

Holidays in August

August 15, 2011

As we come to the end of July 2011, let’s take a look at what we have to look forward to in August 2011.  I’m sure most of you have heard of weekly observances such as “American Indian Heritage Month” but, believe it or not, the list of weekly observances is pretty long.  There is also a list of daily holidays that aren’t recognized on most yearly calendar.

Believe it or not, there are many holidays and observances in August that, for some reason, did not make it to the calendar that is hanging in your office right now.  Here are some of these August holidays and observances.Weekly Observances in August

Holidays in August

So if you enjoy celebrating holidays, I hope this list has enlightened you on some new ones.  Whether you feel they its appropriate or not, people came up with them for a reason.  Let’s hope that this August is the best one yet!  After all, it is “National Happiness Happens Month”.

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Joie Montoya

William and Kate’s Visit to North America

July 13, 2011

Over a span of twelve days, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went on a trip through Canada and California.  The couple began their trip in Canada on July 1, just in time for Canada Day.  They traveled through most of the country, visiting pastry kitchens, rode in canoes, played hockey, and even planted trees.  A week later, on July 8, the couple arrived in Los Angeles.  They had a meeting with Hollywood studio executives as well as with some of Hollywood’s celebrities, went up the coast of California, and made sculptures with schoolchildren in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured North America, beginning with Canada during the country's national holiday, Canada Day, and ending in Southern California.The famous royal couple showed that they were up to do anything over the weekend.  They were even patient when greeting fans.  The trip highlighted a number of philanthropic works, such as an event to support Tusk USA, an organization that raises funds for African wildlife, Inner-City Arts, a program that helps disadvantaged and homeless children through art, and an event for military veterans where they put together care packages.  The trip was a good time for the international icons.  At the end of the busy weekend, William and Kate opted not to fly home on a private jet.  Instead, they flew home from Los Angeles to London on a commercial flight with British Airways.  However, they did fly first class, but they were amongst civilian travelers.

William and Kate on the first day of their visit to Canada:

William and Kate on their visit to California:

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Taylor P.

Top 20 Places to Visit in Europe

July 11, 2011

Traveling across Europe is many Americans’ dreams, whether it is backpacking through it, honeymooning in it, or spending an extended holiday immersed in it.  If you are visiting for a short time, it can be quite stressful to figure out which places to visit and explore.  There are so many beautiful sights to see all over Europe.  So here is a list of the twenty best European vacation spots:

Barcelona

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Paris

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Lisbon, Portugal

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Berlin

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Budapest, Hungary

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Prague

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Amsterdam

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

London

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Istanbul

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Madrid

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Rome

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Florence

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Copenhagen

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Crete, Greece

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Zurich

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

St. Petersburg

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Mykonos, Greece

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Krakow, Poland

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

These spots have many points of interest to visit and things to see and do.  You can experience the culture of these many great places which, as you will discover, you can never do in just one day.  Now choosing where to go is the hard part!  Europe is a beautiful place and should be explored widely.  When going to a different country you should always remember to pack lightly and travel smart!

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Taylor P.

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