Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nagatoro (長瀞)

Nagatoro (長瀞) is a nice and relaxing place in Saitama prefecture (埼玉県), located at the north of Chichibu City (秩父市). The name Nagatoro is composed by two ideograms: 長(なが), which means "long", and 瀞(とろ), which indicates a "pool in the river". The meaning of the second ideogram, in particular, can be easily understood by seeing that it is composed by water (水, often indicated as 氵in compounds) and quiet (静).

And in fact the river was really calm and quiet. Nice, isn't it?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the Chinese way to beach

There seems to be a common denominator to the asian way to the beach: the umbrella. (see also what's going on in Japan)

Well, someone prefers the Italian way ;-)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Starry night in sanya

Well, the sky was not so starry, after all. But I like the picture :-)


Sanya (Simplified: 三亚; Traditional: 三亞) is the southernmost city in Hainan (海南) province, China. It is commonly known as "the Chinese Hawaii", and in fact there was a very pleasant weather.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Moulin Rouge

Le Moulin Rouge is a traditional cabaret, built in 1889 by Joseph Oller. It is situated in the red-light district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, near Montmartre, in Paris.

The main feature of an evening at the Moulin Rouge is the nightly performance. The Moulin Rouge is famous internationally as the 'spiritual home' of the traditional French Can-Can, which is still performed there today. Whilst the dance of the can-can had existed for many years as a respectable, working-class party dance, it was in the early days of the Moulin Rouge when courtesans first adapted the dance to entertain the male clientele. It was usually performed individually, with the courtesan moving in an increasingly energetic and provocative way in an attempt to seduce a potential client.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Arc de Triomphe & Tour Eiffel

Puppet Show in the metro

One of the big differences of the French metro compared to the Japanese one is the presence of artists who jump into a car, perform for a couple of minutes, and then move on. Most of them are musicians, playing the accordion or similar instruments. From time to time, however, there is something different, like in the picture below.

The puppet here was singing and dancing on the sound of Speedy Gonzales.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Light up at Rikugien

六義園 (Rikugien) is a Tokyo metropolitan park in the Bunkyo area. The park was built in 1695 by Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa by permission of the fifth shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, and completed in 1702. In 1938 it was donated to the Tokyo City government.
During 紅葉 (autumn colors), the park is open also at night and lit up. Wonderful, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The garden of the Embassy of Italy

Beautiful 紅葉 (autumn colors) in the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo.

(ok, this last one doesn't really show the 紅葉, but I liked it)

For some historical info, check also my older post.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Winter in Sarajevo

"Winter in Sarajevo" was the first thing I thought when I saw this parking lot in Santa Monica, LA.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fancy Cat

In US you can have a normal, sequential license plate, for your car. Or, at an additional fee, you can customize the message of the plate (see for example the website of the California Department of Motor Vehicle).

Today, I found a FaNCY CAT:

Proud to be an American!

Americans might have a lot of defects, but for sure they are patriotic in a way nobody else in the world is.

The flag of the United States of America consists of 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 U.S. states and the 13 stripes represent the original Thirteen Colonies that rebelled against the British crown and became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for the flag include "the Stars and Stripes" and "Old Glory". [more info]

The National Flag is almost everywhere!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Important things in life

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining space. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous ‘yes’.

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the space between the sand particles. The students laughed.

Now, said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. ”
“The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favourite passions - things that if everything else were lost, and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Go out with friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the washing. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Drawbacks of photography

Photography is a very interesting art. Sometimes, in order to get a good shot, you have to take the picture from an unusual angle. So it might happen that, trying to take a nice picture of Montmartre with the people, you would like to lay on the street, and use a very low angle.
The problem is that in this way most of the people do not see you, so they just stand between you and your target.

Or, as in this case, they almost sit on your lens... :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Abbesses is one of the few deep stations of Paris métro, at 30 metres below ground. To get out of the station, you can take these wonderful decorated stairs.

Too bad that some stupid idiot decided that it was cool to write on it.