Wild Duck, Boston, MA

While walking towards the Longfellow Bridge via the back bay area, I saw tens of wild ducks swim back and forth in a small tributary of the Charles River. They seemed to have no certain destinations — maybe for them, keep swimming is just a lifestyle, like human beings keep working. There are two types of ducks, one with somewhat brown feather, and the others are green-headed. Lucky for them, in the world of wild ducks, “race discrimination” is not an issue: different ducks swim together — they are even on the same wavelength about how to pose in front of my camera.

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Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

As one of the oldest city in United States, Boston owns quite some titles as “the first” in this country — and Boston Public Library is among the contributors to such titles. Quote from Wikipedia: Boston Public Library “was the first publicly supported municipal library in the United States, the first large library open to the public in the United States, and the first public library to allow people to borrow books and other materials and take them home to read and use”.  Though having seen some other large libraries before, I was still quite impressed by the huge amount and diversity of the collection in Boston Public Library. Randomly wandering in the library, seeing the staff walking by with their carts and readers enjoying their books in a ray of warm sunshine, I recalled the ad slogan of the cafe in the library: The smartest place in the city to eat. Well, I guess the greatest thing about the library is not how smart you are now, but how eager you are to be smarter — and eagerness to be smarter is usually the first off to smart.

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Knocker and Door, Jingzhou, Hubei

A temple, which is said to be built in Tang Dynasty, locates at Jingzhou, Hubei Province, a famous historic town in China.  Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝), the most powerful god in Han culture, has been worshiped in this temple for thousands of years. Though the paint was peeling and the red door looks weather-stained, we can still imagine how stately the temple used to be through the rusted knocker. I visited here at the very beginning of the new year, and thus happened to see quite some people stopped by to pray for blessings in the new year. Years may pass and times may change, but there are always something we share in common with our ancestries: our culture, our values, our most simple wishes for better lives.

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Horsehead Wall, Shaoshan, Hunan

Traditional Chinese architecture has a host of different elements which could be seen as its “symbols” and horsehead wall is definitely one of them. In Chinese, horsehead wall is called “馬頭牆”, which means that the shape of the wall is similar to the head of horses. Originated from Anhui Province and therefore naturally be an indispensable signature of Hui-styled architecture, nowadays, horsehead walls could be found in a lot of old-fashioned houses in South China, especially in villages along both sides of the Yangtze River.

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