Kerry Park, Seattle, WA

Kerry Park is the best place in the city to have a view of Seattle skyline. Though the way up to the mountain is pretty tough (it’s almost a 45 degree angle from the ground!),  it’s absolutely worth it! I got quite some luck today as the weather is so good that I can see the outline of Mt. Rainier clearly (A relevant anecdote: if you met a Seattle native and the first sentence he/she says to you is “the mountain is out”, please look towards the southeast direction.).  And of course another landmark of Seattle is the Space Needle. As a city, I feel that Seattle is similar to Beijing in many ways (and this year we got a movie which has a Chinese name of “Beijing meets Seattle”): it’s modern enough, but different from New York, it’s not all about skyscrapers. Like it!

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George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

At the entrance of George Eastman House, the home of the founder of Kodak company. Not too many visitors there due to the renovation, yet, we came across to several newly-married couples. One couple and their families are enjoying the wedding ceremony at a Greek Church nearby, another one are taking wedding photographs in the gorgeous garden of George Eastman House. Here comes the third one. Accompanied by family and friends, the bride went through the corridor and came towards us, towards a brand new chapter in her life, towards hundreds and thousands of “tomorrows”, some are special days, most will just be normal. But today, at this moment, she must be the happiest person in the world.

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National Archive, Washington, DC

I was a little surprised to know that original manuscripts of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the three “cornerstone” documents in the history of the United States, were still well preserved after nearly three hundred years. And here is where they are, the National Archive. Among all museums in the area of National Mall, this is the only place where you can find a queue every single day. Maybe this is the value of history: while we respecting our history, it enlightens our future.

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Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Here is the home of US Congress, the home of US Senate and House. The need to balance the power among each state and general population induce the two chambers in the congress, a creative mechanism. Yet,  as what is said on the Seal of the United States, E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. Here is where the national motto being practiced again and again in the past hundreds of years.

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Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

Not too many politicians have a far-reaching impact on later generations, but Abraham Lincoln is undoubtedly one of them. Sitting at one end of the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial is built to honor Lincoln, the 16th president of United States. Nowadays, there are thousands and tens of thousands visitors from all around the world every day coming to Washington DC to appreciate the wisdom and courage of the predecessors of this country. Without their resourcefulness and foresight, this nation wouldn’t survive, sustain or prosper.

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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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Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA

I was sitting in front of the National Constitution Center and staring at the Independence Hall, thinking about some random stuff. There comes the carriages. For a moment, I felt like being in a scene of the movie “Pride and Prejudice”, when Elizabeth visited Mr. Darcy’s palace with her auntie and uncle. And  the next moment, I could almost visualize myself in the 18th century, witnessing the founders of this country gathered at this place, signed the Declaration of Independence, and opened a new era. Hmm, I guess this is probably the magic power of historic sites: you can look back at history as if you were there, witnessing everything.