Couple, Boston, MA

On my way back from Newbury Street, I noticed this couple in the Public Garden. In the sunny afternoon, they quietly sat on the bench, each reading a book. The lady wore a white dress, simple and elegant, but also looked just like a teenager girl. Maybe this is his favorite? Not too far away, two young artists were happily playing violin and cello and they were rewarded by rounds of applause by the audience.  This is just the moment you will realize how wonderful it is to be with someone important to you, to do something interests you, and to appreciate the beauty of a simple life.

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“Medieval” Lady, Sterling, NY

An interesting festival nearby: The Sterling Renaissance Festival. A typical middle age English town is recreated here in Sterling, and a majority of the people here wear the complicated but fancy costumes (not only the actors and actresses but also visitors!). Walking in this area, sometimes you felt like that you have accidentally caught a time machine and flew back to the old days, to that different age.  Yet more often, you have the feeling that you were in a British movie or TV series, be it Downtown Abbey or Pride and Prejudice. The topic of the festival is “The Highland Fling” on the day we visited, so naturally, we won’t miss the lovely bagpipes and highland dance!

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Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

As probably the most lively tourist destination in this city, Pike Place Market is one of the must-go places in Seattle. And if you go there in the morning, bingo, you will just catch the best moment of it! Though not too different from a typical farmer’s market in the US, I am still impressed by the diversity of produce and the organization of a variety of different shops there. Right at the entrance is the famous “Pike Place Fish Co.”. Each time a customer buys fish, the fishmongers will shout it out and throw the fish to the cashier. A pretty interesting live show for the tourists who happen to pass by. And this is just a start! Flowers, fruits, vegetables, souvenirs, collectibles, antiques…you can almost find whatever you are searching for here! And guess what? The original Starbucks coffee shop is also here!

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Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA

I was going across the Decatur Street to enjoy the famous beignets and coffee Au Lait at Cafe Du Monde, and here came the  carriage. Alongside with it was a long line of cars waiting for the green light. Suddenly I found the beauty of this city: no matter when and where, you always have the choice of a slower pace of life. Sitting in a cafe and observing people walking by, fine; walking into random antique shops and appreciate the value of time and history, perfect. We may choose to live slower, but we keep moving forward while enjoying the trip. Sometimes, less is more.

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Jazz Man, New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is a city of arts — and according to my recent knowledge from the Library of Congress, music belongs to arts in ancient classification of academic disciplines. Painters were sitting along the street drawing whatever coming out of their minds, ranging from the street view of Jackson Square to delicious raw oyster and crawfish; bands with young boys and girls were performing their self-composed songs, with the audience cheering here and there; behavior artists put on their costumes, standing still in the street as if they were sculptures. Among all the different forms of arts,  one of them is somewhat special for New Orleans: Jazz. This city is said to be the birthplace of Jazz. Indeed, I was almost surrounded by this slow and melodious music: Every few steps, you would hear a different piece of Jazz, coming out of saxophone, trumpet or double bass, elegantly and beautifully.

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