A Brief Introduction of Rainy Copper Bodhisattva-brief history of photography

brief history of photography
brief history of photography

A Brief Introduction of Rainy Copper Bodhisattva
What had ignited last evening’s odyssey was a brilliant, late-afternoon stroll through the 3 pagodas (sic) park. It would either make or break my trip, a previous traveler had warned, and I accepted the challenge for the former to result.

The three pagodas after which the park is named are only a trifle of an attraction within a huge, meticulously cultivated compound. It is the quintessential Chinese cultural amusement, combining one part real antiquity with three parts contrived historical authenticity. Much to my chagrin, man of the religious edifices on which the park’s current crop of structures are modeled were either destroyed by natural disasters or ruined by "historical wars", namely the Cultural Revolution. Regardless, the refurbished pagodas and their entourage of reconstructed temples hold their own in vying for tourist dollars in Dali’s ferociously competitive market.

I spent a bank-breaking 1RMB – the cost of a one way bus fare between Kunming and Dali – to enter the attraction and the money was well spent. Not only are there acres and acres of picturesque gardens and prodigious temples which provided plenty of opportunities for me to practice my photography, but the park also has what I consider to be the most immaculate toilets in China (as well it should since the high entrance fee guarantees gleaming facilities, as well as a scant number of visitors who can afford to pay the price to use those sparkling restrooms). Dirty China, this is not! To boot, all of the facilities and attractions are spaced out on the park’s massive grid. I had an outstanding workout walking the mile or so from the park’s entrance to its rear where the tower overlooking Erhai lake and the mountain is situated…

brief history of photography
brief history of photography

Barnardsville, NC, 1959
Preserved in a hand-made book.
At the time, and for a brief few years, the town was incorporated. The dotted lines on the map show those boundaries; also the population which was 295 persons at the time. Although the post office designation remains, the borders of the town are now erased and the community blends in with the entire unincorporated valley, known as Big Ivy, lying along the Ivy River and east of US19/23.

A great irony here is the English ivy decoration at the top of the book. This visual confusion still exists. The "ivy" for which the local river and community are called is the traditional Appalachian word for Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), which once bordered all the waterways in profusion. Somehow during the 20th century this identity become confused with English ivy (then promoted as a landscaping plant). Nowadays, local efforts to illustrate the place name usually (and incorrectly) select English ivy as the definitive logo!

brief history of photography

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