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Charley Harper’s Cookbook

26 September, 2016

Charley Harper, the mid-century illustrator most famous for his minimalist birds and wildlife, was given an interesting commission early in his career: illustrate Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook. 

The recipes in the cookbook aren’t exactly to be recommended, but the illustrations are delightful. They range from the charming (a lamb dreaming of chefs jumping over a fence, a pioneer woman with a shopping cart in the woods) to the rather creepy (potato ‘eyes’ actually being eyes). Here’s a selection, with more to come.

The Great Luge of China

21 September, 2016

After huffing and puffing her way up the Great Wall of China, the Author was delighted and surprised to find an alternative route back down: a luge. Her companion decided that it didn’t look quite up to safety code and chose to walk back down.

The Author, however, was thrilled at the prospect of speeding down a UNESCO World Heritage site on a chunk of plastic. The brake in the middle of the seat is the only way to control your momentum as you descend from 25 feet on a winding metal track.

The Great Luge of China lived up to the Author’s expectations. She waited until the riders ahead of her were out of sight so she could build up as much speed as possible – a decision that she slightly regretted as she wildly rounded a hairpin turn. But she survived! And what fun it was!

The Luge can be found at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, which is about two hours from Beijing and much less tourist-y than other areas.

Readers may recall the trash can disguised as a tree trunk, also encountered at this section of the Great Wall.

Louge down the Great Wall

Louge down the Great Wall 2

The Great Luge, 2012

Old Place

2 September, 2016


Old Place.JPG

Taken near Hampstead Heath, London.

No Smoking Giant Cigarettes in Tokyo

24 August, 2016

Either the designer of this sign has an odd sense or humor, or never seen a cigarette in his or her life.

Human size cigarette sign Tokyo (1)

Tokyo (2012)

Temple Surveillance

19 August, 2016

This Temple in Kyoto certainly isn’t taking surveillance lightly, with four cameras and two spotlights.

Nearly as diligent as the surveillance fixture at Tiananmen Square.


Kyoto, Japan (2012)

Strike a Pose

12 August, 2016

A detail from a photograph of the sun-and-sand-seeking crowds at Coney Island in the 1930s (or round about then):

Strike a pose - Coney Island

Key Shop

10 August, 2016

What a marvelous roll-down gate! The Author encountered this shop near the Emirates Stadium in North London after a Champions League match in which Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1.
Keys London (1)