Little Italy in New York City

5 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City Reading Time:  9 minutes

Colour-changing Little Italy sign on Mulberry Street at Broome Street © Jameschecker/cc-by-sa-4.0

Colour-changing Little Italy sign on Mulberry Street at Broome Street © Jameschecker/cc-by-sa-4.0

Little Italy is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan in New York City, once known for its large Italian population. It is bounded on the west by Tribeca and Soho, on the south by Chinatown, on the east by the Bowery and Lower East Side, and on the north by Nolita. In 2010, Little Italy and Chinatown were listed in a single historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Little Italy, by this point, was shrinking rapidly.   read more…

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in East Jerusalem

2 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  16 minutes

Calvary/Golgotha © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

Calvary/Golgotha © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of East Jerusalem. It contains, according to traditions dating back to the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he was buried and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicula. The Status Quo, an understanding between religious communities dating to 1757, applies to the site. Within the church proper are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of the Passion of Jesus. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis (‘Resurrection’). Today, the wider complex around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the church itself is shared among several Christian denominations and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for over 160 years, and some for much longer. The main denominations sharing property over parts of the church are the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic, and to a lesser degree the Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox.   read more…

JW3 in London

1 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, London Reading Time:  8 minutes

© jw3.org.uk

© jw3.org.uk

JW3, also known as Jewish Community Centre London, is an arts, culture and entertainment venue, an educational facility and a social and community hub in north London. It is located at 341–351 Finchley Road, London, and opened on 29 September 2013. “Describing itself as a new postcode for Jewish life”, the name “JW3” is a wordplay on its postal address, which is in the NW3 postcode area. Vivien Duffield, whose idea it was, contributed £40m of the project’s £50m cost – over the 10 years it took to bring it to reality – through the Clore Duffield Foundation. It was inspired by her 2003 visit to the Jewish Community Centre in Manhattan, New York City.   read more…

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

31 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  8 minutes

Warden Garden and Main Entrance to the Penn Museum © Mefman00

Warden Garden and Main Entrance to the Penn Museum © Mefman00

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton and Columbia Universities. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.   read more…

Annaberg-Buchholz in Saxony

29 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Devilsanddust/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Devilsanddust/cc-by-sa-3.0

Annaberg-Buchholz is a town in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. Lying in the Ore Mountains, it is the capital of the district of Erzgebirgskreis. The previously heavily forested upper Ore Mountains were settled in the 12th and 13th centuries by Franconian farmers. Frohnau, Geyersdorf, and Kleinrückerswalde—all now part of present-day town—are all attested from 1397. The most well-known personalities associated with Annaberg-Buchholz include Adam Riese, the “father of modern arithmetic”.   read more…

Theme Week North Korea – Pyongyang

27 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  19 minutes

© flickr.com - uritours.com/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – uritours.com/cc-by-sa-2.0

Pyongyang is the capital and largest city of North Korea. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River about 109 kilometers (68 mi) upstream from its mouth on the Yellow Sea. According to the 2008 population census, it has a population of 3,255,288. Pyongyang is a directly-administered city with equal status to North Korean provinces. Pyongyang is the political, industrial and transport center of North Korea. It is home to North Korea’s major government institutions, as well as the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. Pyongyang is in the west-central part of North Korea; the city lies on a flat plain about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of the Korea Bay, an arm of the Yellow Sea. The Taedong River flows southwestward through the city toward the Korea Bay. The Pyongyang plain, where the city is situated, is one of the two large plains on the Western coast of the Korean peninsula, the other being the Chaeryong plain. Both have an area of approximately 500 square kilometers.   read more…

Raine Island National Park in Queensland

27 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Green Sea Turtles and Masked Boobies © National Marine Sanctuaries - Mark Sullivan

Green Sea Turtles and Masked Boobies © National Marine Sanctuaries – Mark Sullivan

Raine Island is a vegetated coral cay 32 hectares (79 acres) in total area situated on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef off north-eastern Australia. It lies approximately 620 km (390 mi) north-northwest of Cairns in Queensland, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east-north-east of Cape Grenville on the Cape York Peninsula. Raine Island is the site of the oldest European structure in tropical Australia, a stone beacon built in 1844, and harbours the world’s largest remaining population of green turtles. An important environmental icon, the island is totally protected from public access. It got its name from Captain Thomas Raine (1793–1860), the English mariner who discovered it. Raine Island is a vegetated coral cay dominated by low herbaceous annual vegetation (Batianoff et al. 1993). The cay is composed of a central core of phosphate rock surrounded by sand and extensive fringing reefs. It lies just off the eastern edge of the continental shelf, next to a shipping channel known as the Raine Island Entrance and Pandora entrance. The entrance allows shipping to enter the water of the Great Barrier Reef.   read more…

Theme Week North Korea – Sinuiju

26 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Aerial view of Downtown Sinuiju with Sino-North Korean Friendship Bridge as seen from Dandong in China © Baycrest/cc-by-sa-2.5

Aerial view of Downtown Sinuiju with Sino-North Korean Friendship Bridge as seen from Dandong in China
© Baycrest/cc-by-sa-2.5

Sinŭiju (known before 1925 in English as Yeng Byen City) is a city in North Korea which faces Dandong, China across the international border of the Yalu River. It is the capital of North P’yŏngan province. Part of the city is included in the Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region, which was established in 2002 to experiment with introducing a market economy. In recent years, the city, despite lagging behind the development in the capital Pyongyang, has seen a small construction boom and increasing tourism from China.   read more…

Okehampton in Devon

26 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Kicior99/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Kicior99/cc-by-sa-4.0

Okehampton is a town and civil parish in West Devon in the English county of Devon. It is situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor, and had a population of 5,922 at the 2011 census. Okehampton is 21 miles (33 km) west of Exeter, 26 miles (42 km) north of Plymouth and 24 miles (38 km) south of Barnstaple.   read more…

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