Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #236 – East Meets West

Sunset from the Southern Star.

Amy, the host of this week’s challenge, asks us to compare east/west and north/south. She writes, “We’d love to see your interpretations through your images and stories of culture, architecture, plants, landscape, and more in places you have visited and/or where you live.

I admit to struggling with this challenge, but I think I hit on at least some of the comparisons. Please feel free to tell me whether I was successful or not in the comments. I kept my comparisons to the United States. We start with a view of the Pacific Ocean at sunset from the Southern Star excursion ship off the coast of Kauai. OK, well technically, from here, I could get a sunrise over the Pacific Ocean, but humor me. On the west coast of the continental United States, only sunsets are visible over the water.

Morning Surfers-1
Surfers at the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

On the eastern coast of the United States, you won’t capture any sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean, but you can catch sunrise images. By the time the sun was over the horizon, these surfers were already long into their surfing excursion.

Missouri Garden-39
Victorian Garden in Missouri.

In Saint Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden features an example of a typical victorian garden. The paved walkways and organization represent a style that features plants introduced in the Victorian era. It is a formal garden style with garden beds laid out in patterns and filled with colorful and sometimes exotic species.

Friendship Garden-3
Japanese Friendship Garden in Arizona.

In downtown Phoenix, a Friendship Garden was created with the cooperation of the Japanese sister city of Himeji. In 1976, work started on this garden which was done in a minimalist Japanese style. Flowers are few. Simplicity and restraint coupled with water features provide a relaxing atmosphere for meditation and simply enjoying time spent in the garden. A koi pond is a major feature of this beautiful garden. Evergreens are used to minimize the effect of changing seasons on the atmosphere in the garden.

Downtown New York-1
New York City.

Another aspect of Amy’s post is a north/south comparison. On recent trips to New York and Florida, the difference is noticeable. Both can be crowded spaces, but it seems generally northern cities like New York City feature high rises and people everywhere, day and night.

Saint George Street-1
Saint George Street, Saint Augustine.

In the last few weeks, we traveled through several southern coastal cities including Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia in addition to Saint Agustine, Florida. All of these cities have plenty of people but the architecture is noticeably more historic and tall buildings are not nearly so plentiful. Of course, part of that is the fact that the larger cities of the northern coast have limited space so vertical is the only way to build.

Historic cities tend to preserve their historic architecture, even the more crowded cities like Boston. All of the cities we visited feature tours by bus, horse-drawn carriage, or tour boat. One of the major purposes of these tours is to feature the architecture of the historic parts of the city. I find these tours to be one of the most attractive features of visiting older communities. Saint Augustine, established in 1565, holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States.

Feel free to click on any of the images above to view them in HD on my Flickr site. You can scroll through the entire gallery in the album here.

Thanks again to Amy for this week’s geographic challenge. Next week, Bren is our guest challenger. Be sure to check out her challenge on February 18. You can find her site here. If you are thinking about participating in our challenges, but aren’t sure how to join in, you can find the formula here.

John Steiner


    • It was my favorite garden in the complex. They also had a Japanese garden in the mix. I originally thought I’d feature both of them in the Missouri gardens, but I found the photos I took of the Japanese garden didn’t really reflect the differences that I achieved with the single photo from Arizona.

  1. Good comparisons John. I especially liked the two gardens, a reminder that (in my opinion) the Eastern US tends to look more towards Europe while the West is influenced by the Pacific Rim countries.

  2. I love your thoughts on northern cities like NYC vs southern. Even the southern cities you mentioned have very different architecture and a very different atmosphere. I like them all! Lovely images on the water and in the cities. 🙂

  3. We’ll done John-you find beauty wherever you go! Loved the surfer and the garden especially. sad there were no CHS images!! I’ll expect to see them one of these challenges!

    • I am sure they will. I will be posting about the Angel Tree, right now scheduled for March, but I may rework the schedule to change it up.
      I haven’t even had a chance to process most of the pics from our visit to Charleston yet. 🙂

  4. You continue to grace us with your travel and reasons you love it, John. You did pull off the challenge, well, I might add. Ah yes, Kauai…and the possibility of capturing sunrises and sets. I love watching surfers anywhere, those two in NC certainly know how to use their time wisely. a stunning picture of them. I loved the comparison of The Gardens, and jotted down the reminder that I still need to get to the Friendship Garden. It’s truly and oasis, not only in our desert, but also our city limits. And The culture/ architecture comparison of NY and St. Augustine was interesting.

    Yup…thumbs up.

  5. Perfect post for the theme, John. I do like that you did it keeping it to the United States, just shows the variety you can find there. I loved the cities comparison, simply brilliant. Also the gardens.

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