The everyday monuments we live in and travel through around the world
Everyday I walk from Grand Central terminal in Manhattan to my job which is 20 blocks away. I live Grand Central However, every morning as the work masses muddle through on a few cups of coffee there are many bright-eyed tourists milling about taking photos. They take photos of the grandiose terminal. They take photos of the big terminal screen. They take photos of the curmudgeon New Yorkers speed-walking their way to their hundredth meeting of the week. Occasional I stop to marvel at the terminal to take in what others see and that perhaps I take for granted everyday. I am embedded day in and day out in a lived and traveled through monument.
Here are some other monuments I have come across that were either grand places in which to congregate and live one’s daily life or that have become a modern-day monument to our hectic minute-by-minute living.
There is, of course, Times Square, which recently was noted as being the happiest place in the United States as per the happy tweets emanating from therein. I remember a time when the Square was seedy, filled with porn shops and musicians of the streets. Nowadays, it has been sanitized almost to the point of being a second Disney world. Times Square thus stands as a monument to the passage of time and changes in what is considered acceptable. Ultimately, it stands as a monument to gentrification.
There is then the Roman Colosseum. Another place for people watching in the days of yore. As a spectator, I took photos of the other tourists. The Colosseum, and most of Rome, serves as a monument to remember the glorious past and architectural grandeur and advancements.
Furthermore, how about the Parthenon, in Greece? It has survived centuries and is in the midst of being repaired. What happened to its former glory?
Lastly, here is one that will not often come up on the lists of many. Here is the bridge in downtown Willemstad in Curacao. It bridges two different worlds and serves as a monument to a place that remains quaint and transports tourists to a different sensibility.
Monuments can be those very things we take for granted everyday but in which we are deeply embedded. Monuments can be those grand architectural feats that remind us of our capacity to create and innovate.
Inspired by the weekly photo challenge of monuments
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