CHINESE and JAPANESE GARDENS, SINGAPORE – UNDERRATED TOURIST SPOT

This underrated gardens is just a perfect place to visit to forget your worries, find peace and enjoy the lovely landscape in solitude.

The Chinese and Japanese Gardens is very easy to find. The garden is located next to the Chinese Garden MRT Station.

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At the main entrance of Chinese Garden, you will find a pair of majestic stone lions guarding its gate. According to Chinese belief the lion is a symbol of strong authority and fealty. 

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Photo not mine.

The Chinese Garden was built in 1975 and designed by a famous architect from Taiwan. Prof. Yuen-chen Yu. True to their word the garden is a slice of ancient China complete with a series of bridges, pagodas and a tea house surrounded by ponds, lakes, and trees. Many of the trees are quaint models for bonsai trees.

The Japanese Garden is on the adjacent side of the bridge. The Japanese Garden is more modest and natural. The main focus of the garden is given to simplicity, peace and tranquility.

Here are some of the photos I took of what it’s like there:

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The bridge representing a typical Chinese bridge.

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The Bonsai Garden.

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The Gardens open daily, 6am – 11pm and the entrance fee is FREE. The Bonsai Garden and the Garden of Abundance (where you can see sculptures of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals) are open daily from 9am-6pm.

One of the major attraction of the Chinese Garden is the small Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum. I wasn’t able to visit the said museum as it was raining heavy and we needed to go back our condo.  (You may visit their website http://www.turtle-tortoise.com)

This garden is really worth a visit if you need a couple of hours of peaceful reflection.

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IMMERSED IN A WORLD OF ART, SCIENCE, MAGIC AND METAPHOR AT FUTURE WORLD ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM

As you stepped inside the Future World you would be fully excite as you immerse yourself into a digital universe that inspires your imagination in an ever-changing space featuring 16 cutting-edge installations, and be a childlike like again as you explore the world of art and science.

Future World is created in collaboration with the Japanese art and technology collective teamLab. It is one of Singapore’s largest digital art gallery and  interactive play space for both kids and adults.

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Le the journey begin.

It was a bit pitchy as we embarked on our journey of discovery through four key narratives:

  • NATURE
  • TOWN
  • PARK
  • SPACE

NATURE

Our first adventure begins with a magical journey through Nature. This is an immersive world that illustrates the creation of life that make us to ponder and reflect on how we be able to protect our environment through discovering its secret and preserving its beauty.

Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are destined to be Chased as well, Transcending Space.
This is an immersive audiovisual installation depicts the creation of life and takes us inside the heart of the nature. As we stood there amazed by the artwork that features crows, rendered in light, that fly around the space leaving trails of light in their path.
Everything is moving, you will be in awe as you watch the crows gracefully swinging their wings upon the dazzling lights.
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Black Waves

Black Waves an expression of nature, rendered entirely in digital technology. It depicts the sea in the style of traditional Japanese painting. curvilinear lines. The movement of these lines gives the impression that water itself is alive. teamLab have created this effect by calculating the interaction of hundreds of thousands of individual water particles, and then representing the movement of waves in a crescendo of white foam in a virtual 3D environment.

Black Waves blurs the boundary between viewer and the artwork, and invites visitors to regard themselves as part of the seascape, thereby understanding that there is no separation between ourselves and nature.

This is an eye opener that waves do huge amounts of good for the environment as well as the rest of us who live in this planet. It is up to we humans to stop the erosion of the climate due to our mismanagement and allow waves and Mother Nature to continue their good work.

Soothing sounds of waves are very pleasant and cooling to wash our daily worries away!

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Sliding through the Fruit Field

Visitors become a beam of life-giving sunlight, and as they glide down the slope, their energy  transferred to the fruit field, causing flowers and fruit to blossom and grow. As the different elements interact in the field, new seeds are sown, leading to new life.

It is a great theme because it teaches kids importance of plants to our environment and create lessons on healthy habits and sustainability while reaping all the tasty benefits once the plants grow in.

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TOWN

Presenting five of teamLab’s projects that designed to engage children in learning through play, Town encourages adults and children alike to coöperate and inspire one another to meet the challenges of the urban setting as a shared space.

Graffiti Nature

Graffiti Nature portrays an ecosystem of animals, flowers and butterflies that move freely between Town and Park. Use your imagination to create fantastic and colourful flora and fauna, which reclaim parts of the urban setting and move through the environment without the confines typically imposed on them by people. Like graffiti, they exist in the in-between spaces outside daily life. However, they are not confrontational or destructive, but rather contribute positively to the environment they inhabit. They fulfill a dreamlike vision of nature and humanity co-existing harmoniously in the world.
Everything from the air we breathe, water we drink, and food we eat comes from nature. Nature is more than just a plants. These artwork is a beautiful reminder of how closely we’re connected to the natural word and never forget that we need one another. So it is important to be KIND.

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Sketch Town

This installation a depiction of a fictitious town, based on Singapore that includes recognizable landmarks, such as, ArtScience Museum, the Merlion and the Singapore Flyer. Young visitors use crayons and paper to draw a building, a car, or a plane for Sketch Town. When their two-dimensional pictures placed in a digital scanner, they enter the town, becoming 3D animated objects. The visitors’ urban designs become part of a vast projected city, which they can physically interact with through touch and movement, bringing the town to life. Touch a car, such as, and it will speed up, or change direction.
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Connecting! Train Block

If you’ve ever been caught in slow traffic, you’ll appreciate this unique chance to design your own transportation network with Connecting Train Block. This interactive artwork reacts to your input and ultimately develops into a vibrant, thriving cityscape.

The installation begins by projecting moving cars, trains, planes and boats onto a large surface. You’ll use physical wooden blocks to design and connect an evolving system of roads, rivers and railways to keep the ever-increasing traffic flowing smoothly. Just like in real life, the challenge of keeping everything moving grows with the amount of traffic!

This interactive artwork for kids and adults too stimulate creativity and sharpen crucial skills. According to research kids who played with blocks performed better on divergent problems. They also showed more creativity in their attempts to solve the problems ( Pepler and Ross 1981).

Research also suggests that kids became friendlier and more socially savvy when they work on cooperative construction projects.

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Media Block Chair

Create playful and vibrant structures from stacking blocks that glow and change colour when you connect them together. Let your imagination be your guide as you construct functional furniture like chairs and benches, architectural structures such as walls and partitions – or simply bring the images in your mind’s eye to life!

The high-tech blocks communicate information to each other when they are connected, changing colour with every addition or subtraction from your artwork. With endless variations of colour, light and form to explore, Media Block Chair provides hours of fascinating fun for visitors of all ages.

This is a fun way for children and adults alike to understand the uses of color composition in design and art.

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A Table Where Little People Live

The little people are a community of miniature characters projected onto a table. When left alone, the little people move around their environment, walking, jumping, sliding, hopping and generally paying little attention to the world outside. But when they have visitors, they love to play!

Place your hand or an object on A Table Where Little People Live and the little people will notice and jump onto it. The actions of the tiny characters change in response to the shape and colour of the objects, becoming more animated as you introduce more and more objects into their world.

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PARK

Step away from the urban bustle of Town and continue your journey with an invigorating visit to Park, a space inspired by nature and recreational play.

Universe of Water Particles

Discover the exhibition’s spectacular centerpiece, Universe of Water Particles – an seven-metre tall virtual waterfall. Hundreds of thousands of water particles cascade down the façade of a virtually sculpted rock, with each particle of ‘water’ digitally programmed and generated to flow according to the laws of physics.

The Universe of Water Particles reminds us how important they are. In earth’s surface, small particles impact soil and water quality. In living system, small particles impact organism health and viability. In the atmosphere, small particles impact both warming and cooling of the climate.

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Create! Hopscotch for Geniuses

Design your own customised hopscotch game in this unique installation. Arrange circles, triangles and squares on an electronic tablet, which are then projected onto the floor. When you expertly land on the same shapes in succession, you’ll trigger off beautiful colours and sounds that reverberate throughout the space.

Create! Hopscotch for Geniuses is a fun game of discovery that tests the skills and imagination for all ages. Special connections exist between the shapes – you’ll have to practice playing the game to learn what they are!

Light Ball Orchestra

Beachball-sized globes of multicoloured light and sound are your instruments in this electrifying, one-of-a-kind orchestra. Touch any ball to change the colour and sound of the balls around it, creating a resonating effect throughout this dazzling environment.

Enjoy creating a playful and dynamic space with other visitors, as their participation with the Light Ball Orchestra sends out ripples in different directions to interact with yours. Work together by pushing, bouncing and rolling the balls to continuously change the composition, color and sound of the orchestra.

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Sketch Aquarium

Explore the magic beneath the waves in this digitally rendered aquatic world. A favourite among children of all ages, the immersive Sketch Aquarium installation allows you to create drawings of sea creatures and watch them come to life in a virtual ocean.

Watch this dynamic artwork constantly grow and evolve as visitors draw and add different images of sea creatures including rainbow fish, stingrays, jellyfish. The busy sea creatures swim around and interact with each other – you can even feed them by touching fish food bags on the screen!

Story of the Time When Gods Were Everywhere

Inside this digitally projected world, create your own environment by touching hieroglyphic characters and watch them transform into natural elements such as wind, rain, trees and mountains. The enthralling story of creation begins when you touch the characters, and the movement of your body further changes and evolves the world around you.

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SPACE

End your journey on a note of wonder by embarking outward and upward into astronomical Space. Immerse yourself in what has been the subject of dreams, mythologies, artistic visions and scientific exploration since the dawn of human history.

Crystal Universe

Behold a seemingly infinite number of light particles inside the scintillating Crystal Universe. This stunning artwork is created with teamLab’s Interactive 4-D Vision technology and more than 170,000 LED lights, giving the illusion of stars moving in space. Move beyond the stars to encounter astrophysical phenomena such as planets, galaxies and even gravitational waves.

Find yourself at the centre of the universe, as the light and body of the installation responds to your mass and motion. Change the fabric of the universe itself by ‘swiping’ planets and stars from smart devices within the installation, and watch them become part of the dazzling environment around you. Surrounded by celestial wonders, reflect upon your own place within the vastness of the cosmos.

The last part and the best part of our journey is the CRYSTAL UNIVERSE. I stood there as I was in awed by the dazzling lights that reminds me of how immense the universe is, and we are so very tiny. To exist in this vast universe for a speck of time is the great gift of life. Cherish it and live the best of it!

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IMG_1229Future World is a permanent exhibition so no need to hurry up :). The installations will change and evolve over time to keep the exhibition fresh and relevant.

For more info please click the link http://www.marinabaysands.com

ST.PATRICK’S DAY @MCGETTIGAN’S CLARKE QUAY SINGAPORE

McGettigan’s  Clarke Quay is the only place in Singapore to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  McGettigan’s is an Irish Pub and Restaurant known for bringing the best Irish music, comedy and entertainment acts. Located in the vibrant,  nightlife hotspot of Clarke Quay. The place is open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, providing a lively nightlife and entertainment hub where guests can enjoy their award winning Irish cuisine while enjoying the live music acts performing on various nights throughout the week.

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Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

  • St. Patrick was a patron of Ireland.
  • St. Patrick was born in Bannavem Taberniae England around 386AD.
  • He died on March 17th 460 AD
  • St. Patrick’s Day or also known as St. Patrick Feast Day is celebrated on March 17th in honour of the anniversary of his death.
  • St. Patrick’s Feast Day become an office celebration in the 17th century. The celebration observed by the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church.
  • At the age of 16 St. Patrick  sold into slavery. He brought to Ireland and worked as a shepherd.
  • At the age of 22 he escaped slavery.
  • He dedicated himself to the Christian religion. He studied in a monastery of Learns off the coast of France and in France with Saint Germanius a French Bishop.
  • St. Patrick returned to Ireland in his 30’s.
  • He is credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland
  • Legend says that St. Patrick used shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. He used the clover to represent three separate parts ( 3 leaves of the clover) of the same being. The first leaf was God the Father, second leaf the Son and the third leaf the Holy Spirit.
  • The shamrock is now the official flower of Ireland.
  • The highest number of leaves around on a shamrock clover was 14, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Legend says that finding a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day will bring you luck. Each clover leaf represents something different. First leaf represents hope, second leaf represents faith, third leaf represents love and the fourth leaf represents luck.
  • There are many legends about St. Patrick. One story states that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. He didn’t really drive snakes out of Ireland. The snakes represent the pagans he converted to Christianity.
  • The original color of St. Patrick was blue. In Irish legends and stories green worn by fairies and immortals. It was also believed that wearing green would help make a good growing season for their crops in Ireland. Green became the color for St. Patrick’s Day in the early 19th century.
  • The harp is the symbol of Ireland.
  • The color green represents Ireland. Ireland is called “The Emerald Isle”.
  • The Irish flag is green, white and orange. Green represents the people of the South, Orange represents the people of the North and White represents the peace that brings the North and South together.
  • Dublin is the capital of Ireland.
  • In Dublin they celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 15th-19th.
  • During the St. Patrick’s Day Festival there is a parade, carnival, treasure hunt and dances.
  • In Ireland people wear shamrocks on their jackets and hats. Children wear green, white and orange (colors of their flag) and girls wear green ribbons in their hair.
  • Leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore.
  • leprechaun’s are part of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Tuatara De Danann are a race of people of Irish Mythology.
  • Legend says that leprechaun’s spend all their time making shoes. They store their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If a leprechaun caught by a human they have special powers to grant that human three wishes. Once those wishes  granted the human has to let the leprechaun go.
  • St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are held not only in Ireland but around the world in countries such as Canada, Japan, Montserrat (an island in the Caribbean), New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Great Britain, Argentina, Switzerland, South Korea and United States.
  • 34 million American are part Irish. That is more than in the amount of people living in the country of Ireland!
  • Boston Massachusetts has the highest population of Irish people in the United States.
  • There are many St.Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States.
  • Many states have parades. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was not in Ireland but in Boston. The Boston parade started in 1737!
  • In Chicago the Chicago River is temporarily dyed green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish American dish.
  • 41.4 billion pounds of beef produced each year for St. Patrick’s Day. Most of the beef comes from Texas.
  • 2.5 billion pounds of cabbage is grown for St. Patrick’s Day. The cabbage mostly comes from California.

 

HOLLAND VILLAGE

Holland Village often abbreviated as Holland V, is a neighbourhood located along the boundary between the planning areas of Bukit Timah and Queenstown in the Central Region of Singapore.

Holland Village is a popular shopping and dining destination for younger Singaporeans and expatriates. It is dominated by and often visited solely for its eateries and watering holes, along with some special shops. Source Wikipedia.

ZORA’S PLACE – AN ABODE OF CALMNESS”

Last week we went to Singapore for a short vacation and opted to book our accommodation through Airbnb and not staying in hotel for a unique experience and wanted to have that feeling of home away from home.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is a website and online marketplace which simply connects hosts with properties to rent with travellers who are looking for lodging.

We found Zora’s place through Airbnb and booked for 4 nights. The place is located in Holland Village, surrounded by lush trees, green space with a nice sounds of chirping birds and peaceful neighbourhood. The place is easily walkable to public transit, banks, restaurants, pubs and shops. Holland Village is an oasis of fun.

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Zora’s place has an Asian-style interiors that evoke an image of serenity, tranquility and calmness. It is a peaceful abode that allows travellers to embrace nature with a soothing backdrop that offers a relaxed and laid-back ambiance with a wide space for air to circulate and an open space to relax in.

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Photo not mine. This is our room during our stay at Zora’s Place.

We haven’t met Zora when we were there because she has a work overseas but her helper Eugenia is a gracious hostess and very attentive to our needs.

This is an extremely peaceful place to escape from the busy city of Singapore.  Wake up to the sounds of chirping birds surrounded with greenery that offer you a sense of calmness and strength filling your spirits. This is a place that makes you think many thoughts and make peace with yourself.

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Zora’s place  indeed an abode of calmness.

If and when we will definitely book this place again and I highly recommend this place to anyone!

For more details about Zora’s Place kindly click the link below:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7010048

Disclaimer: All my reviews, thoughts, opinions here are my own and based on my personal experience. I am not paid for my reviews.

SINGAPORE – THE LION CITY OF ASIA

I have been to Singapore many times and I fell in love with the country and I will tell you why later. Singapore is very modern, clean and organised. It is one of the cleanest in the world; you can be fined or arrested for spitting, littering or selling chewing gum. Chewing gum is not forbidden in Singapore but bringing gum into the country in large amounts is illegal.

Singapore has one of the strongest economies in Asia. It is the world’s busiest port, it is the third-largest oil refiner and a major financial and high-tech hub. I was totally smitten by its natural landscapes, modern buildings, systematic transportation, luxurious shopping centers  and its diversity in culture with its blend of Asia and European.

Here are the reasons why you would fall in love with Singapore:

WANDER IN THE BOTANIC GARDEN. Wander through the swaths of virgin rainforest with many-colored collection of 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids. It has  an array of botanical and horticultural attractions with a rich history and a wonderful plant collection of worldwide significance. Stroll around the gardens and enjoy the wonderful sights, sounds and wonders the luscious greenery offers. There are various areas in the park: tropical garden (rain forest), lakes, herb gardens and the orchid gardens.

Opening Hours: 5am – 12 midnight daily

Admission Fee: Free

RIDE IN THE 165 METER-HIGH SINGAPORE FLYER. Singapore’s answer to the London Eye. The world’s largest giant observation wheel which allow you to view not only the Singapore skyline, but reaches to the Spice Islands of Indonesia and Malaysia’ Straits of Johor. You can have a bird’s-eye view of the entire island in half an hour ride. Quite expensive but worth it.

Flight Schedule:

  • Daily flights : 8:30am – 10:pm
  • Ticketing counter Operating Hours: 8:30am-10:00pm ( Ticket counter  on the entrance of 1st floor).

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STROLL ALONG MARINA BAY SANDS and takes time to admire Singapore’s iconic landmark Marina Bay Sands. An overlay modern art and architecture site to visit when in Singapore with dining restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls and entertainment awaits visitors to enjoy and relax while taking pictures along the way for breathtaking views.

GET LOST IN GARDENS BY THE BAY. A nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore, next to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The main attractions in the Gardens by the Bay are the towering SuperTrees, eleven of which have environmentally sustainable features and some of which use photovoltaic cells that capture solar energy that’s used to light them up.

Outdoor Gardens Opening Hours : 5am – 2am / Free Admission

Outdoor Gardens consist of:

  • Bay East Garden
  • SuperTree Grove
  • Sun Pavillion
  • Heritage Gardens
  • World of Plants
  • Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes

Inside the Gardens By The Bay are two Conservatories: The Flower Dome and The Cloud Forest. We went into the Cloud Forest – The Cool-Moist Conservatory that showcases plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000 metres above sea level. It features a 35-metre-tall mountain covered in lush vegetation, shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. There is lift  to the top of the mountaintop of cloud forest and there you can take a stroll along a walkway in the clouds for an aerial view of the canopy and mountainside below.

Opening Hours: Open daily from 9:00am – 9:00pm

SHOP ON ORCHARD ROAD. A must place to visit while in Singapore. A shopping paradise, from cheap outlets to high-end designer and jewelry shops with many things to see, so modern, crowded but worth a visit especially at night because it looks spectacular  with all the lights.

Singapore is known for its cleanliness and place a lot of importance on disciplined, and corporal punishment is widely accepted. While in Singapore make sure that  you follow certain guidelines and adhere to their strict standards of proper behaviour.

  • Chewing gum  banned in Singapore so better leave it at home.
  • Don’t throw litter on the street.  Put all waste in the litter bins provided in public spaces.
  • Don’t smoke in public. The police enforce this law strictly and hand out immediate fines to people found smoking or dropping a cigarette in a public place.
  • Don’t get involved in any drugs. Singapore carries a mandatory death penalty for drug-trafficking and harsh penalties for possession and use within the country.
  • Don’t touch somebody on the head as it is considered a sacred part of the body in Singapore.
  • Don’t  discuss religion or politics. Do not make joke either.
  • Don’t show the bottoms of your feet or use feet to point.  Feet  considered dirty.
  • Don’t bring in food into MRT ( Mass Rapid Transport).
  • Don’t point at someone with your index finger, which is considered very rude.
  • Don’t tip. Tipping is not customary in Singapore.
  • Don’t, for a Chinese descent, give clocks, handkerchiefs or flowers to as they  associated with death and funerals.
  • Don’t eat or offer anything (including a handshake) to a person of Indian or Malay descent with your left hand as they will most likely be Muslim and this is forbidden by their hygienically jurisprudence.

Have you ever been to Singapore, What do you think of  it?

LIFE OF MIGRANT WORKERS THROUGH MY LENS

Every year hundreds and thousands of Filipinos, Bangladesh, Indians, Malays, Chinese left their homes and families and work in Singapore as constructions workers. domestic helpers, nurses, engineers etc. to make more money.

It was Sunday morning when my partner and I went to Merlion Park to spend some quiet time and to see the iconic Merlion, the half-fish and half lion that symbolises Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, meaning ‘sea town’ in Old Javanese. It’s head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay. Today you can see this legend at Merlion Park.

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Merlion

During Sunday morning, you can see large number of migrant workers, many of them working as helpers and in the constructions areas spent their time hanging around, laughing, enjoying their one day off. which I was able to capture through my lens, here take a look.

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Through my lens I was able to see the world and document lives, the art of creating a memory.