Saturday, May 21, 2016

Legacy of Vinyl Records

Amazing artistes of the past leaving us with a legacy of their beautiful voices where many or a few die hard fans renaissance with the scratchy effects from a vinyl records playing on a turntable.

Recently, I was surprised to discovered that my mother had a collection of vinyl record collectibles of Chinese artist, the one that I recognised immediately is a young-looking Teresa Teng on the covers.

She is an iconic singer and her songs is known world wide through so many generations till today.

Her melodious voice fills our hearts with love every time we hear her sing.

#teresateng #vinylrecordscollectibles #vintage

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Friday, October 17, 2014

Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the Night

Frank Sinatra sings for Modern Strangers in the Night. 

"Love was just a glance away - Strangers in the Night - Lovers at first sight!"

Always a fan of the great Sinatra and will be for many years to come. Saw this vinyl record collectibles of him and felt compelled to write about this iconic singer. His voice spreads magic to anyone and everyone that hears him sing.

"I got you under my skin" -

Behind the cover of the vinyl record talks about him in New York - the Big Apple. Where he used to sing in this great hall of The Paramount Theater. 

The theater may dilapidated and forgotten with times .... but not the great Sinatra. He isn't with time but he is the time.

"I practice everyday to find some clever lines to make the meaning come true.. but then I go and spoil it all by saying Something Stupid like I love You!

The except from Stan Cornyn; "When Sinatra sings to you,  he doesn't look at you but 6 inches behind your eyes".

One of my best and all time favorite - Fly me to the Moon

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Colorful City of Istanbul

A journey through the ancient cities of Istanbul; a city divided by the Bosphorus Straits which connects to the Black Sea located in the southeast.  Istanbul is uniquely the only city in the world that have both the western and asian influences. One part of the city lies in the 
European continent while the other in the Middle East. 
Just that fact alone is fascinating enough for any traveler to experience. 

Istanbul the heart of Turkey is rich with cultural heritage of ancient empires and kingdoms. 
It was called Byzantium, Constantinople and today Istanbul - have been the capital of three great empires - Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman. Each of these empires brings in new religions and traditions that makes up of Istanbul's architecture marvel today. 
Arrived at Sabina International Airport after a quick flight transfer at Doha. We checked into an apartment located in Sultanahmet - the historical Asian side of Istanbul.
It's late but eager to be in Istanbul; its exploration time to check out the local convenience 
store for food and water supply. Just a few doors away is a local grocery shop; 
that also sells toasted sandwiches stuffed with cheese and ham. That's dinner for the night!   

Next morning, awoken by the sounds of the morning prayers from the mosque. 
It dawn on me that I would need to quickly get use to it. 

Today, the exciting exploration awaits. Istanbul bears the past influences from the ancient 
Byzantine , Roman and the Ottoman.  A city exuding the charms of great emperors, sultans, kings and queens that once ruled this exotic land. 

Topkapi Palace
At the beginning of the Ottoman Dynasty, Topkapi Palace was constructed by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in the 1460. The palace was built across 700,000 sq meters  of the peninsula from Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It served as the administrative, educational and art center of the empire over four hundred years.  Protected for its importance, Topkapi Palace today is a museum where historical artifacts were on display.
As one of the 'must-see' places in Istanbul, the palace can be quite crowded at about noon. So our plan was to get to the queue line before opening time. However, if its your 1st morning in Istanbul and you plan to walk from Sultanahmet area then it is advisable to leave an hour of so earlier. 
The many distractions or attractions along the way will compel you to stop 
for a photo or two or three! 

Topkapi palace is a spectacular place indeed and is the largest and oldest  palace in the world. 
Its a palace that bears the classical example of Turkish palace architecture. 

The different tiles, woodwork and architectural styles displayed in Topkapı Palace reflects the development of Turkish art and the harmonious existence of differing styles over the centuries. 
In one section of the palace is where you can visit the Harem; where the concubines, 
consorts and queen mother lives together with their children. 

The great conqueror and emperor of the Roman empire, Constantine during his Roman conquests ventured to this far-away land across the Mediterranean sea and created a new great empire that he named Constantinople. The great emperor brought the Roman influences by constructing Roman basilicas with design that resemble the St Peter's church in Vatican city.  

During his ruling,  the emperor found that water were scarce in this new land; he ordered the construction of a massive aqueduct system both overland and underground that begin from the source that is located in the inner parts of Turkey. Water were channeled to the city and stored in an underground reservoir called Basilica Cistern. 

The Basilica Cistern is a large underwater reservoir that supply water to surrounding palaces 
in the city. The Romans have demonstrated their amazing engineering skills to 
built these enormous underground and overland aqueduct systems. 
I am truly amaze to be in this aqueduct and looking through the ancient pillars that stretch as far as eyes can see. You would wonder how big the system is because the excavation works is ongoing today. Of course, the attraction of this cistern is the Medusa heads. No one knows exactly 
how or why the stone heads were there; but there were beliefs that Medusa heads 
sculpture were placed there to wart off any bad/evil influences.
The cistern with its inverted Medusa head pillar was featured in the climax of the new Dan Brown novel Inferno featuring Robert Langdon. That is one movie which I can't wait to see.
Our final destination is the great Sultanahmet Camii or Blue Mosque with its cascade of opulent domes and slender minarets looming majestically over the large Sultanahmet square; 
is Istanbul's most striking images. It's like keeping the best for last on our 1st day in Istanbul;
 but also that it's closing time is later.

  It is indeed an amazing architecture with its shiny Blue Iznik tiles that dominate the interior, it has 250 windows where the sun shines through. The interior is stunning, from the vast central dome designed to lift all eyes heavenward to the latticework-covered Imperial Loge and 
the mihrab (prayer niche) containing a piece of sacred black stone from Mecca.

As the day is late, we stroll through the Sultanahmet gardens leaving the great mosque. Pondering the mystifying architecture and history of the places we have just visited. You can truly 
understand why this city can be a wonder of the world by only being here. 

Our adventurous day must end with a search for food; and there is only one thing that 
we must eat and this is the Turkish delights. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Streetcar Named DESIRE

LOOK AFTER MY HEART... I'VE LEFT IT WITH ........................
I interpret it as a desperate plea for help and attention to one's emotional state.

The opportunity to watch and capture a power packed dance performance that exudes a strong innuendo of sexuality, passion, hatred, lust and maybe in the end real love....
Blanche the main character is a beautiful but emotionally disturbed lady.
She found herself alone and in desperate need to re-connect with her sister, Stella. 
Stella loved her sister and encourages her to stay with her while her sister sorts out her life.  
Stella and her husband shared a very loving relationship that filled 
with passionate sexual and brutish kind of love.
 Stanley dislikes the intrusion and showed animosity towards Blanche.

Blanche in her emotional state of disarray; creates chaos in the lives of people around her. 

Stella loves them both; in the end the decision to commit her sister into 
an institution is the only solution to prevent her from ruining all their lives. 
Commendable play by all the actors and dancers; a great director and producer 
and of course amazing music; not to mention the spectacular stage and lighting set 
at Pentas 1 of Kuala Lumpur Performance Arts Centre. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mystery of Stonehenge

I have always been fascinated by Stonehenge, the mystery that surround this thousands year old monument situated in Wiltshire, England and about 2 miles west of Amesbury or 8 miles north of Salisbury.  There were countless movies, stories and even television shows that were inspired by the mystery of this prehistoric monument; and also a cooking show that was filmed on this site.

Origin of Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument with huge circle of megalithic pillars, the bluestones boulders were moved many miles to this site (many believed from Southern Wales).  The origin of Stonehenge remain a mystery today; as archaeologists continuously uncovered remains on this site that lead to new development and findings.  
Stonehenge was originally believed to be a monument to the dead due to the discovery of human cremation burials around the brooding stones. It was used as a cemetery in 3000 BC.  Read more on Wikipedia:

Road Trip
Driving there is pretty easy with a rented car from the edge of London in order to avoid the congestion charge. Our journey began early on a cold Tuesday morning in mid January 2013; packed with sufficient snacks, lunch and a hot flask of coffee for the road-trip.

Most of the route on the motorways, especially the M3 is a breeze to drive on. Our first stop is the Windsor Castle; and we arrived just in time to see the Changing of Guards at the castle.  After a quick tour inside the castle; we left for Stonehenge.

We arrived at Stonehenge in about 1 ½ hours; you can see the massive structure from the main road.  The good thing about traveling in winter is the roads are not congested and arriving at about 12 noon; we have avoid the big crowd of tourist buses for the morning visits. But the downside is the bitter cold and gloomy weather which we may encounter. But fortunately for us, on this day it was sunny blue skies.

Visitor Centre
Stonehenge visitor center was situated just across the site. The car park was quite empty so we quickly parked the car and walked to get our ticket into the site. Today, there is a new visitor’s center that is located a distance away where a shuttle bus ferried visitors to site.  The reviews were not very positive due to delays because of the massive crowd; hopefully they can resolve this problem quickly.

Once inside the site, you can do a full circular walk-about tour around the Stonehenge. Your entrance ticket comes with an audio guide.  The only barrier between you and the stones is a short rope barrier. 
We were not expecting to stay on longer than an hour but ended staying closer to 2 hours; just to catch the glimpse of the setting sun. Well, I can say that the spectacular views were truly worth the wait.

Sunset at Stonehenge
Its winter so the day is shorter, which we know but just fail to register in our heads. That was until we saw the setting sun at Stonehenge. It was truly a mesmerizing sight; with golden hues as the shadow falls longer creating the dramatic effect on the mysterious Stonehenge.
We were lucky to experience Stonehenge in midday with blue sunny skies filled and to catch the golden setting sun too!