Sunday, November 02, 2008

Culture n' stuff..

Like most bloggers,I found myself hopelessly baffled over the sudden appearance of a whole extra hour this weekend.

Where does it come from?..
Did we have to borrow it from China or something??..
Is it a Right-Wing conspiracy,designed to postpone the inevitable???..
I just don't know.

So,I decided to leave those questions to Stephen Hawking,and use the additional time to take that long awaited field trip to O-Town's very own Chinese Temple.

This place has got to be O-Town's best kept secret!

For a mere two dollars,you get to wander about the grounds of an absolute treasure house,and get a glimpse of what life was like for a whole 'nuther culture over 140 years ago.

Built in 1863,it replaced two wooden buildings that had burned down,probably due to the use of incense and candles.
It served as the only place of worship for the nearly ten-thousand Buddhist,Taoist,and Confucianist Chinese residents in the area.

You may enjoy the furnishings,artifacts and peaceful ambiance,but whatever you do,..DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!!..Or the little blue-haired lady in the gift shop will beat you like a rented Mule.
..don't ask me how I know.

The altar in the Main Temple building..You need to cross two thresholds to enter,so as to confound any evil spirits that may be trailing you.

Temple Deities..

The central courtyard,..

..and Koi Pond.

Upstairs,to the rear of the Main Temple,is the 'Moon Temple',..built for the worship of Buddha.The bricks create a 360 degree circular entry..again with the two thresholds.

The 'Tapestry Room' also houses some stunning furnishings,donated by the Emperor of China..

.. Brass incense Burner,approximately four feet tall!..Beautiful.

And finally,a lovely collection of traditional dress,circa 1860..

Chinese Bridal Gown..

These photos barely scratch the surface of this wonderful place.
Flash photography is quite naturally verboten!,and much of the Temple is too dimly lit to accommodate proper documentation.
..I guess you just had to be there.

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At 12:03 PM , Blogger Mom said...

I love pondering the ways of cultures other than my own. makes me think.
Never ever make a blue-haired lady mad.

At 2:18 PM , Blogger Willym said...

Who would have thought - how absolutely wonderful. The wood carving alone would have been worth the visit. How is it that they use such colours and wealth of detail but it never seems garish?

Thanks for sharing.

At 2:37 PM , Blogger jan said...

What a fantastic place!! I had no idea there was anything like this in central CA.

At 2:37 PM , Blogger jan said...

Or I should say northern CA

At 3:47 PM , Blogger Sling said...

mom- Seeking out these little gems of culture is one of my favorite things to do.
..Like my mom used to say,'You'd rather sandpaper a wildcat's ass than mess with a blue-haired lady!'..

willym- It really is amazing how they manage to use color,and decorative treatments without being garish..Crafty folks those Chinese.

Jan- We're considered Northern California..
Surprisingly,while most folks in town know of the Temple,I have yet to talk to anyone that's actually been inside!
I'll be doing my best to convince them to take the time.

At 6:12 PM , Blogger LostInColor said...

Very nice! Thanks for sharing!

At 6:47 PM , Blogger Citymouse said...

Looks like a great way to spend some extra time!

At 9:26 PM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

that is really interesting and if i ever make it to O town..I'll be sure to check it out.

At 8:29 AM , Blogger Random Thinker said...

I wish we had a Chinese Temple here in Michigan. Maybe we do. I gotta google that. Nice pics.

At 8:47 AM , Blogger sageweb said...

wow those look like pictures I could have taken while in China..and you have a place right in O'town...amazing who would have thunk?

At 8:54 AM , Blogger Kimberly Ann said...

Very lovely. Definitely a place to check out again, I'd say.

At 9:29 AM , Blogger Allan said...

Nice pics- sure looks like a good way to spend two bucks and some newfound time.

At 12:54 PM , Blogger evilganome said...

I'm glad you went. I remember you talking about it before on your blog. It looks pretty great. I've only ever seen stuff like this in a museum setting. I think seeing it in actual context, in a temple must be a lot more satisfying.

And I'm gonna remember the saying about the sandpaper and the wildcat.

At 4:45 PM , Blogger citizen of the world said...

Cool find!

I wasn't confused about how to use the extra hour - I spent it in bed.

At 11:50 PM , Blogger Middle Child said...

Wow...a blue haired Chinese lady - or is she just plain ol yankee blue hair....?

At 5:23 AM , Anonymous Doralong said...

See, I told you they'd let you in..

How lovely, thanks for letting us see too.

At 9:19 AM , Blogger Lorraine said...

You held out on me, dude. All you did when I was there was point to it. You owe me.


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