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Over the years I’ve written posts in this blog about Takoma Park, which is located directly on the Maryland-Washington, DC line. I’ve taken photos of all kinds of interesting landmarks on both sides of the border.

My latest day job is located on the Maryland side of Takoma Park so I have more opportunities to walk around this incredibly artsy funky town. Just when I thought I had photographed everything about that area, I always find something new to take a picture of. Here are some recent photos I took of some interesting eye candy.

Many of the houses in Takoma Park are historic and the vast majority of them were built from the time of its founding in 1893 through to around the 1950s. This house in the next two photos stood out to me to me because the left side looks like the typical historic house while the right side looks like a modern geometric building. Yet the two distinct sides seem to harmoniously co-exist side by side.

Sometimes I’ll see something that’s pretty odd and unusual in Takoma Park, such as this Buddha head that someone had placed next to a tree near the back entrance to the Takoma Metro station.

Some houses have original sculptures on the front lawns so pedestrians can enjoy them.

One of the houses had decorated one of the bare trees in the front yard with tiny Christmas balls. I thought it was a cute touch even though I took this photo in early February and Christmas has long since passed.

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I really was busy the first weekend in December. On Saturday I went to the Festival on the Green in Crofton, Maryland then I ended up at the Bowie Public Library because it was raining so hard and the other drivers were being so aggressive at the same time that I decided to ride out the worst of the storm there instead.

On Sunday I went to the Festival of Lights Holiday Market in Greenbelt, Maryland. While I was there I took part in an Artful Afternoon where I made this Norwegian-style heart-shaped woven paper ornament.

After those two events, I headed over to the nearby Greenbelt Makerspace where I attended the weekly animation meetup. After that event was over, I decided to head over to the other makerspace in Greenbelt that’s known simply as The Space. While I was there I took a few photos.

There was a 3Doodler pen that was available for anyone who wanted to do freehand 3D drawings in plastic.

The Space, December 2, 2018

Here is one of the customized vinyl toys on display at The Space.

The Space, December 2, 2018

There was an artist who was working on his latest painting at The Space.

The Space, December 2, 2018

By the time I left The Space it was already nighttime (the days have been growing shorter these days) so I headed home.

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Birthday Cake

As you can guess from the above gif, today is someone’s birthday. It’s my birthday. Happy birthday to me! Now that I got that out of the way, here are some links for you to check out.

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Facebook shuts down AI after it invents its own creepy language.

How to spot a paid troll and what to do when you find one.

British road barriers, modeled on children, stare into you.

Four ways Martin Luther King was more radical than you thought.

Without Haiti, the United States would, in fact, be a shithole.

America is changing. Bigoted slurs, immigration bans, and racist rallies can’t change that.

A woman discovered that her grandmother once worked as a prostitute.

John Bisbee turns common steel nails into beautiful sculptures.

Science says that unicorns really existed.

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When I made my previous trip to Tyson’s Corner Mall last month, I had a few reasons for making that trip. One was to get away from my ongoing personal problems for a few hours. Another was to check out the 2018 Girl of the Year doll at American Girl Place. The third reason was because I wanted to see what kind of 90th anniversary Mickey Mouse items were on sale at The Disney Store. Well, I managed to achieve the first two goals but The Disney Store announced that the 90th anniversary stuff would not go on sale until the following month.

As it was getting closer to the 90th anniversary of Steamboat Willie I saw more and more Mickey stuff on sale at stores closer to my home. A few weeks ago I decided to make a follow-up trip to Tyson’s Corner where I hit pay dirt. Not only did The Disney Store had 90th anniversary Mickey stuff on sale but I saw that other stores sold Mickey stuff as well. I already documented the Mickey stuff I saw at Tyson’s Corner Mall in this recent blog post about the 90th anniversary. This post is dedicated to other things I shot while I was at Tyson’s Corner Mall they had nothing to do with Mickey Mouse or Disney.

On my last trip it was raining like crazy outside. This trip was sunny but it was very cold outside. (The temperature was just above the mid-30’s.) The weather was making a comeback from this nor’easter that hit the entire area the day before. (I ended up being stranded indoors at home so I did some drawing that day of a dinosaur for my recently finished animation The Gift of the Dinosaur.) The Metro Plaza outside of the mall entrance has these life-sized bird statues placed all over the area. The majority were of small birds like cardinals and mourning doves. I saw this large bird on the ground that I thought was real until I approached it and it didn’t move at all. (A real bird would’ve flown away.) I don’t recall seeing this particular statue before so it’s either a new statue or I just didn’t notice until this last trip.

The area was already looking pretty festive with an already decorated Christmas tree. (I visited this mall just a few days before Thanksgiving.)

I decided to check out American Girl Place. Since I took a boatload of photos the month before, I thought I wouldn’t feel the need to shoot any pictures. This store had some new displays and Christmas-related stuff so I basically focused on them.

Here are a couple of the modern Truly Me American Girl dolls and their dog showing off some winter outfits.

American Girl Place has its own Christmas tree, which looked pretty nice.

I personally prefer the historic BeForever dolls over their other dolls because I love the attention to detail regarding the doll sized miniature versions of items that were actually used in the years that the historical doll represents. Here’s the 1950s historical doll Maryellen Larkin in her cute Christmas outfit.

Some of the tiny ornaments and punch bowl reminded me of what I used to see in the homes of my family, neighbors, and relatives when I was growing up. (Even though I grew up in the 1970s, there were still plenty of 1950s and 1960s stuff that families still used in their homes. The attitude was that you used something until it breaks or wears out.)

I still have the red plastic cookie cutters that my mom used to bake Christmas sugar cookies when I was growing up. I haven’t baked any sugar cookies in a few years. Maybe I should think about making them again.

Melody Ellison, who represents the 1960s, looks adorable in her winter coat with matching hat and mittens.

Julie Albright, who represents the 1970s looks cute in her New Year’s Eve outfit.

Rebecca Rubin, who represents the 1910s, also looks adorable in her winter outfit.

Josefina Montoya, who represents the 1820s, looks pretty regal in her Christmas outfit.

Kit Kittredge, who represents the 1930s, also looks cute with her plaid dress, Christmas stocking, and sock monkey.

The last picture show more modern Truly Me dolls in their Christmas outfits.

I took a couple of photos of Build-A-Bear Workshop. I saw this sign announcing that Build-A-Bear now has its own online radio station that one can stream for free.

I saw this gorgeous reindeer that I fell in love with. If I had more disposable income, I probably would’ve made an impulse buy. Instead I had to settle with just taking a picture of this gorgeous reindeer.

I ate dinner at a Mongolian grill place called Asian Bistro. I found the food to be tasty. After I was done with walking the mall I decided to take the Metro back home. Since it gets darker these days, it was nighttime by the time I left so I saw everything lit up.

Barrel & Bushel had these flaming torches on its patio. In warmer weather there would be tables set out and people would be eating and drinking al fresco. I found these torches to be gorgeous. Unfortunately, these photos don’t do them justice. They looked far prettier in real life.

Like I wrote earlier, this giant nor’easter went through out area the day before dropping rain, ice, and snow. By the next day most of the ice and snow were melted, except for this one small pile of snow that was near the Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree looked gorgeous at night. It was lit up with a variety of rainbow colors.

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Six tiny movie moments that took insane amounts of work.

Add patterned skins to 3D prints with hydro dipping.

Christian Marianciuc creates a new decorated origami paper crane daily for 1,000 days.

View the wedding photos that were shot when the bride refused to cancel the photo shoot after the groom was killed right before the wedding.

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What a German diary from the Nazi era can teach us about what’s happening in America today.

Why we shouldn’t be surprised that some pre-Christian deities are similar to Jesus.

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A video about creature prop restoration, including restoring the puppets used in the Gremlins 2 movie.

Black women challenge the “white feminism” of the Women’s March.

This “bee-dimensional” printer creates some sweet looking prints.

A look at the deportation machine that President Obama built for President Trump.

Egyptian mummy’s secrets revealed.

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The Alt-Right is taking over Renaissance Fairs.

You can now watch all of MTV’s Liquid Television, the launching ground for Aeon Flux, on the Internet Archive.

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The most radical digital upskilling is now occurring in middle- and lower-level jobs.

22 insane individuals that need to be banned from social media.

Donald Trump is a military coward—but that hasn’t kept him from insulting America’s troops.

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I decided to attend a Christmas bazaar that was held at a local Catholic church known as St. Hugh of Grenoble Church in Greenbelt, Maryland. I’ve been by that building numerous times but I recently noticed something I hadn’t noticed before: A giant crucifix. That crucifix is surrounded by tree leaves in their total autumn splendor.

Here’s a shot of the church basement where the bazaar was held. There was a Christmas-themed setup on the stage.

When I walked outside again I noticed the fall leaves on the ground, which provided a variety of colors.

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Last year I checked out a new shopping center that was built on top of a former farm that was once owned by descendants of the original Lord Baltimore, George Calvert (who founded what eventually became the state of Maryland). At the time the only stores that were really in business were a Whole Foods Market and a Starbucks. I shot some photos because I noticed that the developer chose to keep the one remaining structure that hints at the shopping center’s former use as a farm—a giant icehouse. In addition, there was this really cool statue of a big blue bear that was erected.

I haven’t been back until recently and that’s because there was a used book sale that was happening there and I decided to check it out. Since my last visit the place has expanded.

In front of the shopping center there is now this really interesting statue of what looks like two figures seated close in a ball position facing each other.

The details of each figure shows the fact that the figure is made up of symbols.

Like I wrote before, the only remaining structure from the shopping center’s early days as a farm is this giant brick icehouse. The developer has since added an airplane whose propellor constantly rotates.

A few new businesses have opened at Riverdale Park Station, such as this Gold’s Gym in the next photo.

The statue of the giant blue bear is still there. In fact, the area where the bear is located is now known as Bear Square.

The used book sale took place in Bear Square just a few feet away from the bear statue. I browsed through the books but I didn’t find anything that appealed to me so I ended up not buying anything.

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Like I wrote in a previous blog post, I attended two festivals in one day. The first one was the smaller Greenbelt Blues Festival, which I already wrote about. After attending that festival, I went to the Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, which was a larger event. Here are the photos I took of the event while I was there.

This sign erroneously said that this festival was held on September 10. In reality, it showed up on September 22.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

The festival was well-attended and there were all kinds of arts and crafts on display along with local bands performing. The local craft breweries were selling their craft beers and ales. The weather was warm and pleasant (the humidity was low that day). All in all I had a good time and many of the festival goers also enjoyed themselves as well.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, Hyattsville, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

I only purchased one item at this festival. It’s a small bar of soap made from honey and it has a bee motif on it.

Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, September 22, 2018

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Not too long ago I happened to be at a Megamart, which is located in an area of Adelphi, Maryland that’s dominated by Latino immigrants. I saw these religious statues at the front of the store that I couldn’t resist photographing.

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