Minnesota State Capitol & IndiaFest

State Capitol, St. Paul, Minnesota
   365.224

Today, I stopped by India Fest at the Minnesota State Capitol and snapped photos of the capitol building and festival. I love (good) architecture, history and cultural events, so this was pretty much a perfect recipe for a weekend activity. The Red Cross Mobile Blood Bus was also on-site, so I made an impromptu donation. (PSA: Red Cross blood donations are the lowest in 15 years, so please consider donating, if you’re able.)

The Minnesota State Capitol was designed by Cass Gilbert and modeled after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Did you know the unsupported marble dome is the second largest in the world after Saint Peter’s? (It was under renovation, so no photos of that today. In fact, there were scaffolding structures outside too, which made for an interesting challenge to photograph!)

A gilded quadriga called The Progress of the State depicts four horses, representing the power of nature: earth, wind, fire and water. The women riding in the back of the chariot symbolize civilization while the man standing at the front of the chariot represents prosperity.

IndiaFest celebrated the culture and heritage of India, and the country’s upcoming Independence Day on August 15, with traditional music and dancing, food (mmm, chicken biryani!), crafts and a parade. And, I even ran into my coworker Prachi!

Can you find the hidden “Bullseye”?

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, London
   365.214

Given much of the news lately is on the 2012 London Olympic Games, I figured it was a good time to share photos from London, which I had the opportunity to visit last year. Some former colleagues and I walked around Westminster Abbey, among other touristy things, and there was lots of energy in the air, since Prince William and Kate’s wedding would be held the following month.

Westminster Abbey