Brooklyn Bridge: Musical Instrument?

Human Harp

If you have ever crossed the Brooklyn Bridge you know that it’s a stunning piece of architecture. But if artist Di Mainstone has her way, it will be more than just that. It will be a musical instrument.

Mainstone’s Human Harp project, documented beautifully by the Creators Project, aims to transform bridges around the world into instruments, allowing people to interact with architecture in a new way and “play” them, which means that come next year, hopefully you’ll be able to pretend the Brooklyn Bridge is a harp.

In fact, when the Brooklyn Bridge re-opens in 2014, you will be able to strap on a harness – developed by Mainstone – that connects retractable strings to the bridge itself, making music as you move.

If all goes well, the Human Harp may soon be coming to a bridge near you.

Photo Of The Day: Shanghai’s Ancient River Town

Shanghai is the most populated city in the world, with buildings literally as far as the eye can see, but that’s partly because of reduced visibility from pollution. It’s hard to believe that this river oasis is located within China’s most commercial city. Qibao, one of the oldest towns still remaining within Shanghai, is photographed here by Nelson Ni, who perfectly captured the calm within the chaos of the city.

Nelson submitted his photo to us via Instagram by tagging his photo with #Gadling and mentioning us, @GadlingTravel. You can always submit your own photo to be featured as our Photo of the Day by doing the same, as well as submitting it to our Gadling Flickr Pool.

[Photo Credit: Instagram User insta_nelson]

Photo of the Day: Love Locks in Paris

Paris is a romantic city. The architecture, the lights, the food, the language; it’s hard to deny that this city is a place for love.

One of the classic expressions of romance in the City of Light is the collection of love padlocks on some of Paris’ most classic bridges. Love locks are a simple thing: a couple writes their names on a padlock, locks it to one of the bridges, and if they are really committing to everlasting love, throws the key into the Seine.

The weight of love in Paris is so big that a few years ago, town hall was concerned about the influence of the locks on the city’s architectural integrity, and one night, all of the thousands of locks were cut down – although the culprit remains unknown. But even French bureaucracy can’t win in the battle of love, and locks returned, in all colors and sizes.

You’ll find the biggest assortment on Pont des Arts and Pont de l’Archevêché (which bridge you choose depends on which type of love you are trying to express), where Flickr user jrodmanjir snapped this photo.

Have your own travel photos that capture a special moment? Submit them to the Gadling Flickr Pool for a chance to be featured on Photo of the Day.

[Photo Credit: jrodmanjir]

Nagasaki, Japan: More Than You Think

Outside of Japan, the port town of Nagasaki is simply known for one thing – the bombing that ended the second world war. There are plenty of reminders around the city, such as the striking single-legged torii gate (below) whose other half was blown off in the atomic blast, the stirring statues scattered about town and numerous memorials. It’s an important site in world history and worth going to for that reason alone.

Of course, no trip to Nagasaki would be complete without visiting Peace Park or the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, but there is so much more to Nagasaki.Yellow ceramic oragami paper cranes in the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

Yellow origami ceramic cranes in the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.

A monument under where the atomic bomb hypocenter was located.

Peace Park being visited by an elementary school field trip.

Nagasaki played an extremely important role in Japan’s history prior to World War II as well. For over 200 years, between 1633 and 1853, Nagasaki was the only port in all of Japan that was officially allowed to conduct trade with foreign countries. The impact of this role can still be seen today in the city’s food and architecture.

Megane-bashi, the spectacles bridge.

Megane-bashi, Japanese for “spectacles bridge”, is named for the reflection it creates in the water, is a very popular and romantic spot. Visiting around sunset is key and so is finding the heart-shaped brick in the stonework.

Castella, one of Nagasaki’s unique foods.

Today, Nagasaki is probably best known within Japan for its food. The two most popular dishes are castella (above) and champon. Castella is a simple cake that was brought in by the Portuguese. It’s rich with egg flavors and can be purchased virtually anywhere in the city. On the right is the original flavor and on the left is a green tea variation. Champon is a very popular pork and seafood noodle soup that was inspired from Chinese food. There is even a popular chain restaurant called Ringer Hut that sells Nagasaki champon throughout Japan.

The cute streetcars of Nagasaki.

Much like in the U.S., most cities in Japan used to have thriving streetcar networks. Today, most have ceased operation in favor of subways and making more room for cars. However, most of the big cities in southern Japan have held onto their streetcar tradition, including Nagasaki. It’s a convenient and fun way to get around the city and their bright colors are adorable.

Onboard a Nagasaki streetcar.

A row of torii gates at a local Shinto shrine.

Nagasaki is certainly not a main attraction in Japan, and quite a ways from many of the big name sights, but it’s worth it. It’s a quiet and quaint seaside town. It’s a great place to wander around and get lost in, to stumble across small neighborhood Shinto shrines and handicraft stores. There’s an important history to Nagasaki, without a doubt, but there’s a wealth of sights to see and things to do.

[Photo credits: Jonathan Kramer]

Bizarre Trampoline Bridge Proposed In Paris, France




Visitors to Paris may soon find themselves bouncing across the River Seine on a giant inflatable bouncy bridge. According to news.com.au, the idea was proposed by Paris-based architectural firm Atelier Zündel Cristea (AZC) during a local design competition.

“Our intention is to invite its visitors and inhabitants to engage on a newer and more playful path across this same water,” AZC writes on their website. “We propose, now, a distinctive urban feature: An inflatable bridge equipped with giant trampolines, dedicated to the joyful release from gravity as one bounces above the river.”

Not only that, but the structure is more environmentally friendly than putting up a new traditional bridge. The bizarre bridge features enormous trampolines in the middle of three 98-foot-round sections, with everything being held together with a cord. When the right amount of tension is present, the sides of the structure flip up to keep walkers, or bouncers, from tumbling over the side.

We’re not sure how safe this is, but it sure looks like fun.

[Image via AZC]