Souvenirs and mementoes can take many different forms and the inspiration to collect them can be traced to different sources. The donor of this snow globe expressed her personal history this way: "I love cities. I grew up in Hoboken, NJ, directly opposite the Empire State Building. While playing, I would take breaks to watch the comings and goings of the ships on the Hudson, and imagine the people walking among the skyscrapers. Growing up, my parents took us to Washington, DC, Montreal, Quebec City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The differing energy, architecture, and people in each place struck me. I was also struck by the similarity of Boston and Philadelphia, which share a similar heritage."
As an adult, the donor went to Hong Kong in 1987 on business for Kodak. "My hotel room had a window seat and well into the evening I would watch the sampans and ships traversing the harbor. It struck me then, that when it was dark and the stars were shining it was like being inside a snow globe. All the magic was captured in what seemed to be a spherical entity, the universe. The Hong Kong sojourns sparked my love of snow globes. Sometimes they are called glitter globes and I even have a fog globe from San Francisco. In addition to the traditional spherical shape one associates with a 'globe' one can now find small ovals and even an occasional pyramid. The globes, if done well, capture the feeling and character of the cities I visited over the next 24 years. So in every new city, we would wander around some very interesting places in search of the right snow globe. Sometimes, because of language differences, it was a challenge to explain what we were looking for. People enjoyed using pantomime with us. I think my 7 years working at the National Technical School for the Deaf helped me communicate using gestures when I needed to."