Several months ago I was driving near my home, through a residential neighborhood, when something large and very white caught my eye. It looked like a very large piece of sculpture and I had to circle the block just to get a better look at it. This was something I had either never noticed before or it was new to the neighborhood. On my second, much slower drive around the block I could see that it was a statue of a reclining Buddha figure and the little house now had a sign out front identifying it in Vietnamese, I assume, since the only word I could read was "Vietnam." I have not been able to find out anything about what it is, but I assume it is a Buddhist center of some kind.
The statue is quite beautiful and I find myself driving, slowly past it nearly every time I am headed in that direction. It is so incongruous just off a busy street, but looks so peaceful in the shady garden, and there are always fresh flowers sitting nearby. Here is a beautiful black and white photo that shows more detail.
I wish I knew more about it. I did learn that representations of Buddha fall into several classic poses and this, the reclining Buddha, represents the final stage of enlightenment before achieving nirvana.