Why? I smile and ask myself why. After months and months, the traffic circle has the world’s tallest flag pole. This is added to the world’s tallest fountain which is only minutes away. Yup, the internet proclaims King Fahd fountain as the tallest. Now I suppose this is the world’s tallest flag pole. There is access hatch at the base and guards are present 24/7 to be sure no one climbs to the top and jumps to set some other sort of record. I wondered about the flag too. It needs to be light enough so the breeze will catch it, in case anyone would make crude remarks about how limply it hung. And on the day the flag was raised, Saudi National Day, I was absent from the country. A friend told me that it produced a record traffic jam as people simply stopped their cars to see it. This traffic circle is in the middle of some major crossing highways. Even on a good day traffic slows around it. You can be sure this traffic circle will not be changed ever again to allow for better traffic flow. Yes, it all works. Every time I pass it now, I wonder.
Someone has told me the pole is 271 meters tall and the flag is 500kg and half the size of a football field in area. Yup. Big deal.
Everyone knows a certain someone who loves books and who loves to hangout in bookstores. And if you look closely: mystery, true crime, love and sex, thriller. I mean really! And between true crime and love and sex – well this is too delicious to pass up. I chose love and sex but what do I know? The image itself lacks a little clarity and focus. But does it?
I was slogging through the Metropolitan Museum of Art racing to see all the masterpieces. This is definitely not the way to do it. An article in the NY Times was out a few days later exhorting visitors to view a single work for an extended time say twenty minutes or more. It might prove to be a more memorable experience. So I noticed this girl in a tux and no socks. Luckily I had my trusty brand new spiffy camera ready to snap. Art in a museum., imagine that. I love interactive.
I’m not a great one to embrace change. Then again things change around me constantly. Our primary residence was sold recently. I have no known address nor a hardline phone. Well it’s not that extreme…. Following up on yesterday’s post, I wrote about my Nikon D200 camera. It was new at the time of yesterday’s image. And now I have upgraded to the Nikon D610. Images are posted here. Drat! A week later Nikon announced the D750. Last time around Nikon announced the D300 about a week after I got the D200. I mean, come on!! They just released the D610 didn’t they?. And I got a spiffy fast lens in the FX 24-70mm zoom. The first events were the Indian Powwow in Southampton and the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn. I wish I could say there was a standout image right away. But no, there were many images, too many to really say there is one quintessential image. Nowadays I use several cameras, all for different reasons. Point and shoot Canon G12 and S100 as well as iPhone images are mixed in. What I can say is that I shot eleven thousand images in the first month with the Nikon D610. New lens, new camera, I have been getting very nice shots and have certainly using the new equipment.
Why not? People get married everyday. I guess mostly weekends are preferred dates to get married. But in a public way everyone gets to celebrate with you. This couple was rushing along to get pictures along the boat lake in the park. Okay I get the photographer dressed casually. The bride has pants under the dress and her jacket over it. The groom might need to grow into his tux. My first impression is that his shoes are not formal either. No matter, a newly wed couple is always a fine photo opportunity.
Rain or shine – well it never rains…but the men’s dominos game goes on whether or not there’s a crowd. The guys are tolerant. People were crowded all about them snapping pictures. I mean the crowd was in their space! The game was on and no matter the crowd, it was proceeding. Just one table and one game…. The last time I saw this group, it was on an evening tour of the Balad. The tourists crowded and shot images. The men ignored them and played on.
Plop! Yes bring a rug and plop down in any open space. No one seems shy about bringing along a rug and just claiming a spot in the middle of everything. I can’t say that it appears comfortable. Selfies in the background!? It’s midnight and joint is hoppin’! I’d ordinarily think a nice soft patch of grass would do. But there ‘s no grass in sight. Folks will set up in the most unlikely and most uncomfortable looking locations. And despite the hour, no one appears ready for bed.
My guide told me that there were typical drinks that were served at Ramadan. These things create the familiar memory of a holiday as eggnog would remind me of Christmas. The dark purple drink is served everywhere. The origin or berry is unclear to me. The taste is distinctive. The other drink is newer and is seen together. But it is the purple stuff….has an odd distinctive flavor. It is sweet without citrus tartness. Initially I did not like it but it becomes an acquired taste. It was new for me but is typically served where ever I go. Most vendors served it up from plain plastic containers. Here at least the display had some style and was worth sharing the image. Otherwise for the rest of the year I don’t see this drink.
More street photography – I got a second chance. Well okay. This time I wasn’t under pressure. If I got a shot or not, there was already one in my archive. So now the goal is to get a better one. Smile, get eye contact, and shoot.
Someone I know, knows all about second chances. This really isn’t. You have already seen two shots on a recent post. This time with nothing to lose, I relaxed, smiled at the kid, made eye contact, and got him to engage with my camera. Instead of a distracted look, I got a smile. Like many of my street photography subjects, this kid will grow up. But for this instance I have preserved his youth forever.
The last time I made the mistake of coming at 7PM. The action I spoke about starts after the last prayer. So this is the crowd milling about at midnight. This is a one-way thoroughfare. Are you kidding? Nope, it’s one way. I got caught about half way along and had to walk to the end twice. Pain! No one sleeps during Ramadan. They stay up until 4AM, then try to sleep all day to minimize the time of fasting and hunger. I’m saying that families and young kids are all up and active at this hour. If the routine change has affected me so, it must be hell on little kids. Once a year for 30 days…..