Where do you wanna go? I dunno. Typical. We had no plan. Do you need a plan? The local – throw away – paper proclaimed, farmer’s market. Ok! We met a basket maker who carries everything on her bicycle, including finished baskets, reed, and basket making tools. Driving along we found the ultimate junk store. Rusty nails! … by the pound. If you dye (fiber) then this is a mordant to set and contribute color. (I bet you wanted to know.) Alpaca farm? They spit?! … if you get in their face. Rude! We got fleece! Of course! Not fleeced. No! If you spin and weave, this was a good day!
The same weekend: three bake sales and one art craft sale. There were two bake sales in two churches. One church was selling specialty knives in addition to baked goods. We got knives. Why? Don’t know. The second church sold books and baked goods. We got books. Six grandchildren all read. We don’t need books. But who can resist a book sale. The art was Delaware by hand and displayed the wares of craftsman from the area. We looked and admired. As expected, the price of handmade craft was expensive. In between we hit a yard sale. That was priceless. There was junk. Someone sold a Kitchen Aid mixer (not junk). Her neighbor dutifully handed over cash and the sale was done before our eyes. We bought a vintage baby buggy from the very same neighbor. Ok! I got another project to fix up. The last stop was the AARP scholarship show – craft, baked goods, and a farmer’s market with corn straight from Georgia. It was a packed day.
Summer farmer’s markets beckon and we are helpless to refrain from buying gorgeous produce such as grape tomatoes. Taste! Freshness! It the time of year. How can you go wrong? A few days later and you are left with a lot of tomatoes and nowhere to go. Pasta! Simple – garlic, basil, olive oil. It cooks up fast and tastes great! My photos don’t do the dish justice. It’s gluten free pasta. So, the pasta tends to stick to itself. Hence, it is not easy to blend the ingredients and distribute it evenly into the pasta. Add grated parmesan. You are good to go.
Sometimes less is more. I got this girl as a total grab shot. Too much foreground and too little girl. But it works in a way too. Who goes to the hot market dressed all in black? CIA? NSA? What? Did your mom tell you not to wear that. It’s not flattering. Or maybe you have a warped sense of body image? Sorry! Catty. I just notice things that don’t fit. To me it don’t. but then again that’s my opinion. No, I’m not having a Joan Rivers moment.
I have been to a liquor supermart. They have some expensive bottles behind locked glass doors. Yeah, over $1000 pushing $2000 a bottle! Funny, too, they had expensive herbs and such in Chinatown when I was there. Hmmm is there a segue? We found… Boulevard Autumn Radler and Avery Tweak. The Radler was a remembrance of mad beer run in Kansas City. We got a growler but no cans. And the Tweak was our $30 bottle at a restaurant in Boulder. Don’t ask. That was a hell of an expensive bottle! $12.99 retail in the store. It’s aged in oak and they treat it like a wine. I was advised to age it for three years to let the taste mellow. Did I tell you I don’t drink? We got a couple. I’ll try to age it.
The crowd is small. It’s full of character stereotypes that do weed. And then there were perfectly looking “straights.” Don’t ask why I was in. But it’s apparently legal and definitely not for medicinal purposes. I decline to tell you if I ever… and I wonder how many amongst them are Republicans? It’s a superstore. You get ID’d entering and when you purchase. It’s worse than a porno shop. I learned about leaf names, quality, cost, and a myriad of choices. Cash only, they got an ATM by the door. TMI Tobacco, drugs, and alcohol are part of our culture. It will all kill you. Your choice. Funny, ‘cause I don’t.
I know. But I had a post for Xmas. So, I’m squeezing this in at New Year. Happy! I’ve been in a lot of stores around Thanksgiving. Santa shows up before turkey. Turkey is for eating. You sell Santa for the holiday. Happy! … that would be all the holidays. This new year will be different… and better.
We’ve been here exactly twice. I found it again! Take me anywhere and generally I can get back. Or, take me anywhere and I will remember how to get home. I’m visual. Tell me directions? Uh uh! Remember that my comment about never being lost? The owner was a woman of uncertain age. She was a curmudgeon! She had little warnings everywhere in the shop to caution against touching, opening, smelling… you get it. But once she saw we were there to buy tea… Now, it was not inexpensive, it was just deceptive….like $7.50 an ounce. I guess that adds up in a hurry. The last time around we got a hot pepper tea. Not again. But it was the reason we returned. The owner had not made another batch – too finicky and not enough sales. Ah well, we contented ourselves with some other exotic blends. Good news, she ships. I won’t have to pine any more. We can just order up online.
We made a trip to Chinatown recently. Chinatown? Well, with more and more I guess it’s fair to say it was New York City. But there are at least three enclaves now. Manhattan! Of course! Is there any other? Yup, San Francisco, Los Angeles…. Live seafood. It’s about live and fresh. I’m not sure there are many places where you walk past tanks of live seafood ready to be cooked to order.
The shops? Exotic? Certainly different. Prices? Whoa! Look closely. Read the labels and … whoa! They would be thousands of dollars per pound! Really? Dried shrimp, a delicacy? And abalone, at hundreds a pound? I can appreciate the price, marvel at the prices, and shake my head that someone values this at so many dollars. Abalone is chewy and not particularly tasty to me. But then don’t ask me. I don’t like wine much either.
How do you sell onions and garlic for $15 each? Braid them and make them art. They are supposed to be eaten I presume. But braided is extra. …a whole lot extra.
Some are cool. Some aren’t. This one’s funky – big on funk low on cool. It feels vaguely unclean. It’s not my kind of place. …so I’ll be back. ??
Shisha – it’s what they smoke. I know it as a water pipe. Hookah, another name. It connotes smoking through water. I read that the dose of toxic nicotine is equivalent to hundreds of cigarettes in a single session of smoking shisha. Don’t do it! It’s bad for you.
It started when I passed a store that sells water pipes. It was the tip of the iceberg. Around Jeddah there are stores which will sell you custom made thobes. The stores are congregated in a few places. There might be a dozen or more shops side by side competing for business. There is another location for honey and another for olive oil, dates, and so forth. It’s silly economics. All the prices must be comparable.
The water pipe stores are on a narrow street. And then, much to my surprise, an artisan was right there. He was working away in an open shop with horrible fluorescent lighting. I paused, he looked up, and I did something I never do; I asked if he minded if I took his picture. And he was okay with it. And I got a couple. I did not try to overstay my welcome. Yay! It’s street photography and ordinarily I just shoot and look like I’m doing something else. But we were eye to eye. There was no hiding intent. And he was gracious and I said thanks. We had our moment and I moved on. I’d buy one. They sell his product next door. But, I don’t smoke. So, no…
A long continuous awning…It’s for the heat of the day. At night they turn on the lights. Women sit on blankets and sell wares. Tiny shops line this alley. During the day you need the shade. At night this is just a throughway.
There’s plenty of action. But as far as traditional stores this is far from organized. But the real reason for the images is that at night the lighting is conducive to get a decent exposure. During the day shade is deep and lighting is poor.
Sticks, I gotta ask. I have no idea. They sell bundles. Can’t you just get sticks in the bushes and make your own. Not toothpicks. Not walking sticks. Not firewood. Sorry, I shouldn’t post something I have not researched. Hey, it’s a photography blog. I’m not a historian. While we’re on the subject…tomatoes. How’d we switch to tomatoes? …because it’s my blog and I have a picture of tomatoes for sale.
They are not good tomatoes. It’s a neatly stacked pile. They are orange. They are hard. They are tasteless. And while I watched a bunch of them dropped to the ground. They picked them up and continued business. People buy them up. And how would you ever know they hit the ground?
The art of street photography is interesting. Your camera is taking photos as you walk. You are not composing the shot. What you get is what you get. There are lots of duds. The setting is wide angle and on automatic. And at night the exposure is more challenging. But digital is so forgiving. So, just point and shoot in the general direction of your subject. I’m pretty good. There is not much cropping for me anymore. Apples are the sort of photo that Jules would like. There is plenty of action. It’s mundane. You don’t need much more to convey the frenzy of the market transactions.
The meat is sold without being under plastic Styrofoam. It is cut to order and chopped or prepped on the spot. That part was pretty fascinating. These guys have pretty good knife skills. And, their knives are sharp. I’m watching my head!
Santa Barbara. It’s a beautiful city. California coast. Wealthy. Lovely downtown. Lots of shops. There was a full blown protest march in progress on the sidewalk. Live and let live. The protesters mingled peacefully with the shoppers. We were on for a short stroll before heading up the coast. Down near the beach we passed a little mall. I noticed this store. I see Godiva and walk by. But somehow this store had the right appeal.
I’m also a sucker for toffee lately. Don’t read the recipe. It’s full of sugar and butter. It’s definitely bad for you. But moderation… I keep saying moderation. And then I eat another BLT. Well dark chocolate is my other sin. And the combination was too much temptation. We bought and ate some on the spot and then got a bag to go.
We worried that bag and hoarded it all the way to the end of the trip. No sharing. It was our secret. Good to the last melted piece. It was a car trip. Sure, it was gonna melt.
Okay the first guy I have puzzled out to be a knife sharpener. The second guy is carrying lanterns or mini fire hydrants. Okay probably not hydrants but that is my guess till someone corrects me. It was the old city and I assume they were on the way to do a demonstration. Sorry they got by me and I did not get ahead to catch a better shot.
I am in the old city and around a corner there are camels being led. Two camels stopped at a barrier and a crowd coalesced immediately. The kids started taking pictures. Smart phones were clicking away. For me, I don’t see camels very often. I guess this crowd doesn’t see many camels either.
The tent is actually a cover. A man was hidden riding with his identity concealed. The two camels marched up and out of sight along a narrow alley. I got distracted by some other subjects headed my way.
Really? I have seen some strange sights. However, the carts in the background explain. These guys are delivery guys. They will cart loads around earning money from customers and shopkeepers as they go. Quiet time is naptime; all is well. It’s just an odd place to nap.
It was the heat of the day. Well, for this particular day it was rather balmy. People were taking a load off. Notice the lack of shoes. And the guy is resting his feet on cardboard. You may also note that this abaya shop is among few shops open at this hour. Everyone does their serious shopping well after dark.
Fractured English. I see it all the time. There was a store named Gout. Let’s assume the owners are selling cosmetics and have a sense of beauty. I suppose I should corner a friend and ask for the Arabic translation.
I wandered around the old city and was discretely snapping pictures as I went. And, every once in a while someone will ask me to take their picture. Really! This was a variation. Another guy saw me with my big shiny Nikon and beckoned me to snap off a shot. So I did. I realize that I was nervous and might have moved in for a closer shot. He’s selling carry bags and I wanted to include them. His friend was having a great time encouraging me. And my new friend was quite tolerant.
The woman in the foreground is selling cactus fruit. She has peeled it and sells it in plastic bags. I tried some from the market. It is not too tasty. They remind me of mini- pineapples but they are not. The date shop has many dates and of different quality. You can see the color differences. I am not savvy enough to tell one date from another. The only opinion I have about dates – “guys are just happy if their date shows up.”
Guys hang out in Al Balad to do delivery work. So they will take things from point A to B. Business was slow so this guy ad his daughter along for a ride. I guess in between she walks.