Old photos. I came across this. It’s about 2002, Lincoln Center. Barbara Cook – quite the diva. She’s starring. I didn’t know her at the time. About a decade later I discovered the American songbook. She’s a big part of it. Who knew? Lots of folks. I was late to the party. There was a craft fair that day I took this slide. Now that’s a full circle for me. Look! Sheep! A sheep shearing demo. Considering what I know about weaving, it’s odd to see that this image is in my files and I only just ran across it. How significant insignificant things seem on second look. History’s a funny thing.
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.
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…..
My guide told me that this is typical food served at Ramadan. It is liver she said. Diced liver and mixed vegetables are added to a hot grill. The savory smell beckons. It seems this is the specialty of the house and at every table multiple orders were being eagerly shared. No one seemed to mind me taking images, so I did.
This is a pocket food. It starts as a small ball of dough that like pizza is stretched to paper thinness. And then a filling is added. The package is folder and thrown on an oiled hot grill. Make it golden brown. It looked good. The picture says it far better than a description.
I’m starting a series of iconic images in my life and will continue for a few weeks in my posts. This blonde headed kid is one of my first street photography images. It was taken back in the ‘70’s. I’m kind of shy, really! So it’s not my first inclination to put my camera into someone’s face and shoot. We were at a street fair and this kid just presented himself, isolated in the crowd, just him and me. He’s got to be in his forties now. I wonder what he’s doing. This was one of the earliest street images for me. The other great source of images was New York City’s street fairs, which were just beginning in the ‘70’s. Nowadays there’s a street fair every weekend and most times in multiple locations. Back then, it was a local merchants fair. But, London was among my earliest experiences.
At the annual 9th Avenue Festival, ostensibly it is about food. Over the years the fair has morphed from local merchants and food to professional food fair vendors and purveyors as varied as women’s underwear to sheets and pillowcases. Of course local merchants remain a part of the mix. I just didn’t know that there were so many gyro stands all run by the same parent company. This man and woman would have been more likely to be in Europe. It’s not a great shot. I grabbed the shot as is because I was too shy to ask them to pose.
Annually in Flushing Meadow Park, the Dragon boat races occur. There is a linear boat course marked out for teams of paddlers. The dragon boat teams are quite spirited and everyone has good time. This group had a lot of energy. Dragons are good luck. And the noise is to ward off or scare away bad spirits. It was very noisy. It works.
We were visiting Cusco, Peru. Purely by luck we happened upon a religious festival. I was in the thick of it. We were all wandering around separately and planned to meet in the early afternoon. So here I was on my own and face to face with a masked man. I have wondered but do not know the details of the costumes and the masks. There were many different groups dressed and marching. It wasn’t a parade. The groups converged upon the main square from different directions. It is quite an event. And, best of all, I had just wandered into it all. Unlike New York, I did not have to arrive hours early, jockey for position, or get chased from the route by police. How nice!
Close-ups can stop the eye. So here’s a take on a common item. I’ve been to many ‘street fairs.’ I’m not a shopper, so it usually means that I’m accompanying someone else. My way to pass the time is taking photographs. That way we don’t know who’s slower, my companion or me. Anyway, after the requisite wide shots, I concentrate on some close ups. Everyone’s seen yarn. It’s about color and pattern.
What do you say? – ‘A One Man Band!’ There is a lot to criticize about this photo and then there is the simple snapshot of it all. It was another photo from the London street scene. Johnny was there to earn a living and I sure hope he was successful. More than 30 years ago, I wish him well.
This is another outtake of photos from London street fairs. I had my favorite among my very early posts. (9/14/11) Here the color of the old slide has given a certain patina that my daughter recognizes on sight. Kids riding on Dad’s shoulders are easy targets. They are relatively immobile and they have an excellent uncluttered background.
In my early years with much less technical expertise, I shot a series of early street shots when I visited London. It should probably be in photocriticism.com my other blog. Notice the two monkeys, one parrot, and the smiling face. Of course you did, didn’t you? Maybe it’s not a great shot. But it did catch my eye and made me set it aside when editing recently.
Santacon. I saw a picture sometime this past year. It says it’s not for kids. It says, bring food, presents for the needy and tots. It says it is not, I repeat, not a bar crawl. That said it is indeed a young adult party. It is a bar heavy event. Everyone who didn’t bring their own booze, certainly drank at the bars. The moveable party went all over from South Street to Times Square and on to Brooklyn. I couldn’t help thinking that anyone who was robbed and claimed it was Santa would have thousands of suspects to choose from. All in all the crowd was peaceful in the early part of the day. Communicating by social media that crowd was free flowing. There was minimal police presence. When I went on down to Occupy Wall St, it was an entirely different story with significant police and barriers still around. What do you say when you are among a crowd of thousands dressed as Santa and his helpers? You can find a gallery and more at Imaged Event my other blog.
The image is the key. But the backstory can be fascinating. Shot at a local Church carnival. Night shots without a tripod are always tricky. I like the low angle and the juxtaposition of the bee with the ferris wheel in the background. It amazing how well the camera will correct for such a variety of lighting.