What can I say? Skate around the streets of Manhattan in practically no clothes. It might not stand out on the beach. But, really! Killer outfit!. I was stopped at the traffic light. My camera was on the seat. I lifted it and got off a single shot. Somehow, she sensed I was there. She rolled on past the van and took refuge in the doorway of the next apartment building. She looked warily at my car but my camera was already down on the seat once more. Spooky. Some weird guy shooting you while you exercise (in practically no clothes). How weird?
I walk around and observe people. As a physician I would do so and speculate on disease based upon how people walked – Alzheimer’s, alcohol, hydrocephalus, well, you know (or not). Since retirement I still observe people. I keep it to myself, of course. But… fashion. Sometimes you just gotta speculate. Whoa! Does your mother know how you went out? Remember mom’s admonition, “Wear clean underwear.” Trust me, in the ER, there are no secrets. Wear clean underwear. In the dead of winter, I just gotta say this is a fashion statement.
I noticed this poor man’s wife as we sat drinking coffee. She had the worst case of calf cellulite and calf varicose veins. No, I missed her pic. But his face… must have had some fair reconstruction. Cancer, trauma? Who knows. They did a reasonable job. In the extreme I remember pics of the woman who had the face transplant. Unfortunately, you never look normal.
Germs. Tons of germs. Ha ha. Germs are not necessarily harmful. Yeah, I would not be a fan of letting my toddler crawl around the airport rug. But, home is where all your regular germs reside. Sanitizer? I fear we are killing benign germs and allowing resistant bacteria to grow up. Then what? Meanwhile this is a cute kid. Very.
It’s the streets. Anything goes. It’s Scotland. Bag pipes! Statues have been done elsewhere. They are still fun. Harry Who? Owls are there on the street for the public to see and touch. After all it’s Harry Potter land. Fun.
… not Halloween. I took this pic of the kids. It spooked them. I take pics of kids and groups all the time, no harm done and none intended. But it was the moment and the glance that says it all. The girls quickly moved along immediately thereafter. Sorry kids, I did not mean to spook you guys.
Here’s a shout out to Shutterfly. They took over Kodak a while ago. And my photos have been preserved with them. Of course, I did not load pictures without keeping the originals myself. But where? I could no doubt find them in a little bit. Or, I can be tempted by their solicitous email. They send me memories from years back and I am supposed to respond by getting prints. For some reason the idea works counter-intuitively for me. Nice. They post my pics as a tiny file. I can’t take the file and actually use it. Is that right? Thank you. I can post them. No harm no foul. The issues open for discussion are too numerous to count.
Kids! Mine! They visited Jeddah five years ago. Hence, the abaya. How time flies! It was a special trip, the last I had with both my kids alone. Jules is married now and almost a new mom. Saudi Arabia does not allow tourists. They make their millions from the penitent to Mecca. So, it was unusual that my kids were allowed to visit me, pretty much a one time deal. So, this is a memory on many levels. A few years, only a few.
And street photography. It seems that my camera was a magnet. This group of kids was perfectly happy to ham it up while I took their picture. It was a request. Theirs! Thank you too.
Well…what a nice segue! (see yesterday). Back in October I posted the picture of an old building and its old signs that would soon be covered up forever. Now it is/has been… The old signs will not likely be seen again. Maybe a hundred years on, it will be repurposed and we might see beneath the veneer again. It’s another instance where I got a picture that will not be available to be recreated again. Different place, different time. No one spoke up. The signs were covered up without fanfare. It happens all the time. History is lost…but not forgotten.
Sheep and wool? Ostensibly it’s all about the fiber? The market baskets – fair trade – sold like hot cakes. Everywhere you looked someone was carrying one. We got one. They have great utilitarian use. Plus, they are good for you and for the makers. Win win. Bonus. I got a good image. This lady was just dressed this way. She wasn’t there to be picturesque.
The naked cowboy owns this corner. He’s been there forever – through snow and rain. Really! (He was dressed like this in blowing snow!) I don’t recall this one. I think the original one left. Maybe he wore out his welcome? Look at all the commercials on his guitar. Tacky!! Nowadays there are hordes of costumed figures angling for a tip – Mickey, Statue of Liberty, Mario… It’s too clean to be sleazy. There are still plenty of undercover cops I presume. The pedestrian space has shrunk under the new mayor. They made more room for traffic. And Broadway shows start an hour earlier – 7PM – on Tuesday. Who thought of that?
With the current events one pauses to look at what’s out there on the street. NYC has been a melting pot and about anything goes. Pigs don’t fly. This one has been there for years. I’ve never been in the bar. It doesn’t appeal. But, it’s still in business. And then there are the Halal guys. Anywhere else? They just blend into the New York street scene. Imagine? Where are the Nazis? You don’t see any. I can’t find any. I’m not looking. But there is no hate on the street. It’s just not there. Do they come out at night? Freedom of speech, statues, plaques, it’s complicated. So many questions, so few answers. It seems there is a “yes” for every “no.”
You carry a camera around; you get these shots. I don’t know whether you want one, but I got this. I just looked out and saw the juxtaposition. Neat! Stop at McD? Your call.
According to an editorial in the NYT, James is the most unpopular president residing at eh bottom of the popularity list for the past 150 years. His supporters are ecstatic. donnie may take his spot. How can that be!? I like it when I’m around to see someone break records. Did I spell his name right?
A broken clock has the right time twice a day. My sad tale begins with that grandfather clock (see previous post) gaining an hour a day. My friend adjusted the pendulum. That failed. The next thing you know – “boing…” – as in cogs and wheels all over the place. Be careful what you unscrew. I have no lack of ego or confidence. Wrong! Bad! The “cat is outta the bag.” I got a lot of parts like an impossible puzzle that needs to be put together. Online – the replacement is $649. No way! Ebay! The choices were poor. And the prices were high too. Ebay auction – the price started at .99 cents. One week later I won the auction at $10.50. Let’s see if the part fits and works. Otherwise my bargain clock is now a very large paperweight.
Among the observers on the sideline were these too kids. Aren’t homonyms confusing? It certainly is a confusing time for many. We keep talking about the future. What will it be like for our children and our grandchildren? Can you think that far down the road? Well, here in this picture is the now and they are the future. Go with it as you will. They are watching.
I have way too much free time. I hang out at the checkout counter and read the headlines. Can it be so? Please tell me Angelina is not emaciated and near death. Better yet, I love the Cosmo cover. Do breasts talk? Really! Who’s the editor and what IQ does she sport? Are women and feminism in the conversation. Speak to the left breast.
By now you know about new kitties in the house. They are sisters and pretty much identical. Side by side I can tell them apart. Pick one up alone and it’s not so easy. One feature that is striking is their long tails. Beautiful. Now to recognize them and use the right names. Do they know their names? Who knows? They are both characters. Fun! So face on look at the vertical stripes on their face. Different. Good. That’s a start. Famous sisters? Thelma and Louise were out. You know what happened to them. And so forth… They are cats… Spice and Feather. I hope Feather remains light. She’s the heavier sister to start. I know I will rename her “Weight.”
Seen in a pizza bar – antler light chandelier. I like the light bulbs. The dead antlers are a bit disconcerting when you consider all the dead deer who gave up to make this chandelier possible.
Seen in a mall parking lot… It’s an old single engine two bladed propeller plane of unknown purpose. It’s not military? Not a WMD… not a commercial plane… not a hobby plane… Ah well, the owner had parked it neatly across a series of parking spots. I guess he’ll return for it. He can just pull out onto the highway and off he goes. Why not?
I was in a parking lot and struck by the technology that surrounds me. How many cellular antennae are needed to give me seamless service? How many? I guess the more you look at the infrastructure the more bewildering it appears. Line of sight? Maybe they need to touch each other? Whatever! In order for me to talk and text and surf there is a lot of support. The eye pollution is disguised and hidden in plain sight. There is no going back. What is a landline anymore? I’m a long way from fish in the Red Sea.
I’m out. On the plane. The door closed and I got out of Saudi. Happy! Yup! I was surrounded by African pilgrims for the ride home. Maybe I have MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). They coughed front and back of me all the damn way home. I got it about two days later. Stress lowers your immune system. I have been fighting a vicious cold for two weeks. It’s not fatal. And it’s probably not MERS. These very nice ladies posed for each other during the latter part of the flight. They did not even notice that I stuck my camera up and shot them in their finery. You would have to say it was worth the trip. The ladies would disappear into the tiny restroom for lengthy makeovers. Why dress to return home? Who knows? I will always remember them by this image and the vicious cold they shared with me.
Street photography – you don’t aim or compose, you just press the shutter. The idea is to catch spontaneity. It’s mostly because you are afraid or shy to ask to take a picture. Or you are afraid to have an angry objection. And if you are in a foreign place it is wise to be discrete. Auto focus! It works. Aim in the general direction of your subject. Hope for the best. At night I use auto ISO and shutter speed 1/125. Otherwise things will be blurred. They tend to be. So I try to lessen the error.
I had an errand to do in the old city. It’s September and still hot as blazes. The humidity is high. And still, it does not rain. You go out only at night. Daytime is instant meltdown. I live in A/C. My villa has never seen the A/C off in four years. Power outages are very rare. Once it lasted for more than an hour and my friend left to go to a hotel. He did not tolerate heat. Wuss! Well, me too. But for some reason we were on different circuits and my power was on. No, he did not want to stay in my messy villa. As soon as I exited the air conditioned car my camera lens fogged up. I did not realize it. So for a moment, until I checked, everything was fogged. It was an interesting effect. And the shot I could not get… the man in the chair had sweat dripping from the tip of his nose. Sorry. Couldn’t get that. It’s street photography! There are shots I saw that will ever be on my mind. I missed it. But I saw it. If you didn’t get it, you didn’t see it. But I did. Like the eggs. Some days you are in the right place at the right moment. And just a bit later on, you miss. Yes, a drop of sweat, right on the tip of his nose. “Plain as the tip of your nose.” Missed!
… who knows someone. You know? Six degrees of separation. Well, Mother Theresa is a saint now. She was alive during my time on earth. I am used to thinking that saints were all made before I was born. So there are no new ones. There are a lot of saints. And heaven help your “sainted mother.” But really, everyone has been all agog over Saint Theresa. A saint must perform two miracles. I thought three; I was wrong. It’s hard enough to do two. 1. She made a brain tumor go away. 2. She made a brain infection disappear. Neat! Neurosurgery! Whoa!? Really? I do not know the case nor the circumstance. The church has ruled. It’s a miracle! (Both!)
It’s all good with me. I thought that it’s easier to turn loaves into fish…or whatever. But the miracle for me is that I know someone who actually touched her while she was alive. And she has a relic. That would be real live DNA – a body part (gross) or nail clipping or hair or… I asked. Ginny confirmed. But she can’t find it! But I know she never throws anything away. So it’s around. Things go missing… they don’t know where Kennedy’s brain is. By the grace of god I do not know anyone who died in the WTC on 9/11. But I know people who knew people. That is too close.
There are times I am obtuse. I’m told. So it must be so. That mosque is in Jeddah and quite well known. Jules is in the foreground. We were happily wandering and taking pictures. A large group of Indonesians were organizing a group photo. Some kids were playing soccer nearby. Then, she saw the sign. “No photography!” Who knew? This is the site where they execute sentences – as in “beheading.” No need to lose your head? Stop taking pictures.
I only saw this once. Apparently the police are not allowing such a display to occur again. That year there was vandalism to many shops along the avenue. Too bad. There was such enthusiasm and spirit. A woman asked to take a picture! Really! I pointed the camera at her. She put up her hand and rolled her window up. She wanted me to take a picture of her car. Some things remain the same!
Maybe everyone knew to come by social media alerts. But then again, I have never seen a gathering like this. Cars lined the avenue and just sat. No one cared about moving along. They sat – “ Car proud” – banners waving, costumed, enthusiastic.
They waved at me to take pictures as though I were a news journalist. And so I did. I got worried because one guy grabbed the camera from my hand and did a group shot. I’m trusting but wary. You never know about a crowd. But… it was all a happy day.
There is a genre – street photography. I’m shy. And I dislike encounters. And I don’t want to ask. And I don’t want a pose. And I don’t want to be giving someone money to take a picture. You may not like it, but in America, anyone on the street is fair game. Commercial use is a different story. But for personal use, it’s all good. Here’s what you do. It’s simple. (Somehow people don’t object as much to iPhone. But I use a camera.) Use your camera on wide angle, set the shutter speed to about 1/125. Then do what it says – point and shoot. Don’t look. There is the flavor of an imperfectly composed shot. It works. You hit. You miss. Sometimes you win. If you are unsure shoot more than one. Don’t stop moving. And don’t let anyone catch on that you are taking pictures. Slices of life, unposed, unpretentious, natural…it’s more for me to have a flavor of life to recall. In Jeddah the heat of the day has everyone indoors. Some shops are open. But at night the whole tenor changes and the streets of the old city are teaming with activity. The heat of the day is lowered to simply unbearable as opposed to daytime hell. And digital allows you to take images I could never do with film. There’s a vibrancy to night life in the city.
Push carts abound. Vendors will sell any kind of produce. The big supermarkets – nope – people buy, sell, and bargain – probably illegally. But there is definite supply and demand.
Sugar cane – it’s crushed and the liquid is served up as a drink. It’s bland. Almost yuck! You need to add lime and ginger when you crush it. That’s a drink! Jules and I learned this in Zanzibar. She drank the whole thing and left me a taste. So I know from that small sample how to fix this. But nope, not in Jeddah.
Sticks – there is vendor in this spot, his spot. And now there are a couple of others – competition. They cut them and bundle them. They are to rub your teeth – like a toothbrush. No Crest, Colgate, or Tom’s of Maine. Buy a bundle. Share them or use them yourself.
Sewing – the tailors use a fairly unsophisticated machine to do their magic. If you are native, you wear a thobe and someone has to make them. It looks like he has made lots. And overwhelmingly they are white. And, abayas are black. Who’s the biggest loser?
Life in the city. It all happens at night. There are huge super malls. But what’s new there? Everyone has seen a mall by now? Online shopping! Walmart is scared! Amazon rules? Imagine the next big thing….