Veins of a Dark City

Dark City

I visited Tokyo almost a year ago and I long to return (spoiler I am at least twice in 2015). It is a vibrant place with more energy then one city should be allowed on its own, but I don’t think Tokyo could be any other way. This rendition is from the window of my hotel room, looking over a city that never seems to end. The highway struck me and I was looking for a way to make it stand out more in the photo as it did when I was there.

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Sailboat on Lake Como, Italy

Sunny Sailing

Truth be told it was pretty cold this day. It was spring in Italy, but Lago di Como has some good winds that whip through the canyon over the lake. It undoubtedly makes for great sailing as this boat wasn’t the only enjoying the hazy, but sunny day. I was glad I had a warm insulating layer or I would have frozen to death.

Did I Just Steal the Train?

Coming home for Varenna, the train station was closed. A number of people got on at the same time I did, and insisted you could just pay the conductor. There was no conductor. I later found out the bar in Varenna sells tickets (of course it does) after the train station closes. Luckily I didn’t get myself in a bunch of trouble as my Italian isn’t so good and Italians are SERIOUS about their train etiquette!

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Lotus Blossom at Wat Pho, Bangkok Thailand

The Spark of Potential

Where does potential lay?

I sit here wondering that now looking at this lotus blossom. Thailand was a struggle for me. It was hot. I wore long pants. I fear I was on the brink of exhaustion (very common for me traveling).

Where do struggle and potential cross to make something beautiful. The lotus flower is a metaphor, did I miss it in Thailand? Perhaps my struggle was in vain in that place and time. Perhaps I should go back and try a new.

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Somewhere Along a Washington State Highway

Unexpected Landscape

When you travel, you sometimes have preconceived notions of a way a place is or should be. Often you find a place or its people are nothing as you imagined them in your mind. Something quite different emerges that takes you completely by surprise. I gave away the surprise with the title of my post, but looking at today’s photo would you think it was along the highway somewhere in middle Washington State?

When I used to think of Washington I envision Seattle (or maybe something out of the Twilight novels), but like California, all of the Western Coast of the United States is WILDLY diverse. Would it surprise you to also learn during this same drive I saw my very first tumbleweed? The scenery just kept changing as we drove from the coast to Spokane. I try not to let my paradigms and prejudices color what I expect, but even after all this travel, things continue to surprise me.

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Swarovski Window Display in Vienna Austria

BEHOLD! She is Singing to Bring Down the Chandelier!

On Monday I said I was working on something a bit more colorful from my stop in Vienna, Austria and I hope this doesn’t disappoint. When I saw the color in the window of the Swarovski shop, I was working out a photo immediately…and that was before it occurred to me WHAT was going on in this wonderful window display! We are told, Ladies and Gentlemen, this IS the very Chandelier which figures in the famous….disaster!

Phantom of the Opera

Seriously, one of my favorite broadway hits of all time is Phantom of the Opera. I haven’t seen it as many times as Cats (don’t ask), but it has remained tops all these years for me. Oddly I keep referring to the mannequin as Carlotta, but everyone knows Carlotta was stricken by a mysterious bout of laryngitis and Christine had taken over the principal role in Il Muto during the fall of the Chandelier!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 March, 2014
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/6s
  • Title: Swarovski Window Display in Vienna Austria

Dark Visage of Poseidon on the Streets of Vienna, Austria

Noir Europe

It’s funny…all of the photos of my overnight stay in Vienna are in black and white! I never intend it and I am purposefully working on a very colorful and fun photo for Thursday to show a different side of the city. This photo Poseidon on the streets of Vienna, however, HAD to be noir. Vienna and night, black and white, it all seems to flow perfectly in my mind.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 21 March, 2014
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/3s
  • Title: Dark Visage of Poseidon on the Streets of Vienna, Austria

Early Morning View of the Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

Sighs at the Bridge in Venice

One of the most recognizable symbols of Venice, Italy is the Bridge of Sighs. We have a black and white poster framed on our wall of this monument, and I have wanted to replace it with my own photo since I bought it. There is something about the light in that other artists rendition that is too harsh. Perhaps the severity is appropriate given that this “bridge” connects the Doge’s Palace to the prison across the canal. Lord Byron allegedly gave the passage its name suggesting, “that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells.” (wikipedia).

To me the architectural beauty of the bridge needs to be highlighted rather than its function. I’m not sure if this one will be “the one” to end up on my wall, but I really love the romantic morning view. Morning is also about the only time you can see the Bridge of Sighs without a mass of tourists in your shot!

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Lonely Contemplation on an Oahu Hawaii Cliff

Diverse Landscape

One of the main reasons I love Hawaii is the diverse landscape. This location is actually very dangerous and there are many places you could easily fall into the ocean! It an extremely wealthy part of Oahu and I couldn’t help but think the whole time if you wanted an ocean fortress that was not susceptible to normal beach problems…this would be an ideal location. I was struck by this woman sitting all by her self, it seemed someone else thought this a good place to be alone with your thoughts.

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Sunrise on Ponte dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy

Venice

To encapsulate my feelings of Venice would be impossible. Perhaps this discription from one of the must read books before any trip to Venice, Watermark (by Joseph Brodsky), helps in one sense:

A reflection cannot possibly care for a reflection. The city is narcissistc enough to turn your mind into an amalgam, unburdening it of its depths. With their similar effect on your purse, hotels and pensiones therefore feel very congenial. After a two-week stay—even at off-season rates—you become both broke and selfless, like a Buddhist monk.

This quote from the same text, however, gives another glimpse of the more wonderful feel of the city:

You fling the window open and the room is instantly flooded with this outer, pearl-laden haze, which is part damp oxygen, part coffee and prayers.

Despite its flaws, Venice in two quick days became one of my favorite destinations in the world. There is something wonderfully artistic, dark and oppressive all at the same time. It is though you stand at a precipice to another world in Venice, one that perhaps you don’t want to enter, but it exciting just to be there.

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A History of Fighter Planes at Pearl Harbor

Fighter Planes at Pearl Harbor

It’s no secret I love planes. I have always known I was not cut out for a military life, but many of the men in my family have served. My father in particular was in the U.S. Air Force and might be much of the genesis of my love of flying machine. For me planes are all about transportation. Hop aboard and as if by magic you are transported half the world away. There is of course another line of work these machines are employed by and during my visit to Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, I visited the Pacific Aviation Museum. They have a wonderfully and lovingly restored collection of military flying machines through the ages. This particularly awesome specimen is an F-111.

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