Friday, November 26, 2010


Instead of spending the holiday out here in the country this year, I was invited into Manhattan for a city Thanksgiving with an old friend. So in lieu of basting the turkey and preparing all the trimmings, I arrived early with my camera hoping to spend the afternoon on the street with my camera working on a new project.
But alas, the weather didn't cooperate. On the ride in, drops of water covered the windshield. At 2:30 I found myself on the sidewalk in the midst of a light rain without an umbrella and with two hours to kill.
Where to go? I wondered; most everything seemed to be closed, even the Star Bucks on every other block. So I covered my hair with my silk scarf and headed toward the lobby of a nearby hotel. Once inside, I discovered that I wasn't the only one in need of shelter. Men, women and children were sprawled out in every direction. Luckily, I managed to find some space on the corner of a coach. For an hour, I tried to read a novel on my Kindle, but one eye remained fixed on the scene outside the front door.
Will my friend really care that my clothes are wet? That my hair is flat and frizzy? I asked myself. No, I answered rushing out into the rain to follow the umbrellas bobbing by.

Friday, November 19, 2010

On The Move

Back for two weeks from Europe and just now I'm adjusting to the quiet life here on the East End of Long Island. Looking out my back window, yellowed maple leaves cover my yard waiting to be raked. And in front, an empty lane snakes by my house toward the bay. Beautiful but a bit bleak this time of year. And quite a change from the busy streets of Barcelona where life buzzes by at an accelerated pace day and nite.
On foot or bike or moto, the people are always on the move. When in New York City with my camera, I'm prone to approach strangers head on and exchange a few words. But in Catalonia, I was not so bold, suddenly shy. I spent time standing on street corners watching life pass by in a blur.
Sure...there I was an outsider, and worse, a tourist. But I learned that my reaction was not unfounded. On walking and bike tours, guides talked about the Catalans, their fierce independence, their refusal to blend in with the rest of Spain, their struggle to preserve their separate language and culture. In the 17th century, some went so far as to ally themselves with the enemy in a war against France. Perhaps these warnings kept me at bay.
The city was vibrant, an architectural wonder, but the people were aloof, in constant motion, difficult to capture.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dog Lovers

Somehow dogs provide us with a universal language. Looking at this image, is there any clue that this man and his dog is French not American, that this park is in Paris, not New York City?
A few weeks ago on my first evening in Paris where I was staying with friends, Helene and Bernard, we took a walk with their dog, Lumi, to Buttes Chaumont, a park nearby their townhouse that reminds me of Central Park with it's manmade lake, transplanted boulders and beautiful ironwork. As we traversed the park pulling Lumi along (he hates his leash), we noticed a man sitting in an open area on a hill with his terrier perched on his shoulder like a parrot. We too decided to take a rest there to let Lumi roam free.
Naturally, the little dog hopped down to play with Lumi and the man gravitated towards us. For half an hour, we shared our love of the canine. Even though my puppy, Copper, was at home thousands of miles across the ocean, his virtual presence made me feel like one of the crowd.
To give you a glimpse of Lumi, here's a photograph of him with Bernard and my daughter, Jackie, when we visited the castle in Chantilly the next day.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Back at home after two weeks, I've returned with almost 300 images, a mix of sightseeing shots and the start of a new project that I'm excited about but not ready to unveil. Although this one fits neither category, it came immediately to mind when choosing one to show here.
"What is it?" I hear you asking. I thought she was going to Europe, not Yellowstone. Indeed, I did go to Barcelona, then Paris where we visited Versailles, Louis XIV's castle of castles. And I do have a photo of me and my daughter grinning in front of the gold-plated gate and here's one of me in the Hall of Mirrors. However, the fountains filling the grounds captivated me most.
Ten minutes before closing, visitors were told to gather near Neptune, a geyser on the far side of the estate near the exit. As we moseyed in that direction and the sun slipped down behind us, I began photographing the pink light cast on the buildings just beyond the gate. Then water shot up from a myriad of fountains surrounding me. With my left eye, however, I sensed something even more spectacular above. In his glory, Neptune was gushing high in the sky catching a beam of that pink light.