Posts Tagged ‘culture’

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Bay city rolling.

November 18, 2011

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I got to spend some quality time with family, friends and my camera.  I saw some of the city’s must-sees. I indulged in some of the best coffee I’d had in the US (shout out to Ritual for their amazing cuppas and for playing decent music at the booth). I walked around for days, getting the best calf work out of my life. I saw some sad stuff on the street, and some really lovely things. Here are a few snap shots, in no order and with no descriptions. SFO can speak for herself!

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From my cold, dead hand?

August 15, 2010

I’ve never been a fan of guns; I wasn’t raised in a culture where they were lauded, sought after.  But I don’t fear guns, either. Or at least I didn’t think I did because I was never around guns: where I come from they can’t just be purchased from the local corner store or where ever it is that you can get them from here in the US (I’m told Wal-Mart has stopped selling them).  I jokingly said that I would take hand gun lessons when I moved to Texas – you know, to be like a local.  So, off I went to the local gun club (very local, only two minutes down the road!) and the moment I walked in and saw the guns hung up on the walls, heard the bullets popping and witnessed the cool, calm, collected behaviour of the shop attendant my heart leapt into my throat and proceeding to beat at a rate I can’t purposefully achieve with a hard session of cardio at the gym.  But I didn’t waiver (Charlton Heston would have been proud, not that I particularly care for him or his pride), I loaded the chamber (I rented a Magnum .38)  and fired a single shot at the paper man-target. And that was me done.  I spent the rest of the hour taking photos of my braver companions. That’s the kind of shooting I prefer.

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Merseyside meandering.

May 24, 2010

I’ve lived in Britain for three and a half years, and I’m sorry to say that on the eve of my leaving I haven’t really seen enough of this place.  Partly that’s because I was working (oh so very hard) and partly because if given the chance, I wanted to explore non-anglophone Europe.  This weekend I went up to the northwest to Liverpool.  (It was, admittedly, the second time I’ve been – the first trip being to watch a Liverpool FC match at Anfield, but I didn’t really see anything of the city except the football pitch…) Even this trip I didn’t have very much time to look around, but what I saw I liked – the Albert Dock area has been restored and is  pleasant to walk around (especially on a sunny day, which I was lucky enough to experience). And there’s lots to see; The Tate Liverpool has a Picasso exhibition on at the moment (Picasso: Peace + Freedom) which is spectacular.  I think what’s really great about this part of the city is the mixture of old and new — the old brick buildings (like The Pumphouse Pub) sit nicely alongside the new structures (like The new Liverpool Life museum).  These photos are all about old and new.

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Desert roses.

May 10, 2010

My parents work in Kuwait and last week I made my second trip out to the small desert nation.  Situated on the Arabian Gulf, Kuwait is at once secular, Muslim, chaotic, calm, rich and poor.  I love it and I hate it.  It’s hard to juggle all of that, so I won’t delve deeper except to say I had a good trip and took some photos that only Kuwait could have provided the backdrop for.  Included here are the Kuwait Towers, two iconic structures at the tip of the harbour (I love the detail of each of the spheres) and the Salmiya skyline with Kuwait City in the background. Kuwaitis are nocturnal people, out in the streets til very late — the traffic in this photo was 11 pm traffic!  Compare that to the empty carpark of a mall at 6 pm, two hours later it would have been completely packed.  The Corniche (the road that runs along the harbour front) is immaculate, providing shady palm trees, picnic spaces, places to park your yacht (if needed) and piers to perch upon for some late-afternoon fishing.  The most striking thing about Kuwait is witnessed on her roads, where luxury cars are seen zipping about (speed limits are merely suggestions, lane-lines are decoration) with their drivers no doubt on the phone and kids left unrestrained. Best on-road moment: seeing two young boys in the back of a Lexus convertible, decked out in karate outfits, having a grand time.  Worst on-road moment: almost getting slammed by a hummer who wanted to overtake us where there wasn’t an overtaking lane.  We should have pulled over and had some ice cream from a road-side vendor.  Given the lowest day-time temperature I experienced was 35 °C it would have been very welcome indeed.