Category Archives: travel

small world of the web

farsiI’m not much for social connectivity on the web. Well, it’s quality, not quantity that I enjoy, in social media as with most everything else. I have made some great connections over the years (in fact, I’m sitting at home, which used to be Anya’s. She moved to Michigan. I met her years ago (six?) through an anthro listserv). Last week, a flickr contact, cityNnature, posted this photo (left) of her Farsi studies. Beautiful! Check out her images. She makes Detroit look gorgeous.

This week, another flickr contact, insideowl, posted her Sanskrit studies (below). They don’t know each other, or their photo posts, though they both live in Michigan (I’ve never been to MI. No, wait, once as a child I think we went to Dearborn. I vaguely remember the old cars). Well, I think Ideowl still lives in MI. She seems to be all ashtanga in Mysore, India for awhile now. (Yes, that’s jealousy you detect.)

sanskritI just did a little search for a pic by cityNnature, and she has a shot of herself doing yoga. Of course. Of course she does yoga. We three do not know each other and most likely never will. But we have enough in common that we bump into each other on the web and connect. This, as well as finding and maintaining old friendships, is what I love most about the social nonsense of the web. The serendipity.

Our web lives seem so beautiful and easy. cityNnature’s home looks to die for and it seems she has time for nothing but making beautiful photos and studying Farsi, the language of poetry. Insideowl is in one amazing locale after the next, waxing poetic and beauty. I ran into someone the other day who thought I was abroad, because of the images I’ve been posting on flickr (from 11 years back). But we present this way because we have to. It’s not meant to be an escape from the quotidien, but an honor of the beauty in it. What’s the wisdom of venting the struggles, the ugliness, and the pain? Well, yes, plenty, but it’s hidden in poetry to protect others, ourselves, and situations. To protect our quotidian—which might not even deserve or need our protection.

Both of the images remind me a bit of this photo I took years ago in one of my favorite places in the world, Lyabi Haus, the fountain in the middle of Bukhara. I’m not practicing scripts but am journaling the tour guide life (which later turned into posts). The boy in the background, at right, is Jafar, who Ulugbek tells me is now, 11 years later, the ladies’ man of Bukhara.

Uz_2000-08-13_Bukhara_016

xmas in oz

Australia_2009-12-13_NullaborWA_009No, I’m not in Oz. Only in the archive. I’ve finally made it to the 2009-2010 Australia trip. Only one year left! And who isn’t burning for an update? Today I’m on December 15, 2009: Cactus Beach, Eastern Nullarbor, SA, image 8,263. Wow. What a country.

These joyful Christmas kangaroos were tied to the campsite kitchen door at Fraser Rage Station, on the far Western end of the Nullarbor.

While I admit I’m never thrilled about the cold, NYC is especially pretty and festive this time of year, and I’m glad it’s still my home. Editing the Australia photos confirms that—though it was an amazing trip in a truly stunning country (with the weirdest, coolest animals in the world).

Going through the photos makes me want to tell the stories, of course. The scenery is so stunning and gorgeous. Once again, I’m looking back to tell stories about trips in the past, because I didn’t want to spend too much time on the computer while traveling, and because I didn’t have time when I got back. Time does give interesting perspective, though. On a 5,881 mile road trip, you can be sure there are fantastic tales.

Few Australians make that trip across the Nullarbor, and many think it’s crazy (particularly in a 1997 Holden Commodore station wagon, affectionately known as Green Dragon). For all the traveling Aussies seem to do in the world, many don’t see much of their own country. Strange, but I certainly didn’t mind the pristine, empty beaches. So beautiful.

Update: I made it to December 17, 2009! The birthday of not one, but two great-nephews (HB Porter & Isaac!). I’m stopping for now on image 8360, one year ago today, with the realization that I did not shoot at all on the stretch in South Australia from Port Augusta, down the B82, with its cute towns, to Adelaide, over to the Great Ocean Road, where I picked up on December 20th.

ain’t i a woman, lebron, & akron concrete


Chrissie Hynde’s Akron
from Blue Green on Vimeo.

A few weeks ago while I waited for my mani/pedi to dry, I grabbed O Magazine (Oprah’s) off the top of the pile and flipped the pages. I stopped on an interview with Akronite Chrissie Hynde, who, at 59, is still rocking. She’s amazing. There was a photo of her in this excellent t-shirt, which I decided at first sight I had to have. So, nails dry and at home, a lengthy internet search ensued. Somehow I found her in this brilliant video she made of Akron, to “Break Up the Concrete.” That’s the t-shirt.

This is gorgeous. Chrissie hits the best of Akron, much of which has been there for decades. Among my faves are Luigi’s, which was (is?) the only place in Akron to get a bite in til 4am (a delicious bite, I might add), and the Sojourner Truth historical marker, which marks where she gave her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech at a Universalist Church in 1851. And, my God, Chrissie’s car. My maternal grandmother had similar wheels when I was little. A Grand Torino, in red (at right). Notice the made-in-Akron B.F. Goodrich tires. My paternal grandmother worked there (Goodrich) on an assembly line and they paid her retirement and prescriptions (she had a $1 co-pay. I deny all stories that I took advantage of our identical names and had birth control pills filled for $1. Flatly deny. They knew us both at the pharmacy anyway, because, before I left, we often went together to get her groceries and scripts) until she died at age 95 in 1999. Imagine that from a corporation of today?

Grand TorinoYes, though it’s been a long time, I’m originally from Akron. And why yes, I still love Lebron (Heat rah!). Most Akronites do. It’s the Clevelanders he has driven to pyromania. At least, the few I’ve surveyed. One of the many things I appreciate about LeBron is that when I answer, “Akron,” the first thing mentioned is no longer Alcoholics Anonymous or rubber. Regarding the Miami Heat, I would be the last person to blame a man for getting the hell out of dodge, especially to a town with better weather. It’s amazing he didn’t do it sooner.

It’s not just Chrissie and Lebron. Jim Jarmusch, a Columbia grad, is from Akron. His dad worked for Goodrich, too. Not on the line, though. And DEVO, of “Whip It” fame. They first played out at a Kent State Arts Festival when I was a few months old. Yes, Akronites are a bit quirky.

Ooooh, the gridskipper blog has a new post on “An Architectural Guide to Ohio.” The Akron Art Museum comes in at #1.

If I get any comments or emails about my mani/pedi and “Ain’t I a Woman” in the same post, I will crack you upside the head. Even if we don’t, I pretend we live in a society that allows us to define ourselves as women precisely as we like. You will not burst that bubble, so don’t try.

pontoon bridge, karakalpakstan

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I’ve now archived (and keyworded) 1670 photos. My bum hurts from sitting. I’ve barely begun. I remembered and located an excel file full of info about my shoots in 1999-2000, so I have detailed dates. I love that, though it’s more info to key in. I took this photo ten years ago Thursday (May 6). This pontoon bridge leads up to (what remains of the) Aral Sea, from Urgench, in Uzbekistan. That’s where we were headed. The light there is always this harsh and flat. Oh, what a land.

galleries 2010

There are a series of posts from 2010 that first appeared on this blog, but no longer work because I converted the galleries to another theme format. They can be found over here:

USSR/Lithuania

USA