Manhattan from Top of the Rock

Looking south over Manhattan from the top of the Rockefeller building.

Looking south over Manhattan from the top of the Rockefeller building.

I couldn’t resist framing this vista of Manhattan’s skyscrapers through the iron arches along the top of the Rockefeller building. I loved the contrast of old and new.


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Underexposed photo on a train
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Oops! Underexposed

oops-underexposed

I took this photo on the train going to work. The earring of the woman in front of me glittered and sparkled in the brilliant sunshine that streamed through the window to my right. I stealthily dug out my camera, adjusted the settings for the bright light, focused on the earring — and pressed the shutter button just as the train plunged into a tunnel. Oops! Despite being so underexposed, there’s something about this photo that I quite like. In a way, it reminds me of pop art from the 1960s.

Eye in a coil of rope.
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A food lover’s treat

Roasting coffee beans

Roasting coffee beans — the heat this machine generated was remarkable!

St Lawrence Market, Toronto.

The history of St Lawrence Market stretches back to 1803, when a weekly market day was officially established in the growing town of York (as Toronto was originally called). The market we see today was built in 1850. There are two buildings: North Market hosts antique stores and a Sunday market, and South Market has more food vendors in one place than I’ve seen in a while. Any food lover would find a treat here!

You’ll find olives …

… cheeses and mustards …

… fresh fruit and veg …


blueberries and raspberries

… seafood …


… sausages …

sausages

… and tempting baked goods.

The only difficulty is getting it all home again!


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Do the Stingray Shuffle

Beware of stingrays - Botany Bay (Sydney)

Beware of stingrays – Botany Bay (Sydney)

The net should keep out sharks, but to avoid stepping on an angry stingray you need to do the Stingray Shuffle. If you swim in the waters around Sydney, you’d better be careful.

(As an aside, the stretch of beach on the opposite shore is just along the coast from where Captain Cook first landed from HMS Endeavour in Botany Bay on 29 April 1770.)

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Girder grid

ANZ building, Martin Place - steel skeleton

ANZ building, Martin Place – steel skeleton

The ANZ building in Martin Place, Sydney, is undergoing a revamp — although “revamp” is an understatement in this case. The existing building was stripped back to nothing but the grid of its steel skeleton, then a new structure was built onto that. Unusually, it was not swathed in scaffolding and netting during the dismantling stage, which gave the public a rare insight into how such buildings are constructed. I walk past this building to get to and from work, and was fascinated to see more of the skeleton revealed each day. Now that it’s just one more shiny-sided glass office tower, however, I’ve lost my interest.

ANZ building, Martin Place - steel skeleton

ANZ building, Martin Place – steel skeleton

Here it is during the Vivid light festival in May 2014, lit in rather lurid purples and magentas.

ANZ building, Martin Place and tree, Vivid 2014

ANZ building, Martin Place and tree, Vivid 2014

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Monochrome: fog and raindrops

Grand Canyon in the rain.

Grand Canyon in the rain.

This was my first view of Grand Canyon: a monochrome world of washed-out blue-greys. To say I was disappointed would be gross understatment! I did not even leave the bus. Click here to see another monochrome photo taken a few minutes after this one, but of vibrant greens and reflections caught in a raindrop hanging suspended from the tip of a branch.


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One carving, three angles

Stone carving - top

Stone carving – top

I bought this carving at the Teotihuacan site in Mexico in 1996, and it has moved with me from country to country since. I think it’s obsidian, or maybe onyx. (If any reader knows, please tell me.) It’s only a tourist souvenir, but I like it, and I’m fascinated by how very different it appears when viewed from every angle. It also reminds of a good holiday, and of the extraordinary site of Teotihuacan and the culture that built the city and the society.

This post is also part of the Travel Trinket and Memories Challenge, which I was invited to join by leannenz whose challenge it is. If you have a momento of your own travels, why not take part?

wine cellar
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A day with a master winemaker

The end result: a red wine called Vieux Chateau du Roi.

The end result: a red wine called Vieux Chateau du Roi.

While visiting my parents this May, I spent a day with my father making wine. To say that I helped would be a gross exaggeration, as Dad is an old hand at this. I mostly got in his way taking photos! The grape juice comes in a large (heavy!) box, along with a few other things. One distributor describes this red wine thus: “This popular French red wine is full-bodied yet surprisingly soft and quick to mature. Deep red and aggressive with complex flavours resulting from a blend of grape varieties which layer flavours and aromas of ripe fruit, berries, plum, spice oak.”

In the afternoon, we also made a batch of white wine. In the early evening, my parents and I moved onto the patio to enjoy cheese, fruit and a bottle of last year’s Vieux Chateau du Roi (the photo above). It was a good day. (WPC is looking for Mesh galleries, but I don’t have the Mesh app, nor indeed a smartphone, so I will approximate that gallery style with a slideshow. There are 11 photos and I suggest starting with 1, as the photos tell a story.)

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Here are a few other photos of Dad’s Wines:

Either these tiles go, or I do.

Bathroom tiles, the height of fashion circa 1970.

Bathroom tiles, the height of fashion circa 1970.

I moved into a new apartment two weeks ago. It has its good points, and its bad points. These bathroom tiles are definitely on the “bad” side. I’ll spare you a view of the tiles on the walls, which are equally hideous but in a different way. Every time I see and feel these tiles beneath my feet, I think only one thing: “Gotta get carpet”.

(The post heading is a paraphrase of Oscar Wilde’s deathbed remark.)