Posts Tagged ‘streets’

Reuniting (in the park again)

Monday, March 14th, 2011

It’s been an exciting and hectic week, punctuated by Catie’s arrival to NYC as well as major interviews at both Parsons and SVA. The tennis season at Trevor is in full swing (ha ha), and whenever I’m not coaching on court or doing conditioning runs around the Reservoir with my players, Cat and I have been trying to “do” as much New York as possible to get back into the rhythm of the city.

We’ve also been trying to reconnect with all of the friends we still have here, and we were able to hit a couple more of those proverbial birds with one stone yesterday by meeting both Tristan (whom Catie had not seen in quite a while) and Mitch (whom neither of us had seen in quite a while) in Manhattan and spending the afternoon wandering around Central Park. (Two Minnesotans + two Alaskans = a day in the park, invariably.)

New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)

Photo taken in New York, NY on March 12, 2011.

My obsession with black and white photography carries on. I tried to switch my camera’s picture control settings to vivid color again, but I hated the look of my first captured image on the LCD screen, and quickly switched back. I’m addicted to the visual acuity and drama of high-contrast black and white, and color just seems to take away from that punch.

New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)

Photos taken in New York, NY on March 12, 2011.

SCOTCH and SODA Sweat, and other things

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Catie, Emma, and I all wanted to make the most of our time in Marseille, so we spent the majority of not only the days but also the evenings walking around the city. I’ve talked before about my affection for night photography, and the winding streets of Marseille offered plenty of good new content. I could ramble on for a little while now about some of the things we saw, or the pleasant taste of the nighttime sea air coming off the Mediterranean, but frankly I need to cut straight to the point of this post; while we were walking along some random street in a city in France, we glanced at a small clothing store display window and saw a BRONXVILLE sweatshirt for sale.

Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)

Photo taken in Marseille, France on November 12, 2010.

Before we go any further, be sure to take a good close look at that picture. Everything about the display of that sweatshirt in a shop in the middle of Marseille is so incredibly bizarre, that I don’t even know where to begin. For anyone totally clueless, Bronxville is a very wealthy self-proclaimed ‘village’ with approximately 6500 residents about 15 miles north of Manhattan in New York State. (According to Wikipedia, it is actually one of the places in the country with the most affluent households and the highest average incomes.) Sarah Lawrence College (from which both Catie and I graduated) happens to be located in Bronxville. Actually, to be more precise, SLC sits mostly in the much less prestigious city of Yonkers, but the college is very careful about associating itself (including its postal code) instead with Bronxville as much as possible since it has such a nice (and did I mention wealthy?) high-class reputation.

OK, so the obvious general question is – how did a Bronxville sweatshirt end up in Marseille? Who knows. And why did someone put it there? Well, it does also say “NEW YORK” underneath, and it seems like no matter where you go in the world, there will always be people who want to associate themselves with New York. That’s fine! I’m not judging! New York is a great place. I love it there!

The next weirdest part of the display is the listed price of the sweatshirt. Over the course of my last three months living and squandering money in France, I have become intimately familiar with the exchange rate between the Euro and the American dollar. It has remained fairly consistently at a rate of at least $1.33 for every €1.00. (In other words, for whatever price you see in France, add on an extra third of that to get the true cost for us American suckers. After you do that, feel free to cry a little before paying the probably egregious sum.) That means that this Bronxville sweatshirt – which in my opinion is rather old and ratty-looking, not to mention just plain boring – is being sold in a French shop for almost $45. I don’t think even the swindlers who work at the Sarah Lawrence College bookstore would try to charge that much for such a sweatshirt. Who is buying this for $45? I honestly can’t imagine.

Finally, we get to what I think is easily the strangest part of this enigma. Why is it labeled as a “SCOTCH and SODA” sweatshirt? Is it because this is the type of article of clothing that you would only want to wear while lounging about, drinking scotch and soda? (For that matter, do people lounge about, drinking scotch and soda? I haven’t the foggiest.)

EDIT: I did some research, and I found out that Scotch & Soda is actually the name of an “Amsterdam Couture” fashion design house, specializing in very expensive clothes. I can’t actually find the Bronxville sweat anywhere on their website or store, but let us assume that it is indeed designed and distributed by this company. I have to say, I think this makes it even weirder! What is expensive and fashionable about a shabby blue Bronxville sweatshirt!? Who in Amsterdam decided this was a chic idea?! Have they been to Bronxville before? Were they trying to make a BRONX sweatshirt instead, and just got confused? (Not that I would consider a Bronx sweatshirt particularly “chic” by any regard, but it would at least be more imaginable than Bronxville!)

I am sure this mystery will never be solved. Maybe if I had stayed in France long enough, I would have started seeing fashionable young ladies wearing black tights, tall boots, and sweatshirts featuring the names of other somewhat obscure locales in Westchester County. Who’s to say, really…

Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)

Photos taken in Marseille, France on November 12-13, 2010.

Weekend spontaneity

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

We went to Marseille! (I just had to blurt it out!) Spurred greatly by Emma’s enthusiasm to take a weekend trip somewhere outside of Lyon (no offense intended to our great French city), we all headed south for 48 hours of delicious warm Mediterranean air. The venture was a great success. Marseille is a beautiful seaside city, and the weather could not have been better. We all abandoned our jackets at some point (as well as most of our remaining layers), and the two Alaskans in our party probably risked a bit of sunburn. (OK, perhaps the Minnesotan did as well.)

Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)

Photo taken in Marseille, France on November 13, 2010.

We ate as much delicious food as we could handle in such a short period of time, and we even stumbled upon a crêperie that would rival my favorite back in Lyon. (In fact, we ate there twice and devoured a collective eight crêpes in the span of 18 hours.) Thank you so much to Emma for kicking our slightly domestic butts into gear and getting us to Marseille!

Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 14, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 14, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 14, 2010)

Photos taken in Marseille, France on November 12-14, 2010.

Initial wanderings

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Despite a forecast of a solid week of cold rain, Emma seemed to bring a wave of delightfully good weather along with her to Lyon. We spent most of her first couple days with us just wandering about the city and soaking in the late autumn sun. I’m glad Emma came at the end of my own time in France, because it gave me motivation to get back out into the city and see it all (figuratively speaking) through one more time before I left. (To be honest, I’m actually writing this from Minnesota. I got back last Wednesday, and I miss France a great deal. I know – big surprise!)

On a technical photographic note, you might notice a slightly different visual quality to the images in this post (or you might not – I can’t yet decide). I’ve gotten tired of spending a fair portion of my life sitting at my computer coddling RAW image files, so I have been experimenting with shooting in JPG and tweaking the in-camera picture processing controls. A photographer and camera guru that I admire has his own preferred style that emulates one of his favorite types of film, achieved by using Nikon’s VIVID picture setting and cranking up the saturation to maximum (as well as upping the sharpening a bit). I decided to try that out myself for these shots. I’m fairly happy with the results (although I don’t think I’m going to abandon RAW just yet)…

Lyon, France (Nov 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 10-11, 2010.

A sisterly arrival

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Ever since we moved in, Catie and I have been feeling like our studio apartment was just a little too spacious for two people, so we were relieved yesterday to finally add a third resident to the mix – namely, Catie’s sister Emma! She took the train from Geneva to Lyon yesterday afternoon and we didn’t waste too much time before setting out into the mild clouds and wind (and fortunate lack of rain) for her introduction to our city. We did what I would call the ‘classic introductory ramble’, walking west from our apartment across the Rhone to Place Bellecour, then onwards over the Saône to Vieux Lyon, stopping by the Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon, and then looping back towards Place des Terreaux. We kept walking for a while at night, but once it got a little too chilly for our liking, we took refuge in my favorite local creperie for dinner. All in all, it was a great first day (in my ‘veteran Lyonnaise’ opinion, anyway)!

Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 9, 2010.