Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Friday, December 30, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
We recently returned from a long weekend in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The food highlights were definitely the fresh crab at Obrycki's and the really tasty crab cake sandwich at Nick's in the Cross Street Market. The photographic highlights were a few portraits of people, like Mark, that we met while walking around Baltimore and D.C. Mark occasionally plays jazz music near Baltimore's Inner Harbor. He says that the pay isn't usually very good, but it keeps him tuned up for the bands that he plays in. One of his bands is the Blue Moon Big Band, who backed up Kevin Bacon and Renée Zellweger in 2009's My One and Only.
Mark told me that he returned from Afghanistan in one piece, only to lose part of his left leg due to an improperly treated blood clot.
Philip is nine years old and has been riding his skateboard around the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore for, "one year and seven months." Philip says that he mostly rides with his older brothers.
This guy was just hanging around in D.C., not really doing much of anything.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Holbrook, Arizona is home to one of the remaining Wigwam Villages and the nearby Petrified Forest National Park. This abandoned building seemed particularly photogenic.
Madrid, New Mexico is currently enjoying more tourism than Holbrook by a long shot. Clint is one of the volunteer firefighters that protects Madrid against the ever-present threat of wildfire.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
When we last left off, we were heading to bed with the intention of waking up early, taking a bus to Aleppo, and stopping along the way to tour Krak des Chevaliers, and the Norias of Hama. Unfortunately, jet lag caught up to us, and we woke up a bit after 8:00. Undaunted, we pored over our guide book and began to consider the most efficient route. With a semi-firm plan in place, and pastries in our bellies, we hailed a cab and found our way to the Damascus bus station.
The bus station is in an industrial part of Damascus, and we felt a bit out of place as we struggled to locate the station entrance, identify the logo for the bus company recommended in our guide book, purchase tickets, communicate our travel plans to the police, spot the arabic numeral identifying our bus bay, locate our assigned seats, and generally not appear to be completely lost.
We were seated in the front of the bus, under the careful eye of the bus driver and his attendant, a man who managed to gracefully serve tea as we hurtled through the Syrian countryside. Some careful time-table perusal indicated that our hope to view what T.E. Lawrence called, "perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world" were unrealistic in the extreme, and that even viewing Hama's Norias might not be feasible. We had only purchased tickets to Homs (B on the map below).
After deciding to skip Krak des Chevaliers during this visit, we next attempted to determine if our bus would continue on from Homs to Hama. The attendant stated that it would, but that we would need to purchase our tickets and re-board the bus during the short ten minute layover. Our time in Homs was short, and harried.
We arrived in Hama and secured tickets to Aleppo that would allow us time for a brief detour to view Hama's Norias and what remained of Hama's old town after Assad's massacre. Our plans were a bit complicated by the fact that the Hama bus station had been relocated since our guidebook had been published and the fact that our presence had attracted a 16 year old, leather jacketed tail that we couldn't shake. We hired a taxi to solve both of these problems.
The scale of the Norias was remarkable:
As was the brilliant simplicity of their construction:
The Norias certainly make an appealing backdrop for a portrait:
Unfortunately, Assad's destruction of Hama's old town was almost complete, and little of it remains beyond the Norias, an alley and a few mosques:
With daylight fading, we made our way back to the bus station, and the rest of our time in Hama was relatively uneventful. Our arrival in Aleppo was a bit more exciting.