Jul 30, 2008

New Travel Blogging Community

A new travel blogging community has been formed online. Pam from Nerd’s Eye View has set up an online forum for Travel Bloggers to connect. There is no end of online resources for travelers to connect but the same cannot be said for Travel Bloggers.

This is a great way to unite with other Travel Bloggers and discover new ones. Read about how the forum came about here. And to take part you can register here. Thanks to Pam for taking the initiative.

Photograph: Forum Rome, Italy

Jul 28, 2008

Street Scenes: Hennessy Road Hong Kong

I don’t think there is a street in Kong Kong I have walked down where I haven’t been compelled to photograph something. On the day this was taken, Hennessy Road in Wanchai was no exception.

I pulled out a wide angle lens to capture as much as I could of the gargantuan tenement buildings and people walking below them. The number of people housed in the buildings along Hennessy Road probably amount to a small city in some parts of the world.

Jul 25, 2008

Shoes From Around The World

Observing what people wear on their feet can tell you a lot about a culture. A combination of custom and necessity footwear can also reveal a person’s status, profession and sense of style.

Wooden shoes are the footwear of choice when wearing a kimono in Japan. Even trendy Tokyo stays true to its roots where you find pairs of these for sale everywhere.

Morocco’s leather slippers are handmade, comfortable and work as well with a kaftan as they do with a pair of jeans. These were spotted in Marrakesh’s souk, where you will be spoiled for choice.

The ultimate example of the pain endured by women for the sake of shoes are small silk slippers worn for centuries by China’s elite bound footed women. They are now sold as souvenirs, in this instance at Hong Kong’s Cat Street Market.

Nothing says American Southwest like a pair of cowboy boots. These were on display in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Previous Posts In This Series:

Jul 23, 2008

Street Scenes: Real Catorce Mexico

The men in the sombreros could be found late each afternoon sitting on this corner in the silver mining town of Real Catorce, Mexico. I’m not sure if they gathered each day to catch up on the day’s events or if they were waiting for the saloon across the street to open.

Like Real Catorce they look like they belong on the movie set of a good, old fashioned Western. Clearly this group, with smiles and white hats, are the good guys.

Jul 21, 2008

Teenage Tokyo: Takeshita Dori

One of the pillars of youth culture is fashion. In Tokyo street fashion is a religion for the city’s teens. The iconic clothing is nonconformist, a little rock and roll and a lot of bizarre.

Not far from the serene, traditional Meiji Shrine is Takeshita Dori in Harajuku. This pedestrianised street is a mecca for teens shopping for the latest trends while strutting their stuff. Clothing shops, music stores and crepe stalls line the narrow lane, which on weekends is jam-packed with a sea of adolescent humanity.

These shoes remind me of what you might see on Camden High Street in London.

Only in Tokyo is rebellion and cute combined.

Do you look back at what you wore as a teenager with a smile or do you prefer not to look at all?

Previous Posts In This Series:
Hangry And Angry

Jul 16, 2008

Published Photographs: The Beijing Edition

Since the Beijing Olympics are less than a month away I thought I’d share some of the photographs I’ve had published in travel guidebooks in the last year. My last trip to Beijing was in November of 2005, strategically planned to photograph the city in the run up to the summer games. Publishers make selections well in advance of books going to press.

Despite the fact that it rained most of the week and much of city was covered in scaffolding I managed to come away with enough material. A lot of ground gets covered when the weather finally cooperates.

These photos are in several of the latest Beijing and China editions published by Frommer’s and Fodor’s as well as Rough Guides Wonders of the World.

From the Top: Door Forbidden City; Olympic mascot Tiananmen Square; Liulichang Market; Rickshaw drivers for tours of Hutongs; Bronze lion statue Forbidden City; Music store Liulichang Street.

Jul 14, 2008

Mexico’s Popular Snack: Chicharones

One of Mexico’s most popular snacks is Chicharones, crispy fried pork skin with the texture of a thick potato chip. In the U.K. they are called pork scratchings and in the South in the U.S. cracklin.

In Mexico Chicharones come in large sheets and are typically eaten with chili sauce. They are sold by street food vendors in most zocalos (squares) and parks. On the weekend they are a popular treat for families out for the day. They are also sold by the case in supermarkets.

The woman in this photograph was selling Chicharones next to Mexico City’s Zocalo.

Jul 11, 2008

Street Scenes: Traffic Varanasi

This was taken from my favorite vantage point in the streets of the Old City in Varanasi, India. It’s a traffic circle and the perfect place to stand a few feet above the ground to watch the hectic traffic go by. Cars, trucks, auto and cycle rickshaws all compete for space.

On the day this was taken I was still shooting with slide film. It wasn’t until I returned home weeks later and began sorting through thousands of transparencies that I discovered these two girls smiling at the camera.

Jul 9, 2008

Carnival Of Cities July 9th Edition

Welcome to the July 9th edition of the Carnival of Cities. There was no Summer slowdown in this corner of the blogosphere this week with plenty to see and experience in the great cities of the world. Thank you to all participants for a wide range of informative posts.

Cities In The Americas
Liz presents Chicago is Green with Desire posted at Traveling the Green Way.

Jon presents Monument Monday - A Monument to Spending Money - Treasury Building Tours posted at The DC Traveler. “The U.S. Treasury Building, in Washington, DC is one of the DC's showcase buildings.”

Mary Jo Manzanares presents 6 Suggestions for a Day in Pioneer Square posted at The Seattle Traveler. “A simple primer on things to see and do in one of the prime visitor spots in Seattle -- Pioneer Square. “

Alistair Wearmouth presents Two Cool New York City Digs posted at Family Travel Blog | Away.com.

Lynn Ackerson presents Carbs, Conversation, and Fancy Footwork posted at Intelligent Travel. “Sunday night is tango night at Loring Pasta Bar, a Minneapolis institution.”

Nancy Brown presents Say yes to airport layover in San Francisco posted at WhatATrip.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Trimming Our Gas Costs, Plus Saving $5,500 a Year Off The Road posted at The Digerati Life. This blogger discusses gas costs in San Francisco and around the nation.

Jason presents 1865: Four for Abraham Lincoln's assassination posted at Executed Today.

Jack Norell presents NYC Restaurant Week 2008 posted at Eyeflare Travel Articles and Tips.

SeaBird presents Exhibits: Flora Cohen and vintage Miami posted at To TwinFInity and Beyond!.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods presents Hippies, Festivals, and Dogs, Oh My! posted at Condo Blues.

Leslie Carbone presents A Declaration of Independence posted at Leslie Carbone.

Nick presents Cancun: The Hotel Zone vs. Downtown El Centro posted at Cancun Blog.

Cities In India
Lakshmi presents A travel blog of an Indian Backpacker: This is not a travelogue ... posted at A travel blog of an Indian Backpacker. Lakshmi gives her perspective on her hometown, Chennai or Madras.

AdmirableIndia.com presents Bangalore to Mysore on Bike: Day 2: Part 1: Chamundi Hills, Lalitha Mahal and Karanji Lake posted at AdmirableIndia.com.

Cities In Israel
Andrew Evans presents Exploring Israel: What Would Jesus Eat? posted at Intelligent Travel. Travel Writer Andrew Evans wanders the Jerusalem markets to find out "What Would Jesus Eat?"

My contribution this week is Sidewalk Calligraphy in Beijing. That concludes this week’s edition. Be sure and check out last week’s Carnival at Family Travel. You can submit to next week’s here.

Jul 7, 2008

Sidewalk Calligraphy Beijing

In the parks of Beijing you’ll often come across people practicing and displaying their calligraphy skills. Instead of ink and paper the paved ground is used as a canvas and water instead of ink. Some calligraphists paint in solitude while others command a small audience of assembled passer-bys.

This woman in Behai Park carefully drew in each square a separate charter using a large brush she dipped in a bucket of water. She moved up each row and started over when her brush strokes evaporated. I would love to know what she wrote. Was she simply practicing different characters or writing a verse from her favorite poem?

Jul 4, 2008

Portraits: Patriotic Man, San Juan Puerto Rico

I spotted him getting out of his car in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. His wife looked puzzled when I walked up and asked if I could photograph him. He agreed without question although clearly he had places to go. I couldn’t get him to smile and didn’t want to push my luck. After all he was nice enough to pose for the photograph.

Happy Independence Day to patriots from all nations around the world.

Previous Posts In This Series:
Young Boy Varanasi India
Maya Woman Lake Atitlan Guatemala
Caribbean Man

Jul 2, 2008

Carnival Of Cities

I’ll be hosting the Carnival of Cities next week and would like to invite all of my readers to take part. The Carnival, run by Sheila Scarborough of Family Travel and Perceptive Travel, is a weekly event.

To participate, submit any recent post that highlights an aspect of a city via this link. This is a great way to discover new blogs and get some quality armchair traveling in. Check out this week’s edition here.

Next week’s carnival goes live Wednesday. The submission deadline is Tuesday at noon. Step right up and spread the word!