On the Bus, Beograd, Serbia, 29-May-2007

Mirrors and Reflections – #Frifotos

This was taken more than six years ago in Belgrade. I love the woman’s melancholy gaze breaking through the reflection of the clouds. It’s one of my all-time favorite shots, captured spontaneously while waiting for a red light to turn green.

Mirrors –and the reflections associated with them– is this week’s #frifotos theme on twitter. Here are a dozen from those snapped over the past six years culled from my flickr stream, which I’m now starting to use again more regularly.

You got a favorite?

Billboard. Zurich, 07-Sep-2007

Neon, Vienna, 28-Jun-2007

Button Box accordion, Pregarje, Slovenia, 10-Aug-2007

Stockholm, 16-Aug-2012

Zagreb, Croatia, 04-Jul 2007

Ambulance, main square, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 25-Jun2007

Tuscan Tunnels Reflectiosn, 11-Jul-2007

I couldn’t resist this snap of a beautiful stranger, on the EuroStar (ES) 9439, in a tunnel in Tuscany between Milano and Rome.

Clock tower, Ljubljana train station, February 2009.

Philippe Mayaux, Centre Pompidou, July 2007

For some of you this one probably requires a short explanation.

If you guessed that the thing on the back wall of the mirrored reflection is a penis with flippers crawling to land a la Darwin wrapped in a boa-type thing, you were right.

This was part of an exhibit by Philippe Mayaux, winner of the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2006, in Espace 315 at the Centre Pompidou back in summer 2007. In the room is “Tastings of her,” various body parts (not, real, of course), sliced, diced and laid out and displayed on fine porcelain. Says Mayaux:

I use bad taste in order to express my undisciplined freedom regarding what has to be beautiful. The sole function of artwork is to be seen, not to please.

The mirror is the outside wall of a small room which housed a varied collection of mounted hog noses. Snapped quickly and surreptitiously when attendants weren’t watching at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, 8-Jul 2007.

Oslo National Opera, June 2008.

And finally, ending almost in the same position with which we started. This is on the Cisalpino (CIS) 37, from Lausanne to Milano, 11-Jul 2007. She didn’t know I was taking her picture. I hope she’s doing well.

Southern Swiss Reflections, 2007.

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Gates of Hell, Zurich

Quickie at The Gates of Hell

When a google doodle reminded me this morning that Rodin would have been 172 today, I finally found a use for this rainy day snippet of a bronze of The Gates of Hell that rests in front of the Kunsthaus Zurich. Aren’t you glad? I am – another 30 MB put to good use and now banished from my hard drive.

To celebrate further, below are a few more shots of Rodin’s works taken either at the Rodin Garden and Museum in Paris or at the Kunsthaus Zurich. Unfortunately I don’t have a scan handy of my first Rodin, his Thinker that sits in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has always been among my favorite spots in my old northeast Ohio stomping grounds.

Jardin Rodin

Rodin's Gates of Hell, Zurich

There’s a Rodin baker’s dozen on my Flickr stream here.

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Seven Super Shots? You decide.

There’s been a Seven Super Shots meme/challenge making the rounds on travel blogs over the past several days, started by the Hostelbookers.com blog. The rules are simple: bloggers are asked to select their own ‘Seven Super Shots’, one for each of the categories below. It’s certainly a good enough excuse to go through some old photos and share (some of them again). It was also interesting to see how how some of my personal favorites have changed over the years.

1. A photo that…takes my breath away

18-Jul-2009, Paris – It isn’t quite Man on Wire, but I liked this backdrop nonetheless. This guy was terrific, performing atop a 3ft X 3ft (1meter square) stone pedestal at the base of the Sacre Coeur steps. Certainly deserved a euro or two.

2. A photo that…makes me laugh or smile

13-Jun-2008, Vienna. More specifically, at the Wien Südbahnhof station. This is hanging in my bathroom and makes me smile everyday.

3. A photo that…makes me dream

29-May-2007, Belgrade. We were stuck in very heavy mid-afternoon traffic when I noticed this woman’s tired dreamy eyes. They can certainly provoke daydreaming. Probably my favorite shot from 2007.

4. A photo that…makes me think

17-Sep-2007, Berlin. The Holocaust Memorial.

5. A photo that…makes my mouth water

22-Aug-2011, Daegu, S. Korea. There’s nothing particularly good about the photo, but the meal was outstanding. And this wasn’t even everything.

6. A photo that…tells a story

April 1999, Psoltega, Nicaragua. A makeshift refugee camp about five or six months after the collapse of the Casitas Volcano (in background) in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. There’s a little more info and a few more images on my blog here.

7. A photo that…I am most proud of

08-Sep-2007, Zurich. A very hard call. For the time being I’m going with this shot, mainly because it was something that I clearly wasn’t expecting. I was simply hoping to get a quick snap of the woman on a cigarette break, and then remember being a bit upset when the car drove by. I couldn’t have planned the positioning if I tried.


— —

The rules include nominating five other bloggers/photographers to hopefully join in. And I hope they do (if they haven’t already).

Fox Nomad
Old World Wanderings
Speck Treks
The Art of Slow Travel
The View From Fez

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3quarksdaily: The Accidental Parisian: A Conversation with David Downie

3quarksdaily: The Accidental Parisian: A Conversation with David Downie

Great wide-ranging interview with the author of Paris, Paris: A Journey Into the City of Light. What most sparked my interest was his profound desire to walk, wherever he may be. That’s always been my preference when traveling, in places new, or those seemingly familiar.

Your feet seem to merge with the soil at times. Sometimes you think you can’t move. Sometimes you feel like you’re flying. But you’re always aware of your physical presence as a human — an animal — and as an element in the landscape.


Until I’ve paced out a walk, until I’ve gotten into the landscape or cityscape, I can’t know it. After 25 years in France, I still have to hoof it around to get what’s going on. This must be some extremely primitive reaction to the external world, something that wells up in my caveman soul.

3quarksdaily: The Accidental Parisian: A Conversation with David Downie.

Wilde Tomb

I was in Paris for five days last week – mostly work, little play – but did make the time to finally visit Père Lachaise, the cemetery where Frederic Chopin, Gertrude Stein, Jim Morrison, among other luminaries, are buried. The most interesting tomb is that of Oscar Wilde, whose fans really know how to pay their respects. Here’s a quick slide show I pieced together of the Wilde Tomb.

Dig it! Paris Considering ban on SUVs


An idea that needs to spread throughout Europe. Although given Slovenia’s collective car fetish, I can’t imagine anyone in Ljubljana with the cojones to propose it.

Via Inhabitat and Autoblog Green:

Denis Baupin, an environmental official in the mayor’s office, told RTL Radio that if you’re a Parisian with a gas guzzler, you should “sell it and buy a vehicle that’s compatible with city life. I’m sorry, but having a sport utility vehicle in a city makes no sense.”

You don’t have to own a really big brain to realize that most European cities weren’t made with big cars in mind.

Details are still pretty sketchy, but the ban could go into effect by late this year or early in 2012.

From Montmartre, originally uploaded by pirano.

Magnum Gallery Opens in Saint Germain des Prés

Via Artdaily:

On Friday, Magnum, the legendary photo collective founded by Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa and others, will opened a gallery in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés, in the former exhibition spaces of Robert Delpire, one of France’s most distinguished publishers and photography connoisseurs. The opening exhibition, “Demain/Hier” (tomorrow/yesterday) will be curated by Robert Delpire himself and will focus on the ‘new generation’ of Magnum photographers, set against the backdrop of those who founded the photographers’ collective decennia ago.

‘A Moveable Feast’, menu revised

Sticking with the Paris theme:

Should publishers significantly rework new editions, in this case the ‘restored’ version of the Hemingway classic, A Moveable Feast?

Hell no, says A. E. Hotchner, a friend of Hemingway’s and author of the biography Papa Hemingway, in a piece in yesterday’s NYT.

This new edition, also published by Scribner, has been extensively reworked by a grandson who doesn’t like what the original said about his grandmother, Hemingway’s second wife. The grandson has removed several sections of the book’s final chapter and replaced them with other writing of Hemingway’s that the grandson feels paints his grandma in a more sympathetic light.

Hotcher, who was intimately involved with the manuscript and met several times with publisher Sribner prior to its initial posthumous publication, argues that such liberties dangerously misrepresent the book’s “actual genesis” and raises serious questions about the ethics of publishing.

A great read and interesting background on the book.

From Montmartre, originally uploaded by pirano.