|Kennedy in Berlin: Known for his "Ich bin ein berliner" line from his 1963 speech, Kennedy still stands in Berlin like Reagan in Budapest.|
Monday, May 20, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Sharing family photos on the run used to be a wallet affair. The typically leather accessory took on a Swiss Army Knife status by not just holding cash and credit cards, but photographs, plane tickets, and impulsive handwritten notes as well. After the customary pat down of jacket and pant pockets to find the valued commodity, or fervent shuffle through bottomless purses, the wallet emerged with its plastic chain of family vignettes. Introductions to the kids, ones who just graduated from high school or finally learned how to write in proper cursive - if that is even taught in school anymore – began over these palpable images. Parents earnestly keep out-of-date photographs until either completely tattered or lost, their age almost irrelevant as long as the photographs could be shown at any moment.
Back then, shared photographs typically originated from a staged event, where an outside vendor determined the photograph’s composition and processing. The unwelcomed yearly school photograph, which throughout my elementary, middle, and high school career dictated not only how I would be remembered in yearbooks for the entire school, but in family acquired print as well, became the most common provider of shareable images. Available in all sorts of sizes, these images fit whatever purposes my parents imagined: for their wallets, as a framed image on a countertop, or in the sizeable 8x10 form for wall hangings. All I conversely wished never existed, but at least during my elementary and grade school years could only be printed and not digitally stored for future use by my parents.
By my senior year in high school, the same year Facebook acquired its first members and Blackberrys still held a desirable social status, this changed. Those yearly school photographs could be obtained in their raw digital format on purchased CDs for further distribution over @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com accounts, the email-elects before @gmail.com or even @me.com, or production for family members months later. Grandparents always enjoyed gifted photographs of their grandchildren in a handpicked frame. With digital image sharing in its infancy as both a mindset and actuality with Flickr just beginning and sites such as Tumblr or Dropbox in conception but not commercialization, many parents bought the CD not for dispersing but keeping those images, a format they believed to be a smart archiving method for future access on desktop or laptop computer.
However as time progressed to now, 2013, accessing a photograph became easier than CDs or wallets. Smartphones took their rightful place as the new catchall, moving past their initial purpose, like wallets, to include storage space for music libraries to organized notes, full contact information to cherished photographs. Adults cut from a modern day cloth now scroll, click, and occasionally fumble through the assemblage of images on their smartphones, most taken with the device itself, illuminating impromptu family moments instead of staged photographs. Joyous, silly, or unprepared expressions unlike the unnaturally tilted head of my senior year photograph compose the go-to images for on the spot sharing with colleagues, friends, or newcomers. If yearly school photographers hope to compete with such convenience, they would need to provide the option of texting a favorite image for free instead of burdening a parent’s wallet with a paid CD.
Progressions in everyday technology have forever changed the way we organize and share family vignettes. Printed photographs were unforeseeably replaced by resizable images on handheld screens, with wallets turning back into wallets and phones became more than just a verbal communication device. Our accessories forever evolve while our basic sentiments remain constant. Though the next device or accessory to go beyond its calling remains unseen to most of us, it will certainly be used – somehow – to share our most valued, family photographs to anyone along every day’s path who is willing to put down their own accessories and listen.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
|First Things First: Before even trying to figure out which rollende keuken, or rolling kitchen, to chose, deciding between sweet or savory was required.|
|Many Menus: For savory, meat as well as vegetarian and vegan options were available for the hungry attendees.|
|After Savory Comes Sweet: The fun keeps on going with vendors enjoy the festivities as much as the attendees.|
|Fun with the Kids: Sweets either came assembled, the adult's choice, or almost-assembled, which spelled fun for kids.|
Sunday, May 12, 2013
|From an Air Balloon: Near one of the Berlin Wall's remaining pieces, an air ballon stands ready for lift off.|
|Afraid of Heights? I might not do this excursion if I were you.|
|The City and Fernsehturm: The television tower close to Alexanderplatz easily stands above the rest of the city.|
|Wondering How Heigh We Will Go? Approximately 150 meters, or 450 feet.|
|Honestly, I Could not Resist: This was not on the agenda, but as a lover of heights, knew it had to be done.|
Friday, May 10, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
|Sneakerness Across Europe: Amsterdam was the second stop on the four city tour for 2013, Zurich being the first.|
|From Near and Far: Shops from outside of Cologne to Paris joined the event, usually staying in the city for just the weekend.|
|Collectors to Enthusiasts: A range of people came to the event, some knowledgeable of the sneakerworld and others curious about the event at Westerpark.|
|Past Sneakernesses: One of the booths had a photobook from the past attended events.|
|Buy or Not to Buy: Many anxiously looked for their size in wanted silhouettes or colorways, especially the rare or limited editions.|
Monday, April 1, 2013
(The last of three posts under Amsterdam, My Hometown)
People stay in Amsterdam for that handful of days where rain, snow, or intense wind does not bully away over 18-degree Celsius weather and full sunshine. A welcome occurrence for all of the city’s residence after the 240 days of rain in 2011 or 261 days in 2012 on top of the other snow, ice, and slush appearances in the winter months. I constantly joke with others that if the weather made a better effort, everyone would move to this petite city. However, reality lays more with residents working through and around the weather by collecting an arrangement of gear, hoping for sunnier summer months, and planning vacations to Spain, France, Turkey, Italy, and Croatia – locations with more reliable climates. When those perfect days do fall upon the city, everyone and every street shine with a happiness usually buried under days of discomfort and bellyaching.
The topic of weather constantly plays into conversations, an easy verbal appetizer with Amsterdammers in passing or colleagues before indulging in real matters. “It’s cold, but at least the sun is shining” or “we had a little break in the rain this weekend, so no complaints” falls somewhere after a short “How’s it going?” or before a lengthy “So what are the topics we need to address today?” A usually dismal showing of the weather encourages such conversation with its effect on a morning commute or weekend jaunt. Discomfort setting in with the wind rushing in between narrow streets or the rain sweeping suddenly by unannounced and in full force, so frequent in fact that apps such as Buienradar or Rain Alerts were created to warn against these weather strikes. Upon living in Amsterdam for more than three months, you learn to deal with such occurrences with that lifesaving app, a hefty collection of raingear, and the knowledge that you will not be the only one at the bar with rain-soaked hair.
Conversing over the weather seeps into conversations with friends, colleagues, or family abroad over Skype and email as well. From the frequency of silver-lined complaints, most people abroad gather the impressions that Amsterdam is constantly besieged by rainstorms, which at some points in the season holds true, and is blessed only with a few good days out of the year to be outside, which again is true but dampening to accept. When the day arrives that someone in this group actually does come to Amsterdam, the date lands on one of those perfect days, which leads to their look of confusion and my need to explain.
Late last March provides the perfect example. My friend visited for the first time on the one weekend – this occurred over a year ago and it still sits fresh in my memory - that the sun shown and everyone flooded the streets looking for either a table outside or just sunshine, walking around for hours gathering rays for their imaginary reserve. I, on the other hand, enjoyed this day as much as my visitor, but felt obliged to point out its rarity, especially considering my past depictions of everyday weather.
In the end the weather puts forth a topic, not a hindrance, with every Amsterdammer learning how to maneuver the wind, race through the rain, and embrace the sunnier days that bless the city. It presents another trait next to “Keeping it Simple” and “Leef en Laat Leven” that places Amsterdam on a platform like no other. A livable city that allows anyone, who at that point decides to call it home, chose the life they wish to construct. The hardest choice before entering such a curated city actually stands as taking the first step to pack up, say good bye, and move to Amsterdam - your future hometown.
Friday, March 29, 2013
|On Their Way: Many dog owners took advantage of the weather and took their dog out, the park being a main destination.|
|Under the Highway: As construction workers surveyed the highway above, graffiti artists worked below.|
|In the Water: Cans and other debris, including chairs and backpacks, floated in the water near the graffitied walls.|
|Adds Color: Those grey, cement wall could need a bit of brightening up and the expressive works did the trick.|
|The Day is Ending: After a full day, this pair got ready to head home.|