Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Kicking Around Brooklyn in the Snow

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I’ve been beating myself up lately for neglecting this blog… sigh… the reality is I’ve been doing so much travel and making so many pictures, I’ve really not had the time to develop or share them. Just got back from the US on Saturday. There’s over a thousand photos to process…

Let’s start with a Fabulous Snowy Day in Williamsburg! We rented an Air BnB apartment on Berry St and waited for the world to happen. The World did not disappoint!!!

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It’s kind of sad that the smokers are really the only ones out there savouring the moment. Everyone else was in a rush to get somewhere out of it.

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Looking down the street.

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And up the street!

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And just not going to be going anywhere, really… Better get back inside where it’s warm. (And I mean warm! Why are all New York apartments so bloody hot???)

I just love Williamsburg 🙂

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26/03/2015 at 11:30 am

Santa Monica Pier on a Cold and Lonely Night

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The view from our budget hotel on Redondo Beach Drive was a bit surreal. The beach was many miles away and there was no shopping or nearby attractions, making me wonder what might have possessed anyone to build a hotel in such a place…LA1-3But having settled in, we decided to go to Santa Monica Pier for dinner in the evening. And that’s when things got really strange…

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It seemed a bit ghost-y, all candy coloured, but somehow toxic… and if this was an amusement park – where are all the people???
There were a few stragglers and lost souls wandering around, including a little girl looking for some answers wherever she could find them…
But she couldn’t tell me what it was all about either since I have forgotten how to speak Threeish.

LA1-37Even the beach has gone mad,

LA1-39Yeah… I know… first Big and then Forrest Gump… it is LA we’re talking about here… I felt a wee bit of relief when we left… I mean, it was cool, but kinda creepy… like everyone was out of town……….

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St Patrick’s Church, Hawea Flat, New Zealand

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My daughter’s friend lived in this charming historic church in Central Otago, which was designed by the renowned George Gilbert Scott. He was the architect of the Christchurch Cathedral which was destroyed by the earthquake of 2011. It was the first church in the area (soon followed by St Ninyans and another near Tarras). It was deconsecrated around 1980 (I think) and has been used as a community centre and now a residence.
It would be wonderful to see it restored sometime, but the current owner seems to be doing a fairly decent job of preserving it.
The light was quite amazing the first day we photographed it, but we went back a second time and got some more, equally interesting shots.

The view from the road as we approached.Wan14FB---15

The light was just amazing that day – it was very cloudy, but there were breaks to the west, giving the church a very warm, welcoming look.Wan14FB---9

The cross at the front of the building.Wan14FB---10     Some little girl’s shoes left in the window a while back…Wan14FB--60

When the sun disappeared, the church appeared almost Gothic, with brutal detail. This is the rear view – the altar would have been just behind those windows back in the day. It is the kitchen area now. StP-ext-fb-2Similar view to the golden light a few images up. Not so welcoming here.

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Let me introduce you to two of the residents. Straw men, wearing old prisoner and guard of the local work camp. I don’t recall how they were obtained exactly – but they were sold to the local Moari after the prison system shifted to the much more fashionable day-glo orange.Wan3-StP-7 FB

Last light of day – a bit Wuthering Heights… it doesn’t really get much more romantic than this…Wan14FB---13

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10/06/2014 at 11:04 pm

Good fences

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This image has a couple of inspirations – Happy Daze commented on my post the other day that good fences make good neighbours. Which got me thinking about good fences and good neighbours… I took this photo on a trip to the south Pacific islands late last year – it was taken in Lifou, which is part of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia and is owned by France. Though not taken on the same trip, I had a similar sort of reaction as I did to the land divers on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu a couple of years prior – feeling suddenly demoted from traveller/visitor to gawking tourist.

It was a scorching hot day, and there the dancers were, performing under the blinding, blazing sun. Except for a few who were deliberately working the audience, they didn’t make eye contact, didn’t connect with us. The photos were terrible – glare, high contrast, no real depth… Not that the show was unpleasant to watch, it just felt like a performance not connected to anything. After, we went for a wander through the village and surrounds, moving very slowly in the monstrous heat.

We came upon this dancer again, still in costume, animatedly talking on his cellphone. (And why shouldn’t he? I had my cellphone with me…) THAT would have been the photo to take, but it would also have been completely inappropriate, so I refrained.

I hate the phrase ‘developing country’ especially since it is often applied to cultures older than our own. 3rd world is right out. Even more, I hate the idea that any culture would be considered developing as they move away from their traditions to adopting western ways. But… the idea of ‘protecting’ them from outside interference is paternalistic, rather insulting. Seems to me this is a good case for good fences. Hopefully built cooperatively.

Oh, and the other inspiration for this photo came from a blast from the past that zoomed my way this week – from back in the Dorloo days. Her family lived down the road from mine. She also grew up to be a photographer and artist and has taken some wonderful shots of native American dancers. (http://www.thejenniferjeffers.com/powwow-photography.html)

They sparked me to think about my images, which I never did anything with because technically, they were a bit crap… but technique is only part of the story – sometimes a very small part of the story. And I like this photo because it reminds me of this young man, and how he has feet in two worlds…

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18/12/2011 at 12:37 am

Big Buddha

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Isn’t it ironic? Is it? Maybe no. Maybe not at all.

Is Orwell even read any more or is he fading into the dimming past? He seems more relevant today than ever before in my lifetime.

Though he became so politically incorrect, excoriated by both the left and the right, I enjoyed almost everything he wrote. And I appreciated his firm belief that there was no point in using a four syllable word if there was a one syllable one that would do the job. I suppose I also identified with Winston Smith more than I obvious cause for. And of course all animals are equal, just some are more equal than others…

I was just wishing for a sojourn to Jura last night.

Btw – this giant Buddha is actually Guanyin Bodhisattva, (thank you irisbass for the gentle reminder) and is in Penang. A treasured relic, it was being repaired – thus the fence. Oddly, an identical replica has been built of metal – and looks nothing like this. Click here to go to a Malaysian site about the temple and statue.

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22/11/2011 at 10:47 pm

Phoney Fake Fabulous Fun

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Despite that glitz and glamour are about as far from anything I would define as ‘my style,’ I love it on a ship – the glitzier and more over the top, the better. I suppose it’s the immersion in a world that is not mine, not of my design or under my control.  And not my responsibility. No reflection there – other than in the hundreds of mirrors…

This is the lower atrium of the MS Volendam… slightly subdued actually, a bit of a throwback to the pre-war years sense of luxury…

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13/11/2011 at 12:12 am

Graverobbing

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I find myself there, digging away, like a thief in the night, studying the names and the dates and families. Who lived long, who perished at sea, what pauper drowned and was buried with a beloved son? Whose child was snatched away 2 years 3 months and 4 days from her birth? It’s all there for the graverobbers to steal, to ponder, to breathe life back into those once loved and loathed and lost.

These folks are passing their eternity in the cemetery of the Russell Christ Church in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand… My husband and I used to visit several times a year, though the last while we’ve been spending more time overseas. It was rather romantic to get back…

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21/10/2011 at 11:09 pm

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