Monday, November 18, 2013

Seattle's Green Lake Park, mid November

We visited Seattle's lovely Green Lake Park November 17th.  The sun was casting long harsh shadows, but people were out and about, usually well-prepared for the stiff breeze that blew across the lake.  People were jogging, walking briskly, sitting in the sunshine, carrying coffee (it's Seattle, after all), and of course checking smart phones for messages.  Some people were strolling together, as in the first photo, but more were enjoying quiet time by themselves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Strasbourg, people on the street

People can be endlessly fascinating.  Introvert that I am, I would rather observe people from a distance than be engaged in conversation  with them.  Photography enables this, especially when I struggle with my telephoto lens.  Unfortunately the large lens attracts attention, so there is tension between my observing on the sly and my being seen as intruding into their lives.  We get along somehow.

The first shot was taken from our window in Ibis, one of the hotels which faces the train station.  On the patio below, men were finishing coffee.

This chap decided to check his email while sitting on the paving stones in front of the hotel.

As I stood near Ibis, looking toward the sun, I noticed this conversation under sunlit leaves offering a quiet moment in an otherwise busy city.

One of the streets leading away from the train station was being repaired, but its cafés and shops were still open.  This man was counting his change, possibly in the hope that he could get another beer.  The matron seemed quite content as she surveyed the scene. I wondered whether she was Eastern European.

This lady is on a tram, with the late afternoon sun warming her conversation at the end of a work day as she heads back to the train station.

I did not see many beggars in Strasbourg, but this one was reasonably fashionably dressed.  The tall stand (back left) is where you purchase tickets for street parking.

Doubie (weed) in hand, she created a work of art, using catchup.  While she was posing for her friends, I brazenly took a photo, and they enjoyed my amused interest.  The wine glass with a green stem is ever so Alsatian.

I came across a book market one late afternoon.  They were prepared for rain, but none came.  I wanted to buy lots of books, but knew that we were surely at our weight limit for flying home (we were over, but a kind agent waived us through).

Yes, they look just like potatoes, but they are confectionery.  This was a very classy establishment.

Even though many streets are a bit cramped, bicycles have ample room.  This quiet means of transportation seems so civilized in a crowded city.

As evening descends on the plaza facing the cathedral's facade, people sit outside, enjoying one of October's final warm dry weeks.  Most people are enjoying a beer or coffee, but the tourists are already starting supper (tourists eat much earlier than do the locals).

The timbered structures attract my attention each and every time.  I find their lines so satisfying, the structural thrusts so convincing, even though I know there has to be more to it.  The old-style roofs are quite steep, even over the dormers.

There was a flea market one day we were visiting, rather upscale.  Business was obviously slow rug-wise.

This woman is an actress, not a typical resident.  They were shooting something (commercial? scene?) I watched several retakes, each lasting but a few seconds.

Hence the great shirts and bow ties!  ("Thou shalt not covet they neighbour's shirts and bow ties.")

I looked at the art work and artifacts, but at my age one is supposed to be downsizing.

Even if I don't eat at most establishments, I like to pursue their offerings and glance at their patrons.

A busy café offering people a place to sit and relax late in the afternoon on an overcast day.

When people were walking home, the low sun cast interesting shadows and made hair glisten.

These young people are in front of, and oblivious to, the cathedral.

 Janice asked me to take the next two photos for her sisters Judy and Betty.  Beautiful pin cushions!

I came across an art class just as it was leaving one of the river banks, drawing pads in hand or in satchels.  I would guess they were lycée (high school) students, but don't know. I followed them in the streets.  They were so engrossed in conversation, or lost in thought, that I was invisible to them.

Smoke break on a quiet day.

Inter-generational conversations are not as common as one might think.  The older of the two is seated on his bicycle, pausing to greet someone he obviously knows.

These students were in front of the cathedral, waiting for the next part of their tour.

This lady, for some unknown reason, was demonstrating how to use a hoola hoop.  Equally inexplicably, we were photographing her.

I watched these young lads watching something else down the river, but never found out what was so fascinating.

The young lady is walking through a short tunnel under an elevated road which crosses the river at a height allowing smaller boats to continue unimpeded.

The smart phone is far more interesting--and urgent--than the river which has been there all your life.