One of my favorite things about big cities is movement. People moving, going places, coming from places, going up stairs, crossing roads, cycling, running, walking and playing a part in rotating the great metropolis wheel. It’s the urban magic waiting for us photographers on every corner.
Visiting the city we called home for almost 12 years is nothing short of strange at first. But within a day or two I felt the streets call me back with their charm, unique flair and warmth of the people. So little of the old city is left as the large construction projects drive forward leaving bits and pieces of the beautiful old alleys around the city. As I walk around and find huge empty lots and big buildings on the sites of my favorite alleys, I realize that all my photography over the years in Shanghai has been about recording history and vanishing alleys that are never to come back again…
I think the beat way to feel the souls of a place is to meet it at a magical moment, a time when something as common as night surrendering to day never fails to amaze us. Every time that I witness a sunrise, it seems as if I gained a chunk of time, a bonus bit of living that would otherwise have been lost to me.
Vibrant, colorful, artful, tolerant, cosmopolitan, reasonable, creative, culinary, interesting… some words that pop in my mind when I reflect on Berlin. Few days were just a teaser for me and they just tug at me to visit again and again. What a city!
Marrakech, a city that does not trust photographers, a place that lives off tourists and snubs them say the same time, but that’s just on the surface. In the last 4 days I asked every local I had the chance to speak with why is there such an automatic and immediate negative response to being photographed, and strangely, no one could give me a straight answer. So I took an approach that I never had to use before in all my travels, I asked, then I laughed and joked (speaking Arabic is definitely helping) and somehow the ice was breaking here and there. It has definitely been a great exercise in disarming, building trust and finding a human common ground connection that is making it all worthwhile.
More about my day in the Berber villages in the next post.
It has been said that the chains that bind us are mostly self-manufactured by our own self-esteem and pride. Personal development is an uncomfortable journey upward and into the unknown, if only we dare.
Day 54 of 365~
Image taken in the entrance to the old tea house in Kashgar, Xinjiang
To live and not to wonder about the cause of life itself is like not having lived at all…
Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where do we go from here?
Day 34 of 365
Image is of an old friend in the forest
Two fantastic workshops had, a gazillion steps walked, reconnected with old dear friends, one bagel eaten, a couple of New York slices enjoyed, new restaurants discovered, museums visited, and the awesome vibe of NYC felt…
Now I can sigh and fly home.
Day 28 of 365
About to board my plane a little richer with experience and good feelings.
In Dumbo, the bit of urban neighborhood that defines itself by the fact of living under a bridge, there is much adventure to be had. If you are a photographer then that would be an ideal playground and every other child seems to play nice.
And to think that this neighborhood didn’t even exist when I lived in the city some years ago!
Day 27 of 365
Images taken during a creative street photography that I gave today that some very cool people attended.
I just can’t wait to be back in this amazing city again.
How many people come from so far away to this magical island with the seeds of their hopes and dreams in their pockets hoping to grow a small beginning here among the giants… some give up and others stay and continue the search for as long as the city lets them.
Day 26 of 365
Photos taken in Dumbo