Yeah, I can see it now The distant red neon shivered in the heat I was feeling like a stranger in a strange land You know where people play games with the night God, it was too hot to sleep…. – Robbie Robertson, Somewhere Down The Crazy River Singapore. Home to eternally anxious masses, the surprising things also found in public spaces:
October 2013, Tangier / December 2013, Singapore Morocco didn’t go so well for me. Culture, cuisine, contrasts. “Morocco is amazing,” everyone told me. “You’ll love it.”
September 2013 In Switzerland, they have watches. In Morocco, we have time. They, and by extension, we, had time in Morocco. This is a place that where frequent periods of lengthy rumination have intrinsic value. The bustle, while ever present, never intrudes. There is time to read and write and sit and stare, watch the world go by, chat with a stranger in the next seat doing exactly the same thing – namely, nothing, aside from nursing his cup of mint tea for the past half hour – about our lives, and his. He is from Fes, he says. We should go there. It is old and beautiful and alive. “I don’t like Tangier so much,” he says. “They have no humour. No one smiles here.” …
San Juan markets, Mexico City
And his wears. Mexico City.
No, really. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona.
…the number of months of gypsy-jangling, not the Pearl Jam album. Every month i survive on the road, intact and sometimes even flourishing (to ongoing amazement), I come back to this sign. This was painted inside the bus stop near my eldest sister’s home in Washington state, where I spent the first three weeks of my journey. I waited many grey, wintry days inside this shelter for the bus that would bring me to downtown Seattle, still something of a wreck, wondering what the #$^%$#%$ I was doing. Hoping to hell I’d see the truth in it some day. I’ve done some dumb things, learnt some hard lessons in this time, and I’m sure I’ve not plumbed the depths of stupidity quite yet (sad, but …
“Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen!” was the refrain that greeted me over the phone line, every time my Dad was reminded it was where I was heading in July for another, extended Mad and Magic Raving reunion. It turns out that centuries ago, Dad had a pen pal from Copenhagen, and it’s been a European city that has lingered in his consciousness since then, though he’s never been.
Those of you who have been either reading my blog or shooting with me for a while know of my affinity for wandering the streets at night with a camera. It’s been a solitary endeavour for many years in a mostly suburban Australian setting, but a different city offers a different experience. Copenhagen has cityscapes which are a complete departure from what I’m used to, both night and day…. and I had a model too. Inspired by Mark Krajnak‘s Friday Noir series, Flemming and I created a set of images one night and sent them to Mark, who has dedicated today’s Friday Noir to one of them with a wonderful short story (as is customary of the Friday Noir series) and background write up. Make …
I have a funny relationship with cities. I was born, raised, and have lived all my life in cities. I find them visually intriguing for their grit, geometry, tightly packed chaos and human contradiction. But I also associate them with a certain kind of perspective on life that drives me up the wall, and makes me want to run screaming into the wilderness. I always end up returning to cities though, because they possess a particular variety of richness that is found nowhere else.