Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back across the Pond!

April 2013

So the journey continues... from the steamy, placid tropics I returned back to San Francisco and the Default world.  For a time, the stability and familiarity of a place - and of course the companionship of friends and colleagues - is enough to satiate that gnawing curiosity of places unknown and unexplored.

Only by approaching my home-turf with the eyes and ears of the traveller (a perspective gained only once one passes through the unknown.. or certain drug-induced experiences, I presume), I can lay aside the wanderlust that is ever kept at bay - and explore this City anew for a while.  My instagram account ( @HalcyonSurfer ) is another outlet I began to cultivate in the meantime.. but now it just reinforces that travel itch.  Also, sharing is caring - all my work carries a Copyleft and is open for free use under Creative Commons Licensing (see below, link)

The photos laid out heretofore are taken with a Sony Cybershot DSC-HX30V 
 Creative Commons License
These works by Tim Paez are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


26 April 2013 -

That impulse is what drives me here: on the plane, overnight, hurtling across the Atlantic Ocean.  What beauty I saw this evening while in transit - as if to usher me into the next phase of this spellbinding journey called Life (and from the US to the EU) with a premonition of what I would contemplate and learn while trekking - reminded me of the brilliantly unsuspecting joyous moments that arise anywhere, at home or while on the move, when our guard against the unexpected is down and when we can greet the world with a smile rather than a grimace..

Here it begins - my first view EVER of Aurora Borealis!  After a few relatively quiet days with family, this view from the plane teases my wanderlust on my first voyage to the UK.  At this latitude, the Northern Lights were not so visible to the naked eye.  8 sec shutter speed, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.

In the radiance of those thoughts do I arrive to Heathrow, outside of London.  I feel like I know my one destination - the overarching one, I think - but I know not my route in between.. and I'm damn near giddy at the prospect!   

Liverpool it is!  A lively port city, with roots in the shipping and sailing industry that go back further and deeper than the age of most U.S. cities.  Here, long the center of the city's main trades, is Albert Dock, Liverpool, UK.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, rear entrance.  This was an exciting stumble-upon during an itinerant amble through Liverpool on my first day there. And yet another favorite photo of mine..

Stained glass inside of the grand, luminous lantern tower of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.


Badass statue of Poseiden, god of the Sea, ringed by a green and aquamarine stained glass wall. All housed inside this magnificent, commanding cathedral.  I should have known here the prolificness with which I would find such edifices in the EU - the diversity and amount of places of worship found here, active or preserved, is ASTOUNDING. 

A very warm welcome to the politics and culture of beer of Europe! Prohibition era photo on the outside of a bar - "Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyelf, to make love, and celebrate the good days."  Liverpool downtown, UK.

St. Lukes Church - bombed out and gutted almost completely during World War 2 - now stands as one of the most remarkable conversions of urban space I have ever seen....

...where a combination community art space and public garden exists in tandem with an array of local events - public  (art shows and concerts, etc.) and private (weddings, fundraisers, etc.) - that take place throughout the year.  A remarkable re-utilization of space... all its elements. 

Some of my favourite of many fine specimens of art from inside the World Museum in Liverpool.   A wonderful day spent here, and around town, exploring with a local side of the city new friends.

Wartime propaganda poster, from a very cool collection inside the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, UK.  One of my very favourite museums - anywhere.  Many thanks to the good friends who both suggested and joined me to visit here.

This... this was a very cool exhibit.  Funny and engaging, there was certainly a bit of learnings to be done in this section on an unsung part of maritime culture.  

You'll have to view this one at full-zoom - 'Polari' was the subculture language used by GLBTQ sailors and their allies on the seas. 

For communicating about their more liberal lifestyle, particularly at sea, Polari was (is?) the slang of the GLBTQ maritime community.  It was a gauge, and both a second glance and a more informal dialect of discourse, amongst each other, their allies, and other friendly passengers.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Culture & People

La Gente y su Cultura

17 - 24 Jan 2013.  Partway through a rather short trip - and a few hundred photos in - I'm feeling like there's a strong undercurrent of some unique vitality here.. ..some lively thread that makes Panama not solely a Central American country, but a worldly one.  Still, it remains wholly a Latin country with many elements of society retaining such distinction - cultural, economic, and otherwise.  That, but with a more robust sense of liberalized FUN - for a country in the Americas, anyway. 

In this post, I selected several photos from throughout the trip that i think captures that multicultural juxtapose.  These photos were all taken with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus camera phone. 

I just really like this shot; a color and light balance that I think came out well. But the subject also speaks a blend - that of Old and New.  Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

Reminders of home, in the outskirts of Panama City along the Panamerican Highway. Somewhere, Panama. 

My brother, playing with shadows. Vasco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

Panamanian-made shoes - a la indigenous style. The famous cloth patterns and craftsmanship of native Panama: las molas. 'The colors, Duke! The colors!'

Decorative masks, "los Diabolicos"

Pre-mixed and ready to drink - original formula!  Easy to find and cheap.  Not a lick good for you.  Panama.

Up-front and simple warning, some variant of which is found on just about every packet sold nation-wide.  Solid deterrent.  Panama.

Absolutely among the top best bowls of soups I have ever had; a basic, local, seasonal seafood stew.  Would that all human settlements were so positioned as to develop sustainable food systems so nutritious as this..

Awesome blue church, somewhere along la Carretera a El Cacao, Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

Cuidado! Careful! Road hazards.  Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

Talk about juxtapose.  Watermain break, full clean-up crew deployed, and the guests still get a timely breakfast.  Effective service & tourism sector.  Las Tablas, Panama.

Cafe!! Coffee!! House-roasted, here in el Casco Viejo, Panama City. 

Take that roast, and treat a peckish feeling this afternoon, perfect when in need of respite from the outside glare.  Tropical equivalent of 'afternoon tea'.  Casco Viejo, Panama.

Up close and personal with the Bean.  Presented here: two different stages before the Great Roast - and two types of bean preparation, natural and washed.  Casco Viejo, Panama City.

This Panama coffee makes you Boss.  As evidenced here, with Panama City down town in the background.  Casco Viejo seawall, Panama City.

And a Marriage! Out in public and dressed to the nines.  From Casco Viejo seawall, Panama City.

To the rescue, and ready to party - in this fortification-turned-emerging-commercial zone.  Casco Viejo, Panama City. 

  Still, Panama remains a Latin country with many elements - cultural, economic, and otherwise - flavoured so and operated as such. I'm grateful I will have opportunity to travel cheaply (best - friends & family travel discounts!!) there in the future. 

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This work by Tim Paez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License