For part five of my adventures in the United States I decided to put together all the really awesome nature shots.
As the fourth in my instalments of themed photos from my trip, I present FOOD.
Yes I was one of those people who whipped out the DSLR at restaurants and cafes and fast food stops, and you know what? I don’t care! I was on holiday and I wanted photos of what I ate. I put a lot of emphasis on eating, it’s one of my favourite things, and here are the photos to prove that American food can be pretty darn good!
One of the things I missed while I was away was Asian style food – Vietnamese and Thai in particular. I guess it’s a geographical thing, a lot of their restaurants are Mexican, because they’re close to Mexico, while here we have a lot of south east Asian food, because we’re much closer. I dunno, but it was a treat none the less.
Adventure, Arizona, Brisbane, California, Canon 1100D, Maryland, Monument Valley, New Mexico, New Orleans, New York, Photo Essay, Photography, San Diego, Santa Fe, St Louis Cemetery #1, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington
The third in my series of photo essays from my travels in the USA. I like to think of these as the ‘arty’ shots; here I put less emphasis on what the photo is of, and more emphasis on the aesthetically pleasing elements captured in the image.
Given this, I’m not going to tell you a story about these photos, I’ll just tell you where they were taken, and you can make up the story that goes with them.
In the spirit of thematically grouping my photos from my travels, I now present to you photo essay number two: Urban Decay.
This sign was on the wall of a public housing building in uptown New York. I found it fascinating for two reasons, firstly because it speaks to a cold war heritage that we just don’t have or understand in Australia, and secondly, because it was so obviously out of date (probably 1960s) and yet it was still there, within reach of the street for everyone who walked past. I think it says something about the fact that the locals pay it absolutely no attention. While I was taking this photo, a gent who lived in the area asked what I was doing, and when I explained to him, he told me about his experience as a child being taught to duck and cover at school. It was quite surreal.
This wall is right near Times’ Square in Manhattan. I found it interesting that a building in such a populated, high traffic area was not being used for advertising. I also thought that the peeling paint was beautiful.
This is the view of a warehouse from my hotel in Memphis. We were within walking distance of the main city area, and from Beale St, the main tourist area, but this warehouse was empty and unused.
While we were on a river cruise up the Mississippi from New Orleans, we passed a series of docks which were severely damaged. This one looks like it hasn’t been used for a long time, but it could just be a hang-over from Hurricane Katrina that was never cleaned up.
The other thing I did in New Orleans was go on a swamp tour, the sort where they feed alligators hot dogs and marshmallows over the side of a tin boat. Along the Pearl River, outside of the city and in the middle of the bayou, were a number of houses and recreation structures that had been destroyed by Katrina and had been left to sink into the river. Many of them were accessible only by water and the owners simply didn’t want to repair them.
Still in New Orleans, this is a photos of one of the above ground vaults in St Louis Cemetery #1. Many of the vaults in this cemetery have been restored, but many of them are falling apart, like this one. Generations of people are buried in these vaults, according to the marble face plates. The earliest ones I found, that were still legible, were from 1750s. I still haven’t worked out what the little offerings and markings are, I think it’s a voodoo thing though.
This pay phone is outside a general store/truck stop along the road on the way to the Grand Canyon. I didn’t test whether the phone worked, but the cobwebs covered in red dust looked a bit like rusty bullet holes from afar.
This is the famous Route 66. It’s empty. Since the US government has improved the interstate system people don’t drive on Route 66 anymore. There are all these little towns dotted along the route, that runs between Chicago and Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, that are slowly dying out. We stopped in one, which was full of tourists because it was high season, but I would guess they don’t get much business in the winter months.
I acknowledge that this is not actually decay, it’s more like street art, but I really liked it. It covered an entire wall of a shopping centre in San Diego. I guess it speaks to the concept of changing cityscapes though.
While I was on my travels I took an enormous number of photos. I have been back for a couple of weeks, but life got in the way a bit and I am only just getting on to organising my photos into themed photo essays for this blog.
I am starting with a theme I’m calling ordinary people. This is a selection of (largely) unposed photos I took of people I encountered in the US on my four week adventure.
This is in Manhattan, in a park I don’t remember the name of, just about sunset. To the right of the shot there are basketball courts and other community sporting grounds, to the left of the shot is a cycling/walking track and a stretch of park. I like to think this guy was doing homework, or writing something, and that he was out in the beautiful summer evening because his apartment was too tiny, or too noisy, or too full.
These people were watching the LGBTIQ Pride Parade as it wound it’s way through Manhattan. The parade was awesome but I liked that you could be standing next to almost anyone on the crowd. We were all there for the same reason, all baking in the sun, watching the spectacle go past.
This man and his son were inside the Smithsonian Natural history museum in Washington D.C. He was so good with this kid, so patient and enthusiastic, and the child was having such an awesome time. They made me smile.
This little girl is gorgeous. She was sitting in Beale St, Memphis, with her family watching some street performers doing an acrobatics display. I suspect some of the boys performing were her brothers or cousins, but she may have just been hanging out.
The Latin Quarter of New Orleans: I would love to go back there and spend some more time. We were standing in the street after having a meal when a woman and her dog (this little guy) came past. She seemed so poor and desperate, and her dog seemed so afraid and hungry. She stopped to chat with us for a bit, bummed a cigarette from one of us, and then went on her way.
People working out at Muscle Beach in Los Angeles. In the bottom right of the shot you can see a guy stretching. He looked like he’d been coming there for years, he would have been about 60, he had skin like leather from too much sun, and just before I could get the camera out he’d been doing handstands on those bars. It was very impressive.