Western Fires and Patriotic Songs.

 

Most people back East have never seen a fire west of the Mississippi with their own eyes. They come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of effects, startling-foreboding- awesome and strange that something so destructive can appear so beautiful and take life out of the ordinary for a moment, get us looking heaven-words again.

Heard a children’s chorus singing sweet patriotic songs written a hundred or two ago. You’ll never see a purple mountain without an effort

And who cares anyway? “Sea to shinning Sea,”  No one’s singing the songs anymore. You have to go to France or Turkey, someplace they  forgot to tell them, you don’t celebrate your differences anymore.

 

The Prince in Hyde Park

This man has what I would call “princely qualities.” Stylistically he’s his own man. Princely in my book because he seems self-possessed and at ease with what he’s wearing. He doesn’t strike me as a victim. In fact his  look says more to me about ‘style” than many of the people I observe whose obsession with having the right clothes, the right accessories and the right …everything …all at the same time…..seems so forced. The man appears to me someone at home in his skin.

A London style moment.

One of the reasons I like to visit capital cities of different countries is because for me the essence of a country is to be experienced. The magnetic attraction of the world’s great cities acts as a kind of filtering device so that the cream of style, the things worth keeping are kept. This couple caught moving across the grass near the Thames is iconic. A cool couple in the city.

Istanbul: Crossroads Forever.

Some five years ago when I visited Istanbul for a week I was curious as to what I would find. An Asian city steeped in the ways of the mysterious East reverberating with ancient cultures of the Levant or a European city with all the bells and whistles of the 21st Century. I found everything. The Sultanemet, or old Istanbul with the Blue Mosque and the pious pilgrims, men pulling carts and rugs on every corner. And all the trappings of contemporary society. This picture says it all.  In trying to capture a photo of a young person in contemporary dress outside Istanbul University I ended up with a glimpse of the never-ending dynamics of this great city.  This is an area of the city you have to go to. The university and grand plaza in front of it is  flanked by the Grand Bazaar and the famous hamam and one of my favorite places in this city-the busy tree-covered area next to the  large mosque where hundreds of us sat at tables drinking Turkish coffee and chai.