There is so much to love in this seaside photograph by David Alan Harvey; The pops of tomato against the sky and denim blue, the gaggle of girls chatting away, the beautiful old pram and charming parasol. The photo was taken in Bermeo in the Basque Country in 1977, (hence the bell bottoms) and it’s just the sort of wonderful everyday scene you happen upon all the time in small European towns. It’s possible that these women have known each other since childhood. And just as likely that the couple’s fathers met in nursery school.
If you close your eyes and imagine sea the colour of an aqua marine, and chalky white cliffs speckled with the softest pinks and corals, this is Polyaigos. It’s a speck of an island in the Cyclades, just next to Kimolos, and it’s only inhabitants are goats. Polyaigos translates as “many goats.” I’ve been to Polyaigos by boat a couple of times, and it’s truly the most exquisite beach island you’ll ever see. This image here reminds of the rock, only I doubt you’d find sand this soft and fine. Aphrodite in pink silk, however, you may find.
In the spirit of winter, which we haven’t had much of, I spent this morning admiring Kari Medig‘s pictures of awesome glaciers, frigid seascapes and snow capped mountains. I felt cold just looking at them, but also invigorated and inspired by the people out there embracing the season, and all its joys and challenges. Medig’s photos of Bolivia fueled my desire to go there, and his cold water surf series reminded me that weather shouldn’t get in the way of people doing what they love.
I was watching painter and stylist, Kate Schelter earlier today, and she said something that reminded me how important it is to get a glimpse of your city from a far sometimes. “In New York I always feel like you have no perspective, you literally have no view of anything, you can’t see very far. You need to go and get a view of something –– I think it’s very inspiring to have a view.” My neighbour Gina likes to go to the island in the summer for the feeling of vacation that the outing gives her. “I actually feel like we’ve gone somewhere.” I often walk up the steps to Casa Loma and catch my breath up there. That’s a view I like. I also like the familiarity of the fences and roofs and lawns outside my window. And the view of our late summer garden from the kitchen table. But Schelter’s right –– sometimes a wider, less familiar view is inspiring, and necessary, too.
These images of Vietnamese street vendors from above by Loes Heerink are so pleasing to me. I enjoy the repetition of pattern, and the colour blocking that takes place in many of them. I like how in this image, the vendor’s jacket and bag are a perfect colour match to the flowers she’s carrying. Heerink says it took hours and hours to capture each shot, and that I can believe.
If our subway stations looked anything like the ones in Moscow, I would opt for trains over taxis every time. With beautiful moldings, frescoes and chandeliers, the stations look more like grand banquet halls than subway stops. Taganskaya is my favourite, mostly because of that stunning lapis blue. And Mayakovskaya station is pure art deco. Take a look at Vancouver-based photographer David Burdeny’s photographs of the stations. They’re really quite stunning.
Many years ago, Jason and I drove through the desert, from the lush, clean city of San Diego into the seedy town of Tijuana and down into the depths of Baja California. The drives were long and the terrain monotonous, and by the half way point, cacti started to look like emaciated Giacometti figures. Suffice to say, I’m not a big fan of the cactus. But every now and then, I see a tall, willowy cactus and I’m reminded of that long drive through the desert. Eagle-Eye Cherry on the radio, re-fried beans in every rickety old town, dodgy motels, stunning beaches –– just the two of us –– and the cacti.
Into the Wild tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a 22-year-old disillusioned college graduate who trades in $27,000 of savings (he donates it to Oxfam) and a shot at Harvard Law School for life in the Alaskan wilderness. The film was directed by Sean Penn and was based on an American bestseller by Jon Krakaue. The landscape is stunning, with scenes on a beach in Beard’s Hollow, on the wheat fields of South Dakota, on the rapids of the Colorado River, and from a mountain overlooking the Salton Sea. The soulful soundtrack by Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder tells as much of the story as the script does, and the protagonist, played by Emile Hirsch has an air of a young DiCaprio. It’s not a new film, but if you haven’t seen it, do. At the very least, it will leave you lusting for the dunes of the Arizona desert.
Last week, near a pebble beach on the island of Tzia, my family sat under the shade of pale green tarp to have lunch. “In any other setting, this would be a weathered, old tarp,” I said to my Mum who was travelling with us.. “Here, it looks like an artful canopy.” I felt the same way about the rusty old olive oil tins packed with fresh herbs surrounding the taverna. And the chipped terracotta pots stuffed full of geraniums on the beach nearby. The white walls and lapis blue shutters on s small stone house up the dirt road from the taverna were decreppid, but in this setting, the house was charming and romantic. Between relentless winds, rain and the intense heat and light of the sun, island homes and everything in and around them, are at the mercy of the elements. But it’s that natural decay that makes them so beautiful.
I was in New York in 2006 when Christo wrapped Central Park in miles of bright orange fabric. My grandmother had an apartment on Central Park South and the view from her living room was sensational. This week, the wrap artist extraordinaire is at it again, with a huge scale floating art installation that allows people to walk across Lake Iseo on the coast of Italy. Take a look at the sketches and images on Christo’s website, and hey, if you’re in Italy over the next 16 days, head to Lake Iseo.