Eye of the Beholder — (Toronto)

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Would something horrible happen if I broke the rules?

I ask myself that question almost every time I take a photo. What sort of mess might possibly occur if I alternately break the photographic rules of exposure, composition, or focus?

I know the rule of thirds, the rule of odds, filling the frame, leaving space — the traditional guidelines of good picture-taking.

The truth is, I’m a haphazard photographer.  I’m shockingly inept at the mathematics of exposure, shutter speed, aperture setting and know just enough to produce some happy accidents.

I rely more on gut instinct and feel; less on carefully calculated outcomes.

This approach doesn’t win any photography awards to be sure, however it inspires me to create — free from the shackles of dogged perfectionism.  Each risky image is, for me, a psychological triumph.

Eye of the Beholder is my new monthly photo feature showcasing the often surprising results of my experiments.

Thanks to a worldwide readership for following my previous photo series, Scene on Queen

I hope you enjoy Eye of the Beholder and the simple stories behind the images.

Your comments and are always welcome! (click on photo to enlarge)

Toronto's CN Tower and the little lamp post that grew.

Toronto’s CN Tower and the little lamp post that grew.

Story behind the image: I was on my way home from the city’s east end after having dinner with friends. Travelling west on the Lakeshore/Gardiner in my MINI Cooper, downtown traffic moved at a good clip. Suddenly, cars slowed to a crawl, then a complete stop. There was an accident up ahead.

At a glacial pace, the glut funnelled off the highway at the next exit.

I found myself presented with a rare sight:  I was face-to-face with the CN Tower with no obstructions and had nothing to do except stare at the massive hulk.

I grew up in Toronto; I see the tower every day and barely notice it.  That day however, it was comically juxtaposed with a regular old street lamp that stretched almost as tall as the tower itself.

I peered through the sunroof, grabbed my Coolpix camera from the glove compartment and snapped a few photos, hoping that at least one shot would properly convey the bizarre optical illusion I felt privileged to witness.

This image told the story best – with all its imperfections — including the blur and ghost-like glare.

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Scene on Queen – The Final Image – (December 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

 Scene on Queen

Life.

Urban Dad. Three kids. Stroll interrupted. 

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”
― Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray

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(click to enlarge photo)

This is the final image in my year-long series of monthly photos capturing life on Toronto’s Queen Street West. Click on ‘Scene on Queen’ under ‘Categories’ to scroll through all twelve in a row.

The completion of this 12-month exercise has made me a more acute observer of human behavior, of beauty where I least expected it, and of details in the everyday that we often miss in the chaos of it all.

With a lot of luck and split-second timing, a few snippets of daily life in this part of Toronto were witnessed and forever captured.  To the readers of this blog worldwide, thank you for joining in the fun and bearing witness.

Click below for my favorites:

Dorothy & Toto Do Queen Street West

Mainly Books (and sometimes cats)

If you like what you’re reading, click on the FOLLOW button to receive updates.

New once-a-month photo feature:  Eye of The Beholder (details to come)

Scene on Queen (November 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

"Animals are such agreeable friends -- they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms." -- George Eliot

“Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” — George Eliot

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." -- Roger Caras

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” — Roger Caras

"Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." -- David Ogden Stiers

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” — David Ogden Stiers

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(click on photos to enlarge)

For other cool Toronto street pics, click on Gone Snap Happy!

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

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'What could be more fun than one of me? TWO of me!"

‘What could be more fun than one of me? TWO of me!”

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Habit

Habit is defined as a “regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”.

My cat, Simba, has a habit of aligning himself against a wall (or mirror, as shown), and, after a high-pitched squeak, flips over on his back to stare at the world upside down.

My little ‘cream puff explosion’ does this several times a day, every day – his legs stretched out, paws flopped over — a perfectly serene expression on his face.

I’d say he has no intention of giving up what comes so naturally to him.

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Weekly Photo Challenge — Eerie

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Shrouded in fog -- The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Shrouded in fog — The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

This Week’s Photo Challenge:  EERIE

I took this photo while walking the 4,200-foot span of the Golden Gate Bridge in high winds and soup-like fog.  It had all the makings of a classic murder mystery —  shadows disappearing in the mist and the occasional blare of fog horns from passing ships below.

A little eerie not knowing exactly where the edge was……..

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Scene on Queen (October 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

A stand-out Mom!

A stand-out Mom.

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.” 
― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth

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(click on photo to enlarge)

For other cool Toronto street pics, click on Gone Snap Happy!

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

 

Scene on Queen (September 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

The rain paints a streaky abstract on my windshield.

The rain paints a romantic, streaky abstract on my windshield. (Queen Street)

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” 
― Langston Hughes

Ghostly mist on Bay Street.

Ghostly mist on Bay Street.

“A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.” — James Dickey

(click on photos to enlarge)

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

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Scene on Queen (August 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

Feet on the Street

Feet on the Street

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” 
― Coco Chanel

(click on photo to enlarge)

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

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Weekly Photo Challenge — Masterpiece

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What better masterpiece is there than a replica of oneself?

A tiny masterpiece.  (Tulum, Mexico – April 2013)

“Do not ask that your kids live up to your expectations.  Let your kids be who they are, and your expectations will be in breathless pursuit.”  ~Robert Brault.

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Scene on Queen (July 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

I collect antiques. Why? Because they're beautiful. -- Broderick Crawford

I collect antiques. Why? Because they’re beautiful. — Broderick Crawford

J. Dy’s Antiques & Collectibles — A picture-perfect storefront window arranged “just so.”  I love the symmetry of the sofa flanked by antique stands and the cluttered luxury of a ceiling dripping with over-the-top chandeliers. 

The piece de resistance? An unexpected live ‘prop’ — the dog —  his kerchief echoing the pop of color on the front door. 

(click on photo to enlarge)

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Previous Post: Stat and Secrets — One Year Later

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

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This was m golden hour in lovely London.

This was my golden hour in lovely London.

This week’s photo challenge is The Golden Hour. In photography, it’s referred to as the first and last hour of sunlight of the day.  In my photo of a London cab, the ‘fuzziness’ of the street lights is the first indicator of approaching twilight.

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Previous Post: Stats and Secrets — One Year Later

Upcoming Post:  Scene on Queen (July 2013)

Stats and Secrets — One Year Later

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One year ago this weekend, I gave birth to a blog and named her Angelina Carrera.  The gestation period was ridiculously long — at least three years. Time to celebrate!

Growth has been steadily measured in numbers gathered day by day, month by month, via web stats in WordPress.

I’d like to commemorate this anniversary by providing a glimpse into some statistics and  sharing a few behind-the-scenes secrets:

  • 365 days.
  • 22 posts
  • 200 photos.
  • 120 followers.
  • Over 2600 views from 57 countries.
  • Countless extracurricular hours.
  • Much encouragement. Many accolades.

One heart —  full of gratitude and appreciation.

Very First Post: What’s in a Name?

Jodie Angelina Carrera

Jodie Angelina Carrera – What’s in a Name? (Archived in July 2012)

Secret: A friend of mine inspired me to ignore self-doubt and get down to the business of publishing the story of why I changed my name to Angelina Carrera.  She and I met last year in a photography class and hit it off instantly. My tale resonated with her.

Her response reminded me of the excitement I felt years ago after receiving the official document in the mail containing my brand new name.  So, a woman I hardly knew, unknowingly triggered the DNA of my first post, What’s In A Name? Thanks, C-L.

Most Popular Post:  The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA

The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA

The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA (Archived in September 2012)

Secret: This post was a fluke. I happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right lens — a long one — photographing a group of surfers while I was on vacation in Huntington Beach, CA.

To this day, The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA is the most-viewed and most-often-searched of any post I’ve published — including the one about CATS!

(We’ll get to that later).

Best Writing Experience: Gone Snap Happy! and Flirting with Valentino; Going Home  With Versace

Gone Snap Happy!

Gone Snap Happy! (Archived in July 2012)

Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace

Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace (Archived in March 2013)

Secret: I LOVED writing and organizing these two posts for the sheer joy of working ‘a la Carrie Bradshaw” — in a cafe — just me, my laptop and a frothy hot chocolate.

With Gone Snap Happy!,  I spent the afternoon in a Los Angeles Starbucks writing about Toronto.

For Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace, I spent the evening in Toronto’s Artisano’s Cafe writing about Los Angeles!

Am I the only one who thinks this dichotomy is cool??

Introducing Monsieur:  Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs (Archived in August 2012)

Secret: I first introduced Monsieur in Must Love Dogs and refer to him in the following posts:  I Love, Therefore I Take Photos — Part II, Seven Feline Longevity Laws and Valentino/Versace The references are occasional and leave him mostly unidentifiable. During my foray as a published author, Monsieur and I discussed how I would preserve his anonymity in posts where it was essential to the story to actually mention his existence.

We decided to come up with a nickname for him should my life suddenly become that of a World Famous Blogger. We honored his masculinity and French Canadian roots with the moniker Monsieur. In any post that even whispers his presence, no matter how peripheral, we agreed this is the name I would use.

Evidently we both suffer from delusions of grandeur. ‘Nuff said.

Closest To My Heart:   Unlikely Inheritance — The Bird Gene

Unlikely Inheritence -- The Bird Gene

Unlikely Inheritence — The Bird Gene (Archived in November 2012)

Secret: My brother and I shared a moment because of this post. Unlikely Inheritance — The Bird Gene is about a memory of my father who was fascinated by birds, and photographed them endlessly. I share the same trait, hence the inheritance.

My brother wrote to tell me that my recollection brought back memories for him, too.  In a rare display of sentiment, he expressed gratitude for our family pointing out that we are “as much relatives as we are friends”. He encouraged me to continue writing, saying that reading my posts helped him gain insight into me and our relationship.

Before you conclude that I’ve betrayed a confidence — I haven’t. His beautiful comment, and my response, appears under Comments in What’s In a Name?.

Biggest Disappointment:  Seven Feline Longevity Laws

Seven Feline Longevity Laws

Seven Feline Longevity Laws (Archived in October 2012)

Secret: Imagine my dejection when, after posting Seven Feline Longevity Laws —  which is about cats in general, and MY cats in particular  — it didn’t go viral. In fact, it didn’t even catch a cold!!

C’mon! They’re cats! And they’re adorable! See them up there sharing a ‘bunk bed’?

I’m biased, but c’mon! Next time I’ll post a video of the two of them ‘cat-boxing’ or Simba drinking from the bathroom faucet….yes, it’s all been done before but maybe video is the key to going viral)

The Post Where I Learned The Most:  Fenestration (yes, it’s a word)

Fenestration (yes, it's a word)

Fenestration (yes, it’s a word)   (Archived in April 2013)

Secret: One of my friends, a lawyer in Washington DC, read Fenestration (yes, it’s a word) and commented on a reference I made to defenestration — the act of throwing something or someone out the window.

He gave me a link to the Defenestration of Prague which describes the conflict hundreds of years ago that led to members of town council and a judge being tossed out the window — events which also precipitated the Thirty Years’ War.

I’m always fascinated by the way a post develops. I began this one with only a vague idea of the best way to showcase my photos of pretty windows.

I ended up with a mini-education in architectural design, and a history lesson on the Defenestration of Prague. This was definitely the post where I learned the most!

Weirdest Post: A Tale of Two Sunrises

Secret: I got out of bed before dawn on a Saturday morning two days before New Year’s Eve, in pitch darkness in the middle of a blizzard, and drove to the lake to take pictures of birds.  (I’m exhausted just thinking about it).

It’s obvious I’m a bit of a loon myself. But look at the wild-and-woolly abstract I captured in A Tale of Two Sunrises!

A Tale of Two Sunrises

A Tale of Two Sunrises (Dec. 29, 2012)  (Archived in February 2013)

A Tale of Two Sunrises

A Tale of Two Sunrises (Dec. 30, 2012)  (Archived in February 2013)

I HAD to return at sunrise the next morning to prove what a difference a day makes.

In sub-zero temperatures, I was fuelled by my own curiosity of what it would be like to stand in the exact same place, 24 hours after the storm, witnessing a vastly different view of the world.

This, in fact, is life. And that’s why I posted it.

Least Popular Post:  Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!!

Venice Beach, CA -- Kumbaya!!

Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!!  (Archived in May 2013)

Secret: The fact that Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!! is decidedly my least popular post is a little ironic.

It’s ironic because Venice Beach is where I bought my lucky “writing scarf”.

You see, my bright orange talisman is supposed to ward off writer’s block, inertia, bad writing, and the like, because it’s imbued with the free-minded spirit and bohemian lifestyle of Venice Beach where everyone is in their happy place and ideas flow like water.

Where else on Earth except Venice Beach can I justify this kind of thinking without someone accusing me of being high?

I plucked the scarf from a bin of $12 dollar discounts and declared it to possess these mystical powers. And so it does. I wear it (almost) every time I write and I haven’t missed a self-imposed deadline yet.

As for bad writing……wait! Where’s my scarf??

Scene on Queen: Top 3 Posts:

River Trading Company -- Mainly Books (and sometimes cats!)  Archived in February 2013

River Trading Company — Mainly Books (and sometimes cats!)  (Archived in Feb. 2013)

The Painted Table -- Queen and Ronscesvalles

The Painted Table — (is that a wedding dress in the window??) – (Archived in April 2013)

Modern day Dorothy and Toto!!

Modern-day Dorothy and Toto!! (Archived in June 2013)

10 Countries That Yielded The Most Readership:

  1. Canada
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Russian Federation
  5. Italy
  6. Germany
  7. Australia
  8. Philippines
  9. Netherlands
  10. Ireland.

While Angelina Carrera isn’t a statistical success, she grows everyday and the fun factor is off the charts!

Maybe by the time Angelina reaches the “terrible-two’s” the stats might not be so terrible.

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Upcoming post: No clue. (Shall I consult my writing scarf?)

Scene on Queen (June 2013)

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Welcome to Scene on Queen – my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see archived posts)

I snap photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

Ordinary people; extraordinary things.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on the post that started it all, Gone Snap Happy!

Below is the photo for June 2013…definitely one of the weirdest.

Scene on Queen

 
Modern day Dorothy and Toto!!

Dorothy and Toto do Queen Street West!!

We're not in Kansas anymore....

Auntie Em! Auntie Em! We’re not in Kansas anymore….

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If you like what you’re reading, click the ‘FOLLOW’ button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

Previous post: Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!!

Prvevious post: Fenestration (yes, it’s a word)

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

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Captured in a fleeting (a.k.a. lucky) moment on the beach in Tulum, Mexico

Captured in a fleeting (a.k.a. lucky) moment on the beach in Tulum, Mexico

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is: Fleeting.  If you’ve ever tried to photograph pelicans in flight, you’ll know the true meaning of the word fleeting. (and eventually you’ll become familiar with the meaning of the word aggravating) They glide so smoothly on the wind, then dive-bomb vertically into the water milliseconds before the shutter snaps.

I wanted one good shot. I think I got two — only because I took LOTS of pictures and I’m very stubborn. They are, beautiful, mesmerizing birds.  Hope you enjoy!

Coming in for a landing

Whoosh!! Coming in for a landing….

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Previous post: Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!!

Venice Beach, CA – Kumbaya!!

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Venice Beach……a carnival atmosphere, a place where “utter outrageousness can flourish….a big jolly playpen.”

“It is one of the most peaceful, alluring, puzzling, beautiful, funny and free places I know in the world.”  —  Marcia Seligson

Venice Beach is all of this, and more.

Come with me, my friends, on a trip to Venice Beach, where you won’t need drugs to feel perpetually high. Prepare to be transported, circa 1965:

Street musician

Street Smart — New CD featuring Hallelujah

The world famous Venice Beach boardwalk stretches one and a half miles along the sands of the Pacific Ocean south of Santa Monica Pier. It is home to hundreds of street performers and vendors, artists, musicians, mimes, and fortune tellers.

Intended to be a seaside resort like its namesake in Italy, Venice of America opened on July 4, 1905.

Venice was annexed into Los Angeles in 1925 when its politics became unmanageable. LA neglected Venice for so long that, by the 1950s, it had become known as a “Slum by the Sea.”

Venice Beach - July 2012

Venice Beach – July 2012

“Venice Beach is a combination of the tacky, the mindless, the ironic, and the novel.” — Freelance Dionysian

Peace in Venice Beach

Peace in Venice Beach

Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, led a bohemian lifestyle in Venice Beach after graduating with a degree from the UCLA film school.

In 1965, Morrison lived on the rooftop of a building inhabited by his old UCLA cinematography friend, Dennis Jakobs, where he wrote the lyrics to Moonlight Drive and Hello, I Love You.

According to Jakobs, Morrison lived on canned beans and LSD for several months.

Medicinal marijuana dispensaries

The Green Doctors — Medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

“In its high-floating, quirky visions, and stubborn, off-handed poverty, Venice was a brave and deliberate affront to an American dream that worked.” — John Arthur Maynard

Anyone in need of advice?

Lay it on me, man.

Bongos (and bongs)!

Bongos (and bongs) abound!!

…”one of the last remaining strongholds of individualism in Southern California.” — John Austin

Fortune tellers

I can already see the future….another fortune teller will be 15 feet away.

Mind-blowing, man.

Far-out…..

Ladies in Red

Cool threads….

“Venice Beach is the only place in LA where a confused person on drugs might think he’s in Greenwich Village, if he doesn’t notice the beach.” — Mark Lindquist

That concludes our trip to the psychedelic 60s.  Hope you had a blast!

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Previous post: Fenestration (yes, it’s a word) 

Previous post: Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace

Scene on Queen (May 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see archived posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on the post that started it all: Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

 

A conversation on the corner of Queen and Lavish & Squalor.

A conversation on the corner of Queen and Lavish & Squalor.

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Scene on Queen April (2013)

Scene on Queen March (2013)

 

Fenestration (yes, it’s a word)

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Fenestration comes from the Latin word fenestra, meaning ‘window.’

In medicine or biology, it refers to the surgical creation of an artificial opening in the bony part of the inner ear to improve or restore hearing. (who knew?)

In architecture, it refers to the design and placement of windows in a building.

For today’s post, we’ll be referring to the latter as I showcase a few of my favorites  captured in Old Montreal and Quebec City. Voila!

Montreal 2012

Old Montreal 2012

“An actor entering the door, you’ve got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you’ve got a situation.” — Billy Wilder

Old Montreal 2012

Old Montreal 2012

“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out the window.” — Steve Wazniak

(Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. Again, who knew?)

Old Montreal 2012

Old Montreal 2012

“Love is a piano dropped from a fourth storey window and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” — Ami DiFranco

(oh, that we could all, just once in our lives, know the delicious upheaval that comes from being struck by love that drops on us out of the clear, blue sky)

Old Montreal 2012

Old Montreal 2012

“If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.” — Tom Pekis

Quebec City 2010

Quebec City 2010

“Habit is habit, not to be flung out the window, but coaxed downstairs, one step at a time.” — Mark Twain

Montreal 2007

Montreal 2007

“What no wife of a writer understands is that a writer is working when he’s staring out the window.”  — Burton Rascoe

A writer is also working when standing in line for take-out, staring into space at the corner of Bay and Temperance in Toronto, where the idea for this post was conceived.

Hope you enjoyed!

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Upcoming Post: Scene on Queen

Scene on Queen (April 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see archived posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

The Painted Table -- Queen and Ronscesvalles

The Painted Table — Queen and Roncesvalles (is that a wedding dress in the window??)

“Buy, buy says the sign in the shop window; why, why says the junk in the yard.” — Paul McCartney

(click on photo to enlarge)

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February Scene on Queen

March Scene on Queen

Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace

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On vacation in Los Angeles last summer, Monsieur and I visited Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills one hot July day.

Little did I know things were about to get steamy.

Rodeo Drive is known as the epicentre of luxury fashion. Three city blocks contain more than 100 world-renowned boutiques and hotels. The wide sidewalks and grand storefronts ooze engineered elegance. Palm trees line the streets like perfectly-placed dominos.

My flirtation began innocently enough at Valentino. As soon as I walked in, I was fussed over by two sales associates who looked like they had stepped off the cover of a Harlequin romance novel — albeit fully clothed — in beautiful crisp, black suits.

I wandered around, toyed with an animal print bag, and tried to glance nonchalantly at the $4000 price tag.  We chatted a little, but they could tell I was just there to play. Our exchange touched on the topic of fragrance and suddenly I ended up with a wonderful elixir — a sample of the newly-launched Valentina Assoluto Eau de Parfum.

God is in the details….the bottle is exquisite, not one of those generic samples thrown in as an afterthought, but a tiny replica of the full size product — adorned with one large flower, the emblem of Valentino couture.

If that wasn’t enough, they packaged it with care in a shiny red Valentino bag and tied it “just so” with black satin ribbon.

A perfectly exquisite sample

Eau de Parfum – Valentina Assoluto.

Slipping me the sample was quite a seductive move on their part — catnip to me — given my weakness for perfume in general, and for a chypre accord, in particular.

The top notes tease with Italian bergamot, Smeggia peach from Sicily and white Alba truffle from Piedmont. The heart exudes intoxicating tuberose flowers from the Mediterranean; jasmine and soft vanilla from Madagascar. The base smoulders of silky cedar, oak moss and patchouli….

Language like that makes me melt. I was in Beverly Hills Heaven.

Sitll woozy from my encounter with Valentino, I cool off by the fountain.

Sitll woozy from my encounter with Valentino, I cooled off by the fountain, my precious prize in hand.

(Taking a page from a fashion blogger, here’s who I’m wearing: Cami and jacket from White House Black Market in LaJolla, CA;  White denim jeans from Anthropologie in Toronto, ON; Nude patent leather slingbacks from Pretty-Small-Shoes, London, UK)

208 Rodeo Drive

We stopped for lunch on the patio dotted with red umbrellas —  208 Rodeo Drive.

How do you know if you're in Beverly Hills unless lunch consists of a couple of drinks, two side salads and a handful of sliders for $100!

You know you’re in Beverly Hills when you drop $100 on lunch for a couple of drinks,  salad and two tiny sliders!!

To be fair, what happened next wasn’t entirely my fault.

Versace was partly to blame.  He was staring at me all through lunch. I swear.

His grand stature disarmed me, beckoned me with quiet confidence and relentless whispers to ‘just take a look.’

Versace, Beverly Hills

Versace, Beverly Hills

I succumbed to the call but resolved that nothing would happen between us.

I was mistaken.

It could only be described as love at first sight. I was totally smitten the instant I laid eyes on Versace couture!  Was it cornflower blue? Periwinkle perhaps?

The color and design details of this limited edition clutch made me swoon. Rich patent leather, precise, intricate stitching and — my favorite — a shoulder strap of gleaming chain intertwined with leather……oh, ti adoro!

Going home with Versace

Going home with Versace

I knew we belonged together and I dove in with all my heart.

Mio amore, Versace.

(I rationalized the purchase by dipping into a stash I reserve for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities)

Satisfied and unapologetic, I left Beverly Hills that afternoon with Monsieur on one arm  and Versace on the other.

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Upcoming Post:  Scene on Queen (April 2013)

Scene on Queen (March 2013)

Tags

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Welcome to Scene on Queen — a new monthly blog feature capturing the “teeming life and oddities” on Queen St. West in Toronto.

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on my July 2012 post called Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

Then….
Woolfits: July 2012

June 2012 – Woolfitt’s — Funk-ified 

And now…..

Stripped Clean

January 2013 — Woolfitt’s — Gentrified

(Click on photos to enlarge)

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Previous Scene on Queen posts:

January 2013

February 2013

Upcoming Post:  Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace

 

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