When I went to New York City to study Chinese Medicine with the Daoists Jeffrey Yuen, I stayed at Union Square, East 14th Street and Broadway. I would get off the metro in the evenings to be greeted by shifting musical sounds as I walked toward my exit. This is my typical trajectory.
I do not consider muself a jet setter because I do not travel just for the sake of it. I travel because I want to do something that cannot be done where I am living. None-the-less, I find myself spending a lot of time in airports.
Traveling involves a lot of waiting so while I am waiting, I look around. If something catches my eye, I take a photo but more likely a video because I don’t like carrying my heavy camera around. Why do I have a heavy camera? I have it because I love the zoom lens which allows me to shoot things that are either far away or close without moving. Also I can shoot things that are elevated with less distortion because I can stand far away and bring them close with the lens. This is good when I want to shoot an architectual detail.
Returning to the theme of travel, I find myself taking videos in airports. The last was Heathrow and Pierre Trudeau where I felt as if I were on a conveyor belt. This time I was truly amazed at the level of hustle and bustle at Manchester airport in England at 5:15 in the morning, people eating, drinking, gambling, sitting around, dragging suitcases what have you.
I am including the YouTube link although you will not be able to access it from here. https://youtu.be/PThCtD3sJyU&rel=0
This Wednesday, I was travelling between London and Halifax via Montreal. In Heathrow airport I was attracted to a Japanese restaurant with plates of food going around on a conveyor belt. Then I thought how the whole airport experience is in some way about people on conveyor belts. Even though when you go through security you are not physically on a conveyor belt, the end effect is the same. You are impelled forward through the maze of alleys by the people behind and in front of you. Then there are the moving side walks. In short, I feel I loose autonomy when I am in airports. I am just swept along from here to there like the food in the Japanese restaurant. (You will notice that the YouTube video does’t work but if you click on the link it will take you to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XPqAvzopvzUo&Rel=0
I don’t know why I can’t get this blog to work properly but here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/I8LCKF9VG2s
Let me know if you have problems.
This video came about because I had two very nice bikes stolen with in weeks of each other, while I was in Holland about 8 years ago. Even before that, I was struck by how all the bikes parked on the street looked more or less the same, your basic black bike. When I would go to a pancake house on Sundays, there would be 1,000 euro bikes parked there. Most Dutch people have several bikes of varying quality. The worst bike can be left on the street for long periods of time but not the good bike. It goes out for pancakes and returns to the safety of its home. My problem was that I only like to ride comfortable bikes and the basic blacks were not fun to ride.
On this last trip to Amsterdam, I decided to photographs bikes. Some are left by themselves giving a feeling of vulnerability. Others huddle together in disorganized heaps which seem to offer more protection. Then there are massive bike parking lots. When the sun is shining, the handle bars look like waves in the ocean.
The picture of the two recycling men is really an aside. They saw me taking pictures and volunteered to pose. They add a happy note to the video.
At intersections, if you press the walk button, you will hear these beeps. To me that is the emblematic sound of Amsterdam. I would be hearing it all the time, therefore, it became the sound track.
My video is the first you see. For some reason this time, I could not block the other videos.
Before leaving Washington, DC, my good friend the musician, William Hooker, suggested that I take pictures of my home. I would not have thought to do that. While taking the pictures, I realized that I needed to take the pictures in order to be able to leave the house. It was more than a house for me. It was my playground. I could create any living environment I wanted.
When I settled here in Santiago my friends kept asking me to send pictures of my new home and to describe it. Suddenly one morning, a poem popped into my head, A Home is a Home. The video is an illustration of the poem.