The best artists are both resourceful and honest.
That’s one we can all easily aspire to as we begin what will be our best year yet.
Wishing you lots of love in 2013, along with plenty of health, happiness, serenity and peace. Thanks everyone for visiting, liking, commenting and sharing over the past year – it’s all very much appreciated, more than you’ll ever know.
I’m leaving on my round-the-world jaunt in 25 days, but will be vacating my apartment in exactly one week, so I trust you’ll allow me the indulgence of a few more trips to the rooftop before I hand over the keys. I’ll genuinely miss these views.
These were all taken between 4:30 and 4:50 earlier this evening, so technically they’re not night shots. But hey, I’m allowed to make up the rules as I go along. At top and immediately below, face north towards the Kamnik Alps and at bottom an obligatory snap of castle hill. Looking out the window every morning and seeing a castle is a novelty I have yet to tire of.
Technical stuff: top – 135mm, f29, 30sec; mid – 29mm, f29 13sec; and bottom – 29 mm, f29, 70sec. All with an ND8x filter which I obviously didn’t clean before using.
If you’re Kamnik Alps-curious, check out a few shots taken from the Ljubljana Moors early last spring.
Before Christmas passes me by as quickly as it came, here are a few shots from Ljubljana‘s Christmas Market in old town this year, which out of practicality (mine) will focus primarily on food and wine. Like the shot of the stand above, where bear and colt salamis rub elbows with their very distant deer and pork cousins. For salami lovers, Ljubljana indeed provides one stop shopping. Enjoy the tour!
And on that walk, I made a quick stop in the central Prešeren Square to play with my zoom.
Hope you’re enjoying the holidays.
One thing I’ve always loved in Ljubljana‘s old town in December is that you can find and enjoy a delicious cup of mulled wine every ten feet. I’ve never encountered that in the U.S. but I suppose they make up for it with easy access to semi-automatic weapons of war.
I spotted this yesterday afternoon and liked the juxtaposition.
At top, a billboard for Adria Airlines, Slovenia’s national carrier, reads: “Taking off into the future.” Just below it is a scrawled reminder for tomorrow’s nationwide demonstration, which reads: “We won’t pay for your crisis! Take to the streets on Dec 21!” I’m expecting a big turnout.
And entirely unrelated, except that they too involve graffiti, are a couple more snaps from early yesterday afternoon.
The first, of this fat angry rabbit-like creature, has been on the side of outgoing President Danilo Türk‘s apartment building on Pražakova street for months. He steps down on Saturday and will be succeeded by former Prime Minister Borut Pahor, who soundly defeated Türk in a run-off on December 2. Just under 42% of voters went to the polls, the lowest ever in Slovenian history, a fact which apparently made young models cry black tears.
Speaking of taking off -
Today marks 32 days to go before I leave on my extended jaunt. I haven’t made nearly the progress I anticipated with packing and storing, but I did take the crucial step of setting the main move-out date from my apartment. That’ll be January 4th, which will leave me with just over 14 days to focus solely on some of the early logistics and get moving on some much-needed basic research. No time or room for panic just yet.
These joined hands are from a sculpture of a dancing couple that’s situated at the far end of the Jakopič promenade in Tivoli Park, near the park’s eponymous castle which houses the International Center of Graphic Arts. It’s one of my favorite sculptures in Ljubljana, and a nice place to end a three-hour hike through the park’s snowy hills and trails. It’s also a pleasant snap with which to remember very enjoyable Sunday afternoon company.
For the dancing sculpture-curious among you, a few more snaps: a shot of the pair taken about a month ago, another of the young man taken today, and the last showing the view they share of the park’s main promenade, facing east. And if you’re still longing for more, check out a vidblog I put together a little over a years ago composed of 1200 pics, with the pair –naturally!– making a cameo appearance. Enjoy!
I just realized I haven’t posted here since the last time local police put on their Robocop riot gear. It’s been a busy week, my apologies.
This was in front of Slovenian Parliament here in Ljubljana a few hour ago. An impromptu demonstration began to take shape around 5 pm in nearby Congress Square, mainly to support the 10,000 demonstrators in Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city, who took to the streets yesterday demanding the resignation of their mayor, who is drowning in corruption charges and criminal investigations. Some police reacted with force, protesters said the demonstrations would spread to other parts of the country. They were right.
Crowd estimates ranged from 1,500 to 2,000 here tonight. With the exception of a few eggs and beer cans that were thrown –what a waste!– all was peaceful. Protesters lowered the flag in Republic Square, across the street from Parliament, to half mast. Another demonstration is being planned for Friday to protest the center-right government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa.
A few more pics below.
About 30,000 people gathered today in Ljubljana‘s central Kongresni Trg, or Congress Square, to protest against the ongoing austerity policies of Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s conservative government. The demonstrators in Slovenia’s capital joined hundreds of thousands of others who took to the streets in similar actions elsewhere in Europe earlier this week, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece.
The demonstration was organized by Slovenia’s largest trade unions who characterized the austerity measures as a “neo-liberal virus that is spreading across Europe”. The rally was also supported by student and pensioner organizations who face further cuts in school, university and pension budgets.
Speakers at the two-hour event shared variations on a common theme – that wages, pensions and scholarships are not to blame for the current crisis, but rather, as Alliance of Slovenian Independent Unions (ZSSS) head Dusan Semolic said, “It was greedy capitalism that caused it.”
A few hundred later marched two blocks towards the Parliament building which was cordoned off and protected by police. The four hundred police dispatched for the demonstration had a relatively easy and stress-free day with no incidents reported.
Below are 22 photos.
I couldn’t leave my desk until nearly seven this evening, which meant no pre-sundown tramping to the rooftop. So here’s another shot from last night, again facing southeast-ish, but a much longer exposure than yesterday’s post; 59 seconds, f29, 31mm, 100 ASA. I like the sea swirl of color but I’d like to get some filters that’ll allow me to take even longer exposures in this kind of light. Suggestions welcome and encouraged.
I’m sure it’s just coincidence but we’ve had really nice sunsets in Ljubljana since Barack Obama was re-elected.
Above, a view to the southeast shot from my rooftop earlier this evening and below, shot yesterday from Ljubljana’s Museum Quarter near Metelkovo.
This is a quick lunchtime snap of the central Tivoli Park and Castle taken from Ljubljana’s hilltop castle. This is facing almost due east over Roznik Hill.
I’ve been swamped with work these days, which is allowing zero time to do any planning for my upcoming trip. I know that 83 days will pass ridiculously fast, but I’m not quite ready to hit panic mode just yet. Tomorrow’s a holiday here in Slovenia, and I’ll actually have the day off, too. A little R&R is in order, I think. Trip planning can resume over the weekend.
.. is one translation I’ve found for Polish writer Dorota Masłowska‘s play, Między nami dobrze jest. I’ve also seen it called All is Right Between Us and We’re All Good. In Slovenia, where it will have its debut on November 7 at the Slovenian National Theatre, it will be entitled, Pri nas je vse v redu. The play’s poster, above, is my debut into the world of larger-than-life photo illustration. It was a rush seeing it on the street this afternoon.
I can’t take credit for the High-Heeled Shoe in Croatian Spam concept; that idea belonged to my friend Danijela Grgic, who designed the poster. I will however take full credit for attracting the fly.
I didn’t know anything about Masłowska before I found out about this play, I haven’t had time to read it and was only told a few bits and pieces – that’s it’s an absurdist, comedic farce of a tale of a store cashier, her metalhead daughter and her wheelchair-bound mother. About the play in Masłowska’s own words in an interview with the daily Dziennik:
I confronted generations: languages, ways of thinking and functioning, different every day realities in order to bring out the discord, the non-existence of someone who could be described as ”the statistical Pole”, the lack of a platform on which all this could meet and could be described by the word “we”.
Everything in the play is rather gruesome and exaggerated but it seems to me that for the first time I actually say something potentially good. I certainly do not express a direct positive message, but this is my first text in which I did not write: “Oh, what an awful country we live in, how drab!”
On the contrary, this is my affirmation of being a Pole and Polishness , which is at present totally sneered at, has mud slung at it and is treated, at least in my generation, as a flaw, as a slap in the face from fate.
Much more about Maslowska on the Polish arts site Culture.pl. And here’s the poster, seen in all it’s glory on this gray and misty Ljubljana afternoon.