Mannequin Monday #24

Mannequin in Piran, Slovenia

This week, proof that mannequins secured with leather tie-downs aren’t exclusive to markets and shops in South America and northern Africa. This one was found in Piran, Slovenia’s 1,000+ year-old Adriatic seaside town which has lent this blog its name.

If you’re new to this weekly series, an attempt to create the largest repository of blighted mannequins on the planet, you can and should catch up here. Enjoy and do spread the word.

By the way, this image also serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the 301st straight. When you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can catch up with some of those here.

Berlin, an Angel’s Eye View

A view of Berlin towards the Brandenburg Gate from the Victory Column, June 2008

For today’s 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a shot taken from the observation deck of the Berlin Victory Column towards the Brandenburg Gate. To the right is Potsdamer Platz, a major square that sat desolate for the 28 years that the wall stood.

Built in 1873 and moved to its present site in 1939, the tower measures 67m high from its base to the top of the bronze sculpture of Victoria. A fairly steep ascent up a spiral staircase, covering 285 steps, affords spectacular views of the city in all directions. It’s no wonder that it was a favorite hangout for the angels from Wim Wenders’ 1987 film, Wings of Desire. A trailer from one of the most beautiful films of the 1980s (and 90s) is below.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 300th (!!) straight, was snapped on 02-Jun-2008.

 

The 2014 US Midterm Election (Pic du Jour)

Renovate Me - graffiti in Bratislava, Slovakia

Analyses proclaiming that yesterday’s sweeping Republican victory signals a widespread wave of discontent towards President Barack Obama are a bit hazy at best, considering that about two-thirds of eligible voters weren’t inspired enough by any candidate or party to even bother going to the polls.

It’s more likely the low turnout and general malaise is a repudiation of both Congress, a legislative body whose approval rating hovers at about 15 percent, and the electioneering system itself, which this season involved spending that reached at least $3.7 billion, the highest ever for a mid-term election. Piles of cash, an increasing amount of it dark money, is now apparently needed to reach an electorate whose interest and input continue to shrink.

Voting –or in this case, not voting– does of course have consequences. When the Republicans take over the U.S. Senate in January, Climate change denialist James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who said in 2012 that the Bible itself refutes global warming, will likely take over the chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Coming just a few days after the most recent IPCC climate change report, that’s hardly encouraging.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 296th straight, was snapped on 22 June 2014 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Mannequin Monday #23

Dressmaker's shop, Marrakech

This week we return again to the heart of the medina in Marrakech, home to this dressmaker’s shop. I’m not sure what the mannequin was pointing at.

If you’re new to this weekly series, an attempt to create the largest repository of blighted mannequins on the planet, you can and should catch up here. Enjoy and do spread the word.

By the way, this image also serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the 294th straight. When you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can catch up with some of those here.

Day Sleeper, Piraeus

Waiter napping at a cafe in Piraeus, Greece

It was 5:43 in the morning and nearly pitch black so I couldn’t really blame this waiter for being asleep at the helm when I walked in and plopped myself down at his café, not far from the main passenger terminal at the Port of Piraeus. Service was slow but I wasn’t in much of a hurry, so it hardly mattered.

If curious, I blogged briefly about this off-season 2008 visit to Syros in the Cyclades here, here and here. Check it out.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 293rd (!!) straight, was taken in Piraeus, Greece, on 10 November 2008.

Specs:
48mm
ISO 1600
f/5.6
1/30sec

A 90-cent Coffee, In Venice (Pic du Jour)

Maquva, coffee for under a euro in Venice

Proof that one can still find a coffee in Venice for under a euro. A real, two-sip Italian espresso.

Since relocating to Europe more than a decade ago, that’s been one gauge I use –and still do– to measure how affordable a city is. Remarkably, a quick coffee can still be enjoyed in quite a few places for less than a euro.

Normal cafes and bars in Italy still generally charge less than a euro for an espresso but I will admit that finding one in Venice, even on the far fringes near the Piazzale Roma, was an extremely pleasant surprise. A far cry indeed from some of the double figures price tags (live music surcharge included) on cups served in and near St. Mark’s square.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 292nd straight, was snapped on 6 October 2014.

The Metelkova City Monsters

Metelkova monster

No, that’s not a band. They’re hanging sculptures in Ljubljana’s Metelkova City cultural center that resemble fairly closely what I look like after answering a few too many election season robocalls. They’re also the most Halloween-y critters I could come up at the moment. I got the impression that the one above is the head of the clan.

This extended family takes pride of place in the sprawling Metelkova complex, a former Yugoslav army barracks near the Slovenian capital’s center which for the past two decades has been home to several studios, galleries, live music venues and the Celica hostel. A self-proclaimed ‘autonomous cultural center’, Metelkova sits at the fringe of Ljubljana’s newish museum quarter next to The Museum of Contemporary Art which opened in 2011.

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Bogue Sound Sunset (Pic du Jour)

A dock on North Carolina's Bogue Sound just before sunset

While many visitors to Bogue Banks focus their attention on the Atlantic shore side of this North Carolina island, quite a few opt for the north-facing side and Bogue Sound which separates the island from the mainland portion of Carteret County. This was taken at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Boat Launching Facility in the city of Emerald Isle just before sunset.

Specs:
18mm
ISO 250
F/9.0
1/80sec

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 290th straight, was snapped on 21 October 2014. Want a print? Go here. For a greeting card, here.