Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ABC Wednesday--"K" is for "knot"

Tie the knot is what my daughter and my new son-in-law did on September 19th. The day after, some visiting guests and I took a leisurely boat ride up the Sava River to the village of Jakovo, where I photographed these knots at the Fenek Monastery. The monastery dates from the second half of the 15th century, and the water there is said to have miraculous qualities. I splashed my face....

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Deflowered.... The dangers of macrophotography

I was so excited the other morning when I saw that one of my cacti had blossomed! A first for me! I grabbed my Gorillapod and set it up on my table, along with the cactus. Took a few shots with my 50mm (see above...), then decided to really go close with my macro. A few clicks later, the macro lens was on my Nikon on top of the little tripod. Oh, woe. In my haste, I didn't adjust the little twisty feet on the Gorillapod to support the somewhat heavier macro lens. It tipped over, and the lens hood on my macro lens deflowered the cactus. I was devastated! But at least here's one photo...

Actually, I'm laughing about it now...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Something to remind you...

My wedding guests have all but gone, taking with them fond memories of the wedding and Serbia. They've also taken along a few souvenirs, such as those seen here. The little sparrow, symbol of Belgrade, is wearing a typical Serbian hat, the šajkača, and there are models of typical dwellings and a church behind him. All, including the cute little guy with the candle, are standing on a runner with a pattern of rugs made in Pirot in southeastern Serbia.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Blue-eyed Goose

Maybe all geese have blue eyes; I don't know. I woke this one up when I snapped its photo the other day along the river. The goose is actually standing in shallow water through which you can see goosey footprints.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ooops.

Well, like this earlier posting of mine, here's another example of a wrong name selection, especially for marketing in English-speaking countries! Yuhor is the name of a meat processing plant that is over 100 years old. "YU" stands for "Yugoslavia," which no longer exists, but I could not figure out what the last three letters signify.
Anyone know?

Friday, September 25, 2009

SKYWATCH FRIDAY--not waiting for the bus.

I was actually on a cruise boat with some friends when I took this photo. Many people now choose to walk across Branko's Bridge, rather than wait for a hot, stuffy bus.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Originality


While on an excursion near the village of Jakovo, not far from Belgrade, I came upon these signs on restroom doors. "Toalet" is the Serbian phonetic spelling of "toilet," but as you can see, someone needs to get their plurals straight. The interpretations of 'man' and 'woman' are clever, though!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ABC Wednesday 'J' is for 'Just by accident'

I truly do not remember exactly what I did to get this photo to appear as it does. I usually just sharpen and adjust the lighting on Picture Perfect (my Nikon software) but sometimes use the Shadow/Highlight feature on Photoshop. I think that's what I was doing when at one point this photo rendition appeared! I kind of like it, so I left it the way Photoshop suggested... Just by accident.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One down, more to come

Autumn is here, and there's a slight chill in the air. Came across this lone leaf the other day in Belgrade's Bohemian Quarter, Skadarlija. More leaves have since followed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hands in the bus

Another one of my lap shots, taken when I was sitting opposite an old gentleman in the bus. I though his hands were quite beautiful.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jumping for Joy

This was it---The happy couple and the even happier bride's brother, father-in-law, and best man behind them!

Before the wedding, we all went over to a park to have the photographer take some photos. This shot was his idea; I remained in the background, and copped a few of his set-up shots!


I must say that the wedding itself was FANTASTIC, from the ceremony itself, to the food, and the band. The latter was 'interrupted' at 10:30 p.m. by the arrival of the traditional Gypsy brass band (ooompa-ooompa) that played for a half an hour, then moseyed off.

Now, for 'Bibi,' that's "one down, one to go"! Bride's brother, if you're reading this...!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Big Day...

Today is my daughter's wedding day, and since I cannot yet post a photo of the event since it hasn't taken place just yet, I'm showing you a photo of the favors we put together for guests to take home. Guests can choose between a heart or a house with a small bag of homemade ribbon candies. All were made by a well-known confectioner here, famous in particular for his Turkish Delights. I'll have to photograph some of those for you at a later date.

Would you choose a heart or a house?

Friday, September 18, 2009

SKYWATCH FRIDAY--Crossing the Bridge

Henri Cartier-Bresson called this type of shot "l'instant décisif" (the decisive moment), meaning that when you see it, you have to shoot it, right then and there, no hesitation. I did. Even more Cartier-Bresson style, I didn't even crop this photo.

This photo symbolizes my daughter's wedding tomorrow, for she and her new husband will have many bridges to cross, and for them, tomorrow is their "instant décisif!"

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nuts and honey....

Nuts, especially walnuts and honey, are supposed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Surprisingly, yogurt, honey and walnuts contain high amounts of “fertility vitamins”, such as vitamins C, E, essential fatty acids (EFA), and zinc.

So that may put a whole new slant on your breakfast food. I've always liked the combination...

These jars were photographed recently at a small Belgrade honey fair. The big one is coming up the first week of October in Tasmajdan Park downtown. I hope the weather will be nice, not like last year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ABC Wednesday "I" is for "Inspire"

Have to brag a bit on this ABC Wednesday. About a year ago, I got a phone call from a publishing company that was launching the Hyatt Regency's new magazine, Inspire. The editor had seen my articles and some photos in a local newspaper I used to write for, and asked if I was interested in doing a Belgrade Patchwork for the magazine. I was, and I've done a patchwork (10 photos plus text) in each of the Inspires so far, the fourth is due out in a few weeks.

If you click right HERE and click on the second image under Inspire 1, and then click again, you'll see some photos (from my blog, of course!) you might find familiar.

It's been lots of fun...and inspiring, too!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Say what?

I'm afraid there's not much respect for public property here, as can be seen from this monument dating from 1961, when it honored the first conference of non-aligned countries. It was restored in 1989 for the ninth conference, but since then....


Monday, September 14, 2009

Let's clean up Serbia!

That's what this sign promoting campaign to do just that says, from recycling to fines for littering. However, it should be subtitled "Plan Ahead," since those who hung the vinyl/nylon sign neglected to notice they were covering up someone's window.... It looks like the tenant found a solution, though.

And Novak Djokovic looks pretty good with a broom, too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fading beauty

Kosančićev Venac (KOE-sahn-chee-chev VAY-nahts), with its cobblestone streets, is practically the oldest section of Belgrade outside the walls of the Kalemegdan fortress. From this point the new Serbian town, as opposed to the old Turkish one in the fortress, began expanding in the 1830s along the right bank of the Sava River. In 1971, Kosančićev Venac was officially named a cultural monument because it is the oldest Serbian settlement and the first developed administrative, cultural, spiritual and economic center of the city.

Despite that, this facade has looked absolutely the same for the entire time I've been here, and that's a long time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Two wooden shoes, two boots, two chairs, and a hat

A side trip to the charming village of Maradik, not far from Belgrade, yielded this photo taken in a restored farmhouse/museum. Note the walls that have been decorated with a rubber roller dipped in paint and just rolled over the walls.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Skywatch Friday -- Hyper-real

This fraction of a moon looked so pretty in the sky in real life, but turned out not so well when I uploaded it. I was about to delete it after I'd finished adjusting the brightness to sort of normal, but Picture Perfect (Nikon's software) had a mind of its own, and kept darkening....and this is the result.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two Faces

Did you find the second one? Both faces are quietly contemplating the street below. My guess is that the elderly lady on the balcony has lived in this building a long time, perhaps she was born and raised there. Though the building's facade is in dire need of repair, at least someone has installed air conditioning for her, which she has undoubtedly appreciated during Belgrade's hot, hot summers over the past few years.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ABC Wednesday "H" is for 'Hedgeapple'

I've been kicking these round, green, brainlike fruits around the yard for quite some time, without knowing what they are. Bibi chases them, but her mouth is too small to pick them up. So I Googled "round, green, brainlike fruit" and found out they are hedgeapples, just in time for ABC Wednesday's H. How about that?!

Do you have hedgeapples where you live? You can read about them right here.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Urbanism devouring a tree


I guess that's what this mural could be called. I'm not sure if it officially has a name, but here's how it was created:

In order to reestablish murals as artistic forms and to facilitate development of art in public places, BELEF (Belgrade Summer Festival), the Telenor Foundation, and the Platform for Contemporary Art have introduced project "Super Wall," which treats Belgraders and visitors to several murals, created by prominent Serbian and European artists, in various locations around the city. This particular mural was painted by a young Italian artist, BLU

Monday, September 7, 2009

Playing with my food again

I did play with my food again, just as I did last October, but this time I had the patience to wait until I was all done with it. Here on my plate is an artistic arrangement of the remains of some small, fried fish called girice (GEEr-eet-say) that I enjoyed in typical American style with a glass of Coke. I looked up girice on the Internet, and they seem to be called picarel, or whitebait smelts. Google those words under 'images' and you'll see. Whatever they're called, they're good.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Touch of Italy in Belgrade

Yesterday I treated you to a bright yellow wall and window, Mexican style, and now we have here a display that reminds me of windows/walls I have seen on back streets of some Italian cities I've visited. Once again, these windows come to you courtesy of Belgrade's adjacent municipality of Zemun.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

South of the Border in Belgrade

Yes, this really is Belgrade, and not another photo from my California trip this summer. This cheery lemon-colored wall I found in Zemun, one of Belgrade's adjacent municipalities. Nice, healthy-looking cacti, too!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

He sells seashells...

...but not by the seashore. These scallop shells are for sale for 200 dinars each (just a little over $3.00) on Knez Mihailova street downtown. This fellow also had oyster shells and some smaller seashells, but people were snatching them up like hotcakes, as the expression goes. I was tempted to buy some to make my beloved coquilles Saint Jacques, but fresh scallops are unavailable here, and I've not seen frozen ones either. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ABC Wednesday "G" is for "Gulls''

Back in Belgrade, and gee, on second thought, I hope these are (sea)gulls! Still suffering from jet lag, I walked along the Sava in the early morning mist and saw these gulls perched on this branch. Snap!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Theme Day--"Big"--It's all relative...


Hummingbirds are anything but big, but hey, it's all relative. Our little birdie seems quite large in comparison with the bee, who's probably interested in the sweet nectar, but won't risk being swallowed in trying to get it.

Today Bibi ends her USA tour, and will be back tomorrow to show you photos of Belgrade!


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MONDAY MURALS--talking, texting, and a strawberry

 Cafes here are now open, inside and out with the former having limited seating, but before that you just had to  grab a bench where you fou...