Friday, 28 February 2014

Lithuania, Land Of Graffiti

Maybe if your country only got independence about 20+ years ago, you need to go through the various stages of growth. Lithuania is definitely in its graffiti stage. The stuff is all over the place, enough pieces that if you were planning a sequel to Beat Street, maybe you head to Lithuania instead of the South Bronx.

And no slouches in the talent department. Complimented by snow, the ever present foundation.

Hello alley cat. Plenty of paper posters, too.

The work is also officially sanctioned, like this nice mural outside a government building in Kaunas.

Another form of graffiti? Sort of. Taking a bunch of random stickers and carefully covering one panel of your car is in vogue.

Learning English the graffiti way.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Out In The Cold In Vilnius

Our visit to Vilnius, Lithuania in January gave us a full taste of what the next two winters might be like for us. The prediction? Cold and more cold.

But sometimes clear!

But you gotta bundle up and get on with it. Or give in to the weather reality and go ice skating.

Or do as the locals do and just ignore the arctic feel. Meet you outside for a casual chat? Sure!

Best to keep on the sunny side, to gain a tiny bit of comfort.

And you'll have the streets to yourself, no one else wants to be out and about.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Next Stop, Lithuania

Where's our next post? Where will we be spending the next two years of our lives? Crack the atlas and head to Northeastern Europe. Next stop: Vilnius, Lithuania.

It's going to be a big change for us from our previous post, India. Three million in country compared to about nine million in our previous home, the city of Chennai. Hot year 'round compared to sweater (and more) weather.

We went a few weeks ago to dip our toe in the Neris River (not really possible - it was frozen) and see what the place is like.

Sarah, posing in front of the main landmark of the city, the Cathedral and bell tower.

Vilnius has a classic-looking Old Town section. Another landmark, Gate of Dawn.

Time to eat. Vilnius has rapidly adopted Western food and produce, but traditional meals are still served, especially if you're a guest at someone's house. Shades of tan, cheese and honey.

Two national biggies, cepelinai - a potato dumpling, and lydeka - a pike that's been gutted and re-stuffed as a sort of fish meat loaf. This food ain't no spa cuisine.

Remnants of old Communist architecture are still around. A theater, now with graffiti to spruce it up.

Lithuania is basketball crazy. Makes sense, it's indoor entertainment. And entertaining it is, complete with dancers. But inside doesn't necessarily mean warm, just ask the players on one of the team's benches.

Graffiti is all over the place, many times in amusing scenarios. We'll be back, little bear!

Friday, 21 February 2014

JDate Goes Camel

Remember reading that great post about camels in Oman? No? We'll give you a moment to refresh your hump here. Nice, right?

You're not the only one impressed. Advertising folks came crawling across the Net and found a shot they liked. So much so, they made an offer James was happy to accept.

Camel, you're famous!

How famous? The shot is part of a larger campaign, playing up Jewish culture. The New York Times details the ads here.  That's right, James has been reviewed in The New York Times. Somebody has to fill that column.

The ads have rolled out online and in a few cities, using street placement areas.

Hello Chicago!

And the ads have already hit the biggest stage for advertising, Times Square.

Camel, you're really famous!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Sights And Signs Of Brooklyn

While wandering Brooklyn, James found a few signs worth capturing.

Well said.

Biggie looms. What are we doing? We are doing everything we can to tell you everything!

Happy No Parking.

Blast of technicolor. Graphic storage sign. Hmm, too close to the famous Justin Timberlake, Andy Sandberg SNL skit?
Geico gecko doing some spying at Barclays center. Protect your app passwords!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Home On The Brooklyn Grange

There's an amazing urban commercial garden hidden in Brooklyn, producing all sorts of delectable veggies and fruits for nearby restaurants and markets. The enterprise itself is cool enough, but it's even cooler for its location.

Directory assistance, please. Going up!

Yup, rooftop gardening by Brooklyn Grange, right smack in the middle of one of the densest cities in the world. And this ain't no row of flower pots: it's a whopping 1.5 acre spread on top of a bad ass old Brooklyn Navy Yard building. James got to hang with the hard-working crew while working on another Ford project.

Is there a field with a better view than this one? Bees are also busy getting a view. And cool homes!

Harvest time. Load up some pallets, take the freight elevator down and get packing, right in the middle of the industrial might of the Navy Yard.

Then it's off to a farmer's market or restaurant that believes in serving greens grown a mile or so away. Mmm....

Friday, 14 February 2014

Chasing The New, 2015 Ford F-150

James had a chance last fall to play around with Ford's new flagship pickup truck, the F-150. It's all new for 2015, sporting a revolutionary lighter body. Check out the details here. It's going to be big.

Before the truck hits the road, it needs to hit the elements. Hard. All camouflaged up and everywhere to go, the latest Ford F-150 truck is tested on some rugged terrain in Southern California.

Waiting and anticipating. And here they come, new and old, test vehicles and needed support crew.

Scouting and shooting, enjoying the elements and knowing you don't have to face them every day.

Second unit, wise to be on a long lens and let A camera get in and do the dirty work.

Sun setting, time for a few last dune assaults.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

People In Denver

A few random shots of the fine folks of Denver.

Watching and waiting.

Bench ballet.

Face recognition withheld.