Hand-me downs

Passer-by, Calle Loreto, San MIguel de Allende, Mexico

Passer-by, Calle Loreto, San MIguel de Allende, Mexico

It is difficult to tell whether this gentleman is just wearing hand-me-downs, or has shrunk. But he is typical of many aging Mexicans who have worked hard all their lives, and with leathery sun-baked skin trudge slowly home at mid-day for comida, even as in this case with mis-matched footwear.

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Singin’ in the Rain

Rain on Correo, just above the Jardin, San MIguel de Allende

Rain on Correo, just above the Jardin, San MIguel de Allende

On our first day back in Mexico, an early evening rainstorm glazes the stone sidewalks of San Miguel and provides an opportunity for the town’s teenagers to get damp.

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Whiter than White

Albino chipmunk, Stone Ridge, New York

Albino chipmunk, Stone Ridge, New York

This little guy turned up on our lawn Upstate this summer. A completely white albino chipmunk.

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From the Archives

Weymouth Harbour, Dorset, England, with the lifeboat in the foreground

Weymouth Harbour, Dorset, England, in 1955 with the lifeboat in the center

Recently, I have been going through the thousands of color slides I have taken, many languishing for over fifty years in their yellow boxes, and archiving and scanning the more interesting ones. This I took using a Zeiss Contax II 35mm rangefinder camera with a 50mm Sonnar f2.0 lens using Kodachrome 1 slide film (ISO 25). Surprisingly, it has held up extraordinarily well considering it has lived for half its nearly 60 year life in New York humidity and heat alternating with sub zero freezing conditions. I was just 16 years old when I took this picture of my home town in England. In the foreground is the famous Weymouth lifeboat, which constantly ventures out into the violent English Channel gales to perform miraculous rescues.

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Stuck on the GW Bridge

George Washington Bridge,  New York, early morning fog.

George Washington Bridge, New York, early morning fog.

This last weekend there was a tragic tractor trailer accident on the GW Bridge, and as luck would have it, we happened to be crossing it the following morning when they decided to remove the wreckage by crane resulting in the traffic being stopped in both directions. This view was from mid-span where we were stuck for a while.

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Real Gravity

Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless free flying in an MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit)

Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless free flying in an MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit)

In response to some of the rather apocryphal science portrayed in the recent movie Gravity, NASA has posted a roster of photos of the real thing. This image of Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless free flying in an MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit) in 1984 shows him further away from the safety of his mothership than any previous astronaut, and seems in one image to capture the incredible technological advances and aspirations of the Twentieth Century.

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Halo

Neon halo, Church of St. Willibroard, Utrecht.

Neon halo, Church of St. Willibroard, Utrecht.

Halo, a permanent light circle, floating above the ridge of the Church of St. Willibrordin in Utrecht, Holland, was created by the artist Titia Ex. This artwork, equally describable as an example of Environmental Graphic Design, is a striking example of how a simple modern gesture can work in perfect harmony with an Nineteenth Century landmark.

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San Juan Chamula

Men in traditional dress, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico

Men in traditional dress, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico

In San Juan Chamula, high in the hills of Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico on the border of Guatemala, traditional dress is still universally worn. The men wear these woolen coats, white in summer, black in winter, while the women wear long black skirts of the same material all year round despite the heat. These men are bargaining for some shellfish in Tzotzil (pronounced sote-seel), the Cholan Mayan language still spoken in this area. The preservation of Tzotzil, together with many other Indio languages is now seen as increasingly important and all teachers are required to be bi-lingual in both Spanish and the local traditional tongue.

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Palenque

The Pyramid tomb of Pacal the Great, seen from the Royal Palace, Palenque.

The Pyramid tomb of Pacal the Great, seen from within the Royal Palace, Palenque.

Palenque is one of the best-preserved Pre-Columbian sites in Mexico. Here, the top of the Pyramid in which the Mayan king Pacal the Great was entombed after his death in 683, is seen from within the ruins of the Royal Palace. A burial chamber in the lowest level of the pyramid is accessed by a long tunnel beginning in the floor of the temple structure on the crest.

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Breakdancing

Breakdancers in the Jardin, San Miguel

Breakdancers in the Jardin, San Miguel

The Concha dancers drums are now silent, but still, every evening, while three troupes of Mariachis compete in different corners, a group of young breakdancers practice in the bandshell in the center of the Jardin in San Miguel, adding the sound of their boombox to the general acoustical chaos.

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