Tag Archives: Photos

Travel Theme: Mountains

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, this is an extremely busy time of year at work. My brain is working much more than full-time right now, so I have not had the brain power to do much more than the Tunes Tuesdays series here lately. But Third Eye Mom’s post on the Where’s My Backpack Travel Theme of mountains grabbed me, since mountains are my happy place.

I didn’t get to share any photos from our trip South yet, so I will use this opportunity to do just that. Here are my favorite recent mountain photos from El Chalten and Calafate, on the Argentine side of Patagonia.

My husband at the beginning of our adventure...Copyright JC Politi Photography

My husband at the beginning of our adventure…
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El ChaltenCopyright JC Politi Photography

El Chalten
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Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, ArgentinaCopyright JC Politi Photography

Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Argentina
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Perito Moreno GlacierCopyright JC Politi Photography

Perito Moreno Glacier
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What do you think? What is your favorite mountain location? Do you prefer the mountains or the sea? What do mountains mean to you?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

13 Comments

Filed under International, Photography, Photos, travel, Travel Challenge

Travel Theme: Circles

Ailsa over at Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme this week is circles. I recently realized I have a strong affinity for circles and rounded edges. There is something soothing about circles – something about going with the flow and not having to make sharp turns. I don’t know how exactly to describe it – I just know that I am more of a circle kind of gal than a square. 😉

So, without further ado, here are some recent favorite shots of circles:

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Copyright JC Politi Photography

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What do you think? What are your favorite circles? Are you drawn more to circles or squares? Why do you think that is?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

29 Comments

Filed under Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge

Travel Theme: Soft

The Where’s My Backpack Travel Theme this week is Soft. I love Ailsa’s creative themes – they are like a treasure hunt through my photos – so fun! Thank you Ailsa for the inspiration!!

Here are my entries for this week:

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This little guy gets olive oil on his food every day which makes his coat so SOFT!

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The Colorado climate is very dry, so the snow here is really SOFT!

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Homemade pasta is yummy and SOFT!

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I didn’t get to touch these little chicks, but they sure look SOFT!

 

What do you think? What are some of your favorite soft things?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other Interpretations of the Theme
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/11/09/travel-theme-soft/
http://happyfulworld.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
http://sasieology.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/travel-theme-soft/
http://kattermonran.com/2012/11/09/travel-theme-soft/
http://goomfh.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/travel-theme-soft/
http://quotidianhudsonriver.com/2012/11/09/11-8-12-travel-theme-soft/
http://managuagunntoday.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/weekly-travel-theme-soft/
http://truetravelings.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travel-theme-soft/
http://the-serenity-space.com/2012/11/10/travel-theme-soft/
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/11/09/travel-theme-soft-take-two/
http://seamlessstyle.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/weekly-travel-theme-soft/
http://ensummerfield84.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/red-kochia-in-hitachi-seaside-park/
http://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travel-theme-soft/
http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travel-themesoft/
http://newpillowbook.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travel-theme-soft/
http://tahira007.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travel-theme-soft/
http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travel-theme-soft/
http://bebs1.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travel-theme-challenge-soft-tenderness-luxurious-everything-good/

 

 

 

 

23 Comments

Filed under Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge

Travel Theme: Bright

Ailsa, at Where’s My Backpack, has issued a fun travel theme this week: bright. I happen to love taking photos of bright colors and am excited to share a few of my favorites here.

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Fall in Colorado

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More Fall Colors

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Joan Miro Sculpture, Barcelona

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A Taste of Summer

What do you think? What is your favorite bright thing to photograph? What is something that, when you see it, automatically brightens your day?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other Interpretations on the Theme:
http://goomfh.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright-2/
http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://managuagunntoday.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://sheladyanne.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-brights/
http://juliedawnfox.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright-shiny-portugal/
http://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://kattermonran.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://imissmetoo.me/2012/11/02/2145/
http://patriciaddrury.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://beyondpaisley.net/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://the-serenity-space.com/2012/11/03/travel-theme-bright/
http://etolbagam.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://learning2hear.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://shaanthz.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/travel-theme-bright/
http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://photovignettes.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://theretiringsort.com/2012/11/02/big-bright-fireworks/
http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/bright/
http://quotidianhudsonriver.com/2012/11/02/11-2-12-travel-theme-bright/
http://seamlessstyle.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/weekly-travel-theme-brights/

 

 

 

33 Comments

Filed under Art, Colorado, Environment, Food, Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouettes and Weekly Travel Theme: Couples

WordPress has issued a weekly photo challenge of silhouettes and Ailsa, over at Where’s My Backpack, has issued a couple’s travel theme this week. The funny part is that Ailsa completely inspired me to take more photos of silhouettes when she posted that as a travel challenge – I am now addicted.

So, here are my entries for the two challenges, from a recent 40th birthday reunion trip with my best friends from high school:

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Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

What do you think? What new skill have you learned that inspired you to learn more? What are your favorite things to photograph? And what do you like to capture as a silhouette?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other interpretations of the WordPress Challenge:

Other interpretations of the Where’s My Backpack Challenge:

Travel Theme: Couples « True Travelings
travel theme: couples « The journey is the destination. You carry your journey with you.
Travel theme:couples « So where’s the snow?
http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-themecouples/
http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/weekly-photo-challenge-two-subjects/http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/they-come-in-pairs/
http://photography.fanapage.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://kattermonran.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://ohmsweetohmdotme.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://dauwpics.blogspot.be/2012/10/an-odd-couple-een-raar-paar.html
http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://pdf34.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couple/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://happyfulworld.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/autumn-of-love/
http://etolbagam.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/photo-challenges-a-couples-silhouette/
http://ricardovieirafotos.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://cjvl.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://justsnaps.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://chittlechattle.com/2012/10/19/3887/
http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://pommepal.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://therewildwest.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/pictorial-highlight-red-rock-canyon-state-park/
http://cinova.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://teedeevee.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://soundslikewish.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/ailsas-travel-photo-challenge-couples/
http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/photo-journaltravel-theme-couples/
http://sinpolaris.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/travel-theme-couples/
http://rfljenksy.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples-take-2/
http://seamlessstyle.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-travel-theme-couples/
http://learning2hear.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://greatgreths.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://mothergrogan.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/http://canadiantravelbugs.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-photo-challenge-silhouette-couples-smiles/
http://thewanderlustgene.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/the-companionableness-of-an-old-couple/
http://speakingabouttravel2.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-photo-challenge-silhouette-the-getty-villa-weekly-travel-theme-couples/
http://chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://kimberlycave.ca/2012/10/20/travel-theme-couples/
http://slightlyremoved.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/weekly-travel-theme-couples/
http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/they-come-in-pairs/

 

 

 

 

68 Comments

Filed under Art, Love, Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge

Is income inequality the tide that will sink all boats?

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A woman begging outside a church in Barcelona, Spain

There is an article in the New York Times about whether increased income inequality in the United States will lead to slower economic growth. The article quotes prominent economists and includes some shocking statistics.

According to the article:

Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression, and the recession has done little to reverse the trend, with the top 1 percent of earners taking 93 percent of the income gains in the first full year of the recovery.

The 1 percent earns about one-sixth of all income and the top 10 percent about half.

The I.M.F. (International Monetary Fund) has cautioned the United States, too. “Some dismiss inequality and focus instead on overall growth — arguing, in effect, that a rising tide lifts all boats,” a commentary by fund economists said. “When a handful of yachts become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss.”

I am struck by these statistics, despite the fact that I have heard them before. It makes me wonder what impact these levels of income inequality have on people on both sides of the economic divide.

Our country is sharply divided on many levels and on many issues. An earlier post on this blog discussed the lack of opportunities for interaction between people of different classes, due to what Michael Sandel has labeled the “Skyboxification of America.”

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A porche taxi-cab in Frankfurt, Germany

It is much easier for people to act in their own self-interest if they can insulate themselves from people with different backgrounds and experiences. The Skyboxification of America enables people to insulate themselves from people who cannot afford their lifestyle.

But how much money is enough? Some  corporate salaries are far beyond what people need to live a comfortable existence. And yet, people continue to strive to make more money and to acquire more things – while people they work with struggle to make ends meet.

Maybe we should all focus more on acquiring more understanding for other people and their needs and struggles instead of on acquiring more wealth.

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Occupy Frankfurt Demonstration, Frankfurt, Germany

What do you think? Do you think income inequality in the United States has reached a point where people in leadership positions will have to start taking it seriously? What would that look like? Do you know of any examples of CEOs who have worked on leveling incomes in their companies? What will it take for policymakers and corporations to stand together to make some changes to the policies that lead to income inequality? What opportunities do you see for bringing people together to promote better understanding and cooperation? What role do you think the need to save for retirement plays in this equation?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

30 Comments

Filed under Business, Culture, Economy, equality, Ethics, Income inequality, Photography, Photos, Policy, Politcs, Poverty, Role of Government

Photo Friday: Berlin

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Border between East and West Berlin, where the Berlin Wall used to stand. Most of it is torn down now.

After leaving the quaint, but bustling Amsterdam, we took an overnight train to Berlin. We stayed in East Berlin, just down the street from Alexanderplatz, which was really the heart of East Berlin.

After all of the beauty of France, Spain and Holland, East Berlin was striking for its lack of decoration. It was a fascinating place to visit for its history, but the sadness and anger were palpable.

From what we observed, the division between East and West Berlin still exists to this day. We spent the vast majority of our time in East Berlin, going to what we were told was the trendiest neighborhood for dinner and visiting the historic sites.

But it is striking to stand where the wall used to stand and to look to the East and to the West. The East is full of cranes and development, but I couldn’t help feeling that the West kept moving forward while the East was stuck in time.

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Construction in East Berlin

East Berlin feels like a savagely damaged city, just now showing signs of rebirth. The evidence is everywhere, showing a city devastated by war, and then severely restricted and terrorized during the Communist occupation. It is simply tragic.

There is a solemn beauty to the city, however, even in the midst of the melancholy. I share some of my favorite photos here.

For those who would like to read more of the history of Berlin, this 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy is a powerful denunciation of the communist occupation. When you visit Berlin, you understand this speech much more.

What do you think? Have you been to Berlin? What was your impression? Do you think that East and West Berlin will ever truly integrate? What kind of impact do you think a history like this would have on a culture?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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This has to be one of my favorite photos from the whole trip! I snapped this shot at a metro stop.

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A watchtower over Checkpoint Charlie

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The view from our hotel. You can see the Soviet TV Tower in East Berlin and the tall hotel in West Berlin. The hotel staff told us this was done intentionally by West Berlin to show their strength and contrast.

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An old car in East Berlin

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A powerful holocaust memorial

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A pretzel seller

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Berlin Cathedral

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Chairs in an historic East Berlin Cafe

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You can see the bullet holes in the old buildings

 

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Checkpoint Charlie now

 

 

 

40 Comments

Filed under Culture, Economy, History, International, Photography, Photos, Politcs, Privatization, Role of Government, social pressures, Stereotypes, Terrorism, travel, Uncategorized, violence, War

Introducing JC Politi Photography – My first photo exhibit!

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One of my favorite photos from Patagonia, Argentina

Readers of this blog know that I have a passion for photography. I turned 40 this year and am dedicating this decade to the creative side of my brain.

With that in mind (pun intended!! ;-)), I purchased a DSLR camera, signed up for an intensive online course through the New York Institute of Photography, and finally asked our local breakfast place if I might be able to show my photos. And they said yes!!

So, this afternoon, I am hanging 12 photos from my adventures in Argentina at the Southside Walnut Cafe in Boulder and I couldn’t be more excited. I also printed business cards and started a website at: www.jcpolitiphotography.org.

It is not much, but I think it is a good start. I feel so official!! I hope you will take a moment to stop by.

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I feel kind of like a butterfly, transforming right before my own eyes!!

Honestly, the support and encouragement I have recieved through this blog are directly responsible for my willingness to put my work out there in the public.

When I look at my own photos, sometimes it is hard to see if they are any good or not, because I look at them so many times. Honestly, it feels a little vulnerable to show my work.

But I have watched fellow bloggers overcome similar fears. I have cheered them on loudly from the sidelines as they boldy chased their dreams. Now it is my turn to step off the ledge.

I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated all of your support and encouragement. It has made the world of difference, so thank you! I should also thank my sweet husband who has exposed me to so many beautiful places and joined me on so many wonderful adventures.

What do you think? Have you faced this type of fear? Would you be willing to share you story here? If you are over 40, what did you do when you turned 40 to celebrate the occasion? If you are under 40, what would you like to do to mark the day when you reach that age? And if you have an artistic website, would you be willing to share your link here? I would love to see other’s creative adventures as I embark on my own!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for reading!

70 Comments

Filed under Art, Blogging, Colorado, Photography, Photos

Photo Friday: Amsterdam

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After a sad goodbye to Paris, we left for Amsterdam. What a lovely surprise!

I had never put much thought into Amsterdam and knew nothing about the city, but was wooed by its charms right away.

I got a chuckle after reading the warning in the guide book to look out for the “silent transport.” In Paris we were told again and again to look out for pick-pockets. In Amsterdam, the concern is the silent transport.

But soon after arriving, we completely understood what this means. Amsterdam is the wild west of bicycles.

We saw people pedaling as fast as they could through intersections full of other bikers, some texting, some with children hanging off of them and not one bike stopped to make sure an intersection was safe before going straight through. The motorized scooters even use the bike lanes – it is absolute chaos for a first-timer!

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I love this one because of the reflection of the bikes in the window. This was Amsterdam to me!

We were amazed that we didn’t witness an accident. When we asked the hosts at our Bed and Breakfast how people know who has the right of way, the response was “The person who looks the fiercest.”

Amsterdam is really a study in contradictions. On one street, you have peaceful, picturesque canals with rows of historic buildings. On the next street, you have the red light district, where scantily-clad women pose in windows, calling out for business.

The city is surprisingly urban, but geographically tiny. The smell of marijuana pervades the city and shops selling mushrooms and bongs are simply another form of commerce.

We loved Amsterdam. It is a high energy city with a little something for everyone.

Highlights of our trip included the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and a bike ride through the countryside.

Since this is Photo Friday, I thought I would share some of my favorite photos.

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Parking lot at the train station. This was at least 4 stories high of bicycles!

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These were the houses lining the canals. They all lean forward and have hooks at the top so they can use a pulley system to pull furniture up and through the windows!

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This is a brewery that is under one of the last windmills in the city. The windmills helped regulate the water flow to Amsterdam, which is below sea level.

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Amsterdam canals at night

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We went on a beautiful bike tour to the countryside and visited a farm where they made cheese and clogs.

What do you think? When you think of Amsterdam, what comes to mind? Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If you were to go, what would you look forward to seeing most?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

38 Comments

Filed under Art, Culture, International, Photography, Photos, Stereotypes, travel

Hunger Knows No Borders: Poverty at Home and Abroad

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There is an article in the New York Times this week about the increasing number of people living in poverty in Spain.

The article references the fact that the unemployment rate in Spain is over 50% for young people and that over 20% of families in Spain live in poverty. It tells the stories of people who find themselves forced to search for food in trash bins in order to feed themselves and their families.

It is striking to read about how dire the situation is in Spain right now, especially after having just visited the country. We were blown away by the food and the beauty, but this article makes it clear that there is another, much more tragic, story to be told.

As I read this article, I felt like I was reading about the United States. The article spoke of people who had never been on government assistance who are now accessing food pantries or searching through dumpsters for food.

So frequently, we read an article like this and look at it as an interesting, but sad anecdote from a foreign land. But the truth is, we can see the same thing here in our own back yards every day.

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The recession has had far-reaching implications across the globe. The number of people in the United States who are accessing public benefits has sky-rocketed.

Some people complain about the number of people who are accessing government assistance, including food assistance. I don’t understand this.

If jobs are not available and people are hungry, why would we not be grateful to live in a society where people who have hit rock bottom have a place to go to feed themselves and their children? How can we be so sure that we will not be the next family to come upon hard times, through a loss of a job or through a medical emergency that leaves us financially devastated?

I am honestly baffled and saddened by the lack of compassion in much of the United States during these difficult economic times.

What do you think? Why do you think people are so critical of government efforts to support low-income families? Why do you think people are so quick to judge families who have come upon hard times? How can people be so sure that they will not be the next person to need a little help? And how can we reduce the stigma associated with accepting government assistance so that more people can have a bridge to survive their current hardship in the hopes of eventually getting a job and escaping poverty?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

28 Comments

Filed under Culture, Economy, Ethics, Health, Income inequality, International, Photography, Photos, Policy, Politcs, Poverty, Relationships, Role of Government, Stereotypes, travel

Photo Friday: Paris

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View from the Pompidou Museum

Paris – doesn’t just the word itself transport you to another world? As I mentioned in an earlier post, I fell in love with Paris at first glance. Yes, figuring out the metro system and where we needed to go was a challenge at first, but when we came out of the subway the first time, my jaw dropped.

We have all seen places that are described as “French-style”, so I was expecting beautiful architecture. But to see every single building with wrought-iron balconies as far as the eye could see – it is hard to describe. It is clear that beauty is simply the top priority in Paris, held in the very highest esteem.

I loved the cafes and the restaurants, the business-people and beautiful women on bikes, the churches, the plazas, the museums, the pastries, the music which seemed to be ever-present, the small boutiques, the bread shops, the cheese shops, the wine shops – I even loved the metro, which turned out to be easy to use and convenient to get us everywhere we wanted to go.

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View from our sidewalk restaurant in Montmartre

Montmartre had to be my favorite place. Even though it has become more commercialized, you could feel the bohemian energy all around. And while it was filled with tourists, I felt a kindred spirit with many of the tourists there who made the trip to seek out this bohemian enclave.

What I found so amazing about Paris was how charming and intimate it feels, despite its size. We did all the requisite tourist activities, but I would give anything to go back and skip all tourist areas and just get to know some of the neighborhoods. I will do that one day.

For this Photo Friday, I wanted to share some of my favorite Paris photos with you. I hope you enjoy the photos and are able to feel a little bit of the romance around every corner.

What do you think? Have you been to Paris? What was your favorite part? If you haven’t been, but would like to go, what would you look forward to most? Where is the most romantic place you have ever visited?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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Plaza in Montmartre, Paris

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Stained Glass Window in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

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The Eiffel Tower, Paris

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Birds in flight outside the Pomipdou Museum, Paris

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Paris, France

For those wanting more:

39 Comments

Filed under Culture, International, Love, Music, Photography, Photos, Stereotypes, travel

Travel Challenge: Texture as displayed by Antonin Gaudi

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Wall in the Courtyard of Casa Battlo, Barcelone, Spain

Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack has issued a Texture travel challenge this week. I thought this would be the perfect time to share more photos of Gaudi’s work.

If anyone knows texture, it is Antonin Gaudi.  If you are not familiar with this famous Spanish architect, I encourage you do a little research. His style is described as Modernism and I think people either love it or hate it. I don’t think many are ambivalent to his work.

I found that I really disliked the exterior of La Sagrada Familia, but that his work with mosaics and in houses was very interesting. All of it is over the top, but you really can’t take your eyes off of it.

So, with no further ado, I bring you Gaudi and my interpretation of the Texture theme.

What do you think? Do you like the Gaudi style? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? Do you have a favorite architect or style of architecture?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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La Sagrada Familia

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Inside of La Sagrada Familia

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Stairway inside La Sagrada Familia

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Outside of Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

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Outside of Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

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Roof of Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

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A ceiling in the Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain

 

Other Interpretations of the Texture Challenge:
http://thirdeyemom.com/2012/09/15/the-texture-of-guatemala/
http://eastofmalaga.net/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://campanulladellaanna.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://scrapydo.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
http://laavventura.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://s1ngal.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
http://max510.com/2012/09/14/weekly-travel-theme-texture/
http://theurgetowander.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
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51 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Art, Culture, International, Photography, Photos, travel, Travel Challenge

Make new friends, but keep the old: The Champs-Elysees

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Arc de Triumphe – Paris, France

There is an article in the New York Times this week about the Champs-Elysees and since, as you will read on Friday, Paris was my very favorite city on our European tour, I felt that I had to write a little bit about this article here.

The article discusses concerns that the Champs-Elysees is becoming too commercialized and mainstream and losing the Parisian joie-de-vivre that defines French culture.

We visited Paris last week and it was love at first sight. Our first tourist destination was the Arc de Triumphe and the Champs Elysees. We walked the entire length of the boulevard and were mesmerized by the luxurious shops and cafes.

We ate the most delicious pastry I have ever tasted – or seen. I wish I had a photo to share with all of you, but this gallery of sweets, which has been in operation since the 1800’s was off-limits to photographers. The word pastry simply does not do justice to this decadent delight.

The New York Times article examines the influence of new chain stores like H&M and Banana Republic opening on the boulevard.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Champs-Elysees: Paris, France

We did a Rick Steve’s walking tour down the Champs-Elysees and learned that there was a lot of concern when McDonalds opened.

Steves notes that McDonalds was only allowed to open as long as they agreed to paint their arches white and maintain a café feel, including sidewalk tables.

I understand the concern over losing the artistic and luxurious energy of this iconic avenue. And I certainly saw some signs of this deterioration firsthand. But I also saw the future compromising with the past in a way that held some beauty.

It is hard to explain, but as an example, I was absolutely blown away by the Abercrombie and Fitch store. The outside of the store – we did not go inside – was as beautiful as any museum. We did not learn the history of that building, but I have no doubt that it is a place with great historic significance.

Frankfurt was another incredible example of the old meeting the new, where sky-scrapers share a block with castles, which I will share on my Photo-Friday about Germany.

I find myself wondering how I feel about this. It was wonderful to see historic buildings being preserved and put to use rather than destroyed like we are so quick to do here in the United States.

But is it OK to have a McDonalds in a place with such a rich history? Something doesn’t sit well with me about that. Perhaps it is the desire to slow down the rapid pace of change. But can we do that?

What do you think? Do you have issues with historic buildings being put to use for modern-day services? Would you have a problem if a castle turned into a Walmart, even if it maintained the architectural integrity of the original structure? Have you seen any positive examples of old things being repurposed for new uses that could serve as a model for others?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

52 Comments

Filed under Business, Culture, Economy, Ethics, History, International, Photography, Photos, Politcs, Privatization, Role of Government, social pressures, Stereotypes, Technology, travel

Tuesday Tunes: Ramble On and Awards Galore!

Fall in Colorado
Copyright JC Politi Photography

This week’s Tunes Tuesday pick is Ramble On by Led Zeppelin, who may just be my favorite band of all time. I chose this song this week because I am heading out of town for a 40th birthday and five year anniversary celebration vacation to Europe!

I will be gone for the next two weeks, so this post is meant to keep you occupied while I’m out. I will honestly miss all of you when I am gone and I may even peek in from time to time to see what is happening in your worlds. But for the most part, I will be eating chocolate croissants and tapas and drinking sangria and champagne…and taking pictures!!

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for must-do unique activities in Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam or Berlin? Have you taken any special trips to celebrate a milestone? What is your favorite memory from that trip?

I will include the Tunes Tuesday lyrics below, but I first wanted to acknowledge some awards I have received over the past month. My hope is that while I am gone, readers will take time to visit the great blogs who have honored me with awards and to visit the blogs I am passing awards on to. I promise, you will not regret taking the time to do this!

I have been honored to receive awards from some inspirational and educational bloggers:

Beautiful Blogger Award

Hugh Curtler

Narcissista.me

Sticky Notes and Quotes

Canadian Travel Bugs

Super Sweet Award

Grandmother Musings

Super Sweet questions:

1. Cookies or Cake? Molasses cookies or Snickerdoodles

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Strawberry

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?Vacarro Cannoli!

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? 2 PM on a weekday.

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Sugar 😉

One Lovely Blog

Le Blog de Marie

Sisterhood of the World Blogger

Magnolia Beginnings

Very Inspiring Blogger

Real Woman’s Health

Waiting for the Karma Truck

Most of the awards require that I tell things about myself that people don’t know. So, here goes:

1.)    I just cut my hair pixie-short. I do this about every 10 years.

2.)    I never took a math class in college.

3.)    I love cookbooks, but I really don’t cook at all.

4.)    I have lived in 5 states and the District of Columbia.

5.)     Moves have been easier for me when I moved for a life-priority and not for a job.

6.)    I love Fall and everything associated with it, as you can see from the photos here.

7.)    I have always wanted to be a Peace Corps volunteer and still think I may when I am older.

8.)    I have a photography exhibit at a local Boulder restaurant in October!!

9.)    I love mashed potatoes – have I mentioned this before? It’s pretty important for anyone who knows me to understand this fully.

10.) Age 40 has been a surprise, but a great one so far!

A group of us have developed an amazing community and I encourage you to visit their blogs, including Waiting for the Karma Truck, Musings of an Old Fart, Hugh Curtler, Carr Party of Five, Magnolia Beginnings, Real Woman’s Health, Talk to Diana, The Curtain Raiser, Healthy Warrior, Jensinewall, Serenity in the City, Where’s My Backpack and Life with the Top Down.

I really encourage folks to visit these exceptional blogs. I am inspired and informed every day by each of these blogs and if any of these blogs do not have any of the awards listed above, please consider yourselves nominated! I really love and appreciate all of you!!

A few blogs I have recently come across that I have really enjoyed and would like to pass along each of these awards to:

Dr. Bill Wooten

Lead.Learn.Live

Gen Y Girl

Paperkeeper

The Jotter’s Joint

Third Eye Mom

Polka Dot Palace

Zeebra Designs and Destinations

Rendevous with Renee

And last but not least, I bring you Led Zeppelin for this Tunes Tuesday

Fall in Colorado
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Ramble On
Led Zeppelin

Leaves are falling all around, It’s time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I’m much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it’s time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it’s headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I’ve got one thing I got to do…

Chorus: Ramble On, And now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I’m goin’ ’round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way.
I’ve been this way ten years to the day, Ramble On,
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

Got no time to for spreadin’ roots, The time has come to be gone.
[Chorus]

Mine’s a tale that can’t be told, my freedom I hold dear.
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air.
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her….yeah.
[Chorus]

Gonna ramble on, sing my song. Gotta keep-a-searchin’ for my baby…
Gonna work my way, round the world. I can’t stop this feelin’ in my heart
Gotta keep searchin’ for my baby. I can’t find my bluebird!

I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much for reading!

95 Comments

Filed under Awards, Blogging, Colorado, International, Music, Photography, Photos, travel

Travel Photo of the Year Contest and the Booker Award

Heather over at Bitsnbooks has presented me with the Booker Award, which is a little different from the other awards floating around. I love any award and am so grateful and humbled to be recognized by my talented peers. I hope you will take a moment to check out Heather’s blog.

This particular award is fun to accept for a geeky gal like me. The rules for accepting this award are to:

1. Nominate other blogs, as many as you want but 5-10 is always a good suggestion. Don’t forget to let your recipients know.

2. Post the Booker Award picture.

3. Share your top 5 books of all time

First, I will post my five favorite books of all times. This is a tough list to come up with, as I have loved many books over the years, but there are a few that have really stuck with me:

1.)    The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)  – I have shared some quotes from this book in past blog posts. This book may have just come into my life at the right time, but I don’t think there is ever really a wrong time to reflect on what is important to you. The messages in this simple story are potent and powerful at any time of life.

2.)    The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) – This book knocked me over. Again, a story with a very deep message. This book delivers a strong social justice message and you end up feeling like you know and love this family by the end. I have only cried in a very few books, but the last paragraph of this one will live with me always.

3.)    Roots (Alex Haley) – This book made me cry from the start. It is an important portrayal of one of the largest scars on the American history – the fact that slavery was accepted and justified by our government. It puts a human face on something that most people would rather not examine closely. A very moving read.

4.)    Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) – There is something about this book for me. The writing is so lyrical and beautiful, my blood pressure goes down with the first sentence.

5.)    The Elements of Style (Strunk and White) – Someday I will know whether a period goes inside or outside of quotes, but until then, this book will be on my desk.

I would like to present this award to the following bloggers:

Hugh Curtler

Musings of an Old Fart

Waiting for the Karma Truck

Carr Party of Five

Magnolia Beginnings

Analyfe

Life with the Top Down

Real Woman’s Health

Writing Your Destiny

The Healthy Warrior

The Jotters Joint

The Curtain Raiser

Talk to Diana

Third Eye Mom

The Bookshelf of Emily J

What do you think? What is the one book that has really impacted you? What is the one book you have read more than once and why?

Please don’t forget to vote in the Bucket List Publications Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

You can vote every day for the next few days. All you have to do is go to see all the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for reading!

57 Comments

Filed under Awards, Blogging, Books, Culture, Education, History, International, Love, Photography, Photos, travel