Chain Guard

ChainGuard

This bike caught my eye for a couple reasons: The patina on the chain guard represents years of utilitarian use for commuting through the elements and the chain guard in and of itself. This chain is encapsulated as to not get any grease on your slacks while you are riding to work or home from the store. A feature you don’t find on modern bikes because it would weigh too much. These photographs speak to me because they represent the modern day incarnations of the history of the bicycle.

 

Worship – Florence Italy

Bike Worship

This scene was fun for me because of the utilitarian commuter bike that I love to photograph and the candle that was lit for a completely different reason (a street festival) that made this scene look as if someone lit a candle to honor this time tested bicycle.

 

The Black Bike – Cinque Terre Italy

BlackBike

While this bicycle looks like it’s in Asia, it was actually parked underneath a bridge next to a beach in the national (and world) historic region of Cinque Terre Italy. That was what attracted me to this scene was the irony. I love the fact glyph graffiti is not in Italian which gives it that feel.

Why do I have pictures of bicycles in my gallery? I love bicycles. These pictures represent a modern day incarnation of the history of the bicycle for me. While I lust after the whiz bang carbon fiber road bikes and full suspension mountain bikes that are ridiculously priced and ridiculously fun to ride, I love what these utilitarian commuter bikes represent. A way of life. I love the European utilitarian bicycle culture that has evolved from necessity. A simple mode of human transportation that enables people to navigate the narrow streets of compact medieval cities.

 

The Castle Window – Castello de Vide – Portugal

The Castle Window

In the hillsides of eastern Portugal (just west of Spain) lies a small walled city that time has left behind: Castello De Vide. While it is unknown exactly when this area was settled, there is written history dating back to the 1200’s. This sleepy town still largely operates as it has for centuries with community markets and festivals celebrating Portugal’s glorious history. Portugal is dotted with these stronghold cities that are leftovers of their vast wealth and empire dating back to when they ruled the seas and all the trade and wealth that went along with that distinction.

Port De Nuit

This image captures the essence of the harbor of Honfleur at night. While strolling through the city center you smell the seaside air, hear the Boats gently rocking in the placid harbor, and peer through the night to admire the dimly lit architecture.

The small sheltered harbor of Honfleur is a timewarp into the past of France’s seafaring history. Very narrow yet tall buildings of the town square were built in a time when France charged property taxes based on the footprint of your home. So instead of building out, local residents built up.

From Wikipedia:

Honfleur is a commune in the Calvados department in northwestern France. It is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre and very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie. Its inhabitants are called Honfleurais.
It is especially known for its old, beautiful picturesque port, characterized by its houses with slate-covered frontages, painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind, forming the école de Honfleur (Honfleur school) which contributed to the appearance of the Impressionist movement. The Sainte-Catherine church, which has a bell tower separate from the principal building, is the largest church made out of wood in France.

Tour Eiffel Illuminee

Eiffel Tower Illuminated

The Eiffel Tower needs no introduction. The sentinel of Paris, it’s visible from almost anywhere from miles around. At night, on the hour, the Eiffel Tower is illuminated by countless flashing strobes creating a mystique that only enhances the romance of Paris at night.

From Wikipedia:

The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris[10] and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-floor building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 17 feet (5.2 m). Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.

The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, [tuʁ ɛfɛl]) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris[10] and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-floor building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 17 feet (5.2 m). Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of ordering a print, please contact me for details.

Notes: These are low resolution images and I apologize for the watermark signature on my photographs as I feel it detracts from enjoying the image. However, with the ease of image piracy on-line they are necessary evils. You may also want to read my color post as images can be very different from what you see on the monitor.

Il Grande Canal

The Grande Canal

Venice is not a city that can be described but must be experienced. Boats crowd main canals as tight as cars on highways. Police boats, fire boats, ambulance boats, even delivery “truck” boats replace their 4 wheeled counterparts while the back “alleys” or smaller canals are littered with gondoliers or residents boats moored in the narrow waterways.

In the fall, Venice floods daily with the tides and the city doesn’t skip a beat. Elevated walkways are set out for the tourists to clamber onto while the citizens just pull on their galoshes and continue with their day as if nothing is happening.

Venice is a city of twisty narrow corridors and tiny shops. While the main squares and corridors have a bit of a tourist trap feel to them, the back alleys, tiny restaurants, and shops have an oddly safe feel to them and an authenticity that is pure Italy.

Excerpts From Wikipedia:  Venice (Italian: Venezia) is a city in northeast Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.  The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities.

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.