Faces of Bucharest, Romania

Posted on 21st October 2013 in Street Photography, wandering

The friends I made in Bucharest told me that since I had only spent my time in Bucharest, I hadn’t truly explored the country of Romania. They went on to explain how the countryside was so much more beautiful than the city. If you’ve seen the architecture photographs I took of Bucharest, and you look at these, I feel that I found some beautiful parts of the country too.

When I asked these same friends if Romania was where Gypsys came from, they told me how the common conception is that they did, but in fact, they came from India as nomadic people. However insistent they were that Gypsys weren’t from there, there were a lot of them in Bucharest. One day I went wandering trying to find the Gypsys. It’s actually quite interesting wandering into a Gypsy community for it feels like everything is their homes, inside or outside. I remember a little corner I’d walk by that had an entrance into a center courtyard of the surrounding buildings. As I’d look down the alley, I could see all the children sitting along the wall plotting and playing games amongst themselves, and the inner courtyard setup as if the kitchen of a family.

I found these people in Bucharest.

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Architecture of Bucharest, Romania

Posted on 7th August 2013 in architecture

In the late summer of 2012 I traveled to Bucharest, Romania to experience Eastern European culture at its finest. I learned many things about the culture while there. One part of the culture I was very interested in and to learn about was the Gypsys. I spent some time wandering through Gypsy prominent area, which happened to be right next to where I was staying. I learned that Gypsys didn’t come from Romania, they came from India. But, in the nature of a Gypsy, they don’t really have a home land, they are rather nomadic people.

The place I was staying in was the only room in a artist collective, where about 4 artists shared the spot. The apartment was located very close to a very big Gypsy market, where I got my produce that I survived on. It was a very interesting part of town I was in, for I was able to walk to the Old Town very quickly. Old Town is famous for it’s Parisian culture, and is so named Little Paris. Apparently when Bucharest was thriving – I suspect in the late 19th century – architects went to learn their skills in Paris, after which they returned home to build.

What I found most notable about the whole journey was the contrasting states of decay everywhere. One building would be a fancy embassy with a well kept garden, and the building beside it would be completely decayed and abandoned. I always suspect long forgotten Counts or Barons to have been the previous owners of the buildings… I wonder how many times I’m right?

This is what I saw when wandering.

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Architecture of Istanbul, Turkey | Part II

Posted on 25th June 2013 in architecture

If you missed it, my first series of images from Istanbul can be found in Part I. After my first day in Istanbul, I mostly wandered around Taksim, up and down the streets, side streets and around again. However, I did head over Galata Kpr. into the Grand Bazaar and around the Blue and Red Mosques: Hagia Sophia, and Sultan Ahmet. This area I guess could be called the old city, for it’s where the fortress once was in times of old.

It is quite remarkable for me to think that today, one year later, these streets are where the protests that are making news across the world are happening.

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Architecture of Riga | Part II

Posted on 19th March 2013 in architecture, wandering

Previously I’ve explored Part I of the architecture in Riga. In this part, I further explored the Ghetto, and some more of downtown Riga. The bridge you see is the main bridge of the city. I found it a beautiful bridge, and had to bike over it a few times on journeys. Happy memories for me there in Riga, I hope one day to return again.

I was going back to my place late one night as the sun set, and was heading over the bridge and caught the moon raising up between the towers in the town. The towers actually belong to the Riga Castle.

Just after those photographs are a wall that made me laugh every time I walked by it (multiple times a day). Most of the wall was perfect and arranged beautifully, then it came along these sections and it all just went to shit! Perhaps it was a new genious wall maker man who took over and did the abstract wall? Perhaps they got into the bottle? Perhaps they were angry at their wife? 🙂

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Architecture of Istanbul, Turkey | Part I

Posted on 12th March 2013 in architecture

The summer of 2012 found me in Istanbul, Turkey for a week. I chose Istanbul mostly because I had to leave the Shengen region of Europe which I had been inside of for too long. I found a place to stay for relatively cheap using the amazing services of airbnb.com, but the place was fairly sub-standard to most North American destinations. I would wake up in the morning and shower and there would be a slug on the shower floor, and I won’t even describe the kitchen. However, when you’re on a budget, and all you want is a place to stow your bag and rest at night, these kind of things are perfect. It turned out extra good, as the first night there I met an Australian traveler from Paris named Olivia (of Oh la la livia and Cleopatra’s Bling fame) who was staying in the same place I was. As it turned out, she had also met another Australian on her flight, Tabitha (who takes some pretty cool photographs), who lived in Paris too and was on the same quest as Olivia was. Olivia, being the friendly soul she is asked me if I’d like to join her and Tabitha to one of the Princes Islands, Burgazada I think, the next day, so there’s five photographs in a row, starting with a wood house and ending with an upward glance of a mosque minaret, from the little island. It was actually amazing because the island had very few cars, and most of the transportation was by donkey or walking.  We spent most of the afternoon sitting on a small spit of beach/cement we found at the end of a road alongside a handful of locals who couldn’t keep their eyes off of the two ladies I was with! (I found it a bit amusing and cute, they found it a bit odd and peculiar)

The other photographs are from my wanderings around the city streets. I would usually get up, and just start walking. It was so hot, I’d usually be in a tank top, shorts, and sandals all day. I’d usually leave around 1000 hrs, and get home around 1900 – 2100 hrs.

I particularly love the lighting that would come as the night closed in. It was a certain golden glow and really added to the romanticism of the place.

 

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