From the week’s two-day visit to Göteborg. I’ve wanted to revisit some of my old neighborhoods and places where I’d once lived. Just to refresh my memory and take a few snapshots for the archives.
On Thursday, I walked from the downtown hotel where I was staying and headed northeast along Friggagatan (lived there for a year), up to Redbergsplatsen and down to Gustavsplatsen (my first ever apartment for two years).
I then trekked up to Strömmensberg, down from there to Härlanda, through Kålltorp (where I lived for about a year with aunt Lillemor and her partner Karl-Erik when I arrived in Sweden in the summer of 1978) and Kålltorpskolan where went to 9th grade and finally, via Torp, Örgryte and Liseberg, up via Götaplatsen to Vidblicksgatan 5 in Johanneberg, which was the very last place I lived in Göteborg.
In all, it turned out to be a five hour, nearly 20km walk down memory lane.
The above little video doodle (shot handheld with my iPhone), of sculptor Carl Milles masterpiece “Poseidon” was from one of the very last stops before meeting up with a late but nonetheless well-deserved Easter themed lunch with old buddy Tommy Sahlin.
After the weekend on Gotland, I’ve spent some time sifting through my vast collection of photos from just shy of 30 years of visiting the island and neighboring Fårö. I remember being awestruck by how beautiful the landscape was and totally seduced by Visby those first few days back in 1990.
I had moved to Visby after being accepted to Gotland’s Konstskola (art school) and had somehow managed to rent a small house just inside the north gate of the town’s medieval ring wall. The house wasn’t fancy by any means, but it did have a kitchen, bathroom, a small living room and another room where I set up my easel, paints and brushes. It was an idyllic time where my art and photography developed and thrived.
It’s been a little more than a year since I was on Gotland – and judging from today’s brisk cold wind, it feels almost like it’s February – which was when the last visit took place. It’s no secret that I’ve had a long love affair with this island. I love shooting here and writing travel stories about why a visit should be on everyone’s bucket lists.
We arrived late afternoon and had just enough time to check in at the hotel and freshen up before it was time to head over to Munkkällaren, or, in localese, “Munken” where a huge celebration of my old buddy Timmy Skinner’s 50th birthday was about to commence. Met a lot of ancient friends at the party, most I’d not seen in many, many years. I probably missed a few cause I couldn’t recognize them or them me. The one constant here is the thousand year old ring wall which I got a few good shots of today – despite the cold weather.
Looks as if most of Easter 2019 will be celebrated in Malmö – or, at least in the general vicinity. We’ve spent several Easters in Vejbystrand over the years with plenty of egg hunting, egg throwing and egg eating to last me a while. I was in a new grocery store yesterday and they had a long row of knee deep containers full of various kinds of colorful Easter candy. Like the raspberry chews above.
While I was walking down the aisle, looking at all the sugarcoated candy got me thinking that there has had to have been at least a few scientists, perhaps some with PhDs in chemistry involved in deciding how sweet, sour, salty or bitter a particular candy was going to be. Not to mention discerning the exact color, texture and how chewy a gummy bear or wriggly snake would turn out.
I mean, there’s has to be several laboratories around the world where serious, well-educated men and women in white coats spend most of their workday mixing chemicals to make candy products that the marketing departments and product managers for successful candy companies like
#Haribo, #Malaco and #Fazer have decided will sell well in grocery stores like the one I visited yesterday.
About a year ago, Charlotte and I visited The Norrmans Bed & Breakfast about an hour south of Copenhagen. Lars and Anna took great care of us (as they did with their other guests) and though we only stayed a night, we we’re overwhelmed by how different the atmosphere was from just about any other overnight place we’d ever been to in Scandinavia.
It was as if the two of us had discovered a whole new category of accommodations. I mean, after decades of staying at large and small hotels all around the world – with varying levels of service, comfort and noteworthy dining encounters, what the Norrmans were offering was something totally different. I guess I’d characterize it as an intensely personal guest house experience set in a beautiful Danish homestead milieu.
From what I’ve gathered from their Instagram posts, the couple haven’t exactly been resting on their laurels. On contraire, The Normmans seem busy as can be with new ventures – including a shop full of quirky, cool stuff in one of the farm’s barns. Not sure if we’ll have time for a visit this year, but you never know! Yup, that’s me standing in the dirt on the parkiing lot.
Rummaging through one of my archives today, I stumbled across several photos of Okondja, the cute and wild Affenpinscher I shot in my old studio a few years back. As friendly as she was, I can’t see myself ever owning a dog that small. They’re just too twitchy and skittish. But cute, very cute. Sadly, I’ve heard that Okondja sometime after moving to South Africa passed away. More of my dog photos from around the world can be viewed here.
From yesterday’s morning shoot at Kockum Fritid with model and former competitive swimmer, Gustav Åberg Lejdström. The Butterfly stroke, or, the “Fly” as it’s called among competitive swimmers, is something I never even attempted as a young member of the West Hollywood Park Swim Team in the late 1970s or during my short time at S02 in Göteborg in the early 1980s.
Back in the day, I swam the Crawl/Freestyle and won a few swim meets as a sprinter in the 100 yard distance. I think the Butterfly stroke is really interesting as it mimics both a dolphin’s tail movement and the wing flap of a butterfly. During peak speed, the Butterfly stroke is apparently the fastest of all styles. Which I saw some proof of yesterday while trying to capture the above shot. Took me a good 100 tries before I got it right.
The “bridge” as locals usually call it, is a symbol of traveling for me. But not so much on the way home as when thinking ahead about a forthcoming trip. Which I do a lot of. Might have started off a little slow, but I’m reasonably sure 2019 will turn out to be one of the most intense travel years so far.
I can’t back this up factually, but I’m hoping my carbon footprint will be somewhat offset by the fact that I haven’t eaten meat or poultry for four years and that we don’t own a car or use one regularly. And though the rest of the family still shops clothes regularly, I take great pleasure in not having replenished my wardrobe much for the last couple of years.
I shot this from a sailboat a few summers back during one of few really nice evenings. Many more bridge photos can be enjoyed here.
This is Felicia Nilsson, a talented figure skater from Malmö that I’ve had the privilege of working with on a few occasions while working on an advertising assignment for our local sports center, Kockum Fritid.
I shot this with the Fuji Fujinon 56mm f1,2 at ISO400 and though not visible in the monochrome version above, shooting in an ice skating rink is really asking for as much color trouble as possible. Not only are there several competing color temperatures involved, the innumeral amount of crossing vertical and horizontal lines and shapes make composing a shot of a fast moving subject extremely difficult. Despite or maybe thanks to all the disstractions, I still found shooting Felecia and colleague Nicole both fun and creatively challenging.
For many years I lived a tangled life. Then came the AirPods and I felt as if a huge weight was lifted from my…ears. I used my pair of white wireless earbuds extensively. Probably as much as 3-4 hours a day – including when I fell a sleep listening to a podcast.
Finally, after about two years of daily use and waking up with one or both often lodged somewhere in the skin folds of my back or stomach after a night of sleep, the microphone and then the batteries started to give up. I could still use them, but the charge wouldn’t hold for more than an hour or so.
I ordered a pair of AirPods 2.0 just as soon as they were announced. I actually placed my order while lying on a bed overlooking the Indian Ocean in Goa without a nanosecond of hesitation. That’s how good I think this Apple product is and how dependent I am to using them to listen and talk via the iPhone. Love this little film Apple produced for the Airpods. And The New York Times has a good albeit somewhat crticial take on the new Airpod version.