Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Aspen enigmatic

A visit to Aspen, my first, was characterized by a riot of color and not only in the famous and fabulous landscape. The weekly market offered its own kaleidoscope, set against a canvas of hard blue sky and the tarmac of a few closed inner-city streets. From tricked-out fixed-gear bikes to airburst popcorn and organic tomatoes, it was a nifty agglomeration of the practical and fun. My favorite, however, was the saleslady from the Epicurean Honey Co., who was impeccably turned out, as if she'd just returned from the Kentucky Derby or Melbourne Cup. The demure tilt of her hatted head wasn't shyness, she was - naturally - focusing on sending a text.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

normandy's little suns

There are many reasons to love France in July. The weather, albeit unpredictable, still doesn't have the harsh heat of August, and in Paris you can feel the anticipation in the population of their August escape from the city. We had planned our first road trip with Jack for the week after our arrival in Paris; a little three-day sojourn in Normandy staying in a chateau that's been family-owned for generations. While the chateau itself was gorgeous and suitably historic (Henry IV slept in our room at one time apparently), and the food and wine suitably sumptuous, we were really there to drive around with the little bloke in our rented Peugeot to see a few of the towns and villages of Normandy. Scooting along a back road between two hamlets, we came across a field of sunflowers that looked all the more startling in the gloom of a rainy afternoon. So we pulled over and took turns scurrying around the field's edge to get a decent vantage while the other minded a sleeping Jack. I've always loved the photos of the Tour de France peloton flashing through fields of sunflowers, and indeed we had missed the Tour's visit to the Le Mans area by just a couple of days, so this was a nice consolation prize. I thought the dark and foreboding tree line in the background accentuated the vibrancy of the flowers, throwing them into even greater relief. I've already printed the shot, and it will be hanging in Casa Milverton inside a week.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

goodbye sleep, hello inspiration

This blog will likely lurch in an entirely new direction given the arrival Jack Felix Milverton on Mother's Day just passed, as the paternal instincts are now in overdrive and the photos are flying thick and fast. But before I get stereotypical in my slavish devotion to the little progeny, I wanted to take a breath and look over some of the photos I've taken for clients in the past couple of years, just to remind me what I saw before fatherhood arrived in all its noisy, messy grandeur. Reviewing the galleries, this is one of my favorites simply because the conversion to monochrome worked so wonderfully. The playfulness of the pose reminds me of how much fun I had during the shoot, and I love the little bloke's hands on his father's shaved head. Hopefully I'll be able to produce some similarly neat photos of our own fella.

Monday, April 11, 2011

ZONA MACO 2011: return of the art show

The past few days saw the return of the Zona Mexico Arte Contemporaneo exhibition, one of my favorite events of the year. Galleries from Europe, the US, and Latin America show artists' works that, as you would expect, range from the glorious to the truly puzzling. This year there seemed to be so many interesting reactions from the people - mostly young - viewing the works that I found more to photograph among the audience than what was on the walls. Although that was pretty special too. To see the full spread of pics, click here to be taken to the Flickr gallery.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

street kamikaze

I've always been a cycling fan, and one of my great laments in moving to Mexico City from Washington DC was that I was forsaking a great riding locale for one that barely grasped the concept. Mexico City has made some strides toward rectifying this, with new bike lanes springing up and bike rental shacks now spread around the city, but naturally it will take some time for the millions of ordinary commuters to adjust to sharing the roads with the likes of us soft-shelled cyclists. So, up until the past week, I'd resigned myself to taking the road bike down to a former auto racetrack in the south, where the only real daredevil moments come from dodging the influx of roller bladers and pram pushers once the day warmed up.

But a recent visit to the new Common People store in a gorgeously-restored mansion in Polanco has led to a new era of bone-headed risk-taking on the mean streets of the capital. There in the lobby was a conglomeration of black metal tubes, two tiny tires, and a saddle collectively known as a Strida 5.0. It's a British import that has won fans and detractors the world over for its looks and its ride. Being a bit of a design junky, it was love at first sight and within a couple of days a model was residing in our home. Its unusually high riding position - reminiscent of a Penny Farthing - makes for an entirely different center of gravity and so it's far more maneuverable and heck of a lot more comfortable than a standard pushie.

A couple of hours of riding this matt black future museum piece have taught me a few things: it can't be ridden fast; it's no good for jumping gutters; it has the temperament of a rodeo bull; and it may be the most surprising, zen-inspiring bike I've ever ridden. You don't get tired or stiff from huddling over the bars as you might on a road bike. The perforated disc brakes are sure and responsive. It turns on a dime, so navigating the traffic - either wheeled or pedestrian - is a doddle. And the lack of speed means you simply can't rush, so you may as well soak up the sights. Add to this mix the fact that it folds in seconds into a compact package and you've got a bike you can slip into a cafe without attention, or stuff in a bag and take with you anywhere. Tomorrow, the camera will come along into Chapultepec Park, so let's see what this different vantage will lead to.

Friday, February 18, 2011

view from 88 orchard

A glorious faux Spring day in New York City today and Sylvie and I hauled our cold-riddled selves out of The Thompson Hotel for a late lunch at 88 Orchard, a routinely spectacular cafe in the lowest east side. Out past the jars of vegan choco chip peanut butter cookies and flyers for numerous causes was an apartment building that fascinated me. What caught my eye were the fire escapes, which had beautiful and ornate designs in their ironwork railings but it's doubtful I could have done them justice with an eye clouded by lack of sleep and the haze of a seemingly intractable cold. But what also caught me was that the day itself - a balmy 66 degrees F - had brought out the vibrancy of the city again like a Spring rain on a flower bed. The locals all looked Vogue (pick any month, any year and it will apply. The styles are simply that diverse), the streets suddenly more spacious, and the colors practically bursting forth after a brutal winter. Tomorrow, the winter will return with a vengeance (temp back to mid-20s with a high near 40) but for now, I loved the little glimpse of Spring, when people look up without furrowed brows and a curse on their lips.

Friday, January 14, 2011

when the sun shone

The horrific flooding in my home state of Queensland was an appalling tragedy to endure from a distance, and the many tales of courage by what the press likes to call ordinary Australians were uplifting but still couldn't obscure the sorrow many families will confront so early in the new year. At the same time, in Brazil, the death toll from flooding passed 340, and yet the coverage didn't seem anywhere near as complete as that from Australia, sadly. But if there is one thing both nations have in common it's the color, spirit and confidence of their people and there will be better times again for both, we know. Watching the remarkable photos on Facebook from friends in Brisbane, chronicling the astounding rise of the Brisbane River (thanks Marius Jansen), it made me terribly homesick for southeast Queensland, where I spent my years at school and university. And so, I flipped back through my pictures of a trip there during 2010 and found a clutch that sort of summed up the material things that I miss so much and that trigger homesickness in a second. (I don't need to elaborate on how much I miss my Mum and brother there, I'll get all misty and fill the blog with typos). All the pics were taken at a pub (or across from it) in Kingscliff and while this is indeed New South Wales, the lines blur at the border and it's all Gold Coast to me. Burger, beer, coffee, and boards. That's home.