This is Al. I’ve seen Al and his collection of dozens of customized shopping carts moving – ever so slowly – from place to place along my morning commute. I have never seen such a massive collection of well, stuff. Look closely at some of the contraptions he’s built here. I like the functional bits that look like what could be a bed or reclining chair of sorts. But I especially like the arch spanning the two carts – apparently for purely cosmetic reasons. Architectural flourish.
I needed to investigate, so today I decided to stop and chat with him. I didn’t get much detail about the cart contraptions yet, but he did agree to let me take his picture, with the condition that if I ever make any money on my photos of him I share the wealth, especially since he’s “never had any luck his entire life.”
I sure will Al.
It’s also worth noting that I’m experimenting with using my camera in an entirely new way. After reading this article, I was inspired to try the author’s black and white settings and hit the streets. I put the camera in “Silent Mode”, and with it hanging around my neck, discretely trip the shutter. That’s how I shot the portrait of Al.
Stay tuned for more from the streets of Oakland.
What I like most about this shot is the minimal effort it took to get it. I just looked down with my x100S set on macro and shot this in the front of the in-law’s house in Fresno this afternoon. I couldn’t get closer without scaring off the bee, so I cropped the shot about 50% to get what you see here. This camera makes so many shots possible!
No, they won’t give me the +thedude, even though it’s not apparently in use. Rats! I guess some other dude will get that one. My Custom URL isn’t too bad though. If you know thedude, it’s pretty easy to remember – google.com/+JimPire.
Vienna, with its 1.7 million inhabitants, is the largest city we visited. The city has a modern (and very expensive!) feel. Dozens of quaint cafés serve some of the best coffee and sweets we’ve ever tasted. We only wish we could’ve had a bite of this edible pony.
The Austrian National Library was beautiful.
Then there’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and another impressive organ.
We couldn’t help but notice the contrast between the old and the new.
The next morning we skipped a trip to the Schönbrunn Palace so that we could visit the beautiful Spanish Riding School during morning practice. Kelly was very happy about this last-minute decision, and as it turned out, so was thedude.
The rest of the Vienna photos are here.
After a pleasant three hour cruise, the sun appeared just in time to see this picturesque village from the Danube.
Later in the afternoon, we tasted the exquisite “biodynamic” wines at the Nickolai Winery.
The rest of the pictures from this day are here.
We’re heading back to Prague for a moment just so you can see and hear this amazing street musician I encountered near the Municipal House. Unfortunately, the camera’s memory card filled up before he finished, forcing me to have to switch cards midway through the performance. Even with this technical snafu at 3:16, you will be amazed.
Blue Danube from piredude on Vimeo.
The spectacular Melk Abbey provided plenty of eye-popping splendor on today’s tour. We found a delightful mix of the ultra-modern design and treasures from the past. The library was really stunning, but unfortunately, no photos were allowed. To give you some idea what it looked like, have a look at this amazing 3D shot of a similar library in the Czech Republic.
In a corner of the church.
The most precious item in the Abbey – a portable altar dating from the eleventh century on display in the Green Room.
Love the spiral staircases. This one is in the Melk Abbey.
Spotted on the walk back to the ship from the Abbey. I especially like the knitted QR code. Unfortunately, my QR scanning app won’t scan the code. :(
More shots from today’s tour can be found here.