British "stuff" · Entertainment · Life On The Road · Photography · York

Bright Lights

We visited beautiful and historic York on Friday night to catch “Illuminating York“, an annual light and sound festival which alternates among landmarks of the city.  I believe this is the 6th year of the festival.  This year’s son et lumiere piece entitled “Rose” was designed by award winning projection artist Ross Ashton and sound artist Karen Monid.   The lights were played against the South transept of the York Minster where the awesome Rose Window is housed.  I truly enjoyed the visual and audio experience — the loudness of it, the brightness of it, just the hugeness of the experience under clear skies with just-right cool, jacket-hugging weather.  Unfortunately, in our rush to head out to the venue before the rush hour traffic, I’d forgottem to bring my (heavy-duty, literally) tripod.   Which makes taking any nighttime photos a bit of a challenge.  To keep my shots as steady as possible under the circumstances, I had either rested the camera on C’s shoulders or head, or at best, lean one corner of the camera on the ground while tilting the lens upwards.  Many shots came out blurred sadly, but hey.

Below is a collage I’ve put together.  Not all that brilliant, given the limitations.  Caveat:  they’re lightyears away from the beauty of the real deal so it is highly recommended that you catch it next year (or later) if you can.  :)

Illuminating York. York Minster. October 2010.

I’ve shamelessly submitted my pictures to the photography competition of the event.   100 GBP in photography vouchers at stake (you amused?).  Nothing really fancy, but think of the bragging rights for an uber-amateur like me:  yup, priceless.  To my pleasant surprise, I received an email from one of the reps asking for high-res copies of my shots.  I complied with 7 shots, gladly and with all the chutzpah that I can muster.  Even better, the organizers have humored me by putting them up in their official Flickr page, along with seriously beautiful captures.  Now THAT has amused me no end.  Please check it out:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/official_illuminating_york/

Trust me.  It will be worth your while to see the photos.  Not (just) mine.  But those of the others. ;)

Illuminating York  Website : http://www.illuminatingyork.org.uk

Twitter handle:  @illuminateyork

Flickr page :  http://www.flickr.com/photos/official_illuminating_york/

Entertainment · Fashion · Holidays · Travel · UK · Uncategorized

Dressing The Part

Down to my last 2 weeks before I head back for the States, I’ve been tagging along with the hubby up to Scotland — where he works on his projects (with power generation plants) and I ….. I also do work, and try to make the most of the time difference with the US by doing touristy stuff while America sleeps, and then rush back in time to catch them during their work hours.  :) 

These weeks in Edinburgh are particularly well-timed because of the ongoing Edinburgh Art Festival.  We’ve booked a hotel in Falkirk, which is a convenient midpoint for the hubby to drive off to work and for me to catch the train to Edinburgh (or even Glasgow).    The train to the city is a bit pricey at 7.80 GBP roundtrip off peak (they call a roundtrip a “return” here) which roughly translates to about $13-14.  That’s about half an hour train ride each way.  Not cheap, compared to commuter fares in Chicago.  Imagine if you had to commute to work everyday.  And the peaktime tickets are even more expensive.

But anyhoo, the Royal Mile in the city was packed with street performers last week. 

The Royal Mile -- where it all happens.
The Royal Mile -- where it all happens.

 Almost every other person you bumped in is in a costume (“fancy dress”) of some form, either because he/she is part of a performing act, selling you stuff, or just being their funky fashion self.   So so so much fun.  Here are a few views:

Signs of the Times
Signs of the Times
I don't understand this either.  They were signing and making robotic moves while they moving forwards.
I don't understand this either. They were signing and making robotic moves while moving forwards.
Lost Angel?
Lost Angel?
Wooden puppets Hansel and Gretel
Wooden puppets Hansel and Gretel
ooooh yeah. :)
ooooh yeah. :)
Tails
Tails
.... and more tails (that's Beauty and Arielle--- uhm, I think)
.... and more tails (that's Beauty and Arielle--- uhm, I think)
a little bit of, literally, street art
a little bit of, literally, street art
Cyndi.... is that you?
Cyndi.... is that you?
she's enjoying the attention.... :)
she's enjoying the attention.... :)
Hansel and Gretel on the little makeshift stage
Hansel and Gretel on the little makeshift stage
air bikes
air bikes
Readying for her mime
Readying for her mime
You are knighted.
You are knighted.
Dressing “normal” feels so abnormal this time in this City.