October flew by in a serious whirlwind. The first week I was in Dublin for work and TBEX (the world’s biggest travel blogger conference), followed by a weekend of exploring with Jorge. There were a series of events the next week as well as some intense planning for my photography exhibition. Then there was Jorge’s birthday and a long, fabulous weekend in the bicycle-filled city of Copenhagen (from which I have still not edited my photos), about five days of laundry and more exhibition planning before rushing off again to work from Boston for the last week of the month. From there it was straight over to upstate New York which is where I am now. So all fun stuff, just a bit hectic! As you may have noticed, I’ve been seriously slacking with the blogging but I will be back in full Little Observationist mode from mid-November.
In the meantime, here’s a little look at October, Instagram-style. I’ll choose 15 of my favourites, but follow me on Instagram for more.
1. Dublin, at first glance. This was the first photo I took in Dublin, a rainy glimpse of the outskirts of the city through the bus window. The bus had wi-fi, which I was pretty thrilled about while we were waiting to move, but then once we got on the road from the airport my eyes were glued on the passing streets and shops and people and all that were the essential characteristics of this place called Dublin.
2. The doors of Dublin. One of those essential characteristics of Dublin is definitely the coloured doors that go hand in hand with the Georgian architecture. In an place that can feel quite grey and dreary, the doors really bring a spot of cheer as you walk through the streets. They are orange, red, purple, green… any shade of the rainbow. And there are many stories that aim to explain their existence.
3. Autumn leaves in St. Stephen’s Green. I must have walked through St. Stephen’s Green every day that I was in Dublin, for one reason or another. The ground was wet most of the time and the pathways scattered with leaves. I liked the way they glistened and the autumnal atmosphere of the park even though I rarely left the hotel without an umbrella.
4. Independent shops of Dublin. So many cities have the same shops – the H&Ms, the Zaras, the typical high street all laid out like you know it from home, but in a different location. When I travel, I love to pop into the little independent shops because that’s where you really get a sense of the local style, the work of artisans, the creativity that flows through a city. I found this little shop near Temple Bar and will write about it on the blog with more photos soon. It was full of little treasures.
5. Meeting John Minihan at TBEX. This was my first TBEX and one of the biggest highlights beyond listing to Don George talk about storytelling and meeting this incredible network of fellow bloggers was listening to photographer John Minahan’s interview-style keynote facilitated by Alastair McKenzie. I met him afterwards. He has had a fascinating life working in the Daily Mail darkroom in London when he was a teenager and developing a career that led him to photograph the likes of Al Pacino, Andy Warhol, Lady Diana and famous bands through the decades.
6. Rain, rain go away. It rained every day I was in Dublin, so coming across this piece of street art by Anna Doran on Camden Street seemed appropriate. Even better that I could photograph it as a group of people with umbrellas walked by. Another favourite travel activity of mine, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is hunting down the urban art, which I did a bit of in Dublin. I’m planning to interview Anna next month, which I’m quite excited to share.
7. Trinity College Library, Dublin. Jorge and I decided we couldn’t leave Dublin without a visit to see the famous Long Room at the Trinity College Library, so we queued up and went inside to take a look. It was tempting to touch all the books, but of course they were roped off and everything was very orderly. I bought the requisite postcard to send home from the bookshop before we went off in search of some food.
8. Danish Krones. These are krones, worth altogether about £95. I love seeing new money for the first time. The notes have bridges on one side and artefacts on the other and are each a different colour. Most of the coins, which I didn’t take a photo of, have holes through the middle. It’s the official currency not only of Denmark but also Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
9. Piccadilly Circus, London. Possibly the only photo I took in London in the month of October, this is Piccadilly Circus from the top deck of the number 19 bus heading home from a day out shopping with Jorge. It was a pretty nice day and the steps around eros were, as always, throbbing with people there to see the bright lights and rest their tired feet after walking around the city.
10. Nyhavn Canal, Copenhagen. A postcard scene from Copenhagen, the Nyhavn Canal is lined with colourful old houses turned into restaurants, bars and cafes with outdoor seating next to the water. It was a nice place to have lunch and didn’t feel too much like the tourist attraction you would expect. It was a relaxing place to enjoy a chilly but sunny afternoon with a pretty impressive blue sky.
11. Bike culture of Copenhagen. Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen is a cycle-friendly city and everyone seems to have a bike. They are parked in masses, chained alone to poles or propped up, unlocked and unattended against fences. There’s plenty of bike lanes and they fill up quickly day and night with a mix of commuters, tourists and just locals who are out and about shopping or meeting up with friends. It seems the most obvious way to get around.
12. Designer Zoo, Copenhagen. In search of Danish design, we headed over to Vesterbrogade to check out the two floor Designer Zoo. I found a bunch of quirky pieces by Lone Borgen and bought this mug as my Copenhagen souvenir. There are also a handful of in-house artisans who work onsite and sell their work in the shop.
13. Food trucks in Boston. Working in downtown Boston for the week, we had a quick lunch break one day to run down the street to grab lunch. My colleague took me to a square where several food trucks were set up. We went to Bon Me which served rice and noodle dishes. I got some brown rice with pulled pork and a delicious Thai iced tea. Best lunch all week.
14. Pumpkin Pie Soda, Boston. I didn’t actually try this stuff, but on an overwhelming wander through a gigantic Whole Foods, I spotted some bottles of pumpkin pie soda. Sounded very American and somewhat intriguing because I do love pumpkin pie, but I’m not sure how I feel about drinking the stuff. Would you?
15. Downtown Boston. In such a short trip and no free hours of daylight to wander around the city and take photos, this was one of the only ones I took outdoors in Boston. I don’t remember much from my first trip there more than 20 (!) years ago, but I do look forward to exploring the city on future visits.
Hopefully another update soon!