A fusion of food, travel and photography.

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Hot Time in The City


When the temperature reaches 104 in Times Square and the sidewalks measure 147 degrees of heat radiating up in your face, outdoors is really not the place to be. On a recent trip to New York City, the heat was so intense that any respite from it was indeed welcome. Unfortunately all too many of the taxis in NYC don’t exactly offer much in the way of air conditioning.

Times Square

The main focus for this trip was shooting photos of the group I was accompanying as they rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Most of the three day program was indoors so the temperature Read the rest of this page »

Travel Provides The Best Education


Traveling the world provides us with educational experiences that are quite simply impossible to gain from any other venue, classroom or university. Our senses absorb the sights, sounds, tastes and smells.

We touch and feel things we have never experienced before. We interact with people in ways that are new to us. Read the rest of this page »

Local Transportation in Vietnam


Transportation in Southeast Asia is just a bit different then most other places in the world. The average income is comparatively low and paved streets are often few and far between. Stretching the dollar has been raised to an art form in Asia so the least expensive means of getting from point A to point B is the norm.

Transport in Vietnam

Two wheeled vehicles are by far the most popular form of transportation. Read the rest of this page »

Floating Markets in Vietnam


The day begins very early on the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam. Farmers from the region awake before dawn to load their boats with the fruit and vegetables they harvested the day before. Every morning these boats meet to form some of the world’s largest floating markets. 
 

Headed to market

 
Local residents, as well as restaurants and stores, pull their boats up beside the anchored market boats and purchase the day’s produce that will become tonight’s dinner.
 

Heat and Steam in the Big Easy


Walking the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter, at any time of year, is a step back to a simpler time. Horse drawn carriages, wrought iron balconies and the waft of Creole cooking in the air conjures up images of lamp lighters and jazz musicians playing brass in the streets. During the summer, New Orleans is hot, humid and downright sticky. High ceilings and open windows were the air conditioning of generations past.

New Orleans Church Turret

Today’s NOLA, as it’s called, (New Orleans, LA) is a hybrid of ancient French Quarter architecture still intact, Louisiana culture and cutting edge gastronomy. Several award winning chefs and published cookbook authors call New Orleans home, and serve up amazing food Read the rest of this page »

Creating Your Own Fireworks


As a photographer, the Fourth of July usually presents a once-a-year photo opportunity for shots of fireworks bursting in the nighttime sky. Depending upon where I have traveled to each year, there might be an iconic structure in the foreground or I’ll catch the fireworks reflected in a glass building. As is true with any outdoor photography, Mother Nature always plays a part and this year she has chosen to literally rain on our parade.

Since I am at home in Atlanta for Independence Day this year, and since my idea of a fine Fourth of July doesn’t involve a hundred thousand people who are soaking wet (me being one of them), I’ve decided to stay at home and prepare my own fireworks in the kitchen. Read the rest of this page »

You Can’t Go Home Again


I returned to my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, to attend my Dad’s funeral this week and was saddened not only by the event, but also by the fact that my hometown has become a picture of an aging, depressed and rusting Midwestern city. There has been very little growth, very few new buildings and tons of old buildings that are now abandoned.
 

Downtown Toledo's rverfront

An attempt has been made to breathe new life into the downtown area with the construction of a new baseball stadium, convention center, and a new bridge across the Maumee River. I was, however, able to seek some solace in the food. Read the rest of this page »

Chelsea Dresses Up


It is so refreshing to see a city as vibrant and full of life as New York renew itself and remain the center of the universe from so many perspectives. The restaurants are cutting edge, technology is invented and some of the most creative minds in the world live there. As the world’s population increases and demographics shift, New York has done a wonderful job of going with the flow, instead of trying to swim up stream like so many other cities do.

Chelsea from The Hudson river with the Empire State Building in the background

Chelsea and the Meat Packing District are prime examples. It wasn’t long ago that Chelsea was anything but Read the rest of this page »

Lunch at Carnegie Deli


It was lunch time in The City and the rush was on for a seat in the deli. This may not have been the most attractive presentation of any meal I have eaten, but it was my first time at Carnegie Deli and I was jumping in with both feet. A classic Reuben sandwich. Two pieces of rye bread, what had to have been nearly an entire pound of corned beef, sauerkraut and plenty of Swiss cheese melted over the top with Russian dressing on the side. I had always heard that the sandwiches are large enough to split, but I had no idea this single sandwich, served open face, would cover an entire dinner plate.

A Reuben at Carnegie Deli

The corned been was so tender you could cut it with a fork. The flavors were amazing. Now I know what all the fuss Read the rest of this page »

Making Lemonade from Lemons


One of the problems with being a photographer and traveling to a specific location with a  particular shot in mind is that you either have to do a lot of homework to insure that the scene you shoot will be what you want it to be, or play a little Russian roulette. I was in NYC in February for just one night and I wanted to shoot the downtown Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn, shooting across the East River with the Brooklyn Bridge in the frame. Sadly, on the one night I was in town, it rained.

Times Square

I was unexpectedly back in New York again a few weeks ago. Ah ha! Another chance for that shot. I was staying in a downtown hotel which would be close by, the weather was supposed to be perfect, but something Read the rest of this page »

The Best Little Steak House in Florida


I typically don’t recommend restaurants. Too many times I have returned to a restaurant where I had a fantastic meal in an effort to duplicate the experience, only to be disappointed with the second visit. Everyone’s restaurant expectations are different. However, my visit to Berns Steak House in Tampa, went way beyond even my level of expectation, and those who know me know that my standards are extremely high.

Bern's Steak House Lobby

Bern’s has absolutely no curb appeal, looking like an old warehouse on drive-up. One step through the doors Read the rest of this page »

New York City Burgers


What does one do on a rainy night in New York City? Find a bar, of course. In my case no ordinary bar was going to sooth the disappointment I was feeling from losing an opportunity to shoot an amazing twilight skyline photo of The City. Mother nature had other things in mind on this evening so I took what revenge I could at a tiny little bar in SOHO called Ed’s. Technically, it’s Ed’s Lobster Bar.

Ed's Lobster Burger

What would warm my tummy on the one damp, drizzly night I had in the Big City? How about a Lobster Burger and yes, Read the rest of this page »

A Rainy Night in Stuttgart


The cool fall of rain swept the tourists from the streets as we left our hotel and walked to dinner that evening. There is something utterly romantic about rainfall at night. The sound of moving water. The shine of the pavement reflecting nearby street lights. The cool dampness that draws a couple to huddle together as they walk, sharing an umbrella. The misty glow of the twilight sky.

Walking through centuries old streets in the historic city center, we found our way to our restaurant and shook off the rain as best we could. Read the rest of this page »

Being Freshly Pressed


I am interrupting my weekly blog post to comment on something unique that happened to me yesterday. My blog is hosted by a website called WordPress. Each day they choose a few blog posts to feature on their home page in a section called “Freshly Pressed.” Yesterday, my post 5 Days in Paris: Love Locks was chosen to be featured. After just a few months of blogging, I was Freshly Pressed!

The morning started with my receiving a few comments on this post, which was 2 weeks old. My new Wednesday morning post had just been published so I thought it odd that people were commenting on an older post and not the brand new one. A few minutes later, when I received a couple more comments, I knew something was up. After thinking about where this publicity could be coming from, I checked the WordPress home page and sure enough, there it was!

I had no idea what a ride I was in for. Every time someone clicks the “Like” button at the end of each post, I get an email telling me that someone “liked” my post. I also get an email each time someone leaves a comment. Almost as fast as I read each email, new ones appeared in my in-box. They were coming from all around the world and the comments were so complimentary and flattering. A few of them really touched me.

I walked by that bridge when I was in Paris, Read the rest of this page »

Comfort Food in Germany


Being from German and Irish heritage, I grew up with a lot of meat and potatoes. And onions. Melt a stick of butter, throw in some onions, and cook any meat. Repeat the process with sliced potatoes and a green salad, and that’s what I call dinner.

German potatoes

As is typical with most classic European dishes, it all began with the basic ingredients the average family could afford. In this case the subject is veal, Read the rest of this page »

5 Days in Paris: Sharing


Sharing Paris

Of all the holidays, Christmas has always been my favorite, mostly because of the gift of giving. Sure I love to receive gifts, but the truly rewarding part of exchanging gifts is giving to others. There is nothing more satisfying then seeing the joy a gift has brought to the person I have given it to.

Luxembourg Gardens

I am so fortunate to experience the same sense of satisfaction and sharing when I introduce someone to one of my favorite places. Since I adore Paris, Read the rest of this page »

5 Days in Paris: Love Locks


It took me nearly 20 trips to Paris to venture off the beaten tourist path and explore other photo opportunities the city has to offer. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t previously discovered this bridge, but crossing the Seine from Ile Saint-Louis to Rive Gauche, I found something I have never before seen. The entire fencing along the bridge was covered in padlocks and colorful streamers. Upon closer inspection, most of the padlocks had names, initials or other writing on them.

Like the colorful pairs of lace-tied sneakers thrown over power lines in some cities, these locks formed a latticework of color and texture spanning Read the rest of this page »

5 Days in Paris: Boeuf Bourguignon


Boeuf Bourguignon

The fame of Boeuf Bourguignon  was resurrected recently by the movie “Julie and Julia.” A staple of Julia Child’s cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Boeuf Bourguignon (or Beef Burgundy) is a very old dish that begins with the basic products the average French household could afford at the time. An inexpensive cut of beef is slowly cooked in table wine until it is tender enough to eat.

Over time, the dish evolved to become what many consider to be the basis of French comfort food. Mushrooms sauteed in butter, onions simmered in butter, a carrot, garlic and herbs. And let’s not forget Read the rest of this page »

5 Days in Paris: Produce


Groceries in Paris

Any good cook or self-respecting foodie knows that great food starts with the freshest ingredients. Most Parisians don’t own a car, don’t drive to the grocery once a week, and don’t purchase prepared, frozen foods. Paris is a very pedestrian city where one walks, bicycles or takes public transport to and from work. They pass numerous shops during their daily commute and have access to fresh produce, fish, meat and baked goods for every meal.

Not only do they have smaller waistlines, consume more wine and have fewer heart attacks than Americans, they demand higher quality products from their local grocery stores. One stop inside Read the rest of this page »

5 Days in Paris: The Best Chocolate Eclair!


The Best Chocolate Éclair in Paris!

One of my first stops on every arrival in Paris is at a local Patisserie for a chocolate éclair. The pastry is firm to the touch but soft and buttery inside. They come in two varieties, Mocha and Chocolate. The creamy center that fills your mouth with every bite is the real treat and varies widely from bakery to bakery.

Of course, there is much debate over who makes the best chocolate éclair in Paris. There are many formal and informal contests every year to pick the year’s “best”. On this trip I headed directly to Stohrer (51 rue Montorgueil) which is always ranked in the year’s top 3. One step inside the shop and I had severe sensory overload! Something in the back of my brain started flashing WARNING!, DANGER!, WARNING! It was just my first day in town. How was I going to pace myself over the course of this trip? OK, I’m in Paris! I can diet when I get home.

Decisions, decisions. Chocolate or Mocha? Mocha or Chocolate? And what about all the rest of the food porn that was so brilliantly on display behind spotless glass? Everything looked so amazing Read the rest of this page »

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