Back to PHOTOgeography

My apologies to all and sundry.  I’ve been so traumpatised by events over the past few months in the United States that I have almost forgotten that this blog is called PhotoGeoGraphy and that it is supposed to revolve around images that I have created and not deal with what seems to have become an obsession, a fixation with a contemporary who has recently been elected 45th President of the United States, a country, the institutions of which he appears to relish demolishing.  So let’s leave Wild West D.C. and its ersatz Buffalo Bill for a while and get on with the mundane task of looking at and commenting upon some images that have been created over the past few weeks.

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It always amazes me that you see so much and miss so much while walking along at the same route several times a week.  Sometimes you miss things simply because they weren’t there last time you paid attention; more often than not, it’s simply because you have been unobservant (and I am unobservant — or is it non-observant?— in more ways than one).

Take, for instance the breakwater at Tel Aviv Port.  I have been walking along the promenade several times a week for almost a decade now and have photographed it from almost every angle, and in light and weather conditions that might provide an interesting photograph.

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TAMA 38 is an Israeli construction programme designed to strengthen and upgrade older apartment buildings — mainly to protect them from earthquakes.   Or at least, that is the official explanation for it.  However, it is also designed to increase urban housing units in high demand areas. Developers are permitted to add additional floors to existing apartment buildings in exchange for the safety improvements and adding apartments to the building not only includes strengthening the existing building but adds features such as elevators, balconies, safe rooms and parking. All the apartment owners benefit from all  this work gratis — except for the inconvenience caused by the constructions, which can take two years or more.  Developers earn substantial profits for renovating these buildings,and are happy to borrow private funding at high rates.  In addition to making apartments safer and stronger, and providing new housing, the project also generates jobs and stimulates economic development and tax revenues with the additional plus that investors can earn excellent returns at relatively low risk.

TAMA 38 was slow to take off in Tel Aviv but now that it has been launched, it seems like there’s no stopping it.  In our part of North Tel Aviv, there’s hardly a street on which there’s no construction work and in our immediate neighbourhood, the north-south streets that connect the two main east-west arteries seem to be parking lots for heavy-duty cement pourers, trucks bringing steel rods and whatnot.  The other day, I watched a woman driver futilely attempt to negotiate the 100m or so between the two main streets as each of the connecting streets was blocked one way or another.

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In addition to all this mess, the municipality has decided (and about time, too) to resurface the street we live on, adding to the chaos.  They’ve started at the other end on the western third and are working their way towards our house, which they expect to reach by the beginning of April.  So streets will now be blocked in all four directions.

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On top of all this, on the building site nearest to us, the central issue as I pass each day is to find the location of the wayfaring loo (“loo” = “washroom” for North Americans).  When you have a crane at your disposal and when the building rises by a floor every few weeks, the toilet (and it seems as if there is only one) moves to location in which there is no direct work.

wheres-the-loo

So to add a little levity to the situation, there are the hydrants.  Try as I might to ignore them, they still attract my eye.  I began to pay attention to these several years ago when I realised that the photo editing software I was using at the time was recognising them as faces.  One day, perhaps, I’ll produce a hydrant anthology, in which the things will be accompanied by appropriate texts, as in the picture below.

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Lipstick, nail polish, rouge and all the rest

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Then there are the fauna (and their owners, where appropriate) that populate the park and the streets.

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The dog walker

At least in this instance he’s walking the dogs (there are only 10 of them this time) rather than riding up a footpath on a busy street, terrorising the pedestrians!

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Who is taking whom for a ride or a walk?

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A Yorkshire terrier and thus a Leeds United supporter (almost).  Bus #25, Tel Aviv

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‘Twas a rough week — lost an ear and got a bloodied nose.  Six Nations Rugby, of course!

And then, of course, there are the avian fauna … 

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Take off.  (Tel Aviv Port, January 2017) 

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Patience is a virtue

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Camouflage

I recommended my hairdresser to this gentleman some time ago.  It was par for the course that he didn’t listen to my counsel.

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In the same way, I came across this guy in June of last year on Ibn Gvirol Street in North Tel Aviv…

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… and suggested very diplomatically that he walk a few hundred meters up the street, turn left and search out …

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… Maybe he took my advice because when I bumped into him again last week, it seemed that he had had some work done.

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Two romantic street names came into the camera’s viewfinder — the first off Ibn Gvirol Street and the other off HaYarqon Street.  How on earth did the municipal name-givers have the ingenuity or originality to think these names up?  Obviously, they took a course on street names at the University of Haifa!

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There’s no smoking in public buildings, you know, so we do it outside instead — as well as chew our gum!

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And it though it says the paint is wet, the gentleman assured me that it was dry otherwise he wouldn’t be sitting there.  I suppose he knew best.

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And this sign at a shop in the Port has fascinated me for a long time.  Maybe I’ll summon up the courage one day and see what it is they’re doing for themselves.

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Finally, just a simple photo from under the Ayalon Freeway this morning as I walked along the north bank of the Yarqon stream.

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Yarqon Stream.  (07/02/2017, 07.40 hrs)

P.S.  Although I have been traumpatised over the past few weeks, I can still see the funny side of politics.  That;’s because it’s absolutely plausible that by late spring 2017, the three largest European countries might well be ruled by three women: Mother Theresa in the UK, Mutti in Germany and MaReine, the female swan in  France.  How might the Donald deal with that?

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