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Posts Tagged ‘Strasbourg’

Saturday, I participated in a photo marathon called Clic-Clac that took place in Offenburg, Germany and Strasbourg, France.

Rain. It wasn’t a promising way to start out a day meant for wandering the two cities and taking photos…Around the time we began our first photography challenge, little by little the sky lightened up and by the time lunch was served (at the Kunstschule in Offenburg) the sky was gorgeous and the sun was shining.

The premise of the photo marathon was that we were given 2 themes/challenges to illustrate with one photograph per theme with approximately 2 and a half hours to find a subject and photograph it. The first theme was given in the morning in Offenburg and the second in Strasbourg. The two themes were:

1: double je – in English it is understood as ‘double I’, but it’s a word play. ‘je’ means ‘I’ but sounds the same as the word for game (jeu) in French.

2: je t’ai vu – translated means ‘I saw you’.

The possibilities were endless. Nonetheless, avoiding clichés was not easy.

My submissions:

I happened on my photo by pure chance. I didn’t know how to go about illustrating this playful theme. Walking towards downtown Offenburg, I was mostly watching people. I was keen on capturing individual people on my virtual film. By chance, I saw an elderly woman with perfect posture pushing an old empty stroller with her shopping hanging from the handles just across the street from where I was. It caused my mind to start thinking about youth and age and the return to innocence and dependence. She was the perfect incarnation of this theme so I took her photo.

Theme 1:

LP and I thought maybe we could get a shot or two on the water. We are lucky enough to have friends with an amazing apartment on the canal in Petite France with a kayak. We took it out for about a half hour. It was just what I needed for a gorgeous shot of a couple – a woman embracing a man and the man not reciprocating. The lines. The colors. The knowing look she was casting over his shoulder.

Theme 2:

Jim’s submissions:

LP (Jim/life partner) and I set off with no ideas and sleep in our eyes. double je I kept thinking…The Kunstschule (or art school in English), where our instructions were delivered, was right next to the city library. LP was keen on seeing what the library had inside and perhaps find some inspiration. He did. It involved the front page of Die Zeit newspaper featuring a monkey and me.

Theme 1:

It was already late by the time we had docked the boat. Jim was worried about not finding a subject. Cycling along the quai back to the library we happened on a neighborhood block party at Place Saint Louis. Just on the corner was a guy who had set up a photo booth and was taking photos of people with a four-shot Polaroid camera. That was it for LP! He had his shot and we had 1 hour to submit our photos back at the library.Theme 2:

After all the photos were submitted, the whole group headed over to place d’Austerlitz for an apéro-mix at La Chambre. We were able to exchange contact information with our new friends and finally….and most importantly…see all the photos that had been submitted by all the participants.

We also got to see a news report that France 3 did on the event. Our gorgeous faces were featured more than once during the 3 minute report. You can see it here.

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It’s too hot for words.

My vinyl office chair is currently stuck to legs. I smell.

Last night, LP and I camped out in the living room, each in a sort of star fish position, trying to make minimal skin contact with anything, including our own skin or the sheets.

**Note** Overlooking the cringe factor, the kangaroo trick – licking the inside of your arm – really does help cool you down! But it’s probably best not to do in polite company.

Fans work, too. Sadly, our single fan was not enough to circulate air through our 4-room apartment. When the temperature hit 34 degrees inside – the time had come to buy another fan or two. However, this is France and for whatever reason the French are not so keen on moving air or keeping a large selection of fans in their hardware stores. We were in luck. Leroy Merlin had a dwindling (and overpriced) selection…We bought two – in this kind of heat you don’t share.

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Port du Rhin

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Spring weather has finally made its appearance – two days in a row. Sunshine and blue skies. Pollen allergies. Vitamin D. My LP’s first priority this morning was getting hopped up on vitamin D (see photo above). His second priority was push-ups (see photo to left). He did just that at the Parc du Contades.

After my morning workout, I took to the sunshine, too.

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After brunch on Friday, we took out our friends’ canoe for its 2013 inaugural trip around Strasbourg. It’s not easy going upstream on a full stomach or when it’s only a few degrees above freezing. But we had loads of fun being heckled by bystanders along the quai (and heckling them back). My rowing skills are lacking, to say the least. Luckily, I had Ilo to keep us moving.

The short hour of sunshine did me good. I rolled up my pant legs to make sure I got an extra dose of vitamin D. Afterwards it took nearly three hours and several cups of hot tea for my body temperature to return to normal – it was so worth it.

If you look closely at the photo below, you can see us trying to turn round to go under the Barrage Vauban – just to the west of Petite France. We eventually made it after two tries, but not without seriously struggling against the current.

(Thanks to J.B. for the pictures)

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Monday morning 7 a.m.

Wide awake at 7 a.m. – this is going to be a long day.

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Strasbourg is under a beautiful blanket of white snow. So this afternoon I decided to venture out into the winter air to have lunch with a friend on her lunchbreak. We found a cozy corner table at Christian near Place Broglie and each had the plat du jour and dessert (and don’t forget an espresso).

It was just the fuel I needed to run my errands: library, university and grocery. By the time I got home I had to call LP down to help me carry the shopping up the five flights of stairs – I thought that my arms were being pulled from their sockets walking back from the tram. (It probably wasn’t necessary to buy so many canned goods or the 3kg bag of potatoes, but it’s a good idea to stock up in case of bad weather, I had a coupon and was sufficiently caffeinated.)

Once home and all three pair of tights were peeled off my legs I decided to bake a loaf of bread for dinner. Danke, Gut und Günstig! It turned out perfectly and made the apartment smell like a dream. While the bread was rising in the kitchen, I harassed my LP for help on my Russian pronunciation and vocabulary. Then after dinner I worked on JQuery exercises a bit and voilà – day over.

Enjoy the song and keep warm (preferably with a ‘wintertime love’).

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