Category Archives: Travel

It’s All About the Ideas

By Johna Till Johnson

Haitian fishermen (photo Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)

“Ya gotta have ideas,” the cab driver said, followed by an uproarious belly-laugh. “Money’s not worth nothing unless you have ideas.”

I laughed along with him. It was impossible not to: the man had the most contagious laughter I’d ever heard. And he had ideas. Boy, did he have ideas.

He wasn’t what I expected when I got into the cab on that overcast, dreary December day a few days before Christmas. All I could see of him was a dark face, beard streaked with a bit of gray. He was eating a late lunch when I got in, and didn’t return my greeting.

So I figured I wasn’t going to hear much from him—and that was fine. I had errands to get done, and worries on my mind. After I told him the destination, I figured that was the last exchange we’d have. Wrong!

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Cover Art

By Vladimir Brezina

Last week, the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge theme was Cover Art. How very timely!

Earlier this year, I was contacted by an author, Carmen de Monteflores, about using one of my photos on the cover of her forthcoming new book. And recently, a copy of the published book arrived in my mailbox. Thanks, Carmen!

¡Jíbara!¡Jíbara! by Carmen de Monteflores, AuthorHouse, August 2014

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Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had time to read ¡Jíbara! (which, despite its Spanish title, is written in English) thoroughly. But, skimming it, it looks to be very well written and promises to draw in anyone interested in Puerto Rican culture and history. Here’s a synopsis:

Carmen de Monteflores brings her intimate knowledge of Puerto Rican culture and history to this story of a rural mountain girl-a jibara-struggling to become a teacher during the turbulent changes of the 1930s in the island. After a devastating hurricane, Juanita and her mother, Cisa, to whom she is fiercely attached, are forced to move to San Juan to find work. Like many others arriving from the country, they end up living in a slum. Unexpected circumstances introduce Juanita to Clara. They become close, but their lives take different paths. Juanita enters the university to be tested both by violent politics and her mother’s illness. Clara’s influential relatives introduce her to society life and her husband-to-be. Relationships become strained and lies and secrets explode when Juanita asks for help from a former teacher and from a close friend of Clara’s as Cisa gets sicker and Clara’s marriage collapses.

The finished book illustrates some of the perils of selecting photos for cover art. The book has a portrait format. But the original photo had a landscape format, and consequently most of it had to to be cropped away. And, inevitably, the colors came out differently on the printed cover. Oh well—I did get paid ;-)

Here’s the whole original photo:

Mountain view, Puerto Rico

More photos from that day in October 2001, high up in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico, are here.

Golden Hour at St. Pete Beach

By Vladimir Brezina

Beach scene at the Don CeSar 8

At the Loews Don CeSar Hotel, St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

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Travel Theme: Statues

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Statues.

I note the plural: Statues. So, here in one photo are hundreds of statues (click on the photo to see them more clearly), each helping to safeguard the city, on this day against surf of an unprecedented size

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San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 2008.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Street Life.

My first response was busy. This one is all leisure—

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Cromer, Norfolk, England.

North Versus South

By Vladimir Brezina

Different materials, but the same impulse. It’s a united country after all…

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San Diego Sunset Panorama

By Vladimir Brezina

The big picture—click on it to expand it…

San Diego sunset panorama