In transit again

It’s somewhat shameful that I haven’t updated this blog for a month, since I was last in North America for a journalism/digital engagement workshop in Columbia, Missouri. And now I’m back again, fleetingly – this time for a few days in Toronto where I was doing workshops about blogging (building readership and business case development – luckily, not too much detail on how often to update, because I’d have been a bit hypocritical…) for MagNet11 (the national magazines of Canada trade show) and then New York this weekend where I’ve been participating in Sparkcamp, a meeting of interesting minds from the digital and journalism worlds, around the theme of “Real Time”.

And now I’m in the BA lounge at JFK, on my way home, and rather thankful that this is my last travel commitment in 2011. I’m not saying I won’t go anywhere else – I’ve got a sabbatical coming up, after all, and I need a holiday at some point, too – but I’m done with the travelling and airports and hotel rooms and currency exchanges and shuttle buses and air conditioning for a while, I think.

Now that things will be settling down a bit, I’m going to try and blog a bit more/often about some of the things I’ve been getting up to, some of the ideas I’ve been exploring, and some of the things that have been going on. Please hold me to this!

For the moment, though, a slight change of pace.

I’ve fairly recently started using instagram to take and post photos on the move both at home and on my recent travels. I’m megpickard there if you want to link up. Here (and after the jump) are a select few that I’ve taken, along with a little context…

Sparkcamp this weekend was held at the CUNY (City University New York) school of Journalism, which is in a building next to the New York Times HQ, in the middle of the garment district in midtown Manhattan. The streets are lined with fabric shops, piled high with rich colours and bolts of material. As I was walking to the conference this morning, I glimpsed this scene through an open doorway. I liked the framing, and the face there was no-one else in shot, despite it being such a crowded, bustling area.

Found on the pavement
On my second night in Toronto, determined not to fall asleep by 9pm (like I had the night before), I went for a long, looping walk up Yonge Street, then west along Bloor, up through the Annexe, and then down through the University area to the Harbourfront. In the middle of university buildings, on the ground between two cycle racks, I found this (painted? stencilled?) onto the pavement. I thought it was rather lovely, because it was so unexpected.

Think pink
I took this photo while walking through the rain in Brighton, down towards the sea from my sister and brother-out-law‘s lovely new house. The rain meant the pink of the door was particularly striking, and the checked tiles really popped out in contrast.

Late train
On a recent Saturday night, Paul and I went into town for sushi and a glass of wine on a hot day. On the way home, we hustled to London Bridge to catch a late train. As I came down the stairs to the platform, I thought the scene would make an interesting timelapse image. I took several shots, then pieced them together using the autostitch iphone app, then put the resulting image through instagram to increase the contrast. I like the movement in the image (and the fact you can see P on the right hand side, checking his watch, concerned – and not for the first or last time – that my photo-taking is going to make us miss our train…)

A flying visit to the Isle of Mull (or Isle of Mum as it’s known in our house) for a family birthday in May meant only a short amount of time for walking on desolate, windswept beaches this time around. But we got one in, at least…

Think big
When I (finally) got to St Louis, MO, I still had a 2+ hour journey to Columbia. It’s very flat, and the highwayside is peppered with these tall billboards against an impossibly blue sky.

And finally…

Don't want to worry anyone, but I just spotted this scene at Victoria
On my way to Manchester one morning, I passed through Victoria station, and glimpsed this out of the corner of my eye. I have no idea what was going on, though I suspect they were shooting an ad or something. Rather concerning, though!

One thought on “In transit again

  1. Just started keeping an eye on you again (in a non-creepy way, since being in the Middle East 10 years ago. Nice to see you’re still here and your eye is as sharp! Oh, and the strange thing in Manchester is an alien. The Silence. From Dr. Who. Millions of people have probably told you this already.

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