This and That

Random bits of my life

Food in the Muslim Quarter

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 22, 2015

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Close-up of sweets piled in a cylinder shape.

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Jaffar’s Sweets shop again:

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Hand-painted sign at a butcher’s shop. I should have asked the price of pigeons per kilo.

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Clothing in the Muslim Quarter

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 22, 2015

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These dresses for little girls aren’t costumes. They’re for celebrations.

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Colourful padded bras are very popular.

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People in the Muslim Quarter

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 22, 2015

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Beggar at the Damascus Gate. It was a Friday, so a lot of people were going through the gate to the Dome of the Rock. I was able to take this photo when there was a gap in the crowd.

I haven’t taken photos in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City for years. I went recently with a group as part of a Photo Meetup. It was very interesting to see the non-touristy parts of the shuk, where people buy housewares, clothing, and food instead of souvenirs and soft drinks. We did experience some low-level harassment (a man tried to squash me between a pushcart and a market stall but I was able to squirm out of the way; another woman, taking a picture from a kneeling position, got a whack in the face when someone walked deliberately into her camera lens). But most people were OK and one woman seemed delighted when a member of our group asked to photograph her daughter.

Sunglasses display outside a shop in the Damascus Gate:

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Boy buying sweets at the Jaffur Sweets shop:

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This young woman has such a beautiful, serene face.

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Vegetable vendor in front of pink and white wall:

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Not a very good picture because the little girl was almost hidden behind the pink blouse on the left. Marcel asked the girl’s mother (smiling, in the middle) if he could photograph this pretty girl in a backpack and embroidered dress.

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Festival of Light, 2015 – More Pyromania

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 14, 2015

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Just for fun….

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Festival of Light, 2015 – Pyromania

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 14, 2015

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Pyromania is an Israeli dance company that performs with light. In past years their shows have required special admission. This year, they gave short 10-minute performances for free. I think it was a great idea because it reduced the crowds drastically and gave everyone a chance to watch. I took these photos with a tripod. They’re not terribly artistic, just fun! In the photo above, I think the three dancers were twirling batons.

Juggler with five coloured balls:

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Festival of Light, Part 2

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 14, 2015

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Dormition Abbey, above and below.

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“Crazy Selfie”, with me and husband against the wall

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“Light Fountain,” by Ronen Aricha, at the Muristan fountain:

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“The Musical Gate,” video-mapping by Yossi Jimmy:

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“Zero Hidrographico” in the covered Cardo. Apparently it represents rising ocean levels caused by global warming.

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Festival of Light, 2015 – Part 1

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 14, 2015

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We were only able to go to the annual Festival of Light on two evenings, because of the bus strike. So my husband and I finished three trails in one night–white, red, and blue. That must be a record for us! Above and below are the “Blooming Meadow”, at Jaffa Gate.

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“Children Drawing Light,” features drawings by the children of the Old City on lampshades. Actually, the installations this year featured a lot of children’s drawings.

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“Shelf Life,” a video-mapping installation by Lior Bentov on the wall of the Armenian Quarter. The bookshelf projecting from the wall is the only construction. The rest is projection.

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“National Heroes,” video installation by Yaron Zinman, was like watching an animated photo album.

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“Scutum Calx” was a strange one to photograph, because it was 3D video-mapping on the facade of Batei Machsei. It looks better when you wear the red/green glasses but I couldn’t figure out a way to photograph that. :-)

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“Large Pendulum Wave” in the courtyard of the Hurva Synagogue was a very cool installation in which balls changed colour and swung back and forth, sometimes as a line, sometimes as a wave, and sometimes as a helix. They were controlled by rods and suspended from a frame, like those pendulum toys.

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This year’s festival had a lot of musicians. I think I counted at least a dozen small bands, all wearing plastic jackets with strings of lights attached.

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I am experimenting with putting a mark on my photos but this seems a bit large. I’ll try to make it a bit more subtle.

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Campo de’Fiori, Rome

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 14, 2015

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The Campo de’Fiori (literally, Field of Flowers) was only a few blocks away from our flat in the Jewish Ghetto. We bought our fruits and vegetables at the market in the Campo because the quality was much better than what we could find in local supermarkets. The artichokes were huge, big enough for two people. We ate a lot of artichokes during our vacation! Centuries ago, the Campo was the site of public burnings and executions. Now it’s a gathering place

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Coffee is a major religion in Italy. My husband always thought he didn’t like espresso, until he tasted Italian espresso. He was surprised by the small size of the cups; he realized that espresso is the perfect pick-me-up and costs very little when you drink it like the locals, standing at the bar (it costs four times as much if you sit at a table). A significant advantage of adopting the espresso habit is that it gives you access to bathrooms, in a country not over-supplied with public toilets.

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I never bought spices (packed my own), but I was impressed by how clean the spice section was and how they were pre-mixed for different pasta sauces and bruschetta.

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The ubiquitous tourist liqueur in a boot-shaped bottle….

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Castel Sant’Angelo from Vittorio Emanuele Bridge

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 11, 2015

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The Castel Sant’Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, is a fascinating site. It started as a Roman tomb, was converted into a fortress, and was used as a papal refuge and a prison. An above-ground fortified passageway connects the fortress with the Vatican.

I took these photos on the same day (May 7, 2015), standing on the bridge that leads from the main part of the historic area of Rome to the Vatican.

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Bouncing Busker

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 7, 2015

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Rome has some interesting buskers; I saw a man doing magic tricks on the subway, accordionists walking inside train cars. This shot was taken from the bus to the airport at the end of our trip. As we were passing through an intersection, I noticed this man standing in front of cars stopped at a red light, bouncing a soccer ball on his head without using his hands. It was impressive!

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