|Une touche de couleur à Alger centre|
Monday, April 27, 2015 | Algiers, Algeria (map)
Sunday, April 12, 2015 | Taghit, Algeria (map)
|A Portuguese Touareg: Jorge disguised in a chèche, the blue scarves favored in the Sahara.|
I passed a good portion of the trip snapping shots on my Rolleicord, assuring my travel companions that one day they would indeed get to see the resulting photos. After several weeks of waiting impatiently—and nobody more impatiently than me—that day has arrived. This weekend I was finally able to escape to a city with full-service photo labs to develop these and many other photos.
Enjoy this selection of shots from Taghit and its captivating surroundings:
Monday, March 30, 2015
"Where are you from?" An innocent enough question, right? Sort of. I once read that, in a survey, New York City cab drivers listed it as far and away their least favorite thing to be asked by clients. It can grate on expats, like it can grate on ethnic minorities back in America. On some days, however innocent its intention, the question can serve as a reminder that you just don't fit in here. I have definitely felt that sting before, when someone popped the question on me, thousands of miles from home and all that is familiar.
Categories: Culture and Its Contours
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Casbah of Algiers, Algeria (map)
|The Casbah's homes, shops, and other structures, built over centuries with traditional methods and materials, require constant maintenance. Above, braces support a wall in the lower Casbah.|
Those were my own reactions on my first visit, during one of my early trips to Algiers. Since moving here two years ago, I've found many more opportunities to explore the Casbah, including some in just the last few weeks. Even today, every time I enter the place, those same two thoughts keep dueling in my head.
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For centuries, the Casbah was Algiers. As I have written before (See "Come With Me To The Casbah"), the old city was the epicenter of Algerian culture and history, and the heart of the resistance against the French colonizers. Even today, the
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 | Taghit, Algeria (map)
|"Swim Taghit": No, we didn't actually swim with the tadpoles. But while waiting to develop my film in a few months, I've gotten creative with some of my camera phone shots. Any buyers?|
Our destination for the weekend was Taghit, a tiny desert oasis town 1.5 hours drive south from Béchar.
Why come? They made me do it. More specifically, a few friends had been
Saturday, March 7, 2015 | Telemly, Algiers, Algeria (map)
|A narrow chute off Boulevard Mohamed V.|
Almost a year ago, in "Around Algiers: Navigating the Invisible City", I wrote about the Algerian capital's circuitous roads and about the hidden staircases that crisscross its punishingly steep hillsides. Since then, I have continued to explore the city on foot, discovering yet more stairs connecting seemingly distant points, and offering the ambitious pedestrian a multitude of serene, jasmine- and bouganvillea-lined passages through town.
Just last month, Nina and I spent a few Saturday afternoons exploring along the hillsides above downtown, in and beyond my neighborhood of Telemly. Even after
Saturday, February 28, 2015 | Casbah of Algiers, Algeria (map)
|Coin de la mémoire: One of my photos of the Casbah of Algiers featured in the exposition.|
As a longtime fan of the Casbah, I was excited to participate, and sent the organizers a selection of the many photos I have snapped there with my Rolleicord. A few weeks later, I was happy to hear that five of my shots would be featured in the exposition, "The Casbah of Algiers, from Yesterday to Today", to be organized in the Casbah itself at the National Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions.
The expo opened on February 23, Algeria's national "Casbah Day", earning
Friday, February 27, 2015 | Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany (map)
|Berlin blur: exploring Kreuzberg last weekend.|
We stayed in hipster central: the neighborhood of Kreuzberg (in an Airbnb apartment of course—wait, do people still stay in hotels?) Outside of Brooklyn, you would be hard pressed to find a higher concentration of organic brunch spots, screen printing workshops, vintage shops, graffiti posing as "street art", plus flannel, beards, tattoos, piercings, and all the rest. Once an undesirable quarter abandoned to Berlin's Turkish immigrant community, Kreuzberg has been reborn as an edgy arts district (read: overtaken by hipsters). Strolling through the neighborhood gave me an instant taste of just how alternative a city Berlin is—not