Tag Archives: Panorama

Red or Green Chile? (New Mexico)

After a month of procrastinating, I decided that I needed to create a post about my recent trip to New Mexico. The place left such a lasting impression on me that honestly caught me by surprise, since we don’t really hear much chatter about the state over here on the East Coast.

A panorama taken on a random road going nowhere.

New Mexico struck me as a hidden gem of the American southwest, where those who know, know, and those who don’t know are told about it but passively nod off the recommendation for seemingly more exotic travel destinations.

Once you get there though, you realize that you’re in a truly magical place. I felt that the land and the people had this spiritual elevation that was both attractive and strange to my sensibilities.

The tone of the place is set by its terrain, large swaths of flat desert plains interrupted by random plateaus, red cliffs, and mountains. Everything is red and blue. The rusty clay that’s in every rock, the turquoise that they mine from the mountains, the gorgeous clear blue skies that must be quite intense in the summertime.

My pictures might convey a lonely place, there are in fact many, many people that live in New Mexico, strewn across the countryside and living in beautiful adobe homes. There is a large Native American contingent there that have separate tribal reservations, most inaccessible to the general public since they are private territories.

Our trusty steed, who I named Salazar.

Although the food is heavily influenced by the neighboring Mexico, New Mexico’s cuisine is unique in its palette and presentation (sorry I don’t have pictures, but you know, google). The first thing they’ll ask you when you order something is if you’d like red (hatch) chile or green, and they put that stuff on absolutely everything. Delicious but eventually overbearing, since you can’t really get away from it!

They also love their beef since it’s prime cattle country there. I had a burger there that almost moved me to tears.

The people there are so friendly and engaging, and not once did I perceive a negative emotion or sentiment. The roads are very fast, and everybody knows to stay out of the fast lane since the speed limit is 75 on major highways.

I left New Mexico feeling relaxed and peaceful. The big beautiful skies and exciting terrain was such a breath of fresh air to this city slicker. Definitely intending on going back, multiple times.

Takk Fyrir Iceland!

I just returned from a week and a half winter adventure in the beautiful island country of Iceland.  Right now the tickets to fly to Iceland from the East Coast of the United States are averaging around $300-400 RT, so it’s a no brainer for those looking for a spontaneous getaway.  I chose to fly the discount airline WOW Air, which offers you the cheapest flight ticket but charges you for literally everything else.  It’s a good idea until things go wrong, and then you have to deal with their lackluster customer service, which I had to do.

My friend Inna and I flew into Keflavik Airport, which is about a 45 minute drive from the capital of Reykjavik.  We chose to rent a 4×4 vehicle instead of using one of the many bus tours that the country has to offer.  There were upsides and downsides to this, but ultimately we were thankful to have the freedom that renting a car provides you.  We had organized a road trip across the southern part of the island, following the primary highway that circles Iceland, Route 1.

 

 

 

 

 

For those that are unfamiliar, Iceland is full of volcanoes, glaciers, and lakes.  There are dried lava fields randomly peppering the landscape, and the ridiculously majestic mountains pop up across giant fields of flat terrain.  Most of the population lives on the fringes of the island, with 2/3rds living in the capital of Reykjavik.  It’s sparse and extreme country. Inspirational and terrifying at the same time.

Driving in Iceland in the wintertime is challenging. There is no denying it. Your vehicle must be prepared for weather, and you have to be comfortable driving in rough situations.  With that said, it’s completely worth it.  You won’t see this kind of otherworldly terrain anywhere.  The fast island weather just adds to the atmosphere.   My senses were constantly overwhelmed, and I came home with a sense of enlightenment.

Here is Priscilla, our rental.  She ain’t pretty, but she’s stalwart and sure footed.

 

 

 

 

 

The people who live in the countryside are very acclimated, and are undaunted by the vastness that surrounds them.  They are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met while traveling, and are unhesitatingly helpful.  There is a sense of ease that Icelanders carry, something that I am constantly seeking.  Obviously the lack of traffic and noise has its perks!

 

 

 

After reading blogs and write-ups about what time of year is best when exploring Iceland, I felt that winter would offer me a degree of contrast and intensity that could shake some cobwebs from living comfortably in the modern world.  My takeaway is that there are different comforts here.  Aesthetic beauty moves to the forefront.  Nothing is cluttered or crowded. Buildings compliment the landscape instead of dominating it.

 

 

 

 

My favorite thing about this trip was the glaciers.  I’d never seen a glacier in person, and it was beyond what I expected. They are huge oceans of ice that carve through the landscape over thousands of years.  And they’re distinguishable from regular snow and ice by their beautiful blueish hue.

 

 

 

I couldn’t help but be constantly reminded that there is volcanic activity all around me.  From the geothermal hot springs and geysers, to the beautiful black sand beaches that sprinkle the coastline in pockets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other things of note:

  • There are waterfalls everywhere
  • The hot water may smell of the sulfur springs they come from, but the cold water out of the tap is cleaner than the bottled water being sold in stores. You can actually taste how pure it is!
  • If you go there, don’t forget that wintertime means less daylight due to your proximity to the arctic circle. And of course, the complete opposite in the summertime.

 

 

 

 

Richmond

Just a quick post on some photos I took of Richmond.  This was my first time seeing the city’s core, and I really enjoyed it.  The vibe there is laid back, with lots of breweries and young people bouncing around with their young people enthusiasm.

Richmond 2015-2-2

My favorite aspect of Richmond is that it’s still in it’s early stages of gentrification, so you have a lot of old industry peppering the city.  Lots of exploration potential!

My good friend Carter, also known as Alcrani in the Drum & Bass community, was gracious enough to host my visit.

Carter Alcrani

 

Carter’s kitten, Funyons, is the sweetest cat I’ve ever experienced.  Such an intuitive little girl.  Something about Drum & Bass producers and their cats.

Richmond 2015-1

 

Richmond 2015-2-1

 

Richmond 2015-2-3

 

Photos taken with:

Sony A7II
Sony Sonnar 55mm/1.8 FE ZA