The Notting Hill Carnival

I spent the long weekend camped at my friend’s place in Notting Hill enjoying a weekend of amazing music, food and company. If you weren’t at The Notting Hill Carnival this bank holiday weekend you really REALLY missed out! It truly was unbelievable to see so many people come together to celebrate. Notting Hill is usually a fun area to hang out in but this weekend it really did come alive! All ages and races, tourists and locals alike revealed in the Caribbean spirit.

Truth be told, I don’t even know where to begin describing the festivities over the two days. Day one, which is considered the ‘Children’s Day’ was more relaxed, but that’s not to say it wasn’t exhilarating. There were dozens of sound stages around the area, each playing mixes of Hip-Hop, Reggae, Electronic and everything else. If you didn’t like the music at one spot, it was easy as walking 5 minutes down the road and encountering 3 others. If you come next year I recommend checking out the spots on All Saint’s Road and Talbot Road.

But let’s not forget the food! Authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Roast Corn and Fried Plantains – a meal fit for a road side king : ) Speaking from experience, I’d say go to the stalls on Powis Square – the food was good and the lines not too long.

Day 2 was definitely more lively than the first, and everything that implies. Be prepared for larger crowds and getting everywhere taking a lot longer. But the energy of the people and the majesty of the parade definitely make it worthwhile. Though the latter didn’t start till 12-ish, it ran for hours and full of life and vivid colors. It is an absolute must see! For fellow photographers, I highly recommend catching them at on Westbourne Grove, down towards Colville Road. This area is slightly more open and the parade pauses there at points, making for a great viewing experience. And I definitely recommend getting into the area before 1, because it gets pretty crazy and public transportation can take forever!

I hope you like the shots. And I look forward to this brilliant weekend again. Hope to see you there too : )

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Afternoon At The Museum

One great (and absolutely free) way to enjoy this beautiful city is to take in some culture at one of its many museums. So today I decided to spend a nice afternoon at The British Museum. They have an extensive collection of artifacts and pieces from around the world and you could literally spend an entire day there looking and marveling.

I decided to share some of the shots from my perusal of their Greco-Roman, Ancient Egyptian and Meso-American collections. Growing up, I was fascinated by these cultures – their myriads of Gods, their colorful stories, their obsession with the beauty of life and death – and I was super excited to see so much of it in person. I hope one day I will actually be able to see such beautiful pieces in their homeland (well, whats left there anyway).

Hopefully these few shots will entice you to go across and explore as well. I know I’ll definitely be making my way some time soon.

Evergreen

From open windows
Sights seen of life and beauty
Of radiant sun

Life giving mother
Spread like an ocean of green
‘Twixt a plane of grey

Her ample bosom
Teeming with love and laughter
Families, lovers

Yet I feel a chill
Messenger of season’s change
The ebbing of life

Greying skies above
The leaves in suicide plunge
Falling epithets

But hold, dark visions!
For now is not yet the time
We yet live and smile

Youth not yet abates
And sweet smells of spring yet flow
And I breathe them in

So for now I sit
At open window and gaze
At nature’s bounty

And I think that I
Shall be sad some other day
Today, life is good

Decisions, Decisions

“You make decisions every day. Small ones. Big ones. Whether to stop at that coffee place on the corner before punching in. Whether to wait for the light to turn or just chance it. Whether to get that third pint or call it a night. And every one of these decisions affects the course of our lives. Shifts it in the tiniest of ways in a direction unbelievably the same yet completely distinct. This is just one of those decisions Thomas. And like every one of those decisions, it’s one that needs to be made.

Sure some of your choices may seem more pertinent than others. Whether in the end Brown was better. Or should you have held out for Yale. But who’s to say that changed the trajectory of your fate any more than the decision you made between Butternut Squash Risotto or the Rib Eye the day before your 23rd birthday. Who’s to say Yale would have brought you more success? Who’s to say the Rib Eye would have meant you wouldn’t find yourself with that 33 Caliber in your hand right now.

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Aquariums and Falcon Farms

Last month I was in Dubai visiting my brother (and doing a fair bit of shopping). I managed to get a few good snaps while I was there and I’ve finally gotten around to sharing them. Have a look!