Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts from the ‘Food and Drink’ category

Uptown Diner, Uptown, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday in MSP: Uptown Diner

Between 2003 and 2006, I spent three memorably enjoyable years in Minneapolis and working at the University of Minnesota. I visited the Twin Cities as one of many destinations during my year-long RTW in 2012, and I returned again briefly in 2019 to see what became of the city.

I lived the entire time in what is colloquially known as Uptown, known also as Lowry Hill or East Isles. But “Uptown” was good enough with a mix of different people, little restaurants and cafés, a variety of commercial activity, a synagogue, temples to religion and drink, and small lakes within easy walking reach. Whether the `hood has gotten too hip for its own good is left as an exercise to the interested reader.

But better that a working diner served as reminder of Dad’s working heritage. The Uptown Diner goes 24 hours on the weekends; that breakfast- or burger-platter at 2am hit the spot, before waddling that final block back to the apartment building.

I made the photos on 14 March 2019 with a Fujifilm X70. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-gn9.

Uptown Diner, Uptown, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA, fotoeins.com

Left: “The Minnesotan” omelette (3 eggs, wild rice, sausage, onions, tomato, Swiss cheese), hash browns, & toast. Right: bison burger with green salad.

End L201, Baad, Kleinwalsertal, Vorarlberg, Österreich, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday in Kleinwalsertal: Baad

Austria’s Kleinwalsertal (Little Walser Valley) is a picturesque mountain valley southeast from Oberstdorf. This piece of Austria’s Vorarlberg is cut off from the rest of the federal state and country; so, the only way in by car or bus is through the town of Oberstdorf in southern Germany.

At the foot of Wannenberg mountain, the hamlet of Baad anchors the end of the Kleinwalsertal and marks the end of the Kleinwalserstrasse road (Landestrasse 201). Alpine rainshowers aren’t as fun as snowshowers, and I wisely step inside the nearby cafe for warmth and a late-morning snack.

I made the photos on 9 March 2017 with a Canon 6D mark 1. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-gmb.

Cafe Baad-Grund, Baad, Kleinwalsertal, Vorarlberg, Österreich, fotoeins.com

Cold and wet outside? Hot Milchkaffee and warm Apfelstrudel inside Café Baad-Grund.

Albuquerque: big balloons & other highlights in Duke City

To begin our journey through the American Southwest, one of our first destinations was the International Balloon Fiesta. The largest balloon festival in North America is held every October in Albuquerque, the most populous city in the American state of New Mexico. Located roughly in the centre of the state and bisected by two major interstate highways I-25 and I-40, Albuquerque has seen its fair share of human activity and history:

  • Inland trade road between Meso-America and southern Rocky Mountains, c. 1000 AD/CE.
  • El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro established between Mexico City and Santa Fe for the colony of New Spain.
  • City founded 1706 AD/CE, in a wooded area along the east bank of the Rio Grande river.
  • City named after Viceroy of New Spain who was the 10th Duke of Alburquerque; 1st ‘r’ dropped to ease spelling and pronunciation.
  • City population: over 560-thousand, metro area over 910-thousand.
  • City elevation, average: 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mile).
  • City shaped by Spanish presence, railroad, University of New Mexico, Route 66, Sandia National Laboratories, TV- & film-production.

Having arrived from our respective cities at sea-level, we needed about a day or two to adjust to 20% less atmosphere# at the city’s mile-high elevation. Not only did the balloon festival exceed our expectations, we’re happy to share some of our favourite moments and places in and around “The Duke City”. With a limited number of days in the city, a rental car is the easiest way of getting around the city.

( Click here for images and more )

Reichenau, Reichenau Island, Gnadensee, Untersee, Bodensee, Lake Constance, Konstanz, Constance, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday around Lake Constance: Reichenau (Untersee)

On a daytrip from Konstanz, I’m on a bus to Reichenau Island in Lake Constance. The bus’ final stop is next to the museum in town; from here, I spend the next few hours on foot traversing the western part of the island. There’s history in the Peter and Paul church, and it’s not long before the idea of “bread and fish” sharpens my appetite. I wander onto the island’s north shore to a small restaurant, Georgs Fischerhütte (George’s Fisher Hut), highlighting fresh catch from the lake and vegetables sourced from farms within a distance of 2 km. I get “Forellenfilet an Buttermandeln mit Reichenauer Gemüse” (grilled trout with almonds and Reichenau vegetables): it’s uncomplicated and delicious. By the time I make way back into the centre of town and the museum before closing, I’ve walked over 5 km (3 mi) with a couple more to tally up before the day is done.

I made both images on 22 September 2017. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-e7f.

My Heidelberg: 38 Highlights from Home

Above/featured: From Philosophenweg: across the Neckar, over the Altstadt, and up to Königstuhl – 21 May 2016 (HL).

Some have called this place “scenic, natural, and spectacular”; some call it “boring, provincial, and extortionate”. I could be referring to Vancouver, but that’s a subject for another time. I’ve long struggled with questions of place: what defines “home”? Can those definitions and qualities change with time? Do people have choice(s) and do they apply their choices in their search? Can people find meaning with “home”? Must “home” be restricted to only one place, or can different needs be met from different places?

Images can provide access to memories of having lived in a new country, experiencing the shock of the new, and settling into the mundane. I remember advice someone once gave me which became constant companion and reminder: that I was inhabiting a place at the same latitude as my birthplace, 8000 km in distance and 9 time zones apart on the other side of the planet, a place that’s seen its compact share of activity with flair and impact.

Most recall is naturally connected to sight. Occasionally, it’s a rush of the senses: the quick breeze on the skin, the ankle-spraining undulations of the cobblestone, how fog clings like a cold clammy cloak, the sing-song of birds among tall trees in the forest on the hill, the smell of grilled sausages in town by day, and the satisfying late-night noms of a spicy Dürüm Döner with a cool Ayran. And other times, human history leaps out and buries its claws, when the unthinkable must be acknowledged and understood in a synapsis of memory and senses.

In the autumn of 2001, I moved to Germany and Heidelberg: both sight unseen and without having learned any of the language. I stayed in town for a little under two years. What’s astonishing is I have no pictorial record of my time in Heidelberg, Germany, and Europe: I had no camera before the dawn of the smart-phone.

I have some great memories, even if time is casting long shadows. What I lost (no, gave away) was some part of me that actually has little to do with the “Schlager” hit song “Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren“. It might be a piece of the heart, a part of the soul, or simply a scrap of good sense; but what it is precisely still remains undefined and shapeless. Finding solid answers about what I’ve surrendered might take years. And so, for the sake of clarity, I’ve returned many times since leaving town in 2003. A sharper focus comes through the post-departure blur whenever I step off the train in town.

I couldn’t have possibly known the experience of moving to and living in Heidelberg would be life-changing. Time so far has been kind, because it didn’t take long for me to adopt Heidelberg as “home”.

( Click here for images and much more )

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