Photo Journal: An Italian family tradition – tomato sauce making day

There’s actually not all that much I want to write this morning; I’d rather the photos do the talking. Last weekend heralded our family’s annual tomato sauce making day at my grandparents’ house, something I’ve been meaning to capture on film for a few years now. As you may have notices from my blogging habit, recording memories is important to me, and I wanted to share some of the pictures I took to give others a bit of an insight into a centuries old Italian tradition that continues in the backyards of countless emigrants in Australia today…

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Inside the hospital of Alcatraz

I can’t tell you why, but I’ve always had a strange fascination for old, abandoned hospitals. Much like old cemeteries (like the St. Louis #3 in New Orleans), I find something so perfectly, beautifully, macabre about them. I realise this is going to make me sound like even more of a lunatic than I already am, and I honestly can’t explain why; there’s just something about the decaying abandoned furniture and equipment, the cliched but naturally haunting lighting, imagining the stories of the patients who went through there. For these reasons, I loved the movie Sucker Punch, and am an enormous fan of the work of Seph Lawless, who captures a lot of these degenerate settings so beautifully.

I’d love nothing more than to spend days exploring some of these abandoned buildings with my camera, but they’re not easy to get into. So, one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever been afforded was to see inside the hospital of Alcatraz (which was closed back in 1934) when I visited a few months ago. It was opened to the public for a few months after Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was invited to turn the rooms of the hospital into an art gallery, displaying his art examining human rights and free expression. You can read a little more about that exhibition here, but here are some of the photos I was able to take when I visited…

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Coney Island, New York City

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Coney Island was one of those places that was never on my “must see” lists, until I saw a few photos of it in winter not long before we left for our winter trip. There’s something about an abandoned amusement park with an empty ferris wheel in the middle of winter that I find so beautiful – I’m no photographer, but I have always loved carrying a camera around to capture the moments that strike me, so once I saw those pictures, I knew I had to get there while we were in New York.

Coney Island is a residential area in Brooklyn, by the water, and filled with fun things designed to attract families – amusement park rides and an aquarium, a beautiful beach area and good food. But I couldn’t help feeling, as I walked through the neighbourhood on a cold January day, that the area was struggling. I know Coney Island’s heydays are in the past now, but I really got the sense that the area had been neglected and was forgotten about. Maybe that was just because it was winter and there weren’t many people around, but that was just the vibe I got. Pity, because it’s actually a really beautiful area and a lovely way to spend the morning 🙂

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Photo Journal: Melbourne street art – Blender’s Laneway

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On our way from the Queen Vic Market area to our first Open House Melbourne stop (that post coming tomorrow), my disposition to distraction by bright colours stuck again while walking along Franklin St. The laneway next to Charles Darwin University is filled with the most STUNNING street art, and I cannot believe I’ve only just found out about it! After further investigation, I discovered The Blender Studio, located next to the laneway. You can read more about the studio on their website, but I’ll let the street art talk for itself.

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By the way – here’s a map!
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Photo Journal: The old buildings of Preston & Northcote (2014)

I’ve been sick with the flu for a week and a half. Second time in a month. Husband and I usually go for a pretty long walk (around 12km on average) most Sundays to and from a breakfast or brunch spot. Last weekend was the first time in over a week I’d had the energy to actually do anything, and also the first time it hasn’t really been raining in a while, so we decided to head out for a walk and a feed. That review is coming up soon.

In the mean time, I quite enjoyed my time being let lose for a 10km walk in the fresh air, and really noticed for the first time that there are some really beautiful old buildings along High Street, spanning the Preston and Northcote suburbs. A lot of them now have shiny new signage for new businesses that have popped up, but there are still hints of the good old days to be seen. More still have that retro, vintage, gorgeously run down and dilapidated look to them. They’re all little bits of history, though. Here are some snaps I took and played around with on the VSCOcam last weekend…

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