A TRIP TO ALSACE

Along the French and German border, a photo gallery

It’s time for a new adventure to France and Germany so I thought I would revisit a few of the pictures from the last trip.  I have made similar trips in recent years to sites in the Alsace region of France.  The reason for these trips is not just the scenery or historic sites.  It is something even more important.  This was explained on SERENDIPITY in “Where Would You Travel?”

The last trip went from Chicago to New York with a five hour lay over.  I explained to my friend that spending vacation with him was the only reason I would spend 5 hours in JFK airport.  From there it was on to Frankfurt, Germany and a two hour lay over waiting for the Lufthansa bus to Strasbourg, France.  The bus arrived near the Strasbourg train station two and one half hours later.  There my friend collected me for our trip back to his town.

You can go to Paris and connect by train to Strasbourg.  The trip is just as long and I did not believe the connection would be as easy.  Now there is a train from Charles De Gaulle airport direct to the Strasbourg station which means I would arrive at the same spot.  They did not have this train until recent years so perhaps it is a better way to go.  I let price and connection time determine which airport to use to go to Alsace.  This time it is American Airlines to Frankfurt via Charlotte and a return on Aer Lingus via Dublin.  All of this is on a British Airways ticket.  I guess there is no good explanation for how the travel industry sells us airline tickets.

Click on any image for a larger view and go through the gallery.

A TOURIST VIEW OF ENGLAND

Recently we had the good fortunate to tour parts of England again.  We did some of the popular tourists stops, so we took some of the usual tourist photos.  We flew to London and saw places around the city and took the tour out to Salisbury, Stonehenge and Bath.

 

Click on any picture to see the larger size of each photo.

Related:  London Calling
Stonehenge And A Roman Bath
Take The London Underground
Heathrow Express

NO H8 Campaign Comes To Chicago

No H8_mediumThe NO H8 campaign returns to Chicago this afternoon so I thought it was a good time to rerun this article and photo gallery from 2014.  My photo from this stop is on the right. 

Spreading the message of equality

Perhaps you have seen some of the famous pictures captured by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska.  The ones where the subject has duct tape on his or her mouth and “NO H8” stenciled on the person, usually the face. While many celebrities and politicians, including a large number from the House Democratic Caucus, have had their pictures taken by the campaign, it is the many thousands of others who make the campaign a success.

The NO H8 (No hate) campaign was started in response to California’s Proposition 8, or as some called it, Prop H8.  The photo campaign of silent protest was started by photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley.  The duct tape over the mouth is a symbol of voices being silenced by legislation like Proposition 8 and the No H8 stencil is the message that is being spread anyway.  The pictures struck a chord with supporters and eventually the movement spread across the country and finally it has gone international.

When the campaign came to Chicago in 2012, the second visit to the Windy City, I went to the photo shoot and posted a small gallery here.  The following year I noted the campaign had gone international.  Now the campaign has returned for another photo shoot.  Almost 300 people came to have Adam take their picture as Jeff prepared the participants for their moment in front of the camera.  Adam took many shots of each person and later will decide with picture to add to the growing No H8 gallery.  Following is from last Sunday’s gathering in downtown Chicago.

Click on a picture for a larger version, then go through the gallery.

The video shows the moments just before many of the photos above were taken as well other moments.

A TRIP TO ALSACE

Along the French and German border, a photo gallery

Last week we made no stop at the Sunday Night Blog because we were stopping at sites in France while visiting friends.  I have made similar trips in recent years to sites in the Alsace region of France.  The reason for these trips is not just the scenery or historic sites.  It was something even more important.  This was explained on SERENDIPITY last Sunday in “Where Would You Travel?”

The trip went from Chicago to New York with a five hour lay over.  I explained to my friend that spending vacation with him was the only reason I would spend 5 hours in JFK airport.  From there it was on to Frankfurt, Germany and a two hour lay over waiting for the Lufthansa bus to Strasbourg, France.  The bus arrived near the Strasbourg train station two and one half hours later.  There my friend collected me for our trip back to his town.

You can go to Paris and connect by train to Strasbourg.  The trip is just as long and I did not believe the connection would be as easy.  Now there is a train from Charles De Gaulle airport direct to the Strasbourg station which means I would arrive at the same spot.  They did not have this in past years so perhaps it is a better way to go.  I will let price and connection time determine which airport I use next time I go to Alsace.  Whenever that may be will not be soon enough while good times with friends await.

Click on any image for a larger view and go through the gallery.

NO H8 Campaign Comes To Chicago

Spreading the message of equality

Perhaps you have seen some of the famous pictures captured by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska.  The ones where the subject has duct tape on his or her mouth and “NO H8” stenciled on the person, usually the face. While many celebrities and politicians, including a large number from the House Democratic Caucus, have had their pictures taken by the campaign, it is the many thousands of others who make the campaign a success.

The NO H8 (No hate) campaign was started in response to California’s Proposition 8, or as some called it, Prop H8.  The photo campaign of silent protest was started by photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley.  The duct tape over the mouth is a symbol of voices being silenced by legislation like Proposition 8 and the No H8 stencil is the message that is being spread anyway.  The pictures struck a chord with supporters and eventually the movement spread across the country and finally it has gone international.

When the campaign came to Chicago in 2012, the second visit to the Windy City, I went to the photo shoot and posted a small gallery here.  The following year I noted the campaign had gone international.  Now the campaign has returned for another photo shoot.  Almost 300 people came to have Adam take their picture as Jeff prepared the participants for their moment in front of the camera.  Adam took many shots of each person and later will decide with picture to add to the growing No H8 gallery.  Following is from last Sunday’s gathering in downtown Chicago.

Click on a picture for a larger version, then go through the gallery.

The video shows the moments just before many of the photos above were taken as well other moments.

Taking the Message Overseas

Last night you could have seen the American embassy in Prague lit up in a rainbow of colors.  Today the Czech Republic has become the 10th country to host the NO H8 campaign and their now famous photo sessions.  The added international press and “rainbow” support come on the heels of the antigay laws passed recently in Russia.  News stories have reported gays beaten in the streets as hate spreads there.  The backlash is being felt by the Russians.  President Putin was greeted this past week with rainbow flags in Amsterdam, not just on private buildings, but public ones as well.

Last year the campaign came to Chicago.  Following is the article I wrote at that time, along with a few pictures from the event.  I replaced one of the photos in the original gallery with the portrait of myself taken by NO H8 founder Adam Bouska, which I received a couple of months after the event.  I have used it as my profile picture on a number of social media sites ever since.

NO H8 Campaign

Last weekend the NO H8 Campaign kicked off its 6 city Midwest Tour with a stop in Chicago.  The campaign began in 2008 following the passage of Proposition 8 in California and has since expanded, not just across the country, but around the world.  The now famous photographs are numbered at over 20,000 by the Campaign but are likely many thousands beyond that with independent groups and individuals making their own NO H8 pictures.  You can find them at the NO H8 website and across the internet on personal and social websites.

The photographs most often appear with people dressed in white. The subjects have a piece if duct tape across their mouthes.  The tape is a symbol of voices being silenced by the oppressive laws being passed in California and around the globe.  While the voice may be silenced, the campaign intends for the message to be seen anyway.  It is stenciled on the sides of the faces that appear  in the portraits.  This powerful silent protest is gathering momentum as people are putting up their pictures.  It is not just the unknown citizen that is seen.  There are also pictures of dignitaries and celebrities in the mix.  These high-profile people lend a great deal to the campaign as they raise the visibility of this effort.

The campaign was started by Jeff Parshley and his partner, celebrity photographer Adam Bouska.  The not for profit agency promotes “equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.”  In addition to their famous pictures, the NO H8 logo now appears on t-shirts, lapel pins, window stickers, bumper stickers and who knows how many other items at this point.  The logo represents a message that is growing exponentially as the duo take their work to new cities.  Adam and Jeff made their way to Fargo, North Dakota this weekend after stops in Cedar Rapids and Omaha.  Next week it will be Duluth and Rochester, Minnesota before processing the many photos they have taken in the Midwest.  It was their first trip to Nebraska and North Dakota.

In case you are thinking that the pictures are just for gay people and politicians seeking the gay vote, I assure you that is not the case.   While the majority of people who showed up in Chicago were most likely gay (I know, I am stereotyping), I saw families present with the parents (man and woman) having portraits made with their children.  Straight friends and relatives were on hand to support their gay friends and relatives, as well has to have their own pictures taken.  It was great to be in a room with so much love and positive energy.  Hate was left at the curb, and hopefully was washed away.

If you do not agree with the sentiment that brought forth the campaign, I hope you will agree there is no room for hate.  When hate enters a debate it usually moves toward shouting.  No one hears the message while shouting at another.  It is better to proclaim the ideals of tolerance and equality, even if it is done silently.

London 2012, one year later

Time has not diminished the fine memories brought back from the London games. We were so glad we made the trip. With carefully planning it did not break the bank, it just put a bit of a dent into it. Last year at this time the Olympics were finishing up and I took the opportunity to put a few photos here. Below is the brief article that went with the gallery. I added two pictures to balance out the columns. Click on a thumbnail and go through the larger versions. I was also able to comment on the closing ceremonies because I watched some of it live online, rather than wait for the tape delayed, edited NBC version. The You Tube video is ours and taken at the Basketball Arena. I hope you enjoy our look back:

London 2012 photo gallery

A London Underground train decorated to promot...

A London Underground train decorated to promote London’s Olympic bid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

London was indeed ready for the 2012 summer games.  From sports venues to crowd control, everything was in order for the mass of humanity that arrived in London from all over the world.  This is not to say that we did not encounter some delays getting from venue to venue, but it all seemed to move along smoothly.  To have 70,000 volunteers on hand to greet us seemed an impossible task, but they did it.  Every where we went, the Brits greeted us with a smile and told us they were glad we came.  The volunteers were not just at the Olympic sites but at the train stations and intersections, landmarks and parks and just about anywhere a tourist might need a hand.  It was worth almost a year of vacation planning for us and we only wish we could have stayed a little while longer.  We are pleased to share just a few of the many pictures we brought home.

The closing ceremonies will give you a heavy dose of Beatles music, of course.  Appropriately, in my opinion, a small group of volunteers, representing the tens of thousands were presented flowers by medal winning athletes.  The finale rocks, literally.

LINK:  Official London 2012 closing ceremony photo gallery as well as links to all galleries can be found on the London site.   

NO H8 Campaign

Last weekend the NO H8 Campaign kicked off its 6 city Midwest Tour with a stop in Chicago.  The campaign began in 2008 following the passage of Proposition 8 in California and has since expanded, not just across the country, but around the world.  The now famous photographs are numbered at over 20,000 by the Campaign but are likely many thousands beyond that with independent groups and individuals making their own NO H8 pictures.  You can find them at the NO H8 website and across the internet on personal and social websites.

The photographs most often appear with people dressed in white. The subjects have a piece if duct tape across their mouthes.  The tape is a symbol of voices being silenced by the oppressive laws being passed in California and around the globe.  While the voice may be silenced, the campaign intends for the message to be seen anyway.  It is stenciled on the sides of the faces that appear  in the portraits.  This powerful silent protest is gathering momentum as people are putting up their pictures.  It is not just the unknown citizen that is seen.  There are also pictures of dignitaries and celebrities in the mix.  These high-profile people lend a great deal to the campaign as they raise the visibility of this effort.

The campaign was started by Jeff Parshley and his partner, celebrity photographer Adam Bouska.  The not for profit agency promotes “equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.”  In addition to their famous pictures, the NO H8 logo now appears on t-shirts, lapel pins, window stickers, bumper stickers and who knows how many other items at this point.  The logo represents a message that is growing exponentially as the duo take their work to new cities.  Adam and Jeff made their way to Fargo, North Dakota this weekend after stops in Cedar Rapids and Omaha.  Next week it will be Duluth and Rochester, Minnesota before processing the many photos they have taken in the Midwest.  It was their first trip to Nebraska and North Dakota.

In case you are thinking that the pictures are just for gay people and politicians seeking the gay vote, I assure you that is not the case.   While the majority of people who showed up in Chicago were most likely gay (I know, I am stereotyping), I saw families present with the parents (man and woman) having portraits made with their children.  Straight friends and relatives were on hand to support their gay friends and relatives, as well has to have their own pictures taken.  It was great to be in a room with so much love and positive energy.  Hate was left at the curb, and hopefully was washed away.

If you do not agree with the sentiment that brought forth the campaign, I hope you will agree there is no room for hate.  When hate enters a debate it usually moves toward shouting.  No one hears the message while shouting at another.  It is better to proclaim the ideals of tolerance and equality, even if it is done silently.

London 2012 photo gallery

A London Underground train decorated to promot...

A London Underground train decorated to promote London’s Olympic bid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

London was indeed ready for the 2012 summer games.  From sports venues to crowd control, everything was in order for the mass of humanity that arrived in London from all over the world.  This is not to say that we did not encounter some delays getting from venue to venue, but it all seemed to move along smoothly.  To have 70,000 volunteers on hand to greet us seemed an impossible task, but they did it.  Every where we went, the Brits greeted us with a smile and told us they were glad we came.  The volunteers were not just at the Olympic sites but at the train stations and intersections, landmarks and parks and just about anywhere a tourist might need a hand.  It was worth almost a year of vacation planning for us and we only wish we could have stayed a little while longer.  We are pleased to share just a few of the many pictures we brought home.

The closing ceremonies will give you a heavy dose of Beatles music, of course.  Appropriately, in my opinion, a small group of volunteers, representing the tens of thousands were presented flowers by medal winning athletes.  The finale rocks, literally.

LINK:  Official London 2012 closing ceremoney photo gallery as well as links to all galleries can be found on the London site.