Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pretty in pink

It's hot, it's summer so I think of that magical moment that is early spring. Perhaps these may help cool things off


Sicilian bougainvillea / have a nice weekend

This lovely bougainvillea was shot soon  after the sun had set with the Lumix GX1 thecamera that I am using on this trip. The lens is the kit lens from the Olympus E PL-2.

It's all over but the shouting, as they say.

We have presaged the demise of traditional big camera photography in the past. But the change is so rapid as to be almost incredible. And now we have this from SONY.
Several rumor mongers and tech sites have been buzzing about Sony's upcoming smartphone, code-named Honami. Recent rumors have shifted to the possibility that the new phone will be capable of working with an interchangeable lens that may have its own sensor and some sort of storage built in, with the ability to communicate with smart-devices wirelessly and via NFC. Click through for more details about the rumors at our sister site,

Going strong

I remember the old Canon headquarters at Lake Success in Long Island I also recall when Canon was not one of the "big boys" in the State and when  Nikon was It. How things change.

Canon Celebrates Grand Opening of their new Americas Headquarters

Canon-logo-2012.pngCanon U.S.A. held a grand opening today for their new Americas Headquarters facility in Melville, NY. The new headquarters covers 700,000 square feet, and serves as a, "symbol of Canon's commitment to growth, innovation, and the Long Island community.". It must be noted that Nikon's headquarters are also in Melville, N.Y.

In the press release, Canon notes some fun facts about the new building, including the amount of steel used in its constructions, the number of employees, how many bathrooms there are, how many parking spaces, etc. This is an exciting time for Canon, and I'm sure they're happy to finally complete the facility. Site plans were filed on July 1st of 2008, and groundbreaking didn't start until May 3rd of 2010.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Gingerbread Houses

These historic gingerbread houses are in Martha;s Vineyard. They were early Methodist settlements that have all been restored and are painted in what must be un Methodist colors,
This recent trip to New England, an yearly tradition was fabulous but I didn't find any vineyards in Martha's Vineyards. Go figure. At any rate, these houses all painted in different brgiht colors reminded me of Burano.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

More food

I am having the time of my life eating the really traditional foods here in my beloved Sicily.

Above are stuffed sun dried tomatoes. Absolutely delicious.

Here we have a traditional summer staple that is a so called cibo fresco or a cool food. This means that it cures irritations as opposed to hot foods such as peppers or eggplants that are tasty, but should be eaten in moderation. But no one eats sgg plants in moderation here. They are simply too good. But you get the picture. This dish known in Sicilian as cucuzza e tinnirumi, snake aquash and it's tender shoots, is simply boiled and seasoned with olive oil ans sea salt. I add a little garlic.
Notice that I avoided the term extra virgin. Here all oil is extra virgin. We take virginity very seriously  so it's assumed that oil as well as women are virgins. Also, we are not very parsimonious with salt. Screw you Mayor Bloomberg. We love plenty salt and  plenty of sun.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Incredible zoom range

                                                   Panasonic has just released the Lumix DMC-FZ70, a 16.1MP compact super zoom with a 60x optical zoom. Spanning the equivalent of 20-1200mm it's the largest zoom lens available in a consumer compact. The FZ70's zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.9, and the camera introduces a new 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor capable of 1080i60 video. A wind shield built into the camera's stereo microphone is designed to improve sound quality on windy days (Panasonic claims a 70% improvement in signal-to-noise ratio), and the microphone itself is designed to 'zoom' with the lens, though Panasonic reps couldn't provide details on approximate range.

I'm not rubbing it in, but.....

For some inexplicable reason the senses are enhanced in Sicily where colors are more saturated, aromas are stronger, the noises more boisterous  and food is tastier. Many foreign writers from Anatole France to Wolfgang Goethe have commented on this phenomenon. Sicily is Italy looked through a magnifying glass. Barzini in his book The Italians comments at length about this.
These make up just a small sample of the delight that await a visitor. The dish is my usual light lunch when I am alone. All  fresh local products.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Views from Erice

This lovely medieval town atop Monte San Giuliano, overlooks Trapani and affords many wonderful views. It is a must visit place foe anyone coming to Sicily.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gelsi rossi

Gelsi rossi are Sicilian black mulberries, But unlike the ones in the States that are small and sickly sweet, these have a complex flavor that is hard to describe. They are sweet but very tart. I was lucky to find some at my favorite farmers market here ib Castellammare as they are rare and almost out of season now.


Being that I am in Sicily and on a working vacation, please accept my apologies for not posting more photos. I will soon post lots  and from from this lovely land.
BTW, this photo dates from the summer of 004 and was shot at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


The word fuchsia is very hard to pronouce by me one who has stubbornly refused to lose his Italian accent. You can only imagine what comes out when I try to utter it. But needless to say, on a cloudy and rainy day it makes for a nice picture. . The camera was the Lumix DMC-GX-1 with a Nikkor 24mm F 1:2.8 mounted on it.