All Eyes On Me: As a blonde, western woman, I stood out from the crowd on Yangon’s Circular Railway.
The Circular Railway in Yangon, Myanmar is a commuter train that connects the city to the surrounding suburbs. To ride the train with the locals is a fantastic glimpse into everyday life of the Burmese People. You need to have a local guide escort you– the schedules are too confusing to navigate yourself. Fortunately, the staff at The Strand Hotel hooked me up a local guide who showed me around. While there was a First Class car, I rode in the Ordinary Class Green Car, which was the class of service used by the locals for their daily commute.
I sat next to a young girl who hadn’t seen a iPhone before and kept asking me to show her my images in between shots. When I showed her my captures, she kept giggling. While I missed an opportunity to shoot during these moments, the interaction was priceless and sort of a great example of where Myanmar is at the moment. Opening up and curious, yet (at least for now) still very much sheltered and off the grid.
Visiting the Circular Railway I was very taken by the Burmese people. They are friendly and completely not jaded by cameras. While a few people smiled for the camera, most of them simply went about their business. No one asked for money for posing, nor did any of them flinch from my lens. While I had my DSLR with me, my mobile images are the ones I like the best. Because this commuter train is off the tourist grid, documenting it as unobtrusively as possible felt the most natural.
February may be the shortest month, yet it’s always the one where winter seems the longest, making it the perfect time to plan a tropical getaway. Here’s a dose of virtual vitamin C in the form of a highlight reel of the amazing St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, which I visited in November. I hope this slice of Polynesian paradise!
Couple with a camera at the Top of the Rock
I was in New York City for a few days last week and the frigid January temperatures made traditional street photography both unpleasant and not practical. I found myself shooting pictures from places I was sheltered from the elements (like the back of taxis and behind windscreens at Top of the Rock). I’ve pulled together my favorite images from the trip into this photo essay.
I never get tired of taking pictures of tourists taking pictures. I shot this couple on the viewing deck of Top of the Rock. Shot with ProCamera and edited with CrossProcess App.
Views of Midtown, shot from (Left) Top of the Rock and (right) a taxi
A hipstamatic view from the Top of the Rock
New York City has many urban treasures, among them a few fabulous observation deck views.
The Top of the Rock Observatory might not be as well known as the Empire State Building’s, but the views it offers are (in my opinion) a bit better. Located on the 67th-69th floor of Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock underwent a $75 million dollar renovation before re-opening to the public in 2005. This recent renovation included outfitting the deck with glass windshields which give more clear lines of sight to the urban landscape below.
Located between 49th and 50th streets, Top of the Rock gives you clear views of Central Park, the Empire State Building, and a glimpse of the deco jewel of the Chrysler Building.
Lunch at The Strand Cafe
I didn’t go to Myanmar for the cuisine. South east Asia has some of the tastiest food in the world, but Burmese specialties were not on my radar during my visit last month. Since I was staying at The Strand Hotel, I ate most of my meals at The Strand Cafe and found the menu and setting to both be delightful.
The Strand Cafe has a lively colonial vibe and gets busy at lunch when tour groups pop in for what I found to be the tastiest spot to have a bite to eat and get out of the heat of the mid-day sun. The cafe serves both colonial classics (such as curries) and southeast Asian cuisine that manages to be both delicate and satisfying and perfect for the environment.