Saturday, October 2, 2010

Flashback - February - Man City football match

I swung up through Manchester in February to visit a buddy of mine, Sunil, with a couple of classmates. We took the opportunity to go to a football match and see Manchester City. This is one of the top teams in football - definitely in the top 4-5 in England. They played Arsenal, which is another top-10 team. And we had front-row seats. We didn't even pay that much - just got lucky. The experience was great (in spite of the constant rain/sleet/snow), but the match wasn't very good. It ended in a 0-0 ("nil-nil") tie, with Arsenal back on its heels trying to play for a draw from the very beginning. I gave it a shot, and I did enjoy the World Cup, but the average football match is just going to put me to sleep.

Flashback - February - West End nightclub

This is a friend of a friend who flew in from California to celebrate his birthday. And also a 2,000 GBP order of champagne with firecrackers stuck in the top. It's obscene! But not entirely untypical for the kind of thing you see in West End nightclubs. There is a lot of wealth in London due to all the finance that's based here, and people like to party hard.

Clubs are "the thing to do" on a Friday or Saturday night, if you can afford it. This one is Jalouse, I believe. If you look at the ceiling in the video, you'll see that it's covered with lights that normally light up and change with the music.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flashback - January - MBAT

In January I traveled to HSBC (just outside of Paris) for MBAT. This is an annual tournament for all the MBA schools in Europe. LBS, naturally being one of the largest schools, was a perennial winner and 5-time-running champion.

Well, until we broke the streak. But who can blame us? HSBC has started recruiting athletes, and gives academic class credit for exercise (effectively like taking a PE class in high school). I don't disagree with the idea, though - it seems to have created a shared bond within the school, a commonality for everyone to rally around. LBS is probably 4x larger but we were beaten in most of the sports we competed head-to-head in. Basketball was no exception, but it was a thriller - it came down to literally the last shot / possession.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marrakesh - final pictures

I wanted to share two final pictures from Marrakesh. The first one has a story. I passed a small arcade in a shop while I was walking around the city. Some boys were playing foosball, so we joined in. They were pretty good! One kid (probably sensing opportunity) took us under his wing and led us to the city sites. We had been lost, and in all honesty, his guidance was immensely helpful. Afterward he led us through some winding streets that functioned as a metal-working district for the city and eventually to his family's shop. They dye scarves in beautifully rich colors and then the women embroider thread into them. The kid led us to the rooftop of his house where we hung out for a bit to watch the sun set. Scarves were hung to dry on everything - even the TV antennae. This pic reminds me of that whole experience, but has beautiful colors in its own right - the rich, deep blue against the skyline and the sunset.

The final picture is of graffiti, which I love to photograph and I find to be radically different from culture to culture. The wear-and-tear on this picture just adds to its character, and the lighting is perfect. The swan-like figure is dressed, has teeth, wears a comically small hat, and shields its eyes from something - in this picture, it seems to be hiding from the light. The childish figure seems very emotive, and a bit ominous.

Marrakesh - street scenes

The streets of Marrakesh have a very distinctively look to them. The colors are all muted reds and beiges, with red dust hanging in the air. The architecture recalls better times, when kings ruled and had built up palaces and giant walls in their capital city. It is slowly crumbling today and lacks the funding to be maintained.

Children are ubiquitously running about and playing games. People wear muted colors that match the buildings around them, with bright flashes of color in the occasional scarf or shoe. Women are all covered from head to toe, though a full muslim burka is a rare sight. People here are used to tourists and are very friendly, but are shrewd negotiators.

I love both of these pictures - they capture the people, and the action, that you see in every Marrakesh street. The top picture is especially beautiful, with the rays of light shining through into the alley, and vitality of the alley.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marrakesh - Jardin Majorelle

I went to Marrakesh for a weekend in January with three classmates. It was a great trip - very relaxing, warm weather, great meals, and all the prices were at a steep discount to London.

We didn't spend much time in the Jardin ("Garden") Majorelle, but the color in these pictures came out stunningly well, so I wanted to share them. It was a beautiful place - I've been to dozens of gardens, but never a tropical garden that had figured out a way to showcase bamboos and palm trees so uniquely. Interestingly it's owned/maintained by Yves Saint-Laurent (the company), and Yves Saint-Laurent (the person) chose to be buried here when he died in 2008.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Tube

The London tube. I think it's fair that this picture (dead of morning - first run of the tube) is the only time you'll ever see it this empty. During rush hour it's packed like a sardine can - and some people have body odor, let me tell you.

I used to ride the tube on occasion - maybe the weekends - but now I'm a regular commuter. I travel to work twice a week. The tube is a wonderful source of transportation; I would never own a car in the UK. But the tube lines are often delayed ("person under a train" means suicide, FYI) or shut down completely. If the tube was more reliable, and/or ran 24 hours per day (it stops at 12:30am), it would be perfect. I find that riding the tube is a good way to become proficient at iPhone games.