When good and bad are entangled in memories of your own, it is time to make new, longer lasting positive memories by conquering more dreams and living more in today as opposed to the past or even the future.Read More
Viñales Valley was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1999 and is protected by the Cuban Government as a National Park. Due to the area being a World Heritage Site, it is also protected by the United Nations with an international treaty.Read More
The mountains in Alaska jut from the earth sharply and are kissed by the crisp cold air as the warmer air below makes its way up. Snow from the top then mixes with the warmer air on its trickle down and creates even more fog, preventing you from seeing the peeks.
Naturalist and father of our National Parks once stated, John Muir stated, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” No truer words were spoken as he was considered a “Wilderness Prophet,” which was his nickname. Muir was one of the true explorers of Alaska in search of beauty, which he became engulfed in.
Some mornings you wake up barely breathing. The next morning you wake up to see what takes your breath away.
"The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see." - Albert Einstein
Photo: I took this in Alaska - Twin mountain tops high above the frigid ocean #alaska, #sonyalpha
BONNAROO 2018: Ahhh, the family concert... the family who see's Eminem together at midnight sticks together.
BONNAROO 2018: She showed vigorous support for America with not only her outfit, but also her blanket as she sat in the midst of thousands of people walking from concert to concert.
Some may disagree as they were taught not to wear or sit on the flag. Others may high five her, which is the Bonnaroo way.
"How do I look," she asked. The shutter shut, "Great," I quietly responded as she handed me her cellphone. "Would you take my picture with my phone," she asked.
Another shutter click and I disappeared into the crowd where I next came across a large shirtless man that had a "Lost Soul" tattoo across his stomach. He was carrying a unicorn... I will get to that photo later.
BONNAROO 2018: Never get between a large tattooed man and his unicorn. Never.
Be who you want and dress as you like.
They were digging for treasures in a trash bin on a side street in Jerusalem.
I have heard many times over, “One mans trash is another mans treasure.” In this case, One mans trash is a boys treasure.
Rest after a busy day in the market is important, even if the day is not yet complete.
I should write a catchy article on smoking, but I love the simplicity of this photo too much to distract from it.
What the heck, I might as well write something productive.
"All Smoked Out in Israel," can be my catchy title.
Smokers in Israel are no laughing matter. They are just about all smoked out… with taxes.
While the United States has problems with big tobacco, foreign countries have even a bigger issue with the situation.
In Israel, the Health Ministry decided to up the taxes on a pack of smokes by 20% in 2017. The increase was aimed at deterring people from lighting up. The decision to put the tax increase in place was due to a 2016 increase of those who are 18 or older and lighting up at an increased rate of 19.7%, according to an article in the HAARETZ.
In all, it looks as if 22.5% of the Israeli population over the age of 18 smoke.
Like institutes of higher learning in America, Israel also nipped smoking in the bud at such locations. A law that went into motion in 2016 banned smoking in all educational institutes in Israel.
Prayer along the Western Wall in Jerusalem is something that many participate in. From Jewish to Christians, you will see a variety of visitors.
Many write notes to God and place them into the cracks of the wall. Sometimes, detailed secrets or confessions are placed into the cracks.
During the late 19th century, there was not a separation between men and women at the wall. Today however, there is a partition dividing the male and female side of the wall.
In the Old City Jerusalem Market - he was ready to shop and perhaps hit the club.
"They come runnin' just as fast as they can
'Cause every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man."
-ZZ TOP, Sharp Dressed Man
The Jewish men were surrounding a bell hop at a local Jerusalem Hotel sharing in jokes and laughs prior to their big night with their big furry hats.
“So why the hats,” I asked a local onlooker. It was as if I was from outer space… “Look at how they are combed up, towards God – It gets them closer to God,” was the response I got. While that didn’t tell me much, it did tell me there was a religious meaning to the furry spectacle.
The hat is called a Shtreimel and it is worn by many married Haredi Jewish Men on Shabbat or any festive occasion… you know, when you want that special GQ look. Generally speaking, the hat is worn only after marriage. However, there are exceptions to the marriage rule.
First of all, the special fur hat is not to be worn with everyday Jewish clothing. It is for the dressier gear one would find themselves in at a wedding as the groom to be or at a special dinner event. For the groom to be, it is a tradition for the bride’s father to purchase the costly hat that is often made of real animal fur.
As for religion of the hat itself, it is associated with the holiness of Shabbat and viewed as a crown which enhances and beautifies Shabbat. By the way, Shabbat simply means Sabbath and it is recognized as a day of rest.
Some pray at the site of the Western Wall… Some catch a holy nap on the Shabbat.
The Western Wall in Jerusalem is also referred to as the Wailing Wall. The site received the nickname allegedly by visitors who watched in silence as they witnessed Jewish people weeping at the location due to the destruction of the Jewish Temple. Jewish people simply call it “The Western Wall” or “The Wall.”
The wall is the western wall of the Temple Mount. It is also a symbol that God is near us, but a wall representing our sins separates us from him.
Hundreds if not thousands of Muslims exiting the walls this past Saturday (5/5/18).
The massive walls seen in this photo surround the Dome of the Rock Islamic Shrine that sits atop the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem that first opened in 691 AD. It is considered to be one of the most sacred sites for Muslims around the world.
The rock was said to be the beginning point for Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey to Heaven. That rock is at the center of the mosque.
The location is watched and prayed over by more than one faith. It is also a significant location for those of the Jewish Faith in Israel. It is thought to be the Foundation Stone of where God gathered the dust to create the first human known as Adam on Mount Moriah and where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son. The Jewish community actually turns towards this location in prayer.
Non-Muslims are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. It is also against the rules to bring any type of prayer book other than the Koran into the area. Furthermore, non-Muslim followers are not allowed to wear their religious apparel into the area next to the mosque.
Muslims once prayed towards the Temple Mount, but that changed when Muhammad was said to have had a revelation from Allah. That revelation led to the direction of Mecca for Islamic prayer.
I captured these photos directly next to a historic site that is visited by millions of people from all over the world. Local residents and tourist alike find the clutter distracting and the trash undermining of the finely kept museum pieces next door. I thought the same until I slowed down to take in my surroundings with a deeper consideration for where I was standing.
The trash filled passage ways between the homes, the children in the streets without shoes and the field containing the garbage of nearby residents sits within 105 yards of where Jesus spent his final days while on trial prior to being sacrificed.
The neighborhood of the working class was a vivid illustration of how accepting Jesus was of people and surroundings. It was an illustration of his life in so many ways that tourist who want neat and tidy fail to see. It was a reminder that he walked with the unclean, the unhealthy and the unloved. In reality, the perfect setting.
When Jesus was at this location it was known as the Palace of Caiaphas. The High Priest of Israel lived in the palace that was utilized as a court setting for Jesus. Caiaphas presided over the Jewish Council which ordered Jesus be put to death finding him guilty of blasphemy. This is also the location of where Peter denied Jesus in the court of the palace three times.
It is at this site some 105 yards away from the garbage filled homes that you will find the hole that Jesus was lowered into and held captive.
Today, the Church of St. Peter is built over that jail cell where Jesus was held.
He was walking down the ancient stone sidewalk that was originally built under John II, Bishop of Jerusalem between AD 387 to AD 417.
The Basilica of the Assumption (or Dormition) is in Jerusalem near the Zion Gate. The church was hit by warriors in year 614 and destroyed. A new structure was built on the site in the 12th century, but destroyed again in the 13th century. This is a similar story line to many of the buildings, churches, and structures in Israel.
However, the foundation of the original building left behind was staunch enough to stand a rebuilding in 1899. The Catholic Diocese of Cologne, Heinrich Renard, sought the reconstruction and moved forward with the project after a brief visit to the Holy Land.
In just ten years, the massive structure was complete and dedicated to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in year 1910 under the Catholic Church.
The property was extremely important to save as this was believed to be the site where the “Blessed Virgin Mary” died or as many refer to her passing as, fell asleep. It is also near the location of where “The Last Supper” was believed to have been held.
There is a great divide in Jerusalem that I did not hear a lot of talk about. If you are not a part of the Muslim, Jewish or Christian community you will fear very alone. It not a welcomed alone feeling, but one of desperation, sadness and pain.
Jerusalem is divided into multiple areas with large walls that are similar to the walls that once stood in Berlin. However, these walks you can walk around to exit or enter. Regardless of entry or exit, the walls continue into the subconscious to where you know that you may not be welcomed after entering.
It was the night of Lag B’Omer and events were being held throughout the city of Jerusalem by different Jewish Communities.
At this event, a stage was the center focus lined with Jewish teenagers with adults nearby. In other areas, bonfires within the city roared to life constantly fed by oil to keep the flames alive.
Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which is a period of 49 days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot.
Some of the traditions on Lag B’Omer Day include three year old boys receiving their first haircut, Jewish weddings and of course, bonfires, food and singing.