Age is an interesting thing. America is getting older and for a first time by year 2030, all Baby Boomers will be older than age 65. In other words, one in ever five residents in the United States will be of retirement age.Read More
David lives in Victoria, Canada and as he was walking out of a Japanese Sushi restaurant he looked at me and described how they wouldn't give him any leftover food for the night. I looked at the sign on the door which read, "CLOSED."
He said, “I really wanted a bowl of noodles, that's all.” I told him that I would buy him a bowl of noodles if he knew where another Japanese or Chinese restaurant was located. I then followed him for the next three blocks simply observing those we passed at about 9:45 on a Friday night. Some would move to the far opposite side while others refused to make eye contact. David never noticed, but I couldn't help but to notice.
We finally arrived and as we walked in the woman behind the counter handed David a menu. He quickly scanned over it unable to make a decision. I told the employee that he would simply like a large bowl of noodels and David jumped in and said, “With seafood on it, like shrimp.”
I paid and told David it would take about 10 minutes for his order to be prepared. He followed me outside and I snapped a couple of photos of him.
As I turned to walk away David said, “Wait, let me go inside to make sure you paid.” I laughed and said, “Good idea, let's double check.” We headed back in and he asked the hostess, “Did he already pay for my noodles?” She smiled and told him, “Yes, he sure did.” David then shook my hand and thanked me.
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.
Nashville: Some pictures of “LOVE” need not be explained.
“There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy…
Nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time. It's easy…
All you need is love”
-Written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney in 1967. Producers of a television program called "Our World" asked the Beetles to come up with a song that contained a message that could easily be understood by everyone. The band took on the project and later released, "All you need is love."
No flash, no special production. Just me and a camera at night in Nashville, TN.
When doing street photography I may look odd or like some type of weirdo - but, if people only knew what I was seeing in that small glass behind my camera... the beauty, the romance, the life, the time standing still, the passing people or cars, the businesses - I think they would understand.
No, it is not just the person in the photo, it is the entire surrounding that makes the picture in street photography. It is everything.
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt, Street Photographer
He held up the small partially painted rock in his right hand and looked at it as he stated, “This is a rock from my home planet.”
He then explained what planet he happened to be from. I could not fully understand the name, but he definitely did not say earth… it was the name of someone or something. I guess that mysterious name would be his mysterious home planet.
After the click of my shutter he disappeared into the dense crowd of downtown Nashville and into the night.
Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort, September 12, 1962:
U.S. President John F. Kennedy said in a speech about space exploration, “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again.”
Some people who seem lost, also seem to be in amazement by so little and so much...
“You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down” ― Charlie Chaplin
He was sitting on his bike outside of a bar in downtown Nashville. "LOVE" and "HATE" tattooed to his fingers... He looked like the type who drifted into town with the thought of one night, but likely turned into two and later three.
By ten that evening, he was laying down on his ride with his feet hanging over the rear tire – his head on his handlebars. It was as if he owned the street and if he was told to move on, with a spit he’d say no and sit tight.
The type most would not approach in fear of not being able to walk away, he sat alone as the traffic around him blurred past.
"Got no strings to tie me down
Got no cause to hang around
What difference does it make which way I go
Got an empty feelin' down inside
Still I need to stay alive
Who can tell what waits beyond this road
I'm a drifter, lonesome drifter"
- Johnny Cash, “I'm A Drifter” (Version 2)
He was sitting alone in a dark alley with only the light from a nearby road creeping onto his right side and the left barely lit by an open restaurant door that lead to the busy kitchen. He was crouched down on a milk crate eating a tray of noodles, likely from a cook inside the restaurant.
I could not understand much of what he had to say, but he was very talkative so I simply listened to what sounded like meaningless chatter. But, it made me wonder what has caused him to become this way? Did it start before he became homeless while working as a diesel mechanic or did it happen due to one extreme stressor in life or multiple stressful situations with negative outcomes?
Have you ever thought about how unnerving our world is today? So many people fall into emotional and physical disrepair because of an inability to handle the things around us. Politics, natural disasters, physical ailments, declining health due to age or bad habits, addiction, loss of employment, false ideas of how religion should be verses how it is viewed in our churches, fear of relationships – I could continue typing for hours naming things that bog us down. But, why do we let these things get under our skin?
The simple answer is that not all of us do – some are better equipped with handling today’s times.
A Yale University study found that some people had brains that were able to process stressors better than others. What was interesting is that the study allowed researchers to see which three areas of the brain responded to stress during a functional MRI (fMRI).
The Yale study saw a decrease in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) area of the brain at first and then a huge increase in that same area by most of their study participants. That huge increase could be seen on scans that were overseen by doctors and scientist. For those that had the hyper increase of activity, it meant that their brains were blocking the stressors or protecting the person from stress.
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex area is involved in brain management, in a way. It is utilized when dealing with self-related processing or figuring out when to feel stress or not to feel stress. This area of the brain also causes disruptions in individuals with autism and those who function poorly in social settings. In other words, the vmPFC is not building that wall to block the stress as it does in some people.
Basically, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex either goes into overdrive to protect the brain from extreme emotional response, or fails to go into overdrive (fails to build that wall), which equals a flood of stress and emotional reactions to the stressor.
The Yale study found that those whose brain failed to guard against the stressor, they likely had an increased risk of binge drinking, binge eating or other self-destructive behavior after being stressed.
So if you react poorly to stress and find yourself acting out in self-destructive behaviors after a hard day, your ventromedial prefrontal cortex area is not guarding your brain. A quick fix for this problem is not available, but it is now the spotlight of more research.
For those who experience one extreme stressors daily, weekly or even monthly – these stressors add up and cause serious health issues. Those health issues can include high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease which can lead to more stress. More stress then leads to depression, anxiety or the onset of an underlying mental illness that did not make itself known until that stress in life continued to build up. So, if not tackled in the beginning, it can quickly become uncontrollable for an individual.
The end result of accumulated stress that is not handled properly… we break.
“Stress is the trash of modern life-we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.” ― Danzae Pace