Lo….li….ta

One of my fondest memories from my days as an undergraduate was reading the book, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  (There are many other books that made an impact on my life and you will read about them on the blog at some point!)  I am not entirely sure what is that I like about the book in itself but there was something about the way Nabokov wrote that caught my attention and keeps me coming back to revist the text.  Very few books do that to me.  Today, I thought about reading the book again but instead of pulling out my dusty, highlighted copy, I went to the web for a quick fix.

Strangely enough, what I discovered before locating the on-line text of the book caught my attention – Lolita fashion.  Apparently, the Lolita fashion trend is brightening up the streets of Japan.  There really is no connection to Nabokov beyond a name (the fashion movement was created by Lolita Caitlin Maskell) but it did lead me to discover a cool trend that I found to be really awesome.    For me, Lolita fashion takes Harajuku to another level; the types of Lolita fashion are very distinct and organized (librarian fashion organization? ha!), unlike Harajuku that at times tends to be collective design that draws from multiple sources of inspiration.

I have included some pics for your viewing pleasure (and mine w00t!) and I urge you to read the book Lolita – either for the first time or to revisit the defunct romance that resides inside its pages.  All images are from http://www.lolitafashion.org/.

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Wa6 Thanks for reading!  🙂

My Photography

One of the things that I enjoy doing when I get time is taking pictures.  I am not the greatest at it, I am a novice, but I do enjoy grabbing the digital camera and taking pictures like a mad woman!  Below are a few of my photos from a visit to Cornell University in August.  They are some of my favorites because the pictures make me long for summer… 

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Buffalo Central Terminal

The Buffalo Central Terminal is a magnificent building.  On 10.30.10, I took my daughter and her boyfriend out for a ride to view the terminal.  I had driven by (atleast at a distance) the facility in the past but this time, we pulled right on up to the building.  I was overwhelmed.  There she stood in all her grandure; watching over a tired city that wants nothing more than to get a second wind.

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As we stood there in awe, looking at the building, I began thinking about the past and what a hub the terminal had been many years ago.  For 50 years (1929-1979),  trains would pass through the terminal taking people to places all over the US.  The terminal was also a central hub for soldiers traveling to their military assignments and to those returning from years of strife.

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BG2It breaks my heart to see the facility in such disrepair.  Buildings surrounding (and connected to) the terminal are crumbling.  The terminal is but a ghost of times past – both good and bad.  

I guess it is pretty fitting that Ghosthunters will be doing a live investigation from the terminal on Halloween night.   Then again, there is so much that haunts the City of Buffalo, Jay and Grant could investigate almost endlessly here…

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Machu Picchu

One of the places that I dream of visiting (and often) is Machu Picchu.  I am not sure what the attraction is, my friend has described it as being "soul imprints" or remnants of a past that my mind is too small to grasp or to recall.  You don't need reason when your heart aches for the experience.  So I take my experience and will, at the very least, visit Machu Picchu virtually until I am one day able to physically visit it.  Namaste.

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Image source: http://thetravels.net/2009/08/machu-picchu-sanctuary/machupicchu-2/

At the Top of His Climbing Game – Alex Honnold

I wrote my MA thesis on Female Adventure Travelers of Victorian Britain.  Many of these brave travelers were mountain climbers and they spent most of their lives climbing to heights beyond any of our comprehensions.  Lucky for me, while writing, I fell in love with the sport of mountain climbing.  I would not be a good mountain climber, as the sort of concentration needed to succeed in climbing (i.e. avoid certain death) eludes me, but my heart skips a beat when I see pictures and movies of climbers doing what they love.

Tonight, as I was working on yet another school project, I was lucky enough to have the Travel Channel on as "white noise."   During a  break, I glanced at the television and there was Alex Honnold, my new hero.  He was on a show called First Ascent, where camera's follow the 23-year-old on his many solo, free climbs.  He is not the typical idea of what a mountain climber should be, but his solid climbing skills negate the stereotypes.

I admire what he does and realize that it takes mega balls to climb as he does.  I also think he is freaking nuts. Yet, there is something magical within him and that magic exudes from his every pore.  He is breaking climbing barriers, is rarely afraid, and is inspiring me (if he only knew how much).  I will continue to follow his climbing career and am glad that I had the opportunity to discover him and can add him as a piece of the mosaic of who I am and who I hope to be. Alex Honnold, thank you for sharing your incredible talent and your life's journey with the world.   (P.S. By pure luck, I was also able to discover a photographer named Jimmy Chin, who took the pictures below of Alex.  I am now addicted to his work which is incredibly breathtaking.  I will continue to follow him as he has made an imprint on my soul.)

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Images from http://www.jimmychin.com/.