Author Archive for: jgates

The Entrance to our Narnia

21 Dec 2009
December 21, 2009 The beginning of an 18 inch snowfall. Click image for larger view. I live in the burbs of DC but on Saturday, like Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia I opened my closet door, I mean my front door to see this scene as the beginnings of what was to become an 18 inch snowfall unfolded before me. You might remember I took a similar photograph when I woke up to dense fog on Thanksgiving morning. I love the snow (as long as I'm sitting by a roaring fire in a Swiss chalet). What I don't like is Read more [...]

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

12 Dec 2009
December 12, 2009 For the last year I've been getting email newsletters from the dealership where I bought my car. Although my Volkswagen is over nine years old the dealer wants to keep in touch with me. Naturally, they want to keep me loyal to their service department and, when it's time, entice me to buy a new car. I understand and appreciate this as part of good customer service. I like hearing about the new VWs and car safety. But the newsletter also clearly includes fluff pieces about new recipes, pushing one Read more [...]

Thanks for the Meat and Heat

26 Nov 2009
November 26, 2009 The view from our house. Click on image to enlarge. Woke up this Thanksgiving to dense fog. After a little breakfast in the peace and quiet of the early morning I put my coat on over my PJs and walked a few feet out our front door to take this photograph. The last of the colorful autumn leaves was a great counterpoint to the atmospheric mist just above the forest path. To my Southern California friends who are expecting an 80°F holiday, eat your hearts out. This is what Thanksgiving is supposed Read more [...]

One Day in East Berlin

08 Nov 2009
November 8, 2009 An East German Volkspolizei guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in East Berlin, 1974, © Jeff Gates. Click on image for a larger view. I am slowly unearthing photographs and memories from my 1974–1975 trip to Europe. I took this image at East Germany's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I remember thinking the pomp and circumstance of the East German soldiers as they marched in front of the monument reminded me of ours at Arlington Cemetery. While smoking was much more prevalent in both Read more [...]

Encountering the Berlin Wall

01 Nov 2009
November 1, 2009 A family reunion at Checkpoint Charlie. Click image for a larger view. © Jeff Gates In 1974, I was a fresh college graduate when I decided to embark on my first trip abroad. I spent seven months traveling in Western and Eastern Europe, exploring my longtime interest in borders. Even knowing a bit of history, they just seemed so arbitrary. To think there was a man-made demarcation line where one side abided by one set of rules and the other side by another was profoundly intriguing. The United Read more [...]

On Being a Voyeur: I Have No Complaints

04 Oct 2009
October 4, 2009 When I was in San Francisco last week for meetings I stayed with good friends in Noe Valley. Being a seasoned commuter I left the house each morning precisely at 7:55 and walked down to Market Street to catch the MUNI downtown. My Bay Area mornings were like every workday morning for me --a walk and then a hop onto mass transit. And when I got onto my train I appeared to do what every San Franciscan did. I pretended to be in my own little world (as I pretend to do every morning on my commute from Read more [...]
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