Tag Archives: travel blog

Travel Photos from Asheville North Carolina

I recently visited Asheville for my travel podcast, Tourist in your Town. I did several walking tours, ate some great food, and drank some excellent beer while there. Oh and I took some photos. I enjoyed my visit and will definitely return to this town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

At Dusk

The Orange Peel at Sunset in downtown Asheville
The Orange Peel, in downtown Asheville, NC
Wicked Weed in downtown Asheville at dusk
Wicked Weed Brewery in Asheville, NC

After Dark

Downtown Asheville after dark, featuring Double D's double decker bus.
Double D’s double decker bus after dark.
Orange Peel Marquee is lit up after dark
The Orange Peel marquee at night
Church entry at night
It’s after dark and the church’s entry is lit up in this image from downtown Asheville, NC
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Asheville North Carolina Courthouse

I recently started a podcast called Tourist in Your Town. The most recent episode is Asheville, North Carolina. While there, I got the chance to take some great photos of the area and learn about the rich history of the town.

Courthouse and City Hall

We all know that I have thing for courthouses. The Buncombe County Courthouse and the Asheville City Hall stand side by side in the Historic district. The City Hall was originally built to be the courthouse, but it was never used for that purpose. The art deco architecture of the city hall is so detailed and beautiful. The courthouse is a much more utilitarian building with an overlay of Neo-Classical ornament applied. 

Asheville City Hall
Asheville City Hall
Buncombe County Courthouse

Midlife Angst: Trying Again

So, here I am starting something new. I’m almost 48 and feel a little too old to be starting over with something I know nothing about. I have decided to start a travel podcast. It’s called Tourist in Your Town. Head over to the website and check it out.

I know nothing about audio recording or editing. But I guess I’ll learn. I thought this might be a good thing for me to try. I love to travel and I love to talk about it. So, it seems a logical step for me.

I have 2 episodes out now and am having a great time with it! Give it a listen!

Rail yard in the Old City

Cuba Revisited

I recently went through my photos from Cuba. When I originally sorted and worked my images from that trip, I did not find these interesting. Or they didn’t represent what I was feeling at the time. I have to admit I don’t remember. But on the revisit, I fell in love with Cuba all over again. Enjoy these “new” images!

Rural Cuba

Images from a trip through the countryside. We visited a baseball team, a historic coffee plantation and farm restaurant.

Urban Cuba

I found myself fascinated with many different styles of architecture, including Art Deco, Colonial, and Spanish. They would often all be on the same building.

I hope you enjoy these images from Cuba as much as I enjoyed taking them! Prints are available of these and other photos from Cuba here.

As always, feedback is welcome!

In the Subway

As a person who lives in a place with little to no public transportation options, subways fascinate me. I have to admit that I find them a bit confusing sometimes. Take the blue line to the yellow line, then go to the green line, then back to the blue line.  When I was in New York, I bought a metro pass intending to use the subway more than I actually did. However, there was construction going on and trying to figure out what detours and where was more than I wanted to do. So, I walked just about everywhere. I would leave extra early and stop for a snack or a beer when I got tired. It did give me the opportunity to take lots of pics. Anyway, here are some pics from the little bit that I did spend in the subway. 

I feel like this person may have been on the wrong platform. Everybody was standing on my side of the platform. But there was this lone person way across the tracks. Maybe he was waiting for someone. But it adds a little mystery to this photo. It is definitely one of my favorites from the trip.

Waiting for the train at Penn Station by Sharon Popek
Waiting for the train at Penn Station

The mosaics in the subway were a favorite subject. Everybody around me was ignoring them and fighting their way out of the station. Don’t worry, I didn’t hold anybody up when taking these photos!

To Penn Station by Sharon Popek
The platform at Penn Station
Pennsylvania Station mosaic sign
The platform at Penn Station
W is for Wall Street by Sharon Popek
At Wall Street Station

And sometimes the entrance to the station is just as cool. This is the Bowling Green station entrance. The head house was constructed in 1905. Look at that clock! You know I love street clocks and interesting doorways. This station entrance has it all!

Bowling Green Head House
The exterior of Bowling Green Station

Always be patient when traveling. Sometimes plans change, but you can make that work for yourself. Leave early, take your time, and have fun!

Phoneography

As much as I carry my camera around with me, I do sometimes find myself without it when there is a photo that needs to be taken. Cell phone cameras these days are pretty nice. I won’t get super large prints from the files, but small to medium sized prints will look excellent from these files. Here is a quick gallery of recent phoneography on the train to New York. 

Dining car at night by Sharon Popek
This is what the dining car on the Crescent line looks like at 3am. I was going through to the bathroom, did not have my camera, so I took it with my phone. 
The dining car with a sun flare by Sharon Popek
The dining car at dinner, as the sun was setting. We went in for dinner. I did not bring my camera, because I was hungry and tired. But the sun coming through that window was more than I could resist. Cell phone worked great. 
The NYC skyline from the train by Sharon Popek
The view from the window as we were entering New York City on the Crescent line. The camera was picking up so much dirt on the windows, so I tried the cell phone. I’m happy with this the way it came out. 

I went to NYC and did a thing

I had 2 pieces in a juried exhibition at the Salmagundi Club. So, we took the train up to NYC. Read about the trip up here. Once in New York, we ate and drank and walked. The walking was probably a sad thing to watch really. I was having back spasms and the mister had a cold. We did not take the town by storm. But we did have a good time. The reception for the show was packed. It was exciting for me to see my work on the wall with so many other beautiful pieces. 

Dinner

Before the show, we went to Burger and Lobster for dinner.  The service was excellent. I also had the best Dark and Stormy ever. We both got lobster rolls and were fat and happy when we left.

Artist’s Reception

When we got to the Salmagundi Club, we noticed a long line for the coat check. There is a restaurant in the club, so we thought it might be for that. Nope. Turns out all of these people were there for the show! We made our way to the gallery, where we found this.

We made our way to where my pieces were and took a few quick pics before the crowd swept us around to see the rest of the show. 

We made it back home, despite the fact that we almost missed our stop on the way home. But that’s another story.  

New York City Day 1

When it was time to leave Providence (see Rhode Island or Bust), E dropped me at the station early because I did not know what to expect. Would it be like the airport? Would I have to remove my shoes and take out my electronics and shampoo? Would I get the joy of a pat down? Nope, none of that. They did have police walking around, watching for suspicious behavior, I suppose. That left me with some time to kill, so I went down and took some photos of the platforms. When it was time to board, I hopped on and grabbed a comfy seat. Coach seats on trains are nice and cushy. After everyone found a spot, no seat assignments here, we were off. I was headed to New York City, just me and my camera.

On the Train

I sat next to a very nice woman from Florida. Her daughters lived in New England and she was visiting them. She told me to visit the Public Library in New York. So, I added it to my list. There are several reasons to love the train. One of those is that you can have a conversation without everyone else in the whole place hearing what you say. It’s also easy to get up and move around.  I visited the snack bar where the cashier told me about the time he visited East Tennessee and loved it. There’s also the views.  I got to see so much of New England that I would not have seen otherwise. It made me want to visit the places I viewed from the train.

Made it NYC

The train pulled into Penn Station and I had a moment of what now? I had researched the location of my Airbnb and the exits were clearly marked, so I found my way out easily. The Airbnb was only 3 blocks from the station. I made my way there and there was a nice guy waiting to give me a key card and show me to my room. It was a private room with a shared bath and kitchen area. I had reservations about the shared bath, but it ended up not being an issue for me. I only ran into the other tenants once in the 4 days I was there.

Skyscrapers ©Sharon Popek
Right outside of my Airbnb

What Now

The biggest problem with visiting a place like New York City without specific plans is there are so many options, it’s hard to decide what to do. I took a shower and relaxed for a bit before deciding to hit the streets in search of food and drink. It was Sunday and quite a few of the nearby places were already closed or closing soon. But I found Jack Doyle’s Irish Pub and Grill and planted myself at the bar. After a couple of perfectly poured Guinnesses and a delicious Caprese Salad, I was ready to go to bed and start again the next day.

Stay Tuned

Watch for Day 2! The next installment includes a trip to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, more beer, and lots of walking.

 

 

 

Ireland Favorites

Dublin, Ireland is one of my favorite cities. It was everything I thought it would be and more! The people were kind and gracious, always willing to help and show us a great time. I took many photos in Ireland. But these are a few of my favorites from the land of Éire.

Dublin and the River Liffey

The River Liffey runs through the city. There are 21 bridges crossing the River. Each one is unique and has its own history. I took photos of almost all of them. However, these are a few of my favorites.

We went to a few bars. We drank some Guinness (okay, a lot of Guinness).

Castles

Ruins everywhere. Some are castles, some are just old buildings. But they all look cool.

But Wait!

There’s more! These are some more of my favorites.

To see more photos from Ireland, visit my website.

Friday Favorites – Travel Photos

I wanted to share five of my favorite travel photos on this hot July Friday.  Looking back, some of them are easy to see why I like them so much.

Buskin’ on the Danube

We had spent the day in Budapest walking, walking, walking and needed a break and a drink. We found a spot on the edge of the Danube. As we sipped our drinks, the busker started playing. The setting sun touches the edge of his shoulder and the Hungarian flag in front of him, giving the whole scene a soft glow. See more travel photos from Hungary here.

Buskin' on the Danube by Sharon Popek
Buskin’ on the Danube. A busker plays the saxophone at sunset in Budapest, Hungary

Enter for Enlightenment

Another image from Budapest with that soft glow that I love so much. This was taken in Matthias Church, a gothic cathedral complete with restored frescos and painted walls. But this simple unadorned stairwell glows from the soft window light, silhouetting the outline of the door. It’s inviting and peaceful. See more travel photos from Hungary here.

Enter for Enlightenment by Sharon Popek
Enter for Enlightenment

Kraków Nights

The Main Square in Kraków, Poland just after sunset. The sky is that early evening blue that contrasts beautifully with warm tones of the city lights.  People are sitting down for dinner or cocktails as bicyclists whiz past, creating a bit of a blur.  Find more travel photos of Poland here.

Kraków Nights by Sharon Popek
The Main Square in Kraków, Poland just after sunset.

Aire Acondicionado

Taken in Havana, Cuba, this photo is a little busy. But I love that about it. I love the old worn signs hanging above the many people milling about in the streets. And there’s that glow again, only this time it’s a cool glow from the cobblestone street below. I can almost hear the sounds of Havana. Find out more about my trip to Cuba here.

Aire Acondicionada by Sharon Popek
Street scene in Havana, Cuba

 

Kutná Hora Alley

This one is a little more subtle than the others. At first glance it’s just an nice photo of an alley. But the open arches and speckles of sunlight lead the eye directly to the back of the alley, where two people stand deep in conversation.  I love small details like that. More images from Czechia can be found here.

Kutná Hora Alley By Sharon Popek
An alley in Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic.

I hope you like these as much as I do! Prints of all images are available here or click on the individual images and it will go directly to the shop page.

I’d love to hear your feedback and comments. Also, feel free to share a link to your own favorites!