carnival

Riot Fest 2012, Chicago

Everything that Van's Warped Tour set out to do has been accomplished by Riot Fest.  Great punk music (old and new), add a carnival and you have arrived in Humboldt Park over the last three days.  Naturally, I dressed up like a carni and headed out yesterday to dance my heart out to bands like Less Than Jake, Fishbone, and Reverend Horton Heat.  Fire breathers and glass walkers were out with spontaneous jazz bands playing and dancing with stilted parades.  I rode carnival rides while listening to Iggy & the Stooges and went to an after party with Gogol Bordello to dance all over a bar while Eugene Hutz sung and danced to a DJ spinning his music.  Needless to say, quite the successful day and the high school version of me would be jealous.

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Riot Fest 2012

Humboldt Park, Chicago

City Carnival

There is a wonderful/horrible tourist trap downtown called Navy Pier.  It's an overpriced permanent carnival out on a pier with kitch restaurants, boat tours, and carnival rides.  I hate it because it is such a tourist trap, but I love it because it is a permanent carnival downtown with fireworks twice a week all summer long.  I recently headed down to Navy Pier to do some photographing for an upcoming project to be discussed at a later time.  But here is one of my outtakes from the shoot.

Also for your photographers out there, this is the new Kodak Portra 400 film (sans the VC/NC options).  Are the images generally this red or was that just how they got scanned?  I like it, but nervous about skin tones for future shoots.  Thoughts, reactions, input on this film that I am trying to replace my beloved 400 NC with.

Carnival Over Kamskiye Polyany

As common throughout many of my photographs: a carnival.  I just love them.  Perhaps one day I will run away with one despite people telling me it is not as romantic as it sounds.

Recently, I have been in Kamskiye Polyany, a town of 18,000, built for 140,000.  There are many empty apartments, empty booths at the market, and just a strange feeling as you walk down the street.  The industry is non-existent.  The people of Kamskiye Polyany tried to create a casino industry over the last few years, only to be shut down by the government.  Needless to say, it sounds like a pretty grim situation.  But don't worry, they have a carnival.  Although money is hard to come by at times, they still have a small place for entertainment on the outskirts of town complete with a zoo full of lions and bears.

Stirring the Borsch

While staying with our Lilya, she was fantastic enough to teach me how to make Borsch, a traditional Russian soup.  Like any other soup, Borsch can be made with various ingredients, amounts and ways.  However, this is how she taught me:

in a skillet gradually add:

2 tablespoons of oil.

a large onion.

4 cloves of garlic.

three large carrots, cut into strips.

a large beat, peeled and cubed.

a green bell pepper.

a large tomato.

more salt and pepper than you would imagine (to taste).

 

in a large pot of boiling water:

two peeled potatoes.

half a head of cabbage.

add the previous mixture of vegetables as well as three bay leaves and one tablespoon of dill.

more salt and pepper to taste as well as the options of vinegar and sugar to make it as sweet or acidic as you would like.  The ideal borsch has a god balance of both (I used 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar).

Mix it and let it sit.  Legend is, like wine, the longer it sits, the better it becomes.  Then, enjoy.  If you make a larger pot, you can eat it for days, as it gets better with each day.  Can be served either hot or cold and with a dollop of sour cream.

slang:

"to stir the Borsch" is to be a good housewife

example: "Yeah, she's cute, but can she stir the Borsch?"