ESCAPE – (G)Luck for the New Year

NY_pig_hatI’m leaving Vienna early tomorrow morning to head back to Los Angeles. I had so much on my plate and so many photos to sort through I’m going to blog most of it after the fact, but that’s life. And yes… I know HiddenLA isn’t supposed to be about Europe… but it’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want to, so there! I’m ready to be back home and wander the streets of L.A. again, but it’s so incredible to experience familiar holidays through the eyes of a totally different culture. It’s something I want to share.

Case in point… New Year’s in Austria (named Silvester, after St. Sylvester) is a much different animal than we know. The New Year is all about pigs here. Yes, pigs. (more…)

IMAGERY – Memories of Diana, Pont de l’Alma, Paris

Ever since her death in the tunnel below, people have scrawled messages to Princess Diana on the Pont de l’Alma bridge.

Click to see larger image. diana

ESCAPE – Paris Christmas Market

Chocolate apples. YUM. I’d originally planned to go to the Christkindlmarkt in Vienna today, but jet lag took me over and I missed it. I’m a bit sad about that because the lights are so wonderful and the photos would’ve been amazing. Fortunately, I did walk through the Paris Christmas Market yesterday and got photos of that. It’s not quite as festive but the two markets are similar… the Vienna version just features more wood and lights. And there’s far more Jagermeister and expensive Christmas trinkets of all shapes and sizes. And *much* less foie gras. But the Paris Market is still quite festive as you’ll see in the album below.

(FYI, here in Austria, Christmas is celebrated on the eve before so I’m going to be offline for a day or so. I hope you all have a great holiday! I’ll post more soon!)

Click on the square image below to see 24 captioned pictures of what can be found at the Paris Christmas Market. To read the captions, just hover over the images. :)

Paris Christmas Market

ESCAPE – I love Paris in the winter, when it drizzles.

Running in the rain. I’m posting this a few days late due to a bad internet connection. I’m in Vienna now, but let’s just pretend I’m not…

I found myself wandering through Paris just *obsessed* with using my new camera… playing with the shutter speeds and apertures and all of the other little tricks. I can’t believe how far I walked in two days. For me, the weather was perfect… I was wearing three or four layers, but I was never uncomfortable. The sky was drizzling in a way that made all of the lights magically glow at night, but it never rained so much that I rushed indoors. There was ice on the ground, but not enough to slip on. All in all, they were perfect winter days and nights. I very literally took hundreds of photos, and I’ll spread some of the best over a couple of posts. Today I’ll post my favorite rainy night photos…

NOTE: Due to some problems with WordPress’ photo album feature, I moved these photos into a different album. Just click on the square image below to see eighteen pretty pictures.

A Rainy Night in Paris